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Newark Public Schools Office of Special Education’s Professional Development Center. Alyson Barillari, Associate Superintendent Thomas Dugan, Director. Marion Bolden, Superintendent Anzella Nelms, Deputy Superintendent. OUR GOAL IS BEST PRACTICES IN NEWARK’S SPECIAL EDUCATION PROGRAMS.
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Newark Public Schools Office of Special Education’sProfessional Development Center Alyson Barillari, Associate Superintendent Thomas Dugan, Director Marion Bolden, Superintendent Anzella Nelms, Deputy Superintendent OUR GOAL IS BEST PRACTICES IN NEWARK’S SPECIAL EDUCATION PROGRAMS Professional Development Staff For Code & Procedure’s Questions call: Mitchel Gerry, Mary Hart, Sakinah Springs, or Sandy Bruno at (973) 350-5811 For Technology Questions call Joe Fonseca at (973) 481-5398
This Presentation Will Focus On The Process Involved In Special Education Referrals to Special Education Placements & Why It Seems To Take So Long!
Topics to be Covered in this Presentation: Special Education Referrals Identification Meetings Legal-Mandated Timeframes Disabling Conditions Programs Placements
When Should Students be Classified & Placed in Special Education Programs? Only when a student has one of the 13 disabling conditions specified in state and federal regulations are they allowed to be classified and placed in special education programs! The need for extra help or the inability of regular education interventions to meet a student’s education needs are not sufficient reasons to classify students and place them in special education programs!
Code Mandated Timelines that CST Members must follow that adds to the Lengthy Process • The case manager must notify parent(s) at least 15 days before all meetings and notify them at least three times; • After each of these meetings (e.g. identification, reevaluation determination, eligibility, IEP development, etc.) the parent(s) must be given 15 calendar days to consider the decision. • A total of 90 calendar days is allowed to complete evaluations, conduct Eligibility/IEP meeting and place a student - 60 days for evaluations + eligibility decision & 30 days for IEP/placement)
When Should Students be Referred for Special Education Evaluations? If regular education interventions (e.g. PRC/504, WSR –SW, Guidance Counselors, Tutors, etc.) have been documented & unsuccessful.
How can a Student be Referred for a Special Education Evaluation? There are two ways a student can be referred for a special education evaluation: 1. A staff member can completely fill out the appropriate referral form 2. A parent and/or agency concerned with the welfare of children can refer students directly for a special education evaluation and the staff must still fill out referral form
Student’s Teacher Fills Out Student’s Teacher Circulates & Other Staff Fill Out
What Happens after aSpecial Education Referral is made? The school nurse must submit all medical information to the child study team. The complete child study team must convene an “identification meeting” with the parent(s) & the student’s teacher within 20 calendar days of the completed referral.
What Happens at the Identification Meeting? • Review all available data (e.g. cumulative & medical records, standardized test scores, current work samples, etc.) • Decide whether the student should be evaluated (this will only occur if the student is suspected of having one of the 13 disabling conditions delineated in the code). If the decision is to evaluate the student, the types of evaluations that are required must be delineated on the “notice” form & the PARENT MUST GIVE WRITTEN PERMISSION. If the decision is not to evaluate the student, the reason(s) why & recommendations must be specified on the “notice” form.
What Happens Next ? • Within 90 days • All evaluations must be completed • Reports written and sent to parents • The eligibility decision is made and if eligible • The IEP must be developed and implemented.
What Happens at the Eligibility Meeting? The case manager, at least one CST member who evaluated the student, the current teacher, and the parent must decide whether to classify the student. There are only two classifications in New Jersey: Eligible for special education & related services, or Eligible for speech & language services Only students who have one the 13 “disabling conditions” listed in the code can be classified.
What are the 13 Disabling Conditions that can result in a Student being Classified? Auditorily Impaired Multiply Disabled Specific Learning Disability Autistic Orthopedically Impaired Traumatic Brain Injury Cognitively Impaired Other Health Impaired Visually Impaired Communication Impaired Preschool Disabled Emotionally Disturbed Social Maladjustment
What Dictates a Student’s Special Education Program/Placement? Students are placed in special education programs/placements according to their educational needs. Students with a variety of disabilities can be placed in the same program/placement. The student’s disabling condition does not dictate the type of program/placement.
Placements After a student is classified, when & where will they be placed? The IEP team (case manager, regular education teacher, a special education teacher, the parent(s), & the student if appropriate), meets to develop an IEP. The IEP delineates all services and supports the classified student needs, including the special education program. Once the IEP is developed, the case manager contacts the Office of Special Education for schools that have this program for parents to visit.
Parental Refusal What happens if the parent refuses the program/placement? The parent completes the “Parental Refusal for Special Education” form. The U.S. Department of Education has ruled that a parent can not be brought to a “due process hearing” to force a special education placement if the parent refuses to sign consent to implement the initial IEP. Parental Refusal form can only be used at the time of the initial IEP.
Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) IEP Teams Should Capitalize on NCLB’s, IDEA’s, & Abbott Mandates, as well as NPS’s Priority to Increase Programs & Placements in Neighborhood Schools! Since the neighborhood school is accountable for each special education student’s test scores, school-based staff may want to seriously consider developing and implementing special education programs in their school; and Given space limitations in many of our schools, as well as Special Education and Abbott limits on class sizes, IEP teams may want to seriously consider an in-class resource program, which is one of the Least Restrictive Programs/Placements.
Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) - Example The following is an example of how special education students and their respective schools can benefit from an In-Class Resource Center • In a K-3 class, there is an Abbott limit of 21 students. If we • placed 6 special education students in these classes, the number • of regular education students would be limited to 15. The class • would then have a full-time regular and special education teacher. • A similar type of logic could also be applied for all grades. • For example, in an in-class resource center, no more than 6 special • education students can be placed in an elementary class and no more • than 9 special education students can be placed in a secondary schools.
Programs From Least to More Restrictive 1. Regular Education w/Supplementary Instruction 2. Resource Programs: A. Supports Preschool/ElementarySecondary No Aide AideNo Aide Aide In class 6 - 9 - Pull-Out Single Subject 6 7 to 9 10 to 12 Multiple Subject 6 7 to 9 6 7 to 9 B. Replacement Preschool/ElementarySecondary No Aide Aide No Aide Aide In-class 3 - 3 - Pull-Out Single Subject 6 7 to 9 9 10 to 12 Multiple subject 4 - 4 -
More Restrictive 3. Special Education Classes: Program Number of Special Education Students No Classroom AideClassroom Aide Auditory Impairments 8 9 to 12 Autism 3 4 to 6 7 to 9 (secondary level only) Behavioral Disabilities 9 10 to12 Cognitive Mild 12 13 to 16 Moderate 10 11 to 13 Severe 3 4 to 6 7 to 9 (Two Aides Required)
More Restrictive 3. Special Education Classes (Cont’d.) ProgramNumber of StudentsNo Classroom AideClassroom Aide Learning and/or Language Disabilities Mild to Moderate 10 11 to 16 Severe 8 9 to 12 Multiple Disabilities 8 9 to 12 Preschool Disabilities - 1 to 8 (one aide required) 9 to 12 (Two Aides Required) Visual Impairments 8 9 to 12
Placement Location Once a location is found for the student to receive a special education program & services, when does he/she start attending? The parent and school must receive a placement letter from the Office of Special Education before the student can be enrolled in the special education program. If the student requires transportation to get to the special education program, it must first be arranged.
Summary of the Process if Evaluations & Placement are Warranted 1. Documented regular education interventions; 6. Eligibility meeting to determine if student is classifiable 2. Referral to CST by staff or parents 7. Parents have 15 days to consider that decision 3. Within 20 days of the completed referral, an ID meeting must occur. 8. An IEP is developed 4. Parents have 15 days to consider that decision 9. Parents have 15 days to consider that decision 5. All evaluations must be completed 10. Placement letter must arrive and transportation arranged.