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10 strategies for keeping families in the special education loop (1) [compatibility mode]


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10 Proven ideas for educators to improve parental involvement in special education.

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10 strategies for keeping families in the special education loop (1) [compatibility mode]

  1. 1. Presented by Kari Lewinsohn April 9, 2010 MCEC conference
  2. 2. Goals This course provides 10 strategies for administrators and teachers to keep all family members involved and participating in the special education process from referral to graduation. All strategies have been piloted with success and most are based upon specific research strategies.
  3. 3. Strategy #1 Create a mission statement for involving families.
  4. 4. Developing a mission Ask… ‘’What do the families need?” What are the strengths of our families? Purpose… By assessing the strengths and needs, school leaders can then tailor programs and opportunities that all families can access.
  5. 5. Strategy #2 Evaluation Report Participation
  6. 6. Opportunities What parent can bring Medical records Early childhood background of child Parent’s view of strengths and educational needs
  7. 7. Sample form •Send the form with the meeting notice. •Encourage parents to actively share from their reports throughout the evaluation report meeting.
  8. 8. Strategy #3 Welcome Packets
  9. 9. Welcome Packets Plan Provided to newly qualified families. Share and discuss with family Contents Procedural safeguards List of community and state resources, contact numbers Fact sheet about disability Special education guidebook
  10. 10. Downloads Fact Sheets abilities/specific/Pages/de fault.aspx Special Education Guidebook MT_SPED_Handbook_2005 .pdf
  11. 11. Strategy #4 IEP Participation
  12. 12. IEP participation IEP Participation by the family is a key component of the IDEA. Parents bring a home perspective to the meeting that should be encouraged.
  13. 13. IEP Form for parents Parents are asked to Share student strengths Express concerns But often aren’t prepared
  14. 14. Strategy #5 Transitions
  15. 15. Transitions According to [34 CFR 300.43 (a)] [20 U.S.C. 1401(34)] of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, schools are to focus on improving a child’s academic and functional achievement by taking into account the child’s individual needs in order to facilitate successful movement from school to post secondary activities (IDEA, 2007, p. 1).
  16. 16. Transitions Transitions are Designed to promote a meaningful adult life and career . Focused on what the child will need at the next level to be successful in the LRE. Steps Part C to B Preschool to Kindergarten Elementary to Middle School Middle School to High School High School to Graduation
  17. 17. Enlist parent and student input Questionnaire With invitation for transition meeting send home fact sheet about the upcoming transition stage Student and parent input interview Resources /Transition/ Rural Institute with the University of Montana Transition project.
  18. 18. Early Childhood Transitions Part C to B Collaborate with birth to 3 agencies: CDC and/or Early Head Start. Parenting strategies key component http://www.earlyliteracylearn Preschool to Kindergarten Write IEP to build skills needed for inclusion in Kindergarten classroom (when possible) Provide literacy and math strategies to parents Transition with Kindergarten teacher.
  19. 19. School transitions K-8 Provide information concerning the next school stage. Meet with staff from both schools. Discuss programming needs and make a plan for the upcoming school year. Form Simple questionnaire one for parents and one for child: What’s working What are your hopes and dreams What hasn’t worked Programming needs Concerns
  20. 20. High School Transitions & Graduation Transition planning in high school needs to include looking at post secondary life. Critical to have student involved in these discussions! Resources Parent/ student questionnaire Transition planning workbook Vocational Rehab
  21. 21. Strategy #6 Newsletters
  22. 22. Newsletters Send out every two months. •Parenting tips •Math/ Reading •Social Emotional •Events •Resources Click for sample
  23. 23. Strategy #7 Website
  24. 24. Website Libby’s site What to include to start with: Contact information Program offerings Resources Forms
  25. 25. Strategy #8 Parent Advocacy Groups
  26. 26. Parent Advocacy Groups Four major steps 1. 2. 3. 4. Establish regular meeting times Invite supportive parents first Establish goals for group Branch out to include other parents. PIRC
  27. 27. Parent advocacy groups Cautions Don’t start out to big. Provide child care and snacks Don’t meet to often Give parents opportunities to visit without school staff.
  28. 28. Strategy #9 Parent Training Opportunities
  29. 29. Parent Training Set up Survey parents for topics Examine case load for trends Provide for a variety of times Invite parents to attend staff trainings that are relevant. Childcare is a bonus Support for transportation Ideas Transition workshops Parenting Love and Logic Disability specific
  30. 30. Strategy #10 Curriculum and Program review committees
  31. 31. Curriculum and Program Review Committee Periodically analyze current educational trends. Create a committee of individuals with expertise in the special education areas to review. Establish a mission statement Survey staff and families School staff review all relevant data Create document Open for community feedback Finalize draft Present to board Make recommended changes
  32. 32. Libby’s draft mission statement: Libby Public Schools will prepare all students with the necessary life skills to be contributing members of the community through self-advocacy and seeking out meaningful opportunities.
  33. 33. FLIGHT •Functional Academics •Leisure skills •Independence •Good communication •Home and Community •Transitions to adulthood No one soars to high who soars with his own wings.
  34. 34. Kari’s website ☺
  35. 35. Thanks for coming!