State Special Education Advisory Committee Constituency Reports October 2019
Region 3 Parent Representative Concerns: • Low parent participation at Special Education Advisory Committee
Teacher Representative Concerns: • Burnout of teachers • Lack of support for teachers
Private School Representative Commendation: • Virginia Association of Independent Specialized Education Facilities (VAISEF) Fall conference
Person with a Disability Representative page 1 of 2 Concerns: • Student knowledge of the need for self-advocacy in post-secondary education • Student knowledge that accommodations may change in post-secondary education • Student expenses • Student documentation • Staffing and resources • Digital accessibility • Physical accessibility
Person with a Disability Representative page 2 of 2 Commendation: • To celebrate Disability History and Awareness Month, the Virginia Department of Education, in collaboration with the Partnership for People with Disabilities, supports the Inclusion Project, a youth-led initiative to increase disability awareness in schools. The Inclusion Project will offer up to ten mini-grants to support schools interested in planning an Inclusion Project event.
Region 2 Parent Representative Concerns: • Lack of transition services • Teacher shortages and teacher retention • Increase teacher salaries and school support monitoring • Increase funding for more school psychologists, more classes, and more instructional assistants • Praxis score is a barrier to teacher retention
Higher Education Representative Commendation: • Radford and Williamsburg partnership on Inclusion is going well. Concerns: • There is a need to release grant awards sooner to support provisionally licensed special educators prior to the start of the fall semester.
Superintendent Representative Monitoring: • Teacher recruitment and retention, particularly special education teachers • Clarity regarding the future design of and funding for regional programs • Children Services Act 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
Region 1 Parent Representative Concerns: • Inclusion not implemented with fidelity, transition, decrease employment rate after graduation • Bullying, Autism, ADHD, seeking alternative to Restraint and Seclusion • Teacher shortage and support staff shortage • More in-depth training for dyslexia Commendations: • SEAC more popular with activities, model project Transition: Discover me in conjunction with the Center for Transition Services.
Region 4 Parent Representative Concerns: • Family engagement and education, mental health/trauma informed care, inclusion, transition, IEP/504 meeting interpreters, behavior/discipline, teacher shortage/retention Commendations: • Parent Resource Centers • Parent Educational Advocacy Training Center • Critical Decision Points
Region 5 Parent Representative page 1 of 2 Concerns: Proposed regional program funding model that only allows school divisions to claim direct services. The lack of clarity about funding is extremely stressful for divisions. The proposed regional funding model eliminates the support for intensive support needs such as adaptive equipment, augmentative communication devices, Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs). There is significant stress throughout Region 5 about the future of our highly effective regional program.
Region 5 Parent Representative page 2 of 2 Success: Waynesboro/Augusta Post-High Learning Lab will serve students with disabilities aged 18-22 who have significant needs related to independence and employment skills. Two teachers and five job coaches will work with the students to learn how to maintain a home (all funded by the Shenandoah Valley Regional Program). Students will travel to job sites in the community with job coaches and each student will have an individualized independence plan.
Virginia Board for People with Disabilities (VBPD) Updates: • The Board's Partners in Policymaking class of 2020 is underway and recruitment for the 2020 Youth Leadership Academy will begin in December. • The Board will award its next set of grants at the December 5, 2019, meeting. • The Board's Executive Director is retiring. That position is under recruitment with a closing date of October 27, 2019.
Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) page 1 of 2 Highlights: This past school year, our parent participation in IEP/504 meetings doubled from 15 percent to 30 percent. Case managers made it a priority to focus on reaching out to parents more frequently throughout the school year. In September, DJJ held a back-to-school/family day event. This event was held on a Sunday and there were approximately 300 visitors in attendance. The re-entry program made transportation available. There was a presentation of education programs in the morning followed by recreation activities in the afternoon. Secretary Moran, Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security, attended the event during lunch and part of the afternoon. Our special education department set-up a table with literature about our special education program, I’m Determined, and PEATC.
Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) page 2 of 2 We also had special education staff stationed in the library available for parents to sign IEPs/504 documents that had been sent home for review but had not been returned. We have been actively rolling out I’m Determined over the past school year and in the spring we had our first IEP where a student led several pieces of his meeting. Areas to work on: Continue to engage parents to increase parent involvement in meetings. Continue to work on self-advocacy with our students with disabilities through the use of the I’m Determined platform and tools.
Parent Educational Advocacy Training Center (PEATC) Statewide trends: • Eligibility • Behavior • Dispute Resolution
Transition Representative Concerns: • Region 1 out of Charlottesville, is looking for more parents to be involved Commendations: • I’m Determined Academy
Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS) Updates: • Published strategies guide in Foster Care • Youth on Transition out of Foster Care
McKinney-Vento Representative Updates: • Provided trainings in all eight Superintendent regions
Virginia Department of Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) Update: • Toured the Waynesboro House, great work
Region 7 Parent Representative Update: • Disability Awareness Month activities • SEAC meetings in process, officer elections • DARS presentation
Region 6 Parent Representative page 1 of 2 Concerns: • Family and community involvement, utilizing SEAC • Transition- Functional Life Skills and Job Training, Post Secondary Education • Information on Medicaid Waivers/IFSP Funding and Social Security • Safety care for parents (Restraint and Seclusion)
Region 6 Parent Representative page 2 of 2 Commendations: • Disability Awareness activities • PRC events and workshops, individualized programming, and strong Inclusion • SEACs are exploring social media option to increase and encourage parental/community participation