Detox Time!

Dear Readers,

I’ve been so overly busy the past couple of weeks that I have not had time to detox. One of the main reasons is that my classroom is never empty. I have the class for 1st & 2nd period; the 11th/12th grade Resource Teacher has it 3rd & 4th, and the Spanish teacher has it 5th & 6th. Not to mention that the Spanish teacher tutors on Mondays & Tuesdays. On Wednesdays, we have PDs; on Thursdays, I have tutoring; Fridays are free, but who wants to stay on Friday, right? Couple all of this with the many demands of my church and you have a very burnt out me.

Because of all this, I’ve bee feeling like I could star in one of the  Snickers commercial because I (Read more...)

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Bullying of Kids With Disabilities – Part VIII

No Bullying sign - School in Racine, Wisconsin
No Bullying sign - School in Racine, Wisconsin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

































Bullying remains the hottest of hot button issues in special education law.  We interrupted the series for my thoughts on the Rowley standard as applied to bullying cases.  Now we are back
 In the first installment of this series, I explained the early cases laying the conceptual groundwork for the proposition that failure to react to bullying can constitute a denial of FAPE under IDEA.  In later installments, I have discussed the seminal decision of TK & SK ex rel LK v. New York City Dept of Educ 779 F.Supp.2d 289, 56 IDELR 228 (E.D.N.Y. 4/25/2011).  This case is impo (Read more...)
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Notes on notes home

Ever wondered whether it was worthwhile to send notes home about children’s behavior? This note will not provide comprehensive coverage of home-school communication, but there has been a bit of research about using home-school notes as a means of supporting behavior management. There is a system based on "Daily Behavior Report Cards," (DBRC) which is […]
Posted in b mod, behavior problems, Classroom management, discipline, disruptive behavior, Extra-classroom matters, Research, teachers | Comments Off

Apply to be a White House Fellow

720px-US-WhiteHouse-LogoThe White House Fellows program 2015-2016 has officially launched online on November 1, 2014! Open season is from November 1, 2014 to January 15, 2015. 

The program’s mission is to expose Fellows to first-hand, high-level experience in the Federal government. The program consists of a full-time work placement in the offices of Cabinet Secretaries, senior White House staff, and other high-ranking Administration officials. During a year in Washington, DC, Fellows also participate in a robust education program designed to provide a behind-the-scenes look into the inner workings of the Federal government. It is an extraordinary year that yields a lifetime of rewards. Learn more about the W (Read more...)

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2015 Toyota Family Teacher of the Year Award

Logo_2The National Center for Families Learning (NCFL) has begun accepting nominations for the 2015 Toyota Family Teacher of the Year Award, which will present $20,000 to an exemplary teacher engaging families in education. Educators working with families through schools, libraries, and many other community-based organizations will be considered, and nominations are due December 31, 2014.  

The selected educator’s school or program will receive the $20,000 prize to increase efforts to engage families in learning together and join an elite group of educators across the country that received previous awards. NCFL will award the second prize winner $2,500.Both winners will be (Read more...)

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Weekly Question!

We are continuing our series on bullying of kids with disabilities. What else should school districts do to prevent the serious problem of bullying?
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Lessons From The Tri-State Conference: The Third Rail – Part I

I was honored to be asked to present again this year at the Tri-State Special Education Law Conference last week in Omaha. The conference is a joint effort of the Nebraska, Iowa and Kansas Departments of Education and TAESE. It was nice to catch up with old friends and to meet new ones.  My session was about bullying and other hot button issues.  The participants were very engaged and provided lots of good comments and questions. The session went very well.

One theme that was emerging at the conference is consistent with a point that we have made here.  We have often said here that there is a "third rail" of special education law in that courts and hearing officers seem to be m (Read more...)
Posted in Gerl, Iowa, Kansas, Legal Information, Nebraska, special education law, Tri-State Conference | Comments Off

(Almost) No NPs!!!

Dear Readers,

I’m very happy about my students receiving almost no NP’s! I checked grades last week before report cards were due and last night at parent conferences. Almost all of the parents were happy. Most of all, my students were happy.

After performing grade checks today with my 9th graders, we got down to the nitty gritty- I asked them three questions. I first asked them if they were pleased with their grades. After their response, which were positive by the way, we looked at the grades and the reason for the NP’s. I then asked them if they could have done more to get better grades. They agreed that they could have been more diligent. Lastly, I asked them what their (Read more...)

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New Resources from the Center on Great Teachers and Leaders

Gtl-logoIn October, the Center on Great Teachers and Leaders (GTL) released several new and exciting resources

  • Understanding Teaching Conditions (Professional Learning Module) | October 2014. Improving teaching conditions is essential for states and districts to address equitable access to effective teaching. When teachers work in schools with better teaching conditions, they are more likely to remain at their current school and more likely to perform effectively, ultimately improving student learning. Regional technical assistance providers and state and district leaders can use this module to:
  • Learn how teaching conditions at the state, district, and school level can create a more positive teac (Read more...)
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New Resources from the CEEDAR Center

0cbc310119af28432b61037cb70b571fThe CEEDAR Center has released two new resources available for download. 

The Role of State Policy in Preparing Educators to Meet the Learning Needs of Students with Disabilities: This paper summarizes the current state policy context regarding educator standards and how they are prepared, credentialed, and supported to serve the learning needs of students with disabilities. It surveys the status of state policies that impact the quality and structure of the professional preparation for teachers and school leaders. Policy summaries for all 50 states (cataloging specific state policies on educator standards, preparation, certification and licensure, induction, and professional learning) (Read more...)

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