2019-20 Communications

September 2019

Back to School Trainings were held last week of August

1) Click HERE for Back to School Training slide show


October 2019

1)  AT Consideration annually for students with disabilities is required-don’t skip over in IEP meeting
  • Is there a tool that might help a student become more independent?
  • Is there something a para is doing for a student that a tool could help a student do on their own?

2) Any follow-up questions from Back to school training

  • Linked on nlsec.org under September Communications

3) Progress Reports: for quarters, 1st coming due.  Data (numbers) must reflect progress on what the goals says will be measured and each objective must be addressed.  It’s ok to have 1 reporting period of insufficient, but explanation and inclusion of data to support that must be included. If on semesters and student has fall IEP meeting, still report at semester time unless IEP is in December.  Then again at end of year.

4) ESY data can be taken over MEA break

5) Secondary Transition - IEP Meeting Agenda & Guided Notes

6) Secondary Transition Resource Booklets -remember to hand out to families at IEP meetings.  If you need more, email Jess Knutsen

7) Middle School Teachers- if you end up assessing secondary transition as part of a re-evaluation or initial, the transition pages of the IEP must be completed as well.  See attached for guidelines on how to complete.

8) Upcoming Trainings.  Check the NLSEC Calendar for more information on registration

  • Return to Play, Return to Learn: TBI - Oct 24th, 2019 8:30AM - 2:30PM
    Registration here. Carlton County Transportation Department
  • Woodcock-Johnson Assessment Training - October 25, 2019 8:30AM - 3:00PM  
    NLSEC Conference Room

  • Secondary Transition 101 - October 29th 8:30-11:30 
    Back to basics.  Target audience is for new teachers or those needing a refresher.
    NLSEC Conference Room, Esko
  • Northern Bridge Tools for Transition Dinner - October 30, 2019 5:30PM - 8:00PM
    Blackwoods, Proctor.  Contact Jess Knutsen with questions
  • Disability Specific: EBD Training  - November 4th 8:30-3:30 PM
    Carlton County Transportation Department.  Registration here.
  • Assistive Technology Training -  November 7th 9-12:00PM
    AT Device Demonstration and Bookshare.org - Northland Learning Center, Virginia.
    Registration here.
  • ECSE meeting -  November 18th , 2019 11:30AM-2:30PM
    NLSEC Conference Room
  • Cancelled - Sexuality for All Abilities - November 19, 2019  12:30PM-3:30PM
    Community Memorial Hospital, Cloquet 
  • FASD Region 3 training November 20, 12-3PM, Hibbing High School. 
    Registration here.

November 2019

1. Self Monitoring MDE review: Timelines important, should be a comprehensive evaluation, address strengths in academic and functional areas in PLAAFP, have measurable goals, progress reporting should include data from goals, document when consulting with gen ed staff.

2. Vision Consultant, Zandra Bail-Lalonde:  Don’t forget to include Zandra in evaluations and she will need medical documentation of student vision/blind impairment. Further requirements need to be met in criteria, not automatically qualified for blind/low vision services.

3. Status: Case managers update this field as needed in SpEd Forms, reminder to fill out the Coop Data Forms for “new to you” students, or significant changes in MARSS data elements (MARSS Reference Guide). Status 6 = public agency, Status 4 = receiving services from district.

4. Transportation: Disabled Status of 3, Special Transportation Status of 6.  Status of 6 is primarily home treatment, contact your MARSS person if using a 6 Special Transportation.

5. Work-based Learning and Transportation: IEP needs to include special education transportation. The district can’t set up bussing without the IEP details of how this supports the IEP goals.

6. Assistive Technology: One page AT Consideration and Trial Process document.  Includes links to Lending Libraries, Example AT Tools, SETT document, Data Collection Form and AT Decision Documentation Form for Business Manager.

7. Bookshare.org
: Free ebook resource (with audio) for students with Visual impairments, Physical impairments, LD students with reading accommodations, dyslexia. Coop will support districts in setting up Organization Account. If interested, contact Shannon sproulx@nlsec.org.

8. Secondary Transition: Three major components 1) Coach - student and family think about goals  2) Design - what skills needed to achieve their goals  3) Identify and link - direct student/family to supports/programs available after high school.  Secondary Transition IEP Meeting agenda.   Secondary Transition Booklets.

9. Secondary Transition Reminders: Address secondary transition starting in 7th grade, when student turns 16 parents/student must be informed of Age of Majority, start discussion in 9th grade for Anticipated Graduation Date, make sure to include statement in Team Meeting Notices addressing students transition needs.

10. School Age Parent Resource Booklets: Special Education resources for parents of birth to school age children (typically for parents new to special education).  Topics include special education overview, county services, behavioral mental health, community resources, advocacy, preschool age resources, AT,  and child development resources.

11. Progress Reporting:  Measurable data for each objective, plan for frequency of reporting, ok if insufficient progress is identified, however the team should discuss why and come up with a plan to help the child make progress.

12. December 1st Child Count: Talk with MARSS Coordinator to compare IEP Data.  Key components:  1) Resident District  2) Enrollment Options  3) Federal Setting correct  4) Primary Disability correct  5) Start Date 14 days from date sent PWN  6) Status End Date update  7) Currency (meetings on time)   8) Finalize everything between Dec 1, 2018 - Dec 1, 2019.

13. Federal Instructional Settings: Bell to bell, every building has a Setting 3, Setting 8 and “partial day” should be temporary and last resort.

14. NLA Setting IV: Coordinator should be included in conversation if student might be eligible. Can support up to 32 students.  NLA Referral Process, NLA Referral Packet, NLA Pre-referral Checklist.

15. Documenting the Need for Paraprofessional Support in a Student’s IEP:  Questions to consider:  1) Does the IEP goals and objectives focus on independence? 2) Is there AT that will support the student in becoming independent?  3) Other interventions tried? 4) Does the student need exceed the capability of existing staff?  5) What is the plan in the IEP to reduce the need for the paraprofessional?

16. Prior Written Notice: Single most important piece of due process documentation… should “tell the story”.

17. Work Boxes: Visual and hands on activities addressing functional skills, academic (math, reading, social studies), fine motor, job specific boxes like putting together toiletries for hotels. Work Boxes - Google Form with inventory.

18. Upcoming Trainings, check our website www.nlsec.org 
 - Due Process Paperwork nights @ NLA; next Jan 14th. Email twarbalow@nlacoop.org
 - ECSE Back to Basics Nov 22 @ Carlton Co Trans Bldg;  9-2:30PM  Register here
 - New Teacher Follow up Dec 5th @ NLSEC; 8:30-11:30am Email hstirewalt@nlsec.org
 - Region 3 ECSE PD Dec 6 and Dec 19; contact Jessica Brown with questions jbrown@nlsec.org
 - Secondary Transition Dec 10 @ NLSEC; 8:30-11:30am  Email jknutsen@nlsec.org (Cancelled)
 - DCD Training Dec 16 @ NLSEC; 8:30-11:30am  Email hstirewalt@nlsec.org

Link to downloadable PDF of November 20, 2019 Communication Committee Meeting.


February 2020

Communication Committee Meeting Feb 4, 2020 (slide show)

1) SpEd Forms:  PWN page 2 “Return this form to” field no longer auto populating, use the person icon for quick fill in - Directions for setting up person template here.  PWN page 1 date sent box moved down and page two the 14 days for consideration and start date is automatically calculated.  Reminder that PWN Parent Consent/Objection (page 2) boxes updated in November 2019.  Student Evaluated, but did not qualify, select Status “2: SpEd Shared-Time K-12 Evaluation, EC-Evaluated”.  SpEd Forms MARSS questions answered webpage.

2) Resource BookletsSecondary Transition Resource Booklet & Parent Resource Booklet for preschool and school age children.

3) Procedural Safeguards:  Given to parents annually and is this also MA billing consent; MA billing only has to sign one time if a student stays in the same district. MDE information when to give Procedural Safeguards.

4) Parent Complaints: If a parent goes to Director, she takes notes and discusses with the district. If a parent goes to MDE,  MDE calls the Director.  If a parent goes to Advocate, an outside agency may contact the Director or district.

5) ESY: If more data needed selected, re-visit IEP and decide Yes or No.  Student will have to qualify based on one of these categories – Regression/recoupment, Self-sufficiency or Unique Need (not necessarily just benefit from ESY).  Decision Flowchart handout.  Each district has an ESY Coordinator; send by April 30th. Documenting Need for a Para detailed in this ESY handout. Finalize ESY worksheets in SpEd Forms and complete ESY Coop Data Form.

6) IEP Checkboxes: Transportation, ESY and AT.  If a student has a need for the service, check yes and explain in the box. Tell the story.

7) Sensory Strategies: If the student has a need for sensory strategies, think in terms proactive rather than reactive. Having sensory strategies in place helps with keeping student regulated. Counterproductive to take away sensory strategy for discipline.

8) Secondary Transition - Graduation/Exiting Protocol: Move up IEP Feb/March for students graduating.  Goal is to have students graduate with the same age peers. Due Process Requirements: team meeting notice include statement “discuss graduation date of…”, invite outside agencies, PWN completed, SOP completed. Conduct an exit meeting to provide student with a final copy of IEP, Eval, PWN, Progress Report and Summary of Performance. Secondary Transition Website.

9) Day Treatment Settings:  Northwoods provides day treatment services and Duluth School District provides education services. For example, Merritt Creek Academy has a Setting 1.  Transition back to our Coop may be a Setting 3 or Setting 4 NLA. Explain in PWN.

10) License Checks: If a case manager is not licensed in a child's primary disability, another special education teacher within building or district that is licensed must be invited to IEP and provide indirect services. Make sure service provider numbers are updated as Coordinators use them for licensure checks.

11) Upcoming Trainings:  More information on the Calendar section on the NLSEC website.
        2/7 - Bayley 4 Webinar, 9-12 or 1-4, PACC
        2/11 - Speech/Language Pathologists, 12:30-3:30, NLSEC
        2/14 - MDE EC Part B & Part C Due Process Training, 9-2:30, Carlt. Trans. Bldg.
        2/24 - Sexuality for All Abilities, 12-3:30, Cloquet Forestry Center
       2/28 - Enhanced CPI Full Day Training, 8:00-3:30, Garfield
       3/10 - Secondary Transition Workshop, 8:30-11:30, NLSEC

12) Minnesota Test of Academic Skills: MTAS Skills Flowchart for Eligibility.  Typically, for students with significant cognitive disability that meet all 5 requirements:  1) Ability to access the MCA with or without accommodations  2) IEP team review the student’s instructional program to ensure it is linked to gen ed curriculum  3) The student’s cognitive function is significantly below age expectations  4) The student needs explicit and intensive instruction in multiple settings  5) The IEP team documented in the IEP the reasons the MCA would not be appropriate.

13) 2020-21 MDE Monitoring:  6 year rotation – 1st year self review, 2nd year self review correction, 3rd year MDE monitoring, 4th year MDE correction, 2 years off.  We are currently in Self-Review Correction. Next year 2020-21 MDE Monitoring with file reviews, interviews, site visits.  Get ready by following Timelines. Follow the Golden Thread.

14) File Beautification/File Format: Possible formats – Special ed file contents, What to include in a due process file, Special ed file sign-in and table of contents.

Link to downloadable PDF of February 4, 2020 Communication Committee Meeting.


March 2020

1) ESY Reminders
     -ESY Document here

2) Summary of Performance and PWN for Seniors
      - Due Process for Secondary Transition Students - Graduation Protocol - Slide Show

3) Remember to not limit initial evals in the spring just due to 30 day timelines

4) COVID-19 Resources