Friday, January 05, 2007

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) 2004

The following excerpt was taken from an article by the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC).
The new Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) 2004 regulations contain changes in several important areas, including methods to identify students with learning disabilities, early intervening services, highly qualified teachers, discipline, and meeting accessibility standards.
CEC is pleased to report that many of its recommendations are in the final regulations. CEC worked with members, Board of Directors, Representative Assembly, and others to develop recommendations that would strengthen services for children with disabilities and support special educators. Through our work, the following CEC recommendations, among others, were included in the regulations:

  • Strengthened provisions to reduce disproportionate representation of students from diverse cultures in special education.
  • Stronger measurable IEP goals instead of short-term objectives and benchmarks.
  • Paperwork reduction.
  • Reduced number of times schools must notify parents of procedural safeguards.
  • Rigorous standards for alternative routes to certification.
  • Multiple-year IEP pilot program.


In addition the article addresses topics such as ...

  • Identifying Students with Disabilities and Response-to-Intervention (RTI)
  • Early Intervening Services (EIS)
  • IEPs
  • Highly Qualified Teachers
  • Discipline
  • Accessible Instructional Materials for Children with Disabilities
  • New Definitions
  • Resources

Click here for the complete article, A Primer on the IDEA 2004 Regulations

Please email me with any additional resources or discussion interest for this very important topic.


Heather Brooks said...

Before I go on to other points on this topic I have a couple of questions about Charles County's way of dealing with special needs students.

1- I understand that some students go to the F.B. Gwynn Center. I also understand this center is for special needs students. I tried to go to the FBG website through the ccboe website but it doesn't work. So, what I'd like to know is if it's true that that center is for special needs students and if so what criteria determines which students go there and which students get maintreamed?

2 - If a student is obviously having difficulty - for instance does any combination of two or more of the following daily:

*Takes off his clothes
*Runs away and out of the class
*Bites, other students, teachers
*Throws himself on the floor
*Bangs his head on things on purpose
*Makes himself throw up
*Can't respond to questions - or won't
*Ignores teacher instruction
*Yells and shouts out loud on and off throughout the day
*Has temper tantrums and fits throughout the day

If a student does these things in a regular classroom setting and the teacher is not a special ed teacher, why is that student in that classroom? If it is obvious to the teachers, the staff, the other students and it interferes with class, what reason would there be that that student is in a regular kindergarten, first, second grade class?

Let's say perhaps there IS a place for this child - the FB Gwynn center AND the child meets the critera for that center, but the parents do not feel their child belongs in the center - then what?

In any cases where a child is disruptive daily what does the school have to do in order to get a child removed from a classroom or the school?

Is it not in the best interest of the special needs students to have the proper instruction that they need to develop? Is it not in the best interest and safety of the other students to not have their class constantly disrupted? Is it not in the best interest of the teachers who are not trained to deal with the special needs students and would just like to get through their class each day, educating the other students?

Once you have time to answer some of the why's for me I'll have more questions and comments.

Thanks again for this great blog Jennifer!

LegalBeaglette said...

Parents of special needs children are asking how these changed regulations affect them and their children specifically -- like will it affect whether (and how) IEPs are written, how educational accommodations are made for their children, whether their "voice" as parents has been strengthened or diminished.

What, if anything, has CCPS done to educate parents about the changes?

Jennifer Abell said...

Heather and Legalbeaglette,
I do not know all the answers to your questions, however I am working on getting the answers. Please bear with me and I will try to get the answers by the end of the week.

Jennifer Abell said...

Heather - Sorry it took so long, but I wanted to make sure I relayed the correct information. According to Ms. Charbonnet,
Director of Special Education for CCPS...
The F.B. Gwynn Center provides services to many children. Some children attending are students identified with special needs, others are typically developing youngsters. All placement decisions for students with disabilities are determined through the Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP) or the Individual Education Plan (IEP) process.

All decisions pertaining to a student's behavioral and academic needs are determined through the IEP Team process. This team process reviews, discusses, considers and develops appropriate academic and behavioral interventions and/or strategies based on the individual needs of each child. Each IEP Team includes individuals, including the parents and the general education teacher, who have knowledge of the child.

Any team member who has concerns about a student's behavior or a student's instructional needs may request a program review to discuss those concerns. If parents or the system are in disagreement with IEP Team recommendations, and the team is unable to reach a resolution, the Due Process system is available.