September 2022 - Special Educator e-Journal



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Special Education Legal Alert

By Perry A. Zirkel

© August 2022

This month’s update identifies two recent court decisions addressing various FAPE issues, including the foundational role of evaluations and, in the second case, the overlay of Section 504. For related publications and earlier monthly updates, see perryzirkel.com.

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    Buzz from the Hub

    All articles below can be accessed through login:

    • Providing Required Compensatory Services That Help Students with Disabilities in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic
    • Back-to-School: Tips for Parents of Children with Special Needs
    • The Promise and the Potential of the IEP
    • Prepararse para una reunión de IEP
    • Tools for Tough Times
    • And many more!!

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    Biden-Harris Administration Announces Final Student Loan Pause Extension Through December 31 and Targeted Debt Cancellation to Smooth Transition to Repayment

     The U.S. Department of Education (Department) announced a final extension of the pause on student loan repayment, interest, and collections through December 31, 2022. Borrowers should plan to resume payments in January 2023. While the economy continues to improve, COVID cases remain at an elevated level, and the President has made clear that pandemic-related relief should be phased out responsibly so that people do not suffer unnecessary financial harm.

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    U.S. Department of Education Terminates Federal Recognition of ACICS, Enhances Federal Aid Program Participation Requirements for ACICS-accredited Colleges

    The U.S. Department of Education announced that colleges currently accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) will now be required to fulfill additional operating conditions for continued participation in the federal student aid programs. This requirement follows U.S. Deputy Secretary of Education Cindy Marten's final decision to terminate federal recognition of ACICS.

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    U.S. Department of Education Invites Applicants for More Than $6 Million in Project Prevent Grant Program Funds to Support School Safety

    The U.S. Department of Education is posting a Notice Inviting Applications for the Project Prevent Grant Program, which will award more than $6 million to local educational agencies (LEAs) impacted by community violence. As part of the Biden-Harris administration’s broader commitment to school safety and addressing youth mental health the Department will provide schools the necessary resources to combat community violence and ensure a safe learning environment for students, families, and educators. Following the signing of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, the Department will be announcing additional resources for schools in the weeks ahead.

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    Statement from Secretary of Education on National Center for Education Statistics' Data Showing Student Recovery Throughout the 2021-2022 School Year

    U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona released the statement below following the release of the National Center for Education Statistics' (NCES) June 2022 data that highlights an improvement in student performance and three-quarters of public schools offering summer learning and enrichment programs to help students catch up.

    "When the Biden-Harris Administration came into office, we knew we had to take urgent action to get schools reopened, get students back on track, and make sure they had the mental health supports they needed. This data shows that through the efforts of this Administration, and with the strong partnership of school leaders, teachers, school staff, families, parents, and students across the country, students have made significant progress just over the course of the 2021-2022 school year," said Secretary Cardona. "Additionally, this data shows that school districts across the country are using American Rescue Plan funds to expand access to summer learning and enrichment programs, hire more school counselors, meet the mental health needs of students and educators, accelerate student learning, provide high-quality tutoring, and more. As we continue to move through recovery, we must work together to help students succeed by improving the education system so that our students are given every opportunity to achieve at much higher levels than March 2020 and truly thrive."

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      Fact Sheet: Biden-Harris Administration Announces Two New Actions to Address Youth Mental Health Crisis

      Our nation's young people are facing an unprecedented mental health crisis. Even before the pandemic, rates of depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts among youth were on the rise. The pandemic exacerbated those issues, disrupting learning, relationships, and routines and increasing isolation—especially among our nation's young people. More than 40 percent of teenagers state that they struggle with persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness, and more than half of parents and caregivers express concern over their children's mental well-being.

      To address this crisis, President Biden put forward in his first State of the Union a comprehensive national strategy to tackle our mental health crisis, and called for a major transformation in how mental health is understood, accessed, treated, and integrated—in and out of health care settings.

      Today, the Biden-Harris Administration announced two new actions to strengthen school-based mental health services and address the youth mental health crisis.

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        Examining General Education and Special Education Teacher Preparedness for Co-Teaching Students with Disabilities

        By

        Cindy Causey, Ed.S.

        Lina Soares, Ph.D.

        Catherine S. Howerter, Ph.D.

        Peggy Shannon-Baker, Ph.D.

         

        Georgia Southern University

        **Article reprinted from the Spring 2022 edition of JAASEP

        Abstract

        It is imperative to understand how teachers are prepared for their role as co-teacher. The purpose of this study was to investigate how general education and special education teachers in one elementary school in Georgia are trained in the instructional practice of co-teaching and their perceptions on how prepared they feel to implement the method. A mixed methods approach was used and included a qualitatively-oriented survey and semi-structured interviews. Data collected in this study revealed that over half of all co-teachers at the elementary school had received some type of training on co-teaching and also felt adequately prepared to serve in the co-teaching role. Overall, participants reported positive perspectives on co-teaching despite there being challenges. The benefits of co-teaching noted a supportive and safe environment, instructional support for students and teachers, and confidence builder due to collaboration. The challenges reported included insufficient time for collaboration, inconsistent teaching schedules, and student behavior problems.

        Keywords: co-teaching, teacher preparation, students with disabilities

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          Book Review: SWITCH: How to Change Things When Change is Hard

          Reviewed by Olive McLaughlin

           

          Abstract

          Change is a necessity for growth and without it, individuals remain stagnant; both professionally and personally. In the realm of education, whether as a teacher or administrator, you must be able to lead and be adaptable. It is important that one be able to encourage change in others in order for growth to be seen within an organization. The book, Switch assists in understanding the facets of change while providing the necessary tools to develop an ease and willingness in others to want to change. This change is the foundation block for the growth of an organization and the betterment of both the individual and the organization. The authors, Dan and Chip Heath delve into a three-fold path of garnering gradual change in an individual and its benefits. Comparatively, Switch identifies many of the themes discussed within the coursework of this class and discusses the theme of change; which mirrors the theme in Leading in a Culture of Change by Michael Fullan. Although the authors of both pieces focus on the change, they have different approaches to arriving at that destination.  The review of Switch examines how it constructively addresses the theme of change and its implications to consider the antithesis or failure to produce effective change.

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            Book Review: Impactful Instructional Leadership – Framework for Success

            Reviewed by Priscilla Ramon

             

            Impactful Instructional Leadership Review

            Hunter beings the book with an explanation of how the book is organized and an explanation of what to expect throughout the book. He also explains that the reader will read about Evidence- Based practices and goes on to explain what it is. Hunter explained that Evidence-Based practices are vital for educators to be impactful instructional leaders. In the preface, Hunter beings to encourage the reader to think about what they think it means to be an instructional leader. Throughout the book, Hunter often asks the reader to think about their thinking and to see how they can apply what they have read to their life. Hunter not only asked the reader to think about their thinking, but he also asked the reader to find persons that are good examples of leadership and to apply their examples during the reader's instructional leadership practice.

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              Book Review: How to be an Inclusive Leader

              Reviewed by Jennifer Schreiner

              Jennifer Brown is a successful LGBT entrepreneur, being founder and CEO of her own consulting company, Jennifer Brown Consulting. As a woman, lesbian, CEO and consultant that walks into fortune 500 companies to train individuals on diversity and inclusive workplace leadership is strong. She never stops feeling intimidated and insecure of her trainings to mega corporations, especially to individuals that are the opposite of her.

              Jennifer Brown believes in the human potential; she believes in what she trains. She has seen, first-hand, how employees have changed companies around after feeling involved, acknowledged and part of the organization.

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                Latest Employment Opportunities Posted on NASET 

                * Special Education Teacher-(Elementary, Middle, or High School) - The EC Teacher plans and provides for appropriate learning experiences for students with disabilities in a variety of educational settings. To learn more- Click here

                * [2022-2023] Middle School Learning Specialist - Reporting to the Academic Dean, the Learning Specialist will be responsible for providing tailored support to students with special education needs, through integrated co-teaching, in small group settings, or a combination of both. This is an exciting opportunity for a seasoned educator who is passionate about ensuring all students succeed and thrive in school. To learn more- Click here

                * Student Learning Support (SLS) Teacher (Immediate Opening) - Rochambeau is committed to a diverse workforce representative of our students, one that embraces cultural competency and an international community. Diversity is the hallmark of Rochambeau, with over 80 nationalities represented in the student body. We are dedicated to fostering a culture where diversity, equity, and inclusion remain at the core of who we are. To learn more- Click here

                * Special Education Teachers K-12 (1 Year Only) - Skills and experience with standardized academic testing, writing IEPs, developing positive behavior support plans, and strong direct scientifically – based instruction utilizing a variety of interventions such as Wilson, Seeing Stars student success preferred. To learn more- Click here

                * Special Education Teacher - Avondale House is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit agency that provides, educational services to children with autism, a day habilitation program for young adults, where clients receive training in daily living skills and pre-vocational activities, employment services for those with disabilities and four residential homes for individuals unable to live in their own home. Avondale House has been serving individuals with autism since 1976. To learn more- Click here

                * [2022-2023] Middle School ELA Learning Specialist - Reporting to the Academic Dean, the Middle School Social Studies Teacher will be responsible for building meaningful relationships with students, implementing a Common Core-aligned curriculum, and working with their grade team to analyze data to drive instruction. This is an exciting opportunity for an educator who is passionate about improving student outcomes by leading excellent instruction and building a positive school culture. To learn more- Click here

                * Teacher Child Development Center - The Teacher is responsible for the planning and provision of individualized instruction to children with disabilities and typical role models ages birth to three years old.  Incumbent in this position demonstrates sensitivity to the service population’s cultural and socioeconomic characteristics. To learn more- Click here

                * Special Education Teacher $2,000 sign-on bonus! - BASIS is seeking an experienced Special Education Teacher who is eager to develop leadership skills by serving as a member of the school’s administrative team. This is a teacher/administrator hybrid role whose primary responsibilities include the provision of special education services and supporting special education program operations as part of the administrative team at a school site. To learn more- Click here

                * Special Education Assistant $2,000 sign-on bonus! - BASIS.ed offers an incredible opportunity to be deeply involved in an academic community that is dynamic, exciting and unpredictable. You'll join others in a highly social, supportive and collaborative environment. To learn more- Click here

                * Special Education Teachers - The Teacher position is responsible for the planning, organization and implementation of an appropriate instructional program, in an elementary or secondary virtual learning environment, that encourages students to develop and fulfill their full academic potential, in accordance with the school’s vision and mission.  An appropriate instructional program includes academic instruction that is aligned to state standards, and includes appropriate interventions to improve student learning. To learn more- Click here

                * Private Teacher - An experienced, private, in-home schooling educator is needed for a full-time opportunity! Promote academic, social, and environmental growth of child. Plan and implement lessons and activities to engage the child in learning. To learn more- Click here

                * Teacher - Special Education - This position involves developing and implementing individualized educational programs, which address the educational needs of elementary, secondary, and transition-age students with disabilities or the remediation of social/emotional, educational, and prevocational/vocational skill deficits primarily for students in a transition 18–21-year-old program at Skagit Valley College and to serve as a transition facilitator as our students leave the juvenile justice school and return to their districts. To learn more- Click here

                * Learning Specialist/IDD Program Manager (Grant) - The Full-Time Learning Specialist/ IDD Program Manager reports directly to the Director, Center for Accessibility and Inclusive Education. The Learning Specialist/ IDD Program Manager performs administrative level functions to support the daily activities of the Adult Transition Program and in doing so, contribute to the success of grant implementation. To learn more- Click here

                * Special Education Teachers (In Person) - Reporting directly to a Special Education Administrator the Special Education Teacher provides services to special education students with a range of moderate to severe disabilities ages three to 21 years of age. The Special Education Teacher leads the IEP team to develop data driven student learning and behavioral goals. To learn more- Click here

                * Special Education - Elementary Teacher - Career opportunities where you can choose your path. From coaching to administration, there are many options to grow your career, while pursuing your interests and passions. We are hiring immediately for a full-time  Special Education - Elementary Teacher. Come grow your career with the Clark County School District! To learn more- Click here

                * Special Education Teacher and Paraprofessional Positions – District Wide - The purpose of these positions is to help each student learn subject matter and skills that will contribute to his/her development as a mature, capable, and responsible adult. Provide a positive, healthy, and safe environment in which the student can achieve his/her maximum potential. 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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