2020-21 Communications

Communications for the 2020-2021 School Year

September 2020

1) 2020-21 Back to School Special Education Training (YouTube)

Slide Show for 2020-21 Back to School Special Education Training (pdf)

October 2020

1) Dec 1 Child Count Memo from the Special Education Director (pdf)


Communication Committee Meeting October 28, 2020 Slide Show  (pdf)

1) NLSEC guidelines for Special Ed Guidance document (pdf)

2) COVID-19 Resources on NLSEC website:  Updated and 2020-21 Communications on one page.

3) IEP Virtual Meetings Reminders: be ready and mute if others talking in the background, show your webcam

4) Parent Resource Booklet (pdf) and Secondary Transition Resource Booklet (pdf): Let Jess B (School Age) and Jess K (Transition) know if you want more.

5) Tele-practice and distance learning resources

6) SpEd Forms 2020: New look coming (main menu and forms menu only), eventually rest of the program

7) Switching from Behavior Intervention Plan to Positive Behavior Support Plan: BIP not as positive so moving to Positive Behavior Support Plan. In 2021-22 there will only be the Positive Behavior Support Plan.

8) Coop Data Forms: Reminder to use the forms. Data submitted to NLSEC office (all districts) and MARSS Coordinators for these districts (Carlton, Cloquet, Hermantown, LS, McGregor, ML, Proctor, Wrenshall). Complete the applicable forms for these scenarios:
    -Completion of annual IEP
    -Federal Setting Change
    -Special Transportation Change
    -Primary Disability Change
    -New student enrollment
    -Exiting special education
    -Following revocation of consent

9) SpEd Forms reminders: Inactivate students that are no longer receiving services and update service providers numbers.

10) Dec 1st Child Count: Check that your data matches you MARSS Coordinator. Important info to check - Resident District, Primary Disability, Start and End Date, and IEP and Eval must be current.

11) New grade drop down “18-21 years old” in SpEd Forms: For students beyond grade 12.  “TR” will appear as the grade on the top of forms

12) Code 6 for Secondary Students: Status should be a 6 for students receiving outside state agency support

13) Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VRS): VRS (9th-12th grade) can meet virtually. Include in IEP meetings. 
     -Josie Grabowski (all districts - works on Pre-ETS for “bubble” kids)
     -Cindy Matheson (Lake Superior, Hermantown, Proctor, Cromwell-Wright, McGregor, Esko)
     -Cassie Erickson (Cloquet, Wrenshall, Barnum, Carlton, Moose Lake, Willow River)

14) Special Education Law Changes: 
    -Open Enrollment/Special Transportation
    -ADSIS for students - Students that are receiving spec ed services can access ADSIS
    -Stand Alone FBA’s - Stand-alone FBA’s are ok

15) Special Ed case updates: Case 1 - A student who qualified for special education services and in a school district’s child care program is the district responsibility for services. Case 2 - District determined an intellectually-gifted student was not eligible for spec ed services even though the student had a “plethora of diagnosis” related to anxiety, phobia, ADHD and depressive disorder. Court determined the student was eligible and it was the district's error not to provide spec ed services earlier.

16) Guardianship Reform: Person centered approach to decision making, changes embrace least restrictive

17) MCA Assessment:  When a parent opts out their child of state assessments, counts as a did not meet. This does affect the district.

18) Upcoming Trainings:
    -Woodcock Johnson - November 2, 2020, 8:30am-3:30pm
    -Crisis Prevention Intervention Training - January 21, 2021, 8:00am-3:30pm
    -Sexuality for All Abilities - February 26, 2021, 9-noon


November 2020

1) In-Person IEP Services Flowchart (pdf)

2) In-Person Special Education Services (11/10/20 in pdf)

3) Eligibility Requirements for the MN Test of Academic Skills (MTAS) (11/20/20 in pdf)

4) YouTube video explaining eligibility requirements for the MTAS (11/20/20)




February 2021

Communication Committee Minutes ~ February 4, 2021
Slide Show & YouTube Recording (2:49)

1) SpEd Forms 2.0 - new version takes some time to get used to, new look is just the navigation menu, forms look the same (except MA Forms has a different look). 2 minute video on how to switch 

2) Finalizing documents in SpEd Forms - Remember to finalize forms so accessible in history (like a permanent record).  All paperwork should also be filed in the child's Due Process File.

3) Saving Version History - Parent rejects IEP, save in the history as “proposal/draft”, write comment and it will show in the history area.

4) Exiting from Special education - Dismissal - an eval is required when dismissing a student either because they no longer have a disability or they continue to have a disability, but no longer need services.  Revocation - Parents wish to discontinue services, team must consider through a PWN and attempt to come to a consensus, but ultimately parents can revoke services.

5) 14 Day rule and Service Start date - Date projected is 14 days out from the date of PWN and Consent form are SENT.  If parent signatures are received prior to the projected start date, you do not have to go back into and change this.

6) SpEd Forms Federal Setting box - If setting changed, need to alert your MARSS Coordinator when it occurs by completing a Coop Data Form. 

7) Making inactive in SpEd Forms - Exit reasons don’t always match what is happening, pick closest EXIT reason to make inactive. Be sure to let MARSS Coordinator know!

8) Transportation - Code differences.  When special transportation is needed, your code will be 03:Disabled.  Communicate with MARSS Coordinator.

9) CLP’s - Last fall IEP’s amended to add CLP. CLP will automatically save in the History when you finalize an IEP. You can amend an IEP with the CLP date, it will finalize keeping past IEP's in the history.

10) Telephone - OK to use the telephone to... talk to previous schools and case managers, if unsuccessful contacting parents, or conflict over email.

11) Student Transfers - Ok to call schools, contact Shannon for SpEd Forms transfers outside of our Coop. Out of state, get the paperwork and enter into SpEd Forms as a new student, option to scan and upload out of state forms into history.

12) Consider Federal Settings -  Out of state determine eligibility using MN Criteria and develop an IEP based on info we have.  When transferring out of a Restrictive Setting, involve Coordinators and/or NLA. NLA Referral process and referral packet for NLA.

13) MDE Org - Searchable database for MN School Contact Info: https://education.mn.gov/mde/about/SchOrg/

14) Transfer of Parental Rights - New MN Law changes to promote supported decision making, LRE and preferences of individuals.  Guardianship & Alternative Options handout, Spotlight Tool, Exploring Decision Making Supports, How to Guide/Workbook for SDM.

15) Family Engagement - Communication is KEY, think out of the box. If distance learning not working, involve key players and make a plan.

16) Person Centered Approach to IEP Meetings: Students should have a voice, useful tools:  Ten Suggestions to Adding Person Centered Planning into IEP Meetings, DCD specific-exploring possibilities, Vision Tool, Planning for the Future Workbook, My Hopes & Dreams Workbook. Create an at-a-glance one page with key info on student strengths, vision, what works and doesn’t for student.

17) Parent Resource Booklet - Do you want more?

18) Tuesday Transition Talks @ 12 - Virtual webinar series for middle school and high school parents in NLSEC and Duluth. Upcoming sessions: Intro to Transition planning, Social Security, Guardianship and Supported Decision Making, Duluth and NLSEC Vocational Options, Preparing Your Child for Post secondary Education Program, County Supports, Parent Advocacy, and Working with Community Providers.

19) “Skipped” Revaluations - In certain circumstances with parent permission, an IEP may decide to “skip” a 3-year evaluation report if there is enough existing data for the IEP PLAAFP. MDE Q&A. Currently the form is in the Referral and Evaluation area in SpEd Forms. Reevaluation Decision-Making Cover Sheet and Reevaluation Decision-Making Flowchart.

20) IEP PLAAFP - Don’t forget the AA & the F in PLAAFP.  Academic Achievement and Functional Performance. Include all 3 areas - reading, writing and math even if they are not concerns. Include more than just grades.

21) MN Eligibility Criteria - Heidi developing a 12 part recorded video series on MN Spec Ed Eligibility Criteria. Checklists from MDE’s website. Assuming a student won’t qualify isn’t a reason to not evaluate.

22) Signatures - Don’t change them down. SLD and Team Overrides only time team signatures required.

23) MDE Compliance Monitoring Update - New C&A Director hired and new pilot computer system. No on-site visits, limited files pulled.

24) Transition of Students Back into School - Data collection of current present levels (what is the impact of COVID on this student?), Revision of specialized instruction, Communicate with families, ESY and Compensatory Education (every individual situation is different). Contact Dena or the district administrator with parent concerns.

25) Woodcock Johnson Test of Achievement 4th Edition Training - There is a recorded webinar from Dr. Dehn providing training for administration of WJ-IV (6 hours).  Email Heidi Halker for login information. Only available for NLSEC districts.

26) Upcoming Trainings (see NLSEC Calendar for more information and registration links):
  -Sexuality for All Abilities 2/26/21 9-12pm
  -STAR Online Learning System 3/3/21 2-3:30pm
  -CPI Refresher 3/5/21 8-11:30am

27)Resources - MCA & MTAS Teaching Resources, Literacy Grade Level Expectations, Text Level Examples, STAR Autism Support, NLSEC COVID Resources