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CASE and leadership hot tips!
Several years ago, the CASE website featured a "Leadership Hot Tip" every week. The idea was to have members share some sort of "tip" they had used in their everyday leadership that made a difference with their staff, teachers, parents, or others. It was not always easy to come up with a tip every week ... but those that we had were really terrific! I came up with the idea after one of our executive committee members, Nan Records, Minn., shared a tip about something she did every year. It became our very first LHT and I have used it in many presentations over the years — always giving Nan the credit. I still think it is one of the BEST tips I have ever heard and I think it merits repeating...
    Each year, give all of your new teachers a clear plastic shoe box — you can purchase at the Dollar store or Wal-Mart or where ever. Inside the plastic shoe box put a personal and very specific compliment in the box for the teacher. Tell the teacher to place the box somewhere prominent in her/his classroom where it can be seen easily by the teacher from any location in the room — on top of a file cabinet, etc. Anytime the teacher receives a compliment, an encouraging word or email, put it in the box. Then when you are having a really bad day, glance over at the box ... even without re-reading your notes, the shoebox will remind you WHY you do the job you do!
I think the "tip" really resonated with me because on occasion, I will decide to "clean out my desk" and I always fine little scraps of paper, note cards, letters, or even sticky notes I have saved that have some encouraging message someone took the time to send to me. I just can't throw this notes away. I often shed a tear or laugh out loud when I re-read them. I bet many, if not all, of you have these same notes. In fact, I have one note that was in my desk from 2 jobs ago that was to my predecessor in that job that she left in the desk when she retired — I couldn't even throw that one away! We all know the "encouraging, positive" notes are a fairly rare occurrence in the Special Education Director position!

Do you have a special "tip" you could share with your colleagues — it might be something very simple but makes a huge difference to your staff, parents, students, or colleagues. Send it to me and let's start a LHT section in this weekly update! I know you all have great ideas and do GREAT work!

It's not too late to register and come to sunny Orlando, Fla., for the 3rd annual CASE Hybrid Conference, The Rosen Plaza hotel is a great hotel and who can beat $119 for February in the heart of happening Orlando! If you can't join us in sunny Florida, then consider being a virtual site — either way, we believe you need to hear what our speakers have to say so you will be better prepared to Keep Up In Changing Times!


Luann Purcell
Executive Director
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  Are your struggling readers prepared for
college and career?

READ 180
Next Generation is the best solution to prepare your students for the rigorous expectations of the Common Core. Only READ 180 delivers a personalized learning path, daily practice in argument writing, hundreds of content-rich texts, and an individualized staircase of text complexity. Learn more

CASE Third Annual
2014 Winter Hybrid Conference
Feb. 24-26
Orlando, Fla.
Rosen Plaza Hotel or Virtual

Each Day will be a self contained workshop
  • Focus on Measuring and Evaluating Teacher/Staff Effectiveness
  • Impact of Common Core, Essential Elements and New Assessments
  • Public Education: How Will It Survive
Presenters will be Cutting Edge
    Dr. Mary Brownell, CEEDAR Center, University of Florida; Dr. Stevan Kukic, NCLD; Dr. Rick Melmer, CCSSO/SDBOR/MCEC; Audra Ahumada, Alternate Assessment Director, AZ DOE; Dr. Lynn Holdheide, CEEDAR/AIR; Dr. Joanne Cashman, Director IDEA Partnership; Lindsay Jones, NCLD; Matt Clifford, AIR; Katie Hornung, AIR ; Others to be added as confirmed.
This will be a HYBRID Conference
  • Attend in person OR link up for a virtual conference from your location
  • Price is per site so invite as many others to join you as you wish for the same price
  • Purchase the CD-ROM and it is for your use as often as you wish!
  • Practical Help & Resources provided to all Virtual Sites
  • Special Communication Links between Virtual Sites and On Site participants/speakers
To Register: go to or

Click here to view the agenda.

Conference Hotel:
Rosen Plaza, 9700 International Drive
Orlando, Florida 32819
Group Rate- $119
To get the group rate click here.

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Special Education Symposium — July 21-25
The Bresnahan-Halstead Center
The Bresnahan-Halstead Center at the University of Northern Colorado is sponsoring a week long Special Education Symposium the week of July 21-25 at the Lion Square Lodge in beautiful Vail, Colorado. Participants in the Symposium will have the opportunity to hear and interact with Don Deshler, Steve Kukic, Beth Harry, Michael Epstein, and Harvey Rude who address the topic of: "Instructional Excellence for Improving Learner Outcomes." Session attendees will walk away with an action plan to apply innovative strategies that work, and produce the outcomes of results and learning for individual learners, including those with disabilities. To receive additional information, please contact Bresnahan-Halstead Center Business Manager, Lorae Blum at or visit our website at:
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IEP Meeting Facilitation Conference
Drexel University's School of Education Special Education Program presents a professional development opportunity for comprehensive and intensive training in the mechanics and legal benefits of IEP Meeting Facilitation and Conflict Resolution.

This conference will provide participants with training to effectively facilitate IEP Team meetings including:
  • Managing strong emotions and preventing conflict at IEP meetings.
  • Assuring productive and meaningful student-centered dialogue.
  • Implementing a legally compliant IEP Meeting Agenda, while focusing team members on IEP content.
Click here for more information.

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The Viscardi Center announces call for nominations to honor distinguished leaders of the disability community
The Viscardi Center via CASE
The Viscardi Center issued a Call for Nominations for the Henry Viscardi Achievement Awards, which pay tribute to exemplary leaders in the disability community who have had a profound impact on shaping attitudes, raising awareness and improving the quality of life of people with disabilities. The Award recipients will be announced on Monday, May 5, 2014.
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  A New Solution for Creating Effective Behavior Interventions

Using the tool’s guided-process, quickly create accurate, effective Proactive Strategies, Replacement Behaviors, and Reactive Strategies to help meet IEP goals.

  • Assess Problem Behaviors
  • Implement Behavior Plans
  • Track Progress

    PowerUp WHAT WORKS
    Center for Technology Implementation
    We're excited to share our news about PowerUp WHAT WORKS (, developed by the Center for Technology Implementation at the American Institutes for Research. PowerUp WHAT WORKS is a free professional learning website that offers teachers, PD facilitators, and administrators' resources for helping struggling students, especially those with disabilities, meet the Common Core State Standards. The focus is on linking evidence-based practices and technology in English language arts and math.
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    Job Posting

    Let CASE post your job positions
    CASE will be glad to post job positions each week — Please send to Luann Purcell, executive director by Tuesday of each week for posting the next week. It should be about a paragraph in length, but you can attach a PDF document that interested persons can then click through to for more information or you can provide a URL link for the same purpose. Please indicate at what date the post should be pulled not to exceed six weeks.
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    Special Education Alternate Assessment Coordinator
    North Dakota Department of Public Instruction

    Primary responsibility is in special education administrative management using a team process. The office of Special Education provides a stimulating work environment with a great variety. Plentiful professional development opportunities for leadership on disability related issues, plus interaction with state and national experts make this position both rewarding and professionally challenging.

    Click here for more information.

    The American School For The Deaf Announces an opening for Executive Director

    The American School for the Deaf is located in West Hartford, Connecticut. Established in 1817 as the first permanent school for the deaf in America, the current school is a comprehensive center-based and community-based educational institution serving deaf and hard-of-hearing students from preschool through high school, and providing an adult service program, utilizing a total communication philosophy. The American School for the Deaf is approved by the Departments of Education in ten states including Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York and serves students from ten states as well as international students.

    South Central Community Services Inc.
    Under the direct supervision of the Day Treatment Site Supervisor, the Teacher adopts the major responsibility for the academic learning, social and emotional growth of students. This includes the use of teaching techniques and tools which stimulate an interest in learning and covering the basic academic

    For more information click here.

    The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Education Division, Office of VSA and Accessibility, seeks a special education professional to be a catalyst for improving arts education for students with disabilities and students in special education. The person in this position will be expected to have and maintain an expertise and in-depth knowledge of education and special education policy and practice; the field of disability; and arts education, special education, inclusion, differentiated learning and universal design for learning. They will be responsible for executing VSA's 2014 Intersections: Arts and Special Education conference.

    For more information, as well as instructions on how to apply please go to: The position opened on September 14, 2013 and will remain open until filled.

    Council for Exceptional Children
    The Council for Exceptional Children invites applications for the editor of its peer reviewed, practitioner-oriented journal, TEACHING Exceptional Children. Applications from co-editors also will be accepted. Designed for special education professionals, TEC links research and practice, showing the application of research to special education classroom and administrative activities and decisions.

    To receive application instructions: Send an email to Please include your full name, current position and preferred phone number.

    Corning-Painted Post Area School District
    Position description: Supervises and coordinates programs that serve children with special needs; including special education, tutorial and enrichment programs. Coordinates the district health services and student screening programs. Implements the district guidance plan. Shares supervision with building administrators of district special education teachers, speech therapists, school-nurse teachers, guidance counselors, school psychologists and teachers in the enrichment programs.

    For more information click here.

    C8 Sciences, one of the fastest-growing brain research companies in the world, is seeking an inside sales consultant to help implement our researched based programs into the education and healthcare markets. This position has six-figure earnings potential, full benefit package, extensive training program and great working culture for the right candidate.

    For more information click here.

    The Mico University College Child Assessment and Research in Education Centre, established since 1981 to meet the needs of children requiring special education in Jamaica and the English speaking Caribbean seeks School Psychologist, and Special Educators at the graduate or doctoral level. Candidates must be able to diagnose and apply prescriptive remediation for children with learning disabilities and behavioral disorders, should have strong leadership skills with the ability to organize, train and develop and guide a clinical team. Strong research and analytical skills are also required.

    For further information you may email us at

    The Association of University Centers on Disabilities, a national not-for-profit organization, seeks an executive director to lead and guide activities that fulfill its mission to advance policies and practices that improve the health, education, social and economic well-being of people with developmental and other disabilities, their families and their communities by supporting its members in research, education, health and service activities. AUCD is governed by a 19-member Board of Directors that includes professionals, individuals with disabilities and family members. It has an annual budget of approximately $5 million and employs a staff of 21. For additional detailed information, click here and visit

    Berkshire Hills Music Academy, a private post-secondary residential school for young adults with a love of music who have learning, cognitive or developmental disabilities, is seeking a new executive director. Located in South Hadley, Mass., the academy uses a strength-based, music-infused curriculum to promote gains in self-efficacy as well as to cultivate performing arts abilities.

    The executive director will lead the school, oversee staff and programs, and be responsible for fiscal health and fundraising. Requires experience working with individuals with disabilities, management and fundraising experience.

    For more details, click here. Send cover, resume and salary history to Susan Egmont, Egmont Associates,

    Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

        Race to Top States still have lots of money to spend (Education Week)
    Advocates alarmed by 'backtracking' on teacher standards (Disability Scoop)
    FIEP training to be offered in February (CASE)

    Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.

    CEC Policy Insider

    Bipartisan funding proposal increases special, gifted education funding at CEC's urging
    CEC Policy Insider
    Pinch yourself — the unthinkable has happened: House and Senate Republican and Democratic leaders have come to an agreement. Recently, in a rebuke of sequestration and the sweeping funding cuts it mandated, lawmakers on Capitol Hill unveiled a bipartisan $1.1 Trillion federal funding bill, which contains numerous CEC supported investments in special and gifted education programs.
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    CEC salutes long-time disability rights advocate, Congressman George Miller as he announces retirement
    CEC Policy Insider
    One of Rep. George Miller's first official actions as a member of Congress was to champion the Education of All Handicapped Children Act, what we now call the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. That was nearly 40 years ago.
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    Your brain is not the hard-wired machine you think it is
    Psychology Today
    For many years, it was believed that the human brain is essentially hardwired — that we are born with a set of cognitive abilities, which are more or less unalterable for the rest of our lives.

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    read more
    Common Core's promise collides with IEP realities
    Education Week
    One of the most promising elements of common academic standards for students with disabilities, say experts in special education, is that they offer explicit connections from one set of skills to another.

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    read more
    'Mainstreaming' special education students needs debate
    The Wall Street Journal
    Americans tend to be a vocal people, sharing their views about almost any issue in the public sphere loudly and frequently.

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    read more

    Hot Topics

    Dyslexia screening bill goes to Christie
    Press of Atlantic City
    New Jersey's Senate unanimously passed a bill calling for the screening of schoolchildren for reading disabilities. Unless the bill is vetoed by the governor, the vote brings to an end a nine-year battle by Beth Ravelli, of Ocean City, and her daughter, Samantha, to get better services for children with dyslexia and other reading disabilities.
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    Report: Most special-needs students drop out of charter schools by third grade
    New York Daily News
    A whopping 80 percent of special-needs kids who enroll as kindergartners in city charter schools leave by the time they reach third grade, a report by the Independent Budget Office shows. But the publicly funded, privately operated charter schools, which enroll 6 percent of city students, hold on to general education students at a slightly higher rate than district schools, according to the study, which covered retention rates for kindergarten through third grade.
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    10 innovative ways to bring STEM to schools
    As schools look for innovative ways to bring in STEM learning, here’s a possible road map for how to galvanize a school community. No.1. Organize a teacher research and development team to dig deep into STEM learning by having these teachers read widely on the topic, visit local businesses and industries engaged in STEM work to interview real-world practitioners to find out what students need to be successful in these fields. This group can be comprised of 6 to 8 people and can act as the steering group for beginning an exploration of STEM learning in a school community.
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    State lawmakers face tough choices on Common Core
    Education Week
    State legislators begin their 2014 sessions this month grappling with the best way forward on the Common Core State Standards in a tricky political climate, with a majority of governors and lawmakers up for election in the fall. For many states, this year will be a key juncture for decisions about the standards — and related exams — before their full weight is felt in classrooms, district offices, and state education departments in the 2014-2015 school year. Many lawmakers will be working to help ensure that state accountability and assessment systems lead to students who are better prepared for study and work after high school, said Jeremy Anderson, the president of the Denver-based Education Commission of the States.
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    Feds call on schools to address discipline disparities
    Disability Scoop
    The Obama administration is issuing new guidance to schools in an effort to reduce the number of minorities and kids with disabilities who needlessly wind up in the hands of law enforcement. Students with disabilities and those from minority groups are disproportionately suspended or expelled, often for petty violations of school rules, federal officials say. The new guidance developed by the U.S. Department of Education and the Department of Justice is designed to ensure that discipline policies are fair, effective and do not violate students' civil rights. "A routine school disciplinary infraction should land a student in the principal's office, not in a police precinct," said Attorney General Eric Holder who called out "zero-tolerance" policies that can unintentionally make students feel unwelcome in their schools.
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    Is the Education Department nitpicking states over NCLB waivers?
    Education Week
    There are some alarming revelations in the new No Child Left Behind Act waiver reports issued by the U.S. Department of Education. At least three states — Idaho, Mississippi, and New York — aren't faithfully implementing the turnaround principles in their lowest-performing priority schools, for example. And Delaware isn't ensuring that its focus schools actually implement interventions for struggling subgroups of students.
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    US Departments of Education and Justice release school discipline guidance package to enhance school climate and improve school discipline policies/practices
    U.S. Department of Education
    The U.S. Department of Education, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Justice, released a school discipline guidance package that will assist states, districts and schools in developing practices and strategies to enhance school climate, and ensure those policies and practices comply with federal law.
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    Retiring Rep. George Miller called 'staunch advocate' for students with disabilities
    Education Week
    Christina Samuels, a contributor for Education Week, writes: "California lawmaker George Miller, a Democrat who has been deeply involved in education policy efforts for decades, plans to retire from Congress when his term ends at the end of the year. My colleague Alyson Klein has a thorough write-up of Miller's impact on education issues over the course of a long career. But his efforts to ensure that the needs of students with disabilities were not an afterthought will be particularly missed, said Kim Hymes, the senior director of policy and advocacy services for the Council for Exceptional Children, based in Arlington, Va."
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    In the News

    US acts to keep minority, disabled students out of jail
    The U.S. Justice and Education Departments unveiled guidelines to prevent schools from violating civil rights laws and keep students out of jail after data found minorities and the disabled were more likely than others to face discipline or arrest. Attorney General Eric Holder said the guidelines were aimed at giving direction to school law enforcement officers, protecting the civil rights of students, and disrupting what he called "the school-to-prison pipeline." "Effective discipline is, and always will be, a necessity. But a routine school discipline infraction should land a student in a principal's office — not in a police precinct," Holder, joined by Education Secretary Arne Duncan, said after meeting students at Baltimore's Frederick Douglass High School.
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    Your brain is not the hard-wired machine you think it is
    Psychology Today
    For many years, it was believed that the human brain is essentially hardwired — that we are born with a set of cognitive abilities, which are more or less unalterable for the rest of our lives. But the discovery of neuroplasticity — our brain's ability to selectively transform itself in response to certain experiences — has proven to be one of the biggest paradigm shifts that neuroscience has seen over the last 25 years. Simply put, neuroplasticity refers to our brain's malleability — its ability to respond to certain intrinsic or extrinsic stimuli by reorganizing and building its structure, function and connections.
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    Wonder, prediction and student engagement
    Dr. Richard Curwin, the director of graduate program in behavior disorder at David Yellin College, writes: "A sense of wonder and the need to predict — these are two of the qualities that enrich all of us. We wonder about big things (is there life on other planets?), smaller things (if I write to a friend that I've had a falling out with, will I get an answer?), and smaller yet (what will happen if I marinate my chicken in beer?). Not only is it fun to predict, but prediction is also a strong part of being safe (if the pot recently boiled, I should probably grab it by the insulated handle)."
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    The surprising reasons kids cheat in school
    Much like an unfaithful partner, a cheating student usually shoulders the entire blame for his misdeed, even when there might be other crucial dynamics at play. A recent story in The Atlantic highlights a new book by James M. Lang, associate professor of English at Assumption College, called Cheating Lessons: Learning From Academic Dishonesty, in which he explores these dynamics and sets out to rid his classes of cheating.
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    CASE Weekly Update
    Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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    Hailey Golden, Senior Education Editor, 469.420.2630   
    Contribute news

    Articles appearing in CASE Weekly include recent stories in the media related to Special Education and may not directly reflect the views and position of CASE. The appearance of advertising in CASE Weekly does not constitute CASE endorsement of any product, service or company or of any claims made in such advertisement.

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