October 2020 - Special Educator e-Journal




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Special Education Legal Alert

By Perry A. Zirkel

© September 2020

This month’s update identifies recent court decisions that illustrate the significance in some cases of the parties’ course of conduct in the eyes of the ultimate adjudicator.  This balancing of reasonableness and good faith, referred to as the “equities,” includes not only the remedies, such as tuition reimbursement, but also extends with less frequent prominence, in the underlying merits, such as the determination of “free appropriate public education” and “least restrictive environment” (LRE).

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COVID-19 GUIDANCE AND CASE LAW: EARLY FALL UPDATE*

Special Supplement #5 - September 18, 2020

Perry A. Zirkel

© 2020

This update is the latest in a series of summaries of legal activity specific to COVID-19 issues, with the primary focus being on students with disabilities.  The full set of these special supplements are on the home page of my website, perryzirkel.com, along with links to various referenced legal guidance and decisions.

Remaining as unsettled as the pandemic, the primary two-part question arising under the IDEA and Section 504 as a result of COVID-19 continues to be: (a) has the district denied FAPE to the eligible child and, if so, (b) what is the resulting relief, typically but not exclusively in the form of compensatory education?  Additionally, an interim but significant issue has emerged—upon parental filing for a due process hearing on such pandemic-related issues, what is the “stay-put”? 

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Buzz from the Hub

All articles below can be accessed through login:

  • Voter Resource Center
  • OSEP Policy Letter to Anonymous
  • OSEP Fast Facts | Race and Ethnicity
  • Fighting the Big Virus Children’s Book
  • 10 Kids’ Books That Star Protagonists with Special Needs
  • Transition Guide to Postsecondary Education and Employment for Students and Youth with Disabilities
  • 100 Things Students Can Create To Demonstrate What They Know
  • 6 Tips for Keeping Kids Motivated for Online Learning
  • Types of Strengths in Kids
  • Planning for Equity and Inclusion: A Guide to Reopening Schools
  • Building Engagement with Distance Learning
  • A Guide to Equity in Remote Learning
  • Testing for COVID-19: What’s Your State’s Plan?
  • Talking to Very Young Children about Race
  • Anti-Racism Resource Directory for Families: Resources for Multiple Grade Levels
  • The Ultimate Parents’ Guide to Summer Activity Resources
  • Parent Advocacy Toolkit for Equity in Use of COVID-19 Funds
  • COVID-19 Planning Considerations: Guidance for School Re-entry
  • Special Report | How We Go Back to School
  • Spanish-Language Webinar on the Transition to Kindergarten Amid COVID-19
  • The National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse
  • What’s Important to Native Youth?
  • Reinforcing Resilience: How Parent Centers Can Support American Indian and Alaska Native Parents
  • Bouncing Back from Setbacks: A Message for American Indian and Alaska Native Youth
  • Will Your Schools Re-Open? What’s the Plan, Stan?
  • 2020 Determination Letters on State Implementation of IDEA
  • Comparison Guide: Video Conferencing Tools for Your Nonprofit
  • Tech Soup Courses for Free!
  • Camp Kinda
  • How to Support Your Unique, Quirky Child
  • Video | The CDC Guidance on Reopening Schools, Explained
  • SAVE the DATE | Webinar on Monday, June 8th @ 3 pm EDT

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How Early Experiences in Cognitive Development Improve Working Memory and Processing Speed Skills of Children

Heather Dube, B.A.

Sarah Sarette, Ed.D.

** Reprinted from the Winter 2020 edition of JAASEP

                                                                  Abstract

Providing the support that children need to build cognitive skills (i.e. working memory and processing speed) has come to the forefront for special educators today.  This study investigated how fourth-grade students within an experimental classroom (N=14) and special education students within a small group setting (N=9) improved their working memory and processing speed through a self-designed board game.  Board game activities were conducted for three months.  Data were collected from 14 heterogeneously grouped students in an experimental classroom (N=22) and student within a small group setting in the special education classroom setting (N=9). The effects of working memory and processing speed interventions were administered through individual pre- and post- standardized measures.  Descriptive statistics for post-test student assessments show no statistical significance in working memory and processing speed. The results of this study suggest that a short-term intervention to increase working memory and processing speed is not impactful. Longer interventions may prove to be more successful and should be examined. 

Keywords:  working memory, processing speed, special education

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Critically Thinking about Disability: Portrait of an Introductory Special Education Course

Dr. Sarah M. Hart

University of Hartford

Abstract

Perspectives on the meaning and nature of disability are multifaceted. This study focused on the development of undergraduate students’ critical thinking skills. The aim was to impact their ability to articulate a nuanced and personally relevant conceptualization of disability and apply this knowledge within the educational field. In this practitioner inquiry, pre– and post– assessments of student writings from an introductory course in special education were taken over three academic years. Evidence indicated enhanced critical thinking skills through pedagogical course activities that are shared in this paper. Critical engagement and reflection are essential skills not only for the foundational years of undergraduate study, but also for teacher training, and practices as future teachers. Through careful examinations of teaching and learning in higher education classrooms, the instructor self-reflects on the power of instruction and its potential to impact work with students with special learning needs.

Keywords: critical thinking, disability and identity, introductory special education coursework

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Book Review: Hacking Leadership: 10 Ways Great Leaders Inspire Learning That Teachers, Students, and Parents Love

By Carol Krigger

The authors of Hacking Leadership, Joe Sanfelippo and Tony Sinanis, were school administrators who did not limit themselves due to some of the arbitrary rules and restraints of the school districts when addressing the needs of their students and teachers. These administrators were intent on finding ways to inspire all the people they had the opportunity to lead, such as the teachers, students, and community members. This book highlights some of the practices that have become normalized in school settings across the country and provided strategies to assist in making positive changes. It mentioned the impact that a school’s culture and climate may have on its occupants and overall community.

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Book Review: Exploring Citizenship Leadership

By Fany Ferrufino

Biography

Sue Barraclough wrote the book “Leadership (Exploring Citizenship). The book contains 32 pages. It costs $8.29. Publisher: Heinemann; revised ed. Edition (November 1, 2016). She is the author of books for children. She is Senior System Analyst at Yorkshire Building Society Group. She is from Bradford, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom.

Introduction

What makes a good leader? Why is honesty important? How do leaders communicate well? Read “Leadership” to learn about why people need leaders. Find out how leaders are chosen, what makes a good role model, and why everyone should try to be a leader sometimes.

Sue Barraclough is a senior system analyst at West Yorkshire, United Kingdom that wrote this book to provide precise definitions about leader, citizen, leadership, honesty for children.

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Book Review: Lead Like a PIRATE: Make School Amazing for Your Students and Staff

By Elizabeth A. Moore

Burgess, Shelley and Houf, Beth. Lead Like a PIRATE: Make School Amazing for Your Students and Staff. San Diego, California: Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc., 2017. 210pp. $17.99. 

        
A great leader creates a school “where students and staff are knocking down the doors to get in rather than out” (p. xviii). In the book Lead Like a PIRATE: Make School Amazing for Your Students and Staff, educational leaders Shelly Burgess and Beth Houf help readers navigate the waters of leadership to transform their schools into irresistible places.

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Latest Employment Opportunities Posted on NASET 

* Special Education (Autism) PreK-4  - General responsibilities indlude aiding each student consistent with his or her abilities and educational needs. Develop competence in the basic learning skills, progress on the basis of achievement, and to qualify for further education and/or employment. To learn more - Click here

* Virtual Special Education Teacher Positions - K12 believes in education for everyone. We provide families an online option for a high-quality, personalized education experience. Students can thrive, find their passion, and learn in an environment that encourages discovery at their own pace. In support of this, we are committed to creating and maintaining a culture of inclusion and diversity. To learn more - Click here

* Special Education Teacher - $60,000/school year (185 days), summers off with year-round pay and year round appreciation. Special Education Teachers needed in Arizona (Phoenix and surrounding cities). Needs are in the self-contained and resource settings serving students with emotional disabilities (ED), Autism (A), Severe/Profound (S/P), and Intellectual Disabilities (ID). STARS is the largest school contract agency in AZ. STARS is owned and operated by Occupational Therapists. You will be an employee and receive full benefits - To learn more - Click here

* (Remote) Special Education Teacher - Special Education Teacher provide instruction, support and guidance, manage the learning process, and focus on students’ individual needs as defined by each student’s IEP.  The special education teacher is also responsible for the compliance documents required in serving students with special needs. To learn more - Click here

* Early Childhood Specialist - Willamette Education Service District is accepting applications for multiple full-time (1.0 FTE) EI/ECSE Specialist positions with the Special Education Department’s Early Intervention/Early Childhood Special Education (EI/ECSE) program. The positions are for the 2020-2021 school year and may be based in Marion, Polk and/or Yamhill County.  Successful candidates will will follow a 190-day calendar and will begin on August 21, 2020. To learn more - Click here

* Executive Director of Special Education - Garland ISD seeks an Executive Director of Special Education with the following qualifications, Master’s Degree, Special Education Certification, Principal/Mid-Management Certification, three (3) years’ teaching experience; special education preferred, experience in successful leadership role at the District or State level, earned or in progress doctorate. To learn more - Click here

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Acknowledgements

Portions of this or previous month’s NASET’s Special Educator e-Journal were excerpted from:

  • Center for Parent Information and Resources
  • Committee on Education and the Workforce
  • FirstGov.gov-The Official U.S. Government Web Portal
  • Journal of the American Academy of Special Education Professionals (JAASEP)
  • National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth
  • National Institute of Health
  • National Organization on Disability
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
  • U.S. Department of Education
  • U.S. Department of Education-The Achiever
  • U.S. Department of Education-The Education Innovator
  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
  • U.S. Department of Labor
  • U.S. Food and Drug Administration
  • U.S. Office of Special Education

The National Association of Special Education Teachers (NASET) thanks all of the above for the information provided for this or prior editions of the Special Educator e-Journal


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