Unique Updates
Auto Created Blog

Recent Posts
1  2 

SCRED Paperwork Parties

2013-2014


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


Special education licensed staff may sign up for as many paperwork parties as they choose, with advance approval by their building principal or supervisor. Please RSVP if you plan to attend through the Punchbowl Paperwork Party invitation you received via email.


2013-2014 Dates

  • October 22nd

  • January 16th

  • April 9th


Each evening will have supported work time available. A quiet work room will be reserved, as well as a work space for collaboration and consultation with colleagues and SCRED staff. In addition, the learning sessions listed below will be available for interested staff to participate in.



Date

Session

Time

October 22, 2013

Prior Written Notices

5:00 - 6:00

October 22, 2013

TRAX Support

7:00 - 8:00

January 16, 2014

Linking Evaluation Results to the IEP

5:00 - 6:00

January 16, 2014

Eligibility Criteria

7:00 - 8:00

April 9, 2014

File Organization: What to Keep and Where

5:00 - 6:00

April 9, 2014

Progress Reports: Compliance and Best Practice

7:00 - 8:00


Posted by jnord  On Oct 14, 2013 at 3:30 PM
  

An exciting opportunity awaits you right outside your doorstep!  Please join Dona Yetter, Teacher Preparation and Development Coordinator for North Branch Area Public Schools, on November 12, 2013 from 6:00-7:00pm at the North Branch Area Education Center, 38705 Grand Avenue, Room 126, to hear more about the St. Cloud State University Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Certificate Program coming to North Branch starting in the Summer of 2014. 

The cohort will be completing three required core courses through a hybrid model with combined face to face class sessions and online components.  Summer 2014 will include six face to face class sessions.  Both Fall 2014 and Spring 2015 will consist of three all day Saturday class sessions and the rest of the course requirements offered in an online group learning format.

Please contact Dona Yetter (see below) for more information regarding this opportunity, including how earning this ASD certificate will assist you in obtaining the new ASD licensure in Minnesota.  Also, Dona needs to know how many SCRED teachers are interested in this program before opening it up to other neighboring districts so be sure to express your interest to her as soon as possible!

Dona Yetter
Teacher Preparation and Development Coordinator
651-674-1071
dyetter@northbranch.k12.mn.us

Posted by jnord  On Oct 14, 2013 at 3:23 PM
  
Rainbow Banner.png
The first SCRED Paperwork Party was held on October 22, 2013 and received rave reviews from those who attended. The Paperwork Parties are designed to be an additional support for all of you in the area of due process. Don't just take our word for it; here's what some of your colleagues had to say!

"I was energized after the work party. It made me feel good about doing my job..."
-Teri Borich, Pine City Elementary School

"Thank you for providing the service. I was glad I went and learned a lot from Marleen! Thanks again and I would do this again. PS. The pizza was also great." 
-Kathy Robatcek, North Branch Area High School

Please mark your calendars for the second SCRED Paperwork Party of the school year - January 16, 2014.  We have made the following two changes to the evening based on feedback from all of you: 
  1. We will now be offering two SCRED paperwork parties simultaneously - one in the North and one in the South to cut down on people's drive time.  Specific locations and times will be announced via the Punchbowl email invitation that you will receive in the next week.  
  2. We will no longer be offering short professional development sessions during the Paperwork Party due to low levels of interest and attendance. The one on one or small group consultation with SCRED staff proved to be more valuable. We will continue to fold any pertinent professional development topics into SCRED networking days and/or department meetings.
Please RSVP for the second SCRED Paperwork Party via the Punchbowl email invitation to let us know if and where you will be attending. We are looking forward to another night of great food, productivity and collaboration!
Posted by jnord  On Dec 30, 2013 at 10:40 PM
  

126108-Happy-Autumn.gif


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.


CORRECTIVE ACTION PLAN (CAP) AREAS


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 jnord  On Oct 23, 2014 at 4:35 PM
  

pizza party.jpeg

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


Locations

  • NBAHS Room B100

  • Hinckley Elementary Library


Hope to see you there!

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


Overview


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!


photo (12).JPGimage (1).jpeg

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 jnord  On Dec 10, 2014 at 12:30 PM 1 Comment
  

November 9th-13th is School Psychologist Awareness Week!  

This year’s theme is “Connect the Dots”!  We would like thank all of our School Psychologists for helping students “connect the dots” both academically and socially.  You are a vital part of our school community and truly make a difference in the lives of the students and families you serve! Click here for more information.




Special Education Transportation Forms

Reminder to use the Special Education Transportation Authorization Form when adding special transportation to students’ IEPs.  The reason for the authorization request must be indicated on the form.  The reasons may fall under the categories of accessibility, social behavior and/or a health/medical condition.  If the reason is social behavior, there is a section in which you indicate the number of bus referrals, the primary reason for the referrals and the interventions that were tried to assist the student in being successful during transportation.  This form must be signed by the Social Behavior Collaborative Planner and the Unique Learners’ Manager for the district. Once a student has been approved for special education transportation, the Transportation Information Form needs to be completed and sent to the Transportation Director, providing the driver and others responsible for transporting the student the information they need for safe transportation.

edSpring

We know that the transition to edSpring this fall has been rocky and less than ideal.  We would like to sincerely thank you for your patience and support during the transition. Your commitment and dedication to having progress monitoring data for your students even with the challenges of the new system has been inspiring!

Posted by jnord  On Oct 29, 2015 at 11:42 PM
  


Save the Date(s)!

**ECSE Networking Group: Wednesday, January 13, 2016**
**CPI Initial Training: Thursday, January 14, 2016**
**CPI Key Point Refresher: Friday, January 15, 2016**
**AT Programming Party: Thursday, January 17, 2016**
**Paperwork Party: Thursday, January 28, 2016**

Remember to register HERE so we can have adequate food and materials prepared!! 

Important: Local Collaborative Time Study (LCTS) Random Moment Timeline Change

Per federal directive, the Department of Human Services (DHS) has decreased the number of days that time study participants are allowed to respond to random moments from seven business days to two business days. This change goes into effect January 4, 2016. If you receive a random moment, please respond as soon as possible within this timeline. Time study participants who have not responded within one business day of occurrence will receive one reminder email. District validators will receive a reminder email if participants haven't responded within two days. Please watch your email closely for Random Moment alerts and reminder emails! Participation in LCTS results in additional funded programs within our districts that directly benefit our students, so thank you in advance for your cooperation!! 

Due Process Trivia



We are adding a new feature to the Unique Updates Blog: Due Process Trivia!!! Each time the blog is posted, we will include two due process trivia questions. Individuals who respond correctly to one or both of the questions will be entered in a drawing for a prize! Two winners will be selected for each question - one from Chisago County school districts and one from Pine County school districts for a total of four winners! Winners and answers to trivia questions will be revealed on the via an special blog post! Thanks for participating and good luck!!

Question 1: True or False: When a team determines that a student who has transferred to a Minnesota school from a district out-of-state needs an evaluation (because there is not sufficient information in the student's current evaluation to address Minnesota eligibility criteria), the evaluation is considered an initial evaluation and signed parental consent must be obtained. 

Question 2: Two-Part Question: 
Part one: Within how many days must a special education evaluation for Part B services be completed (specify calendar or school days in response). 
Part two: If the district has two snow days, after parental consent has been obtained and the evaluation is in progress, does the due date for the evaluation change? In other words, do the snow days count as school days? 

Responses are due by 1/4/2106. Please email your answers directly to Nicole Woodward at nwoodward@scred.k12.mn.us 

Interesting Read: The Qualities of a Good Teacher

In this Chronicle of Higher Education article, A.C. Grayling (New College of the Humanities, London) says there are two ways that ineffective teachers can harm students: putting them off a subject and undermining their confidence and self-belief. “Good teachers do exactly the opposite of these things,” says Grayling, “and as a result inspire, guide, and give their students a broader sense of life’s possibilities… the desire to know more, understand more, achieve greater insight.” He lists several qualities that the best teachers possess:

Enthusiasm – Students often catch this in their classrooms.

Charisma – Teachers can be Pied Pipers for their subject.

A capacity to clarify and make sense – This quality illuminates any subject.

Humor – It lightens the hard work students need to do.

Kindness – A teacher’s power is enhanced when there’s a human connection.

A genuine interest in students’ progress – This involves constantly checking for understanding and responding accordingly.

Good teachers have these qualities in varying proportions, and the net effect is that students begin to teach themselves. “And that, paradoxical as it may seem, is the best outcome of good teaching,” says Grayling. “Independence of endeavor, and soon therefore of mind, should be one of the fundamental aims of education.”

Some novice teachers worry that if they show humor, kindness, and interest, they’ll come across as weak. But Grayling says there’s “no inconsistency in being both kind and firm, humorous although not prepared to tolerate messing about, and interested without being partial. It is a matter of operational tact and good timing.”

“Good teachers are those who remember being a student,” he concludes. “They hear themselves as their students hear them. They know which aspects of their subject might present a difficulty, which require to be grasped before which, and what their best students will be keen to know, and why… Students’ questions and doubts compel one to think and rethink, often prompting one to see things that had not been noticed before. For this reason it is never boring to teach the same subject repeatedly.” 

“What Makes a Good Teacher?” by A.C. Grayling in The Chronicle of Higher Education, December 11, 2015 (Vol. LXII, #15, p. B4-B5)

A Note from your SpEd Admin Team: The holiday season is always a good time for reflection. As we reflect on our practice and what it means to be a good teacher, we are inspired by the qualities identified in this article. Extending beyond the latest and greatest research or evidence-based intervention, instructional strategy or material, this article reinforces the reasons we became educators in the first place - a genuine passion for the students we serve and for learning. Thank you all for the excellent work you do each day and for simply being the amazing, passionate educators that you are! It is rarely easy work, but it sure is the best work! Our students truly benefit from your creativity, commitment, and compassion. Enjoy a well deserved break! We'll see you in 2016!!



Have suggestions for topics you'd like to see on the Unique Updates blog? We'd love to hear your ideas! Send them directly to Nicole Woodward at nwoodward@scred.k12.mn.us 

Posted by nwoodward  On Dec 18, 2015 at 12:50 PM
  

February 2016 Unique Updates!

CIMP

SCRED School Psychologists, Collaborative Planners and Unique Learners’ Managers gathered on January 20, 21 and 22 to participate in annual CIMP activities.  The process went smoothly this year with the use of the new CIMP database.  There was lots of positive feedback on improvements which were noted on files reviewed this year. The results from CIMP will be ready for principals to review with you by the end of February or beginning of March.  Thank you for all of your hard work!

ESY

Reminder: if you have you have indicated “more data needed” for ESY inSPED Forms, please make sure you check the “yes” or “no” box as soon as possible and complete amendments.  Unique Learners’ Managers will be sharing information at department meetings on how to complete amendments if you are unsure of how to complete that process.