Special Education Newsletter February 2017

Upcoming Dates

  • Tuesday, February 14th- SIT for Secondary 7-11 at the DO
  • Thursday, February 16th SITH- CANCELLED
  • Friday, February 24th-CPI class Recertification¬†8 to 12 or 12-4 at RHS/CTE Hub
  • March 24th - CPI Initial Class at RHS/CTE Hub
  • March 27-31- Spring Break
  • Tuesday May 16th from 7-12- Transition Day
  • July 11th to Aug 3rd- ESY

Goals For Students as They Transition

If you have students who are currently 5th graders and 8th graders, please be sure you are writing goals that are appropriate for middle school and high school. You can end their current goals at the end of the school and start the middle school/high school goal at the beginning of next school year.

CORRECTIONS

Service Summary- watch the dates and be sure the are not dates from an old IEP. Also be sure you are adding consult with the general education teachers.

Present Level- Please remember to follow the template as your write your present levels. One of the big issues we are having is people are not addressing how the student's disability affects involvement and progress in the general education curriculum under BOTH academic performance and under functional performance. Also, please label the present level so we know all areas are covered.

Oregon Department of Education Complaint Decisions

ODE Imposes more more burdensome standard of proof, requiring districts to affirmatively prove implementation of IEP accommodations

The student at issue in this case was 15 years old and identified as eligible under the IDEA in the category of Specific Learning Disability. The allegations raised by the parent in the complaint focused primarily on implementation of the IEP accommodations, and ODE in large part substantiated the parent's claims. In doing so, ODE has appeared to create a higher standard, placing the burden of proving implementation on the school district. Previously, ODE complaint decisions concluded that if there was not substantial evidence in support of the parent's allegation- that is, substantial evidence that an IEP accommodation had not been implemented- the allegation could not be sustained. Now, ODE is placing a greater burden on the school districts to affirmatively prove compliance, although no explanation was provided for this shift in the burden of proof.

For instance, here the parents alleged that the IEP accommodation providing for alternate test sites and an addition day to finish tests had not been implemented. The parent produced no evidence in support of this allegation and, in fact , ODE found that because the student refused to be interviewed, "the record is limited as to the testing accommodations...."However, because the District remitted no information regarding whether the student requested alternate test sites or extra time," ODE substantiated the allegation. ODE did so even though the student's case manager "reports that on occasion the student took tests in the special education math room," and even though the student's IEP included a new self advocacy goal and "it was expected that the student would ask for help and make needs known to teachers...." In spite of all of this, ODE concluded that the duty to implement the accommodations was the District's responsibility, and on this bases alone it substantiated the allegation. ODE also substantiated the allegation that the IEP accommodation providing for copies of notes to be given to the student was not implemented, even though the student had class notes accessible online in physical science and algebra, recieved notes for video and audio presentations for English, and was given a "notebook" for PE. ODE's conclusion was based on the fact that the student did not get class notes in woodworking and technology classes.

Next ODE found that the IEP was violated when the student was removed from a test in a summer school credit recovery math class. The student was removed because he was talking during a test; ODE concluded that the teacher failed to implement the IEP accommodation of preferential seating, and that the student's disruptive behavior was a result of this failure. ODE also concluded that the student's removal constituted a failure to implement the IEP accommodation of providing for testing in an alternate environment. According to ODE, the teacher could have moved the student to an alternate test site, or allowed him to take the the test the following day, but the failure to implement this accommodation resulted in the student's failure to complete the credit recovery class.

Finally ODE concluded that the District failed to implement the accommodation of preferential seating because while some of the student;s teachers had a formal seating chart which placed the student in a preferential locations, others did not, and instead used the practice of moving the student if necessary to keep the student from being distracted or disruptive. "The practice of moving the student when necessary to prevent disruptions and accessing technology is reacrtive in nature and is inconsistent with the purpose of preferential seating. The preferential seating accommodation was included in the student's IEP to prevent this type of behavior in the first place."

The only allegation that ODE did not sustain was the parent's claim that the District failed to sufficiently inform the student's regular education teachers regarding the contents of the student's IEP. The student's case managers e-mailed the general education teachers copies of the IEP "services and accommodations" pages, and the District utilizes the Synergy system, which when logged on, employs an icon which pops up and informs the teacher logging into the system that the students has an IEP. It is then up to the individual teacher to click on the icon and access the information necessary to implement the IEP's services and accommodations.

ODE ordered a corrective action, including:

  • The development of a memorandum, to be distributed to staff, regarding the obligation of implementing IEPs; this memorandum must specifically differentiate "a student's goals for self-advocacy from the instructional and assessment accommodations."
  • Meet with the parent and student to review the student's transcript, verify credits remaining for graduation, and develop a plan for attaining those credits
  • Convene an IEP meeting to review and revise the student's accommodations
  • "Monitor and report on the implementation status, by class, of each accommodation...."
  • Reimburse the parents for the tuition cost of the 2016 summer school math class
  • Provide at no cost a replacement credit recovery class for the student for whatever credit recovery is identified in the transcript review meeting.

In the Matter of Gresham Barlow School District, Case No, 16-054-027 (Oct, 2016). Taken from the Oregon Special Education Law Update from the Hungerford Law Firm

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.
Destruction of Test Protocols

ODE first cited the U.S Department of Education. "A test protocol is not generally an education record unless it includes the student's name or other personally identifying information and the student's answers to the questions in the test protocol. Also, a school may destroy education records without notices to the parent unless there is an outstanding request by the parent to inspect and review such records." ODEE found that the test protocols in question did not include personally identifiable information, and were not destroyed after the parent made a request to review the documents. ODE also accepted the District's assertion that destruction of the protocols did not prevent the eligibility team from making informed decisions, based on the fact that the results of the specific protocols at issue were contained in the evaluation reports presented to the eligibility team members.

This is from the most recent Hungerford Newsletter. It is recommended that protocols are shredded after the results have been summarized and interpreted in an evaluation report.

Reminders

  • Do not put "FAKE" dates in Orsped. We run reports all of the time and those fake dates mess things up!
  • Please remember to include the Teacher Input forms when you send in paperwork. These are needed when a teacher or specialist has been excused from the meeting.
  • Please send in files from when kids move in. They will not always be originals. If you only have a copy of the IEP or a fax, please follow up with your school secretary and see if they can get more information.

Please remember if you have mileage, turn it in monthly to Irene Jeffryes. You can access the 2017 mileage reimbursement below.

Mileage Reimbursement Form Please use this form to do your mileage for the year 2017.

Redmond School District Mileage Chart If you need to know the miles between various schools, please check out this form.

Created By
Jennifer Waterman
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