Published on February 17, 2014
KEY POINTS IN SPECIAL EDUCATION FOR ADMINISTRATORS By Kari Lewinsohn Fall, 2010
Objectives Expand the knowledge base of special education requirements; best practices for instruction and setting; and support for staff. Increase comfort levels of principals to administer special education programs effectively.
Format of presentation General overview of key points in special education. Book study option of What every principal needs to know about special education by Margaret McLaughlin Can be purchased separately or 80% of book can be viewed on books.google.com for free Paraeducator supplemental presentation courtesy of Council of Exceptional Children
Book Study Option 5 Things Every Principal needs to know about Special Education Presentation based on the book: What every principal should know about special education 1. By Margaret McLaughlin 4. 2. 3. 5. Core special education legal foundations and entitlements. Effective individualization that matches instruction to the learning characteristics of students with disabilities. Special education is neither a place nor a program, but a set of services. Meaningful inclusion Create conditions that integrate special education in all aspects of school improvement.
Know where you are going and what you are up against. Click on picture to view video.
Effective Leadership “Research has demonstrated that principals who focus on instructional issues, demonstrate administrative support for special education, and provide high-quality professional development for teachers produce enhanced outcomes for students with disabilities and for others at risk for school failure” (DiPaola & Walther-Thomas, 2003, p 9). Fill-out the Reflection Worksheet on page *** of the handout. On a sticky note write down which of the three recommended focuses are the most difficult to maintain. Place sticky note on the correct section of the poster.
The Role of the Building Administrator in Special Education Supervision Directions Read through the article in the packet titled: On page *** of the packet complete the worksheet??? Additional Reading Excerpt Link Teaching Leaders to Lead Teachers: Educational Administration in the Era of Constant Crisis By Donahoo and Hunter http://books.google.com/boo ks?hl=en&lr=&id=91qGGG_ aXSAC&oi=fnd&pg=PA99&o ts=oRANF4qZkh&sig=xQHOz 6p3D5ZRuwT96CalTL29jDE# v=onepage&q&f=false
Section 1 of “What every principal needs to know about special education” Key points from Section 1 Book study assignment
#1 Legal foundations Effective administrators must have Working knowledge about disabilities and the unique learning and behavioral challenges they present. Understand the specific duties associated with special education personnel. Background in effective instructional practices. Effective administrators are responsible for: Communicating with families; Supporting special education personnel; Monitoring programs and student progress; Building teaming Encouraging local “experts” to support staff
Legal primer Review legal primer Key cases in special education law are reviewed. Jigsaw activity Divide into teams of 5, have each member select 1 case to review. Share key points with your group Current samples of case law http://www.wrightslaw .com/caselaw.htm Look through the samples of current case law, share your thoughts and concerns.
Paraeducators Secondary 30 minute Presentation Secondary Presentation on Paraeducators CEC powerpoint on Paraeducators Article “Determining when a child needs paraeducator support” July, 2007 CEC Powerpoint Click the above link to start the presentation on paraeducators.
#2 Effective Instruction and Differentiation Preconceptions Fill out the worksheet on page *** of the packet. With a small group share your answers to each statement. How to differentiate instruction Differentiated instruction is one of the buzz words in education. Visit this website to gain additional resources.
Key points on differentiation #1 Know your students Determine the ability level of your students Survey student interests Develop plan for managing behavior #2 Have a repertoire of teaching strategies Examples: Direct instruction Inquire-based learning Cooperative learning Information processing strategies (ex: graphic organizers)
#3 Identify a variety of Instructional activities Activities that motivate and challenge. Good activities require students to develop and apply knowledge in meaningful and relevant ways #4 Identify ways to assess or evaluate student progress Examples of assessments include: Portfolios Rubrics Performance-based assessments Knowledge mapping
#3 Least Restrictive Environment Least Restrictive Environment There are 10 levels of LRE for students with active IEP services. Key that team members are in agreement on the plan. Try to work your way down the levels until the team finds something that fits the needs of the child, not what the school staff or parents want. Least Restrictive Environment Levels (Page ***)
Accommodations and Modifications Accommodations Accommodations are used in order to allow students to complete the same assignment or test as the other students. The outcome is not altered for the student. Examples: Braille version of the test/ student providing answers orally Modifications Modifications adjust the assignment or test in such a way that it is not equivalent to the finished product. The outcome is based on the individual performance of the student. Examples: alternative assignments; partial completion of assignment
Accommodations and Modifications Assignment Skim through the document found on pages ***** of the packet. How can you use this document to facilitate greater inclusion for students in your setting?
Case law on LRE Greer vs. Rome City School District (11th Circuit Court, 1992) Theme: supplementary aids and services In this case, the court decided in favor of parents who objected to the placement of their daughter in a self-contained special education classroom. Specifically, the court said: "Before the school district may conclude that a handicapped child should be educated outside of the regular classroom it must consider whether supplemental aids and services would permit satisfactory education in the regular classroom." The district had considered only three options for the child: The regular education classroom with no supplementary aids and services; The regular classroom with some speech therapy only; The self-contained special education classroom. The district argued that the costs of providing services in the classroom would be too high. However, the court said that the district cannot refuse to serve a child because of added cost. On the other hand, the court also said that a district cannot be required to provide a child his/her own full-time teacher. As in many decisions of this type, no clear determination is made about when costs move from reasonable to excessive. The major message in this case is that all options must be considered before removing a child from the regular classroom.
Case law on LRE Sacramento C ity Unified School District vs. Holland (9th Circuit Court, 1994) Theme: Academic and nonacademic benefits In this case, the circuit court upheld the decision of the lower court in finding for the Holland family. The parents in this case challenged the district's decision to place their daughter half-time in a special education classroom and half-time in a regular education classroom. The parents wanted their daughter in the regular classroom full-time. A number of issues were addressed in this decision. The court considered a 1989 case in Texas, (Daniel R.R.), which found that regular education placement is appropriate if a disabled child can receive a satisfactory education, even if it is not the best academic setting for the child. Non-academic benefits must also be considered. In upholding the lower court decision, the 9th Circuit Court established a four-part balancing test to determine whether a school district is complying with IDEA. The four factors were as follows: The educational benefits of placing the child in a full-time regular education program; The non-academic benefits of such a placement; The effect the child would have on the teacher and other students in the regular classroom; The costs associated with this placement. As a result of applying these factors, the court found in favor of including the child.
Case law on LRE Oberti vs. Board of Education of the Borough of Clementon School District (3rd Circuit Court, 1993) Theme: accommodations and affect on other children in placement In finding for the parents in Oberti, the court ruled in favor of a placement that was more inclusive than that provided by a selfcontained placement. Specifically, the court ruled that three factors must be considered: The court should consider whether the district made reasonable efforts to accommodate the child in regular education. The school must "consider the whole range of supplemental aids and services . . ." The court should compare the educational benefits the child would receive in regular education (with supplemental aids and services) contrasted with the benefits in a special education classroom. The court should consider the effect the inclusion of the child with disabilities might have on the education of other children in the regular education classroom. If, after considering these factors, the court determines that the child cannot be educated satisfactorily in a regular classroom, the court must consider whether the schools have included the child in school programs to the maximum extent appropriate.
Case law on LRE Poolaw vs. Parker Unified School District (9 th Circuit Court, 1995) Theme: More restrictive environment In this case, the court ruled in favor of the district's offer of a residential placement contrary to the wishes of the family that their child be educated in a regular education classroom. The court stated that the child's previous and current district placements had adequately explored the effectiveness of regular education placement with supplemental aids and services. In doing so, the district found that the benefits of regular education placement were minimal and that the child's educational needs could be met appropriately only by the residential placement offered by the district.
Case law on LRE School District of Wisconsin Dells v. Z. S. (7 th Circuit Court, 2002) Theme: More restrictive environment due to violent behavior The court held that the District’s decision to provide a home bound education program for a student with autism did not violate IDEA. From kindergarten through fourth grade, Z. S. had a history of kicking and biting people, tearing his clothes and breaking furniture. At age ten, he was placed in a residential facility where he did well. The following school year, attempts were made to return him to the public school setting, but he again was violent, disruptive, and truant. He was placed in a specialized school, but was removed after less than a month. Finally, the District determined (after a month without providing services) that it would educate the student at his home. Although the child’s guardian sued the district because she wanted him to attend the public school, the court held that given the child’s history of unmanageable, violent behavior, the district reasonably concluded that there was no basis for believing that he could function successfully in a regular school environment. There are other court decisions in favor of more restrictive placements, including a 1991 decision in the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals that approved a centralized program for a wheelchair-bound student with spina bifida. In this instance, the court decided that school authorities did not have to modify the neighborhood school for wheelchairs when an accessible program was available elsewhere in the school district.
Scenario Activity Directions With a partner, choose a scenario. Use the checklist on pages *** of the packet. Determine what you would consider to be the least restrictive environment based upon the information presented. Be ready to defend your selection. Scenarios 1. Melodie, Grade 1 2. Davie, Grade 3 3. Jordan, Grade 8 4. Jasmine, Grade 11
#4 Effective Inclusion Video Activity Instruction Watch the video Fill out the chart with your questions, comments, and key points Share one of each with the group, discuss ideas & solutions
Research on Inclusion Inclusive and collaborative Research has shown that as schools become more collaborative, inclusive practices increase. Research findings While researchers are cautious in their conclusions, there are some positive signs. In particular, students in special education and regular education showed several positive changes, including: A reduced fear of human differences accompanied by increased comfort and awareness (Peck et al., 1992); Growth in social cognition (MurraySeegert,1989); Improvement in self-concept of non-disabled students (Peck et. al., 1992); Development of personal principles and ability to assume an advocacy role toward their peers and friends with disabilities; Warm and caring friendships (Bogdan and Taylor, 1989).
#5 School Improvement & Special Education
Video Sir Ken Robinson speaks in 2010 at the TED conference “Bring on the Learning Revolution!” This inspiring 20 minute speech is designed to leave you with something to think about as you go back to your leadership positions.
Resources http://www.weac.org/Issues_Advocacy/Resource_Pages_On_Issues_One/Special_Education/special _education_inclusion.aspx http://www.teach-nology.com/tutorials/teaching/differentiate/planning/ What every principal should know about special education By Margaret McLaughlin http://books.google.com/books?id=tt0yn0LzpCwC&pg=PA4&dq=what+every+principal+should+know+about+special+education&hl=en&ei=jv6oTIDQI5SgnQeu5 MyxDA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CDEQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=what%20every%20principal%20should%20know%20about%20special %20education&f=false http://www.lease-sped.org/resources/coteaching%20binder%20for%20web/Administrators/Section%207%20%20Additional%20Information.pdf http://www.wrightslaw.com/caselaw.htm LRP special education connections newsletter
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