April 2024 - Special Educator e-Journal

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Special Education Legal Alert

By Perry A. Zirkel

© March 2024

This month’s update identifies recent court decisions that respectively illustrate (1) the IDEA’s state complaint process, which is investigative rather than adjudicative, and (2) a variety of IDEA issues, including independent educational evaluations (IEEs) at

public expense and FAPE during the shift to virtual instruction due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  For related publications, see perryzirkel.com.

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    U.S. Department of Education Opens Applications for Two K-12 Mental Health Programs to Increase the Number of Mental Health Providers in Schools

    The U.S. Department of Education (Department) opened applications for the School-Based Mental Health and Mental Health Service Professional Demonstration grant competitions to help bolster the pipeline of mental health professionals serving in schools and expand student access to school-based mental health services and supports.

    President Biden named tackling the mental health crisis, particularly among youth, a key pillar in his Unity Agenda for the nation. And, in line with the Administration’s goals, these programs play a key role in doubling the supply of qualified mental health professionals in our nation’s schools. These newly-opened applications build on the progress made through the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act to advance the Biden-Harris Administration’s efforts to integrate mental health services into our schools as part of the President’s National Mental Health Strategy. Many school districts across the country are facing an increased need for mental health services for their students, while at the same time, often struggling to find qualified mental health professionals to provide these services. The Administration has continued to request additional funding to sustain and expand efforts nationwide to provide more school-based health services, and pending appropriations the Department anticipates making approximately $38 million available across both competitions in Fiscal Year 2024.

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    Principles of Highly Effective Teachers

    Highly effective teachers possess a combination of characteristics and principles that enable them to positively impact their students' learning and development. Here are some key principles that characterize highly effective teachers:

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    Living with a Disability

    By Dr. Faye J. Jones and Susan L. Davis

    As per the guidelines outlined in the American with Disabilities Act (ADA), a disability refers to a condition, whether physical or mental, that significantly restricts one or more essential life activities. This can include having a documented impairment, a history of such impairment, or being perceived as having such limitations (Glossary of ADA/ADA National Network). Disabilities can be broadly categorized into four main types, as detailed in the resource (cpdonline.co.uk: Different Types of Disabilities).

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    Book Review: A Comparison of Educational Leadership Practices Based on Leading in a Culture of Change and Leverage Leadership 2.0

    By Joyell McNeil


    In his book Leverage Leadership, Paul Bambrick-Santoyo offers practical guidance for school leaders in navigating the complex challenges of school leadership with his book Leverage Leadership. By implementing his Seven Levers, leaders will be able to create optimum learning environments and cultivate a positive school culture.  Bambrick-Santoyo is the Director of Uncommon Schools and believes that data should drive instruction.  Unfortunately, his heightened focus on data contributes to existing concerns in education regarding teaching to the test and neglecting other important aspects of education. His emphasis on data prompted a comparative analysis of Michael Fullan’s book Leading in a Culture of Change.  Fullan contends that data is important but does not believe that it should drive instruction.

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    Book Review: She Leads: The Women's Guide to a Career in Educational Leadership

    By Kelandre Gordon

    The book She Leads: The Women's Guide to a Career in Educational Leadership by Majalise Tolan and Rachel George is a guide, for educators and women leaders Dr. Rachael George and Majalise Tolan empower women leaders in education to embrace their dreams, break through barriers, rebound from setbacks, and lead with skill and authenticity. They’re joined by dozens of diverse women in educational leadership roles, whose personal stories reveal the vulnerability, strength, and resilience of female leaders. With wisdom and implementable guidance that’s applicable to early-career leaders and veterans alike, the book is designed to help you land your dream job, make sure your voice is heard, find (and offer) support, attain better balance, and learn the leadership style that suits your strengths.

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    Latest Employment Opportunities Posted on NASET 

    * Ed Specialist - Provide assessment services and,  if needed,  develop,  implement,  and supervise  Individualized  Education  Plans  (IEPs). In collaboration with classroom teachers and parents/guardians, Education Specialists support and monitor student progress towards IEP goals, and play a crucial role in communicating needs, services, and accommodations to staff and  parents/guardians. To learn more- Click here

    * Special Education Teacher - SSFUSD is seeking a dynamic, equity-focused, and inclusive special education teacher to join our school community. SSFUSD refuses to accept that the educational outcomes of students in our district are overwhelmingly predictable based on students’ race, socioeconomics, ethnicity or learning differences. To learn more- Click here

    * Teacher of Special Education - The job of Special Education Teacher for the purpose of providing support to the instructional program with specific responsibility for assisting in the supervision, care, and instruction of students with special needs in the general education setting classroom. To learn more- Click here

    * Middle School Learning Specialist (Math Focus) - The ideal candidate will be an energetic, compassionate, self-starter who embraces the opportunity to nurture students in fulfilling their abundant potential. The Middle School Learning Specialist will be able to hone their knowledge and experience instructing neurodiverse learners while simultaneously participating in a larger school community and expanding their own professional growth through collaboration with the Walker faculty at large. To learn more- Click here

    * Special Education Teacher - Ready to join a team of exceptional certified educators at Paterson Public Schools – the fourth largest school district in New Jersey. We are looking for teachers who are experts in their content area, are committed to improving student achievement, and will bring enthusiasm to the classroom.  To be considered for an interview, please apply! To learn more - Click here

    * Exceptional Student Education (Special Needs) Teachers - Hillsborough County Public Schools (HCPS) is recruiting talented, compassionate teachers dedicated to helping every student in the district succeed. Successful applicants will share a commitment to excellence in the classroom and a belief that great teaching is the key to unlocking student success. To learn more- Click here

    * Teachers - Special Education (All Exceptionalities) (SY 2024-25) - We are looking for highly motivated, skilled, and equity-minded Special Education teachers to join our team at District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) for the 2024-25 school year. We seek individuals who are passionate about transforming the DC school system and making a significant difference in the lives of our public school students, parents, and the greater DC community. To learn more- Click here

    * Special Education Teachers - The Newark Board of Education is where passion meets progress. We want you to discover a rewarding career with us.  If the opportunity to make learning limitless excites you then, join our community of educators. To learn more- Click here

    * 24/25 Special Education Teachers - In collaboration with the general education staff plan and deliver specialized instruction and assessment aligned with District learner outcomes and State achievement standards. Supervise assigned students and maintain a positive learning environment. To learn more- Click here

    * Special Education Teaching Position in the Greater Boston Area - Reed Academy in Framingham, MA, offers a structured and therapeutic environment to boys with variety of education needs. Teach in a small and family-like, nurturing environment for Students with Moderate Needs. To learn more- Click here

    * Special Education Teacher - As a teacher at Beacon Day School you join a supportive community of educators, behaviorists, therapists, administrators, and staff who care deeply about our students and their families. We look forward to welcoming you! To learn more- Click here

    * Special Education Teacher - You will have the opportunity to change lives through education as you connect and work one-on-one with students needing special support to understand both their capabilities and disabilities as you develop and apply personalized learning approaches and programs that support their growth, progress, and success. To learn more - Click here

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    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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