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A Teacher, a Superintendent, a Special Ed Director: 3 Real-life Stories About Equity in Education
Coming from a small town in the not-Philadelphia-and-not-Pittsburgh part of Pennsylvania, the idea of equity in education wasn’t top-of-mind for me when I was a high school student. Nor was the whole idea that some kids might not have the same kind of opportunities as others.
Best Practices for Service Documentation
In the world of IDEA, documentation is a requirement. However, documentation practices in school districts have no universal standard. This can lead to major problems both for students and districts ― like due process hearings and issues with continuity of service. So, in the absence of universal standards, your district should create best practices of its own. Here is some information to help you get started.Continue Reading
Working with Parents in Special Education
Working in special education can be very rewarding. It can also be extremely challenging. One of the many reasons it can be challenging is working with parents. Parents want the best for their kids – which is how it should be. Sometimes they have specific ideas about how that should look in a school setting. And sometimes those ideas turn into requests, or even demands, and conflict with what educators believe is appropriate for student support.
4 Resources to Build General Educators’ Understanding of Special Education
Special education leaders are in a unique position to accomplish good for their students, given their specialized training, talents and well-earned knowledge. They also have the unique ability to improve students’ experiences in general education.Continue Reading
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Poll: What Does Social-Emotional Learning Look Like in Your District?
Schools have made leaps and bounds in supporting students’ social-emotional and behavioral needs since the tragedy at Columbine High School. However, implementing a framework for social-emotional learning (SEL) can still be extremely challenging for educators. What does SEL look like in your school or district? Have you run into any obstacles? Take the poll to share your thoughts.Continue Reading
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FAQs About Medicaid in Special Education
Medicaid has been linked to special education for decades and is a valuable resource, through reimbursement, to public schools. However, there is plenty of confusion about the correct way to seek Medicaid reimbursement, how to properly document IEPs as they relate to it, and the viability of Medicaid’s role in special education as a whole.Continue Reading
4 Steps for Navigating Dyslexia Across Departments
Dyslexia, a neuro-biological disorder that affects language processing, has no bearing on intelligence, but complicates a student’s ability to learn by making both reading and verbal communication difficult. Because dyslexia notoriously flies under the radar, a child can go years with the disorder unidentified and with no answer for why schoolwork is so difficult ― or worse, with teachers and parents assuming that laziness is to blame for poor performance in school.Continue Reading
5 Ways to Support Gifted Learners at the Start of the School Year
Excitement is in the air as a new school year begins! Students find out who their teachers will be, discover which friends are in their classes, and of course, shop for new school supplies! But there is a particular group of students who might not be quite as excited as some of the others to start school, and that group might surprise you — I am talking about students identified as gifted.Continue Reading
5 Strategies to Improve the IEP Process with Parent Participation
Nowhere is the value for parental involvement in education more evident than in the special education process. IDEA provides safeguards to ensure that parents assume a key decision-making role in their child’s IEP. To further emphasize its importance, the Office of Special Education Programs annually assesses the “percent of parents… who report that schools facilitated parent involvement as a means of improving services and results for children with disabilities.”Continue Reading
10 Sources of Data to Build a Comprehensive IEP
An Individualized Education Program has the potential to “tell the right story” for each student with a disability — to describe the student’s strengths and assets, identify areas of need and chart a pathway for a successful school year. But to be relevant and meaningful, the IEP must be based on current, reliable and valid information.Continue Reading
Establishing Baseline Data in an IEP: 3 Steps to Taking a Student’s Performance Temperature
Remember the line by Lewis Carroll: “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.” This shows the importance of goal setting. If you don’t know where you are starting from, anywhere you end can look like progress. This shows the importance of collecting baseline data.Continue Reading