Week in Review - February 26, 2021




National Association of Special Education Teachers

February 26, 2021                 Vol 17 Issue #9

Dear NASET Members and Guests,

Welcome to NASET's WEEK in REVIEW.  Here, we provide you with the latest publications fromNASET to read and or download, as well as some of the most interesting articles that have happened this week in the field of special education. We hope you enjoy this publication.  Feel free to send us articles for this publication or let us know your thoughts about the WEEK in REVIEW at news@naset.org. Have a great weekend.




NASET’s Parent Teacher Conference Handout

Developmental Milestones


As a special education teacher parents are constantly concerned about the development of their children. They may be concerned about whether or not the children are meeting developmental milestones in line with their peers. This Parent Teacher Conference Handout will provide that information to them. Read More



Nearly a Year into Remote Learning, How 3 NYC Teachers are Digging Deep to Connect With Their Students Through a Screen

President Joe Biden is promising the resources needed to safely reopen schools this spring, and educators across the country are lining up for vaccines, but despite that progress, remote learning remains the reality for scores of teachers and students nearly a year into the pandemic. And that’s not just the case in districts where teachers unions and administrators continue to battle over reopening plans. In New York City, the nation’s largest district and the first major urban system to offer in-person classes, some 73 percent of students have opted not to return to their schools. New York City teachers running virtual learning have seen the array of challenges the past 11 months has inflicted upon their students, especially the 72.8 percent that are economically disadvantaged. Read More


As Social Media Time Rises, So Does Teen Girls' Suicide Risk

As the amount of time young teenage girls spend glued to Instagram, TikTok and other social media sites goes up, so does their long-term risk for suicide, a new study warns. The finding stems from a decade spent tracking social media habits and suicide risk among 500 teenage boys and girls, the longest such effort to date, the study authors said. We found that girls who started using social media at two to three hours a day or more at age 13, and then increased [that use] over time, had the highest levels of suicide risk in emerging adulthood," said study author Sarah Coyne. She is associate director of the school of family life at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. Among boys, however, no such pattern emerged. One reason why, Coyne's team theorized, is that social media and young girls tend to focus on the same thing: relationships. Boys, not so much. Read More


The Great Attention Deficit: More Parents Seek ADHD Diagnosis and Drugs for Kids to Manage Remote Learning

Susan McLaughlin's 12-year-old daughter, Isabela, was a straight-A student before the pandemic. Isabela, who lives in a suburb of Columbus, Ohio, excelled at science and math and was already getting high school credit for algebra. But when her school shut down in March and classes shifted to Zoom, Isabela's grades took a nosedive. She signed on for her virtual class from a desk piled high with books, papers and stuffed animals and then spent hours trying to clean her room instead of focusing on schoolwork. She found herself "paralyzed" by assignments, McLaughlin said, but she wouldn't tell the teacher over email that she was struggling, as she would have done in person. "It was meltdown after meltdown after meltdown," said McLaughlin, 53, a mother of three from Delaware, Ohio, who works in a high school with chronically truant children. Read More


Bill Would Let Utah Schools Spend Special Education Funds on Students without Special Needs

A bill that would loosen the restrictions on how Utah schools spend special education funds was approved by lawmakers Wednesday, despite outcry from parents and advocates saying it would mean less support for the kids who have the most needs. The proposal, SB 175, would remove the current requirement that such funding from the state only be spent directly on students with disabilities or services to help them. Instead, it would open up the money so it could be used for other needs and beyond just special education students. That could include expenses more loosely tied to disability programs, such as salaries for staff who work with groups that include students with and without special needs, and for services that benefit both. “It simplifies the rules greatly,” said Sen. Jacob Anderegg, R-Lehi, the bill’s sponsor, during a committee hearing. “It’s a balancing act.” Read More


School District Says that Latino Boys More Likely to be Assigned Special Education

The Cabrillo Unified School District says that Latino boys on the coast are significantly more likely than their peers to be pigeon-holed as special education students when their difficulties may be simply related to learning English. That fact can lead to inequities in educational outcomes and opportunities. Now comes the difficult work of getting appropriate help for students who struggle but do not have a learning deficiency. The trouble in Cabrillo schools comes early for young Latino boys who fail to keep up with their classmates. More than half of those designated for special education were identified as such by the third grade. Read More





NASET ADVOCACY - Board Certification for Advocacy in Special Education (BCASE)

Class of COVID-19: Some Students with Special Needs Struggle to Communicate Remotely

On a cool evening in December, Denise Wilson scrolled through YouTube to find children’s videos for her 18-year-old son, Brady. She handed him his iPad and watched over him as he rocked his head to a tune by the Wiggles. Their dog, Keefer, roamed around the patio looking for attention. But Brady was consumed with the song, forcing Keefer to lay her front paws on Denise. “Brady, is Keefer the prettiest one in the family?” Denise asked. “Yeah,” Brady said, nodding, briefly taking his eyes away from his device. “Yeah,” Denise agreed, as they smiled at each other. Last spring, the coronavirus pandemic forced schools across the state to shut down, and teachers to move their lessons online, which Denise said was a struggle from the start for Brady. He is among the nearly 15% of public school students in Florida who have a disability and receive special education services. Read More


Most Teen Bullying Occurs Among Peers Climbing the Social Ladder

Teens who bully, harass, or otherwise victimize their peers are not always lashing out in reaction to psychological problems or unhealthy home environments, but are often using aggression strategically to climb their school's social hierarchy, a University of California, Davis, study suggests. These findings point to the reasons why most anti-bullying programs don't work and suggest possible strategies for the future. "To the extent that this is true, we should expect them to target not vulnerable wallflowers, but their own friends, and friends-of-friends, who are more likely to be their rivals for higher rungs on the social ladder," said Robert Faris, a UC Davis researcher on bullying and author of the paper "With Friends Like These: Aggression From Amity and Equivalence." The paper was published recently in the American Journal of Sociology. Co-authors are sociologists Diane Felmlee at Pennsylvania State University and Cassie McMillan at Northeastern University. Read More


In COVID-19 Crisis, Instructor Fights for People with Disabilities 

Javier Robles watched in anguish as New Jersey’s coronavirus deaths spiraled upward in the spring of 2020. The Rutgers University instructor, a quadriplegic paralyzed from the chest down, could see that the pandemic was taking a disproportionate toll on marginalized communities, including people with disabilities.  “Every day I’m watching the news and seeing people being dragged out of nursing homes in body bags,” says Robles, a teaching instructor in the Department of Kinesiology and Health in the School of Arts and Sciences. “This isn’t something where I can just sit back and say maybe things will get better.” Robles, in fact, has never been one to just wait for things to get better.  As a Rutgers undergraduate in the 1980s, he was a self-described “pain in the neck” to university officials, forming the Handicapable student group to demand a more accessible campus. Since joining the faculty in 2013, he has been a pioneering teacher, introducing the first undergraduate course to explore the lived experience of people with disabilities. Read More


Top-Tier Principals Spark Big Gains in Student Learning. A New Study Shows How Much

Years of research show that principals can significantly impact student achievement. Now, a major new study quantifies just how much difference an effective principal can make. Replacing a below-average principal with someone in the above-average category—for, example, a principal in the bottom 25th percentile on effectiveness with one in the 75th percentile or above—can add the equivalent of 2.9 more months of learning in math and 2.7 more months of learning in reading during a single school year, according to the report released by the Wallace Foundation Tuesday. Similar studies on teachers have shown that making those adjustment in teaching staff—replacing a teacher in the lowest 25th percentile with one in the 75th percentile—can add the equivalent of 3.7 months of learning in math and 3.8 months of learning in reading. Read More





Congratulations to: who all knew the answer to last week's trivia question:

According to recent research at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital (see 2/12/21 edition of NASET’s Week in Review), negative perceptions of patients with disabilities are widespread among physicians -- to a degree they say is "disturbing." Those negative perceptions can have big impacts on the quality of care patients with disabilities receive. Based on the data collected, what percentage of American doctors say they believe patients with significant disabilities have a worse quality of life than people who don't have disabilities?

Answer: 82%


AAP Releases 2021 Child, Adolescent Immunization Schedule

The recommended childhood and adolescent immunization schedule has been updated for 2021, according to a policy statement published online Feb. 12 in Pediatrics. Yvonne A Maldonado, M.D., from the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Infectious Diseases, and colleagues updated the 2021 childhood and adolescent immunization schedule, highlighting changes made to the schedule. According to the policy statement, changes to individual footnotes have been made for the 2021 schedule. For influenza vaccines, language has been updated for use of vaccines in persons with an egg allergy with symptoms other than hives; vaccines other than Flublok or Flucelvax should be administered in a medical setting under supervision by a provider who can recognize and manage severe allergic reactions. Information about use of antiviral medications and administration of quadrivalent live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV4) use has been updated. LAIV4 should not be used for children younger than 2 years. Meningococcal groups A, C, W, and Y polysaccharide tetanus toxoid conjugate vaccine has been added as an option for preventing disease attributed to meningococcal serogroups A, C, W, and Y. Language has been updated for catch-up vaccination for infants who received one dose of meningococcal groups A, C, W, and Y oligosaccharide diphtheria CRM197 conjugate vaccine at age 3 to 6 months. Read More


How SAT Shifts Will Impact College Access and Equity

COVID further eroded the SAT’s role in college admissions, giving more ammunition to critics who have long argued the high-stakes test are an unreliable and inequitable judge of students’ academic abilities. Because high school juniors have been unable to take the test over the last year, more colleges and universities have joined institutions that had previously made SATs and ACTs optional over concerns about fairness and effectiveness. Perhaps in response to COVID’s disruptions, the College Board earlier this year eliminated the SAT’s subject tests and the optional essay, and vowed to give students more flexibility in taking the high-stakes exam. Read More


"Reading to Learn": New Program Aims to Boost Literacy Levels After Unconventional School Year

A new reading program is aiming to improve literacy rates for hundreds of kids in East Tennessee -- during a year where COVID-19 changed our idea of school. Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee, with support from Amerigroup, launched a Reading to Learn initiative in Knoxville last month. The goal of the program is to establish a "firm foundation for students at Title I schools in the Knoxville area," according to a statement from the organization. Reading to Learn matches mentors with kids in those elementary schools to participate in reading activities together for one hour a week during the school year. It was first launched in the Tri-Cities with the support of private donors in November 2018. BBBS of East Tennessee said of the students who participated, 80% maintained or improved their grades in all subjects, and 90% improved or maintained their language arts grades. Read More


Yes, Audiobooks Are Real Reading. Here are the Best Ones for Kids

Tucked in, snuggled up, I still remember the hours I spent listening to my mother read aloud “The Hobbit.” I must have been about 8-years-old, and while I was a pretty strong reader, the complexity of that text (and certainly its length) would have made the story inaccessible to me. I hung on every word, fascinated by these new characters, blissfully lost in a whole new world. As a preschool and elementary school librarian, I’ll tell you that there’s nothing more foundational for literacy than time spent snuggled up with a trusted adult, soaking in a story, sharing the words, laughing (or crying) and learning to love the way the words unfold in a well-told tale. Read More


The COVID Pandemic has Given Us a Road Map to Transform Education for the Better

If education predicts the future, then every American should be worried. The coronavirus has now disrupted nearly an entire year of learning. Tens of millions of students are falling behind. But the crisis in education wasn’t caused by COVID. The pandemic has exposed deep-seated issues that have been holding students back for decades. It’s time to ask: How can we help students come through this crisis with a quality education and, in doing so, transform our entire system of education for the better? The most recent proof of the damage done: A new McKinsey study shows that virtually all students have missed multiple months’ worth of learning in the pandemic, with students of color missing the most. The learning losses are also getting worse, not better. Read More


Internet Access Spending in Public Schools Increases Test Scores, but Also Disciplinary Problems

From 2015 to 2019, public school districts in the United States invested nearly $5 billion to upgrade their Wi-Fi networks, according to Education Super Highway. However, in the age of COVID-19-mandated virtual learning, millions of K-12 students still lack the minimal connectivity at home for digital learning. In a new study from the University of Notre Dame, researchers quantify how school district connectivity increases test scores, but underscore the dark side of technology -- increased behavior problems. A $600,000 increase in annual internet access spending produces a financial gain of approximately $820,000 to $1.8 million, alongside losses from disciplinary problems totaling $25,800 to $53,440, according to new research from Yixing Chen, an assistant professor of marketing at Notre Dame's Mendoza College of Business. His paper "Investigating the Academic Performance and Disciplinary Consequences of School District Internet Access Spending," which appeared in the February issue of the Journal of Marketing Research, also shows the academic gain is larger for schools in counties with better home access to high-speed internet. Read More



* SETSS (Special Education Teacher Support Services) Teacher - At Zeta, we pursue an unprecedented combination of high academic achievement and social-emotional development. We insist that every child receives a world-class education while fostering a love for learning. We are changing the public education landscape for all of New York City’s children, and we are uncompromising in our mission. 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. You will be an employee and receive full benefits. To learn more - Click here

* Special Education Director - 15,000 student school district is looking for special education leader. 27J Schools is one of the fastest growing school districts in Colorado and located in the North Denver Metro Area - 30 minutes from Denver and Boulder and adjacent to Denver International Airport. The Director of Special Education is responsible for the leadership, supervision, guidance and support for all school support staff providing services to students with disabilities across special populations, including preschool. To learn more - Click here

* Special Education Teachers - All areas - We are looking for highly motivated and skilled talent to join our team at District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS). We seek individuals who are passionate about transforming the DC school system and making a signi?cant di?erence in the lives of public school students, parents, principals, teachers, and central o?ce employees. To learn more - Click here

If you are an Employer looking for excellent special education staff - Click here for more information


You need to have faith in yourself. Be brave and take risks. You don’t have to have it all figured out to move forward

Roy T. Bennett

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