Advocacy, Special Education Rights & Responsibilities. Presented by Steve Ashman Executive Director, CASA of Stanislaus County

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1 Advocacy, Special Education Rights & Responsibilities Presented by Steve Ashman Executive Director, CASA of Stanislaus County

2 ADVOCACY Things to Remember DELAY IS THE ENEMY! DOCUMENT! KNOW WHO HOLDS ED RIGHTS POLICY IS NOT LAW! The CHICKEN or the PIG?

3 The most important things to know about being a good advocate Create Relationships Communicate ideas Know the facts and how the law applies Keep your eye on the ball Question anything you don t understand

4 In any and all meetings Inform all parties of your role Put the child s needs first Get your message across Clarify Get all Perspectives Find Common Ground Add Information State Your Position Clearly

5 Remember to Keep Clear Records Be organized Keep Copies of EVERYTHING Put EVERYTHING in writing Keep a log Recap after every meeting clarify all issues still unclear

6 Placement The IEP Pyramid Report of Progress and Alternative Assessment Statement of Special Education & Related Services Supplementary Aids Program Modifications Support for Personnel Involvement in General Curriculum Measurable Annual Goals & Short-term Objectives/Benchmarks Consideration of Special Factors Assistive Technology Communication Transition Low Incidence Disabilities Vocational Behavioral Present Levels of Educational Performance Preparation

7 Special Education Is Not A Place It is a constellation of services provided in the Least Restrictive Environment

8 Principles of the IDEA and Section 504 Free Appropriate Public Education Appropriate Assessment Least Restrictive Environment Parent Participation Procedural Safeguards Individual Education Program (IEP) / 504 Plan

9 504 Eligibility? Must have a condition that substantially limits a major life activity

10 Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 Hearing, Seeing, Breathing, Walking, Talking, Thinking Guarantees a free, appropriate, public education Services are broad-based and determined on student educational needs May include special education services, instruction, accommodations and modifications Services determined by 504 Planning Team

11 Special Education

12 Definition of a Child with a Disability IDEA 2004 defines a child with a disability as a child with: Mental retardation Hearing impairments (including deafness) Speech or language impairments Visual impairments (including blindness) Serious emotional disturbance Orthopedic impairments Autism Traumatic brain injury Other health impairments Specific learning disabilities AND who, because of this disability, needs special education and related services.

13 Eligibility Criteria for Learning Disabled Must have a disorder in one of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or using spoken or written language (attention, visual processing, auditory processing, sensory-motor skills, and cognitive abilities including association, conceptualization, and expression) May manifest itself in an impaired ability to listen, think, read, write, spell, or do mathematical calculations

14 Special Education The term special education means specially designed instruction, at no cost to the parents, to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability including: Instruction conducted in the classroom, in the home, in hospitals and institutions, and in other settings The term includes each of the following, if it meets the requirements of special education: Speech-language pathology services, or any other related service, if the service is considered special education rather than a related service under State standards Travel training Vocational education Specially designed instruction means adapting to the needs of an eligible child the content, methodology, or delivery of instruction: To address the unique needs of the child that result from the child s disability To ensure access of the child to the general curriculum, so that he or she can meet the educational standards within the jurisdiction of the public agency that apply to all children.

15 These services may include, but are not limited to, the following: 1. Audiological services 2. Orientation and mobility instruction 3. Instruction in the home or hospital 4. Adapted physical education 5. Physical and occupational therapy 6. Vision services 7. Specialized driver training instruction 8. Counseling and guidance 9. Psychological services other than assessment and development of the individualized education program 10. Parent counseling and training 11. Health and nursing services 12. Social worker services 13. Specially designed vocational education and career development 14. Recreation services 15. Specialized services for low incidence disabilities, such as readers, transcribers, and vision and hearing services 16. Speech and Language Services 17. Medical evaluation for diagnostic purposes

16 Timelines for Assessment and IEP Child is referred for assessment Referral for assessment means any written request for assessment to identity an individual with exceptional needs made by a parent, teacher, or other service provider. Within 15 calendar days, the district must give parent proposed assessment plan meeting the following requirements. Be in language easily understood by the general public Be provided in the primary language of the parent or other mode of mode of communication used by parent unless to do so is clearly not feasible Explain each type of assessment instrument to be administered, the purpose of the instrument, and professional personnel responsible for administration and interpretation of the instrument. Fully explain the facts which make an assessment necessary or desirable State that no educational placement will result from the assessment without parental consent. Include a copy of the notice of parent rights including an explanation of all procedural safeguards of state and federal special education law

17 Timelines for Assessment and IEP Parent must give written consent to conduct assessment. Parent has 15 calendar days to arrive at a decision. Written shall be obtained before any assessment of the student is conducted unless the public education agency prevails in a due process hearing. The parent shall have at least 15 days from the receipt of the proposed assessment plan to arrive at a decision. Assessment will be completed and IEP developed within 60 calendar days of receipt of parent s written consent for assessment. It is expected that the student s IEP will be implemented immediately following the IEP meeting. Exceptions: when meetings occur during summer or vacation period or where circumstances require a short delay (ex. Transportation arrangements). There can be no undue delay in providing special education and related services to the child. If the parent does not consent to all components of the IEP, then those components to which consent has been given shall be implemented so as not to delay providing education and services to the child.

18 Evaluation Individualized testing Evaluation in the native language or mode of communication Unless clearly not feasible to do so Nondiscriminatory evaluation On a racial or cultural basis Any standardized tests to be validated for the specific purpose for which they are used Tests administered by trained and knowledgeable personnel Tests administered in accordance with any instructions provided by the producer of such tests The student must be assessed in all areas of suspected disability No single procedure is used as the sole criterion for determining special education and an appropriate educational program Re-evaluation at parent request requires IEP

19 Assessed In All Areas The child is assessed in all areas related to the suspected disability, including, if appropriate, health, vision, hearing, social and emotional status, general intelligence,academic performance, communicative status and motor disabilities. In evaluating each child with a disability, the evaluation is sufficiently comprehensive to identify all of the child s special education and related services needs, whether or not commonly linked to the disability category in which the child has been classified.

20 Eligibility Criteria for Emotionally Disturbed Because of a serious emotional disturbance, pupil exhibits one or more of the following characteristics over a long period of time and to a marked degree, which adversely effects educational performance: * An inability to learn which cannot be explained by intellectual, sensory, or health factors * An inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships with peers and teachers * Inappropriate types of behavior or feelings under normal circumstances exhibited in several situations * A general pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression * A tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or school problems

21 Eligibility Criteria for Other Health Impaired A student has limited strength, vitality or alertness, due to chronic health problems, including but not limited to (includes ADD/ADHD per California Education Code Section 56339) Which adversely affects a student s educational performance

22 What does Adversely Affects Educational Performance Mean? Educational performance is a broad concept that includes academic, social, health, emotional, communicative, physical, and vocational needs Grades and standardized tests are only one measure of educational performance Schools must consider how a student s emotional, health or other conditions (ADD/ADHD) adversely affect the student s non-academic performance in social, behavioral, and other domains (including non-classroom settings)

23 Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) Each public agency shall ensure That to the maximum extent appropriate, children with disabilities including public or private institutions or other care facilities are educated with children who are non-disabled. That special classes, separate schooling or other removal of children with disabilities from the regular educational environment occurs only if the nature or severity of the disability is such that the education in regular classes with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily.

24 Definition of Parent A natural or adoptive parent A foster parent A guardian but not the State if the student is a ward of the court An individual acting in the place of a natural or adoptive parent, including: A grandparent, stepparent, or other relative with whom the student lives, or An individual who is legally responsible for the student s welfare An appointed surrogate parent

25 That said It is only the educational rights holder who may sign an assessment plan or IEP unless

26 Appointment of A Surrogate Parent or an Educational Representative The difference is First preference given to relative caretaker, foster parent, or CASA Represent the student in matters related to the provision of special education and related services Representation includes written consent for IEP including mental health treatment services, non-emergency medical services and occupational or physical therapy services Surrogate parent may resign only after giving notice to school district School district may terminate appointment for cause

27 Prior Written Notice Provided A Reasonable Time Before School District Proposes or Refuses To Change Identification, Assessment, Placement or Provision of FAPE Must Include: A Description of Action Proposed or Refused by School District An Explanation of Why School Proposes Action An Explanation of the Evaluation, Procedure, Test or Report the School Used as the Basis for the Action or Inaction A Copy of Parents Right to Challenge the Action or Inaction

28 IEP Team The public agency shall ensure that the IEP team for each child with a disability includes: The parents of the child One regular education teacher if the child is participating in a regular education environment At least one special education teacher or provider of the child A representative of the public agency who - Is qualified to provide or supervise the provision of, specially designed instruction to meet the unique needs of children with disabilities Is knowledgeable about the general curriculum and the availability of resources of the public agency An individual who can interpret the instructional implications of evaluation results, who may be a member of the team described above At the discretion of the parent or the agency, other individuals who have knowledge or expertise regarding the child If appropriate, the child.

29 Elements of the IEP Emphasizing General Ed Involvement Present levels of educational performance must state how the child s disability affects involvement and progress in the general curriculum. Annual goals, including benchmarks/objectives are related to helping the child be involved and progress in the general curriculum.

30 Transition Requirements Included On IEP After Student Turns 16 Contains Appropriate, Measurable Post Secondary Goals Transition Services Including Courses of Study Based on Age-Appropriate Assessment Training Education Employment Independent Living Skills

31 Parent IEP Rights Written Notice of Time, Location, Purpose of Meeting and Who Will Be Attending. Early Enough Notice to Ensure Parent Has Opportunity To Attend For Student Who is 16, Informed That Transition Will Be Discussed and Student Invited Meeting Scheduled at a Mutually Agreed Upon Time and Place Right To Attend the Meeting and Be Accompanied By Other Persons Ability To Present Concerns

32 Parent IEP Rights Have A Language or Sign Interpreter Present 504 and ADA Requirements Obtain Copy of IEP IEP To Be Reviewed Annually IEP To Be Implemented As Soon As Possible IEP Must Be In Place At the Beginning of Each School Year

33 Present Levels of Educational Performance Academic Cognitive Perceptual Psychomotor Communication Social/Emotional/Behavioral Self-help/Daily Living Skills Transition Needs

34 Additional IEP Requirements Linguistically Appropriate Goals, Objectives and Services Behavioral Support and Services Pre-vocational/ Vocational Education Extended Year Services (Summer School) Low-Incidence Disabilities Transition Services School To Community Transition Services Regular Class Program

35 Goals and Objectives Annual Measurable Goals Short term Objectives/Benchmarks for students with Severe Disabilities Objective Criteria and Evaluation Procedures for Measuring Achievement Schedule for Measurement Address Underlying Disability and Involvement and Progress in General Curriculum NOT RECYCLED YEAR TO YEAR

36 Statement of Special Education and Related Services Provide Clear Picture of Needs Based on Individual Student Needs Relate to Other Parts of IEP Statement may Include, but not Limited to: Curriculum Behavioral Management Techniques Class Age and Ability Ranges Teacher-Pupil Ratios Equipment and Materials Modifications to Regular Classroom

37 Report of Progress and Testing Accommodations Decision of the Full IEP Team Frequency Report Cards/IEP Review Determines Graduation Alternatives Addresses Accommodations and Modifications To Testing Determines Participation In Standardized Testing (STAR, Exit Exam)

38 Discipline - Suspension Students are generally treated the same as nondisabled students Misconduct requiring suspension must be related to a school activity School districts should use alternatives to suspension or expulsion to address problems of truancy, tardiness and other absences from school Suspension is appropriate only after other means of correction have failed to bring about proper conduct Teacher may order a suspension of for the day of the suspension and following day, a principal or superintendent up to 5 consecutive days or 10 consecutive days by the governing board of the school district Pre-suspension conference with student must be held unless an emergency situation exists. If no conference is held at the time of the suspension, the parent and student must be notified of the right to a conference. The conference must be held within 2 days of the suspension School employee must make reasonable efforts to contact parents at the time of any suspension Parents must receive a written notification of the suspension Please Note: AB 1909 requires that foster youth s attorney and social worker be contacted when the district holds an extension of suspension meeting, manifestation determination, or expulsion hearing.

39 Discipline - Expulsion Expulsion of special education students is restricted Expulsion is considered a change of placement No suspension for more than 10 consecutive days or 10 cumulative days if the suspensions represent a pattern of suspensions Manifestation Meeting required prior to expulsion. Students considered for expulsion may be removed to Interim Placement If expelled, special education services do not cease

40 Manifestation Determination Meeting IEP team must determine if the behavior subject to discipline was: (Federal Requirement) Caused by, or was in direct/substantial relationship, to child s disability or A direct result of the school district s failure to implement the IEP (Previous Requirement) 1. The student s IEP and placement were appropriate and the special education, supplementary aids and services and behavior interventions strategies were provided consistent with that IEP and placement 2. The student s disability did not impair his ability to understand the impact and consequences of the behavior subject to discipline 3. The student s disability did not impair his ability to control the behavior subject to discipline

41 Contact Information Steve Ashman

Comprehensive Special Education Plan. Programs and Services for Students with Disabilities

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