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And so there was finally agreement at least for a few months...
On Wednesday of last week, after 16 days of government shut down, the Senate and the House voted to fund the government at least through January and allow the debt ceiling to be raised through to that time also. And what was accomplished? Our economy lost great amounts of money through the various "cancellations" and closures. People who depend on selling lunches and coffee and newspapers to government workers as they go to work in the mornings or break for lunch all lost money. Air shows in various communities were cancelled or postponed and those communities and vendors lost revenue. If you read the reflections from Dennis Hooper, you will see how his family "adjusted" to the closure of one of our national parks. Veterans marched on Washington to demonstrate their displeasure and their belief that closing of the WWII war memorial disrespected our veterans. And all the while Congress continued to get paid. Sequestration wasn't solved but at least the government is back up and running.

Maybe we all need to write our Congressional delegates and let them know that sometimes compromise is not a bad word. It is always a good time to remind your congressional members how important federal funding is to education. Maybe you need to remind them it is easy to see where priorities are by looking at the percentage of moneys being spent ... the federal education budget is less than 2 percent of the total budget — continued cuts across the board to education doesn't help lower the national debt but is most likely increasing it in the future because as we destroy the education infrastructure, we are crippling education for our future generations — do we really want to do that? Go to the CEC Legislative Action Center and send an email to your members of congress thanking them for finally passing a bill to stop the shut down and ask them to reconsider sequestration as they continue to tackle the budget issues!

Thanks for all you do for our field!


Luann Purcell
Executive Director
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  October is Dyslexia Awareness Month: Enter to Win!

Learn how S.P.I.R.E.® helps Dyslexic students build reading success through multisensory, structured and spiraling curriculum. It integrates phonological awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, spelling, and comprehension in a 10-Step lesson plan that is designed for the way struggling readers learn. Learn more and enter to win a S.P.I.R.E. level set.

Mental health and schools: The interconnected systems framework
By: Susan Barrett, Lucille Eber & Mark Weist via CASE
Collaborations between education and mental health systems have emerged at the local, state and national levels. Each of these initiatives has introduced values, strategies, practices, vocabulary and funding mechanisms. Individually, they have solidified our understanding that education and mental health are interconnected. Collectively, they have highlighted the gaps in understanding, roles and relationships. In this monograph, three federally supported centers have come together to make the connections explicit by focusing on roles of school employed and community employed practitioners in a comprehensive program of tiered interventions. Grounded in positive behavioral interventions and supports, an evidence based approach funded by the office of Special Education Programs, each chapter also draws on the lessons learned by the Center for School Mental Health (funded by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau and the IDEA Partnership also funded by OSEP). The chapters focus on leverage points and tell the story of "crossing the boundaries" at the state, local and building level. Each chapter is co-written by leaders from education and mental health and a stakeholder developed chapter articulates the support and concerns from the array of potential partners.

The ISF Monograph is an iterative document that will continue to evolve over time. Tools, learning activities and practice protocols will be added as contributors from around the country submit their insights and experiences. Download the document and think about how you can add to the collective knowledge that is the ISF.

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Braga2014 Conference
The Council for Exceptional Children, as a Cooperating Sponsor of the Braga2014 Conference, Embracing Inclusive Approaches for Children and Youth with Special Education Needs, cordially invites you to submit a presentation proposal by Oct. 31.

Braga2014, to be held July 14-17 in Braga, Portugal, is being organized by the Division of International Special Education and Services, a special interest division of CEC, and the University of Minho. It will focus on four topic areas in special education:
  • Research
  • Practice
  • Policy and Advocacy
  • The Arts
Session presentations occur Monday-Thursday of conference week and are selected from this Call for Proposals. Translation to Portuguese and Spanish will be available in all keynote addresses and selected sessions. The deadline for receipt of proposals is Oct. 31.

Read submission guidelines and submit your proposal online today!
Contact us!

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Your vote = Your voice
Dear CEC Members:

The membership-wide election for the CEC 2014 Board of Directors is open! You have until Oct. 28 to speak your mind and help CEC choose its future leaders.

CEC leadership must represent the beliefs and values of our members — each one of us has a voice in electing CEC's future leaders. Our goal for 2013 is to increase the voting response from CEC's membership to 10 percent — I know we can do it!

Here's what you need to know:
  • The voting period is Sept. 30-Oct. 28.
  • Candidate bios are posted on CEC's website,
  • Ballots will be sent electronically from to all members with email addresses. A paper ballot will be sent if we do not have your email address.
  • Contact to verify or add your email and update contact information.
  • All eligible CEC voters who vote in this election will be entered to win one of 2 Kindle Fires. Two names will be randomly selected by Survey & Ballot Systems (SBS).
  • Vote online! It's fast, easy and it's green!
If you have any questions, please contact me at

Thank you for your help in this important matter and for all that you do on behalf of CEC.

Colleen Konecsni
Chair, CEC Elections Standing Committee

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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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    Dealing with unexpected change
    By Dennis Hooper via CASE
    What do you do when you have planned for six months for a huge event, and something unexpectedly derails your arrangements? We all have to deal with occasional unexpected disruptions in life. Let me provide an example. Almost two years ago, our daughter and son-in-law agreed that the four of us would take their son to visit a national park each summer. We started planning our current trip to the coast of Maine about nine months ago. Here I sit, less than a mile outside Acadia National Park. How could we have ever projected that Congress would shut down the Federal government, including the national parks?
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    Want to get published?
    MultiBriefs via CASE
    In an effort to enhance the overall content of Weekly Update, we'd like to include peer-written articles in future editions. As a member of CASE, your knowledge of the industry lends itself to unprecedented expertise. And we're hoping you'll share this expertise with your peers through well-written commentary. Because of the digital format, there's no word or graphical limit and our group of talented editors can help with final edits. If you're interested in participating, please contact Ronnie Richard to discuss logistics.
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    Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

        Federal government shutdown; Education Department still able to make IDEA funds available but uncertainty ahead (CEC Policy Insider)
    16 engaging homework help resources (eSchool News)
    Navigating special education disputes in schools (District Administration Magazine)
    Senator wants more young people with disabilities working (Disability Scoop)

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

    Job Posting

    Let CASE post your job positions
    CASE will be glad to post job positions each week — Please send to Luann Purcell, executive director by Tuesday of each week for posting the next week. It should be about a paragraph in length, but you can attach a PDF document that interested persons can then click through to for more information or you can provide a URL link for the same purpose. Please indicate at what date the post should be pulled not to exceed six weeks.
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    South Central Community Services Inc.
    Under the direct supervision of the Day Treatment Site Supervisor, the Teacher adopts the major responsibility for the academic learning, social and emotional growth of students. This includes the use of teaching techniques and tools which stimulate an interest in learning and covering the basic academic

    For more information click here.

    The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Education Division, Office of VSA and Accessibility, seeks a special education professional to be a catalyst for improving arts education for students with disabilities and students in special education. The person in this position will be expected to have and maintain an expertise and in-depth knowledge of education and special education policy and practice; the field of disability; and arts education, special education, inclusion, differentiated learning and universal design for learning. They will be responsible for executing VSA's 2014 Intersections: Arts and Special Education conference.

    For more information, as well as instructions on how to apply please go to: The position opened on September 14, 2013 and will remain open until filled.

    Council for Exceptional Children
    The Council for Exceptional Children invites applications for the editor of its peer reviewed, practitioner-oriented journal, TEACHING Exceptional Children. Applications from co-editors also will be accepted. Designed for special education professionals, TEC links research and practice, showing the application of research to special education classroom and administrative activities and decisions.

    To receive application instructions: Send an email to Please include your full name, current position and preferred phone number.

    Corning-Painted Post Area School District
    Position description: Supervises and coordinates programs that serve children with special needs; including special education, tutorial and enrichment programs. Coordinates the district health services and student screening programs. Implements the district guidance plan. Shares supervision with building administrators of district special education teachers, speech therapists, school-nurse teachers, guidance counselors, school psychologists and teachers in the enrichment programs.

    For more information click here.

    C8 Sciences, one of the fastest-growing brain research companies in the world, is seeking an inside sales consultant to help implement our researched based programs into the education and healthcare markets. This position has six-figure earnings potential, full benefit package, extensive training program and great working culture for the right candidate.

    For more information click here.

    Assistant Director of Special Education for Logansport Area Joint Special Services Cooperative, Logansport, Indiana
    The LAJSSC Assistant Director works closely with the Director in the overall operation of the cooperative. Specific duties will include oversight of the school psychologists, OT & PT staff, and programs for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing & Visually Impaired. A minimum of five years of experience in the field of special education and current Director of Special Education license preferred. The Assistant Director position currently is a 220 day contract. Please go to and click Employment under Quick Links to make application. A letter of interest may also be emailed to Thomas Adams, Director at

    The Mico University College Child Assessment and Research in Education Centre, established since 1981 to meet the needs of children requiring special education in Jamaica and the English speaking Caribbean seeks School Psychologist, and Special Educators at the graduate or doctoral level. Candidates must be able to diagnose and apply prescriptive remediation for children with learning disabilities and behavioral disorders, should have strong leadership skills with the ability to organize, train and develop and guide a clinical team. Strong research and analytical skills are also required.

    For further information you may email us at

    The Association of University Centers on Disabilities, a national not-for-profit organization, seeks an executive director to lead and guide activities that fulfill its mission to advance policies and practices that improve the health, education, social and economic well-being of people with developmental and other disabilities, their families and their communities by supporting its members in research, education, health and service activities. AUCD is governed by a 19-member Board of Directors that includes professionals, individuals with disabilities and family members. It has an annual budget of approximately $5 million and employs a staff of 21. For additional detailed information, click here and visit

    Berkshire Hills Music Academy, a private post-secondary residential school for young adults with a love of music who have learning, cognitive or developmental disabilities, is seeking a new executive director. Located in South Hadley, Mass., the academy uses a strength-based, music-infused curriculum to promote gains in self-efficacy as well as to cultivate performing arts abilities.

    The executive director will lead the school, oversee staff and programs, and be responsible for fiscal health and fundraising. Requires experience working with individuals with disabilities, management and fundraising experience.

    For more details, click here. Send cover, resume and salary history to Susan Egmont, Egmont Associates,

    CEC Policy Insider

    Open for business? Federal government on verge of striking budget deal
    CEC Policy Insider
    Lawmakers inched closer to striking a budget deal which would allow the federal government to reopen. After negations in the U.S. House of Representatives failed to produce a deal, the U.S. Senate was able to come to a compromise, details of which are slowly becoming public. For education programs, reopening the federal government would enable the U.S. Department of Education's thousands of staff who have been furloughed for 16 days to return to work. The Department oversees a budget of $68.4 billion, over $12 billion of which is spent on special education and early intervention.
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    House leaders unveil report detailing impact of budget cuts on children, families
    CEC Policy Insider
    Representative Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., and Representative George Miller, D-Calif., released "Children and Families First: The Harsh Impact of the Sequester and Other Budget Cuts Since 2010", a report which provides sobering details about the detrimental impact federal funding cuts have had on communities across the nation.
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    Strong parent-professional partnerships
    Psychology Today
    Decades of research show that when families and schools partner together, children are better positioned to reach their greatest potential as learners and active members of the school community.

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    read more
    E-readers can make reading easier for those with dyslexia
    Smithsonian via Science Daily
    As e-readers grow in popularity as convenient alternatives to traditional books, researchers at the Smithsonian have found that convenience may not be their only benefit.

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    read more
    'Mainstreaming' special education students needs debate
    The Wall Street Journal
    Americans tend to be a vocal people, sharing their views about almost any issue in the public sphere loudly and frequently.

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    read more

    Hot Topics

    Modern technology and new approaches help kids with dyslexia
    Deseret News
    When Nathan Eberting finished fourth grade last spring, he received thrilling news. He was reading at grade level, something that seemed impossible a couple of years earlier. At the beginning of second grade, Nathan's reading skills were stuck at kindergarten level. His halting efforts to read were especially painful because his twin brother, Matthew, was racing through book after book. "My boys had the same home environment, the same exposure to books, the same teachers," said Kristin Eberting, Nathan's mother. "One son could read, and the other was stumbling over 'a' and 'the.'"
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    5 ways to motivate young writers and readers
    Psychology Today
    Little kids want to write. What can parents and preschool teachers do to capture this intrinsic motivation? Here are five fun, everyday writing activities you don’t want to miss along with educational and scientific research to back them up. In this post, education-writer Steve Peha and Dr. J. Richard Gentry share the types of activities you can do at home to motivate very young children to write and read along with some of the research that supports these everyday practices.
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    EEG brainwave tests help diagnose ADHD symptoms
    Medical News Today
    Tests of brainwaves using EEG may be helpful in distinguishing subtypes of ADHD, helping to diagnose whether a teen's symptoms are mainly inattention or mainly hyperactivity and impulsiveness. The two subtypes of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder are known as "inattentive" or "combined" and as well as telling these apart, the brain tests also help to rule out normal adolescents. The researchers, publishing their study in the journal Biological Psychiatry, say the electroencephalogram readings illustrate "that these groups display distinct physiological profiles."
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    Budget tensions cloud hopes for end to 'sequester'
    Education Week
    Sequestration — the across-the-board budget cuts that represent the biggest slash in federal education spending in recent history — may continue for the foreseeable future, education advocates fear, a consequence of the budget deadlock that shuttered the U.S. government and congressional brinkmanship over the debt ceiling. With those twin fiscal crises having consumed lawmakers' attention for weeks, stopping the sequestration cuts has been shoved to the side, leaving school districts likely to cope with yet another round of reductions to programs that serve the neediest children and students in special education.
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    Looking for similar articles? Search here, keyword BUDGET.

    Reform in a recession
    Scholastic Administrator
    Making lasting change to a large educational system isn’t easy even when jobs and resources are plentiful. But the last few years, since the beginning of the Great Recession — and especially since the wind-down of the federal stimulus program — have shown that making progress is extremely difficult during tough economic times. Whether reform efforts will stall out before the economy begins to rebound is anybody's guess. There are things that can get done during hard times that might otherwise be too difficult or unpopular to accomplish. A crisis should never be wasted, as Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel likes to say.
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    Shutdown leaves hollow staffing at education department
    Education Week
    Until Oct. 1, Jenelle Leonard served as the director of school support and rural programs within the U.S. Department of Education. Then the federal government shut down, leaving 4,000 of the department's workers, including Ms. Leonard, without a paycheck. What about Laura G. Johns, senior program advisor for the Office of Educational Technology? And Samuel Lopez, education program specialist at the office of English Language Acquisition? Yep, them too. Most of the Education Department's phone lines now end up giving callers the same message: "There's a temporary shutdown of the U.S. government due to a lapse in appropriations. I will respond to your message as soon as possible after the temporary shutdown ends."
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    In the News

    Therapy dogs help bring special needs kids out of their shells
    Las Vegas Review-Journal
    Tuesdays are 13-year-old Monica Nunez-Gutierrez's favorite day. It is the day she gets to see one of her special friends, Rosie, a furry medium-sized Collie from the K9 Therapists of Las Vegas group. Rosie and other dogs from the group visit Laura Rehfeldt's special education class at Bailey Middle School in Las Vegas on Tuesdays. Children play with the dogs and read aloud to them in a partnership with Heaven Can Wait Animal Society's Tales to Tails program.
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    Strong parent-professional partnerships
    Psychology Today
    Decades of research show that when families and schools partner together, children are better positioned to reach their greatest potential as learners and active members of the school community. There's simply no doubt that parental involvement is directly linked to students with higher self-confidence and more positive attitudes toward school and learning. From better attendance and higher grades, to better homework completion rates and higher graduation rates, the most consistent predictor of high academic achievement and positive social adjustment for children is engaged parents.
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    Study: Help needed on strategies for teaching Common Core
    Education Week
    The Common Core State Standards require considerable writing across many subjects, but the standards themselves won't be enough to guide teachers to best practices in writing instruction, according to a new analysis. In a study in the current issue of School Psychology Review, researchers Gary A. Troia of Michigan State University and Natalie G. Olinghouse of the University of Connecticut used a set of 36 writing-instruction and testing practices that have been shown in prior studies to improve students' writing skills across different areas, including the writing process, context, purposes and motivation.
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    What makes a successful tutor?
    Several things become apparent after tutoring for 20 years. For one, the number of students working with tutors continues to grow. Two, working 1:1 with students is immensely gratifying, both for the tutor and tutee. And three, a few specific yet generalized characteristics become crystalized about all successful tutors.
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    Smart strategies that help students learn how to learn
    What's the key to effective learning? One intriguing body of research suggests a rather riddle-like answer: It's not just what you know. It's what you know about what you know. To put it in more straightforward terms, anytime a student learns, he or she has to bring in two kinds of prior knowledge: knowledge about the subject at hand (say, mathematics or history) and knowledge about how learning works. Parents and educators are pretty good at imparting the first kind of knowledge. We're comfortable talking about concrete information: names, dates, numbers, facts. But the guidance we offer on the act of learning itself—the "metacognitive" aspects of learning — is more hit-or-miss, and it shows.
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    CASE Weekly Update
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