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IDEA What Does it Mean for Inclusion? Natural Environments/ LRE for ALL Children and the State Performance Plan (SPP)

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IDEA What Does it Mean for Inclusion? Natural Environments/ LRE for ALL Children and the State Performance Plan (SPP) December 18, 2008 Pamela Ptacek – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: IDEA What Does it Mean for Inclusion? Natural Environments/ LRE for ALL Children and the State Performance Plan (SPP)


1
IDEA What Does it Mean for Inclusion? Natural
Environments/ LRE for ALL Children and the State
Performance Plan (SPP)
December 18, 2008 Pamela Ptacek SELPA
Directors SELPAs I, II, III, IV VII
2
Six Principles of the IDEA
  • Free and appropriate public education.
  • Child find (including assessment).
  • Individualized Education Program/ Individualized
    Family Service Plan.
  • Least restrictive environment.
  • Parent participation in decision making.
  • Due process (mediation/hearing).

3
Natural Environments
  • Part C of IDEA states that early intervention
    services, "to the maximum extent appropriate, are
    provided in natural environments, including the
    home, and community settings in which children
    without disabilities participate and are
    provided in conformity with an individualized
    family service plan adopted in accordance with
    section 636" Sec. 632(4) (G),(H).

4
Natural Environments (Cont)
  • The legislation provides the opportunity for
    services in other settings when the parents and
    the Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP)
    team determine that a childs needs cannot be
    satisfactorily met in a "natural environment" as
    defined above. The federal law states

5
Natural Environments (Cont)
  • To the maximum extent appropriate, early
    intervention services are provided in natural
    environments and
  • The provision of early intervention services for
    any infant or toddler with a disability occurs in
    a setting other than a natural environment that
    is most appropriate, as determined by the parent
    and the individualized family service plan team,
    only when early intervention cannot be achieved
    satisfactorily for the infant or toddler in a
    natural environment
  • IDEA 2004 635 (a)(16)(A),(B).

6
Natural Environments (Cont)
  • While the IFSP team is required to justify why
    services may need to be provided in settings
    other than a natural environment, the team should
    not feel compelled to provide an undue burden of
    justification, as this would violate the spirit
    of the requirement that the IFSP be based on the
    individual needs of the child.
  • (Sec. 303.340)
  • (ASHA)

7
Natural Environments (Cont)
  • The concept of "natural environments" as defined
    by the Individuals with Disabilities Education
    Act (IDEA 1997 2004) has created confusion
    regarding the appropriate settings for services
    for families and their infants and toddlers who
    are deaf or hard of hearing.

8
What Are Natural Environments for Deaf or Hard of
Hearing Infants and Toddlers?
  • Natural environments for infants and toddlers,
    who are deaf or hard of hearing, and their
    families should be places where all have full
    access to language and communication through
    visual, auditory, and/or tactile communication
    systems specific to that child and family.

9
Natural Environments for Deaf or Hard of Hearing
Infants (Cont)
  • The Joint Committee of ASHA and CED believes
    that natural environments for infants and
    toddlers, who are deaf or hard of hearing, are
    environments that include family members and
    caregivers, are develop-mentally appropriate, and
    provide direct communication with adults and
    peers through one or more fully accessible
    natural languages (e.g., American Sign Language,
    spoken English, or Spanish).

10
Natural Environments for Deaf or Hard of Hearing
Infants (Cont)
  • Natural environments include the home, child
    care center, school, or other setting where the
    child's language(s) and communication modality
    are used by fluent adult users and where peers
    are using and/or acquiring the same languages
    through similar modalities.

11
Natural Environments for Deaf or Hard of Hearing
Infants (Cont)
  • Natural environments should be easily accessible
    to families and provide opportunities for
    families to meet with professionals, who are
    knowledgeable about language and communication
    development in children with a hearing loss, and
    to interact with other families who have
    similarly developing children, whether hearing,
    deaf, or hard of hearing.

12
When Determining the Setting for Services for
Families and their Young Children




  • Consider home, community, and program settings
    (including center- based programs) that provide
    full support for language and communication
    development for the child and family.
  • Base recommendations on a comprehensive
    assessment of the child and the familys
    priorities, resources, and concerns.
  • Provide families with comprehensive information
    about all programs and providers.

13
When Determining the Setting for Services for
Families and their Young Children (Cont)
  • Encourage families to visit all programs
    providing services to young children with hearing
    loss and their families.
  • Support families in selecting the programs,
    providers, settings. And services that best meet
    the needs of the child and family.
  • Recommend program and services that employ
    qualified providers, who are fluent users of the
    language(s) and communication modality or
    modalities of the child.

14
Least Restrictive Environment
  • The placement of students with disabilities ages
    three through 21 in appropriate settings has been
    an integral to Part B of the IDEA since its
    enactment. Three basic principles are included in
    the federal mandate. These are
  • Placement is based on the student 's
    individualized education program
  • Placement is in the least restrictive
    environment and
  • A continuum of alternative placement options is
    available to all students with disabilities.

15
LRE (Cont)
  • Of these principles, the requirement to place
    students in the least restrictive environment has
    raised the most questions and generated the most
    discussion. Although this requirement has been
    included in Part B of the IDEA since 1975,
    consistent understanding and direction have
    emerged more recently through federal court
    decisions, the amendments of IDEA 2004 and the
    final federal regulations that were published in
    2007.

16
Nonacademic Services
  • Districts must take steps, including the
    provision of supplementary aids and services
    determined appropriate and necessary by the IEP
    Team, to provide nonacademic and extracurricular
    activities in the manner necessary to afford
    children with disabilities an equal opportunity
    for participation in those activities. (e.g.
    counseling, athletics, recreation, clubs, etc.)
  • CFR 300.107(b)

17
Least Restrictive Environment (LRE)
  • To the maximum extent appropriate, children with
    disabilities are educated with their typically
    developing peers.
  • Special classes, separate schooling, or other
    removal of children with disabilities from the
    regular education environment occurs only if the
    nature and severity of the disability is such
    that education in regular classes with the use of
    supplementary aids and services cannot be
    achieved satisfactorily.

18
Determining Educational Placement
  • The placement decision is made by a group of
    persons, including the parents, and other persons
    knowledgeable about the child, the meaning of the
    evaluation data, and the placement options, and
    is made in conformity with the LRE provisions of
    the IDEA.

19
Determining Educational Placement (Cont)
  • The childs placement
  • Is determined at least annually
  • Is based on the childs IEP and
  • Is as close as possible to the childs home
  • Unless the IEP of the child with a disability
    requires some other arrangement, the child is
    educated in the school that he or she would
    attend if not nondisabled.

20
Determining Educational Placement (Cont)
  • In selecting the LRE, consideration is given to
    any potential harmful effect on the child or on
    the quality of services that he or she needs and
  • A child with a disability is not removed from
    education in age-appropriate regular classrooms
    solely because of needed modifications in the
    general education curriculum.
  • CFR Sec. 300.116

21
LRE for A Child is an IEP Team Decision
  • If the IEP team agrees that the student should
    receive all or part of the special education
    services outside the regular classroom,
    opportunities for participation in programs with
    typically developing peers in academic or
    nonacademic activities must be considered and
    included in the IEP as appropriate.

22
LRE for A Child is an IEP Team Decision
  • The requirements for placement in the LRE and
    the same decision-making process also apply when
    considering placement for a preschool age child
    with disabilities.

23
LRE for A Child is an IEP Team Decision (Cont)
  • However, many school districts do not operate
    preschool programs for typically developing
    children and the law does not require districts
    to establish such preschool programs to meet the
    requirements for placing a preschooler with
    disabilities in the LRE.
  • This perceived inconsistency has raised many
    questions regarding a practical approach to
    addressing this issue.

24
LRE for A Child is an IEP Team Decision (Cont)
  • As with any student with a disability, the
    determination of whether a placement is more or
    less restrictive is based on the opportunity to
    be educated and interact with typically
    developing peers.
  • For school age students with disabilities, this
    placement is in the regular education class
    operated by the district of residence.

25
LRE for A Child is an IEP Team Decision (Cont)
  • In the case of a preschooler with disabilities,
    there may be no comparable option because the
    district does not operate a preschool program for
    typically developing children.
  • Therefore, it is important to note that for
    preschoolers with disabilities, placement in a
    regular preschool program in another district or
    in a privately operated program in the local
    community is a less restrictive placement option
    than the district's self-contained preschool
    disabled classroom.

26
ITS THE LAW!
  • School districts must ensure to the maximum
    extent appropriate that students with
    disabilities ages three through 21 are educated
    with nondisabled children and participate in
    nonacademic and extracurricular activities with
    nondisabled children.

27
Case Law and LRE
  • Rachel Holland vs. Sacramento Unified School
    District 9th Circuit 1994
  • The 4 Prongs of the Decision
  • Educational Benefits
  • Non Academic Benefits
  • Effect on the Teacher and Children in the Regular
    Class
  • Cost

28
Case Law (Cont)
  • Educational Benefit
  • The district court found that Rachel received
    substantial benefits in regular education and
    that all of her IEP goals could be implemented in
    a regular classroom with some modification to the
    curriculum and with the assistance of a part-time
    aide.

29
Case Law (Cont)
  • Nonacademic Benefits
  • The district court next found that the
    non-academic benefits to Rachel, also weighed in
    favor of placing her in a regular classroom. The
    court noted that the Hollands' evidence indicated
    that Rachel had developed her social and
    communications skills as well as her
    self-confidence from placement in a regular
    class, while the District's evidence tended to
    show that Rachel was not learning from exposure
    to other children and that she was isolated from
    her classmates.

30
Case Law (Cont)
  • Effect on the Teacher and Children in the Regular
    Class
  • The court looked at two aspects (1) whether
    there was detriment because the child was
    disruptive, distracting or unruly, and (2)
    whether the child would take up so much of the
    teacher's time that the other students would
    suffer from lack of attention. The witnesses of
    both parties agreed that Rachel followed
    directions and was well-behaved and not a
    distraction in class.

31
Case Law (Cont)
  • Cost
  • Finally, the district court found that the
    District had not offered any persuasive or
    credible evidence to support its claim that
    educating Rachel in a regular classroom, with
    appropriate services, would be significantly more
    expensive than educating her in the District's
    proposed setting.

32
State Performance Plan
  • Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) in the
    Least Restrictive Environment (LRE)
  • SPP Indicator 7 Preschool Assessment
  • Percent of preschool children with
    Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) who
    demonstrate improved
  • Positive social-emotional skills (including
    social relationships)
  • Acquisition and use of knowledge and skills
    (including early language/ communication and
    early literacy) and
  • Use of appropriate behaviors to meet their needs.
    (20 U.S.C. 1416(a)(3)(A)).

33
State Performance Plan (Cont)
  • Indicator 1
  • Percent of infants and toddlers with IFSPs who
    receive the early intervention services on their
    IFSPs in a timely manner.

34
State Performance Plan (Cont)
  • Indicator 3
  • Percent of infants and toddlers with IFSPs who
    demonstrate
  • Positive social-emotional skills (including
    social relationships
  • Acquisition and use of knowledge and skills
    (including early language/communication and
  • Use of appropriate behaviors to meet their needs

35
State Performance Plan (Cont)
  • Indicator 4
  • Percent of families participating in Part C who
    report that early intervention services have
    helped the family
  • Know their rights
  • Effectively communicate their childrens needs
    and
  • Help their children develop and learn.

36
State Performance Plan (Cont)
  • Indicator 7
  • Percent of eligible infants and toddlers with
    IFSPs for whom an evaluation and assessment and
    an initial IFSP meeting were conducted within
    Part Cs 45-day timeline.

37
State Performance Plan (Cont)
  • Indicator 8
  • Percent of all children exiting Part C who
    received timely transition planning to support
    the childs transition to preschool and other
    appropriate community services by their third
    birthday including
  • IFSPs with transition steps and services
  • Notification to LEA, if child is potentially
    eligible under Part B and
  • Transition conference, if child potentially
    eligible for Part B.

38
THANKS FOR YOUR ATTENTION!
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