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Posted: 8/12/2016

The Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) has issued guidance in the form of a Dear Colleague Letter  to ensure students with disabilities who attend public virtual schools receive the special education and supports they need.

The letter clarifies the responsibility for a free appropriate public education (FAPE) to children with disabilities attending public virtual schools. It also requires each state and school district to enact child find policies so that all children with disabilities residing in the state who are in need of special education and related services, including those who attend virtual schools, are identified and evaluated.

Posted: 8/8/2016

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) recently issued guidance that emphasizes the requirement that schools provide positive behavioral supports to students with disabilities who need them. It also clarifies that the repeated use of disciplinary actions may suggest that many children with disabilities may not be receiving appropriate behavioral interventions and supports.

Data indicates students with disabilities are disciplined at far higher rates than their non-disabled peers. The “Dear Colleague Letter on the Inclusion of Behavioral Supports in Individualized Education Programs” and a “Summary for Stakeholders,” which lays out the main points of the guidance in an easily digestible format, are now available on the Department’s updated school discipline webpage, Rethink Discipline.

Posted: 8/4/2016

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has issued guidance clarifying the obligation of schools to provide students with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) with equal educational opportunity under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

Dear Colleague Letter and “Students with ADHD and Section 504: A Resource Guide”

This new guidance provides a broad overview of Section 504 and school districts’ obligations to provide educational services to students with disabilities, including students with ADHD.

In addition to the guidance, the Department also released a Know Your Rights document that provides a brief overview of schools’ obligations to students with ADHD.


Posted: 7/20/2016

PACER Center Executive Director and co-founder Paula F. Goldberg was honored for her work as a humanitarian at the 2016 Starkey Hearing Foundation Gala on July 17 in St. Paul, along with Jennifer Garner and Tony Blair.

Goldberg was recognized for "making PACER a lifeline for parents of children and young adults with all disabilities," according to the Starkey Hearing Foundation.

In the photo below, Goldberg (second from right), Garner and Blair are with Bill Austin, founder of Starkey Hearing Technologies, and Tani Austin, co-founder of the Starkey Hearing Foundation.

Posted: 7/5/2016

The Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA) recently released a policy statement on Response to Intervention (RTI). The document outlines COPAA’s concerns about its implementation and provides suggestions to improve RTI rules and procedures to ensure it is used appropriately in a way that does not delay services to students with disabilities.

Read the policy statement

Posted: 6/27/2016

The U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has released guidance to states, school districts and child welfare agencies on the new provisions in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) for supporting children in foster care. The guidance aims to assist state and local partners in understanding and implementing the new law, and to inform state and local collaboration between educational and child welfare agencies.

Read the guidance in its entirety about the new protections under ESSA that will apply to all children in foster care enrolled in public schools.

Posted: 6/21/2016

A recent U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights report shows gaps in a variety of educational indicators including discipline, access to early learning, and college and career readiness. Data is analyzed by race/ethnicity, sex, disability, and English learner status.

 

Posted: 6/21/2016

Results from a new study out of Stanford University revealed that when middle school teachers were encouraged to take an “empathetic mindset” with student discipline, the percentage of students being suspended decreased by half. The intervention focused on helping teachers understand their students’ point of view and maintaining positive relationships even during disciplinary incidents.

Read More

Posted: 5/9/2016

A robot that goes to class and collects information when a child cannot. A pen with an internal audio recorder for those who have trouble focusing. Those are just two examples of technology designed for children and young adults with special needs at the Bloomington-based PACER Center.

Now efforts to develop more such technology have gotten a boost. At PACER’s annual benefit in Minneapolis on Saturday, it was presented with a $1 million donation by the Otto Bremer Trust — the largest the nonprofit has received since it was established almost 40 years ago.

Read More

Posted: 5/6/2016

Office of Special Education Programs and the Offices of Head Start and Child Care are partnering to join the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association in celebrating this year’s theme – “Communication Takes Care.”  Join us for the BHSM Coffee Break Webinar series, May 16-20, 2016 from 2:00 – 2:15 pm ET to learn more about hearing screening and the use of assistive technology to support young children with disabilities and their families. 

No registration is required to join the webinars. 

May 16, 2:00 – 2:15 pm ET
Debunking Common Myths about Using Assistive Technology with Young Children 

May 17, 2:00 – 2:15 pm ET
Don’t Wait to Communicate! Augmentative & Alternative Communication (AAC) 

May 18, 2:00 – 2:15 pm ET
Quality Hearing Screening Practices for Children Birth to Five Years of Age

May 19, 2:00 – 2:15 pm ET
Using a Multi-modal Approach To Support Children with Hearing Loss

May 20, 2:00 – 2:15 pm ET
Center on Technology and Disability: Free Resources to Support the Use of Assistive Technology in Young Children with Disabilities

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Upcoming Workshops

3/2/2017

The ABCs of the IEP: Making the Individualized Education Program Work for Your Child (see flyer pdf icon)
6:30pm-8:30pm
PACER Center

3/4/2017

Hot Tips on the Individualized Education Program: Is Your Child’s IEP Individualized and Appropriate? (see flyer pdf icon)
9:30am-11:30am
PACER Center

3/6/2017

Social Media & Bullying: Using Technology to Keep Kids Safe (see flyer pdf icon)
6:00pm-7:30pm
PACER Center

3/7/2017

ABCs of the IEP for Transition-age Students and Their Parents (see flyer pdf icon)
6:00pm-8:00pm
Inver Grove Heights

3/7/2017

Tips and Tools for Talking with School Staff (see flyer pdf icon)
6:30pm-8:30pm
PACER Center

3/8/2017

PACER Day at the Minnesota State Capitol
9:30a.m.-1:00p.m.
St. Paul

3/11/2017

SciGirls STEM Training hosted by the Green Girls STEM Foundation and PACER Center
9:00am-4:00pm
PACER Center

3/11/2017

Technology for Girls: Become an Inventor
9:00am-10:30am
PACER Center

3/13/2017

Bullying Prevention for Students with Disabilities (see flyer pdf icon)
6:30pm-8:30pm
Crystal

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