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Honoring teachers!
This past week was a very busy week! I attended the annual National Center for Intensive Intervention advisory board meeting in D.C. on Wednesday and as always continued to learn more about the great resources this program has available. Have you visited their website lately? Several of my weekly articles and several of our weekly updates have carried information about this OSEP funded program. But I am continually amazed at how so many people still do not know about or access these amazing resources! So, why not try it today and just "roam" around on the website. You will see resources for tier 2 and tier 3 interventions that you and your staff can start using today! Go to

On Thursday and Friday I had the honor and privilege to speak at two different Special Education Teacher of the Year recognition banquets. What a joy it was to hear the accolades the various professionals offered up to the teachers from the various districts. Both of these banquets were hosted by a regional service center that serves between 7-10 school districts. Each district had selected a teacher to be honored. I was then asked to do a motivational speech to both honor and challenge these teachers. In most instances, it was the special education director who spoke on behalf of the TOTY but there was also a principal and a parent mentor who spoke. It was so special to see these teachers recognized and appreciated! We should do more of that every week!

How do you honor your outstanding teachers? How do you encourage your teachers? I would love to see some "ideas" put on our CASE Facebook page.

Congratulations to long time CASE member Kathy Fortino (MI) for being selected as one of this year's Education Week "Leaders to Listen to!" Kathy has been very involved in MAASE and in CASE. She is currently on the CASE Policy and Legislative Committee. Just last year, Kathy received the CASE Outstanding Administrator of the Year at the CASE annual membership meeting, held in Philadelphia last April. Being selected by Education Week for this recognition says so much about Kathy and we hope about CASE! We are so proud of Kathy!

Speaking of honoring ... All CASE members should have received an electronic ballot for the office of Secretary! Please HONOR your membership in CASE by taking a few minutes to look at the bios and flyers on Julie Bost (NC) and Laural Jackson (AK) and vote for one of these very competent CASE members as secretary! We really want to see a good turnout for our electronic election. Voting will only be open for one more week 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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Did you missed the 4th annual Hybrid?
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!
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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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  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 

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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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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Updated Academic Progress Monitoring Tools Chart
The National Center on Intensive Intervention is pleased to announce the release of the updated Academic Progress Monitoring Tools Chart! This chart represents the results of the third annual review of academic progress monitoring tools by the Center's Technical Review Committee. The update includes new tools and updated ratings on both the general outcome measure and mastery measure charts.

The chart provides ratings on the technical adequacy of commercially available academic progress monitoring tools for mathematics, reading, and writing. These tools can be used as part of a data-based individualization program for educating students with disabilities who require intensive intervention due to persistent learning problems. The tools were rated against standards of general outcome measures or mastery measures. Additional information on how to implement the tools can be found on the chart as well.

The NCII publishes this tools chart to assist educators and families in becoming informed consumers who can select progress monitoring tools that best meet their individual needs. Please note that the Center does not endorse or recommend the tools included in the chart.

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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

Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Schools favor inclusion when forced to report academic progress (Disability Scoop)
How can we increase the value of a student's evaluation? (By: Howard Margolis)
Survey: Practices vary at schools that must report on students with disabilities (Education Week)
House lawmakers push 'No Child' overhaul forward (U.S. News & World Report)
Mobile apps giving disabled students more academic independence (USA Today)

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

CEC Policy Insider

CEC urges the House to reject ESEA bill
CEC Policy Insider
The House is poised to consider the GOP ESEA reauthorization bill, the Student Success Act, H.R.5. CEC along with many other education and disability groups believe that a reauthorized ESEA must ensure opportunity, equity and excellence for all students.
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Join CEC for sun, fun and the latest in policy developments
CEC Policy Insider
CEC is gearing up for its annual Convention taking place in sunny San Diego, California on April 8-11. As many of you may know, CEC features a wide array of convention workshops and sessions that highlight a number of important subjects while also giving convention goers a chance to earn Professional Development Hours. One of our most notable workshops focuses entirely on special education federal policy.
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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

Sharp rise in occupational therapy cases at New York's schools
The New York Times
A class of first graders at Public School 503 in Brooklyn, New York, sat on the floor one recent Friday, cross-legged on an alphabet-themed rug. But as their teacher began a reading lesson, two boys positioned near the letters C and D sat not on the rug, but in small plastic armchairs. One wore a tight blue vest designed to apply pressure to his chest, while the other drew his hands across a weighted, velvety blanket draped over his small knees.
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Differentiated instruction: Top 5 low-prep strategies
By: Savanna Flakes
James R. Delisle recently wrote a controversial commentary for Education Week titled, "Differentiation Doesn't Work." But what Delisle may not realize is that differentiation is not a set of prescriptive strategies, rather a purposeful way of planning to account for student differences. Differentiation is a journey, not a one-stop fix or end point. To support teachers who are looking for some low-prep differentiation strategies, I have compiled the top-five strategies that take minimal planning time but can have a big impact in the classroom.
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Better night's sleep may help kids with ADHD
Kids with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and sleep problems showed slight improvement in their symptoms after undergoing a behavioral sleep intervention, Australian researchers say. The daytime improvement in ADHD symptoms was partly the result of the kids getting a better night's sleep, and possibly of parents' learning methods for dealing with behavior problems, the study found. "Our previous work found that sleep problems were common in children with ADHD and associated with poorer behavior, ADHD symptoms, quality of life and day-to-day functioning, such as getting ready for school," said lead author Dr. Harriet Hiscock, a pediatrician at Murdoch Children's Research at the Royal Children's Hospital in Victoria.
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    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.


    Lawmakers look to rein in alternative diplomas
    Disability Scoop
    A new proposal in Congress would ensure that parents of students with disabilities are provided more information before their child is taken off track for a regular diploma. Under a bill introduced In the U.S. Senate, states would be required to establish clear guidelines outlining which students with disabilities qualify for testing based on alternate academic standards. Who takes these modified exams is significant because doing so often disqualifies students from achieving at the level necessary for a traditional high school diploma.
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    States' suspension rates vary widely for students with disabilities, group says
    Education Week
    Eighteen percent of secondary students with a disability served an out-of-school suspension in 2011-2012, according to data collected by the U.S. Department of Education, but behind that number are enormous variations in suspension rates at the district and state level. A civil rights advocacy group's analysis of the data shows that Florida, at 37 percent, leads all other states in suspending students with disabilities at the secondary level.
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    In the News

    Bullying prevention: Can students make kindness cool?
    The Christian Science Monitor
    Schools are increasingly turning to students to develop and implement anti-bullying initiatives designed not just to discourage bullying, but also to empower students to intervene.
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    Why we all lose when kids with disabilities are shut out of sports
    The Huffington Post
    8-year-old Casey is in many ways like any other boy, especially when it comes to his passion for sports, and particularly competitive swimming. But he has a problem that affects us all. Casey is autistic. That isn't the problem. Casey would be thrilled if he could swim in a relay race with his peers. Feel the sense of camaraderie of a team. Experience the pride of physical achievement. Form memories and bonds with his teammates and their families. Cement a strong connection to his community through the vibrant local culture of sports, starting with the neighborhood swim team and graduating all the way to the high school team.
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    Speed and fluency: Taking an individualized approach
    Scholastic Administrator Magazine (commentary)
    David Dockterman, a contributor for Scholastic Administrator Magazine, writes: "How many of you do puzzles? Come on, raise your hands so I can see them. Remember when you first started? With Sudoku puzzles, it took me a very long time to complete my first ones. The 'easy' levels weren't so easy. I had similar experiences with KenKens, crossword puzzles, and those logic activities in the back of airline magazines. Over time, though, the easy levels eventually became, well, easy. They no longer took a lot of effort or a lot of time. They actually got a bit boring, and I sought out more challenging levels."
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    Poll: Widespread misperceptions about the Common Core standards
    The Washington Post
    Many Americans are confused about the Common Core State Standards, according to a new poll that finds widespread misperceptions that the academic standards — which cover only math and reading — extend to topics such as sex education, evolution, global warming and the American Revolution. A 55 percent majority said the Common Core covers at least two subjects that it does not, according to the survey that Fairleigh Dickinson University conducted and funded. Misperceptions were widespread, including among both supporters and opponents of the program and peaking among those who say they are paying the most attention to the standards.
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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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