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Pembroke Public Schools Presents:

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Christine Belliveau

on 29 September 2016

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Transcript of Pembroke Public Schools Presents:

Pembroke Public Schools Presents:
A Parent's Guide to Special Education
Mrs. Jessica Duncanson

The Process
If the student is found eligible
What is Special Education?
Special Education is specially designed instruction and related services that meet the unique needs of an eligible student with a disability or a specific service need that is necessary to allow the student with a disability to access the general curriculum
What are the key special education laws?
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
in combination with
MGL c. 71B
Guiding Principles of the Law
Parent and Student Participation
Appropriate Evaluation
Individualized Education Program
Free and Appropriate Public Education
Least Restrictive Environment
Parent and Student Participation
What role do parents play in the special education process?
Does my child have the right to attend meetings or have a voice in the special education process?
Appropriate Evaluation
The evaluation tools used will be based on your child's individual needs.
Evaluation frequently includes parent input and teacher observation
Evaluations may look at:
your child's educational development
how your child thinks, behaves, and adapts to changes
your child's:
social and emotional well-being
your child's performance in school
how your child uses his/her body
and (for older students) what job-related and other post school interests and abilities your child has
All special education evaluations must be conducted by appropriately credentialed and trained specialists and will examine areas of suspected disability. This MAY include:
Specialist Assessment
Educational Assessment
Health Assessment
Psychological Assessment
Home Assessment
How long will the evaluation process take?
Evaluations must be completed within 30 school days of the parent's written permission for evaluation.

Within 45 working days of the school's receipt of your permission in writing, a Team meeting must be held to talk about the evaluations to determine eligibility and to complete the IEP for the eligible student.

Evaluation reports will be available to the parents two days before the Team meeting (per parent request)
All evaluation information is confidential and will only be seen by people directly involved with your child such as teachers and Team members.
What does the term "Team" mean?
IDEA clearly specifies the members of a special education Team.
Each Team must include:
You, the parent(s) or guardian(s)
At least one of your child's special education teachers and/or providers
At least one of your child's regular education teachers if the child is or may be participating in the regular education environment
Other individuals or agencies, invited by the parent or school district
Someone to interpret the results and explain what services may be needed
Your child if they are between the ages of 14-22
What is the role of the Team in determining eligibility for special education?
At the Team meeting, the members of the Team must consider all information and evaluation results to decide if the student is eligible for special education.

Based on the Team discussion and the evaluation information, the Team will determine if your child is eligible for special education and related services.

(In the absence of an agreement the Team chair makes a decision)
Eligibility Flow Chart
If your child is
for special education the special education services should begin immediately after you sign the IEP. Evaluation will continue to be an important part of the special education process. At least every 3 years, the school district must conduct a
three-year reevaluation
. This means that at least every 3 years, the Team must consider current evaluation information and must determine if your child remains eligible for special education.
Parents and Students are partners with the school district throughout the entire special education process. Schools will ask parents:
What are your biggest concerns?
What do you hope to see your child accomplish?
The special education law provides protections to make sure your concerns are listened to and addressed.

Once your child is 14, the law instructs the Team to include the student at the meetings at an active participant.
Individualized Education Program
Your child's IEP is developed at the Team meeting and represents a formal agreement about the services that the school will provide for your child's special education needs.
Input from parents and students is key IEP information

The first part of the IEP requests information regarding the parent and/or student concerns, key evaluation results, and the future vision for the student.
What information from the evaluation report seems particularly important?
Has your child expressed some particular concerns or desires that you think can be helped by special education?
Are there areas of particular strength or weaknesses of the student that you want to make sure are included?

Does the IEP determine the subjects and information my child will learn?
Participation in the General Curriculum:
IDEA states that students with disabilities should participate in the general curriculum. The term "General Curriculum" means the same curriculum that their non-disabled peers are learning.
The IEP, therefore, does NOT design a curriculum, rather, the IEP designs the services that the student needs to enable them to make progress in the general curriculum, and to help them be successful in the life of the school.
What if my child has special needs in areas besides academics?
Students with disabilities who are found eligible for special education often have areas of need beyond the general curriculum. These must also be discussed in the IEP.
For example:
assistive technology
use of Braille
How does the Team identify what should be done?

When considering both the the general curriculum and other educational needs, the Team will consider specific accommodations, modifications, and services to assist the student reach their best educational performance.
Things considered:
is it necessary to
adapt the content?
adapt the methodology or delivery of instruction?
adapt the performance criteria?
What are Annual Goals?
The specific goals goals for your child's performance will be described in a section of the IEP called Annual Goals.
Annual Goals describe the expected growth in your child's skills and knowledge over the next year as a result of the special education that he or she receives.
A good goal has 5 essential parts and may be determined by answering these simple questions:
Who? - your child

What will be achieved? - skill or behavior
How? - in what manner or to what level?
Where? - in what setting or under what conditions?
When? - at what point in the IEP period?
Objectives are the smaller steps or milestones your child needs to make in order to reach annual goals written on their IEP.
Once the student's educational performance has been discussed and annual goals have been developed , the Team must consider the actual services the student needs in order to achieve these goals during the next year.
The Team will discuss necessary services:
special teaching services
consultative services
Other related or supportive services:
psychological services
counseling services
orientation and mobility services
The Team will specify these services on a one page form on the IEP called the "Service Delivery" page of the MA IEP. This page identifies all the services that will be provided for the student during the school year.
What about the IEP and state and district wide testing- for instance, PARCC?
All students receiving an education at public expense must participate in the state assessment programs (MCAS/PARCC)
Students will participate in one of three ways:
On demand test under Routine Conditions
On demand test with Accommodations
Alternate Assessment
The Team will determine what is appropriate for your child
The signature of the parent or adult student must appear on the IEP before services begin.

If you have questions about the IEP, you should contact the Team chairperson.
What if I don't agree with part or all of the proposed IEP?
If your child was not previously receiving
special education services, no special education services will
be provided until an IEP is agreed upon and signed by the
parent. For this reason, it is sometimes best to accept an IEP in
part, in order that some services can begin. To do this, check
the box stating "I reject the following portions of the IEP with
the understanding that any portion(s) that I do not reject will
be considered accepted and implemented immediately". You
should then list your concerns and sign below.
How will I know how my child is doing?

You will receive a progress report outlining the student's progress in achieving IEP goals. This is
to report cards and other school-wide progress reports. You will receive progress reports as often as all children in the district receive report cards.
How often will the IEP be reviewed?
The Team must meet at least once a year to:
determine if changes need to be made
develop new annual goals

What is transition planning for older students?

Procedural safeguards relate to many aspects of the special education process, including eligibility, evaluation, IEP, placement or the provision of special education. Parents are encouraged to carefully review the "Parent's Rights Brochure" which has been prepared as one means of informing parents of their rights in the special education
process. The "Parent's Rights Brochure" is made available to parents at any time upon request to the school district and is always provided by the school when an initial request for an evaluation is received and at other times during the IEP process.

Procedural Safeguards
Transition Planning is a collaborative process that begins when a student turns 14 years of age

The Transition Planning Form presents the following questions for Teams to consider when developed a Transition Plan

Instruction: Is there a course of study or specific courses needed that will help the student reach his/her post-secondary vision?
Employment: Are there employment opportunities and/or specific skills that will help the student reach his/her post-secondary vision?
Community Experiences/ Post School Adult Living: Are there certain types of community and/or adult living experiences that will help the student reach his/her post-secondary vision?

Educational Placement

After the team has outline services on the service delivery page the team will determine student placement based on the percentage of time in a general education classroom focusing on least restrictive environment.
Options include:
Full inclusion program (less than 21% outside general education classroom)
Partial inclusion (21%-60%)
Substantially Separate Classroom (more than 60%)
Public and Private Day School
In addition to rejecting or partially rejecting an IEP parents have the right to request a team meeting to discuss concerns.
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