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June is here...
CASE
Can you believe it? While many of our members are in their last days of the school year, just as many have already seen commencement come and go and school is official out! But we all have one thought in common, "where did this year go!" I imagine there are some of us who could tell you where the year had come from, but of course, this is too polite a publication for me to spell that out. Some years are tough and some are tougher! When I was first considering the Assistant Superintendent's job in our district many years ago, I remember the current leader had a sweet little cross-stitched saying on her credenza, "Things will be better next year!" Within a few weeks of the start of that school year in my new position as Assistant Superintendent, an anonymous gift arrived — not the same one, but another cross-stitched saying with those same words! I remember many days sitting in my office staring at the plaque and with all my heart hoping "things will be better next year!" I believe one of the essential elements of character needed for a successful special education leader is the element of eternal optimism!

Speaking of Essential Elements... I am so excited to be working with an amazing cross stakeholder group of folks from all around the country on developing a rubric for a Quality Special Education program. The process is being led by one of the former IDEA Partnership Activity Leaders, who is very well trained and very skilled at Leading by Convening. She has said several times what a joy it is to spend an hour with esteemed, competent colleagues brainstorming on just what the vision and reality of a quality special education program looks like. What are the Essential Elements? Why are they Essential? Where will we look to find them? How will we know them when we see them? What is the difference from Not Acceptable to Good to Great/Best Practices? I can hardly wait to tell you more about this project once it is more fully developed!

And since it IS June now, be sure you register to do your part in advocating for your students and programs in D.C. this July! Certainly an essential element of our job as special education administrators is to "tell the story" of all the amazing things our staff and students have accomplished this year to those up on the Hill. As the tag line says, "What happens in the classroom shouldn't stay in the classroom. Send the good news from your district to Capitol Hill." We need a team from EVERY state in order to really make a statement! As you enter into your Senator or Representative's office, think what kind of impression you will make when you can say there are teams visiting their Senator's and Representative's offices from all 50 states! Be a leader and not only make sure you are a part of this great event, but make sure you are a part of a TEAM to make an even bigger impact on your state delegation! Go to the CASE website or straight to the Summit website for more information and to register now!

Last Week's Poll asked "Who gives you the most accolades?" First place at 55 percent of those who completed the poll went to those saying it was their special education colleagues who most often provide you accolades. There was a five way tie for the other areas including colleagues in the district, colleagues from the state CASE unit, parents, family and other!

Thanks for all you do all the time to make sure ALL students succeed!

Signature


Luann Purcell
Executive Director
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The CASE 'G' Award for Rising Special Education Administrators
CASE
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. It was instituted for a member of CASE who is early in his/her 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. Nominations should be sent to Membership Chair Emilie Maule.

The award will be given at the Fall CASE Conference and the recipient will receive up to $1000 to be spent totally on a special night on the town and NOT for anything that could be used in classrooms or schools — this is a pamper yourself award! The person being nominated for the award must exemplify the following 5 values:
    VALUES
  1. "Heart" is at the core of what we do
  2. Lead by example
  3. Be honest
  4. Think outside the box
  5. Always use a collaborative approach
You can go to the CASE website to get additional information or you can click here.

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SPONSORED CONTENT



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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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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PRODUCT SHOWCASE
  Are your struggling readers prepared for college and career?

READ 180 Next Generation is the leasing blended learning solution that prepare your students for the rigorous expectations of College & Career. 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
 




SPONSORED CONTENT


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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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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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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  FEATURED COMPANIES
Things You Cannot Do With an iPad
The LOGAN® PROXTALKER® communication device is ideal for any picture exchange system user, of any age and is being used for communication or as a classroom tool.
Caselite
A web-based system that addresses the challenge of intervention scheduling in the schools. It's designed for anyone who needs to schedule and document interventions. MORE


CEC Policy Insider


Register for the 2015 Special Education Legislative Summit
CEC Policy Insider
Want to enhance your advocacy skills, learn about important special/gifted issues and early intervention, and take CEC's messages to Capitol Hill? Then come to the Special Education Legislative Summit July 12-15 in Alexandria, VA. Registration is easy, simply visit the Special Education Legislative Summit website, click the registration tab. Join us in July!
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State of Preschool Yearbook 2014
CEC Policy Insider
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan joined National Institute for Early Education Research Director Steven Barnett to unveil NIEER's State of Preschool Yearbook 2014 at CentroNía, an early learning and community center in Takoma Park, Maryland. The annual report, which includes state profiles and rankings covering the 2013-2014 school year, looks at enrollment, funding and quality benchmarks for state-funded preschool nationally and by state.
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DEC position on Leadership in Early Intervention and Early Childhood Special Education
CEC Policy Insider
Earlier this month, the Division for Early Childhood released their position statement on Leadership in Early Intervention and Early Childhood Special Education. This position statement focuses on promoting high-quality leadership at all levels of the early intervention/early childhood special education service systems.
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What every educator needs to know about coming changes to special education policy webinar, hosted by CEC
CEC Policy Insider
In this wide-ranging presentation, CEC's Policy and Advocacy Director, Deborah A. Ziegler, will review and analyze policies currently under discussion, recent changes to policies supported by the Obama administration and the U.S. Congress, and their impact on children and youth with disabilities and/or gifts and talents.
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  PRODUCT SHOWCASES
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    Voyager Passport® gives you a dynamic blend of print instruction and technology to help more of your struggling learners master priority skills and strategies to reach grade-level performance. A Teacher's Resource Kit includes everything you need to accommodate diverse learners, including instructional support for English learners and flexible grouping strategies.


    Hot Topics: Subject line featured story

    Technology breaks silence for nonverbal students
    Disability Scoop
    Travis Pilcher, 20, didn't talk for most of his life. He was a mystery to his teachers, who couldn't find a way to help the young man with severe autism. By the time he was a teenager, his parents, Michael and Shannia Pilcher of Fort Worth, were exhausted from dealing with his mood swings and aggressive behavior. "When he couldn't get his point across, he became so frustrated that he would explode," Shannia Pilcher said. Three years ago, Travis was chosen to be the guinea pig in a Fort Worth school district effort to equip nonverbal special education students with iPads. Within months, he was swiping symbols on the screen that converted text to speech. He would mimic the sounds he heard from the iPad to talk to his parents.
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    Legislation


    Board shortens Common Core-aligned tests known as PARCC
    The Washington Post
    The Common Core-aligned tests that made their debut in 11 states and the District this spring will be approximately 90 minutes shorter next year, a change that comes after parents, teachers and school administrators expressed frustration with the amount of time devoted to the new exams. The governing board of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers voted to shorten the tests. The board, made up of state superintendents, also voted to give the exams during one 30-day testing window near the end of the school year.
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    Special education tactics aide Common Core success
    District Administration Magazine
    A curriculum framework initially developed for special education students is gaining traction in general ed classrooms nationwide during Common Core implementation. Universal Design for Learning is an approach created by a nonprofit that addresses students' individual learning needs to reach standards. Teachers allow students multiple ways of accessing information and demonstrating understanding for each lesson or assignment in order to differentiate learning. The Common Core expects students to demonstrate mastery in multiple ways.
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    TRENDING ARTICLES
    Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

        How poetry can open a whole new world for children with autism (The Huffington Post)
    Feds call for greater inclusion in preschools (Disability Scoop)
    CDC: 1 in 10 children diagnosed with ADHD (HealthDay News via WebMd)
    3 challenges facing parents of teens with learning disabilities (U.S. News & World Report)
    What do you do with a student who fidgets? (NPR)

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


    In the News


    15 assistive technology tools and resources for students with disabilities
    Te@chThought
    According to the National Education Association, the number of U.S. students enrolled in special education programs has risen 30 percent over the past 10 years. Additionally, the NEA reports that nearly every general education classroom in the country includes students with disabilities, as three out of every four students with disabilities spends part or all of their school day in a general education classroom.
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    How to get through to students with ADHD/LD
    ADDitude Magazine
    Teachers: Have you ever had a lesson plan that didn't work the way you wanted it to? Maybe it's because you planned the lesson for yourself. It would have worked fine for someone who learns like you do, but it wasn’t effective for struggling learners. Do you have a student who wrestles with simple assignments? Does he act confused or oblivious when you speak? Does it seem as if he's been blindfolded, spun around, and asked to perform while receiving too much information from a cheering, well-intentioned crowd? Here are several strategies for making things easier for students with ADHD/LD in your classroom.
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    Animals' presence may ease social anxiety in kids with autism
    Medical News Today
    Animals' presence may ease social anxiety in kids with autism NIH-funded study could have implications for treatment. When animals are present, children with autism spectrum disorders have lower readings on a device that detects anxiety and other forms of social arousal when interacting with their peers. According to a study funded in part by the National Institutes of Health, companion animals — like dogs, cats or the guinea pigs in the study — may prove to be a helpful addition to treatment programs designed to help children with ASDs improve their social skills and interactions with other people.
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    Study: Dyslexia unrelated to vision problems
    HealthDay News via U.S. News & World Report
    Eye training or other vision therapies will not treat dyslexia in children, say researchers who found normal vision among most children with the learning disability. The findings confirm what eye doctors have known for a long time, said Dr. Mark Fromer, an ophthalmologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. "Dyslexia is a brain dysfunction, not an eye disorder," said Fromer, who was not involved in the study. "There are no studies that clearly identify that visual training can be helpful for the dyslexic patient."
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    More US kids getting mental health treatment
    HealthDay News via DoctorsLounge
    The number of U.S. children and teens being treated for mental health issues has risen by about 50 percent in the past 20 years — with most of those kids having relatively mild symptoms, a new study finds. The research, published in the May 21 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, comes at a time of growing concern over young people's mental health treatment. In particular, some worry that kids with milder issues are being overtreated with antidepressants, stimulants (such as those used for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) and antipsychotic drugs, said lead researcher Dr. Mark Olfson, a professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University in New York City.
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    The reading brain: Executive function hard at work
    By: Linda R. Hecker
    When I talk with educators across the country, they often lament that students don't read much anymore, especially in the face of ubiquitous social and multimedia distractions. Even students with intact decoding and fluency complain that reading is just too hard, not worth the effort. Why is reading such a challenge for so many? One often overlooked factor is the role that executive function plays when we engage with text. Broadly put, executive function describes the cognitive processes that regulate self-directed behavior toward a goal.
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    Inspiring progress toward learning goals
    Edutopia
    The topic of metacognition can seem quite abstract — a complex concept for students to embrace. But it is worth the effort to develop a metacognitive mindset in setting goals for learning and in monitoring progress toward achieving those goals. For teachers empowering students to think about their thinking with the aim of improving learning, it can be truly inspiring when they see the resulting changes in students' motivation, resilience and learning gains.
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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


    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
    Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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    Hailey Golden, Senior Education Editor, 469.420.2630   
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