Week in Review - September 24, 2021




National Association of Special Education Teachers

September 24, 2021                 Vol 17 Issue #39

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

Angry Kids: Dealing With Explosive Behavior


When a child—even a small child—melts down and becomes aggressive, he can pose a serious risk to himself and others, including parents and siblings. It’s not uncommon for kids who have trouble handling their emotions to lose control and direct their distress at a caregiver, screaming and cursing, throwing dangerous objects, or hitting and biting. It can be a scary, stressful experience for parent, caregiver, and child alike. Children often feel sorry after they’ve worn themselves out and calmed down. So what does a parent or caregiver do? This issue of NASET’s Parent Teacher Conference Handout provides a resource from the Child Mind Institute for parents on behavioral techniques, what to do when behavioral plans aren’t enough, and how certain disabilities may manifest themselves in explosive behavior. Read More


What Young Kids Say Worked – and Didn’t Work – for Them During Virtual Learning

On Aug. 30, 2021, my kid joined millions of children in walking through school doors as he began first grade.  Despite the ongoing pandemic, school buildings are almost universally open. While there are many voices expressing health and safety concerns, policymakers have decided that the best choice for children’s well-being is for them to be in school, in person in all but the most extreme cases of medical need.  But what if we asked the children? What would they say? News articles have quoted teenagers reflecting on Zoom fatigue and loneliness, but much less has been reported about what our youngest students think. Children have now experienced nearly a year and a half of schooling during a pandemic, and this presents an opportunity to pause, reflect on and learn from their experiences. Read More


Could Vaccine Mandate Exacerbate School Staff Shortages?

School districts, especially in areas where vaccine and mask mandates have become contentious, may see higher turnover rates among staff after President Joe Biden called for vaccines to be mandated for employers with 100 or more workers in the near future. District leaders worry turnover may be especially damaging among school nutrition and transportation staff amid a pre-existing national shortage of both. "Clearly, there is a certain level of vaccine hesitancy within the school bus driver pool, and we have seen anecdotal evidence that supports that theory, so any vaccine mandate will certainly have an effect on our driver population," said Curt Macysyn, executive director of the National School Transportation Association in an email. "When you are already working with a short staff, any downward adjustment in drivers is going to have an impact." Read More


School Districts Hesitate to Use ARP Funding for Construction

A survey by the School Superintendents Association (AASA) reveals that school districts across the country don't plan to spend much of their American Rescue Plan funds on facilities renovations or new construction. Close to half of districts indicated they would spend no more than 10% of ARP funding on school facilities improvements, while 16% of districts said they would spend between a quarter to half of ARP funding on such improvements.  About 25% of respondents indicated the 2024 spending deadline was an obstacle in using the ARP funds for infrastructure and construction. Although reasons varied slightly, the most common issue identified was finding contractors willing and able to take on projects given continuing supply chain disruptions. Read More


Are We Asking Schools to Do Too Much?

In May and December of last year, and March of this one, Congress dispensed nearly $200 billion to help schools pay for COVID-19 mitigation, technology tools, and academic support programs. That’s a huge chunk of emergency cash that will meet a lot of needs—but not even close to all of them. Overall K-12 spending in the U.S. declined precipitously after the Great Recession, and only in the last few years has it begun to inch back up. State aid and local revenue are volatile and widely varied from place to place. Surging cases of the Delta variant remind us that more societal disruptions and economic downturns could be on the horizon at any time. All the while, we’re asking schools to accomplish more than what their funding allows and their employees to do far more than they’ve been trained to do. And we’ve been doing it for a long time. Read More


First Nationwide Look at Racial Breakdown of Career Education Confirms Deep Divides

In Nevada, just 4 percent of students who took a career-oriented science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) course in the 2019-20 school year — 88 students total — were Black, even though Black students make up more than 11 percent of the state’s public school enrollment. Only 16 Hispanic students in Alabama took more than one information technology class — less than 1 percent of all those who did so. Meanwhile, Hispanic students accounted for 9 percent of the state’s K-12 students. Those statistics, released for the first time as part of new federal data on student enrollment in career and technical programs, help paint a picture of a school system in which Black and Hispanic students benefit less often from classes connected to higher-paying careers and college degrees than their white peers. Read More

Our Student Homeless Numbers Are Staggering. Schools Can Be a Bridge to a Solution

Levi Bohanan was homeless as a high school senior. Without a parent or guardian looking after him, he wasn’t sure he would graduate, let alone go on to college. But then school staff connected him to resources that would support him, they told him about Pell Grants, and that assistance changed his life.? “None of that can happen absent trust,” said Bohanan, who is now a special assistant at the U.S. Department of Education. “None of that can happen without teachers and educators and staff knowing what to engage with and what to look for.” Resources can help build that trust—a key component in students’ sense of well-being, belonging, and academic performance where schools can have a big influence. With a big wave of unprecedented federal funding coming to schools to help homeless students, educators might feel a lot of pressure to figure out how to use that money well. Read More


‘Why Do They Have to Be Brilliant?’ The Problem of Autism in the Movies

A quick experiment. Close your eyes, and think of autism in the movies. I bet you’ve got an image in your head of Dustin Hoffman being driven by Tom Cruise in a Buick Roadmaster Convertible, repeatedly saying: “I’m an excellent driver.” Or Hoffman glancing at a box of scattered toothpicks and announcing there are 246 of them. Or Hoffman learning the phonebook to “g” off by heart in a couple of minutes. Or Hoffman doing miraculous mental arithmetic. Rain Man was released in 1988. Watch it now, and it seems like a throwback to a simpler world where autistic people were geniuses, and no cliche about the idiot savant was left unturned. Hoffman tic-d, squinted and stuttered his way to an Oscar in a fabulously mannered performance. Read More


Older Age, Chronic Co-Morbidities Associated with More Severe COVID Disease in Children

Over the course of the pandemic, researchers nationwide noticed differences in COVID-19 disease between children and adults. While risk factors for hospitalization and poor outcomes are well documented in adults, less is known about the clinical factors associated with COVID disease severity in children. In an effort to aid mitigation strategies for children who are at high risk of developing severe COVID disease, a group of physicians at Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt studied data from 45 children's hospitals around the country -- 20,000 patients were included. "This is one of the largest multicenter studies of children with COVID-19 in the United States," said James Antoon, MD, PhD, FAAP, assistant professor of Pediatrics at Children's Hospital and lead author of the study. Read More


What Will Online Learning Look Like in 10 Years? Zoom Has Some Ideas

Last March, Zoom, the ubiquitous online conferencing platform, became a staple of daily life for many students and educators as learning shifted online. Millions downloaded it—and first learned of it—back in early 2020, when lockdowns forced billions of students online, and at least 100,000 schools onto Zoom. But as the company itself will tell you, it didn’t spring up overnight. Zoom is actually a decade old, and the first conferences launched in 2012, limited to a mere 15 participants. While post-pandemic growth has slowed as schools resume in-person learning, the company is still flush with cash, reporting over one billion dollars in revenue in the second quarter of 2021. Read More



Congratulations to: Lauro Esquilona, Helma Wardenaar, Diane Campbell-Mitchell, Danelle Fugate, Katrina White, Amy Ross Bradl, Olumide Akerele, Patsy Ray, Cindi Maurice, Karen Frantz-Fry, Yvonne Harris, Tracey Christilles, and Mariola Papa who all knew the answer to last week's trivia question:

Phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics are the five components/domains of what?


This week's trivia question: The test names Wechsler, Stanford-Binet, Otis-Lennon, Kauffman, and Slosson are all associated with what type of assessment measure used in the determination eligibility of students for special education and related services?

If you know the answer to this week's trivia questions, email it to us at contactus@naset.org by September 28 28, 2021. If you are correct, you will be acknowledged in next week's NASET's Week in Review

American School for the Deaf Launches Virtual Academy, Extending Reach to Students Across the U.S. and the Globe

The American School for the Deaf in West Hartford is offering an “Online Academy” this school year, the first of its kind in the institution’s nearly 205 year history. The virtual academy — initially intended to supplement public, private or homeschooling programs — is open to both deaf and hearing children ages 12-16. Members of the deaf community regularly used video chat and conferencing tools long before the coronavirus pandemic, said Stacey Katz Shapiro, the academy’s online coordinator. At the same time, ASD executive director Jeff Bravin and other educational administrators have been brainstorming “for years” a way to better support students who have limited interaction with other deaf and hard-of-hearing peers or American Sign Language (ASL) education opportunities through their typical schooling, she said. COVID-19 helped to “crystalize” the idea for the program, Katz Shapiro explained, as the pandemic forced many educators to work with students virtually. Read More


Leadership that Alleviates Stress

School leaders are in one of the most precarious balancing acts in the history of public education. They must keep educators focused on providing high-quality learning to kids despite mandatory Covid testing, email notifications of potential exposures, and omnipresent media coverage of the pandemic. This balancing act is complicated further by teacher shortages and the cumulative impact of asking teachers to help cover job vacancies. All of this leads to an incredible amount of stress for administrators and teachers alike, which must be mitigated to avoid burnout. As leaders, we are responsible for the health and learning of everyone in our schools. We courageously hazard forward in ways that keep our school communities engaged, give hope, and keep staff believing that things will get better and be better not just for children but for everyone. Leaders must be the face of hope in a school, even when circumstances are far from optimal. Read More



A Possible New Pathway for Treating Epileptic Seizures in Patients with Autism

Autism affects about 2% of children in the United States, and about 30% of these children have seizures. Recent large-scale genetic studies revealed that genetic variants in a sodium channel, called voltage-gated sodium channel Nav1.2, is a leading cause of autism. Overactive sodium channels in the neuron cause seizures. Doctors often treat seizures by giving the patient a medication meant to close the sodium channels, reducing the flow of sodium through axons. For many patients such treatment works, but in some cases -- up to 20 or 30% -- the treatment doesn't work. These children have "loss-of-function" variants in Nav1.2, which is expected to reduce the sodium channel activity as "anti-seizures." Thus, how the deficiency in sodium channel Nav1.2 leads to seizures is a major mystery in the field that puzzles physicians and scientists. Read More


How to Tell the Difference between Social Anxiety and Autism

On the surface, social anxiety disorder and autism may look the same. Both people with autism and those with social anxiety may experience social situations differently than others. While social anxiety and autism can occur together, the two are very different conditions. Still, even doctors sometimes get the two mixed up, leading to misdiagnoses. Want to understand the difference between autism and social anxiety disorder?  A major similarity between the two is that both conditions present differently in every person.  There are plenty of similarities, including symptoms and services offered. One reason social anxiety and autism are sometimes confused is because some symptoms appear the same. Read More


What Moves Some People With Disabilities To Be Disability Activists?

Most people with disabilities have to be advocates at some point. We have no choice. Some later adopt it as a calling, for ourselves and others like us. A few are inspired to commit to more long-term and consequential disability activism with the potential to benefit thousands or millions of disabled people. Activism as a way of life offers unique and valuable rewards to the committed activist. It also wears us down, both physically and emotionally. This may be even more true in particular for disability activism. It’s one of the most common avenues for building a more liberating sense of self for people with disabilities. It also regularly chews disabled people up, leaving many of us exhausted, disappointed, and demoralized. We may end up more empowered and connected in some key ways, but at the same time worn out, cynical, and alienated in others. Read More


School Health Centers Get $5M to Expand Telehealth Access to Care

With schools returning to in-person learning or juggling remote options, the Biden Administration is investing more than $5 million in school-based health centers that often use telehealth to help students access a variety of care services. The Department of Health and Human Services is awarding the grants to 27 centers at new or existing Health Center Program sites in 19 states, which offer primary and mental health services, oral and vision care and enabling services such as transportation, outreach and translation services. These services are offered both in-person and through telehealth, an important option during the pandemic. "We have worked with the communities, school districts, and health centers to tailor the services offered at these sites based on the community's needs and existing resources," HRSA Acting Administrator Diana Espinosa said in a press release. "In addition to comprehensive primary health care, this funding will support sites that are expanding access to behavioral health services—which are critical to the overall health of America's youth." Read More


*Special Education Teachers - Pennsylvania Virtual Charter School (PA Virtual), an online school providing over 20 years of home-based, public education to K-12 students across Pennsylvania, has a vacancy for Special Education Teachers. All Pennsylvania Counties are welcome to apply!! To learn more- Click here

*Special Education Teacher - Plan, prepare and deliver a quality instructional program based upon student Individual Education Plan goals, state standards, district curriculum, and effective instruction to students of diverse backgrounds and learning needs in inclusive settings. To learn more- Click here

* Special Ed Teacher: Secondary Emotional Support - (Fredericksburg, PA) The IU13 is an innovative leader in providing educational services to students, school districts, and communities in Lancaster and Lebanon counties and across Pennsylvania. Special Education Teachers are responsible for planning and implementing an effective program of instruction based on students’ Individual Education Programs (IEP’s). To learn more - Click here

* Special Ed Teacher: Secondary Emotional Support - (Lancaster, PA) The IU13 is an innovative leader in providing educational services to students, school districts, and communities in Lancaster and Lebanon counties and across Pennsylvania. Special Education Teachers are responsible for planning and implementing an effective program of instruction based on students’ Individual Education Programs (IEP’s). To learn more - Click here

* Special Education Professional- We are looking for teachers who are passionate, informed, and are already skilled at working with children with behavioral issues and interested in transferring that passion and talent and become a therapist. Family Solutions wants to help you transition into your new career through our DT and OP career positions. Family Solutions, providing a continuum of behavioral health services for children and families in the Rogue Valley, seeks Therapists (license not required) who will lead the reopening of the day treatment and outpatient services (post COVID). To learn more- Click here

* Special Ed Teacher-Preschool Early Intervention- What is the key to IU13's success? A talented, dedicated team of employees working together toward making a positive difference for all we serve. We are looking for Special Education Teachers that are ready to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow! Teachers who are excited about doing “Work Worth Doing”! To learn more- Click here

* Special Education Teacher, Institutional Settings- The Collaborative for Educational Services (CES) has an opening for a licensed Special Education Teacher for 2021-2022 School Year to work in Department of Youth Services program sites in the Metro Region of Massachusetts as a member of our Special Education in Institutional Settings (SEIS) team. We are especially excited about candidates with experience working in institutional settings. To learn more- Click here

* Director III, Special Education Procedural Support- Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS), the nation’s 11th largest school division, is seeking a proven educational leader to serve as Director, Special Education Procedural Support in the Department of Special Services.Located in the Washington, D.C. region, FCPS serves a diverse student population of more than 189,000 students in grades pre-K through 12, 14% of which receive special education and related services under IDEA. 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

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


Always dream and shoot higher than you know you can do. Don’t bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.

William Faulkner

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