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Baby, it is cold outside!
This past week has been a time for getting back in the "groove" for many of us! Do you ever have a hard time getting back into the routine after several days off? I do — seems like we all have to check our emails at the very least but most of us really do "unplug" for the most part. Getting plugged back in can take a bit of doing and maybe even a little bit of pain. Getting plugged in is just another way of saying getting connected, right? Our poll last week was on what is your favorite way to connect with folks. It appears of those who answered our weekly poll, that most of us like the face to face option in connecting! 52 percent chose that with a distant 2nd at 28 percent being email, 16 percent chose telephone and 4 percent selected Goggle Docs ... What is kind of amazing is today marks the anniversary of the introduction of Google docs on Jan. 12, 2010!

Speaking of Cold Outside ...
Who wants to go to Phoenix, Arizona, in mid-February?! If it is good enough for Super Bowl XLIX, it has to be good enough for the 4th Annual CASE Hybrid Conference, Feb. 19-20! The theme is RESULTS DRIVEN ACCOUNTABILITY: Actualizing the Promise through Practice with the daily themes being
    Legal Issues: Actualizing the Promise — Thursday, Feb. 19
    Leading by Convening: Actualizing the Practice — Friday, Feb. 20
The two main speakers are long time CASE friends, Julie Weatherly, Esq. and Dr. Joanne Cashman. There will be other great speakers too and it is critical that we get the information presented out to general education — especially principals and assistant principals, special education administrators and teachers — especial those just starting on their career ladder, as well as to community/business people and parents! Click here for a flyer on the conference. For more information and to register, go to the CASE website or the registration website. Remember, for just $25 more on your full registration, you can have the DVD of the complete conference to use over and over and over!

But, wait ... If you can't travel, why not have your own mini conference? You pay ONE registration fee and then have as many people as you wish to participate with you — what a really great way to connect face to face and build teams for sustainable change?! We have even made up a set of HINTS for you to use to get you started. We will provide a flyer for you to customize to publicize your event. As part of the CASE strategic plan, our goal is to get the best information out to the most people. Go to the CASE website for more information, or contact Will Gordillo, CASE Professional Development chair at

Speaking of face to face... Will you be attending the CEC Conference in San Diego, CA April 8-12? If so, be sure you plan your trip to arrive in time to attend the CASE membership meeting starting with breakfast, sponsored by Scholastic, on Wednesday, April 8! Also, we are so excited about the amazing CASE Night we have planned this year — Dinner at the world famous San Diego Zoo! Sponsors, Star Autism, C8 Sciences, and VizZle, have outdone themselves with this great event. We believe this event will sell out so be sure to mark your calendar for Feb. 1 when the ticket go on sale on the CASE website! Julie Weatherly will be doing our spotlight session again this year. Watch for all the great CASE events at CEC in the weeks ahead!


Luann Purcell
Executive Director
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Have you filled all your vacancies yet?
If you haven't visited the CASE interactive job board at the CASE Career Center, now is a good time to do so! With its focus on special education administrators and professionals, the CASE Career Center offers members, and school districts, a highly targeted resource for online recruitment. Both members and nonmembers can use the CASE Career Center to reach qualified candidates. Employers can post jobs online, search for qualified candidates based on specific job criteria, and create an online resume agent to email qualified candidates daily. They also benefit from online reporting providing job activity statistics to track each job posting's return on investment.

For job seekers, CASE Career Center is a free service providing access to employers and jobs in education. In addition to posting their resumes, job seekers can browse or view jobs based on the criteria they find matches their goals best. Job seekers can also post confidentially with confidence or search anonymously by creating a Job Agent. Job Agents notify job seekers via email when jobs matching their criteria are posted eliminating the need to visit their online accounts daily to track new postings. Click here to go to the main site to either learn of new jobs, post your resume, or post your positions. There is a modest fee for posting positions on the site but we believe you will have a greater reach with this dedicated career center on our website — click here to become a job poster.

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Teacher Educators and Accomplished teachers
Pearson is in need of educators to score edTPA! edTPA is designed for the profession by the profession, edTPA was developed by teachers and teacher educators from across the nation, in collaboration with faculty and staff from Stanford University, to support candidate learning and preparation program growth and renewal. Aligned with the Common Core State Standards and InTASC Standards, edTPA assesses teaching that promotes student learning in diverse contexts.
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  Are your struggling readers prepared for college and career?

READ 180 Next Generation is the leasing blended learning solution that prepare your students for the rigorous expectations of College & Career. Only READ 180 delivers a personalized learning path, daily practice in argument writing, hundreds of content-rich texts, and an individualized staircase of text complexity. Learn more

A Principal's Guide to Special Education, Third Edition now available
Council for Exceptional Children
A Principal's Guide to Special Education has provided guidance to school administrators seeking to meet the needs of students with disabilities. The third edition of this invaluable reference, incorporating the perspectives of both teachers and principals, addresses such current issues as teacher accountability and evaluation, instructional leadership, collaborative teaching and learning communities, discipline procedures for students with disabilities and responding to students' special education needs within a standards-based environment. Get your copy today! Enter code PRCASE at checkout.
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CMS Issues Letter on Medicaid Payment for Services Provided Without Charge (Free Care)
CMS is withdrawing its prior guidance on the "free care" policy as expressed in the School-Based Administrative Claiming Guide and other CMS guidance. As indicated by the Departmental Appeals Board (DAB), the free care policy as previously applied effectively prevented the use of Medicaid funds to pay for covered services furnished to Medicaid eligible beneficiaries when the provider did not bill the beneficiary or any other individuals for the services. The goal of this new guidance is to facilitate and improve access to quality healthcare services and improve the health of communities. Click here to download the Dec. 15, 2014 letter (SMD #14-006) from CMS.

CASE is working with the National Alliance of Medicaid in Education (NAME) to get further clarification.

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50 Ways to Test: A look at state summative assessments for 2014-2015
Education Commission of the States
Has the frenzy around Common Core State Standards impacted decisions on which state summative assessments are being administered this year? That's the question on many minds as we approach spring testing time. As many states began adopting college and career ready standards, such as the Common Core State Standards, there became a subsequent need to develop new summative assessments — tests that measure the new skills and knowledge outlined in the new standards.
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Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    How can we help children with ADHD control their aggression? (Healthline News)
Why active listening should be an integral part of the daily lesson plan (By: Shirley Veldhuis)
Gifted and dyslexic: Twice exceptional (Gifted and dyslexic: Twice exceptional)
Student reading practices lag far behind national goals (THE Journal)
Big drop in students being held back, but why? (NPR)

Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.

Things You Cannot Do With an iPad
The LOGAN® PROXTALKER® communication device is ideal for any picture exchange system user, of any age and is being used for communication or as a classroom tool.
A web-based system that addresses the challenge of intervention scheduling in the schools. It's designed for anyone who needs to schedule and document interventions. MORE

CEC Policy Insider

Guidance from the Departments of Education and Justice on equitable educational access for English learner students
CEC Policy Insider
The U.S. Departments of Education and Justice have released joint guidance reminding states, school districts, and schools of their obligations under federal law to ensure that English learner students have equal access to a high-quality education and the opportunity to achieve their full academic potential.
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College ratings system up for public comment
CEC Policy Insider
In the week of Dec. 19, based on extensive consultation with stakeholders, the department released a framework for a college ratings system for further public comment. This framework summarizes the basic categories, institutional groupings, data, metrics and tools that the department is currently weighing in designing the ratings system.
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2015-2016 Teaching and Principal Ambassador Fellowship program applications now available
CEC Policy Insider
Applications for the U.S. Department of Education's 2015-2016 cohort of Teaching and Principal Ambassador Fellows are currently open and are scheduled to close on Jan. 20, 2015 at 11:59 p.m. EST. For more information about the application process, visit the Teaching and Principal Ambassador Fellows program pages or go directly to the applications for the Teaching and Principal Fellowships on
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Hot Topics

Nine strategies for students with disabilities
Scholastic Administration Magazine
The U.S. Office of Special Education Programs recently announced a major shift in the way it oversees the effectiveness of states' special education programs. Under this new framework, known as Results-Driven Accountability, the federal office has tilted the balance from a system focused primarily on procedural compliance to one that emphasizes improved educational results for students with disabilities.
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4 common dyslexia myths debunked using neuroscience
The Huffington Post (commentary)
Priya Kalra, a contributor for The Huffington Post, writes: "Although scientists now understand dyslexia better than ever before, it is still a condition shrouded in myth and misunderstanding. I first came to see our flawed perceptions of dyslexia while tutoring a fourth-grader. Despite normal intelligence and effort, he could not read. I saw how the frustration this caused him affected his general behavior and attitude toward school."
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A New Solution for Creating Effective Behavior Interventions

Using the tool’s guided-process, quickly create accurate, effective Proactive Strategies, Replacement Behaviors, and Reactive Strategies to help meet IEP goals.

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    Every child deserves the chance for growth. Mobility can be difficult to achieve for children with special needs, even after years of rigorous therapy. While children are simply enjoying a nifty, exciting new toy, parents are amazed at the continuous improvement of motor skills, coordination, balance and more.
    Voyager Passport
    Voyager Passport® gives you a dynamic blend of print instruction and technology to help more of your struggling learners master priority skills and strategies to reach grade-level performance. A Teacher's Resource Kit includes everything you need to accommodate diverse learners, including instructional support for English learners and flexible grouping strategies.

    Are you considering a 4-day school week in your district?
    By: Dr. Sheri Williams
    The shift to extended-day, four-day school weeks started in New Mexico in the early 1970s. The New Mexico Legislature approved the change "to deal with the high transportation and electric costs during the energy crisis." Is your district considering moving to a four-day school week and unsure how to proceed? Take some time exploring the benefits and potential pitfalls before proceeding. The decision to move to a shorter week requires careful examination.
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    Arne Duncan bringing in key players as 'senior advisers'
    Education Week
    "Senior adviser" to the U.S. Department of Education. Get used to that title. It's becoming very popular these days. Robert Gordon, who played key roles at the Office of Management and Budget from 2009 to 2013, was nominated as assistant secretary for planning, evaluation and policy way back in May. But the Senate hasn't given him the okay, so Gordon has been working as a "senior adviser" at the Education Department since September.
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    What will sink and what will survive as states test Common Core?
    PBS Newshour
    In 2008, a set of academic standards for U.S. public schools called the Common Core was created for states to voluntarily implement. Intended to raise the bar for American students and teachers, many states that originally signed on are now rewriting the standards or opting out altogether. Special correspondent John Tulenko of Learning Matters reports.
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    In the News

    Starting the new year: Begin anew by cycling back
    By: Pamela Hill
    It's a new year once again. Most traditions say to begin anew. Put aside old ideas and behaviors that did not work. In special education, it is important to build upon what has been taught successfully. Do not start with something entirely new, rather cycle back and refresh with students what they know and what they have learned. Celebrate what is strong in memory and practice, while observing students for what needs to be taught again or differently. Then add new learning, but link it to what is known.
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    Why emotional learning may be as important as the ABCs
    Thomas O'Donnell's kindergarten kids are all hopped up to read about Twiggle the anthropomorphic Turtle. "Who can tell me why Twiggle here is sad," O'Donnell asks his class at Matthew Henson Elementary School in Baltimore. "Because he doesn't have no friends," a student pipes up. And how do people look when they're sad? "They look down!" the whole class screams out. Yeah, Twiggle is lonely. But, eventually, he befriends a hedgehog, a duck and a dog. And along the way, he learns how to play, help and share.
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    Differentiation doesn't work
    Education Week
    Let's review the educational cure-alls of past decades: back to basics, the open classroom, whole language, constructivism, and E.D. Hirsch's excruciatingly detailed accounts of what every first- or third- grader should know, to name a few. It seems America's teachers and students are guinea pigs in the perennial quest for universal excellence. Sadly, though, the elusive panacea that will solve all of education's woes has remained, well, elusive.
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    Busting the student data privacy myth
    Scholastic Administrator Magazine
    Tracking student data gives educators the power to make more informed decisions in their instruction for better student outcomes. But with great power comes great responsibility. That's why schools and ed tech companies alike are increasingly making student privacy a top priority. Still, many remain wary about data privacy issues — often due to confusion or lack of information on how the issue has progressed.
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    Why schools should pay more attention to students' grit and self-control
    The Huffington Post
    It may be just as important to evaluate schools based on students' levels of motivation and perseverance as it is to judge them based on students' standardized test scores. A report released by the National Bureau of Economic Research in December argues that policymakers tend to focus too much on test scores even though noncognitive skills, like motivation and perseverance, are just as predictive of students' future success.
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    What is bullying?
    District Administration Magazine
    When we talk about bullying, what do we mean? Unfortunately, the answer is far from clear. Educators are taught one definition, while most state statutes have yet another definition. Worse, surveys are based on a variety of definitions. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the U.S. Department of Education, and Health Resources and Services Administration partnered with bullying experts to develop a uniform definition of bullying.
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    Report: Students with disabilities and non-whites suspended more frequently than peers
    Vermont Public Radio
    Vermont students lost over 8,000 days of classes in one school year due to suspension and expulsion. That's according to a new report, and perhaps most telling in that report is the fact that those disciplinary actions were two to three times more likely to be taken on students with disabilities. The report, called "Kicked Out — Unfair and Unequal Discipline in Vermont's Schools" also found that non-white students were more likely to be suspended than white students.
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    Federal Announcements

    Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP):

    The following Notice of Applications for New Awards; Training and Information for Parents of Children with Disabilities — Parent Training and Information Centers was published in the Federal Register on Thursday, Dec. 11.

    Notice inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 2015. Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.328M.

    Applications Available: Dec. 11.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: Feb. 9.

    The following Notice of Applications for New Awards; State Personnel Development Grants (SPDG) Program was published in the Federal Register on Monday, December 15, 2014.

    Notice inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 2015. Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.323A.

    Applications Available: Dec. 15.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: Jan. 29.

    CASE Weekly Update
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