All New in Special Education
Seeking Comment: Vermont Family Network is seeking comments from parents and other interested parties about proposed changes to Vermont’s Special Education Regulations effecting families of children receiving services from children from birth to age 22 receiving special education or early intervention services.
As part of the rule making process, state agencies must seek input on the proposed regulations from those who will be affected by changes in the regulations. Parents’ perspectives on special education are critical to making sure that the rules address issues important to parents and enhance the education of children with disabilities. Parent involvement does make a difference! Thank you for taking the time to complete this BRIEF survey. There are just eight questions regarding the special education rules, question nine is an open space for other comments. Click the link below to access the survey- Thank YOU. DEADLINE FOR SURVEY IS JANUARY 8th AT NOON!
Collecting Comments on Proposed Special Education Rule Changes!!! Make sure your voice is heard! Deadline is 1/8/13!
The Vermont Department of Education (VTDOE) is currently collecting comments on proposed changes to the special education rules for children birth to 21 years old. We would like to highlight one significant proposed change for students 3-21. The proposed change moves from the current rule which states that a school shall complete an initial evaluation for special education within 60 calendar days to within 45 school days. This change would particularly impact students referred for evaluations late in the year (close to summer break) and during the holidays. School vacations, weekends, and summer break would no longer be included in the count of days used to complete evaluations; only official school days would be counted in the 45 days. The Vermont Department of Education will be collecting comments on this and other important proposed changes until January 8, 2013. To submit a written comment you can email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on the proposed changes, many of which impact children birth to age 3 receiving early intervention services (Part C of IDEA), click here.
There will also be two public forums held to collect comments on the proposed changes:
Wednesday 12/12/12 Public Hearing: South Burlington HS Time: 6-7 pm
Thursday 12/13/12 Public Hearing: Rutland City SU Time: 6-7 pm
If you have any questions or would like further information, please call VFN @ 1-800-800-4005.
The Vermont Department of Education (VTDOE) will be collecting comments on proposed changes to the special education rules for children birth to 21 years old. We would like to highlight one significant proposed change for students 6-21. The proposed change moves from the current rule which states that a school shall complete an initial evaluation for special education within 60 calendar days to within 45 school days. This change would particularly impact students referred for evaluations late in the year (close to summer break) and during the holidays. School vacations, weekends, and summer break would no longer be included in the count of days used to complete evaluations; only official school days would be counted in the 45 days. The Vermont Department of Education will be collecting comments on this and other important proposed changes in December. For more information on the proposed rule changes, click here.
If you have any questions or would like further information, please call VFN or the VTDOE.
Be More Than a Bystander
Every day, kids witness bullying. They want to help, but don’t know how. Fortunately, there are a few simple, safe ways that children can help stop bullying when they see it happening. Click here to learn more.
The National Center for Learning Disabilities and the Stern Center for Language and Learning have co-sponsored a series of four Early Literacy Webinars, based on the Stern Center’s BUILDING BLOCKS FOR LITERACY® program. Each 60-minute webinar, designed for early childhood educators, child care providers, and families, will provide participants with a sampler introducing them to the free online BUILDING BLOCKS program. Click here to learn more.
PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD:
VT State Board of Education Priorities
During spring 2012, the State Board of Education’s Priorities Committee met with education partner organizations and other constituents on the development of a list of priorities the Board would focus on in the coming year. At its June planning meeting, members of the State Board of Education unanimously approved the priority list, and agreed that these will receive its highest level of attention and action throughout the coming year. The Board welcomes your comment on the proposed list – please send comment to email@example.com.
Department of Education Annual Parent Survey- Don’t Forget to Send Yours In!
Each year the Vermont Department of Education is required by the US Department of Education (USDOE) to survey families of children ages 3 – 21 receiving special education services in Vermont. If you are the parent of a child receiving special education services, you should have received this survey in the mail within the last few weeks. The purpose of the survey is to collect feedback directly from parents about if and how you have been included by the school in your child’s education. The feedback you provide is then shared with the USDOE. This is a short survey, but a CRITICAL one. This is your opportunity to let the USDOE know how Vermont parents are doing. Please take a few moments to fill it out when it arrives in your mailbox. Last year Vermont’s response rate increased to 14% up from only 11% the year before. Of the 14% of parents who responded 37% reported that they felt that the school involved them in their child’s education. This year there will be information included along with the paper survey about how to fill out the survey online if that is an easier option for you. Please be sure to send yours in or fill it out online!
Are you a parent of a child who is receiving or has received special education services in Vermont? Do you have some time to devote to using your valuable experience as a parent? How about serving on the Vermont Special Education Advisory Council?
Council’s Vision: The council’s work guides family-centered systemic policies and practices within education and promotes communities where diverse individuals live, play, learn and work together and are respected and appreciated. The Vermont Special Education Advisory Council advises the Vermont Department of Education of unmet educational needs of children who have disabilities. Specifically, the council comments about:
- Proposed regulatory changes
- Data and reports
- Policies involving service coordination
- Corrective actions defined by the federal monitoring process
- The education of eligible students with disabilities who are incarcerated
- The council communicates with the State Board of Education, the General Assembly, other state councils, consumer organizations and task forces.
New Resource Document on Restraint and Seclusion from the US Department of Education: The U.S. Department of Education has developed this document that describes 15 principles for States, school districts, schools, parents, and other stakeholders to consider when developing or revising policies and procedures on the use of restraint and seclusion. These principles stress that every effort should be made to prevent the need for the use of restraint and seclusion and that any behavioral intervention must be consistent with the child’s rights to be treated with dignity and to be free from abuse.
Video Interviews from the Statewide Parent Advocacy Network (SPAN)
Diana Autin is the Executive Co-Director of the Statewide Parent Advocacy Network (SPAN), New Jersey’s Parent Training and Information Center. She also co-directs NE-PACT, the Region 1 Parent Technical Assistance Center, providing technical assistance and capacity-building to the federally-funded parent training and information centers and community parent resource centers in the Northeast United States. Click here to see the (SPAN) website.
Diana answers the following questions:
Clip 1: As you think about stakeholder involvement in decision making, are there particular benefits that you believe come as a result and any advice about how you can most effectively engage diverse perspectives in decisions?
Clip 2: As you think about the advice you give to families, are there nuggets that you feel are particularly helpful?
Clip 3: As you think about the Creating Agreement training, are there aspects of it that you believe are particularly important or powerful?
Clip 4: What are some of the issues you see related to race, culture, economic position that have bearing on the work that we’re doing in dispute resolution?
There is a whole series of very interesting video interviews. Click here to watch!
Vermont Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) Annual Report:
One hundred three schools in 42 supervisory unions/districts throughout Vermont are engaged in various stages of training and implementation of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports. This annual report highlights some encouraging statistics regarding the effectiveness of VT PBIS. To read more click here. Click here for a link to VFN Parent Guide for PBIS
New Early Intervention Regulations Released
The U.S. Department of Education released the final regulations for the Early Intervention Program under Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). These final regulations will help improve services and outcomes for America’s infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families. Part C is a program administered by states that serves infants and toddlers through age 2 with developmental delays or who have diagnosed physical or mental conditions with high probabilities of resulting in developmental delays. In Vermont we refer to this program as Children’s Integrated Services-Early Intervention. To read more, click here.
Click here to see the final Part C regulations.
Click here for a printer friendly PDF of the final Part C regulations.
New Memo from the Vermont Department of Education regarding Technical Education and students with disabilities:
The purpose of this memo from the Vermont Department of Education is to clarify the role of Individualized Education Program (IEP) teams for students who are eligible for special education and related services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). What follows is a set of guidelines that the Vermont Department of Education recommends high schools and Career Technical Education Centers follow, to promote successful participation in technical education, for students eligible for special education under the IDEA.
Click here to read a PDF of the memo.
Navigating Special Education Webinar (Click on the link to hear the recording)
Presenter: Christine Kilpatrick, Director Family Support, Vermont Family Network
This Webinar covered the special education process including; Evaluation, Individual Education Plan (IEP), Discipline Process for students with IEP’s, Parent’s Rights and how to disagree.
Time: 1 hour
New rule on the use of restraint and seclusion in schools passed by Vermont State Board of Education!
The State Board of Education passed this new rule (Rule 4500) on February 15th, 2011. It will go into effect on August 15, 2011.
Schools will have until September 30, 2011 to meet the training requirements of this new rule. The Vermont Department of Education is currently creating a list of recommended training programs as well as sample report forms for meeting the reporting requirements in the rule. If your child has been restrained or secluded at school and you have questions or concerns and would like more information/or if you have questions about this new rule please call Vermont Family Network and ask to speak with someone in Family Support. 1-800-800-4005
Vermont Department of Education (VTDOE) has now posted translated versions of the parent’s rights in special education on their website!
Parents’ Rights in Special Education: Procedural Safeguards Notice
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires schools to provide parents of a child with a disability with a notice containing a full explanation of the procedural safeguards available under the IDEA and Vermont Department of Education Special Education regulations. This information is now provided in the following languages:
New Fact Sheet on Different Teaching Tools!
Check out our new Fact Sheet: Teaching Designed so All Students Can Learn
This fact sheet describes three teaching tools to individualize learning for all students—differentiated instruction, Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and instructional accommodations. Teachers may use one or all of these methods in the classroom, depending on the needs of their students.