My daughter and I had a lot of fun on a Northern European cruise this past summer. Here is a picture of the canal in Nyhavn, Copenhagan. To ensure that parents have knowledge about their rights under the federal and state special education laws, LEAs are required to provide a copy of the Notice of Procedural Safeguards to parents: 1) At least one time in a school year; and 2) Upon a referral or parent request for initial evaluation; 3) Upon the first formal complaint or due process complaint filed in a school year; 4) Upon a disciplinary removal from school that constitutes a change in placement; and 5) Upon parent request.
Wednesday, September 2, 2015
Thursday, July 16, 2015
The minute-taker holds a lot of responsibility for accurately expressing the flow and content of the meeting in writing. It can be very difficult for the IEP team lead to conduct the meeting and take minutes at the same time. Therefore, I have recommended to teams to designate a minute-taker other than the person leading the meeting. Here a few tips that might be helpful to the minute-taker:
1. Get a head start! Before the meeting begins, complete the top section of the minutes with identifying information and the purpose of the meeting. Make sure the purpose written on the minutes matches the purpose noted on the meeting invitation letter. If minutes are taken by hand, have several copies of blank pages so the meeting won't have to be stopped to get more pages in the event the meeting goes long.
2. If parents ask to record the meeting and bring their own recording device, explain they are able to record the meeting but the school must also record.
3. At the beginning of the meeting, account for additional members invited by the parents that are not on the invitation letter or invited members that could not attend. For example, if a parent brings someone to the meeting, who was not in the invitation letter, note the name of that person and indicate they were invited by the parent as someone knowledgeable about the child’s special needs. If an invited team member is unable to attend, note the name of that person and note a substitute member (if applicable). Note: team member excusal paperwork must be completed when applicable!
4. Note that a Procedural Safeguards Notice was offered.
5. Do your best to include parent comments and concerns as this verifies we provided the parents an opportunity to participate as an equal member in team decisions.
6. You don’t need to write every word each team member says. It may be helpful to summarize the outcome of discussions of topics. For example, if the team discusses whether or not a student needs oral administration as an accommodation for several minutes, you may want to write the final outcome of the team decision and the supporting comments for why it is or isn’t appropriate. Content in the IEP (IEP goals, minutes of service, etc.) doesn’t need to be repeated in the minutes.
7. As the minute taker, you can always interrupt the meeting to ask for clarification of what someone said if you get behind. Accuracy is vital.
8. If a mistake or correction is made in the minutes during the meeting, the minute taker should draw a line through what was written and initial the mistake or correction and date.
9. At the conclusion of the meeting, the minute taker should read the minutes aloud to the team. This will give the team an opportunity to review what was discussed and the services that will be put in place for the student. It will also allow an opportunity to check for accuracy as incorrect notations can be corrected.
10. All IEP team members should sign in their designated areas. If team members sign as “other” please remember to have them write their position/title on the designated line.
11. Always provide a copy of the minutes to parents before they leave the meeting.
Sunday, October 26, 2014
Buser v. Corpus Christi Indep. Sch. Dist., 20 IDELR 981 (S.D. Tex. 1994).
Tuesday, July 8, 2014
Friday, June 6, 2014
I was surprised and honored to receive an email from the editor of the Special Ed Connection publication. I learned he was writing an article about how blogging can be useful to Special Education Directors and that he discovered my blog and wanted to use me as a reference. Pretty cool! Here is the resulting article. Now I just need to find time to post regular updates. :)
Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Since I like to end things on a positive note, the OEC commended our District for:
- Excellent use of the District's website to convey information about policies, procedures and recent news relating to special education;
- Developing an internal monitoring system that identifies and corrects issues of noncompliance and promotes best practices for IEP development;
- Excellent communication with school sites regarding the development and implementation of IEPs;
- Surrogate parent policies that meet regulatory requirements;
- Making District forms available in Spanish;
- Good practices relating to confidentiality of student records and record access at the District level;
- Diligent work in staffing our special services programs with appropriately certified and highly qualified personnel;
- Meaningful parent participation in the IEP process;
- Ensuring required parties participate in the IEP team meetings;
- Adhering to IEP procedures and timelines;
- Considering special factors;
- Disciplining students with disabilities;
- Updating post-secondary goals annually and using age appropriate transition assessments;
- Appropriately documenting transition services and courses of study in the IEP;
- Implementing IEPs as drafted by IEP teams;
- Sending appropriate and timely progress reports;
- Providing general education teachers notice of accommodations and behavior intervention plans; and,
- ]Recording the provision of specialized instruction and related services throughout the District.
Monday, January 13, 2014
According to South Carolina statute 59-63-220, "Any district board may confer upon any administrator the authority to suspend a pupil from a teacher's class or from the school not in excess of ten days for any one offense and for not more than thirty days in any one school year but no such administrator may suspend a pupil from school during the last ten days of a year if the suspension will make the pupil ineligible to receive credit for the school year without the approval of the school board unless the presence of the pupil constitutes an actual threat to a class or a school or a hearing is granted within twenty four hours of the suspension."