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Turning 3 Essentials


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Provides information about the procedures for transitioning a child from Early Intervention (EI) to special education.

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Turning 3 Essentials

  2. 2. Turning Three Essentials Parent Training and Information Center Federation for Children with Special Needs Content of this workshop was developed under grant # H328M140014 from U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs and MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Content does not necessarily reflect view of funding agencies; you should not assume endorsement by Federal Government.
  3. 3. © Federation for Children with Special Needs3 Workshop Goals • Understand the differences between qualifying for early intervention and qualifying for special education services • Understand the steps in transition from early intervention to special education services • So you can better participate in the transition process and become a better advocate for your child
  4. 4. © Federation for Children with Special Needs4 Special Education Laws Federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) 20 USC §§ 1400-1487 Regulations 34 CFR Part 300 State Massachusetts Special Education Law MGL Chapter 71B Regulations 603 CMR Section 28.00
  5. 5. © Federation for Children with Special Needs5 Comparing EI and Special Education Early Intervention (EI) •Battelle Developmental Inventory (BDI-2) •Family Centered •Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) Special Ed.(IEP) •Specific Disability Guidelines •Child Focused •Individual Education Program (IEP) Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) Individualized Education Plan (IEP)  Written plan for child 0-3 who receives EI services  Focuses on the child and family  Family determines goals  Provides opportunity to discuss family’s concerns regarding child.  Written plan for children who have been found eligible for special education.  Focuses on the child  Special education Team determines goals and outcomes for the child.
  6. 6. © Federation for Children with Special Needs6 Early Intervention (EI) and Preschool •EI and school professionals should work together to help parents through this transition. •Services may or may not look the same due to the differences between EI and IEP. •Parent may request to review EI records (10 days) and receive a free copy of each evaluation, family assessment and IFSP. •Not all children in EI will be eligible for Special Education.
  7. 7. © Federation for Children with Special Needs7 Steps in the Transition Planning Process 1. Transition Planning Conference 2. School District sends Consent Form for evaluate to parent within 5 school days of referral. Receipt by school of signed Consent Form starts IEP process. 3. School District shall evaluate child who is 2.6 years & may be receiving services through EI. 4. Initial School Evaluation shall be conducted in order to ensure that if child is found eligible, special education services begin promptly at age 3. 5. Team Meeting 6. IEP Developed (if found eligible)
  8. 8. © Federation for Children with Special Needs8 Transition Planning Conference • A specific plan for transition to school or another setting is included in the IFSP [34 CFR 303.209] • Occurs between 2.3 and 2.9 years old • Meeting members need to include EI service coordinator and a parent- may also include with parents permission: school personnel, additional family members, friends, daycare personnel, early head start, etc. • Good time to discuss - Concerns and/or information about the child - Eligibility criteria and process - Reasons for the referral - Who the evaluator will be and the content of the evaluation [603 CMR 28.04 (1)(c)]
  9. 9. © Federation for Children with Special Needs9 Consent Form Options: - Agree to some or all of the proposed assessments - Ask for additional assessments/evaluations - Ask the school to accept an outside evaluation Tip: • Write on the consent form that you are requesting copies of the school evaluation reports • School needs to provide copies of the evaluations at least 2 days prior to the team meeting if the parent requests it in writing • Provide 10 days in advance any reports you wish the Team to review for the meeting.
  10. 10. © Federation for Children with Special Needs10 Evaluations Evaluation data drives the eligibility process. •Information from parents •IFSP continues to be a valued resource •Observations by EI specialists at home, EI program and/or child care • Language of evaluations must be: • provided in the child’s Native Language or other method of communication [34 CFR 300.304(c)(1)(ii)] • in the method most likely to provide accurate information unless it is clearly not feasible to do so [34 CFR 300.304]
  11. 11. © Federation for Children with Special Needs11 Which Evaluations are Required? (See 603 CMR 28.04 (2)) 1. assessment in all areas related to suspected disability such as: • functional behavioral assessments (FBA), • speech and language, • reading, • assistive technology, • occupational therapy, • physical therapy, etc. 2. an educational assessment by a representative of school district
  12. 12. © Federation for Children with Special Needs12 Which Evaluations are Optional? See 603 CMR 28.4(2)(b) • Comprehensive health assessment performed by a physician • Psychological assessment performed by a licensed school psychologist, licensed psychologist, or a licensed educational psychologist • Home assessment performed by a nurse, psychologist, social worker, guidance or adjustment counselor TIP: Evaluations are required prior to a finding of ineligibility
  13. 13. © Federation for Children with Special Needs13 You have a right to know who will attend the Team. Let the school district know if you are bringing someone. Alternatives to physical meetings are allowed such as videoconferences, conference calls or virtual meetings. [IDEA 2004: CFR 300.328] IEP Team Membership:
  14. 14. © Federation for Children with Special Needs14 Who is on the IEP TEAM? (See 34 CFR 300.321 and 300.116(a)(1)) • Parents • Special Education Teacher(s) • Regular Education Teacher(s) • Evaluator who can interpret evaluation results • District representative with knowledge and authority • Others with knowledge or expertise regarding child • Child, if appropriate
  15. 15. © Federation for Children with Special Needs15 Who can Excuse a Team Member? That attendance of member is not necessary because this person’s area of curriculum or related services is not being modified or discussed in meeting. (34 CFR 300.321(e)(1)) Even when meeting DOES require this member’s expertise if member submits, in writing, to parent and IEP Team, input into development of IEP prior to the meeting. (34 CFR 300.321(e)(2)) An IEP Team Member does Not have to attend if parent and school agree, in writing:
  16. 16. © Federation for Children with Special Needs16 IEP Process: At the Team Meeting The Team meets to decide: Eligibility: Determine eligibility IEP Services: If the child is eligible for special education, the team develops an IEP Program Placement: The team next discusses and determines placement for the child
  17. 17. © Federation for Children with Special Needs17 Eligibility Requirements 1. Does the child have a disability? 2. Did the child show progress in EI over time as with same age peers? (remember there are variations in development). 3a. Does the child require specially designed instruction to make effective progress in the preschool curriculum? or 3b. Require related services in order to access the preschool curriculum?
  18. 18. © Federation for Children with Special Needs18 Questions of Eligibility: 1) Does the Child Have a Disability? •Autism •Developmental Delay •Intellectual Impairment •Sensory Impairment: Hearing/Vision/Deaf-Blind •Neurological Impairment •Emotional Impairment •Communication Impairment •Physical Impairment •Health Impairment • AD/HD • Tourette syndrome •Specific Learning Disability • [CFR 300.307-300.311]
  19. 19. © Federation for Children with Special Needs19 MA Autism Requirements When a child has a diagnosis on the Autism Spectrum disorder … the IEP team shall consider and shall specifically discuss the following needs: 1. The verbal and nonverbal communication 2. Develop social skills/proficiencies 3. Unusual responses to sensory experiences 4. Resistance to environmental change or change in daily routines 5. Engagement in repetitive activities/ stereotyped movements 6. Positive behavioral interventions, strategies and supports to address any behavioral difficulties resulting from autism spectrum disorder 7. And other needs resulting from the child’s disability impacting progress in the general curricula including social and emotional development 2005 Commonwealth of MA amended an ACT Chapter 71 B, Section 3
  20. 20. © Federation for Children with Special Needs20 Effective progress is documented growth: 1. in knowledge and skills (including social-emotional skills) 2. in the early intervention and/or preschool program 3. with or without accommodations 4. according to the chronological age and developmental expectations 5. according to the individual educational potential of the child 6. according to the MA Early Childhood Program Standards/ Guidelines for pre-school learning experiences 2) Is the Child Not Making Effective Progress Due to the Disability? Questions of Eligibility: Early Childhood Program Standards for Three and Four Year Olds progstan.pdf
  21. 21. © Federation for Children with Special Needs21 Specially Designed Instruction is Special Education. It is modifying the: 1) content, 2) methodology, or 3) performance criteria as appropriate to: • Meet the unique needs of the child • Address the child’s needs related to the disability • Ensure access to the preschool curriculum • In order to meet Early Childhood Program Standards/ Guidelines for pre-school learning experiences Questions of Eligibility: 3a) Does the Child Require Specially Designed Instruction to Make Effective Progress?
  22. 22. © Federation for Children with Special Needs22 •Assistive technology •Audiology •Counseling •Interpreting •Medical •Occupational therapy •Orientation and mobility •Parent counseling and training •Physical therapy •Psychological •Recreation •School health and school nurse, Social worker •Speech and language pathology • Transportation •Other services with the exception of a medical device that is surgically implanted Questions of Eligibility: 3b) Or Does the Child Require a Related Service in Order to Access the General Curriculum?*
  23. 23. © Federation for Children with Special Needs23 Continued Eligibility: Re-Evaluation District must determine eligibility and re-evaluate once every 3 years, unless the parent and the district agree otherwise Reevaluation can take place sooner, but not more often than once per year Formal evaluations are required before a student can be discharged from IEP services. [IDEA 2004: CFR 300.303 and 300.305(e)(1)]
  24. 24. © Federation for Children with Special Needs24 Placement: What is Least Restrictive Environment (LRE)? (34 CFR 300.114;603 CMR 28.02 (12)) To maximum extent appropriate, students with disabilities are educated with students who are not disabled. Removal from general education occurs only when nature or severity of disability is such that education in regular classes with use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily. Therapeutic day or residential treatment programs may be the LRE to meet the unique needs of of some students.
  25. 25. © Federation for Children with Special Needs25 Nonacademic/Extracurricular Activities Each school must take steps to: Provide supplementary aids and services determined appropriate and necessary by the child’s IEP Team Provide nonacademic and extracurricular services and activities for children with disabilities Afford children with disabilities equal opportunity for participation [IDEA 2004: CFR 300.107]
  26. 26. © Federation for Children with Special Needs26 Examples include: •Field Trips • Fire Station •Counseling services • Play therapy •Athletics • Recess •Transportation •Health services •Recreational activities Nonacademic/Extracurricular Activities •Special interest groups or clubs sponsored by the school district •Referrals to agencies that provide assistance •Before or after school programs if provided by the school district [IDEA 2004: CFR 300.107]
  27. 27. © Federation for Children with Special Needs27 What Happens at Close of Team Meeting? Parents should receive summary of goal areas and completed service delivery grid describing types and amounts of special education and/or related services being proposed. • Expect proposed IEP in two calendar weeks. • If prefer not wait 2 calendar weeks, school must respond with a completed IEP within 3-5 days of team meeting.
  28. 28. © Federation for Children with Special Needs28 What are Parent Response Options to IEP? (See 603 CMR 25.05(7) IEP Response Options Accept IEP in Full Reject IEP in Full Reject IEP in Part Placement Form Response Options Accept Placement Reject Placement • Do not reject first IEP in full—accept in part/ reject in part at a minimum so child gains “stay put” rights to receive special education. • Can accept services offered while rejecting failure to offer more services. • If reject in part, anything not rejected must be implemented immediately.
  29. 29. © Federation for Children with Special Needs29 Can the Parties Agree to Amend or Modify the IEP After the Team Meeting? Parents and school may agree to change an IEP without another meeting, after Team Meeting . (See 34 CFR 300.324(a)(4)(i)) Parent consent is still required for all changes to IEP. • All individuals implementing IEP must be informed of changes to IEP and their responsibilities under IEP. (See 34 CFR 300.324(a)(4)(ii)) • IEP must be accessible at all times to everyone implementing IEP. (See 34 CFR 300.323(d)(1))
  30. 30. © Federation for Children with Special Needs30 What Happens once the IEP is signed? Progress reports are sent home as often as report cards. Annual review: Team reviews IEP and progress of student every year. Parent should determine what goals child has met before creating new IEP. Every three years or sooner if necessary, school - with parent consent - conducts a three-year re-evaluation. Parents have right to request and receive a copy of school records. Parents have an unconditional right to observe child in classroom and/or send in professional to conduct observation. See DESE Advisory SPED 2009-2 Observation of Education Programs by Parents and Their Designees for Evaluation Purposes.
  31. 31. © Federation for Children with Special Needs31 IEP Implementation The school district has a responsibility to ensure that the child’s IEP is accessible to: • every teacher, • special education teacher, and • any other service provider working with the child. Each teacher and provider is informed of their responsibilities on the IEP including how to apply the IEP : • specific accommodations, • modifications, and • supports that must be provided as written in the IEP [IDEA CFR 300.323]
  32. 32. © Federation for Children with Special Needs32 Team Chair notifies parents in writing of determination of ineligibility (N-2 form) within 10 school days of Team meeting. Parents can reject finding of ineligibility, request an independent education evaluation and request a re- determination of eligibility. What if Team Decides Student is Ineligible for IEP? (See 603 CMR 28.05(2) (a) 2)
  33. 33. © Federation for Children with Special Needs33 A 504 Plan is not available in preschool because: •a 504 plan supports a student with disabilities to access the mandated general curriculum •preschool is not mandatory for all children 504 plans are usually available in grades K-12 504 Plans are Not an Option
  34. 34. © Federation for Children with Special Needs34 Options for Resolving Differences Independent Educational Evaluation IEP Meeting *if civil rights violation Meeting with Sped Director, Principal, and/or Superintendent Voluntary Alternative Dispute ResolutionLocal Options Procedural Violations & Enforcement Issues Due Process PQA Program Quality Assurance 781-338-3700 OCR* Office for Civil Rights 1-800-368-1019 Mediation 617-626-7291 Facilitated IEP Meeting 617-626-7250 BSEA Hearing 617-626-7250 Procedural Safeguards and “Due Process” Resolution Meeting
  35. 35. © Federation for Children with Special Needs35 Independent Education Evaluation (IEE) (See 603 CMR 28.04 (5) There are three options to obtain an IEE. Option 1: If parent disagrees with an initial evaluation or reevaluation, parent can request an IEE as a second opinion in area(s) assessed by school. • Fully paid if student eligible for free or reduced lunch or in custody of a state agency with a surrogate parent; • Partial public payment a sliding fee scale according to family size and income according to Federal Poverty Guidelines • Parent may request IEE in one, more than one, or all areas assessed by school with 16 months of school evaluation under Mass law.
  36. 36. © Federation for Children with Special Needs36 Independent Education Evaluation (IEE) (See 603 CMR 28.04 (5) Option 2: If parent requests IEE in an area not assessed by school, student does not meet income eligibility standards, or family chooses not to provide financial income level: School shall either: • Agree to pay for IEE, or • Within 5 school days, file with BSEA and show school evaluation was comprehensive and appropriate. • No time limit under federal law. Option 3: Parent may obtain an independent evaluation at private expense any time. DOE Administrative Advisory 2004-1 at
  37. 37. © Federation for Children with Special Needs 37 Consent Evaluations Eligibility IEP Meeting & Development IEP Placement Determination IEP to Parent Parent Response Implement IEP Progress Reports Referral/ Reevaluation as often as report cards reevaluation every 3 years every year REVIEW OF FULL IEP CYCLE
  38. 38. © Federation for Children with Special Needs 38 Strategies for Success • Know your child’s rights under law • Use effective communication skills with school • Be prepared to be an active participate in Team – What are your child’s unique needs? – Is your child making progress? – Set high expectations for your child! – Don’t allow IEP goals to stagnate from year to year! – Do you need to verify your child’s progress with an evaluation? • Access assistance from FCSN Call Center and other resources • If you need support, bring support to Team meeting • Network with your SEPAC and learn all you can from others • Acknowledge and be grateful to teachers and therapists who make a difference in your child’s life • Three P’s – positive, professional, persistent
  39. 39. © Federation for Children with Special Needs39 Resources Federation for Children with Special Needs (FCSN) MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) Department of Early Education and Care Disability Law Center Massachusetts Arc Massachusetts Advocates for Children Mass. Association of Special Education PACs Parent Professional Advocacy League (PPAL) Continuing the Journey Transition _Guide _2007pdf Parent Guide:
  40. 40. © Federation for Children with Special Needs 40 • Call Center responds to thousands of parent phone calls and emails per year: (617) 236-7210 (800) 331-0688 • Special Education Webinars and Fact Sheets on topics of interest to parents and professionals • Annual March conference, Visions of Community • Training workshops, Parent Consultant Training Institute, and Planning A Life conferences for parents and professionals at sites across state • See our website • Read our Quarterly newsletter, Newsline • Join us on Facebook Twitter and YouTube! The Federation is Committed to Serving Families with Children with Special Needs