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Your Right to Disagree

The Child Advocate is devoted to children and the parents and professionals that work with them and advocate for them.  Your right to disagree is basic to advocating for your child with special needs.  The information presented at this site is for general use only and is not intended to provide personal advice or substitute for the advice of a qualified professional.  If you have questions about the information presented here, please consult the resources listed or other professional in your area. Mediation under IDEA 1992 – a quick summary Mediation under IDEA 1997 Due process rights (Federal) Office for Dispute Resolution (Pennsylvania but similar in other states) Recurring Issues with Due Process for Pennsylvania (example for state procedures) -Many of the training opportunities have accompanying support materials to further explain the concepts addressed in training and to provide “take home” materials for learners. Our featured Instructional Materials are highlighted below. You can also view a complete listing of all PaTTAN Instructional Materials....

The Instruction Support Team

IST – The Instruction Support Team What is IST ? The Instructional Support Team (IST) is an innovative program whose goals are to maximize individual student success in the regular classroom, while at the same time serving as a screening process for students who may be in a need of special education services. IST is a positive, success-oriented program which uses specific assessment and intervention techniques to help remove educational, behavioral, or affective stumbling blocks for all students in the regular classroom. The program shifts the critical question in education from asking “What’s wrong with the student?” to asking “What resources can we use to increase the student’s chances for success?”. IST answers this question through a team approach that provides for greater cohesiveness, coordination, and instructional continuity, and complements existing curriculum and instructional programs. Any Elementary student who experiences consistent academic or behavioral problems may be a candidate for IST. This includes students beginning to display problems in regular education, as well as students with disabilities who are included in regular education programs. Students are identified for IST services by the classroom teacher, other educators, or parents. Who Are The Members of the IST? Although members of the IST may differ from school to school, the team always includes the building principal, the student’s classroom teacher, and the support teacher. The parents are encouraged to participate as active partners in the process. The school psychologist, guidance counselor, Chapter I teacher, speech pathologist, school nurse and representatives from community agencies may also serve on the IST, depending on the needs of the student. The IST determines what strategies should...

Individualized Education Programs (IEPS)

To Assure the Free Appropriate Public Education of all Children with Disabilities – 1995 Table 6.4 Summary of Findings in Final Monitoring Reports Issued During FY 1994 Individualized Education Programs (IEPS) 300.343(a) and (d) — Public agencies must conduct meetings to develop, review and revise IEPs for all students with disabilities. 300.344(a)(1) — Agency representative must participate in each IEP meeting. 300.345(b)(1) — Notification to parents of IEP meetings must indicate purpose, time, and location of meeting and who will be in attendance. 300.345(d) — If public agency unable to convince parents to attend IEP meeting,public agency must have record of its attempts to arrange a mutually agreed on time and place. 300.346(a) — Each IEP must include:   A statement of child’s present levels of educational performance;  Annual goals, including short-term instructional objectives;  Statement of specific special education and related services to be provided to child and extent child will be able to participate in regular educational programs;  Projected dates for initiation and anticipated duration of services; and  Appropriate objective criteria and evaluation procedures and schedules for determining, on at least an annual basis, whether the short term instructional objectives are being achieved. 300.346(b) — Beginning no later than age 16 (and at a younger age, if determined appropriate), each child’s IEP must include statement of needed transition services as defined at 300.18.   Placement in the Least Restrictive Environment 300.550(b)(2) — Child may be removed from regular educational environment only if education in regular classes cannot be achieved satisfactorily with use of supplementary aids and services. 300.551(a) and 300.552(b) — Continuum of alternative placements must be available...

Section 504 and IDEA

Although parents of children with disabilities are frequently more familiar with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), they should also acquaint themselves with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (hereinafter “Section 504”).

Special Education Timelines

[Most programs must complete an Evaluation within 60 school days of the parents written request for the Evaluation.- Editors Note] SPECIAL EDUCATION TIMELINES IN PA (other states are similar) There are several steps to the PENNSYLVANIA SPECIAL EDUCATION SYSTEM. Timelines are included in state law to insure that school districts complete each step promptly. Please note that some timelines are in calendar days, while others are in school days; that is, days in which the schools are open. If you find that your district does not follow a timeline, contact the special education director and discuss the problem. If you cannot get your school district to comply, you can file a complaint with the Division of Compliance, Bureau of Special Education, 333 Market Street, Harrisburg, PA 17126-0333. In some cases, you may have the right to receive compensatory services for your child if the violation is serious. THE PRE-SCHOOL SYSTEM For children ages 3 to 5: All evaluations must be completed and a copy of the report given to the parents within 60 calendar days of the parents’ consent. The child’s program must be developed within 30 calendar days after the evaluation report is issued, and must begin within 14 calendar days of the parents’ approval of the program. Children in the pre-school system must be re-evaluated every two years, and their program must be reviewed, and, if necessary, revised, every year. SPECIAL EDUCATION FOR SCHOOL AGE CHILDREN A student must be fully evaluated and an Evaluation Report issued to the parents within 60 school days after the parents’ written consent for an evaluation is received. The student’s program...
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