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It is hard to believe school is about to start in many districts! The schools in my district have teachers coming in this week and students starting August 3! This time of year always makes me reminisce about my 30 years in the public schools. When I moved from the classroom to the Regional Service agency and then on to the District office, the day I missed the classroom the most was that first day of school! All the excitement and the chance to start totally fresh and make a difference on the students. I so believe administrators also make a difference in the lives of students, teachers, all staff, and families! As we start into the new year, I am professionally proud! I am proud of the teachers who have given up some of the their summer to go back to school; I am proud of the administrators who have spent time planning and preparing and hiring new staff, often outside of their contract time; I am proud of the professional associations who offer support and professional development to their constituents 24/7 365 days of the year; and I am proud of the families who still support and have faith in our schools! I am proud to see associations collaborating together. I am proud of the growth and new direction CEC is taking! As you plan for the start of your school year, I hope you will do one of the things I did every year—promote CEC membership to your staff! When I would gather our 200+ Special Education teachers, I always gave them an application to CEC! I told them I would personally be at the monthly local CEC chapter meeting. And I told them if they had to eat a few extra peanut butter sandwiches, they still needed to join THEIR professional organization! Now with the $65 Basic membership, they don’t have to cut back on the food allowance! It has come to my attention lately that many people do not fully understand the new 3 tiered membership at CEC.
Click here to see the chart of benefits for each of the 3 tiers. With Basic and Full, you would also add $60 dues to CASE but with the Premier, you only add an additional $25. I am also proud of the new District/School membership! This membership gives the administrator the Premier membership and their membership in CASE as well as 5 basic memberships for teachers or other staff members and several other great benefits! CEC sent out a special promotion on the District membership earlier this month. Consider using some of your professional development money and take advantage of this special membership.
Speaking of Being Proud...I am proud of the great Keynote speakers we will be having at the 26th annual conference in Atlanta, GA October 29-31. All three are professional and very practical in the information they will be presenting! You really do not want to miss out on these amazing presentations! If you haven’t heard Dr. Frances Stetson before, you have missed a real treat. Not only is she very practical and knowledgeable with her advice on strategies and tips, she is also sincere and entertaining! Dr. David Bateman combines his legal knowledge, his experience with “all education” to provide practical advice for all educators! Check out his newest edition of A Principal's Guide to Special Education. Now would be the perfect time to get your copy since CEC is running a 15% off Summer sale (use the code SUMMER2015) thru August 31! And on Saturday morning we will have Dr. Martha Burns again giving you very practical information on working with students with Autism. These three keynote speakers will surely help you Continue to Take Care of Business back in your home district/school!
And Speaking of Deadlines...Be sure you register before August 1 to get the early bird discount for the CASE 26th Annual Fall conference: Continuing to Take Care of Business –go to the CASE homepage! for both registration and hotel accommodations. Watch for more details as the dates get closer but don’t wait too long to get this great price on the Early Bird registration and to get your hotel room at the Atlanta Hyatt Regency! Click here to reserve your hotel room and remember to use the code “case.”
Last Week’s Poll asked,“What approach does your school utilize to address students' mental health?” and of those answering the poll, almost half (43%) said they partnered with outside agencies! Thirty nine percent said they relied on counselors. Nine percent said they used screening systems for all students. There was a tie for the last place with 4% saying “other” and not addressed. Mental health is a crucial issue for our schools. You might want to check out the Behavioral School Health Community of Practice with the IDEA Partnership.
Thanks for all you do all the time to make sure ALL students succeed!
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Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act
U.S. Department of Education
On Friday, July 24, 2015, in celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act, the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights will bring together policy and program leaders, community organizations, and youth to examine current implications of the ADA's implementation and cross-cutting issues with other federal civil rights laws, and plant the seeds for the next 25 years of achieving new milestones to advance civil rights for people with all types of disabilities. To unite thought leaders with today's up-and-coming generation of youth and young adults with disabilities, the event will consist of three parts.
CEC Division for Research 2016 Awards: Call for nominations
CEC via CASE
The following awards are open for nominations. Self-nominations are welcome. The deadline for all award nominations is Oct. 15. Information on previous recipients of each award can be found at: http://www.cecdr.org/.
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
Midwest Symposium for Leadership in Behavior Disorders
Conference on Behavior Issues for School Leaders
12604 Quivira Road, Overland Park, Kansas
Midwest Symposium for Leadership in Behavior Disorders
The Conference on Behavior Issues for School Leaders sponsored by Midwest Symposium for Leadership in Behavior Disorders provides evidence-based information for building leadership teams to build positive student behavior and work effectively with difficult students.
Conference features: Vern Jones, Ph.D., author and co-author of books including, "Comprehensive Classroom Management: Creating Communities of Support and Solving Problems", and "Creating Effective Programs for Students with Emotional and Behavior Disorders." Sessions will focus on what school leadership teams can do to support teachers in their work with challenging students. David Bateman, Ph.D., co-author of "A Principal's Guide to Special Education" and "The Special Education Program Administrator's Handbook" will talk about what special education teachers want/need from their school leaders and what administrators need to know about the 504 process.
Contact www.mslbd.org "School Leaders’ Conference" for session descriptions, registration and hotel information. Early Bird discounts are available through Sept. 25, 2015. Teams of 3 or more receive a 15 percent discount. This is a conference you don't want to miss!
IDEA changes lives: 40 years of parent training and support
U.S. Department of Education
2015 marks the 40th anniversary of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. In the same year, the first center to help parents understand IDEA and how to advocate for their children with disabilities was born.
HHS, ED, and Too Small to Fail Release the Talk, Read, Sing Together Every day! Toolkit
“We know that right now during the first three years of life, a child born into a low-income family hears 30 million fewer words than a child born into a well-off family. By giving more of our kids access to high-quality pre-school and other early learning programs, and by helping parents get the tools they need to help their kids succeed, we can give those kids a better shot at the career they are capable of, and a life that will make us all better off.”
During the first few years of life, children’s brains develop at a rapid pace, influenced by the experiences they have at home, in their early care and education settings, and in their communities. Their experiences include the quantity and quality of words they are exposed to through talking, reading, and singing. Research has found that providing infants, toddlers, and preschoolers with rich early language experiences can have important benefits on their brain development and school readiness.
Today, the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Education (ED), in partnership with Too Small to Fail, are releasing “Talk, Read, Sing Together, Every Day!,” a suite of resources that can help enrich children’s early language experiences beginning from birth. This toolkit is the result of a commitment made at the 2014 White House convening focused on bridging the “word gap.”
The suite of resources includes tip sheets for families, preschool teachers, and infant/toddler teachers and caregivers, as well as a fact sheet that highlights the evidence behind the benefits of being bilingual and embracing children’s home languages. All tip sheets are available in English and Spanish, and can be downloaded for free at toosmall.org.
We hope you find these resources helpful and share them with your networks!
How safe is the schoolhouse?
Autism National Committee
The updated 2015 edition of How Safe Is the Schoolhouse? An Analysis of State Seclusion and Restraint Laws and Policies, written by Jessica Butler, has been published by the Autism National Committee. The report describes and examines state restraint and seclusion statutes, regulations, rules, and policies/guidelines in effect as of March 2015.
Making a shift in the public workforce system
U.S. Department of Education
July 1, 2015, marks the day that many of the provisions of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act take effect. This new law has the potential to make a tremendous difference for tens of millions of workers, jobseekers and students across this country. WIOA's transformation of our publicly-funded workforce system means that all of us — federal and state partners, governments, nonprofits and educational and training institutions, must be pressing for innovations.
The Raising of America
OSERS Office of the Assistant Secretary
The screening for The Raising of America early childhood documentary was a great success! We had a strong turnout for the event with over 100 participants, including many online. Our panelists, Libby Doggett, Linda Smith and Christy Kavulic, led a lively discussion about the state of early childhood education in America and how the Administration is working to address the most critical issues faced by families with young children.
Thank you to all who joined us to view The Raising of America documentary. If you missed the screening, you can view it on EDSTREAM until July 31.
To learn more about The Raising of America, you can also visit the website at: http://www.raisingofamerica.org/documentary.
Bridging the gap between educators and policy experts
The Teacher Voice Project
From NCLB to IDEA to FERPA, we see the impact of decisions by Congress on a daily basis in our schools. Too often, the voices of teachers and administrators are absent from the table when these momentous decisions are made, though their wisdom and experience are imperative to making them work. For those who are interested in joining the policy debate at the state or federal level, a new report (Teacher Voice: The Current Landscape of Education and Policy Expert Communication) may help. Through case studies and survey results, it explores how educators and policy experts currently communicate and offers tips for teachers and administrators hoping to get more involved in policy discussions.
A matter of equity: Preschool in America
All parents hope their child will start school ready for success. Unfortunately, not every parent can find the high-quality early learning opportunity that sets their child up for success.
Earlier today the U.S. Department of Education released a new report outlining the unmet need for high-quality early learning programs in America. Roughly 6 in 10 4-year-olds are not enrolled in publicly funded preschool programs, and even fewer are enrolled in the highest quality programs.
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.
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.
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.
CEC Honors and Celebrates 25th Anniversary of ADA
CEC Policy Insider
On July 26, 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed into law the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). One of the most important civil rights laws in our history and the first major piece of domestic legislation in the world to address the discrimination, legal challenges and physical and systemic barriers faced by individuals with disabilities. The ADA ensures the rights and equality of persons with disabilities on the job, in school, in the community, in transportation, telecommunications and more.
ESEA Reauthorization: House and Senate Pass Bills
CEC Policy Insider
On July 8, the U.S. House of Representatives completed its work on the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). H.R.5 the Student Success Act squeaked by with a vote of 218-213.
On July 16, the U.S. Senate passed S.117, the Every Child Achieves Act, to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). The bill passed by an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 81-17, with three Democrats and 14 Republicans voting against the measure.
New parent checklist helps empower families to support children's success in school
CEC Policy Insider
As America's 54 million students prepare to return to school this fall, the U.S. Department of Education,America Achieves, National Council of La Raza, National PTA and the United Negro College Fund released a parent checklisttoday with questions and resources that parents and caregivers can use to help ensure their children are getting the education they deserve. The checklist suggests key questions, tips for educational success and resources for more information.
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$28 million effort aims to identify autism biomarkers
With millions in funding, a public-private partnership is launching a national study aiming to better classify children with autism in order to improve treatment options. The National Institutes of Health said that it is teaming with the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative and other private partners to fund a $28 million effort over four years. The project will focus on establishing better clinical measures of social impairment.
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Education groups urge Congress to finish the job on No Child Left Behind
The Washington Post
Ten national education groups recently urged Congress to move quickly to finalize revisions to No Child Left Behind, the nation's main federal education law.
"Parents, students and educators have lived with No Child Left Behind for 14 years — more than a child's entire K-12 experience. What better way to begin the new school year than with the passage of a new law," the groups — including teachers unions and associations representing principals, superintendents and parents — wrote in a letter to GOP and Democratic leaders.
Senate approves a bill to revamp 'No Child Left Behind'
The New York Times
For the first time in 14 years, the Senate approved a revised version of No Child Left Behind, the signature Bush-era education law that ushered in an era of broadly reviled, high-stakes standardized testing. But the passage of the bill on a vote of 81-17, coming just a week after the House narrowly passed its own version, sets up a showdown between the two chambers, and leaves the fate of a final measure in doubt. Both bills return some key power to local governments but differ over the role of the federal government and funding allocations.
The test that can look into a child's (reading) future
If this isn't an honest-to-goodness crystal ball, it's close. Neurobiologist Nina Kraus believes she and her team at Northwestern University have found a way — a half-hour test — to predict kids' literacy skills long before they're old enough to begin reading. Upon first reading the study in the journal PLOS Biology, two words come to mind: science fiction. Kraus herself says the test is nothing short of "a biological looking glass into a child's literacy potential."
Identifying literacy and learning disabilities early
New research from Northwestern University has found a quick way to detect future literacy challenges in children who have not yet learned to read or write. The study, entitled Auditory Processing in Noise: A Preschool Biomarker for Literacy, found that preliterate children who were unable to successfully decipher speech in a noisy environment were more likely to have future trouble with reading and language development.
Budget allocates $10 million for training in positive discipline
Lawmakers have set aside $10 million in one-time funds to be used during the next three years to train teachers and administrators across the state on how to use more positive approaches to disciplining students. The funding, which was part of a trailer bill to implement the budget, is for training educators to develop a Multi-Tiered System of Supports — from creating a positive school climate for all students to providing individualized counseling to troubled students.
Monitoring accommodations for effective learning
By Pamela Hill
Students who receive special education services rely on accommodations to help them learn and to help make learning environments accessible. The accommodations are typically chosen by the special education team during a student's annual or initial Individualized Educational Plan meeting. Accommodations can also be added any time a change is necessary. However, there are also formal measures that should be considered when recommending an accommodation.
Report offers guiding principles to support ELLs with disabilities
English-language learners are one of the nation's fastest-growing student populations. But when it comes to English-learners who may also have learning disabilities, states and districts are struggling both to identify these children and to steer them to effective programs.
The following Notice of Proposed Priority and Definitions — Rehabilitation Training: Vocational Rehabilitation Technical Assistance Center-Targeted Communities was published in the Federal Register on Friday, June 26.
CFDA Number: 84.264F
Summary: The Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) proposes a priority and definitions to fund a cooperative agreement to develop and support a Vocational Rehabilitation Technical Assistance Center for Targeted Communities (VRTAC-TC). We take this action to focus Federal financial assistance on an identified national need. We intend the VRTAC-TC to improve the capacity of State vocational rehabilitation (VR) agencies and their partners to increase participation levels for individuals with disabilities from low-income communities and to equip these individuals with the skills and competencies needed to obtain high-quality competitive integrated employment.
Dates: Comments due on or before July 27.
CASE Weekly Update
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