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The 4th Annual CASE Hybrid is History!
For the last several months, we have been telling you how important it was for you to be a part of the 4th Annual CASE Hybrid Conference, either in Phoenix on site or as a virtual site. As I write this week's article, I am in Phoenix, Arizona, getting ready for the 2nd day of the Winter Hybrid. Today was phenomenal. Long time CASE friend, Julie Weatherly did an amazing job kicking off the conference with a 90 minute legal update. Her handout alone was worth the price of the conference! The next session had Deputy Director of Office of Special Education Programs, Ruth Ryder and Joanne Cashman, director of the IDEAPartnership giving us an historical perspective of RDA and maybe just a little bit of glimpse of where RDA was headed towards. The rest of the day was used to go over the six indicators that could make the most difference in seeing improved student achievement. Arizona attorney, Denise Lowell-Britt shared great advice on LRE, Transition, Dispute Resolution while Julie continued with advice on Discipline, Suspension/expulsion, Parent Involvement and Child Find. The day was closed out with questions generated from both our virtual sites and our participants on site in Phoenix.

The second day of the Hybrid again featured Dr. Joanne Cashman and Ruth Ryder but added Arizona Department of Education's Lisa Yencarelli and William McQueary as well as Debbie Gay, Georgia, DOE Special Education state director, Helene Fallon, Long Island Parent Center, and Laurie VanderPloeg, Kent ISD (Michigan). This panel discussed just what RDA means from the Federal level to the State level to the district level and on down to the school level. As a huge part of the development of SSIPs and the SIMRs, Leading by Convening was also discussed. Specific examples of the Adaptive side and the Technical side of problem solving to improve student achievement were given. If you haven't seen the great resources of the Leading by Convening and the "Collections," you need to check them out!

If you missed the 4th annual Hybrid, you can still get the great content by purchasing the DVD! They will be delivered to you within 4 weeks of the end of the conference. Click here for the Schedule-in Eastern Time, click here for a flyer, and click here to purchase the DVD!

Last week's poll was about your favorite school holiday! Maybe for the first time ever, there were no ties. The number one favorite school holiday was Labor Day at 40 percent. Coming in second was Memorial Day with 30 percent and followed by Presidents' Day with 20 percent and lastly at 10 percent, Veterans Day. There is definitely something to be said about a long weekend!

Speaking of voting... Watch your email this week for your ballot to vote for the CASE Secretary. We really want to see a good turn out for our electronic election. It will be simple to do and is always a gage of member engagement. We have two great candidates — both with experience. Julie Bost (NC) is our current secretary and Laural Jackson (AK) is a former secretary. When you receive your ballot, please take a few minutes of your time to read the bios and flyers these two members have put together and make your selection! Voting will only be open for a few weeks so please take your membership in CASE very seriously and vote for one of these candidates! Thank you.


Luann Purcell
Executive Director
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Better hurry, CASE Night tickets are on the move!
CASE Night has always been one of the highlights of the CEC convention every year. The idea behind CASE night is to find a "tourist attraction" and plan an intimate party for your closest 200 friends! The problem with conventions is you go to this wonderful location and you are so busy you never get to do the tourist fun stuff! CASE night is a time when you get to do something along the lines of a tourist attraction and you get to eat a great dinner AND you get to network with your fellow CASE members! The tickets cost $65 but you are actually getting a $120 evening! This year it is going to be amazing! A dinner and animal event at the world famous San Diego Zoo! The ticket includes transportation to the zoo and back to the convention center area, admission to the zoo, dinner at the Sabertooth Grill, an animal presentation, and the Elephant Odyssey CASE night does sell out and this year looks to be one of those years! Go to the CASE website for the flyer and to purchase your ticket! Additional information will be sent to the registrants! Sponsors for this evening at the zoo are Star Autism, VizZle and C8 Sciences. CASE Night will be on Thursday evening, April 9. Click here to download the CASE Night Flyer!
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NAME is gathering your 'free care' questions for CMS
Department of Health & Human Services
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services wants to hear from NAME members and friends regarding their "Free Care" guidance issued in December 2014. In mid-January 2015, NAME met with CMS. One of the issues discussed was the recent (Dec. 15, 2014) Dear State Medicaid Director letter on the "free care" policy. From this conversation, CMS requested that NAME reach out and gather questions regarding this guidance.
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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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Request for proposals: 20th Annual Conference on Advancing School Mental Health
University of Maryland School of Medicine
Proposals are now being accepted for the 20th Annual Conference on Advancing School Mental Health to be held Nov. 5-7 at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel in New Orleans, Louisiana. The theme of the conference is Getting Jazzed about School Mental Health — Celebrating 20 Years of Advancing School Mental Health. The annual conference will offer attendees numerous opportunities to advance knowledge and skills related to school mental health practice, research, training and policy. The conference emphasizes a shared school-family-community agenda to bring high quality and evidence-based mental health promotion, prevention, and intervention to students and families. The intended audience for the conference includes clinicians, educators, administrators, youth and family members, researchers, primary care providers, advocates and other youth-serving professionals. The deadline for submissions is Feb. 20 — all proposals must be submitted online,

The conference is hosted by the Center for School Mental Health and the IDEA Partnership (funded by the Office of Special Education Programs, sponsored by the National Association of State Directors of Special Education).

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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

  Creating Pathways to the Future

We provide districts and organizations with a program review of Transition Services and/or professional development to implement effective Transition Services with results, implement 18-21 services, vocational education and much more.
-Dr. Vickie J Mitchell 

Midwest Symposium Conference
Midwest Symposium for Leadership in Behavior Disorders
On Feb, 26-28 the 33rd annual Midwest Symposium for Leadership in Behavior Disorders will be held at the Sheraton Crown Center, in Kansas City, MO. The keynote will be Dr. John W. Maag who will speak on "Resistance to change: Overcoming limitations toward addressing student's challenging behaviors." There will also be 45 other workshops and session on topics including: Tantrums and meltdowns; Escape and avoidance behavior; Trauma informed intervention; Preschool for young children with behavioral needs; Culture, behavior and disproportionality; Violence against teachers; bullying prevention and intervention; Legal issues related to behavior; and many others. Detailed information and registration is available at:
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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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  Short on therapists for your school district?
EBS provides certified professionals to school districts nationwide: Speech-Language Pathologists, Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapists, School Psychologists, Special Education Teachers, Behavioral Specialists. Contact EBS and ask how we can (1) Save your District Time and Money (2) Support your District Initiatives (3) Manage and Train your Professionals (4) Deliver Customized Solutions.
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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Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Questions surround vouchers for students with disabilities (Disability Scoop)
Lawmaker calls for more teacher training, resources to help students with dyslexia (Deseret News)
Study looks to tap strengths of ADHD students (Medical Xpress)
The power of observation (By: Pamela Hill)
Red flags raised on plan to let Title I aid follow students (Education Week)

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

CEC Policy Insider

Obama's Weekly Address: Every child deserves a fair shot
CEC Policy Insider
In Obama's most recent weekly address, he laid out his plan to ensure that more children will get more access to high-quality preschool and graduate from school fully prepared for their future, college and career-wise. It is evident that elementary and secondary schools are doing better than they have in recent years, and along with this, news reports show that high school graduation rate has hit an all-time high, but with great progress comes even more work and determination to ensure every child receives a quality education.
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Council for Economic Advisers Report: The Economics of Early Childhood Investments
CEC Policy Insider
A new report, titled The Economics of Early Childhood Investments, released by the Council of Economic Advisers shows that a strong focus on early learning provides benefits to society of roughly $8.60 for every $1 spent, about half of which comes from increased earnings for children when they grow up.
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Featured in ERIC: Teachers' acceptance of students with special education needs
CEC Policy Insider
Although inclusive education has made great progress through the years, there are still strong debates over what is the most influential factor that may decrease teachers' resistance to and increase their advocacy of inclusive education.
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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

Hot Topics

Schools favor inclusion when forced to report academic progress
Disability Scoop
As Congress debates the role of testing, a new report finds that schools with the greatest accountability for students with disabilities are most likely to promote inclusion. Schools held to more stringent academic reporting standards are more likely to deliberately transition kids with disabilities from self-contained to mainstream classrooms, according to the study from the U.S. Department of Education's Institute for Education Sciences. The findings suggest that educators may be more motivated to help students with disabilities achieve alongside their typically-developing peers when schools must account for progress.
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How can we increase the value of a student's evaluation?
By: Howard Margolis
An evaluation is only as effective as the questions it aims to answer. And often, evaluators fail to see the precise, critical questions that need answering. They don't know the child or situation well enough to identify them. Therefore, they tend to do what they normally do, often leading to boilerplate evaluations and reports that leave parents and teachers wondering, "What new and valuable answers and recommendations did the evaluator provide?"
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Survey: Practices vary at schools that must report on students with disabilities
Education Week
Schools with a large enough special education population to require reporting on that subgroup's performance were more likely to move students from self-contained to general education classrooms, and those schools also were more likely to offer more professional development and coaching related to the teaching students with disabilities, a survey by a federal center that evaluates education programs found. Under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, only schools with a certain number of students with disabilities are required to report separately on how those students perform on state tests.
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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.


    House lawmakers push 'No Child' overhaul forward
    U.S. News & World Report
    The House Education and the Workforce Committee has passed a bill to reauthorize the long-outdated No Child Left Behind Act, despite strong objections from Democratic committee members, the Obama administration and dozens of education advocacy groups. The bill, dubbed the Student Success Act, passed on a party-line vote (21-16). It would significantly scale back the role of the federal government in overseeing public education, give states more flexibility in designing accountability systems and consolidate dozens of federal education programs.
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    Glimmer of hope in 8-year battle to replace No Child Left Behind
    The Christian Science Monitor
    The eight-year effort to reauthorize No Child Left Behind, the controversial bill that sets federal education policy, has come down to a battle over testing and accountability among some odd bedfellows. All sides agree that an updated law is an urgent necessity. But the question of what role standardized tests should play and how to hold underperforming schools to account divides deeply.
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    In the News

    Mobile apps giving disabled students more academic independence
    USA Today
    Advancements in mobile application development have given disabled college students more academic independence. While the U.S. Department of Education reported that, in 2009, 88 percent of postsecondary institutions enrolled students with disabilities, the National Center for Special Education Research reported in 2011 that just 19 percent of young adults with disabilities enroll in a four-year college or university.
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    How children learn to read
    The New Yorker
    Why is it easy for some people to learn to read, and difficult for others? It's a tough question with a long history. We know that it's not just about raw intelligence, nor is it wholly about repetition and dogged persistence. We also know that there are some conditions that, effort aside, can hold a child back. Socioeconomic status, for instance, has been reliably linked to reading achievement. And, regardless of background, children with lower general verbal ability and those who have difficulty with phonetic processing seem to struggle. But what underlies those differences? How do we learn to translate abstract symbols into meaningful sounds in the first place, and why are some children better at it than others?
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    Students struggle to hear teacher in new fad open-plan classroom
    Many of us would remember our days in primary school sitting in a classroom with four walls, among 20 to 30 other students, and a teacher instructing us from the front. Recently, some schools have been converting classrooms to more open-plan environments, where several classes share the same space. Classes are still divided into classes of 20-30 students with their own teacher, but all of these classes are in the same room with no walls separating them, which results in 50, 90 or even 200 children in the one area.
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    School district creates special education classroom for students with severe disabilities
    Chicago Tribune
    Starting next year, District 86 will be able to educate more of its special education students in its own high school, instead of transporting them to alternative schools. The School Board in January unanimously approved the recommendations of Tammy Prentiss, District 86's assistant superintendent for student services, to dedicate a classroom at Hinsdale South High School for students with disabilities too severe to be educated alongside their non-disabled peers. The federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act recommends students with disabilities be educated in the least restrictive environment, in other words with the general population of students, and supported with services, such as physical and speech therapy, social skills training and counseling.
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    Slowing down to learn: Mindful pauses that can help student engagement
    One way to promote engagement and learning is to consciously create pauses throughout the day. We can create a sense of spaciousness in our classroom by slowing down the pace of our speech and punctuating our lessons with silence. Introduced well, this practice can improve classroom discourse.
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    Federal Announcements

    Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP): (2 notices)

    The following Notice of Applications for New Awards; Educational Technology, Media, and Materials for Individuals With Disabilities — Television Access was published in the Federal Register on Wednesday, Jan. 14.

    Notice inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 2015. Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.327C.

    Applications Available: Jan. 14.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: March 16.

    CASE Weekly Update
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