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4 Ways to Improve Transition Planning in Special Education
Providing individualized special education services in school is crucial to fulfilling the mission of the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA). However, in-school services only get you partway to accomplishing IDEA’s goals for students with disabilities.
Why Do Special Education Teachers Quit?
Why did you choose a career in special education? is one of my favorite questions to ask when I interview teachers because it usually prompts an immediate brightening of the eyes and a smile. And, let’s face it, that kind of enthusiasm is catchy!Continue Reading
5 Ways to Reduce Burnout for Special Education Teachers
When I became principal for a specialized school with various sites throughout a borough in New York City, one of my first priorities was to develop a plan of action to better support my special education staff.
6 Best Practices to Elevate IEPs
The individualized education program (IEP) is the seminal planning document for teaching students with disabilities, and the Present Levels of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance (PLAAFP) section should be its heart and soul. When done well, the PLAAFP describes a multi-dimensional student — one with strengths, interests, needs and aspirations. I’ve provided suggestions on how the PLAAFP can tell “the right story” for each student — let’s review some of these ideas and connect the dots so your PLAAFPs can set the stage for compliant, individualized and relevant IEPs.Continue Reading
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4 Survival Strategies for Special Education Teachers
It’s estimated that up to almost 50 percent of a special education teacher’s time is spent completing paperwork. Yet, as a teacher, you want to spend your school days teaching. You want to work hard in ensuring that every student — no matter their ability — gets a fair shot at success. In short, you chose to become a special education teacher because you care. Because it’s a hard job and somebody has to do it; why shouldn’t that somebody be as qualified and invested as you?Continue Reading
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5 Tips for Successful Collaboration Between General & Special Education Teachers
Jim Stovall, International Humanitarian Award recipient and Olympic athlete, once said of teamwork, “You need to be aware of what others are doing, applaud their efforts, acknowledge their successes and encourage them in their pursuits. When we all help one another, everybody wins.”Successful CollaborationContinue Reading
10 Best Practices for Improving and Expanding Social, Emotional and Behavioral Supports
While there is much debate about why an increasing number of children come to school with significant social, emotional and behavioral (S, E & B) needs, nearly all districts report the number of children with these challenges is on the rise.Continue Reading
RTI/MTSS and End of School Year: 7 Tips to Reflect and Recalibrate
School leaders who implement RTI/MTSS have a big responsibility ― to deploy a school’s full array of intervention resources to find and help struggling students. To meet this goal, periodic checkups are needed to ensure that schools align their current practices with RTI/MTSS best practices. The close of the school year offers staff the ideal time for an RTI/MTSS checkup ― now is your chance to tidy up loose ends in record-keeping, use data to improve classroom instruction, identify gaps between intended and actual service delivery and look ahead to the next phase in RTI/MTSS program roll-out.Continue Reading
Your Section 504 Eligibility Questions Answered
Understanding Section 504’s eligibility criteria is crucial to compliant Section 504 accommodation delivery and implementation. Unlike Special Education, Section 504 does not expand rights or change the educational experience. Rather, Section 504 protects the general education experience and ensures that students are not discriminated against on account of disability.Continue Reading
Autism Awareness: An Evidence-Based Resource for Schools
Feeling helpless in a situation where all you want to do is improve a student’s functioning is an extremely common outcome for school staff in the complex daily world of autism. Slow or no progress can lead to frustration for teachers who believe they have already tried all the tools in their toolboxes.Continue Reading
How One School District Manages Drastic Growth in Special Populations Each Year
Not far from Houston, Texas, Alvin Independent School District is a rapidly growing organization with enrollment increasing by well over 1,000 students annually. New schools are planned and built every year to keep up with projected expansion.Continue Reading