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Special Education and the Teacher Shortage
An online search for “teacher shortage” will quickly return 435,000 results. Each day yields more headlines about school districts who struggle to hire enough teachers — more than half of school districts we surveyed in 2016 said they were experiencing a shortage.
Extended School Year 2021: Top 5 Ways to Limit Legal Risk
COVID-19 created extraordinary circumstances in education. Closures and remote instruction isolated students, required novel IEP implementations, and raised significant questions about whether student needs were appropriately met. Those extraordinary circumstances raised extraordinary questions about school legal exposure under conventional legal requirements.Continue Reading
Reflecting on a Wild Year in Special Education
The past academic year was a journey through disruption for everyone involved in education. And for those in Special Education, it was even more of a challenge to try to support students and keep learning from sliding to a complete stop. Now that the school year has come to a close and educators have had a chance to catch their breath before starting preparations for the upcoming year, we asked hundreds of educators in Special Education to reflect on a year that defies description.
COVID-19-Related Compensatory Services Under Section 504
Unexpected school closures happened so quickly in the early days of the pandemic. Managers of Section 504 programs faced — and still face — a great deal of uncertainty because closures and hybrid learning don’t change the fact that schools are responsible for preventing discrimination and providing the appropriate supports for students with disabilities to ensure they enjoy equal opportunity to access education. However, making sure students receive the services they’re entitled to during a global pandemic isn’t easy and introduces a lot of questions from a compliance perspective.Continue Reading
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Guide to Fee-for-Service Medicaid Claiming for Schools
In today’s culture, schools do more than just educate. They are outreach centers, health care providers, and community leaders who are integral to connecting families to services. Much of this is rooted in the development of schools as health care providers and Medicaid outreach organizations.Continue Reading
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How to Leverage Your IEP Service Tracking System for Better Progress Monitoring
School districts need to monitor student progress to assess student outcomes, submit mandated state and federal reports, and in many states, claim Medicaid reimbursements. But progress monitoring can also be used to help identify and support requests for additional staffing needs or pinpoint professional development gaps.Continue Reading
5 Questions to Evaluate Your IEP Management System
Is your IEP system helping you live up to the promises you’ve made to students with disabilities ― or is it inhibiting student progress and adding work and frustration to your plate? As with any complex system, getting a clear view of what is working well and what could be better can be a challenge. The bottom line is that your IEP system should work for you, not the other way around.Continue Reading
Navigating Parental Consent for Medicaid
It’s the end of an Individualized Education Program (IEP) meeting, and stakeholders have agreed upon related services prescribed to your student. Before the meeting can conclude and the IEP document is finalized for signature, one last form needs to be addressed: parental consent to bill Medicaid. Outside of service logging, this conversation has the largest impact on Medicaid revenue for a school district.Continue Reading
Programs to Help with Remote Special Education & Services
A school’s ability to provide special education remotely — including services like occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech therapy, among others — is critical during the COVID-19 pandemic. And not just to meet school obligations under IDEA and Section 504, but because providing these services makes a huge difference in the lives of students.Continue Reading
A Teacher, a Superintendent, a Special Ed Director: 4 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.Continue Reading
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