Monday, December 3, 2012

Special Education and Student Services Newsletter for December 3, 2012

Special Education and Student Services Newsletter for December 3, 2012

Prayers and sympathy for our staff who have lost family members in the past week.  

Best wishes to Paul and Sara Boettcher on the arrival of Owen this week (hopefully)! 

1. IEP Meeting Expectations
For an Annual IEP meeting - teachers should bring along a draft copy of an IEP, old IEP to review, and/or framework of what you want to discuss/include in the upcoming IEP.  This will help generate discussion for each of the required parts of the IEP. 

District expectation is that IEPs are turned in 10 days after an IEP meeting.  If you need extended time, please contact me.  

2. ACCESS for ELL Testing Window
This is our annual English Language Learning proficiency testing assessment. 

Testing window dates: December 3 to January 31
SES = Lucia Albrecht
MAES Grade K-1 = Lucia Albrecht
MAES Grade 2-4 = Will Gomez
MAMS = Oralee Dittrich
MASH = Oralee Dittrich (replacing Sara Boettcher due to maternity leave)

Testing materials can be picked up at the District Office starting on Wednesday. 

3. Autism Resource Team
Thursday December 6 from 3:45 to 5:00 pm in the MAES Computer Lab.

1. Christmas Surprise
2. IEP at a Glance - Brenda Ann
3. Review of FBA materials from Autism Training held at CESA 10
4. Review of Basic Level for DPI Autism Training materials and conference
5. Visual Supports
6. Special Olympics update
7. CESA 7 Autism Consultant Mandy Reinke and Autism Expert Dr. Benson updates
8. Staffing needs
9. Staff consultation/curriculum work time
10. Sharing of resources time

4. Wilson Reading Steps 7-12
Wednesday December 5 from 3:45 to 5:30 in the MAES Computer Lab. 

5. Core Assistive Technology Team
On December 6 I will be meeting with the CATT Team (Speech Language, OT, and PT) to review our Child Development Day screening model for 13-14 and proposed Birth-Three Contract for Services through the school district. 

6. School Based Mental Health Counseling
We currently have a contract with Northwest Directions to provide School Based Mental Health Counseling in our schools.  Starting with this year Northwest Directions needs to have at least 4 students who will be receiving these services prior to coming.  We do not currently have 4 students who have been approved for these services.  There are currently 2 students. 

Kelly Schultz from Counseling Connection has approached us about providing School Based Mental Health Counseling Services. 

There will be further discussion with administration and student services/special education staff about this area.  We will need to decide whether to continue with Northwest Directions, switch to Counseling Connection, and/or have both provide services.  

7. Postsecondary Transition Planning
All special education teachers of students 14 and older are now registered as Super Users (replacing as District Users).  You will be able to submit/lock the information into DPI upon completion of the IEP meeting.  You will not need another person (Shari G, Oralee D, myself) to review the transition components unless you want us to prior to submitting the information.  

8. BrainPop
Username: Medford
Password: sped

9. DSM V Manual Revisions
Here is an article on the most significant revisions to the DSM-IV manual in over 20 years.  This includes the elimination of Asperger Syndrome as a separate category.  It will now fall under the Autism Spectrum Disorder classification.  

There is also a new category on Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder - severe recurrent temper tantrums (ultimately designed to replace the earlier and incorrect diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder in younger children.

DSM IV criteria does not automatically make students eligible or ineligible for special education services.  However, these diagnoses are regularly used by doctors and psychiatrists in their evaluations of children and adults. 

10. Cool Cooking Show
The MAMS Sped Cool Cooking Show cast is now making commercials! 

11. Workplace Spanish for Teachers and School Administrators
We have seen an increase in the number of students and families who are English Language Learners in our schools and community.  We will be offering the following class for any staff through Northcentral Technical College. Kathy Stamos will be our instructor. 

This NTC class is developed specifically to help elementary, middle, and high school teachers and staff communicate, on a basic level, with Spanish-speaking students and parents. Content emphasizes daily class activities, speaking with parents, and handling problems or emergencies. Simplicity is key and there are no grammar or rules to memorize, and no prior Spanish experience is necessary.

Duration: 12 hours (6 X 2-hour sessions)
CEUs: 1.2 units (12 non-credit hours) 

The course will be held for 6 weeks starting on Thursday nights starting January 3rd.  It would be held from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm at Medford Area Elementary School in the media room.  Dates of the class will be January 3, 10, 17, 24, 31, and February 7. 

There will be a light dinner served for those in attendance at each training.  

** Please pre-register with me by December 20 if you will be attending. 

12. Home School and Special Education Requirements
I have received several questions recently on homeschooling and special education.  Here is a nice summary letter detailing expectations (as outlined in a letter from DPI Director of Special Education to Madison Schools) 
Dear Mr. Jorgensen (Executive Director of Madison Schools):
I am writing in response to your October 14, 2002, letter regarding requirements for students with disabilities in home-based private education programs and private schools. Specifically, you ask whether a local educational agency (LEA) is required to develop and annually review individualized education programs (IEPs) for such children and to conduct triennial reevaluations of them. 
 An LEA must locate and identify all children with disabilities within its jurisdiction. This requirement, known as “child find,” includes children in home-based private education programs and in private schools. As you point out in your letter, when such a child is referred for evaluation, the LEA must appoint an IEP team to evaluate the child to determine eligibility for special education services.  If the IEP team finds the child eligible for special education and the parents make clear their intention to enroll the child in a home-based private education program or a private school and to reject a public program or placement, the LEA is not required to develop an IEP for the child.  The LEA should explain to the parents the range of services available and the potential consequences for the child’s education of their decision to reject the public program. It would be a good practice for the LEA annually to inform the parents that the LEA stands ready to provide free appropriate public education to the child if the parents decide to enroll the child in the public program. 
A reevaluation, as part of child find, must be conducted at least once every three years. This requirement includes children in home-based private education programs and private schools.  When reevaluation is required, the LEA must contact the parents of such a child in writing and offer reevaluation.  If the parents are willing to make the child available, the LEA should initiate the reevaluation by sending the parents a notice of its intent to reevaluate (DPI model form A-6).  If the parents are unwilling to make the child available for reevaluation, the LEA should document this response and inform the parents that the LEA stands ready to reevaluate the child at any time and to provide free appropriate public education when the child enrolls in the public program.
I hope that this response provides the guidance that you are seeking. 
Stephanie J. Petska, Ph.D., Director
Special Education

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