State Special Education Advisory Committee Constituency Reports July 2019
Region 5 Parent Representative Concerns: • Shortage of speech and language pathologists Commendations: • Regional efforts to hold inclusion events, transition fairs, and collaborations with Department of Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) • Post high Learning Lab
Superintendent Representative • Teacher recruitment and retention, particularly individual education teachers • Clarity regarding the future design of and funding for regional programs • Implementation and training for restraint and seclusion regulations • Children Services Act (CSA) funding and significantly increasing cost of private placement options • Accessing and providing equitable resources and services that meet the needs of all students, as student needs are increasingly numerous, varied, immediate, and ongoing • Student Academic Performance for student group performance on the School Quality Profile, particularly Students with Disabilities; specifically, reporting criteria for small numbers of students (Small N) and credit for student progress (R10)
Higher Education Representative • There is a need to release tuition support for the coursework of provisionally licensed special educators prior to the start of the fall semester to ensure that students’ progress in their courses are uninterrupted.
Virginia Board for People with Disabilities (VBPD) • The Board released its 2019 Disability Assessments focused on Early Intervention and Community Living in June. • The Board's 2019-2020 Partners in Policymaking class begins in September with graduation in April 2020. • The Boardapproved five grant proposals from the last competition totaling over $440,000. Grantees include the Arc of Virginia, the Arc of Northern Virginia, Community Knights, Inc., VCU's Partnership for People with Disabilities, and Child and Family Services of Eastern Virginia. • Recruitment for the 2020 Youth Leadership Academy will begin in late December. • The Board has released another competitive Request for Grant proposals. The deadline to submit a Letter of Interest is August 1, 2019.
Region 1 Parent Representative Concerns: • Dyslexia requirements are not followed with fidelity; some counties do not even assess reading after third-grade. • The Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) is not being applied; students are being placed in functional self-contained classrooms beginning in kindergarten. • After a Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP) is created, data is not collected or followed. • Students with behavior issues are being placed in self-contained classrooms rather than general education classrooms. • There is a lack of options for students, not identified with Intellectual Disability (ID). Some of these students cannot handle large classroom settings. • Inclusion classrooms are not implemented correctly, students do not get the support they need in the general education classrooms. Commendations: • Active SEACs • I’m Determined Summit
Region 4 Parent Representative Concerns: • After conducting a hands-on presentation during a workshop hosted by the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) and Parent Educational Advocacy Training Center (PEATC), with representatives from all eight regions from across the Commonwealth, the following concerns where expressed: lack of resources, supports, parental involvement, and communication appeared most prevalent. Seclusion and restraint, transition, extended school year, Individualized Education Program (IEP), mental health, and staff shortages concerns were also conveyed. Commendations: • PEATC Transition University and regional trainings.
Teacher Representative Concerns: • Burnout of teachers • Lack of teacher retention
Department of Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) • DARS continues to operate under Order of Selection—Waitlist for services. Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS) vendors have been established and are being used to provide services to students with disabilities throughout the Commonwealth.
Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS) • VDSS is partnering with the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) to offer training to local education agency (LEAs) and local departments of social services (LDSSs) in each of the eight VDOE regions of the Commonwealth. This training reviews the VDSS/VDOE joint guidance for providing educational stability to children and youth in foster care as mandated through the federal Fostering Connections Act and ESSA. LEAs have received a "save-the-date" email and registration will go live for LEA and LDSS staff next week. This training is targeted for LEA Foster Care Liaisons and LDSS Educational Stability Liaisons but is open to other LEA and LDSS staff who work with students in foster care and participate in the educational stability process. • Virginia's Linking Systems of Care (LSC) project has reached out to VDSS and VDOE and offered to conduct a review of the joint guidance (published in October 2017) as part of their effort to strengthen policy around trauma-informed care in child and family serving state agencies. VDSS and VDOE are excited about this opportunity and are moving forward with planning this review with LSC.
Parent Educational Advocacy Training Center (PEATC) Our top four current statewide trends from intakes this quarter include: • Eligibility—especially kids who are now “aging out” of Developmentally Delayed (DD) label and having to find another label to continue to qualify for services • Transition • General Individualized Education Program (IEP) questions/concerns for next year • Bullying Commendations: • Family Engagement Summit • Workshops in Regions 1 and 3