January 2023 - Special Educator e-Journal



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Special Education Legal Alert

By Perry A. Zirkel

© December 2022

This month’s update identifies recent court decisions addressing IDEA issues arising during the extended pandemic period, warranting special consideration of districts’ FAPE obligation. For related publications and earlier monthly updates, see perryzirkel.com.

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    Buzz from the Hub

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    RAISE the Standard
    Culturally competent transition practices can play a significant role in improving post-school outcomes for youth with disabilities. The November issue of RAISE The Standard explores what it means to bring a culturally competent approach to transition planning and why it is vital to do so. Be sure to check out the great list of resources in the newsletter, such as the one listed below.

    Life after High School: A Guide for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Families of Youth with Disabilities
    This guide is offered in nine languages: English, Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Russian, Somali, Spanish, Tagalog, and Vietnamese. Wow, eh? From Open Doors for Multicultural Families.

    Addressing the Impacts of Parent and Caregiver Loss on Children
    (Also available in Spanish: Cómo afrontar el impacto de la pérdida de padres y cuidadores en los niños)
    This Dear Colleague Letter from the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) discusses the urgent need to support children and youth who’ve experienced the traumatic loss of a parent or caregiver. It also includes an astoundingly thorough list of programs and resources available to address the spectrum of needs a child or family might have, from economic supports to behavioral health, to kinship and family supports, and more.

    How to Work With Your Child’s School
    Children with emotional or learning challenges are entitled to support from their schools. Who should parents talk to? This suite of articles from the Child Mind Institute can sure help! It includes 6 separate briefs, with titles such as Building Your Education Team, Supporting Trans and Nonbinary Kids at School, How to Get Assistive Technology for Your Child in School, How to Make the Most of Your IEP Meeting, and About Section 504 Plans. All are also available in Spanish.

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    U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights Reaches Agreement to Resolve Restraint and Seclusion Compliance Review of Southeastern Cooperative Educational Programs in Virginia

    The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) today announced that the Southeastern Cooperative Educational Programs (SECEP) in Virginia entered into a resolution agreement regarding the use of restraint and seclusion and the provision of a free appropriate public education (FAPE) to students with disabilities. 

    Pursuant to the agreement, SECEP committed to take steps necessary to ensure that it does not use restraint and seclusion in a way that denies to students with disabilities the FAPE to which they are entitled under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act.? 

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    U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights Reaches Agreement with California's Davis Joint Unified School District in Investigation Regarding the Use of Restraint and Seclusion

    The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced that the Davis Joint Unified School District in California has entered into a resolution agreement to ensure that its restraint and seclusion policies and practices do not deny students with disabilities a free appropriate public education (FAPE).  


    OCR examined whether the district’s use of restraint and seclusion in the 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 school years denied its students with disabilities a FAPE in violation of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504), Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (Title II), and their implementing regulations. 

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    U.S. Department of Education Launches New Initiative to Enhance STEM Education for All Students

    The U.S. Department of Education (Department) will host the YOU Belong in STEM National Coordinating Conference in Washington, D.C. as a key initiative for the Biden-Harris Administration. The Raise the Bar: STEM Excellence for All Students initiative is designed to strengthen Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education nationwide. This new Biden-Harris Administration initiative will help implement and scale equitable, high-quality STEM education for all students from PreK to higher education—regardless of background— to ensure their 21st century career readiness and global competitiveness.

    “Research shows how a sense of belonging in rich and rigorous classrooms is directly correlated to students’ long-term academic success. Moreover, the Department’s Civil Rights Data Collection continues to demonstrate that students of color and students with disabilities are disproportionately excluded from learning opportunities in STEM,” said U.S. Deputy Secretary of Education Cindy Marten. “Today, we are saying unequivocally to all students and educators that they belong in STEM and that they deserve to have rigorous and relevant educational experiences that inspire and empower them to reach their full potential as productive, contributing members of our nation’s workforce.”

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    Department of Education, Department of Justice, and Department of Health and Human Services Release First Report to Congress as Part of the Interagency Task Force on Sexual Violence in Education

    The Interagency Task Force on Sexual Violence in Education (Task Force), created by the Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization Act of 2022 (VAWA 2022 Reauthorization), presented its first report to Congress today. As required by the VAWA 2022 Reauthorization, the report focuses on recruiting, retaining, and training the Department of Education's highly qualified workforce who investigate complaints and enforce Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX) and section 485(f) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (Clery Act). The reauthorization of VAWA and the work of this Task Force continue a long commitment to action by President Biden, who was the primary Senate sponsor of the original Violence Against Women Act, which was enacted in 1994.

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    Guidance Helps Schools Support Students with Disabilities and Avoid Disparities in the Use of Discipline

    The U.S. Department of Education announced the release of guidance from its Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) to help public elementary and secondary schools fulfill their responsibilities to meet the needs of students with disabilities and avoid the discriminatory use of student discipline. These newly released resources are the most comprehensive guidance on the civil rights of students with disabilities concerning student discipline and build on the Department’s continued efforts to support students and schools through pandemic recovery.

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    Classroom Membership: What Does That Mean Exactly?

    Dr. Katie Heath

    Roberts Wesleyan College

    ***Excerpted from Fall 2021 JAASEP

    Abstract

    Classroom membership is essential in today’s classrooms as students need to feel safe and secure in their participatory roles. Allowing a student’s voice is essential in allowing them the opportunity to communicate with their peers. In this study, the author looked at how the use or non-use of the iPad (as a form of assistive technology) affected membership of students with disabilities. Findings showed that iPad integration played a vital role in increasing or decreasing participation through communication and the feelings of membership in the classroom. Ultimately, how the teacher plans and prepares for the integration of the iPad into the classroom ultimately affects the membership opportunities for students with disabilities. Included are the stories of four students and their use of the iPad.

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      Latest Employment Opportunities Posted on NASET 

      * Special Education Teacher- Multiple Positions - STRIVE Prep is a Denver-based community of public charter schools that challenges every student to strive for college and thrive throughout life by helping them to discover and develop the knowledge, skills and confidence necessary to succeed in college and beyond. We encourage you to read our 2021 Impact Report and learn more about what a career at STRIVE Prep is like here. To learn more- Click here

      * Special Education Resource Teacher - Galapagos is looking for driven educators who truly believe in the ability of all children to succeed at the highest levels.  Our staff works incredibly hard to deliver rigorous, individualized, data-driven and explicit instruction to our scholars. To learn more- Click here

      * [2022-2023] Reading Intervention Specialist - Like all DREAM employees, the Intervention Specialist should demonstrate a strong commitment to the mission and values of DREAM and should have substantial expertise in all areas of responsibility. Candidates must also value DREAM's comprehensive approach to education and desire to make a lasting impact in underserved communities as part of a growing organization. To learn more- Click here

      * Special Education/Transition Teacher - Do you want to play an integral role in a dynamic organization? We are looking for a Special Education/Transition Teacher who wants to assist our organization. The right candidate will enjoy learning new tasks and taking on a variety of responsibilities while working in an up-beat, nonprofit environment. To learn more- Click here

      * Special Education Teachers $50/hr -Maxim Healthcare Staffing is looking to hire a Special Education Teacher provide quality services to special education students, kindergarten through grade 12, through a commitment to team participation in planning and implementation of student programs including special instruction, tutorial assistance and consultation with general education staff. To learn more- Click here

      * Teacher of the Deaf/Special Educator - Early Intervention - The Early Intervention preschool classroom teacher is a Teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, though candidates with Early Childhood Special Education certification will be considered, who works with students ages three to five in a classroom setting and is responsible for planning and leading all aspects of the daily learning environment. To learn more- Click here

      * Teacher - Virtual - Interested in teaching online courses? You can work full time or part time for supplemental income. Set your own hours, work from your own home, and earn your equivalent teaching salary or more! To learn more- Click here

      * School Principal - We strive to give our clients support, resources, and the ability to heal through the work of animal-assisted therapy and nature-based learning all while developing the skills and confidence to grow into independent young adults. To learn more- Click here

      * Special Education Teacher, Learning Disabilities - Provides and is accountable for the planning, assessment, instruction, communication, human relations, safety, and management of a classroom or assigned instructional setting.  Supports FCPS mission to "inspire, enable, and empower students to meet high academic standards, lead ethical lives, and demonstrate responsible citizenship." To learn more- Click here

      * Special Education Teacher, Multiple Disabilities ES/MS/HS - Provides and is accountable for the planning, assessment, instruction, communication, human relations, safety, and management of a classroom or assigned instructional setting. Supports FCPS mission to "inspire, enable, and empower students to meet high academic standards, lead ethical lives, and demonstrate responsible citizenship." To learn more- Click here

      * Special Education Teacher Preschool - Provides and is accountable for the planning, assessment, instruction, communication, human relations, safety, and management of a classroom or assigned instructional setting. Supports FCPS mission to "inspire, enable, and empower students to meet high academic standards, lead ethical lives, and demonstrate responsible citizenship." To learn more- Click here

      * 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

      * 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

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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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