Special Education Newsletter April 2017

Upcoming Dates

  • April 26th- High School and Transition SPED Licensed Staff PATH Training at Brown 1:30-3:30
  • May 12- New Teacher Training at the District Office
  • Tuesday May 16th from 7:00-12:00- Transition Day for 5th to 6th, 8th to 9th and kinder to 1st
  • May 16th-CPR class from 4:00-8:00
  • May 29th No school for Memorial Day
  • June 16th Last day for students
  • June 19th Last day for staff
  • July 11th to Aug 3rd- ESY
ESY- Extended School Year Dates to Remember
May 19th- ESY Parent Response forms are due to Virginia- If you do not get them back from the parent, please call the parent and fill it out over the phone. (if this is filled out over the phone, please write "phone conversation" where parent signature is needed). If these are not turned in on time the student may not be put on a bus route.
  • May 19th to June 19th -ESY page of the IEP, goals on the IEP and any medical or behavior protocols need to be sent to Virginia for each student you have going to ESY
  • June 1st to June 19th- All individual student learning materials are due before you leave for the summer. Please do the following:
  • 1. Put the materials in box with a lid.
  • 2. Materials need to be labeled with student name, case manager's name and school
  • 3. Put case manager's name and school on the box
  • 4. Put a list in the box of all the students you have attending ESY


Specific Learning Disability-we are a district that uses the "pattern of strengths and weakness" model when determining eligibility under SLD. Since we use this model there are certain parts of the eligibility that are required to be filled out. Please see below:

  1. #4 is required to be filled out
  2. #6 is required to be filled out
  3. C#1- If boxes are checked in this area there must be a goal to accompany it. You can combine two areas such as reading comprehension and reading fluency into one goal.
  4. If the student no longer qualifies for reading, but reading is checked on the eligibility then an eligibility meeting must happen to take off reading and either keep other areas that are checked or add other areas or find the student no longer eligible.
  5. You can add goals to the IEP for other areas that may not be marked on the eligibility.

Service Summary- Under related services, supplementary aids and services: accommodations and supplementary aids and services; modifications, if there are no services needed, please write "none needed" and put the dates of the IEP. This let people know that this area was at least considered.

IEP Front Page-We are seeing a lot of people not filling in the Individual Interpreting Instructional Implications of Evaluations which can be found on the front page of the IEP. Even if you are not doing testing you are still talking about evaluations..those evaluations could be state or district testing that has been done and just every day work in the classroom that is being evaluated. This area must always be filled in.

CORP Referral- There are three main pieces to these...the student information sheet which is also the sheet Martha signs, The referral information sheet, and then the consent for evaluation. Please be sure you include all paperwork before sending Jennie the referral.

Legal Cases and Special Education

As you may be aware, it has been an active year for special education cases. There has been a lot of publicity about two recent Supreme Court cases, as well as one case out of the Ninth Circuit. We want you to have accurate background about these cases, and general information about how they may impact your districts.

The first case is Endrew F. v. Douglas Cnty. Sch. Dist., in which the Supreme Court addressed the question "what does it mean to provide a FAPE?" The long-standing standard for FAPE under the 1982 Rowley case is that the IEP must be "reasonably calculated to enable the child to receive educational benefits." Last month, in a unanimous (8-0) decision in Endrew F., the Supreme Court again weighed in on this question, this time ruling that "[t]o meet its substantive obligation under the IDEA, a school must offer an IEP reasonably calculated to enable a child to make progress appropriate in light of the child's circumstances." The Court explained that for an eligible student who is "fully integrated in the regular classroom, an IEP typically should * * * be reasonably calculated to enable the child to achieve passing marks and advance from grade to grade," though noting that annual promotion is not an absolute guarantee that the student is receiving a FAPE.

The Supreme Court did acknowledge that, for an eligible student for whom full integration into general education "is not a reasonable prospect * * *, his IEP need not aim for grade-level advancement. But his educational program must be appropriately ambitious in light of his circumstances" and offer the student "the chance to meet challenging objectives."

What constitutes an "appropriately ambitious" IEP is analyzed on a case-by-case basis, though in all circumstances a student's IEP must be designed to provide "markedly more" that de minimis educational progress. Consistent with its precedent, however, the Supreme Court affirmed that a school district need not offer an IEP that "aims to provide a child with a disability opportunities to achieve academic success, attain self-sufficiency, and contribute to society that are substantially equal to the opportunities afforded children without disabilities." Moreover, "[a]ny review of an IEP must appreciate that the question is whether the IEP is reasonable, not whether the court regards it as ideal." Accordingly, deference is afforded to the "expertise and the exercise of judgment by school authorities."

What implications does Endrew F. have for your school district? The practical effect of Endrew F. should be minimal in most cases, assuming it is already the practice in your school district to design IEPs that aim to provide more than "de minimis" educational progress. As always, school authorities are prudent to adhere closely to the IDEA's procedural requirements, especially including the "procedures [that] emphasize collaboration among parents and educators" and the requirement that an IEP is revised, as appropriate, to address any lack of expected progress toward the student's annual goals.

The second case is L.J. v. Pittsburgh Unified Sch. Dist., in which the Ninth Circuit recently addressed the question "when does a student "need special education?" The Ninth Circuit's decision addresses two aspects of this determination, both of which have potentially significant implications for school districts.

First, the Ninth Circuit held that it is "clear error" to find that a student does not demonstrate a need for special education simply "because he was academically performing satisfactorily" while receiving services not generally offered to general education students (in L.J., these services included mental health counseling, a one-on-one paraeducator, and other instructional accommodations). Second, the Ninth Circuit held that a student demonstrates a need for special education if "his disabilities interfere[] with his education and necessitate[] special services," regardless whether this educational interference is due to disability-related behavior that occur outside the school environment (in L.J.,, the student's emotional disturbance adversely affected his attendance and academic performance).

While the facts of this case may have been, as the Ninth Circuit stated, "dramatic," the ruling has potentially broad practical implications for school districts. For example, school districts should assess whether services and interventions at the upper tier of multi-tier instructional and intervention services (such as RTI and PBIS) are sufficiently individualized to each student to constitute special education services. The same is true for school-based mental health services. And with regard to eligibility determinations, school districts must take into account outside of school disability-related behavior that interferes with a student's education.

The final case is another Supreme Court decision, Fry v. Napoleon Cmty. Sch., in which the Court tackled the question of "when must a plaintiff exhaust the IDEA's dispute resolution procedures before suing a school district?" School districts should be aware of this case, but it addresses legal procedures questions and does not involve the daily decision-making by districts with regards to special education.

To bring suit under the IDEA, a plaintiff must first exhaust the IDEA's dispute resolution procedures. Further, a plaintiff who seeks through any federal law (including Title II of the ADA or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act) relief that is available under the IDEA also must first exhaust the IDEA's dispute resolution procedures. For example, a plaintiff who seeks relief available under the IDEA, but who instead files suit under the ADA or Section 504, must exhaust the IDEA's procedures; whereas a plaintiff who seeks relief not afforded by the IDEA may proceed directly to court.

What does it mean to "seek[] relief that is also available" under the IDEA? Fry (decided in February with 6 justices in the majority and 2 concurring) partially answers this question. The Supreme Court held that exhaustion of the IDEA's dispute resolution procedures is necessary when a plaintiff seeks relief for the denial of a FAPE (which is the only relief that can be sought under the IDEA)—it is not enough that the relief sought is "broadly speaking, 'educational' in nature." However, the Court explained that exhausting the IDEA's procedures generally will not be required if "the plaintiff could have brought essentially the same claim if the alleged conduct had occurred in a public facility that was not a school" or if "an adult at the school" (such as an employee or visitor) could have filed essentially the same claim.

But at least as important as what the Supreme Court held is the question "le [ft] for another day." That question is whether exhaustion of the IDEA's dispute resolution procedures is required "when the plaintiff complains of the denial of a FAPE, but the specific remedy she requests * * * is not one that an IDEA hearing officer may award"—most notably, when a plaintiff seeks money damages for emotional distress (a remedy not available under the IDEA). Consequently, it remains an open question whether the Ninth Circuit's precedent (which allows a plaintiff who seeks monetary relief not available under the IDEA to proceed directly to court) will be upheld post


The Youth Transition Program (YTP) is a comprehensive transition program for youth with disabilities operated collaboratively by Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VR), the Oregon Department of Education (ODE), the University of Oregon (U of O), and local school districts statewide in Oregon. YTP serves youth with disabilities who need additional support, beyond the services typically offered through the general or special education program to achieve their secondary and post secondary employment and continuing education goals. YTP students are served at RHS, RVHS, and EBEC.

The Redmond School District Transition Students are given the opportunity to work in a variety of different businesses in the community. The YTP program received a grant from Vocational Rehabilitation for the 2016/17 academic year, which allowed 13 YTP students to have the opportunity to turn their unpaid into paid work experiences. The students were monitored by their Job Coaches or on-site supervisor and had a task list which they used to monitor their work skills. Once the YTP students demonstrated consistent and dependability, attention to detail, integrity, cooperation, and independence at their position, they became paid employees.

Four of those YTP students began working in the garden at Brown Education Center last fall, and have been enjoying a paycheck for their hard work n the garden revitalization process. "I love pulling weeds," said student Derrick Saunders. "It's therapeutic." This was the first time earning a paycheck for these employees, so it was a definite confidence builder as they move forward.

There are times when an unpaid work experience turns into a paid position by the business. One transition student, Zack Herrmann, has recently become employed by Comfort Suites, which he began in January as an unpaid work experience.

In April. YTP students had the opportunity to attend and participate in the Breaking Barriers conference, held at the Deschutes County Fairgrounds, in Redmond. The conference vision was "for an inclusive community where barriers don't exist and labels such as disability have no meaning. The conference will serve as a platform to share the unique and diverse perspectives of all members of our community. Together we will learn to create a truly inclusive society, where all people will enjoy a fulfilling and self-directed life beyond labels." The Transition Center promoted their Heart in Hand Gift Shop, which had a variety of items produced by the Transition Students for sale. Also, several students participated as panel members in breakout sessions.

This summer nine YTP students have applied to attend Camp LEAD. Camp LEAD is a week-long, immersive leadership camp located at LaPine State Park, that helps youth with disabilities develop self-advocacy and social skills while giving them work experience and career exposure in the natural resources industry.

-Sylvia Otten

YTP students enjoying their jobs!

Exit Interviews

This is for students who are 9th grade through transition only! Exit Interviews and Permission forms have already been shared with you. Please be sure you get signatures BEFORE you interview students.

Who do we interview?
  • All sped students who are graduating with any type of diploma or certificate
  • Any sped student from 9th grade through 12th grade who has dropped out (please remember dropouts have an additional form to be filled out as well)
  • Students who are aging out from the Transition Program
When can we interview them?
  • You can interview them as soon as possible. If you interview a student who ends up not graduating it is ok.
What do we do when we are done with the interviews?

Please send the interview along with the permission page to Jen Waterman as soon as you are done.

It is VERY important that you get CURRENT contact information. We use this to contact the students the following year. Please know that Synergy is not always accurate so please ask the student for this information.


  • Please remember that we need to get IEP paperwork out to the parent within 10 school days.
  • Orsped will lock the IEP 17 calendar days from the annual date or if it is a revision then it is 17 calendar days from the revision date.
  • DO NOT put in Fake dates to keep the IEP open longer. This messes up state reporting
  • DO NOT redo the IEP. This leaves two annual dates that are the same in the system and can mess up state reporting.
  • If you are still working on an IEP and it locks after 17 days you MUST do a revision to complete the IEP and do a prior notice of sped action explaining why a revision needed to be done.

We are out of compliance if an IEP is not to the parent in 10 days!!

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Created By
Jennifer Waterman

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