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Finally, May Flowers!
CASE
Can you believe it is finally May? I know for some of you, you didn't believe this day would ever come! It has been a brutal winter. But the April showers did in fact bring May flowers. Many of us are now complaining about all the pollen — are we ever satisfied? As the school year rapidly comes to a close, CASE would like to encourage you to spend a few minutes to pick a few of those May flowers, figuratively. Do you know a new special education administrator who has routinely "stuck their neck out" for teachers and students during this past school year? Last year was the first year for the new CASE award called the "G"AWARD for Rising Special Education Administrators. This award was instituted for a member of CASE who is early in her/his career as an administrator. This individual may be nominated within their first 3 years of administrating special education programs/services and the award will be accompanied by a night on the town in their home area (limo, dinner, movie, child care, etc.) with a $1000 value. This award is acknowledgement of the administrator for sticking his/her neck out to better support their teachers to enable them to make a difference in the lives of the students they serve. The deadline for the award nomination is June 15. You can go to the CASE website under the AWARD tab and get additional information or you can click here. Give someone a bouquet of those "May" flowers by nominating them for this award!

Did you miss the deadline for the CASE Fall Conference Request for Proposals? Well, good news for you — we have extended it until May 11 so get that proposal submitted! Just go to the CASE website or click here for more information!

Have you started getting your state team together for the Legislative Summit yet? This will be our 13th year and we have made some serious impact up on the Hill and back in your states/districts. Think about the impact a team of teachers, administrators, university personnel, related service providers and others would have on your congressional delegations! For those of you who have participated in the CASE Summit, you will see that all the familiar program, visit, Thank You reception, etc. are all very much the same — the marketing and the size will be different and hopefully our influence will be even greater! We will have a VERY SHORT early bird so you want to get on board quickly! Click here to register and get this great rate! The hotel will be the same as last year — Hilton Old Town — a great location for lots of fun and just across the street from the King Street Metro stop! The room rate will be $155 And you can register for the hotel on the same link as the Summit or you can click here. Hope to see YOU and your team in D.C. this July 12-15! If you want to register a team at a discount, though NOT as cheap as the early bird, then you will need to contact me so we can set that up for you.

Last Week's Poll asked "What have you found to be most effective in communicating with your legislative and congressional delegations?" The first place answer with an amazing 75 percent was personally visiting them in their offices. Second place and last place was tied at 13 percent was sending and/or writing personal letters or emails and getting other organizations to sign on to a letter. We hope you will make every effort possible to join your CASE and CEC colleagues in D.C. this July so you too can make personal visits to your congressional delegates!

Thanks for all you do all the time to make sure ALL students have what they need to succeed!

Signature


Luann Purcell
Executive Director
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This year, CASE will be joining forces with CEC to make an even bigger impression up on the Hill!

CASE
This four-day legislative summit is for teachers, administrators, teacher educators, teachers in training – anyone who passionately supports national special education issues that improve educational outcomes for students with exceptionalities and the professionals who work on their behalf.

Get all the knowledge and training you need to be an effective special education advocate, including:
  • Detailed issue briefings that explain the critical issues facing special education
  • Insider perspectives from experts in national education policy organizations
  • Coaching and practice sessions on delivering effective advocacy messages
  • An opportunity to share your views and your students' success stories with your members of Congress during Special Education Day on Capitol Hill
Special Education Day on Capitol Hill will show decision makers in Washington how investing in special education pays off in successful students who are college and career ready and make important contributions to their communities.

Click here for more information.

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SPONSORED CONTENT


Call for proposals for the 26th Annual Fall Case Conference on Oct. 29-31 at the Hyatt Regency in Atlanta extended to May 11
CASE
Please mark your calendars and plan to join us at the 26th Annual Fall Case Conference on Oct. 29-31 at the Hyatt Regency in Atlanta. The theme will be, "Continuing to Take Care of Business." There will be motivating keynote speakers and presentations aligned to the theme focusing on innovative programming for students with disabilities or procedures for developing successful transformational change. As districts continue to evolve with common core standards, improved statewide assessments, and refined measures of teacher effectiveness, we are looking forward to highlighting successes from the field in these areas.
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Special Education Law Symposium
The 40th Anniversary of the IDEA: The Past is Prologue
June 21-26

Lehigh University
Lehigh University’s intensive one-week institute provides a practical analysis of legislation, regulations, and case law relating to the education of students with disabilities. The symposium is designed for special education coordinators and teachers, principals, psychologists, parent advocates, attorneys (on both sides), hearing officers, state officials, and other individuals interested in legal literacy concerning the education of students with disabilities.

The program offers two parallel tracks, one for basic that offers in-depth foundation knowledge about the IDEA and Section 504: Eligibility, FAPE, LRE, Student Discipline, and Remedies. The other track is for advanced participants, offering brand new "hot topics": Settlement Process, Exiting Special Education, "Meaningful" Parental Participation, Inadequate IEP Implementation as a FAPE Denial, Transition Services, Parental Private Placements, and State Complaint Resolution Process.

The experienced program faculty features attorneys Laura Anthony (Ohio), Edward Bauer (Florida), Maria Blaeuer (Washington, DC), Esther Canty-Barnes (New Jersey), Andrew Cuddy (New York), Laura Gillis (Massachusetts), Zvi Greisman (Maryland), Dana Jonson (Connecticut), Michael Joyce (Massachusetts), Isabel Machado (New Jersey), Deborah Mattison (Alabama), Kevin McDowell (Indiana), Michael Stafford (Delaware), and — from Pennsylvania — Andrew Faust, Joshua Kershenbaum, Dennis McAndrews, Gabrielle Sereni, and Dr. Perry Zirkel.

The symposium begins on Sunday evening with a dinner and keynote lecture by Dr. Melody Musgrove, Director, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), U.S. Department of Education.

The workshop is offered for graduate and continuing education credit. Weekly and daily options are available. Full information is available on our website: coe.lehigh.edu/law. For any questions, email or call Shannon Weber or Donna Johnson at specialedlaw@lehigh.edu or (610) 758-5557.

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How safe is the schoolhouse?
Autism National Committee
The updated 2015 edition of How Safe Is the Schoolhouse? An Analysis of State Seclusion and Restraint Laws and Policies, written by Jessica Butler, has been published by the Autism National Committee. The report describes and examines state restraint and seclusion statutes, regulations, rules, and policies/guidelines in effect as of March 2015.
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A matter of equity: Preschool in America
OSERS
All parents hope their child will start school ready for success. Unfortunately, not every parent can find the high-quality early learning opportunity that sets their child up for success.

Earlier today the U.S. Department of Education released a new report outlining the unmet need for high-quality early learning programs in America. Roughly 6 in 10 4-year-olds are not enrolled in publicly funded preschool programs, and even fewer are enrolled in the highest quality programs.

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SPONSORED CONTENT


Did you missed the 4th annual Hybrid?
CASE
If you missed the 4th annual Hybrid, you can still get the great content by purchasing the DVD! They will be delivered to you within 4 weeks of the end of the conference. Click here for the Schedule-in Eastern Time, click here for a flyer, and click here to purchase the DVD!
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Bipartisan ESEA Bill Developed in Senate Committee
Myrna Mandlawitz, CASE Legislative Consultant
In January 2015 Senator Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, issued a discussion draft for the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, currently known as No Child Left Behind. He solicited comments from the public, with the intention of eventually releasing a bipartisan bill. After several months of serious negotiations led by Alexander and Senator Patty Murray, D-Wash., ranking Democrat on the committee, the Every Child Achieves Act was released. As this article was being written, the Committee was set to take up the bill beginning on April 14. While both Alexander and Murray acknowledge the bill does not comport completely with what either would have wanted, they agree this is a solid effort that moves the process forward.
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50 Ways to Test: A look at state summative assessments for 2014-2015
Education Commission of the States
Has the frenzy around Common Core State Standards impacted decisions on which state summative assessments are being administered this year? That's the question on many minds as we approach spring testing time. As many states began adopting college and career ready standards, such as the Common Core State Standards, there became a subsequent need to develop new summative assessments — tests that measure the new skills and knowledge outlined in the new standards.
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Teacher Educators and Accomplished teachers
Pearson
Pearson is in need of educators to score edTPA! edTPA is designed for the profession by the profession, edTPA was developed by teachers and teacher educators from across the nation, in collaboration with faculty and staff from Stanford University, to support candidate learning and preparation program growth and renewal. Aligned with the Common Core State Standards and InTASC Standards, edTPA assesses teaching that promotes student learning in diverse contexts.
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CEC Policy Insider


U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights releases guidance package for Title IX coordinators
CEC Policy Insider
The U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights released a guidance package emphasizing the responsibility of school districts, colleges and universities to designate a Title IX coordinator. All educational institutions receiving Federal financial assistance must designate at least one employee to coordinate their efforts to comply with and carry out their responsibilities under Title IX.
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US Department of Education report shows uneven access to preschool across states
CEC Policy Insider
The U.S. Department of Education has released a report about the need for high-quality preschool programs. The study titled, "A Matter of Equity: Preschool in America," highlights that six out of every 10 children — about 2.5 million — are not enrolled in publicly funded preschool programs which also includes: programs serving children with disabilities, state preschool programs and Head Start.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    As a nation, how can we best empower our gifted kids? (Psychology Today)
Fresh battles loom when full Senate takes up ESEA rewrite (Education Week)
Fidgeting helps children with ADHD learn, study suggests (Science World Report)
5 strategies for SPED success with Common Core (Scholastic Administrators Magazine)
Autism in college: How are institutions helping students succeed? (Education DIVE)

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


Hot Topics: Subject line featured story

Inclusive curriculum may not help kindergartners with disabilities make friends
Psych Central
Inclusive classrooms that use disability awareness curricula do not necessarily help children with disabilities make new friendships, according to a new study published in the journal Topics in Early Childhood Special Education. The findings also showed that having at least one best friend helps children with numerous problem behaviors and low social skills gain peer acceptance. Inclusive classrooms are defined as those that integrate children with disabilities into a mainstream classroom.
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    Legislation


    Schools warned on pushing families into due process
    Disability Scoop
    Federal education officials are warning school districts to think twice before forcing parents into potentially long and costly due process proceedings. Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, families may pursue due process or file a state complaint if they don't believe their child has been provided appropriate school services. However, in a "Dear Colleague" letter to education leaders across the country, officials at the U.S. Department of Education said this month that they are concerned that some school districts are moving to file for due process over issues that parents have already chosen to address via state complaints.
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    Education Department issuing final rule on special education finance
    Education Week
    The U.S. Department of Education will release a final rule in the Federal Register on how school districts are supposed to comply with a section of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act that spells out special education finance provisions. Among the issues the rule aims to clarify is that if a school district reduces the amount it spends on special education in a given year, it cannot use that new, lowered baseline in order to calculate how much it should spend on special education in subsequent years.
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    In the News


    Disabilities, illnesses mean teachers must adap
    The Des Moines Register
    Professors at Iowa colleges and universities teach the same classes, but each semester brings a new experience with all kinds of students — ambitious students, quiet students, lazy students, disruptive students. They also teach students with illnesses and disabilities that, in some cases, are not easy to see, but to which faculty have to respond. "I didn't realize how much of a visual teacher I was until I started teaching blind students," said Paul Brooke, a Grand View University English professor who has been teaching for more than 20 years. "You have to put yourself in their position and really think, 'How am I going to learn this?' "
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    3 simple strategies to increase student engagement
    By: Savanna Flakes
    One way to increase student engagement is to use structures that illicit a response from all students and provide teachers formative data on student learning. In order to meet a variety of students' needs, educators should work to also incorporate the use of a variety of multiple intelligences in their classrooms. Here are my top three low-tech and low-prep strategies to increase student engagement and provide teachers real-time data to adjust and differentiate instruction. All three assessment strategies are quick, inexpensive and easy to teach.
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    Children with dyslexia do not detect stressed syllables well while listening to words
    Plataforma SINC via Science Daily
    Dyslexia is not only a problem related to reading; children with this difficulty also display impaired prosodic processing, in other words, they struggle to detect stressed syllables. A team of researchers has shown this feature to be lacking in dyslexia for the first time in Spanish (it has already been demonstrated in English) and highlights the importance of including oral expression activities, as well as reading, to differentiate tone, word stress and intonation.
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    Just do it: Fighting ADHD procrastination at school
    ADDitude
    How can you help students who struggle with procrastination? Initiating a task involves the ability to begin projects without undue procrastination, in an efficient or timely fashion. For instance, a young child with strong executive function can start an assignment immediately after instructions are given. Self-starting high school students won't put off their least favorite homework assignment until the end of the evening. Starting a task is hard for kids with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder because their brains are usually stuck in the present, on the right now. They prefer to focus on the most interesting thing in their immediate environment.
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    Kids losing autism diagnosis may still need educational support
    Medical News Today
    The research, presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies annual meeting in San Diego, aimed to investigate whether any deficits remained after the resolution of early symptoms to the extent that children no longer met the criteria for autism spectrum disorder. Data were analyzed for children diagnosed with ASD in 2003-2013 whose symptoms had been found to have resolved around 4 years later upon re-evaluation. A total of 38 children out of 569 diagnosed with ASD in a university-affiliated early intervention program were reviewed by the team led by Dr. Lisa Shulman.
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    Writing strategies for students with ADHD
    Edutopia
    Too often, students with ADHD get labeled as "problem students." They often get shuffled into special education programs even if they show no signs of developmental disability. Though these students' brains do work differently, studies prove that it doesn't preclude them from being highly intelligent. That means teachers should pay special attention to help students with ADHD discover their potential and deal with the challenges they face in their learning process.
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    How does a teacher's race affect which students get to be identified as gifted?
    The Washington Post
    Black students are more likely to be identified as "gifted" when they attend schools with higher proportions of black teachers, according to a new study, and Latino students are more likely to be called gifted when they go to schools with more Latino teachers. The study doesn't get at why there is such a correlation, but it adds another layer to a long-simmering debate about why black and Latino children are less likely to be called "gifted" than their white and Asian peers.
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    Standing desks can reduce classroom behavior problems
    Psych Central
    A new study finds students with standing desks are more attentive than their seated counterparts, and, as a bonus, the students burn more calories. Researchers from the Texas A&M School of Public Health found that the standing desks improved classroom attention-engagement by 12 percent, or an extra seven minutes per hour of engaged instruction time. The findings, published in the International Journal of Health Promotion and Education, were based on a study of almost 300 children in second through fourth grade who were observed over the course of a school year.
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    Common Core: What's right for special education students?
    CBS News
    Nothing lights up 10 year-old Billy Flood's face brighter than when you talk to him about music. The pint-size Beatles fan loves writing his own songs, and playing the keyboard and bass. However, when getting on the topic of Common Core and end-of-the-year testing that light dims a little. "It was kind of a nerve-wracking experience," said Billy, a fifth-grader at a public school in Brooklyn, New York. "I think I was pretty nervous taking the test."
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    School accountability: Where do we stand?
    By: Archita Datta Majumdar
    In the light of the raging debates on school accountability and the opposition to Common Core testing, a decade-old thesis has found new relevance. "Does School Accountability Lead to Improved Student Performance?" has reached an important milestone since it has singularly influenced major education reforms since it was published in 2005. When teachers and schools are held accountable for students' performance, grades have significantly improved. But more importantly, we've also seen how test results are ineffective in determining the real picture of student achievements and growth or potential.
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    Federal Announcements


    OSERS Notices

    Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA)
    The following Notice of Applications for New Awards; Vocational Rehabilitation Services Projects for American Indians With Disabilities were published in the Federal Register on Tuesday, April 7.
    Notice inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 2015. Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.250K.
    Dates:
    Applications Available: April 7
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: June 8


    Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP)
    The following Notice of Applications for New Awards; Educational Technology, Media, and Materials for Individuals With Disabilities — Research and Development
    Center To Advance the Use of New and Emerging Technologies to Ensure Accessibility was published in the Federal Register on Tuesday, April 7.
    Notice inviting applications for a new award for fiscal year (FY) 2015. Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.327B.
    Dates:
    Applications Available: April 8
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: May 26


    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.160A.

    SUMMARY: The Secretary proposes to waive the requirements that generally prohibit project periods exceeding five years and extensions of project periods involving the obligation of additional Federal funds for five 60-month projects initially funded in fiscal year (FY) 2010. The Secretary also proposes to extend the project period for these projects for one year. The proposed waiver and extension would enable the currently funded Regional Interpreter Education Centers for the training of interpreters for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing and individuals who are deaf-blind to receive funding through Sept. 30, 2016.
    Dates:
    Comments due on or before May 18


    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.160B

    Summary: The Secretary proposes to waive the requirements that generally prohibit project periods exceeding five years and extensions of project periods involving the obligation of additional Federal funds for a 60-month project initially funded in fiscal year (FY) 2010. The Secretary also proposes to extend the project period for one year. The proposed waiver and extension would enable the currently funded National Interpreter Education Center to receive funding through Sept. 30, 2016.
    Dates:
    Comments due on or before May 18


    Agencies: Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education, Rehabilitation Services Administration, Education; Employment and Training Administration (ETA), Labor.

    Dates: Comments due on or before June 15


    The following Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding State Vocational Rehabilitation Services Program; State Supported Employment Services Program; Limitations on Use of Subminimum Wage was published in the Federal Register on Thursday, April 16.

    Dates: Comments due on or before June 15


    The following Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, Miscellaneous Program Changes was published in the Federal Register on Thursday, April 16.

    Dates: Comments on or before June 15
     

    CASE Weekly Update
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