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Featured topics in this blog: Homeschooled and Private School Students with Disabilities Q & A, SCRED Paperwork Parties, and Getting New Year’s Resolutions to Stick.

Thank you for all the great work you do to improve outcomes for our students with disabilities!  We recognize the challenges and demands of your positions and thus hope you have a relaxing and restful winter break and come back rejuvenated and energized for 2015!  

Homeschooled and Private School Students with Disabilities Q & A

We have been receiving quite a few questions across the Education District regarding homeschooled and private school students with disabilities.  Here is a short Q & A we put together based on the questions we have been fielding.  We hope you find it helpful!

What is the difference between an Individualized Education Program (IEP) and an Individual Services Plan (ISP)?

An IEP is used for students who are receiving special education services as a public school student, whereas an ISP is used for students who are receiving special education services as a homeschooled or private school students.

How do I find an ISP in SpEd Forms?

When on a student’s IEP menu page in SpEd Forms, you will see a radio button for both IEP and ISP at the top left-hand side of the screen. The only real difference between the ISP and the IEP forms is the title at the top. All other components are identical and you can switch from one to the other by simply clicking the button. All of the information will transfer over from one to the other.

Where, how, and by whom will special education and related services be provided to homeschooled or private school students with disabilities?

If the District evaluates a child and determines that the child is eligible for special education services, the District will propose an Individual Services Plan (ISP) designed to provide the child with a free appropriate public education (FAPE). In this proposal, the District in consultation with representative of private schools and parents of children with disabilities, will determine where, how and by whom the special education and related services will be provided. This determination will be made on a case-by-case basis with consideration being given to the individual needs and circumstances of the child with a disability. The School District may choose to provide the services at a private school site, including a religious school, but the District is not required to do so. Parents may not choose to take advantage of the special education offered by the District, but the District must offer services that constitute a FAPE. Students found eligible for special education services who choose to stay enrolled in the private school will be provided equitable services to those students attending public schools.

What types of services may be provided?

The special education services that the District provides to private school children with disabilities may include all types of direct and indirect services. Indirect services may include, but are not limited to, assisting with the professional development of private school teachers who work with children with disabilities and providing consultation to assist private school personnel in meeting the needs of children with disabilities.

What should I do if I am asked to evaluate or serve a homeschooled or private school student to learn more about the process or documentation requirements?

Due to the infrequent need for special education service providers to be involved in these types of cases, please consult your school psychologist if you are asked to evaluate or serve a homeschooled or private school student. He/she can provide assistance regarding the process for evaluation, documentation requirements, programming considerations, and tracking of service hours.

SCRED Paperwork Parties

The first paperwork party of the year on October 29th was a success with special education case managers from across the SCRED districts represented.  Thank you for those of you who gave up an evening to consult with your colleagues and SCRED staff and engage in professional learning through collaborative paperwork time.  The feedback we received was very positive!

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The next paperwork party is on January 29th from 4-8pm.  The locations for the event will be the same: NBAHS Room B100 and Hinckley Elementary Library. As always, we will have pizza, learning, and support available for you as you take advantage of time to complete due process paperwork.

Special education licensed staff may sign up for paperwork parties with advance approval from their building principal or supervisor. Please register through the SCRED School Year Course Catalog (available on the SCRED website) if you plan to attend. Hope to see you there!

Getting New Year’s Resolutions to Stick

As we prepare to transition into the New Year, many of us might be considering a few New Year resolutions, either personal or professional, that we would like to make for 2015.  We thought it might be kind of fun to include a link to a quick reading related to New Year’s resolutions and how to get them to “stick.” Click here for the reading.  We hope you enjoy it!

Posted by Guest  On Dec 10, 2014 at 12:30 PM 1 Comment
New versions of the Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides apps for iOS are now available in the App Store. New features include: Support for viewing and editing text in tables in the Docs app Ability to insert, move, resize and rotate text boxes, shapes and lines in the Slides app Enhanced support for iPhone 6/6+ (all apps) General fixes and performance improvements (all apps)
Posted by Guest  On Dec 09, 2014 at 7:51 AM 943 Comments
At Google I/O in June, we introduced material design, a single underlying design system that allows for a unified experience across platforms and device sizes. It features smooth animations and transitions between screens, a multi-layered interface with quick access to the elements that you need most often, and a colorful UI with diverse fonts and styles. Material design principles have begun to appear in recent Google product launches, including Google Classroom, the Docs, Sheets, and Slides home screens and mobile apps, the Drive Android app, Android 5.0 Lollipop and the new Gmail and Calendar Android apps. You’ll continue to see more Google products adopting these new design principles across platforms in the coming months To help with this transition, we’ve created a few resources for Google Apps customers. First, a special segment of The Apps Show featuring an interview with Lucas Pettinati, UX Lead for Google Apps. Lucas explains Google’s approach to applying material design to Apps products and what to expect moving forward. Second, an instructional guide outlining the functional elements of material design and a deep dive into how these elements surface in the new Gmail Android app. Check out these resources and share them with your organization.
Posted by Guest  On Nov 10, 2014 at 11:20 AM 1119 Comments

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Join us for these optional professional learning sessions!  We will have food, learning, and support available for you as you take advantage of time to complete due process paperwork.

Special education licensed staff may sign up for paperwork parties with advance approval from their building principal or supervisor. Please register through the SCRED School Year Course Catalog if you plan to attend. Our first one is this Wednesday, October 29th!

2014-2015 Dates/Times

  • October 29th 4-8pm

  • January 29th 4-8pm

  • April 14th 4-8pm


  • NBAHS Room B100

  • Hinckley Elementary Library

Hope to see you there!

Posted by Guest  On Oct 27, 2014 at 3:09 PM


We hope your school year is off to a great start! Below you will find a list of the questions that were posed by you and your colleagues at the Unique Learners’ Conference and the corresponding answers/guidance.  Please follow up with your Unique Learners’ Manager if you have additional questions or need further clarification.


Extended School Year (ESY)

  1. Do we address regression/recoupment in the ESY section if deciding not to provide ESY?

If a student is not eligible for ESY (he/she doesn’t meet one or more of the three ESY criteria), the “No” box on the IEP is checked. No additional documentation is needed regarding the eligibility determination.

  1. If not providing ESY, do all three criteria areas need to be stated as not being a need (e.g., no regression/recoupment, no self-sufficiency, no unique need)? Or do we only document to justify the need for ESY?

If a student is not eligible for ESY (he/she doesn’t meet one or more of the three ESY criteria), the “No” box on the IEP is checked. No additional documentation is needed regarding the eligibility determination.

  1. Can we address ESY at the next IEP or is a significant change needed?

Depending on when the annual IEP meeting is due, a significant change may be needed. If the IEP meeting isn’t due until the end of May and the student is eligible, the district will need to know that sooner for staffing, transportation, and curriculum ordering.  Many of the SCRED districts have their own internal deadlines established for making final ESY eligibility determinations for this reason.

  1. Can we fill out all the ESY requirement info on the service page at the time in the year when we update/review the annual IEP no matter what time of year it was?

As long as the IEP team has data to support the eligibility determination, this decision can be made and documented regardless of the time of year.

IEP Team Membership

  1. What are the IEP Procedures with divorced parents/nontraditional families? Do you need to follow same rules for both meetings? (i.e., excusal forms)

The district is only obligated to hold one annual IEP meeting and only one parent is

required to attend. An excusal form is not needed to excuse the other parent from the meeting.  If parents are demanding two separate meetings, you may consider the use of technology to have one parent participate via phone to try to accommodate this request, yet still only hold one meeting.

  1. Do we need to excuse a student who is elementary age or just of transition age?

Students only become a required member of the team once transition age (or at the time a transition IEP is being developed if sooner than grade 9).

  1. Where are the forms that guide regular education teacher to have written input if they can’t be at the full IEP meeting?

Your school psychologist can provide you with a checklist that can be used for regular education teachers to give meaningful input into IEP meetings that would fulfill the written input requirement.

  1. If a student is making good progress on their functional goal yet is significantly behind peers in that goal area, can we use criteria B on the ESY form?

Criteria B is an appropriate eligibility criteria for the team to consider in this type of situation where the student is making good progress, but remains significantly behind peers in the goal area. Under criteria B, the team is to consider the pupil’s age, level of development, the nature and degree of the disability, and the timeliness for teaching the skill and the critical nature of the functional skill.  The IEP team could make the argument that the student is at a critical place in the skill development or despite making progress toward the goal is still requiring significant assistance with the goal area.

  1. It seems that school nurses are not a required IEP team member. If the nurse isn’t able to attend an IEP/ESR meeting in full or in part, is an excusal form necessary?

School nurses are only a required team member if he/she completed a portion of the evaluation and are therefore the person qualified to interpret the assessment results. Thus, an evaluation results meeting for which the school nurse completed a portion of the evaluation is the only time in which an excusal form needs to be completed.  It is important to remember, however, that a school nurse is a very important IEP team member to include at meetings when discussing students with significant medical needs.  

  1. When the building administrator cannot attend an IEP meeting, is it the case manager’s responsibility to find an admin designee?

The administrator needs to decide who he/she is comfortable designating as the administrative designee for the meeting and should communicate the assignment to the designee.

Occupational Therapy/Physical Therapy Service Delivery Models

No specific questions were poseed regarding this specific topic, but the SCRED OTs and PT have revised their sections on the SCRED website to provide clearer guidance in this area (see below) and we would like to share it with you.

Occupational Therapists and Physical Therapists are members of the special education team as related service providers. They provide support to students so that they may increase their access to the educational environment through strategies, techniques, adaptations, and accommodations in order to make progress on goals and objectives on the IEP/IFSP.

Related services are only provided when a student qualifies for special education services under a specific disability category and the educational team determines that this support is necessary in order for the child to accomplish their identified educational goals and objectives. Related services are defined as “...developmental, corrective, and other supportive services as are required to assist a child with a disability to benefit from special education.” [34 C.F.R. § 300.34(a)].  Each student’s need for related services, like his or her need for special education, must be determined on an individual basis, as part of the IEP process and must be based on an assessment of the student’s individual needs. [34 C.F.R. §§ 300.301 and 300.304 through 300.311]

The IEP team will determine the service delivery model based on the student’s individual needs and may include:

  1. Direct - regular, planned time working face to face with the child. Direct service should be chosen when the therapist is the only one qualified to provide the intervention. Indirect service should also be provided to ensure exchange of information to teachers, parents, paraprofessionals and collaboration with community therapists.

  2. Indirect - regular, planned time working face to face with the child, collaborating with school staff/parents/outside agency staff, providing demonstration teaching, cooperative planning, on-going progress reviews, modification of environment, curriculum, materials, or equipment. When working indirectly with the child, the therapist should relate to a specific goal/objective(s) on the IEP.

Additional Questions Unrelated to CAPs

  1. If a child has an ASD label, do we need someone with that license on the team? When does it become a requirement to have a licensed ASD teacher at meetings?

No, not currently. Beginning July 1, 2015, the new ASD license requirement will go into effect and at the time an ASD licensed person must be on all IEP teams for students who qualify under the ASD category.

  1. Last year we were told 14 days from the IEP meeting was when services start. So how many days from the meeting do we have to send the IEP?

For annual IEPs (not initial IEPs), the service start date should be 14 calendar days from the date of the PWN for the IEP (which is the date the the IEP is mailed home to the parents).

  1. What forms in SpEd Forms need to be finalized?

All forms that can be finalized need to be finalized.

  • IEP with service date when sent? 14 calendar days?

    • For annual IEPs (not initial IEPs), the service start date should be 14 calendar days from the date of the PWN for the IEP (which is the date the the IEP is mailed home to the parents).

    • The IEP should be finalized when sent home to parents so we have an electronic record of what was proposed.

  • Progress reports - every quarter

    • Yes, progress reports should be finalized every time they are sent to parents.

  • ESR when sent

    • Yes, the ESR should be finalized at the time it is sent to parents.
Posted by Guest  On Oct 23, 2014 at 4:35 PM
A new Hangouts Chrome app was launched today with an updated UI. The app is available for Windows and Chrome OS platforms and brings the best of Hangouts to your desktop. Improvements include: Streamlined design that keeps your chats accessible without getting in the way of everything else. Your contact list and all your chats are condensed into one easy to toggle window.  Works outside of your browser so your chats are always available, not tucked away inside a window. You’ll get all your messages as long as you have the app running, and your chats will sync across Hangouts on all your devices.  Includes all the video and voice features you’re used to in Hangouts. We recently announced you can make phone calls to any number in the world (via Hangouts dialer) and now you can do this right from your desktop.
Posted by Guest  On Oct 10, 2014 at 12:51 PM 718 Comments
Your work depends on the best solutions to some tough problems. Whether you're working to optimize distribution networks or delivery routes, or simply getting the best staff schedules and optimizing your finances, the Google Sheets add-on for linear optimization can now help you do the math. This add-on is one of many available. Remember to check out the complete store for Docs and Sheets often--more useful tools are being added each week.
Posted by Guest  On Oct 01, 2014 at 7:58 AM 1269 Comments
Google announced today that they will bring Drive for Education, with unlimited storage and enhanced administrative controls, to the Google Apps for Education platform. In the coming months, the features below will be added to all Google Apps for Education accounts at no charge:   Unlimited storage: Store as many Google Drive files, Gmail messages, and Google+ photos as you need. Individual file sizes up to 5TB will be supported. Vault: Use Google Apps Vault to archive emails and chats, to search Drive files, and to preserve important information for your organization. Enhanced auditing and controls: Gain insights from new activity and audit reports for Google Drive.
Posted by Guest  On Oct 01, 2014 at 7:55 AM 226 Comments
New Features Coming Soon Course Section Management Instructors will soon be able to manage multiple sections of the same course easily from one course profile. Using this feature, they will be able to create and organize course materials and rosters for multiple sections in a single course page. Microsoft OneDrive Integration You, your students, and your faculty will soon have access to your Microsoft OneDrive resources from within Schoology, so all of your content is accessible from the same place. Google Drive Improvements You, your students, and your faculty will soon be able to import Google Drive documents as links via our Google Drive app. This will allow you to generate links to documents that always reflect the most recent version. iOS Mobile App v3.3 Our new iOS app will make mobile instruction easier than ever. Educators will be able to annotate student submissions and grade more effectively on their mobile devices. Students will be able to view the same annotations on both mobile devices and on the web. Android Mobile App v2.8 Educators and students will soon see Rich Text descriptions for assignments and discussions using their Android devices. They will also have access to an improved "Share" function that will make it easier to utilize third-party apps in one workflow.
Posted by Guest  On Sep 17, 2014 at 1:48 PM 29 Comments
Contacts delegation allows enterprise users to delegate full access to the contacts in their “My Contacts” group without granting access to their mail or anything else in their accounts. This is a common delegation practice between some executive users and their assistants and may be used in any situation where a user wishes to share all of his or her contacts with another user. To save users time when locating specific delegated contacts, we’ve now added search functionality. Delegates can search delegator contacts by selecting the delegator contact group in the navigation pane, and then searching. Note that delegator contacts will not show up in the autocomplete drop down, or in searches when the delegator group is not selected. Release track: Rapid release and Scheduled release For more information:
Posted by Guest  On Aug 14, 2014 at 8:30 PM 23 Comments
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