Week in Review - March 12, 2021



National Association of Special Education Teachers

March 12, 2021                 Vol 17 Issue #11

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 IEP Components Series

Developing IEPs that Support Inclusive Education for Students with the Most Significant Cognitive Disabilities


Ricki Sabia, Martha L. Thurlow, and Sheryl S. Lazarus


Sabia, R., Thurlow, M. L., & Lazarus, S. S. (2020, January). Developing IEPs that support inclusive education for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities (Brief #3). Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota, TIES Center.

This issue of NASET’s IEP Component series comes from the TIES Center. The IEP team must consider the general education classroom in the student’s home school first before considering a more restrictive placement such as a special education class. The goal for the IEP team is to determine the least restrictive environment in which the student can be educated satisfactorily. It should be difficult to overcome the presumption that students should be educated in the general education classroom. Simply being behind peers in progress in the curriculum is not a reason to move a student to a more restrictive setting. “Restrictiveness” in LRE decisions relates to the amount of time spent with nondisabled students in the general education classroom or other general education environments (e.g., study hall). That is why the general education classroom is considered less restrictive than a special education classroom. The type of support a student may need, such as an aide in the general education classroom, does not make the setting more restrictive. Similarly, “LRE requirements apply to transition services, including employment-related transition services, and apply equally to the employment portion of the student’s program and placement.” There are many resources available for parents, but not all focus specifically on ensuring that the IEP is written in a way that supports inclusion in the general education curriculum and classroom. The purpose of this issue of NASET’s IEP Component series is to identify specific ways in which the IEP can be written to support inclusion. Read More


Learning Lost: Children with Disabilities Struggle with Remote Classes During Pandemic

The pandemic has stolen learning opportunities from many students – perhaps none more than children with disabilities. Federal law requires schools to provide services, but those efforts have fallen short over the past year. One-in-10 Utah students has special needs, which can range from dyslexia to autism to severe physical disabilities. It’s a widely felt problem when requirements, resources and reality don’t add up. One mom had to fight for months when her son faced learning lost. The first lesson during Daniel Strong’s home visit with his teacher starts by just getting on to the internet. “So what do I need to do? You show me,” encouraged speech pathologist Gregory Young. Daniel is of one of 84,000 Utah students with disabilities who has struggled with remote learning during the pandemic. Read More



Some Parents of Students with Special Needs Say Return-to-School Plans Will Leave Their Kids Further Behind

As schoolkids across the region trickle back into classrooms, some parents of children with special needs say the back-to-school plans are failing them. In Fairfax County, and many other districts, some teachers will continue teaching from home even after students return to school. Some parents fear that will leave their children even farther behind. One Springfield mom whose second-grader has autism and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder said he's so frustrated with virtual learning, he smashed his computer screen. She asked us to withhold her name to protect her son's privacy. Now he's returning to the classroom, but his special education teacher will be working from home. He'll be watched in the classroom by one of hundreds of classroom monitors Fairfax County has been hiring. Read More



Stressed and Distracted, Kids and Their Teachers Say Virtual Learning Isn't Working

For Morgan Compton, 7, who has attended school remotely for nearly a year, the stress of the pandemic manifests itself in meltdowns. On one particular day, Morgan "threw a fit and decided to go upstairs," said her mother, Tracy Compton. Hearing the sound of his daughter's tears, Compton's husband, John, who also works from home, got involved. Meltdowns are familiar to any parent of young children, but when they occur during a school day -- with other young siblings trying to learn through a screen and two parents working remotely -- chaos ensues. "Now we're all yelling, she's crying more, and I'm trying to encourage her to go back into class because now she's missing learning," Tracy Compton said. After 45 minutes of cajoling their tearful child -- plus putting in a call to the school's counselor -- they were able to calm her down and get her back to class. Read More



Nasdaq's Board Diversity Proposal Leaves Out People with Disabilities, Advocates Say

The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) and Disability:IN, a nonprofit organization for advancing business disability inclusion and equality, are advocating for greater inclusion at the board level. The organizations jointly submitted letters to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Acting Chair Allison Lee and Nasdaq President and CEO Adena T. Friedman requesting that Nasdaq include people with disabilities in its proposed board diversity rules, according to a Feb. 23 announcement. In December, Nasdaq filed a proposal asking the SEC to consider requiring the companies listed on Nasdaq's U.S. exchange to provide diversity statistics on its boards of directors. "The rules would require most Nasdaq-listed companies to have, or explain why they do not have, at least two diverse directors, including one who self-identifies as female and one who self-identifies as either an underrepresented minority or LGBTQ+," according to the announcement. Read More



Analysis: What Will School Staffing Look Like Over the Next 10 Years?

At 651 pages, the U.S. Department of Education’s recently released Digest of Education Statistics isn’t so much a digest as an encyclopedia of every relevant number concerning schooling in this country. It takes years to compile the figures, so they are not up to the minute, but the researchers also add their projections for the next 10 years. We get a clear picture of what has happened, and what is likely to happen in the near future. The document has almost everything you need to know about education, both public and private, but here we will limit ourselves to two topics: expenditures and staffing. Because we so often hear about how America shortchanges education, it’s worth knowing that we spent an estimated $1.5 trillion in 2018-19 on education at all levels. That’s about 7 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product. Spending on K-12 schools totaled an estimated $832 billion, of which 92 percent went to public schools. Read More



Georgia Senate Votes to Widen Special Education Vouchers

The state Senate approved a plan Wednesday that would broaden eligibility for a Georgia program that pays for special education students to attend private schools. The Senate voted 38-15 to pass Senate Bill 47, sending it to the House, despite cries from opponents that the expansion is vulnerable to abuse and will drain money from public school systems. It's one of several voucher expansions under discussion this year in Georgia. A House bill would create a program that would create educational savings accounts for some students that parents could direct for learning-related purposes including home-schooling and private schools. Georgia already has another program that grants state income tax credits to people who donate to private school scholarship funds. Read More



Bill Would Allow Students with Special Needs to Finish School Year After They Turn 22

The Illinois House Human Services Committee advanced two bills Tuesday, one allowing special-needs students to stay with school programs past their 22nd birthday and another allowing the use of certain federal nutrition benefits to purchase feminine hygiene products. House Bill 40, introduced by Rep. Frances Hurley, a Chicago Democrat, would allow those students to receive special education services through the end of the school year that they turn 22 years old. Under current law, students can be removed from special education programs as soon as they hit their 22nd birthday. Hurley said the bill would be key to beginning to increase equity for special needs students that can already be left behind by a state system not properly equipped to support them. "I don't think they should be punished for their birthdate," Hurley said. Read More



College Students with ADHD Have Lower Grades, Higher Dropout Rates

College students with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have a harder time making it to graduation than their peers do, a new study suggests. Researchers found that of 400 students they followed, those with ADHD had a lower grade-point average (GPA) -- about half a grade lower -- than students without the disorder. The gap emerged freshman year, and persisted throughout college. And in the end, students with ADHD were less likely to make it through four years. The findings start to fill in a knowledge gap, the researchers said. Even though the college years are a critical time for young people with ADHD, fairly little has been known about how they fare. "The transition to college is difficult, even for students without ADHD," said Christopher La Lima, a child and adolescent psychologist who was not involved in the study. Read More


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

Green Tea Supplements Modulate Facial Development of Children with Down Syndrome, Study Finds

A new study led by Belgian and Spanish researchers published in Scientific Reports adds evidence about the potential benefits of green tea extracts in Down syndrome. The researchers observed that the intake of green tea extracts can reduce facial dysmorphology in children with Down syndrome when taken during the first three years of life. Additional experimental research in mice confirmed the positive effects at low doses. However, they also found that high doses of the extract can disrupt facial and bone development. More research is needed to fully understand the effects of green tea extracts and therefore they should always be taken under medical supervision. Down syndrome is caused by the presence of a third copy of chromosome 21, leading to an overexpression of the genes in this region and resulting in a number of physical and intellectual disabilities. Read More



Our Research Shows Educators Are Experiencing Trauma During the Pandemic. Here’s How We Can Reduce the Burden.

Educators play a critical role in our communities, but lately—and increasingly— they are burdened with responsibilities more appropriate for other members of the community, such as counselors, social workers, nurses and community organizers. This juggling act is particularly salient in under-resourced communities, where grappling with these issues can be a daily struggle. Since the onset of the pandemic nearly a year ago, educators have been tasked with addressing new, multi-layered challenges due to the primary and secondary trauma associated with COVID-19. Evidence suggests those responsibilities are taking an emotional toll on these critical members of our communities. Read More



The Science of Fear: Probing the Brain Circuits That Link ADHD and PTSD

Is there a relationship between attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)? Absolutely. A growing body of research has documented a robust link between the two conditions, suggesting that individuals with ADHD are at elevated risk for PTSD — and vice versa. Clinically, the implications of such a relationship are vast, as are the questions: What makes ADHD an antecedent risk factor for PTSD? One theory posits that abnormal neural fear circuitry connects individuals with ADHD and PTSD. Individuals with ADHD appear to have dysfunctional activation of the same brain structures implicated in fear, which is also true for individuals with PTSD. This overlap may underscore the strong statistical association between the disorders — and help explain why individuals with ADHD are more likely to suffer the long-lasting psychological aftershocks of PTSD after experiencing a severe jolt of trauma. Read More



Special Education Teachers, Families Stress Working Together to Ensure Student Success

As schools work to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic, teacher burnout remains a top concern, especially for those in special education. Prompting educators to publish new research that offers tips and strategies that hinge on sharing responsibilities between administrators, colleagues, and families. For parents of special needs children, the pandemic has brought many changes, but educators are adapting to help meet the need of their students. "Henry has an IEP, and it's pretty intense. He has a lot of educational and physical needs and we've been pleased with the school district because we've had communication with his teacher prior to school starting," said Jennifer Kent, Academy School District 20 parent. "Henry has a visual impairment and we find that he'll sometimes zone out. So they've been great about tailoring his classes so that he's not spending so long in front of a screen." Read More



Congratulations to: Julia Sappington, Patsy Ray, Mariola Papa, Karen Frantz-Fry, Olumide Akerele, Laurie D'Amico, Cindi Maurice, Diane Campbell-Mitchell, Helma Wardenaar, Wanda Routier, and Susan Mason who all knew the answer to last week's trivia question:

At specific times, and for certain violations of the student code of conduct, the federal law’s (IDEIA) discipline procedures require school systems to conduct what is known as a “manifestation determination review.” The purpose of this review is to determine whether or not the child’s behavior that led to the disciplinary infraction is linked to his or her disability. Under IDEIA, a manifestation determination must occur within how days of any decision to change the child’s placement because of a violation of a code of student conduct?

Answer: 10 SCHOOL DAYS

This Week's Trivia Question: According to a UCLA study, students with this disorder make up about 6% of the college student population and represent the most common type of disability supported by college disability offices. What is the disorder?

If you know the answer to this week's trivia questions, email it to us at contactus@naset.org by March 15, 2021. If you are correct, you will be acknowledged in next week's NASET's Week in Review

A Better Breakout Room Experience for Students

The pandemic has completely transformed the way we teach and the way students interact. At the beginning of the school year, I imagined breakout rooms being a popular feature among students during remote learning. I was disappointed when I saw students sitting in silence with their screens off, so I focused on building a community of students that would connect and learn from each other, and ensure that with our limited time, each breakout room would be purposeful and meaningful. I’ve found that the success of breakout rooms hinges on a strong action plan. Here are five strategies I’ve found that improve the overall breakout room experience. Read More



‘Tell Your story’: The Power of Poetry to Help Kids Cope

Award-winning teen poet Mckalah Jimenez has been writing poetry since she was nine years old, but it became a lifeline during the COVID-19 pandemic. Her family was struggling to pay rent, she couldn’t focus on her virtual classes, and she hadn’t seen her best friend for months. When she felt overwhelmed with anxiety, poetry was a release—a way for her to express her emotions and regain a sense of control. “I was writing more and more, and I came up with poems every single day,” says Jimenez, who is currently a junior in high school. “Poetry helped me take my mind off being kept away from the outside world.” Like Jimenez, many kids are grappling with pandemic stress, complex conversations around racial injustice and political unrest, and unprecedented natural disasters. Poetry is a creative outlet that can help them express themselves during these tumultuous times. Read More



Diagnosing Autism in the Pandemic

We talk often in pediatrics about the importance of early identification and early treatment of autism spectrum disorder, with its hallmark issues of social communication problems and restricted repetitive behavior patterns. “Early” means paying particularly close attention to the behavior and development of children between ages 1 and 3, and checking in with their parents about any concerns. But what does that mean for young children who have now spent half their lives — or more — in the special circumstances of the pandemic? Dr. Heidi Feldman, a professor of developmental and behavioral pediatrics at Stanford University School of Medicine, said, “We don’t know what the impact of one year of very restricted social interaction is going to be on children.” Some of the behavior patterns that children are showing now may be the result of these strange living conditions, or they may reflect stress, trauma and the social isolation that many families have experienced, she said. Read More



Pandemic Adaptations May Yield New Learning Options for Future Students

Adaptations made necessary during the COVID-19 pandemic may continue to offer Ames special education students new ways to be more involved in classrooms with their peers or access services at home, according to the district's new director of special education. The district announced earlier in February that Deani Thomas would start July 1 in the role, replacing Darcy Cosens, who is retiring. Thomas said she started working for the district in 2002 at Ames Middle School, her first teaching job, and has been in special education ever since. She is currently a special education and Title I coordinator, which is a job she's held since 2019. Before the pandemic hit last year, Thomas said a lot of the district's focus in special education was on Superintendent Jenny Risner's commitments to more inclusion and equity, especially including students who have individualized education programs. Read More



Impact of Lockdowns on Language Exposure for Kids with Cochlear Implants

The move to spending every day in the home, with little exposure to others, during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has led to many concerns about what it means for socialization, education, nutrition, and how children who need additional resources in school will fare. A report in JAMA Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery examines how the lockdowns as a result of COVID-19 impacted the amount of exposure to spoken communication that children with cochlear implants had. The researchers recruited children with cochlear implants from a tertiary pediatric hospital in Ontario, Canada. The cochlear implants monitor and create datalogs of the levels and types of sound during hourly use each day. The datalogs of pre-COVID-19, which was February 1, 2020 to March 16, 2020, were collected and then during the initial easing of lockdown restrictions, peri-COVID-19, were collected. The hours of sound were categorized into 6 input levels: <40, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70-79, ?80 A-weighted dB sound pressure level. The sound was also put into 6 auditory scene categories: quiet, speech, speech-in-noise, music, noise, and other. Read More



* Assistant Principal - DC Public Schools - We are looking for highly mo vated 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

* Special Needs Tutors - is seeking dynamic, state credentialed special needs teachers to tutor on our virtual platform teaching learners all over the world. This is a perfect second job to earn extra money from the safety of your own home. There is no minimum hourly requirement; all you need is a computer, reliable internet, a quiet space and willingness to teach. To learn more - Click here

* SEIS Contract Administrator - The Collaborative for Educational Services (CES) is seeking an SEIS Contract Administrator to direct the SEIS contract for the benefit of children and youth residing in facilities operated by the Massachusetts Departments of Mental Health, Public Health, Youth Services, and the County Houses of Correction. CES’s mission is to develop and foster educational excellence and opportunity for all learners through collaboration and leadership. To learn more - Click here

* Elementary ICT Teacher (2021-2022) - Reporting to the Academic Dean, the Elementary ICT Teacher will be responsible for providing tailored support to students with special education needs, primarily through integrated co-teaching. 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

* Lower Elementary SPED Teacher - Reporting to the Academic Dean, the Lower Elementary SPED Teacher will be responsible for providing tailored support to students with special education needs, primarily through integrated co-teaching. This is an exciting opportunity for a seasoned educator who is passionate about ensuring all students succeed and thrive in school. Toe learn more - Click here

* Private Special Education Teacher (Guanacaste, Costa Rica) - This is a part-time, live-in position working with two bright and energetic boys, ages 9 and 10, in their fourth-grade homeschool, starting ASAP. Ideal candidates will have bachelors or masters in Special Education, Applied Behavioral Analysis, Certified Behavioral Analysis or a related field. To learn more - Click here

* Intermediate School District 917 is seeking an exceptional leader to serve as Superintendent - ISD 917 is one of four intermediate school districts in Minnesota created by the Minnesota Legislature in the late 1960s. The ISD 917 School Board was organized in March 1970, and is comprised of one board member from each of the nine member school districts. Currently, member districts include Bloomington, Burnsville-Eagan-Savage, Farmington Area, Hastings, Inver Grove Heights, Lakeville Area, Randolph, South St. Paul, and West St. Paul-Mendota Heights-Eagan Area. To learn more - Click here

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* 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 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 significant difference in the lives of public school students, parents, principals, teachers, and central office employees. To learn more - Click here

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


People who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.

Rob Siltanen

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