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Turning Three. Produced by the Parent Training and Information project at the Federation for Children with Special Needs, supported in part by grant #H328M040001 from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs
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Turning Three Produced by the Parent Training and Information project at the Federation for Children with Special Needs, supported in part by grant #H328M040001 from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs and in part by the Massachusetts Department of Education
Federation for Children with Special Needs Parent Training and Information Project Boston MA: 800-331-0688 Central MA: 508-798-0531 Western MA: 413-323-0681 www.fcsn.org
The Turning Three Workshop will help you • Transition your child from EI to Preschool • Learn about special education law and timelines • Understand your rights and responsibilities under special education law so you can become a more effective advocate for your child • Become involved in your child’s education
Transition Your Child From Early Intervention to Preschool
Early Intervention to Special Education • Early Intervention professionals and school professionals will work together to help parents through this transition. • Services may or may not look the same due to the differences between EI and preschool. • Not all children in EI will be eligible for Special Education.
The IFSP:Transition Steps • The IFSP shall list what needs to be done to support the child’s move to preschool or other services • At least 6 months before leaving EI, the IFSP must include a plan for transition to school or another setting.
IFSP: Transition Steps Notification of the School District The Early Intervention Program must notify the school district that the child will be turning 3 and may need preschool services.
The IFSP: Transition Steps The IFSP describes: • Talks had with parents about future services and any parent training or information needed to be shared • What is needed to help the child adjust to a new setting • With parent permission, what information about the child will be shared with the school or other setting.
EI Transition Conference: A Meeting that is NOT the IEP meeting If the child will probably be eligible for preschool: EI hosts a meeting for the family and school to discuss the services that might be needed. This must happen between 2.3yrs-2.9yrs.
EI Child with an “established delay” which is defined as: a 25% delay in at least one area according to the DPH-approved Early Intervention Developmental Profile-Michigan evaluation tool. Preschool Child with a disability who will not be able to participate and progress in preschool due to the disability and who needs specialized instruction in order to participate and make progress or who needs related service in order to access the general preschool curriculum Differences between Eligibility for EI and Preschool
Family Focus DPH funding IFSP Child Focus DOE funding IEP Other Differences between EI and Preschool
Learn about Special Education Law Federal and State
Federal Special Education Law Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA 04) IDEA 2004 is the Federal Special Education Law. • Part B addresses Special Education. • Part C addresses Early Intervention.
Six Principles of IDEA • Parent and Student Participation • Appropriate Evaluation • Individualized Education Program (IEP) • Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) • Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) • Procedural Safeguards (Due Process)
Massachusetts Special Education Law • Massachusetts Special Education Law is commonly referred to as “Chapter 766” M.G.L. c. 71 B
Federal Civil Rights Laws • Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 Commonly referred to as “Section 504” • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
Federal Education Law • The Elementary and Secondary Education Act as reauthorized is now The No Child Left Behind Act 2001 or NCLB. • Guiding Principles under NCLB are: • Accountability • Focus on What Works • Reduce Bureaucracy and Increase Flexibility • Empower Parents Contact Parent’s PLACE at FCSN for more information www.pplace.org
Massachusetts Education Reform • Education Reform is part of a national educational reform movement to improve the quality of education. • Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks were developed as educational standards for all students. • There are preschool curriculum frameworks www.eec.state.ma.us/docs/TAGuidelines ForPreschoolLearningExperiences.pdf
The Special Education Process • Referral • Evaluation • Team Meeting regarding Eligibility • Development of Individualized Educational Program (IEP) • Progress Reports and an Annual Review Meeting
The Full IEP Process Revised 9/05 Evaluation Referral *Progress Reports Eligibility Placement IEP Development *As often as report cards
Timeline: By 2 years 6 months
The Special Education Evaluation Process:Timelines Before the IEP Team Meeting Referral: Early Intervention will help parents to refer the child to the public school by age 2 years 6 months. Consent: After the referral is made, parents should receive a consent form within 5 school days.
Referral: Advocacy Tips • If you do not receive a consent form, request one in writing. • Once the consent form is signed, the timeline begins.
The Special Education Process: More Timelines Before the IEP Team Meeting Evaluation: Within 30 school days of written parental consent, credentialed trained specialists from the school evaluate the child unless parents request that EI evaluations be used to avoid over testing.
Pre-assessment Discussion: Parents have a chance to talk to the special education administrator or his/her representative to discuss: • Concerns and/or information about the child • Reasons for the referral • Content of the evaluation • Who the evaluator will be Advocacy Tips: 1. Agree some or all of the proposed assessments 2. Ask for additional assessments 3. Ask the school to accept an outside evaluation
Referral and Evaluation: • School districts cannot refuse to evaluate. • Written documents must be in the parent’s primary language. IDEA 2004: Assessments and evaluation forms must be “provided and administered in the child’s native language or other mode of communication and in the form most likely to yield accurate information on what the student knows, can do academically, developmentally, and functionally, unless it is not feasible to provide or administer.”
Required Assessments • Specialist assessment: an assessment in all areas related to a suspected disability. Examples: a functional behavioral assessment and an assistive technology assessment • Educational assessment: an assessment by an educator that includes information about pre-academic skills for preschoolers.
Optional Assessments • Health Assessment: an assessment to identify any medical problems. • Psychological Assessment: an assessment to consider child’s learning abilities and style in relationship to social/emotional skills. • Home Assessment: an assessment of family history that may affect the child’s learning.
The Law Says • Begin evaluation at age 2½ so services start by age 3. • Use of EI observations and evaluation information is recommended, to avoid over-testing. • Review existing data and determine if additional data is needed.
Prior to the Team Meeting: Advocacy Tips • Make a written request for copies of evaluation reports including recommendations. 603 CMR 28.04 (2) (C) • You have a right to receive copies at least 2 days prior to the team meeting. • Provide in advance any reports you wish the Team to review for the meeting.
Timeline: By age 2 years 9 months
At The Team Meeting The Team should meet 90 days before the child’s third birthday and within 45 school days of written parent consent to review evaluation results to determine: Eligibility IEP Services Placement
IEPTeam MembersAdvocacy Tips • You have a right to know who will attend the Team as members. • As a courtesy, let the school district know if you are bringing someone. • A parent can bring independent evaluators, outside professionals, a friend, a family member, or an advocate • Alternatives to physical meetings are allowed such as videoconferences, conference calls or virtual meetings.
The Special Education Team • Parent of a child with a disability • Not less than one special education teacher • Not less than one early childhood coordinator • District representative who can commit resources • Person who can interpret evaluation results • Others at the discretion of the parent or school • Child when appropriate
Team Members • May include other individuals at the discretion of the parent or local school district • May include related service providers such as occupational therapists, physical therapists, speech and language pathologists • May include EI staff if before third birthday
When an IEP Team Member Need Not Attend IEP team members are not required to attend part or all of an IEP Team meeting If the parent of a child with a disability and the school agree, in writing, that The attendance of the member is not necessary because this person’s area of the curriculum or related services is not being modified or discussed in the meeting. [IDEA 2004: CFR 300.321]
When an IEP Team member may be excused When the meeting does require a particular member’s expertise • This member may be excused from attending part or all of the Team meeting • If the parent and the school agree in writing • And the member submits, in writing, to the parent and the IEP Team, input into the development of the IEP prior to the meeting [IDEA 2004: CFR 300.321]
Eligibility Requirements • Does the child have a disability? What type? • Is the child not making effective progress in preschool due to the disability? 3. Does the child require specialized instruction to make effective progress or require related services in order to access the preschool curriculum?
Does the Child Have a Disability? What Type? • Autism • Developmental Delay • Intellectual Impairment • Sensory Impairment: Hearing/Vision/Deaf-Blind • Neurological Impairment • Emotional Impairment • Communication Impairment • Physical Impairment • Health Impairment • Specific Learning Disability
Is the Child Not Making Effective Progress in School Due to the Disability? Effective progress is documented growth: • in knowledge and skills (including social-emotional skills) • in the preschool program • with or without accommodations • according to the chronological age and developmental expectations
Is the Child Not Making Effective Progress in School Due to the Disability? Effective progress is documented growth: • according to the individual educational potential of the child • according to the learning standards of the MA Preschool Curriculum Frameworks and the local preschool curriculum. • not determined but advancing from grade to grade
For reevaluations: Would the student continue to make progress in school without the provided special education services?
Does the Child Require Specially Designed Instruction to Make Progress? • Modifying, as appropriate to the needs of a child, the content, the methodology/the delivery of instruction or the performance criteria • To address the unique needs of the child related to the disability • To ensure access to the preschool curriculum • In order to meet preschool standards.
Special Education is Specially Designed Instruction • At no cost to parents • To meet the unique needs of the child with a disability AND/OR • Related services necessary to access the preschool curriculum • Continuum of placements required
Assistive technology Audiology services Counseling Interpreting services Medical services Occupational therapy Orientation and mobility Parent counseling and training Physical therapy Psychological services Recreation Rehabilitation counseling School health and school nurse services Social work services Speech and language pathology services Transportation Other services with the exception of a medical device that is surgically implanted Or Does the Child Require Related Service in Order to Access the General Curriculum?
Related Service: Advocacy Tip The child can qualify for an IEP even if he/she only needs one or more related service to access the general curriculum.
Timelines After the Team Meeting • The parent will receive the final IEP within 3 to 5 days after the Team meeting. • Parents decide: The parents respond to the proposed IEP services and placement within 30 calendar days of the receipt of the IEP.
IEP Response Options Accept IEP in Full Never Reject First IEP in Full Reject IEP in Part Placement Form Response Options Accept Placement Reject Placement Parent Responses to the IEP
Advocacy Tips:Reject in Part • You can reject the lack of services. • Portions not rejected are accepted and implemented. • You can reject in part at any time after you sign in full.
Placement • Placement is a team decision made after the IEP is written • Placement is determined by the needs of the child • Placement can include inclusive home, public school, Head Start, or licensed child care settings or substantially separate programs.