Carol Sadler
Special Education Consultant/Advocate
1105 Rock Pointe Look
Woodstock, GA 30188

I am a lay Parent Advocate assisting parents of children with disabilities in school IDEA, 504 and SST meetings. I am a former CHADD and LDA Coordinator, graduate of the 1st GA Advocacy Office PLSP legal training course and most importantly parent of two children with various disabilities.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

ESY - Nancy O'Hara - PEPP Chat 2004

Nancy O’Hara – GA DOE Compliance Officer


FYI – Additional information on ESY.  Also see


Advocacy & Consulting Services - IEPadvocate4you
Carol Sadler, Special Education Consultant/Advocate
GA Advocacy Office PLSP I Graduate
1105 Rock Pointe Look
Woodstock, GA 30188


"There is nothing more unequal than the equal treatment of unequal people." ---- Thomas Jefferson


Information contained in this communication is confidential and privileged. It is not meant to represent legal or medical advice, but rather advice given based on my knowledge as a trained Parent Advocate by the GA Advocacy Office, Council of Parent Advocates & Attorneys, CHADD, LDA, the GA DOE Parent Mentor program as an invited guest and the special education attorneys that I often work with on educational matters. Please do not forward without my permission.







The following is an informal summary of last Night’s Chat and is paraphrased in some instances.



By Nancy O’hara


As to receiving ESY services under a Title One school. I would tend to say that the tutoring services available through Title 1 will not be called ESY in most systems. However, with the requirement of Title 1, there are likely to be more services than at other times.


Regression is only one criteria IEP teams must consider for ESY. Others things which should be considered are the age of the child, the severity of the child, and the child’s  needs. Also consider the transition plan, the progress on the goals and objectives, the regression, all goals and objectives that include academic, behavior, social, communication, motor, vocational, and mobility.


If the child is significantly behind academically then the factors which caused this must be known. ESY is an IEP team decision. Many factors impact the decision of the team. When a child is four years behind ESY should be seriously considered and I would look at it in the light of access to the curriculum.


When a child misses a subject due to scheduling conflicts with resource is it a reasonable request this be made up in ESY?  Consider whether or not the provisional ESY gives the student access to the general curriculum with his or her peers. Certainly subjects such as Social Studies should be covered and if it was ignored during the school year it seems a reasonable request for the instruction to occur.


When considering whether ESY is necessary and appropriate, is the IEP team required to take parent observations into consideration as far as how the child did when on much shorter breaks?  For example, if a child really had a hard time during a two week break from school and lost some skills can this be partially evidenced by parent's observations and comments?


The IEP team is always to consider parent input and information when making decisions.  When considering regression, you also have to consider recoupment and the impact on education.


What happens when a county sets the duration for ESY? A county should consider the individual needs for ESY not a set program. The decision for 4 weeks or one week or every week during summer for ESY should be based on individual student decision.


It is important to have facts and evidence to document why ESY is needed and the frequency you feel is critical and why. Often the system does not have evidence to dispute your preparation. It is important to remember that ESY is a consideration for all students, but it only provided when FAPE cannot be achieved without ESY.


ESY is also extended year which can be summer but it can be to other times when there is a break or even, extended day. Many times when I speak to parents, they are looking for summer programming rather than necessary ESY services and that becomes a different issue.


If the IEP team requires ESY during a month the county’s teachers do not work then it is up to the county to provide. Depending on  what was going to be provided, they could contract with someone else , contract with another agency, if the school is not open during the month of July.


the key is what the IEP discussion calls for, how much ESY and how often, these are  all IEP decisions, not administrative decisions. The IEP should dictate ESY services.


How do you convince the LEA that they cannot limit ESY to June only.  Documentation is important, many times you can be more prepared than the system and then it is hard to disagree. The reason that the you, as the team, determined ESY was necessary could impact how frequently and consistently it is provided.  Only providing specific times does not meet GA DOE guideline if that the way for all students who need ESY.


If the school says no for the month of July than you could suggest contracting out with someone else?  Yes, if the system cannot provide from their staff, but the IEP says it is needed, they can contract it out at the schools expense but the IEP has to require it.


No category of disability is a guarantee for ESY. The need and the documentation of impact on education are the keys when discussing ESY.


If a child is receiving speech/OT/resource during the regular school year is the school required to give these services during ESY?  Not necessarily, it is all dependent on what is needed to provide FAPE. Consideration must be given to the question- Without these services would the child receive FAPE.


More often than not, ESY is only for specific goals or services and not a daily or all day service. Lack of proper data is often part of the problem. A parent should speak to the IEP team on facts rather than emotion.


My LEA is always given a list by the resource teacher about what they think should be worked on, shouldn't the parents have input? The parents should have input about which goals/objectives are the ESY service.


So in presenting parental concerns for ESY a parent should show evidence of each break such as negative impact of readjustment after a break, length of recoupment, significant transition issues, severity of the disability ,  and other criteria?  You also would want to consider how critical the skill is,  the need of a skill for the next projected environment, the sudden emergence of skill that has been a long time coming. Documentation example is having a parent-teacher conference after holiday break and noting difficulties returning to school. Emergence of skills- you would consider if the skill that is just emerging is so critical that we need to maintain it through ESY so as not to allow that skill to go away. Several examples of emerging..speech in child who has not talked or learning to lift the spoon to the mouth for a student who has been working on that for several years.


You can also consider the transition plan and is it critical to that plan, what delay or interruption there has been in the school year.


What if a child has missed a lot of days because of illness, could this be important in the decision,. of ESY? Absence is something to be considered, but is not a guarantee of ESY.


If a child has a high IQ but is failing math due to LD can a tutor be requested under ESY services to the IEP team for consideration. I think Extended Services would be appropriate to consider in this situation because the student is not learning the curriculum due to his or her disability. 


If LD high school student fails academic subjects but makes “adequate progress” according to school, should ESY be looked at?


ESY could certainly be looked at if a course is failed, and progress is made on goals. However, you also have to look at how or why the student failed, due to his or her disability, due to other factors, failing is not automatic ESY guarantee.


Our son’s new neuropsych, his IQ is going down. He is not retaining what he learns due to his disability. I am hope to continue ESY services. We are not sure he is learning a whole lot according to the test results. What should we do?


Not retaining what is being taught is a cause for concern and should not wait until ESY. If a student is failing to learn, the IEP team should meet to consider further instructional strategies, one of which may be ESY.


If a child is failing a grade because no supplemental aids or services have been provided and IEP is in place but the child is only now being considered for supplementary aids is ESY reasonable to request?


It is hard for me to say definitely because I don’t know all the circumstances why no supplementary aids or services were provided but in general, just because something was recently added to the IEP (like near the end of the year) is not a reason for ESY.


How are supplemental services different from ESY and which fund is used?


It probably all comes out of state funds. Supplemental services are the things needed to assist in the education of students with their nondisabled peers to the maximum extent appropriate. Funds: Systems get federal funds dollars to cover the excess costs of special education, but they also have basic state dollars and local funds.  So access to aids and services should not be driven by school budgetary concerns. Funds should not drive services as with the rest of the IEP.


What if it takes until March to get an IEP and your child is determined to be dyslexic during the testing process, would ESY to remediate this be reasonable to request?


Depending on why it took until March to get the services, if the system delayed, then you may want compensatory services more than ESY.


My child was found to have decoding problems and I asked for reading remediation last year in the spring. It has taken this long and still it has not begun due to their need to train a teacher in the method that will be used. So it looks as though his remediation will start late but he needs it and needs intense remediation to catch up as he is 5 grades behind in reading level. Can I ask for ESY for this or is the terminology that should be used in my case “compensatory services”?  Can they take place in the summer?


I think it is reasonable to ask based on what you have said. Without knowing all the details, I cannot tell you what the IEP decision will be.  Compensatory services come into play when the system has erred rather than the student having needs that are unmet even with the implementation of the IEP.


Terminology may not be as important as understanding that any service can be provided at any time if it is needed to provide the student access to his or her education and FAPE.  The important thing is that your child receive the services they need.


When should parents start talking about ESY? ESY is not a summer service but can be at other times. ESY can be brought up at any time during the year, but is required at least once during the year. Often when we wait until late May to talk about ESY and then there is a disagreement with the family and the school it is hard to get the disagreement worked out to provide ESY in the summer. I recommend meeting about ESY earlier and it can be done anytime.


What is your suggestion when systems don’t have the data to deny ESY and the only thing they talk about is regression and never look at other areas yet we know they have to?


One thing you can do is show them the state rule, 160-4-7-09 that lists multiple factors to consider. This rule is the state rule for IEP’s but has information about ESY embedded in it.


This rule can be found on the GA DOE website, the PEPP website


Monday, April 13, 2009

News from

FYI - Interesting info. Below on Classroom Trauma related to PTSD…..


Advocacy & Consulting Services - IEPadvocate4you
Carol Sadler, Special Education Consultant/Advocate
GA Advocacy Office PLSP I Graduate
1105 Rock Pointe Look
Woodstock, GA 30188


"There is nothing more unequal than the equal treatment of unequal people." ---- Thomas Jefferson


Information contained in this communication is confidential and privileged. It is not meant to represent legal or medical advice, but rather advice given based on my knowledge as a trained Parent Advocate by the GA Advocacy Office, Council of Parent Advocates & Attorneys, CHADD, LDA, the GA DOE Parent Mentor program as an invited guest and the special education attorneys that I often work with on educational matters. Please do not forward without my permission.


From: Patricia Quinn []
Sent: Wednesday, April 08, 2009 11:27 PM
Subject: News from




                                                                                                                                        April  2009

ADDvice for ADD-    Friendly Living




In this month's Newsletter I want to present two somewhat related and important topics. The first pertains to techniques and tips to help improve focus. The second regards symptoms seen in women with ADHD who in their past experienced problems as a result of their inability to focus and other ADHD symptoms and suffered embarrassments in the classroom. These women continue to suffer symptoms today as a result of these traumas but may be unaware of any connection. I hope these discussions will be both informative and helpful to you or those in your family with ADHD.


Wishing you all a Happy Spring and Holiday Season! 




Pat Quinn


Patricia Quinn



man fidgeting


Fidget to Focus?


In my many years of working with kids with ADHD I often observed that they seemed to need to move around to keep themselves awake and alert. As soon as you sat them down to read or concentrate, they began to yawn and lost focus easily. Did their hyperactivity actually help kids with ADHD?

Well, today, I have my answer. In a study published in the Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology in December 2008 researchers, Mark Rapport et al, studied the relationship between activity level and working memory. Their conclusion was that moving around may help some kids stay alert and learn.  The study compared twelve 8 to 12 year-old boys with ADHD to 11 who have not been diagnosed with ADHD. All children exhibited significantly higher activity rates under all working memory relative to control conditions, and children with ADHD moved significantly more than typically developing children under all conditions. Activity level in all children was associated with central executive but not storage/rehearsal functioning. The researchers hypothesized that the increased activity levels measured in ADHD children may be helping keep them at the level of alertness needed to complete tasks requiring working memory. The researchers suggest that severely limiting this activity could be counterproductive.
They also suggest that stimulant medications may help those with ADHD because they temporarily improve alertness and working memory. 

The following article offers some important tips for improving focus. For a more in-depth discussion of this issues or for more tips, I suggest you read, Fidget to Focus by Roland Rotz and Sarah Wright  (SEE SIDEBAR). It's a great read!




ADD-Friendly Ways to Improve Your Focus


Whether you are a student or an adult with ADHD, focusing is key to performing well at school or on the job.  Everyone with ADHD has the ability to focus. The problem is staying focused, especially when the task is boring or tedious and without a great deal of immediate feedback.
Tips on Staying Focused
1. Ask for something in writing and take notes. Whether in class or at a meeting, ask for something in writing beforehand (a copy of the teacher's class notes or the meeting agenda). With that in front of you, actively jot down notes as the presentation is being made. The act of writing will help you stay focused on what the presenter is saying.


2. Take a good seat.  Where you sit is important and that may not always be in the front or close to the speaker.  Be sure you sit facing the speaker and away from distracting noises and people.


3. Ask for a review.  After an important meeting or class, ask for a brief review of what you have understood were the keys points covered. This is a good time to fill in any gaps that you might have missed when focus lagged and go over time lines for completion of assignments.


4. Avoid fatigue.  We all know that it is more difficult to pay attention and stay focused when we are tired. Try to avoid end of the day meetings or taking difficult classes in the late afternoon. Ask for an early morning review or select a schedule where your most difficult classes are in the late morning or early afternoon when you are most alert.


5. Stay active.  In addition to taking notes, you might also think about some of the other things you can do to stay focused. Remember, we fidget to stay focused.  Holding, feeling, or handling something during a dull or tedious event (For example: playing with hair, clothing, coins, or keys; clicking a pen or mechanical pencil; tapping or drumming fingers; whittling; or knitting) may make focusing easier.   Quieter activities  might  involve chewing gum, sucking on tart candies or altoids or drinking  bubbly sodas or seltzer. When using these strategies always be mindful of those around you and ask for permission from the speaker before hand. (For more ideas along these lines, see, Fidget to Focus by Roland Rotz and Sarah Wright. see sidebar)


6. Optimize medication response. Know when your medication is the most effective. Schedule dosing around the times scheduled meetings or difficult classes. Even, better try ask your prescribing physician about the newer long-acting formulations that provide maximum benefit throughout the day and into the evening hours.


7. Choose teachers and supervisors carefully. If it is possible for you to choose a teacher for a certain class or supervisor at work, look for ones that are predictable and well organized themselves. You also want someone who is dynamic (to keep your interest) and presents you with challenges, but also allows flexibility in fulfilling assignments. Also look for someone that announces deadlines well in advance and provides you will regular feedback during meetings and class time.





Shades of Trauma
































In this article I would like to present information regarding the long-term fallout that may result from symptoms of lack of focus and distractibility in the classroom. Dr Jane Adellizi has has presented results of her work with women with ADHD and LD in her book, Shades of Trauma, and in a chapter in Gender Issues and ADHD: Research, Diagnosis and Treatment. Clinical experience suggests that AD/HD and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) may be interwoven in complex ways. Research has suggested comorbidity between these two disorders, However, there is also another set of symptoms (Posttraumatic Stress Symptoms PTS) that develop in reaction to trauma in the classroom experienced by students with AD/HD and LD.


Classroom trauma is defined as significantly unpleasant external event or stressor, occurring within the confines of the educational environment, that is a psychological nature. Psychological trauma may leave the student with diminished self-esteem and in a state of fear, humiliation, or learned helplessness to a degree that the student will avoid similar situations in the future. Any situation that is reminiscent of the original classroom trauma is sufficient to resurrect intense feelings that may impede learning and functioning. In order to avoid individuals and situations that were reminiscent of their unpleasant experiences in school. This avoidance pattern  may become a driving force in adulthood when these adults are faced with new situations (in the academic arena, in the workplace, or in social interactions) that threaten their sense of competence and integrity. 


Treatment of PTSD typically centers around alleviating emotional distress. Anxiety management techniques, including relaxation training, biofeedback, assertiveness training, psychotherapy and hypnosis have been shown to be helpful in treating PTSD. Effective psychotherapy for women with ADHD focuses on emotional issues such as low self-esteem and demoralization. Women with both PTSD and ADHD will benefit little until their PTSD issues have been addressed first.


(Information in this article has been excerpted from Posttraumatic Stress in Women with ADHD by Jane Adelizzi, Ph.D. in Gender Issues and ADHD: Research, Diagnosis, and Treatment (Eds) Patricia O. Quinn, MD and Kathleen G. Nadeau, Ph.D. Advantage Books, 2002.) 













































Featured Books and Articles









 Fidget to Focus  CLICK HERE










Shades of Trauma CLICK HERE








(Downloadable PDFs available immediately on purchase)








Dealing with Stress in Your Life  CLICK HERE









Relaxation and Meditation CLICK HERE










Daily Coping Strategies CLICK HERE





Gender Issues



Gender Issues and ADHD CLICK HERE



Recommended "Teachers/Administrators" Free Publications


Advocacy & Consulting Services - IEPadvocate4you
Carol Sadler, Special Education Consultant/Advocate
GA Advocacy Office PLSP I Graduate
1105 Rock Pointe Look
Woodstock, GA 30188


"There is nothing more unequal than the equal treatment of unequal people." ---- Thomas Jefferson


Information contained in this communication is confidential and privileged. It is not meant to represent legal or medical advice, but rather advice given based on my knowledge as a trained Parent Advocate by the GA Advocacy Office, Council of Parent Advocates & Attorneys, CHADD, LDA, the GA DOE Parent Mentor program as an invited guest and the special education attorneys that I often work with on educational matters. Please do not forward without my permission.


From: ED Pubs []
Sent: Thursday, April 09, 2009 6:00 AM
Subject: Recommended "Teachers/Administrators" Publications


As a valued ED Pubs ( customer, we are recommending the following publications--these publications are among our most popular and as always, are available entirely free of charge.

Using Research And Reason In Education: How Teachers Can Use Scientifically Based Research To Make Curricular & Instructional Decisions

Using Research And Reason
In Education: How Teachers Can
Use Scientifically Based Research
To Make Curricular &
Instructional Decisions

What Content-Area Teachers Should Know About Adolescent Literacy

What Content-Area Teachers
Should Know About Adolescent

Of course, if you have any problems or questions please feel free to call us at 1-877-4ED-PUBS (433-7827). Our Customer Service Representatives are available to assist you Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm EST. If you are unable to call during this time, please feel free to leave us a voicemail or simply send an email to You can expect a response within 1 business day.

U.S. Department of Education

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

NICHCY - News You Can Use



Advocacy & Consulting Services - IEPadvocate4you
Carol Sadler, Special Education Consultant/Advocate
GA Advocacy Office PLSP I Graduate
1105 Rock Pointe Look
Woodstock, GA 30188


"There is nothing more unequal than the equal treatment of unequal people." ---- Thomas Jefferson


Information contained in this communication is confidential and privileged. It is not meant to represent legal or medical advice, but rather advice given based on my knowledge as a trained Parent Advocate by the GA Advocacy Office, Council of Parent Advocates & Attorneys, CHADD, LDA, the GA DOE Parent Mentor program as an invited guest and the special education attorneys that I often work with on educational matters. Please do not forward without my permission.


From: The National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities (NICHCY) [] On Behalf Of The National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities (NICHCY)
Sent: Wednesday, April 08, 2009 2:42 PM
Subject: News You Can Use


To view this email as a web page click here.

You're receiving this email because you signed up to receive information updates from The National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities (NICHCY).


NICHCY Newsletter Banner


April 2009



April is upon us, and we sure do hope spring will come with it. From here, we can actually see the end of the academic school year approaching. To help you get ready and get through, NICHCY is pleased to connect you with valuable resources in OSEP's TA&D Network and beyond. You'll find numerous resources on IEP matters (since there will be lots of IEP meetings in the next two months, we suspect) as well as resources to help you and yours make smooth transitions, especially youth with disabilities who are preparing for life after high school.

We hope you find this information useful and valuable. As always, we welcome your feedback. Please feel free to contact us at

Best wishes for spring!
Your friends at the National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities



It All Starts in Families and Communities



Autism Awareness Month.
Now. This April. There are quite a few events and activities planned and many sources of information, including the ones we've listed here:

Is your child going to repeat a grade in school?

We are coming up on the time when schools advise many parents that their child will be retained in grade because of making insufficient progress. If this sounds familiar, then you may find a new issue of the Wrightslaw newsletter a real tour de force on challenging that decision.  
Parents as collaborative leaders. 
This new online Parent Leadership Training Curriculum, a joint project of the University of Vermont and the PACER Center, empowers parents of children with disabilities to advocate for change.

IEP team meetings: A guide for participation for parents. 

25 parent tips for an effective IEP meeting.

Courtesy of the Matrix Parent Network and Resource Center. (English)


Don't forget NICHCY's All about the IEP pages.

Everything you ever wanted to know about IEPs, suggestions for developing them, the in's-and-out's of IEP meetings, and loads of connections to resources on the crown jewel of special education.

And what about your child's placement?
NICHCY recently launched a section of our website focused on all things "placement," especially considering LRE (least restrictive environment) in placement decisions. Find out more about the tools and services available to children to support their placement in the regular educational environment, the first option the IEP team considers and that IDEA strongly prefers.


Reusing assistive technology. 

OSERS is taking the lead on a national level to promote and encourage AT reuse through grants to state agencies, non-profit organizations and other entities to support AT reuse. OSERS also is funding a national coordination center, the Pass It On Center, which encourages people to offer assistive technology devices for donation, for sale or purchase to others who may benefit from using technology unneeded or discarded equipment. Many AT Exchanges are operated through state AT Act Programs and function like a classified advertisement in your local newspaper. Visit this interactive map to identify reuse locations in your state:


The Brain Spot and TBI.

This website is designed for persons with TBI who are learning to use the
Internet or are frustrated by other complicated web sites.


A new website in Spanish on bipolar disorder and depression.
Courtesy of the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance!


And from NCEO, also something in Spanish.

NCLB e IDEA: Lo que los Padres de Estudiantes con Discapacidades Necesitan Saber y Hacer is the Spanish translation of NCLB and IDEA: What Parents of Students with Disabilities Need to Know and Do.


What about that adolescent of yours? Do tell.
The University of Illinois at Chicago is looking for parents and caregivers of children aged 12-18 with special needs to complete a Web-based survey on the lifestyle and environment of adolescents with disabilities. Access the survey at and enter the access code: ECP3.  

A Guide to Social Security Benefits and Employment for Young People with Disabilities (2009 Edition).
This booklet from the Institute for Community Inclusion (ICI) provides basic information about Social Security disability and health benefit programs, discusses what happens to Social Security disability and health benefits when a young person goes to work, and explains how to maximize a young person's options when he or she goes to work.


Disclosure of disability information at a one-stop career center: Tips and guidelines.

One-Stops Career Centers (One-Stops) were established under the federal Workforce Investment Act to provide a full range of job seeker assistance under one roof. One-Stops are located at a variety of locations in each state, with more than 3,200 centers across the country. More than 13 million people per year use the One-Stop system. Many are people with disabilities. Should they disclose their disability when they use the One-Stop?



The Little Ones: Early Intervention/Early Childhood



What the stimulus bill means for those involved in early childhood work.
The Council for Exceptional Children has done us all a favor with its Questions & Answers: How the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Impacts Special Education and Early Intervention, which summarizes the portions of ARRA that CEC believes will be of particular interest to professionals who work on behalf of
students with disabilities and/or gifts and talents.

More on the the ARRA and early childhood.
NECTAC has reviewed and organized key ARRA resources on its Web site, including links to the law and the official federal site, as well as guidance from the U.S. Department of Education. NECTAC also link to summaries of the early
childhood provisions in the law and analyses and/or recommendations from various organizations on the use of ARRA funds.

The 2009 Section 619 Profile is out!

Also from NECTAC, the profile updates information provided by state coordinators on state policies, programs, and practices under the Preschool Grants Program (Section 619 of Part B) of IDEA.

New PEELS report: The Early School Transitions and the Social Behavior of Children with Disabilities.
The National Center for Special Education Research has released the third major report from the Pre-Elementary Education Longitudinal Study (PEELS). This report describes changes in services and eligibility at times of transition, transitions into kindergarten, and social skills and problem behavior of young children with disabilities.

The 9th National Early Childhood Inclusion Institute will be held July 14-16, 2009 in Chapel Hill, NC. Interested? Find out all at:

Research into early childhood education is afoot.

Funded by IES (Institute of Education Sciences), the National Center for Research on Early Childhood Education focuses on conducting research, disseminating research findings, and carrying out leadership activities aimed at improving the quality of early childhood education across the United States.

Early childhood assessment videos.
The Colorado Department of Education's Results Matter program has developed a series of videos on ways to use observation, documentation, and assessment to inform practice. Titles include but aren't limited to: Linking Documentation and Curriculum; The Essential Role of Observation and Documentation; and Sharing Documentation with Families. Hear practitioners talk about their exemplary practices and also watch them in action. You can view the clips online or download QuickTime versions of the videos to use in educational and professional development activities.

And a video on developmentally appropriate practice.
This video, developed by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) is 53 minutes online and demonstrates teachers and children interacting in a classroom, with input from experts on the practices being observed.

RTI in preschool.

Roadmap to Pre-K RTI: Applying Response to Intervention in Preschool Settings
is a report from the RTI Action Network. It explains how the essential components of RTI (universal screening and progress monitoring with research-based, tiered interventions) can be applied in preschool settings.

Did you know there was a center on RTI in preschools?
Neither did we. But fortunately there is---the Center for Response to Intervention in Early Childhood. Lots of very interesting info on its site, too.


Schools, K-12



ARRA and the Department of Education.
The Department of Education has created a specific web page on the ARRA (American Recovery Reinvestment Act). Currently, it offers the press release; a more detailed fact sheet; an overview to understand how the funds will impact you, your students, and your school; and links to budget information, including state-by-state allocations for formula-based programs, as well as a brief "video statement" by Secretary  Arne Duncan.  Additional information on the act will be posted as it becomes available. 

2009 Web conference series on positive behavior support.

TASH offers a 6-part series called Positive Behavior Support: Designing and Implementing Effective Support Plans. Schedule: April 15th, 22nd, 29th, May 6th, 13th and 20th. Registration fees apply. Sign up at:

Reducing behavior problems in the elementary school classroom.

From IES, this practice guide provides information to help elementary school educators as well as school and district
administrators develop and implement effective prevention and intervention strategies that promote positive student behavior.

PBIS in the classroom.
Universal Positive Behavior Support for the Classroom
is now available on PBIS.ORG. The newsletter describes core components and strategies for effective behavior support in a classroom setting.

Preventing mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders among young people.

The National Research Council and Institute of Medicine report that young people experience mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders as commonly as they experience fractured limbs, costing the U.S. an estimated $247 billion  annually. The report highlights classroom and other interventions that work.

RTI for struggling readers.
Also new from IES, here's Assisting Students Struggling with Reading: Response to Intervention (RtI) and Multi-Tier Intervention in the Primary Grades. Teachers and reading specialists can utilize these strategies to implement RtI and multi-tier intervention methods and frameworks at the classroom or school level. Recommendations cover how to screen students for reading problems, design a multi-tier intervention program, adjust instruction to help struggling readers, and monitor student progress.

RTI for principals.
From the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) Principal Leadership, here's one resource in two parts. Part 1 gives a general explanation of RTI, its importance to secondary school principals, and a description of the components of effective RTI programs. Part 2 discusses tiered interventions including whole-school, small-group, and individual interventions that make RTI initiatives successful. Both parts are available via the Center on Instruction.

Glossary of RTI terms.

Have you ever asked what the difference is between curriculum-based assessment and curriculum-based measurement? Have you heard of standard treatment protocol but are unsure as to what it means? Find these answers and more in this new Glossary of RTI terms from the National Center on Response to Intervention.

TBI: Identification, assessment, classroom accommodations.
This 17-page publication gives a general overview of how schools can best meet the needs of students with traumatic brain injury.

New IDEA requirement: You know that "summary of student achievement" that's due for some students?
IDEA 2004 added a new requirement for school systems with respect to certain students with disabilities who are exiting secondary school with a regular diploma or because of "aging out" of eligibility for FAPE under state law. Now, for each such student, schools must provide a summary of the student's academic achievement and functional performance, including recommendations on how to assist the youth in meeting his or her postsecondary goals. If your school system is wondering how to fulfill this new requirement, here's an example of how one local district is.

And how are states measuring student progress toward IEP goals?
If a student's IEP has no benchmarks or short-term objectives, how is progress toward his or her annual goals measured? This February 2009 brief policy analysis from Project Forum describes the policies and practices that states have instituted to ensure that IEP teams provide for this. The analysis was based on data received from a survey of  all states and a follow up interview with three states. Mechanisms to  measure student progress on IEP goals across the nation and specific state strategies for tracking this progress are described.

FAPE under Section 504.
The U.S. Department of Education provides an overview of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which states that school districts are required to provide a "free appropriate public education" (FAPE) to each qualified person with a disability who is in the school district's jurisdiction, regardless of the nature or severity of the person's disability. This ED publication answers three questions about FAPE according to Section 504: (1) Who is entitled to a free appropriate public education? (2) How is an appropriate education defined? and (3) How is a free education defined?

Study gives edge to 2 math programs.
Two programs for teaching mathematics in the early grades are Math Expressions and Saxon Math. These two have also emerged as winners in early findings released last week from a large-scale federal experiment that pits four popular, and philosophically distinct, math curricula against one another. So reports Education Week, at:


State and System Tools



U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan talks with Education Week.
See the video. In an exclusive interview with Education Week, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan discussed the
administration's ideas on removing ineffective teachers, implementing performance pay, and holding education schools
accountable for their graduates' performance.

Determinations of LEA Compliance with IDEA: Strategies and Resources Used by States.
This brief policy analysis presents IDEA 2004 language requiring states to make annual determinations each local education agency. Findings from a survey to which 45 state directors of special education responded are described. Findings include processes states use in making determinations, resources used, enforcement actions taken and benefits and challenges encountered in making determinations. A discussion follows.

Stimulus package to impact education technology.

The ARRA doubles the current federal budget for education technology, allocating $650 million to states for education technology initiatives. Learn about the funding opportunities that are coming your way, as part of Education Week's ongoing analysis of Schools and the Stimulus.

The NAEP and students with disabilities.
Measuring the Status and Change of NAEP State Inclusion Rates for Students with Disabilities explains that, since the late 1990s, participation rates of students with disabilities in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) from different states have fluctuated. To address concerns that these changes may affect the validity of reports on achievement trends, NAEP has instituted policies for providing test accommodations for students with disabilities; developed a methodology to correct for the bias resulting from changing inclusion rates; and implemented procedures to increase the number of students with disabilities who are included as test takers. 

How's your state doing on educational technology?

Technology Counts 2009: Breaking Away From Tradition
focuses on how online education is expanding opportunities for raising student achievement. You will want to see how your state's use of educational technology compares to the rest
of the country.  Use the interactive maps and state data comparison tool to get the benchmarking information you need.

Guidance from the Department to assist in establishing uniform high school graduation rate.

The U.S. Department of Education has released non-regulatory guidance to implement a uniform and accurate measure of the high school graduation rate that is comparable across states. The non-regulatory guidance provides states, local education agencies, and schools with information about how to implement the uniform graduation rate regulations, including making data public so that educators and parents can compare how students of every race, background and income level are performing.

GAO report on young adults with serious mental iIllness and transition.
The transition to adulthood can be difficult for young adults who live with a serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Due to concerns about young adults with serious mental illness transitioning into adulthood, GAO was asked to provide information on (1) the number of these young adults and their demographic characteristics, (2) the challenges they face, (3) how selected states assist them, and (4) how the federal government supports states in serving these young adults and coordinates programs that can assist them. 

Highlights from the report:

The full report:

The ADA Amendments Act of 2008.
The new ADAA became effective on January 1, 2009. While the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has not yet completed the regulations for the new legislation, the Job Accommodation Network has developed a publication and a resource page featuring information that is currently available about the Act. The new publication is called JAN's
Accommodation and Compliance Series: The ADA Amendments Act of 2008. It will be periodically updated as additional information is made public and can be found at

Scaling up evidence-based practices in education.
The State Implementation of Scaling-up Evidence-based Practices (SISEP) Center and the National Implementation Research Network (NIRN) have recently released the following summary briefs on implementing and scaling up
evidence-based practices in education. Titles include: 


Dropout prevention: An IES practice guide.



Special Focus: Transitions


There are many different points in time where transitions occur. Our children exit early intervention (Part C) and move on to preschool (Part B), and on down the line---kindergarten, elementary, middle school, high school, adulthood. Here's a selection of resources along that very continuum. 

School transition in your child's future? Tips for a smooth transition.

The March 2009 newsletter from the Matrix Parent Network and Resource Center tackles the issue.

Out of early intervention and into preschool.
Check out NICHCY's resource page, if your youngster with disabilities is moving from Part C services to Part B and preschool.

Transitioning from elementary school to middle school.
This 2-pager from Matrix will also give you food for thought.

Or from middle school to high school.
Another 2-pager from Matrix, to go with our theme of transitions.

And the BIG transition: From high school to adult life.

For that adolescent of yours: A Life 4 Me.

This site is for middle school youth with disabilities. The site includes activities and resources directed at futures planning.

In Spanish: Getting ready for postsecondary education?
The U.S. Department of Education offers Preparacion Para La Educacion Postsecundaria Para Los Estudiantes Con Discapacidades: Conozca Sus Derechos Y Responsabilidades (Students With Disabilities Preparing For Postsecondary Education: Know Your Rights and Responsibilities).

Transition videos for students.
The OSEP-funded NSTTAC focuses exclusively on transition to adulthood. They've just posted three new videos on their home page. The first gives a 16-minute overview of the NSTTAC website. The second and third videos are for students. The second video guides students through the writing of personal post-secondary goals, while the third video gets them acquainted with the Summary of Performance (SOP) now required by IDEA when students with disabilities exit secondary school.  

Going to college?
Going to College is a new Web site with information about living college life with a disability. It is designed for teens with disabilities and  provides video clips, activities, information, and additional resources that can help students get a head start in planning for college.

Health care for transitioning youth.
As a natural part of growing up, adolescents becoming adults must become responsible for their health care. Taking responsibility for one's own health care, as developmentally able, is part of becoming independent from one's family and finding a place in the adult community. If you're looking for a wealth of resources on making that transition, you will be thrilled at the connections the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) has assembled. It's waiting at your fingers, at: 

Directory of projects and centers focusing on transition.

The Federal Interagency Partners in Transition Workgroup has developed "Strengthening Transition Partnerships: Building Federal TA Center  Capacity," a directory of federally funded projects and centers focusing  on youth transition. The directory includes 15 descriptions detailing the name of the project or center, the funding agency, and the target audience,  as well as descriptions of each center's purpose, services provided, and links to center websites and publications. The document is not exhaustive of all transition services extended through federal, state, or local entities. Available in pdf (16 pages).



Comments on our newsletter? Suggestions for future topics? Please feel free to contact us at We're here to help you help children with disabilities.




In This Issue:

It All Starts in Families and Communities

The Little Ones: Early Intervention/ Early Childhood

Schools, K-12

State and System Tools

Special Focus: Transitions


Coming Soon...Very Soon

NICHCY has been working hard to update our publications related to IDEA, and we're in the homestretch, thanks to OSEP's reviewers and our Project Officer, Dr. Judy L. Shanley. Hopefully, in our next month's enewsletter, we'll be linking you to these basics, all new and shiny and accurate:

  • Categories of Disability under IDEA
  • Your Child's Evaluation
  • Questions Often Asked by Parents about Special Education Services 

Two new publications will be:

  • Q&A on IDEA: Purposes and Key Definitions
  • Q&A on IDEA: Parent Participation


Quick Links:

About The National Dissemination Center

U.S. Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP)

OSEP TA&D Network