U.S. ED Provides Technical Assistance Webinar on Restraint and Seclusion

On January 17, 2019, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced an initiative to examine the possible inappropriate use of restraint and seclusion in our nation’s schools. As a part of this initiative, the Office for Civil Rights has partnered with the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services to support teachers, school leaders, parents, and stakeholders as they work to address the behavioral needs of children with disabilities.

One primary component of the Department’s initiative has focused on providing technical assistance to support schools in understanding how Section 504, Title II, and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) informs the development and implementation of policies governing the use of restraint and seclusion.

To this end, OCR and OSERS are pleased to present the following webinar, Students with Disabilities and the Use of Restraint and Seclusion in K-12 Public Schools, as technical assistance to both support children with disabilities — and support the needs of those within school systems serving students.

We hope that you will find this tool to be a helpful resource and valuable technical assistance on how federal laws apply to the use of restraint and seclusion. OCR and OSERS will continue to seek ways to support schools to improve outcomes for children with disabilities and ensure access to technical assistance and available resources.  READ MORE

Zirkel’s Legal Alert

This month’s update concerns issues that were subject to recent, unpublished federal court decisions of general significance: (a) liability for money damages under the IDEA, and (b) the reverse effect of general education interventions on IDEA child find and eligibility. For further examination of both of these issues, see perryzirkel.com.

Hot Topic Series: Speech/Language Services (Session 1: Jan 30)

Session One – Defining types of services SLP, OT and PT’s provide

Professional Development:

  • For Related Service providers
  • Related Service providers to teachers/paras

Session Two – Caseloads and What to Know about Eligibility

How are decisions being made as to who is being qualified for services?
Is it consistent across buildings and programs?
Has your department discussed/agreed upon some guidelines for qualifying students?
Do your service providers consider the three prongs?
Does the support require the expertise of a related service provider – are they the only one that can provide the support?
How do you embed Related Services into general education and special education?

Session Three – Accountability

How are you monitoring caseloads?
SLPs – evals, case manager, re-evals
Progress Reporting?

Resources for Communicating with Parents

CADRE, the The Center for Appropriate Dispute Resolution in Special Education, has two new resources to support more collaborative and productive conversations between educators, administrators, and parents.

The updated Tale of Two Conversations is a two-part video series shows a parent of a child with a disability and a school administrator demonstrating poor communication skills and then provides the positive alternative. View the videos and study guide at https://www.cadreworks.org/resources/cadre-materials-state-resource/tale-two-conversations.

Considering Mediation for Special Education Disputes: A School Administrator’s Perspective is a pamphlet describing, from an administrators perspective, the benefits of participating in mediation to solve special education disputes between parents and educators.

Assistant Secretary Johnny Collett Leaving Department of Education

In a move that seemed to take everyone by surprise, Assistant Secretary for the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services (OSERS) Johnny Collett announced his resignation as of today.  He has indicated that he is returning to Kentucky to spend more time with his family. Collett has served as the head of the agency since his 2017 nomination to the post.  Mark Shultz, who has been commissioner of the Rehabilitation Services Administration since August, will take on the role as Assistant Secretary in an acting capacity.
Collett is known for his initiative to “rethink special education.” Read More

OSEP’s Effective Personnel for ALL: Attract, Prepare, Retain Initiative

Throughout the year, the U.S. Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) has made a focused effort to support States in their work to address special education personnel shortages.  This effort has included a symposia series and other targeted activities.  Currently, OSEP is inviting the public share their  thoughts on how they can best support States in their work to Attract, Prepare, and Retain Effective Personnel. Sharing challenges and successes can make a difference for others facing similar challenges.

Comments can be posted to the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services Blog with the comment period ending September 30, 2019.

Registration for the 2019 Special Education Legislative Summit is Now Open

If you haven’t had the opportunity yet, this is the year to join your colleagues from Washington state to storm the Hill and advocate for our students receiving special education and other services.  The Special Education Legislative Summit (SELS) is an amazing experience to learn about the key issues affecting special education today and share information with Washington legislators who have the ability to make a positive impact on the lives of our students.

Registration for SELS is now open .  The goal of CEC and CASE is to have all 50 states in attendance, so this year is a great time make Washington state’s voice heard loud and clear in the other Washington.

For more information about SELS, visit https://specialeducationlegislativesummit.org/.  Register now and reserve your place at SELS!