January 2018 - Special Educator e-Journal

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Special Education Legal Alert

By Perry A. Zirkel

© January 2018

This latest monthly legal alert summarizes two recent federal appeals court decisions that respectively illustrate the scope of (a) the Section 504/ADA non-interference protection for special education personnel, and (b) the “prevailing party” status of parents for IDEA attorneys’ fees. The layout follows the usual format of a two-column table, with key rulings on the left and practical implications on the right. For automatic e-mailing of future legal alerts, sign up at perryzirkel.com; this website also provides free downloads of various related articles, including those specific to FAPE-parental participation.

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    Book Review: Schools Rewired: How to Define, Assess, and Transform It

    By Mary Samour

    The book titled, Schools Rewired: How to Define, Assess and Transform It by Todd Whitaker and Steve Gruenert related to the book titled, Leading in a Culture of Change by Michael Fullan. As Fullan’s book discussed leadership and the pillars to become a successful leader, Whitaker and Gruenert described how leadership can rewire a school’s culture. Using Whitaker and Gruenert as the main source of information on how teachers are essential in the process of reculturing. Fullan describes how leaders can guide teachers overtime to be a part of the changes done in the school. While all the authors agree that this change and mission is to enhance the quality of education for students.

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      Cooperative Learning Strategies for Students with Learning Disabilities: A Review of the Literature

      By Randy Mojica

      Numerous studies support the use of cooperative learning in classrooms as an effective strategy for students with disabilities (Naido & Paideya 2015). Through cooperative learning, students may take on roles according to their surroundings and work together to ensure the groups’ success. Cooperative learning is a successful teaching strategy in which small teams or groups, consisting of students with different ability levels, use a variety of learning activities to improve their understanding of a subject. Depending on a student’s levels of social skills, cooperative learning can be very direct and simplified or intricate and detailed. Jigsaw, small groups, and supplemental instruction are strategies used to improve communication, participation, and comprehension for students with learning disabilities.

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          Preparing Teachers for Inclusion through Co-Teaching: Paradigms, Perks, Problems, and Promising Practices

          By Deborah L. Voltz

          University of Alabama at Birmingham

          It has been widely recognized for many years that preparing teachers for inclusion is important to their success in today’s classrooms.  Preservice teacher education programs have used a variety of means to accomplish this goal.  In many cases, separate courses have been designed to develop requisite knowledge, skills, and dispositions.  However, a number of limitations have been noted with respect to separate course models; hence other methods have emerged to replace or augment the separate course model.  Co-teaching involving teacher educators from general and special education is an example of such an alternate model.  This paper will provide a framework for the various approaches to co-teaching in teacher educator programs and review research related to the advantages and challenges associated with each approach.

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              Book Review: Mindset, The New Psychology of Success

              By Kelly Green

              Carol Dweck, Ph.D, is a psychologist that began investigating the importance of our mindset in approaching tasks. Through years of research, she asserts through her book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success that truly successful people approach their goals with a growth mindset as opposed to a fixed mindset. Her body of research challenges the stereotypical view of intelligence as an unchangeable, genetic endowment and asserts that “becoming is better than being.” Her book outlines the differences between fixed and growth mindsets in general and then specifically addresses the effect of mindset in sports, business, relationships, and teaching. She addresses strategies and implementation practices to change mindsets. She intends to prove to the reader that success is dependent on resilience and perseverance as a response to challenging goals, and that a growth mindset allows people to develop their abilities as opposed to a fixed mindset which relies on the belief that people are born with a fixed level of intelligence and talent. Her research is critical to fostering self-esteem in learners and changing our approach to improving educational practices to increase the performance levels of students.

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                Disproportionality of African American Students in Special Education: Causes and Effects.

                By William Dorfman

                Historical Background

                The disproportional representation of African American students in special education programs has been a national concern for nearly four decades. Disproportionality refers to "the extent in which membership in a given group affects the probability of being placed in a specific disability category (Oswald, Coutinho, Best &Sing, 1999, P.198). In 1997, the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) documented the following statistics: African Americans represented 16% of all elementary and secondary students in the United States, constituting 21% of special education programs in the United States. Based on the statistics, African American students of low socio-economic backgrounds were 2.3 times more likely to be identified by their teacher as having a disability. Clearly, there are reasons for the overwhelming overrepresentation of African American students is special education programs.

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                  Book Review: Dancing in the Rain: Leading with Compassion, Vitality and Mindfulness in Education

                  By Candy Allen

                  Murphy, Jerome. Dancing in the Rain, Leading with Compassion, Vitality and Mindfulness in Education. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press, 2016. 288 pp. $31.00

                  Gene Kelly's iconic "Singin' in the Rain" evokes the image of having an upbeat, carefree approach to life which instantly came to mind when I read the title of this book. Given the stressful atmosphere of leadership in the education field, the title gives hope that administrative leaders can stay grounded with their values and ideals while dealing with the daily challenges they encounter. The title also caught my eye as coincidentally, I have had in my classroom for many years the following quote by Vivian Greene: "Life isn't about waiting for storms to pass, but learning how to dance in the rain." I have always loved this quote and have often referred to it to guide me through challenges in my life.

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                    Buzz from the Hub

                    4 articles can be accessed through the link (Login):

                    • Stand Up, Sit Tall for Inclusion

                    • Webinar | Assistive Technology Tools to Meet Student Needs in the Classroom

                    • Principal Leadership: Moving Towards Inclusive and High-Achieving Schools for Students with Disabilities

                    • Making Inclusion a Reality

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                      Latest Employment Opportunities Posted on NASET

                      Learning Specialist/Learning Program Teacher

                      Lake Forest, IL 60045

                      Job Category: Learning Services

                      Posted on Monday, 18. of December 2017


                      Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart is seeking a certified learning specialist to teach in the school’s Learning Program.  The position is full-time, and the start date is immediately.  Requirements include a master’s degree or post-graduate work in education with emphasis in varied exceptionalities or learning disabilities.

                      The Learning Program at Woodlands Academy serves young women who have a diagnosed learning disability, strong academic skills, and the ability to succeed in a challenging college preparatory program.  The learning specialist supports both students and classroom teachers.Certification in special education and experience with independent schools preferred. This learning specialist will actively engage high school students in the learning process and nurture analytical thinking and a life-long love of learning.  A demonstrated competency in multicultural education and educational technology is required as is a deep concern for educational access, diversity, and inclusion.The ideal candidate has:

                      • A clear commitment to the educational philosophy of the school as articulated in the Goals and Criteria of Sacred Heart Schools and professional behavior aligned with it.
                      • Master’s degree or post-graduate work in education with emphasis in varied learning disabilities, and experience working with students with mild/moderate learning differences.
                      • A minimum of two years teaching and/or administration experience in an independent environment.
                      • Strong knowledge in one or more of the following: Algebra 1 and 2, Geometry, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Humanities.
                      • Demonstrated ability to build rapport (while being kind, firm, structured, and positive) with students.
                      • Genuine understanding or willingness to learn/understand the culture, community, and the demands students feel on a daily basis.
                      • Willingness and ability to interact professionally, including excellent verbal/written skills and to collaborate with Student Support Team, parents, students, and faculty.
                      • Strong organizational skills and ability to mentor and coach executive functioning skills.
                      • A willingness to be an active, enthusiastic member of the WA community.

                      Essential Functions:

                      • Students meet with Learning Program staff every other day, individually or in a small group setting.

                      The learning specialist:

                      • must be facile at teaching within the college prep curriculum and the content and skills the students must attain in order to be successful in their classes.
                      • must be adept at reading psycho-educational evaluations, writing Student Support Plans, and conducting staffing meetings with faculty and parents.
                      • develops strategies to best serve each student’s unique learning profile.
                      • secures standardize testing accommodations for qualified students.
                      • communicates regularly with faculty and parents.
                      • provides case management of students’ records and data.
                      • supports the development and implementation of a process for yearly meeting and check-in for learning plan students and families.
                      • possesses strong people skills in order to be empathetic to students’ and parents’ needs.

                      Responsibilities also include, but are not limited to, supporting the professional development of faculty in differentiated instruction and curriculum designed for learning, and other responsibilities as assigned by the supervisor.


                      Requirements include a master’s degree or post-graduate work in education with emphasis in varied exceptionalities or learning disabilities.The learning specialist supports both students and classroom teachers.Certification in special education and experience with independent schools preferred.  A demonstrated competency in multicultural education and educational technology is required as is a deep concern for educational access, diversity, and inclusion.


                      Please complete the application materials listed on the Career Opportunities web page of the school’s website at woodlandsacademy.org.  All applicants must submit a cover letter, resume, three written references, and a Job Application.

                      Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart is an all-girls, Catholic, college prep day and boarding school in Lake Forest, IL.  Visit the school’s website at www.woodlandsacademy.organd the website of the Network of Sacred Heart Schools at www.sofie.org.

                      Woodlands Academy is an equal opportunity employer.  Woodlands Academy does not discriminate against any individual on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, ancestry, genetic information, age, disability, status as a veteran or being a member of the Reserves of National Guard, or any other classification protected under state or federal law.



                      Special Education Teacher (2018-2019 School Year)

                      Los Angeles, CA

                      Job Category: Teaching - Special Education

                      Posted on Friday, 08. of December 2017

                      ROLE SUMMARY: WHY TEACH AT ALLIANCE?

                      Alliance is seeking entrepreneurial educators who are passionate about innovating to transform the lives of children in communities where they are needed most. Alliance teachers don't have to choose between the benefits of a small community school and a large, cutting-edge organization—teachers enjoy the supports of a large network of 28 campuses, with the close-knit feel of a small school of up to only 150 students per grade. Alliance is an ideal place for educators who thrive in an environment of high expectations and collaboration in service of strong results for our students. Alliance educators collaborate and mentor one another, and they embrace professional development and coaching to grow and hone their craft. Alliance's social justice mission also supports our restorative justice approach to student discipline, keeping students where they learn best—in classrooms.

                      As an Alliance teacher, we expect you to:

                      TEACHING AND LEARNING

                      • Drive outstanding student achievement for all students in your classroom and support colleagues in driving student achievement school-wide.
                      • Leverage Alliance resources and supports to develop and implement powerfully engaging curriculum and lessons designed to prepare all students to succeed in college and beyond.
                      • Utilize a wide variety of teaching methods to create differentiated opportunities for deep understanding for all learners, including students with special needs.
                      • Utilize a variety of data and technology to drive instruction and intervention.

                      CREATING POSITIVE CULTURE

                      • Create a positive, achievement-oriented, and supportive learning environment that excites and invests students in learning.
                      • Create a culture of high expectations and continuous improvement with a drive toward student achievement and college and career readiness.
                      • Work collaboratively with families and Alliance colleagues to support the achievement of all students and the mission and vision of the school.


                      • Alliance offers a starting salary that surpasses our local school district's starting salary by more than 4%. Alliance's performance-based compensation system focuses on rewarding teachers for what matters most—making the biggest difference with students.
                      • Alliance covers 100% monthly premiums for individual employee benefits or up to $900/month toward family benefits plan premiums. Alliance also participates in the California's State Teacher Retirement System (STRS).
                      • Alliance provides substantial professional development support for teachers, including two weeks of network-wide professional development before the school year starts for new hires, weekly school-site support, Alliance-wide training days, and a variety of paid teacher leader and career lattice opportunities.

                      How To Apply:

                      Apply athttp://grnh.se/84plvc1



                      Private Teacher

                      Chicago, IL

                      Job Category: Private Teacher

                      Posted on Tuesday, 28. of November 2017


                      Are you an unencumbered teacher at a top public or private school looking for a new opportunity?  Do you want to step out of the classroom and use your experience to support the academic journey of a young teen with a promising future?

                      If so, we have an excellent Private Teacher opportunity to oversee the overall curriculum, education, and college preparation for a young teen’s high school career.  You will assist this bright adolescent in all subject matters, in addition to helping formulate strategies and taking the time to help the student manage their language based learning disability.

                      This role is based in Chicago, but will involve travel to Florida, Arizona, and other locations dependent on the student’s athletic schedule.

                      Qualifications needed for this position include:

                      • A minimum of a Bachelor’s degree; additional learning disability and/or special education experience a plus
                      • Significant classroom teaching experience at the high school level
                      • Ability to travel
                      • Able to make a four-year commitment for the student’s high school career

                      This is a full-time position and offers up to $110,000 per annum, depending on experience, with a full benefits package (including paid holidays, paid time off, health insurance).  Relocation assistance to Chicago is also available; professional educators across the country are invited to apply for consideration.  The start date is flexible, with immediate start to begin tutoring the student and taking over as a full-time teacher in 2018 available; or a Spring/Summer 2018 start date.

                      To be considered, please apply for position #446 at www.mahlermatch.com.  We look forward to reviewing your credentials for this opportunity, and will reach out to schedule interviews for qualified applicants!


                      This is a full-time position and offers up to $110,000 per annum, depending on experience, with a full benefits package (including paid holidays, paid time off, health insurance).  Relocation assistance to Chicago is also available; professional educators across the country are invited to apply for consideration.


                      To be considered, please apply for position #446 at www.mahlermatch.com



                      Special Education Teacher

                      Fort Defiance, Arizona

                      Job Category: Special Education Teacher

                      Posted on Thursday, 16. of November 2017


                      The Adolescent Care Unit (ACU) at Tséhootsooí Medical Center on the Navajo Nation seeks a Special Education Teacher to work with 8 to 10 teens aged 13-17 with mild emotional or behavior issues in a subacute 60-day inpatient program. ACU combines western therapy with Native American traditional cultural methods to foster health and Hozho or harmony, and is located in northeastern AZ.


                      Develops and implements individualized curriculum in accordance with each student's Individualized Education Plan (IEP). Collaborates with team members to develop and execute an IEP-driven, multidisciplinary program for each student. Networks with schools to negotiate plans for patients during and after treatment on ACU and advocates for the students with school personnel at school sites when possible. Analyzes how a student's strengths and limitations affect his/her involvement and progress in the academic curriculum and determines short-term objectives or alternate achievement standards if necessary. The unit's Mental Health Technicians (MHTs) will provide student supervision in the classroom at all times to ensure student safety. Maintains records and writes agency required behavioral reports in timely manner. Communicates with all members of the interdisciplinary team to achieve a social and educational benefit for the student. To view Qualifications for this position, please visit www.fdihb.org, click on the 'Careers Tab' and type "Special Education Teacher".


                      TMC offers an array of benefits including Medical, Dental, Vision, Wellness, PTO w/ Paid Sick Leave, 9 federal holidays and 2 floating holidays, 401K


                      Ophelia Anthony
                      Medical Recruiting Coordinator
                      Medical Professional Recruitment Dept.
                      Division of Human Resources
                      (928) 729-8165



                      Special Education Teacher (various positions)

                      Phoenix, AZ

                      Job Category: Special Education Resources

                      Posted on Thursday, 26. of October 2017


                      Pendergast Elementary School District has various positions open:2 positions for Special Education Resource 5th - 8th, Special Education Resource K-3rd, SPED - Social Skills K-4th, SPED - Social Skills 6th - 8th, and 3 positions for Special Education Preschool.


                      • Arizona certification in Cross Categorical OR
                      • Arizona certification in Learning Disabilities with experience in working with children with disabilities in the area of Emotional Disabilities, Learning Disabilities, Mild to Moderate Intellectual Disability, Other Health Impairments and Autism
                      • Demonstrate success with researched based interventions and curriculum modification or adaptation
                      • Skilled at working with others in a professional learning environment
                      • Strong organizational skills and demonstrated ability to meet deadlines
                      • Demonstrate skill with Microsoft office
                      • Early Childhood Certification (if applicable)

                      Contact Information

                      If interested, please apply at: www.pesd92.org or for any questions please contact: Julie Chairez Ramirez at jchairez@pesd92.org

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                      Portions of this month’s NASET’s Special Educator e-Journalwere 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 edition of the NASETSpecial Educator e-Journal.

                        Download a PDF Version of This e-Journal

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