Working Together Works!Homeless Education and Special Education as Partners NAEHCY Annual Conference Crystal City, VA November 2, 2008 Patricia A. Popp, Ph.D. – Project HOPE-VA Selena M. Joy, Ph.D., BCBA - Henrico County Public Schools
True or False? • Any student with a disability is eligible for special education services. • Once a student is determined eligible for special education, (s)he will remain in special education until graduation. • The parent is a key contributor in determining a child’s eligibility for special education. • Students who are homeless are twice as likely to be identified as having a learning disability than housed peers. • If a student moves during the special education referral and assessment process, the referral is void and assessment must cease. A new referral must be made in order to proceed with testing.
Agenda • Background – IDEA 101 • Highlighting M-V overlap • Navigating IDEA and M-V – problem solving • Special Issues: • Unaccompanied youth & surrogate parents • Evaluation and Service Delays – complications of mobility & poverty • Transition Planning – the bigger folks • Part C – our littlest ones
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA – Parts B & C) • Federal legislation (2004) • ED Regulations (Part B -2006; Part C - ?) • OSEP/OSERS Policy Letters/Memos www.wrightslaw.com/idea/law.htm www.taalliance.org/idea/index.htm • OSERS Q&A (NAEHCY response) • State Regulations (Where is your state in the process?) • Litigation
Who is eligible to receive services under IDEA, Part B? Children who need special education and related services by reason of their disability. 20 USC 1401(3); 34 CFR 300.8
Specific learning disability Speech or language impairment Mental retardation Emotional disturbance (disability or disorder) Other health impairment Orthopedic impairment Autism Traumatic brain injury Hearing impairment Deafness Visual impairment or Blindness Deaf-blindness Multiple disabilities (Developmental delay) 1401(3); 300.8 What are disabilities?
FYI • National December 1, 2001count: 8.9 percent of 6-21year olds received special education services under IDEA • Homework: How many students are identified as homeless in your district? How many homeless are also SWD?
What is special education? • Specially-designed instruction, • at no cost to parents, • to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability. 1401(29); 300.39
speech-language services audiology services interpreting services psychological services physical and occupational therapy early identification counseling services school health services social work services parent counseling and training 1401(26); 300.34 What are related services?Transportation and developmental, corrective, and other supportive services required to assist a child with a disability to benefit from special education, including, but not limited to:
Possible InterventionsPrior to Special Education • Classroom interventions • Mentors, tutoring • School counselors • Consultation with special education team • Behavior management interventions • Work with youth/family to provide interventions
Child Find • The State must ensure that all students with disabilities who need special education are identified, located, and evaluated: specifically includes students experiencing homelessness, including infants and toddlers. 1412(a)(3)(A), 1435; 300.111 • Since McKinney-Vento liaisons must identify children and youth who are homeless, this is an excellent area for cross-program collaboration • Homework: “Find” your Child Find contacts.
Aligning IDEA with MV • IDEA now specifically defines “homeless children” to include all children and youth considered homeless by McKinney-Vento. 1402(11); 300.19 • IDEA now specifically requires each public agency to ensure that the rights of unaccompanied homeless youth are protected. 300.519(a) • Any state receiving IDEA funds must comply with the McKinney-Vento Act for all children with disabilities who are homeless. 1412(a)(11)(A)(iii); 300.149(a)(3)
Starting the Process 1. The student must be age 3 through 21 (Part B); suspected of having a disability; who may need special education and related services. 2. The “parent” or public agency must request a special education evaluation, and the “parent” must consent. 1414(a)(1); 300.301(b) 3. Specific process may vary slightly depending on state laws/regulations. Note: The parent should keep a signed, dated copy of the request.
Managing the Process 4. Parents and school staff should work together to ensure the student receives all needed evaluations, promptly. Um, what does promptly mean? IDEA now says within 60 days or within state timeframes. (“Day” means calendar day unless otherwise specified.) 1414(a)(1)(c); 300.301(c) Homework: Check your state’s timeline.
Those timeframes apply to students who change LEAs while evaluations are pending, UNLESS (i) the new LEA is “making sufficient progress to ensure a prompt completion of evaluations,” AND (ii) “the parent and the LEA agree to a specific time when the evaluation will be completed.” 1414(a)(1)(C)(ii); 300.301(d)(2)
ALSO, schools must coordinate with prior schools “as necessary and as expeditiously as possible to ensure prompt completion of full evaluations.” 1414(b)(3)(D); 300.304(c)(5)
The “Dreaded” IEP 5. The meeting to develop the Individualized Education Program (IEP) must take place within 30 days of the eligibility determination. 1414(d); 300.320, 300.323 6. Parents and school staff should work together to ensure the IEP is fully and consistently implemented. 7. Special education placements must be as close as possible to the child’s home, unless the IEP (including parent input) requires some other arrangement and considers any potentially harmful effect on the child or quality of services s/he needs; the right to attend the school of origin remains in effect. 300.116
How are IEPs implemented when a child changes LEAs? • If the IEP is current, the new LEA must immediately provide a free appropriate public education (FAPE), including services comparable to the IEP from the previous LEA. 1414(d)(2)(C)(i); 300.323(e) What does “appropriate services” mean? • “Services comparable to those described” in the previous IEP, • In consultation with parents. 1414(d)(2)(C)(i); 300.323(e)
The new LEA must promptly obtain the child’s records from the previous school, and the previous school must promptly respond to records requests. • The new LEA can either adopt the old IEP, or develop a new one. • If it’s a new state, the LEA can conduct new evaluations, but during the interim, the LEA must provide FAPE. 1414(d)(2)(C); 300.323(e),(g)
Navigating IDEA and M-VA Problem-Solving Process Create and promote policies and practices for regular, ongoing communication. Review and, if necessary, revise state and local policies and practices (tools available). When a complex situation arises, work as a team. Repeat steps 1 & 2 at least annually. NCHE, 2008
The IDEA Parent • The IDEA Parent is the person who can make education decisions for a child in care with a disability or who might have a disability • The IDEA Parent has many rights: • To consent in writing to the initial evaluation of the child. • To consent in writing to services beginning. • To receive notice of and participate in IEP meetings; • To get notice of and agree with a school district’s proposal • To request a special education hearing; and lots more.
Key Definition #1: Who can be an IDEA parent under Parts B and C? • Birth or adoptive parent, • foster parent unless prohibited by state law, • guardian generally authorized to act as the child’s parent or to make educational decisions for the child (but not the state if a child is a ward of the state), • person who is acting in the place of a parent and with whom the child is living; can be a non-relative, • a person legally responsible for the child. • a surrogate parent 34 C.F.R. §300.30
BUT for unaccompanied youth, the following people can be temporary surrogates: • Staff of emergency shelters, transitional shelters, independent living programs, and street outreach programs; • State or local education agency or agency staff involved in the education or care of the child.
Who can be a surrogate? Surrogate parents appointed by LEA • can’t be employees of state or local education agencies or other agencies involved in the education and care of the child (i.e., can’t be the public or private caseworker or a school official), • can’t have any conflicting interests, • They must have knowledge and skills necessary to be a good surrogate. Surrogate parents appointed by Judge • can’t be employees of SEAs, LEAs, or other agencies involved in the education and care of the child (i.e., can’t be the caseworker or school staff)
Avoiding Delays to Evaluation and Services • Emergence of Response to Intervention (RTI) and Coordinated Early Intervening Services (CEIS) • Tips to Consider • Navigating the Intersections – A Problem-Solving Process
What is RTI? A process that: Integrates assessment and intervention Within a multi-level prevention system To maximize student achievement and reduce behavior problems Schools: Identify students at risk for poor learning outcomes Monitor student progress Provide evidence-based interventions Adjust intensity depending on responsiveness Identify student with specific learning disabilities
Potential Access Issues for M-V Eligible Students Timely record sharing Seamless interventions and instruction with school moves Quick intervention adjustment after a move (not waiting a week for new baseline data) Continuing an intervention too long due to lack of data and delaying evaluation/eligibility process *Progress monitoring should be used as part of the evaluation/eligibility process.
What are Coordinated Early Intervening Services (CEIS)? Means to address over-representation of certain groups of students in special education Part B funds can be used to support activities for students not identified for special education LEAs may use up to 15% of IDEA funds LEAs with “significant disproportionate representation” MUST use 15% of IDEA funds for CEIS RTI is a CEIS
Strategies to Avoid Access Challenges Coordinate use of CEIS funds among liaisons, special education, LEP, and Title I coordinators Integrate classroom record sharing (progress monitoring) into school record transfers when students move Ensure interventions are documented and kept current to inform a new teacher immediately of current functioning
Lack of Instruction, Disadvantage andRTI A child must not be determined to be eligible for IDEA services if the determinant factor is “lack of instruction” “environmental/economic disadvantage” or “limited English proficiency.” Lack of instruction, environmental/economic disadvantage or limited English proficiency are not grounds to refuse to evaluate a student and must be considered as part of the evaluation process or eligibility determination. RTI strategies are tools that enable educators to target instructional interventions to children’s areas of specific need as soon as those needs become apparent. RTI (used for instructional purposes) can be used for ANY special education student prior to, during, and after the evaluation process (unless using RTI is inconsistent with the IEP). Parents retain their right to request an evaluation at any time. The LEA may use data gathered through RTI strategies in its evaluations and reevaluations of children with specific learning disabilities.
The Little Ones: IDEA, Part C • Provides appropriate services to infants and toddlers under age 3 who need early intervention services due to a developmental delay or a diagnosed physical or mental condition with a high probability of resulting in a developmental delay and their families • Can include those at-risk for developmental delays,at a state’s discretion. 20 USC 1432(5) • Administered by Stateand local Part C agencies.
The Process • Preliminary screenings can indicate if an evaluation is needed • Parents refer their children for evaluations and assessments • “Primary referral sources” also can refer for evaluations: • Schools, child welfare, health care providers, shelters, social service agencies… NPRM 303.302-3
The Process (cont.) • Agency will do a comprehensive multidisciplinary evaluation and needs assessment, including the family’s needs and goals 1436 • If the child is found eligible for services, the agency must promptly develop and implement an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP), with parent’s participation • Proposed regs: Evaluations and IFSP must be completed within 45 days of obtaining parental consent
The Process (cont.) • IFSP describes specific services for the child and family and must be reviewed every 6 months (or more often as appropriate) • IFSP must name a specific service coordinator 1436, NPRM303.320(e), 303.342(a), 303.344(g)
What services might be available? • family training, counseling, and home visits; • speech-language services; • occupational and physical therapy; • psychological and social work services; • service coordination services; • health services necessary to enable the infant or toddler to benefit from the other early intervention services; • social work services; • assistive technology devices and services; and • transportation and related costs that are necessary to enable an infant or toddler and family to receive another service.
Part C and M-V Intersections • Child Find • Participation on state Interagency Coordinating Council (ICC) • CAPTA – Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act • Referral of children under age 3 involved in substantiated cases of child abuse or neglect to early intervention agencies (or use a screening for referrals) • Overlap of issues – potential to apply similar strategies or be included in same activities
Purpose: to prepare students with disabilities for further education, employment, and independent living How: IEP must address transition by the student’s 16th birthday, be updated annually and must be coordinated and results-oriented. Responsibility: Ultimately, with the school district BUT…
Transition Responsibility IDEA encourages collaboration with other agencies and organizations to develop and implement a transition plan (Services of Runaway and Homeless Youth Act programs, the child welfare system and others). Legally, “If a participating agency … fails to provide transition services described in the IEP… the LEA shall reconvene the IEP team to identify alternative strategies…”
Where Do We Go From Here? What will you do to initiate and expedite evaluations? What will you do to implement IEPs for transfer students? Who are the key contacts You have already identified You need to identify Any tips for getting these key contacts to the table?
Transition Resources National Center on Secondary Education and Transition www.ncset.org National Post-School Outcomes Center www.psocenter.org University of Kansas, Transition Coalition http://transitioncoalition.org/transition/index.php
Resources • Center on Children and the Bar • www.abanet.org/child/education • National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth • www.naehcy.org • National Center on Homeless Education • www.serve.org/nche • National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty • www.nlchp.org • National Network for Youth • www.nn4youth.org • Project Forum • projectforum.org
Resources (cont’d) • Project Forum at NASDSE • 1999 Proceedings Document • 2004 QTA Brief • Implications of the CAPTA Requirement • CEC (www.cec.sped.org/) • CEC Today – March 2003 • Project HOPE-VA (www.wm.edu/hope) • Information briefs – special ed., ECSE • NAEHCY, NCHE & NLCHP – collaborations (visit NCHE) • Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA) of 2004: Provisions for Children and Youth with Disabilities Who Experience Homelessness; • Navigating the Intersections of IDEA and McKinney-Vento: A Problem-Solving Process
Resources (cont’d) • National Dissemination Center for Children With Disabilities • www.nichcy.org(Includes fact sheets) • Parent Training and Information Centers • (888) 248-0822 • The Child Advocate • www.childadvocate.net/educational.htm • Free legal resources for students with disabilities • National Disability Rights Network (www.napas.org) • www.nls.org/paatstat.htm • Resources for parents of students with disabilities, from USDE • www.ed.gov/parents/needs/speced/resources.html • USED Office of Special Education Programs • www.ed.gov/offices/OSERS/OSEP • USED Office for Civil Rights • www.ed.gov/offices/OCR