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You are in the home stretch now!

from CASE


For most of you this will be your last work week before Christmas/winter break! I know some district administrators must work more days than the rest of the staff but some of you still get the great 2 weeks off. I hope no matter which group you fall in, you will be able to take some time for yourself! This will actually be the last article I write this year, but you will receive the update for the next two weeks. Enjoy your family, whether they are blood related or chosen! So many of us have friends that are ever bit family! I know I have two wonderful brothers but was not fortunate enough to have a sister. I chose a sister, Pam Howard. She wasn't blessed with a sister either and we just decided one day we would choose each other! We don't get to spend Christmas together, but we do spend a lot of time during the holidays talking and texting. I hope you will be able to take a deep breath and get totally refreshed as 2019 barrels down on us! I know I had a very special 2018 and I know 2019 will be the best year yet! I was reading Max Lucado this morning and he said if we have an attitude of gratitude our world will be different! He goes on to say gratitude is like dialysis; "it flushes the self-pity out of our systems." Let's all choose to have an attitude of gratitude this coming year. Take time to say thank you to those who serve under you, with you, and over you! Just saying thank you brings joy to you, the one receiving it and anyone else who hears it!

Speaking of hearing, have you listened to EduTalk Radio broadcasts? Last Wednesday, I was the speaker on the show. I try to do an interview every few months. Sometimes the CASE president is on with me or even solo! They also produce a great digital magazine on Accessibility which can be found online. You can find more information on all the broadcasts on their website.

For various reasons, we are a little behind on our quarterly newsletter! But, watch your email this week, we expect to send it out before the end of the week! Remember, you can always access past newsletters in the MEMBERS ONLY section of the CASE website! This issue is going to be full of great articles on the 2018-2020 CASE Strategic Plan, a new series on Post-Secondary Transition to Employment, updates from our committees and much more. The New Idea in Leadership article is one you really don't want to miss! So, even if you are on break, watch for the email with your copy of the newsletter!

Don't forget — there is still time to put in your 2 cents! For the last three weeks, I sent you several messages through our CASE member eBlasts and this weekly article about a request from OSERS to participate in a brainstorming with local education agency level personnel on OSERS Rethink RDA initiative. Thank you to all of you who did participate on the call ... but, our opportunity is not over! Even if you were on the call, and especially if you were not, we need you to send your written comments to RethinkRDA@ed.gov. As a guide, here are the four areas and the corresponding questions that framed the discussion on Dec. 4.
  • Topic 1: State Performance Plans/Annual Performance Reports (SPP/APRs)
    • From your perspective, how can we improve the SPP/APR? What should change? What should stay the same?
    • How can we improve the State Systemic Improvement
    • Plan (SSIP; B-17 and C-11) work? What should change? What should stay the same?
  • Topic 2: Determinations
    • How can we improve the determinations process? What should change? What should stay the same?
  • Topic 3: Differentiated Monitoring and Support (DMS)
    • How can we best carry out IDEA’s monitoring and support provisions? What should change? What should stay the same?
  • Topic 4: General Questions/Feedback
If you have already sent in your comments, great, but how about encouraging your colleagues to send in their 2 cents, too! Please, look at these discussion starters and send your written comments to RethinkRDA@ed.gov. We aren't always given the chance to tell those who are making decision that will impact us on a daily basis what we think it working, what isn't working, and how it might be improved. You are the very best person to give that input, please take a few minutes and thoughtfully consider how you can impact our field through this written input!

Speaking of a couple of weeks ago... Also, in one of the eBlasts I sent out to members, I listed a link for a survey from Dr. Adam Lockwood, Assistant Professor of School Psychology at Western Kentucky University. The information gathered in this study is intended to help provide data regarding who administers the tests of academic achievement used for special education eligibility, and what training these professionals have in this area. As there is currently limited information on this topic, this information is important for determining the assessment training needs of educators. Participants who complete the survey will be eligible to participate in two drawings for Amazon gift cards worth $150 each. The online survey takes approximately 10 minutes to complete. Your responses to the survey will be confidential and protected. Those who choose to participate in this study will complete the instrument online. I hope you will consider completing this survey.

And don't forget you also still have time to provide your input on the Conversations to Elevate Educator Voice in the National Research Agenda: Educator Association Member Survey. This survey has been up now for over 6 weeks but it will not close until around mid January. Please take a break and complete this survey. You could be eligible for a drawing for 3 iPads! Remember, to indicate you received the link from the Council of Administrators of Special Education.

See you in Indy! I hope you are planning to go to CEC in Indianapolis, Jan. 30-Feb. 2. If so, please join us for our general Membership /Board of Directors' meeting on Wednesday morning on Jan. 30. We will start with a full breakfast at 7:30 so if you are going, plan on arriving on Tuesday so you can join us for a full day of exciting content and opportunities to provide input! We will have our Spotlight session on Thursday, Jan. 31 with Julie Weatherly giving us a legal update and of course we will have an amazing time with CASE Night at the Hall of Champions that evening. Tickets for CASE night went on sale on Nov. 1 so don't wait too long to purchase yours! On Friday we will once again have our "So, You Want to be a Special Education Administrator" panel. Encourage any of your teachers who are thinking about jumping on the SPED ADMIN career ladder to attend this great session! And of course, we want you to plan to come by the awesome CASE Booth! Watch for more details on all these CASE events at CEC but first, you need to register!


Head on over to the CASE website for more information and to register for the CASE Hybrid Conference, March 7-8! It is also time to register for the Hybrid Conference! We would love for you to come to New Mexico, but if not, then what about hosting a Virtual Site? We will even provide you hints for how to do it!

We had a terrific response on poll this week! The question was: "Which SLD eligibility criteria model does your district utilize?" This week it was surprising to me how evenly the group was dispersed! Coming in first with 30 percent was Responses to Intervention/MTSS. At a very close second with 26 percent was a tie between Discrepancy Model and Other. Other was pretty much defined as a combination between discrepancy and MTSS and strengths and weaknesses sprinkled into the combination. Third place with 17 percent was Strength and Weaknesses. I am so glad CASE was asked to be at the table with other associations in looking at the future in both definition of and eligibility for SLD! Thank you to Erin and Phyllis for their work on this issue!

I started this article with the notion we should all strive to have an attitude of gratitude. I want to say thank you to all of you! Thank you for taking a few moments of your time to read these weekly updates. Thank you for engaging in your state/provincial CASE unit and with us at the national/international level. Thank you for participating in CASE events! Thank you for taking action when we ask you to. Thank you for being a great leader and making a huge difference in the lives of students, families, staff and your community. Thank you for caring and acting on your passion!

We want to wish you all a very happy holiday season and a wonderful 2019!

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Luann Purcell
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