August 25, 2022 | KY-SPIN

[00:00:00] Rhonda Logsdon: Welcome everybody. Thank y’all so much for joining us. Um, and we are going to go ahead and get started here. Um, I hope y’all have had a great day. I’m Rhonda with Kentucky SPIN. It’s Kentucky Special Parent Involvement Network. And we, um, just to kind of tell you a little bit, um...

[00:00:00] Rhonda Logsdon: Welcome everybody. Thank y’all so much for joining us. Um, and we are going to go ahead and get started here. Um, I hope y’all have had a great day. I’m Rhonda with Kentucky SPIN. It’s Kentucky Special Parent Involvement Network. And we, um, just to kind of tell you a little bit, um, about us. Um, and on the next slide here, we are, uh, the, um, one thing too though, just in the beginning, just one of the sort of, you know, those things that you always have to just kind of cover and everything is that with the training that we’re doing tonight, this is not a trainer of trainers. Um, this is not to go out and do this training. This is for informational purposes only.

[00:00:50] Um, and so we’ll get that out- out of the way. We always do like to share that though, uh, with everyone.

[00:00:58] We’re the Parent Training and [00:01:00] Information Project for the State of Kentucky. And, uh, a lot of what we do, um, is in- is funded through the US Department of Education, and we began in 1988 and we’ve had that Parent Training and Information Grant, uh, since, uh, Kentucky first received one back in ’88.

[00:01:19] And that’s actually under the same federal law, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act that calls for I E Ps in school, which we’re talking about this evening. Um, but just to kind of tell you a little bit next here, we always like to share with you what we don’t do, which I think is just as important as what we do.

[00:01:38] We don’t act as attorneys. We do not represent families. Um, our role is a peer support. Uh, we’re all family members and or persons with disabilities, uh, helping one another and- and really to empower one another, provide information, resources, um, and that [00:02:00] peer support, which is we know is so important.

[00:02:03] Um, one of the things I’ll tell you a little bit about myself is, um, I’m one of five kids. Three of my siblings have disabilities from the seen to the unseen. Um, and they all had I E Ps in school. Smarter than I can wish to be. Um, and I also am the proud foster adoptive mom to the greatest gift of my life.

[00:02:23] Um, and so I’m gonna let Amber, uh, tell, uh, have the honor to present with Amber tonight. Um, so Amber, would you like to share a little bit about yourself?

[00:02:39] Amber Hamm: Sure. So sorry, I was trying to get my dogs and kiddos quiet down just for a moment. Um, I’m Amber Hamm. I am the Transition Age Parent Educator with Kentucky SPIN. I have been a self-advocate or advocate for my children now for [00:03:00] about 14 years. Uh, I’ve been with Kentucky SPIN almost a year. And, um, more than anything, I just love to empower and educate other parents and professionals because I’ve- I’ve been there, I’ve been alone and I’ve been, um, felt really dumb a lot of times and I don’t want anybody to ever go through that. Uh, it can be a harder place to recover from.

[00:03:30] So, uh, back to you, Rhonda.

[00:03:36] Rhonda Logsdon: Okay. And, uh, sorry I put you on the spot right there, but , um, cuz we didn’t even talk about that beforehand, but, um, it’s- (crosstalk) Yeah. So one of the things too is also giving us grace, uh, because we are all, um, working from home. Um, and so you may hear a child, you may hear a bark.

[00:03:59] [00:04:00] Um, just know that you’re fan- you’re just like family then, okay. So, um, if you’ll give us grace and if there’s any technical things that are going on, I’ve got some wonderful people on here with me, with Kentucky SPIN. Everybody’s monitoring stuff. If you have questions. If, um, I’m not sure if it will let you on here to unmute or not, but certainly, um, through the, um, you can, um, if you have any questions, uh, there’s a questions box or the chat, we’ll use that as well.

[00:04:33] Uh, we’ll pause every so often for any questions that you might have. I’m also gonna put in the chat, the link to the PowerPoint handout for you all. Know too that you will get that. And if you were on last, um, last week’s, uh, webinar as well that we did with the Skills for Effective Parent Advocacy, the- the link to the handouts for today’s and last week’s will all be in an [00:05:00] email for everyone who attends. Um, it will go out tomorrow to you and everything.

[00:05:05] So I did wanna see if, um, Owen, thank you so much. Um, I thought about that, but forgot Amber was helping me here to enable the transcript. So I apologize to you all in advance that that was not turned on. Um, and so now that is on if you need to ask that. Um, and I wanna see then here we’ll go, uh, to, I’m not sure if, um, I know here in a minute, uh, Laura is gonna tell us a little bit about the Kids SPOT.

[00:05:40] Um, so one of the things that, um, that I believe is really- oh, are- okay, Laura, there we go. I just wanted to make sure that, uh, that you had a moment to get back in case someone was there.

[00:05:57] I did. So, um, I won’t [00:06:00] take but just a few minutes of your time. Um, like to welcome everyone who decided to join us tonight.

[00:06:05] Laura Allen: Um, I do work at Kids SPOT. I’m a Targeted Case Manager. Um, we help families with resources, um, and link them to services that they might not otherwise know about. So we try our best to help you out and- and share as much information as we can.

[00:06:21] Uh, we’re very honored and- and very thankful that we’re able to partner with Kentucky SPIN, um, and with these fine ladies-

[00:06:34] Rhonda Logsdon: I think we lost you, unless it’s just me.

[00:06:40] Amber Hamm: I can’t hear her either. Laura-

[00:06:42] Rhonda Logsdon: Yeah.

[00:06:43] Amber Hamm: We’re ha- we’re having a hard time hearing ya.

[00:06:45] Laura Allen: Kids SPOT. We are, um, an outpatient pediatric facility. We have six different locations. We are in Campbellsville, we’re in, um, Bowling Green, Somerset, Elizabethtown, Louisville, and [00:07:00] Grayson.

[00:07:01] Um, we do speech, occupational therapy, um, PT, mental health, behavior services, case management.

[00:07:09] Um, so we have all kinds of resources and, uh, things that are available to everyone. So again, thank you all for joining us and we hope that, um, if you need anything in the future or if you need anything immediate, just let us know and we’ll be happy to help you out and point you to a clinic to help you out.

[00:07:25] Um, so I’ll turn it back over. Thank you.

[00:07:29] Rhonda Logsdon: Thank you and if you don’t mind to share your all’s website link in the chat in case anybody’s on, cuz we may have people that are not familiar with the Kids SPOT. That’s why we’re so thrilled to partner with you all on these different webinars and total advertisement we’re working- we’re working on and gonna have in September a Medicaid waiver, uh, uh, webinar that’s offered. Too. So we’re partnering again in September and I’m so excited we’re finalizing the [00:08:00] flyer on that and we’ll get that shared with everybody too.

[00:08:03] So, um, I’m excited and grateful.

[00:08:06] Laura Allen: Yes, me as well. Thank you.

[00:08:09] Rhonda Logsdon: Thank you, and I am going to, because I do live in the middle of nowhere, gonna turn off the video as we kinda step through this. But please feel free to ask questions. We want this to be what helps you best. Um, a- as we sort of step through this.

[00:08:25] Now, when we look at the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, it is a specific law for children and youth with disabilities who qualify. And it’s sp- a specific education law, which is very important and it guides how states and schools will provide especially designed instruction and related services. It’s funded in part by federal dollars, but you also have state and local district dollars that fund that.

[00:08:55] Interestingly, the, uh, there’s different parts of the law. Part [00:09:00] C is the early intervention, the birth to three, um, which is like first steps in Kentucky. And then the part we’re gonna concentrate on tonight is Part B, which is the public school three through 21, unless they graduate sooner than the 21. Um, and interestingly, the- the P T I, Parent Training and Information Project, um, it calls under part D of that law for there to be at least one in every state.

[00:09:29] Um, and we are Kentucky, so, um, we are very fortunate to have IDEA, um, and the services and supports for the children who qualify, um, because we know that- that they need those services and supports to be successful. Um, so we’re gonna kind of step through that, um, here on the next slide. I am- I am a visual person and you’re gonna see that throughout.

[00:09:56] Um, so a lot of times many people [00:10:00] may think that, well, if- if a child has been diagnosed with a disability, you know, it may be through a medical provider, from someone that- that would automatically qualify them under IDEA and for an I E P, and that’s not necessarily- that’s not necessarily the case. I always like to look at, um, I love the big umbrella here because if you’ve ever heard of 5 0 4, which is the civil rights law, you may have heard 5 0 4 Plan or A D A, Americans with Disabilities Act. Those are federal, too, um, but they, you see, like under this picture, you have a lot more children who would qualify and be covered under that than you do IDEA.

[00:10:44] Um, and just know that if your child qualifies for IDEA and has an I E P in school, they’re also covered under 5 0 4 and A D A automatically. So there is no need, cuz a lot of times I- I’ll be asked, “Okay, [00:11:00] what should I have? A 5 0 4 or an I E P?” Well, if- if a child would, um, qualify for an I E P, then that is what they need, um, they need to get, because they’re still also gonna be served by 5 0 4 and A D A and the- and it’s a specific education law. 5 0 4 is civil rights, um, law and it is very specific in, uh, what it states and what is provided.

[00:11:27] So, um, just know that and I always love the visual there. Um, and on the next slide here, we’re gonna see, cuz I do get a lot of times questions. So, um, again, I love to visualize it. You’ve got I D F, section 5 0 4, the Rehabilitation Act and A D A. Those are federal laws. Then you’re gonna have your Kentucky Administrative Regulations, KAR, which is your state laws. And then you have from that your local policies or procedures, which is your public school districts.

[00:11:57] Now, um, [00:12:00] total side note, um, and the reason it says over here for children who attend Kentucky Public Schools, I’ll explain that, uh, a little more here on the next slide. It’s important to know that any, um, if we go back just one more, sorry, I was misleading there, Amber. Is always keep in mind that your federal always overrides or supersedes your state or local policies and procedures unless they go above and beyond in favor of the child, or, and this is the big if and or, but, they let the state or the local districts decide, right? So just always kind of keep that in mind.

[00:12:41] Now, on our next slide here, you’ll see for our families who are our military families at Fort Knox and Fort Campbell, the military bases in Kentucky, if you’re if you are one of our military families and your child [00:13:00] attends school on base, it does not follow the structure that it does on the previous one, where you’ve got your federal, state, local. It is your federal, which is IDEA, and then DoDEA, the Department of Defense Education Activity.

[00:13:15] And so it’s important to know that, um, because there are specific guidelines and- and regulations that are set up and guidance that we could help you with- with all of this. But I always like to point that out, especially if, uh, we have any families on here where their child attends school on base.

[00:13:35] Um, on the next slide, you’ll see this is- this kind of helps it make a little more sense of why maybe our umbrella in our previous picture is a much smaller umbrella is because a child’s disability has to show that it adversely affects, um, that impedes their progress, [00:14:00] uh, significantly and consistently below similar age non-disabled peers.

[00:14:06] You also have to meet at least one of the disability categories, uh, to qualify and also need specially designed instruction or in related services. Sorry about that in the back (laughs) , I told you it’s from home, so we are adapting as we go here.

[00:14:25] On the next slide- um, some key principles to know and to keep in mind, um, is that with that, um, there is the free app- free appropriate public education, FAPE, an appropriate evaluation. Uh, if they qualify, they’ll have an individualized education program or I E [00:15:00] P, parents, student participation, least restricted environment, L R E, and there are procedural safeguards, parents rights that are a part of this. And we’re gonna touch on these different things kind of as we go through here.

[00:15:14] But, um, I do want to, cuz many times when we say free, appropriate public education, meaning that you should not be charged for your child based on because they have a disability for them to be educated and provided the services and supports.

[00:15:30] Now, in general, if all children, regardless they have disability or not, if there’s like a field trip fee or uh, a fee like that, we’re not talking about those things. But, um, it is very a- a very key principle, um, along with the least restricted environment.

[00:15:49] And when we say least restricted environment, um, I- I want to emphasize here that, um, special education or [00:16:00] an I E P is not a place, it is a program. Um, and it does not mean a certain room. Actually the way that- that- that IDEA is written is a least restricted environment is and- and least restrictive is gonna be different for each child, right? Because every child is individualized and what is least restricted for them is gonna look very different.

[00:16:26] But all children should start in the regular education program, services and supports brought in, um, and accommodations and really working. And if that’s what’s not appropriate for the individual child, then you look at what um, else might be. But I always like to cover that because that is a cornerstone of IDEA as well.

[00:16:49] Now on the next slide, um, we’re gonna see here that when, um-

[00:16:56] Amber Hamm: Hey Rhonda, can I add something just real quick about the, um, [00:17:00] least restrictive environment?

[00:17:02] Rhonda Logsdon: Please.

[00:17:03] Amber Hamm: Um, I just wanted to also throw out there that when it comes to the least restrictive environment for the child’s individual needs, that will be determined by the A R C as a committee. So it- it’s not just a, you know, a parent deciding or just the school deciding. It’s a- it’s a decision that, you know, everyone on the committee comes to.

[00:17:33] Rhonda Logsdon: Right. And- and when she says A R C, because a lot of, uh, Kentucky, we- we have decided, and many of you all may already know that or already have I E Ps, um, but uh, that’s are- I call it ARC meeting. Um, it’s Admissions and Release Committee meeting. It means the same as an I E P meeting, uh, Kentucky, we decided to give it additional name.

[00:17:56] So, um, that is a team decision and I’m [00:18:00] so very glad that you brought that up because all decisions is to be with the whole team. Um, and everyone is a equal member, including the parent on that team. That is, um, a very critical part as well of IDEA. Um, and when we look at, again, I love the visual here, when there is the referral, um, evaluation, eligibility, I E P, placement, and you notice placement is last here. You don’t know what the appropriate placement is for a child until all of these other things take place.

[00:18:35] Then you have your annual ARC or I E P meeting, and then a reevaluation every three years. And we’re gonna step through each one of these process here that I always kinda like to do the overall and then end with the overall again.

[00:18:49] Um, but on the next slide here, we’ll see that, um, the referral, um, can- anyone can refer a child, anyone who [00:19:00] has knowledge, um, about the child. Now, it could be a parent, um, it could be a teacher, a therapist. Anyone can. Now, with this, um, and- and anyone who suspects that the child may have a disability can make the referral. Now, what’s important here is to keep in mind that, um, a child cannot be evaluated until parental consent to evaluate is signed.

[00:19:31] And sometimes, um, parents are not aware of that, but it’s gonna be very critical. So if you refer your child to be evaluated, you want to get that parental consent signed as soon as possible, because from the date of the signature of that, the- the school has 60 school days to have that evaluation done by.

[00:19:56] Now, you’ll notice here at the bottom where it says KAR [00:20:00] in the section, um, the- if you’ll remember, uh, earlier, sort of, and this is a real life example I wanted to kind of give you all is in IDEA, um, you remember I said the federal law always overrides or supersedes the state or lo- local policies and procedures unless they go above and beyond or let- they let them decide.

[00:20:23] Um, so when IDEA was reauthorized in, uh, 2004, prior to that, um, it did not have a timeframe in place for the initial evaluation to be completed. As you could imagine that- that- that’s not good. We need some type of, you know, timeframe. Kentucky went above and beyond and had in its KAR, Kentucky Administrative Regulations, 60 school days from the date of the parental consent.

[00:20:52] Now when IDEA was reauthorized, IDEA included and put in that 60 [00:21:00] days, which would be calendar days. Um, the evaluation had to be done by, unless the state had already put a timeframe in place. And so that’s why in Kentucky we go by that. Now for our military, uh, families whose children attend school on Fort Knox or Fort Campbell on base, in it- it is 45 school days from the date that you sign and they call it the Parent Permission to Assess Form. So it’s really critical to, um, get- it’s not just enough to refer a child.

[00:21:38] We always recommend, and I believe on the next slide here, we even show an example, um, is that, um, request the- the referral in writing. Um, you can verbally request it, but we always, uh, suggest to do that and you’re gonna have a link to a sample letter. And the- there’s also even in the resources at the [00:22:00] end, other sample letters, um, because I love samples, um, that you can use. And it’s gonna be important that you also in this letter request the, uh, Parental Consent, uh, to evaluate immediately so that you could get that signed so that we could start the process.

[00:22:23] Because we know the fewer days that go by, the sooner if a child qualifies that they have those services and supports, we know that they’re gonna do better the sooner that they have those. Um, but we always like, and there’s a lot of different resources if you need the sample letters and links to different stuff. Um, we do have that as well that we could share.

[00:22:45] Um, on the next slide here, um, we’re gonna talk about- (crosstalk)

[00:22:48] Amber Hamm: -mention one more thing real quick?

[00:22:52] Rhonda Logsdon: Yes, yes.

[00:22:53] Amber Hamm: Um, so I- I do think, uh, it’s important for us to say if the [00:23:00] family, um, does request for an evaluation and say it’s at the end of the school year. How- how does the days work? Would that flow into next school year or through the summer? I just want to be able to clarify for the families so that they would know.

[00:23:19] Rhonda Logsdon: Yeah, so when we say school days, that’s only school days. It doesn’t count the weekend, summer break, anything. So if you signed the parental consent the last day of school, that would be one day, your days would not start counting again for the 60 school days until you started back to school the next year. So it does not count summer break, holiday breaks, weekends, any of that. It’s actual school days.

[00:23:52] Um, and so that’s really important to keep in mind. That’s why it’s so critical the sooner you can sign that, um, the better that it [00:24:00] will be, uh, to get that. So, um, it will- won’t take place, um, if- typically I’ve not seen that it will take place when school is not in session.

[00:24:14] Amber Hamm: (background noise) Rhonda? Um-

[00:24:16] Rhonda Logsdon: Yes?

[00:24:16] Amber Hamm: Can you also touch a little bit, just a little bit, on the fact that requests for- for- for evaluations can be denied and kind of just a little bit about what that may look like?

[00:24:29] Rhonda Logsdon: Yes. And that’s one of the things here and- and, uh, just a little bit, but I’m so glad that you had brought that up because if that- that’s part of the parental rights too that we will go over. If a referral is denied, there is a- a process, uh, that you can use, uh, for that. Um, and um, so we will touch on that, um, because even if it- if it’s denied there- there are things [00:25:00] that have to take place and then you do have, um, the opportunity, um, to where that’s not just all that, you know, it doesn’t just end there. So we will actually go over that. I do see that we do have a question here. Um-

[00:25:17] Amber Hamm: Yeah.

[00:25:22] Rhonda Logsdon: Yes, so the question was, “Can we request an evaluation at the school district level rather than at the particular school? Our son’s not in public school right now, and we know he can’t be in the regular, so we want him to- to go through the waiting period.”

[00:25:37] Yes. And actually that, um, even if a child- that’s a great question. I’m so glad you asked.

[00:25:45] So, because he’s not currently in the school district, but yes, you can send that. Uh, what you can do is go to, um, the- you can go to the head of special [00:26:00] education for the district, and there’s actually, if I’m not mistaken in this link, if not, I can pro- uh, you would, uh, I- I believe we have in this handout in the resources, um, to where you can click to find out who that is, but in writing request that they be evaluated.

[00:26:19] Because there’s a part of, and this also kind of goes into kind of answering one of the things that Jennifer was talking about too is that about if it’s denied when you request, there is a part in the law that is what’s called Child Fund. There is a responsibility, uh, of the state, the- the state, the Kentucky Department of Education and local public school districts.

[00:26:45] There is a responsibility under the federal law for what they call Child Fund is to identify and find, uh, children and- and to evaluate who might qualify and provide the services. So you most [00:27:00] definitely can, and I would suggest it go to, (clears throat) excuse me, they had a special education for the public school district that you reside in.

[00:27:10] It’s important that it is the dis- where you reside and request that evaluation and you would do the referral just the same, but you send it to the head of special education for the district. Um, I hope that helps, um, answer that. Please let me know if, um, if you have some more questions about that. Um, but we will, um, go over in a little bit what Jennifer was talking about. Um, well, right here (laughs) , so I couldn’t remember, I didn’t wanna promise you all something. I couldn’t remember if it was right. Oh, wonderful. Okay. Glad, I’m glad that did. Um-

[00:27:47] Laura Allen: Did you notice we had a hand raise I think was on Kayla. I’m not sure if we answered her question or not. Um-

[00:27:55] Rhonda Logsdon: I think that that was it, because I’m not, uh, I [00:28:00] do- I do believe- Okay, it’s down now. Okay. I do think that that was it. That was my, um, but thank you though, cause-

[00:28:07] Laura Allen: Okay. Just wanna make sure.

[00:28:09] Rhonda Logsdon: Well, no, I’m glad cuz I’m- I’m so grateful that we’ve got eyes watching because if it was all left to me, I wouldn’t, definitely wouldn’t be, uh, able to, um, the- Oh, and I don’t know why the chat’s not working right. But I promise to try to get that figured out before we do the waiver, uh, training, uh, next month. Um, but, um, and I appreciate you telling us.

[00:28:38] Um, if the referral is denied the district or, and not just a referral, there are, if- if there is a request, a district must provide, and it, we talked about the Child Find requirement, they must provide what is called prior written notice.

[00:28:56] And a lot of times, uh, people think prior [00:29:00] written notice is just to know when a meeting is gonna occur. That’s one type of prior written notice. But if you are, uh, denied that, you must have very specific, because when we look at and- and we put here, under the Child Find requirements that you see that- that they are, uh, uh, that the school district and the state are responsible, not, and only to, um, identify, locate, and evaluate.

[00:29:35] And we’re gonna go over a little bit more about what that prior written notice must include, um, specifically if it’s a denial to do something when we talk about at the end, um, parental rights and all of that.

[00:29:51] Um, on the next slide here, um, we’re gonna go over with the [00:30:00] evaluation. It’s going to, it’s important to know that it’s not just one single test score on one single thing, right? The evaluation is a combination of stuff. It’s going to be looking at, um, and when you give consent to look at the category disability that they’ll possibly qualify under, does it show that their disability adversely affects them, whether they need the specially designed instruction. It also, if the child qualifies, the evaluation is gonna be used to help develop your present levels and whether any accommodations are needed.

[00:30:41] On our next slide here, we, you know, I always get this question too is, okay, what types of evaluations are- are used? Well, each category has specific guidelines that are set in place, and it depends [00:31:00] upon the category of disability that the child is being evaluated on, on what is, um, what is used to evaluate for that?

[00:31:10] Now, each district may- there’s sort of a- a- a framework that’s provided, uh, by the state. Now, not- districts, you have to stay within that frame. Um, but some districts may use a certain test over another that is a part of the option that you could use under that. What I think really helps families and as a part of our helpful resource link on this, is directly to the Kentucky Department of Education page that shows the different categories, the eligibility form.

[00:31:48] So if you go look at that eligibility form, you are going to see what’s actually being looked at for that- for that disability category. And I think it’s very helpful, uh, to see [00:32:00] that- (crosstalkq)

[00:32:02] Amber Hamm: Does the child have to have a diagnosis in order to be evaluated under that category?

[00:32:11] Rhonda Logsdon: Absolutely not. And this is important. Um, it is, you know, when you look at the categories, and we’re gonna go over and we’re gonna show you the different categories that are there, it’s- it’s important to understand the categories so that, um, for the child to qualify, but the categories won’t dictate, you know, because each child is individualized what it will be.

[00:32:38] Um, and- and one thing that’s important too, some children, um, there may be multiple categories that they could possibly qualify under. Um, so it- it’s very important when you, and I always in that sample letter, when you’re referring a child requesting that they be evaluated, [00:33:00] I always go a step further and suggest that families list the different categories that they would like the child, uh, evaluated under. Any that you feel that your child might qualify for, evaluate under.

[00:33:14] I’m gonna tell you several good reasons why you wanna do that. First is that, um, you know, we don’t wanna just look under one because many times I find that children were evaluated in the wrong category and did not qualify. So when we are doing the initial, um, request for that, um, if you could provide the ones, you want it to be a comprehensive evaluation, but any that you feel that your child might qualify under, have it included because if when the evaluation comes back, one of the parts and one of the parental rights under IDEA, and Kentucky Administrative [00:34:00] Regulations is- is the- the results come back, they don’t qualify, and you are not in agreement with it. You do have the right to request independent education evaluation at no cost to you.

[00:34:11] Now what that is, is, now that doesn’t mean go out and get ’em an evaluation and then, um, bring it back and expect them to pay. You do have to go through the process. But, um, it- they will give you a list of outside evaluators that are not through the school system, and the evaluation will be there.

[00:34:34] Now, it’s important to know that evaluation has to be taken into consideration by the ARC team, which the parent is a equal member of. It’s not a done deal if it comes back that that’s gonna qualify them, but the, uh, team is to take it into consideration as part of the evaluation.

[00:34:55] Now, here’s the reason that it’s, first [00:35:00] of all, important, you know, to, um, the two reasons that is important here is that we want them evaluated for all categories that they might qualify under, because we want to do it at one time, right? We don’t wanna evaluate one area, then go back and have to evaluate another, right? So we’re talking more and more time that goes by.

[00:35:21] But if it comes back and you’re not in agreement, in your Independent Education Evaluation, the only areas that’s gonna be evaluated is for the categories that they were evaluated for in their initial evaluation.

[00:35:37] So see if that was not included as part of the initial evaluation, you would start the process over. Again, they would test for the area, in the category that they would have, uh, that they did for the initial evaluation. But sometimes that’s not the category that children would qualify under for certain children.

[00:35:58] So, um, [00:36:00] it helps to save time. Again, I go back to the, um, we know the quicker that children have what they need, the better they’re gonna do, right? So I’m trying to shorten that timeframe so that, you know, if they qualify, and again, remember back to our umbrellas, not every child’s gonna qualify. Um, but if they do, it’s because they need that specially designed instruction.

[00:36:25] Um, on our next slide here, um, we’re going to go over the categories. So, um, you may wonder, well, why do you have listed the IDEA, and the KAR Kentucky Administrative ones? Pretty much they’re- they’re in line now. Uh, this is another one of those real life examples. If you look the fourth down. Um, in 2004 when IDEA was reauthorized, um, the federal category, you see where it says emotional disturbance, behavioral [00:37:00] used to be a part of that.

[00:37:02] Kentucky had emotional behavioral. Prior to 2004, Kentucky went above and beyond in favor of our children and left the behavioral part as the category. So we go by emotional behavioral disability category, which is a huge blessing because many children who- who qualify under that, had that been removed, they would not qualify for that category and services and the I E P.

[00:37:32] Um, so that is sort of a real life, um, example there. You’ll see that, um, one that I wanna, um, draw attention to, uh, just so that a lot of people, if you look down where it says other health impairment, that category is a lot of, uh, children. It- it could be, um, A D D, A D H D, uh, Tourette Syndrome, [00:38:00] severe asthma, severe diabetes.

[00:38:02] Um, but here’s the critical thing. Not every child, just like any of the other categories who have those disabilities meet all of the criteria and qualify under it. But that’s gonna be the category, um, that, um, a lot of people don’t realize that those disabilities, that is the area that, uh, the category that they would be evaluated under.

[00:38:27] Um, so again, looking at this, and if I’m not mistaken, on our helpful resource list, um, there is a link that you can click to learn more about each of these disability categories to really look at seeing, um, if- so that you know which ones possibly might qualify.

[00:38:49] On our next screen here, you’re gonna see we also included for our- I wanted you to be able to see, uh, for, um, our Fort Knox and Fort Campbell, um, [00:39:00] uh, children who attend school on base, that this is the categories, um, that are listed there under DoDEA.

[00:39:08] Now on our next slide, we’re gonna talk a little bit about, uh, sort of getting into the I E P, what the I E P is. So now you’ve been evaluated and your child, um, your child qualifies.

[00:39:25] It’s first important to know that just like you had to sign parental consent to evaluate, once it comes back and if your child qualifies, you have to provide consent for them to receive special- the services for the I E P. There have been times that it’s come back and the parents did not agree to do it.

[00:39:46] Um, but I- I strongly encourage, um, because if they would qualify to have it, um, because again, um, it’s an individual family choice and it- it is your [00:40:00] decision and what you feel is best for your child. Um, but it’s important to keep in mind too that, um, an- an I E P doesn’t mean a certain place. Um, and it is the child’s program and to be individualized for them.

[00:40:16] Um, now it is gonna be a written statement for each child that is going to be developed, revised, um, and reviewed again by the I E P ARC team. Um, and- and it is just like the evaluation, a combination, uh, of- of input. And you know, when we look at the evaluation, um, data that’s used to develop it, um, a lot of times we think that the data is just like a score, right? Um, and here on our- our next slide we’re gonna talk a little bit about, um, again, um, just to sort of get a visual of the overall I E P and [00:41:00] my brother who co-presents with me a lot when we’re in-person, this is how he explains it, which is perfect. He said, “You know, your evaluation is going to be your footers.”

[00:41:11] Think of it as you’re building a house, you’re building your school, um, you’re gonna have your evaluation, your present levels is going to be your base here. Everything from that is developed. Goals, objectives, accommodations. Do you see how critical it is to have the evaluation that gives a true picture and present levels? Because everything is gonna be built off of that.

[00:41:39] It’s very critical to make sure that it gives a true picture of where the child currently is and the evaluation and present levels because everything else is gonna be built from that. Um, and- and like my brother would say, you know, cuz if you don’t have that right and [00:42:00] it’s not level, everything else is just gonna be off from there.

[00:42:04] Um, so we will spend a- a little extra time here on that, talking next about like the present levels. I wanna pause just for a moment to see if, um, you, um, have any, uh, questions here.

[00:42:20] Amber Hamm: And Rhonda, I believe Jenny got our chat up and going.

[00:42:23] Jenny Townsend: Yes, ma’am. It’s working.

[00:42:25] Rhonda Logsdon: Oh, yes. Awesome. Thank you so much. Uh, yeah, I don’t know what the deal was with that. (laughs) It probably was a setting, but I’m so thankful you figured it out. Um, if anyone has any questions, um- well, we’ll keep an eye on that in, just kind of let us know here.

[00:42:52] Now, when we go through, um, well, here on the next slide, um, [00:43:00] it- the I E P requires that there be a, um, statement of the present levels of academic and functional performance, um, in- in how the disability affects the child’s involvement and progress in the general curriculum.

[00:43:19] (coughs) Excuse me. I think it’s really important to concentrate on that. It is not just present levels is not just academic achievement. It’s functional, functional performance. Because all of those things, it’s not just a letter grade, all of those things play a role in the child being educationally successful and how their disability may affect, um, their progress, um, in- in- in different areas.

[00:43:50] So we’re gonna look here on the next slide at some of that. Things that are gonna be really critical and in the present levels or PLOP, which is a [00:44:00] lot call it, they are developed by the ARC team. Giving an accurate picture, and it’ll set the stage, what’s addressed in the I E P, because if it is not in the present levels as an area that they are not- that they need assistance with, it is not gonna be addressed in the I E P. You’re not gonna have goals and objectives, you’re not gonna have accommodations that address it. So that’s why it’s very critical to spend extra time on your present levels and making sure it gives a true picture.

[00:44:34] So on the next slide, when we look at, um, the different areas you wanna look at, communication, academic, social emotional, transition needs, functional vision and learning media assessment, if that’s needed.

[00:44:50] Health, vision, motor abilities. Um, and you may look at, you know, and looking at, um, [00:45:00] intelligence, um, and- and this is what I-, I think it’s very important because all of our children, regardless of the disability, regardless of the severity of the disability, all of our children are smart and all of our children have huge gifts.

[00:45:17] It is just as important when you’re looking at present levels to make sure we identify and also concentrate on the gifts and their strengths as we do on the areas that they need some help on. Because our children are no different than us. We- I use my strengths every day to help with my weaknesses. You need to know those and to concentrate on the positive as well.

[00:45:44] Yes, we need to know the areas that they need help in, but those strengths are really gonna help you hone and- and- and help them to succeed in the areas that they may be struggling. Now, when we look at this, I always like to [00:46:00] give the example of communication. Um, and a lot of times you’ll see that it’s, um, you are to look at each of these area and you’ll decide is it, and you hear the wording, of course, if I always use the wording that I- I wish people would use just plain Rhonda language is what I call it.

[00:46:18] But, um, when we look at the, um, they’ll look to see, and- and as the- the team, you will look to see are they commensurate, meaning are they at the level with their similar age peers? Now we know that every child’s at a different level, and especially when you look at each different category or different area with the present levels.

[00:46:45] But there is, um, there are different sort of ranges that have been set, um, as the typical, I guess, um, and you really want to identify the areas that they may be above [00:47:00] or they may, um, be, um, not commensurate. It may be below the grade level in that certain area. The example of the communication that I feel is um, important with the communication skills.

[00:47:17] Communication affects every area of- of a child’s life. But then also their- their school success. It’s gonna affect their academics, their social emotional, their transition. Every child needs a way to communicate. Now, that doesn’t mean for all children it is by using words, right? There are all different ways to communicate, but what’s critical here is that first of all, we identify what it is. They have a means to communicate. Everyone understands and can communicate through that method with them.

[00:47:56] That’s the big piece that sometimes that I don’t see that’s [00:48:00] there because we’ve gotta ensure that everyone can communicate using the method that they communicate. Um, because if not, no matter what they’re communicate- how they’re communicating, it- it’s not going to, no one’s understanding it or communicating back to the child.

[00:48:21] Um, and it could take very- various forms. It could not, uh, it could be just, you know, not all children, they may be able to verbally say things, but they’re not able to get it out. That’s a area of communication that- that they have difficulty with communication. Um, so we need to make sure that under each of these areas, it gives a true picture of where they currently are.

[00:48:48] Um, on the next slide here, and I do see the question here. I’ll hold on just a moment. Uh, and- and I will, um, go over that in just a second. [00:49:00] One thing I always suggest prior to going into a meeting, the I E P ARC meeting. Request the draft of the present level and the draft of the I E P. The I E P, it develops as a team together, but there has to be a lot of leg work done prior to going into an I E P meeting.

[00:49:21] So ask for that draft present levels of performance that’s been drafted. Um, also too is any evaluation that’s been completed, request those evaluation results in advance, um, because that gives you time to sort of step through it. And if you have any questions or if you feel that there are areas that aren’t listed that are strengths that need to be, or areas of concern, you can go into the meeting more prepared, um, and kind of know where things are.

[00:49:56] Again, it’s a draft, but um, I [00:50:00] would request that. Also draft your own present levels. Now, It does not matter, you do not- not have to know the technical terms. You know what your child needs help with. Put it in what I call plain Rhonda language, right? Put it in just, you know- you know what they’re struggling with. You know what their strengths are. Write your own present levels.

[00:50:29] Also too, every child should be involved in their I E P, um, as much as possible and as early as possible. Now we’ll kind of go over what is required, not until they’re transitioned to adult age, uh, starting at least at 14 or eighth grade. They need to be, um, invited if transition services are talked about.

[00:50:53] But the earlier that a child can be involved in their I E P, the better. [00:51:00] Because even starting little- when they’re little, it’s important and start in steps, right? Start with having ’em come in and say “Hi”. Uh, the next time have ’em come in and talk about or show the I E P team something that they’ve been working on that they’re proud of.

[00:51:17] Um, you know, those are self-advocacy skills that you can start building and know too that if your child’s older and they haven’t been involved, it’s never too late to start and start in steps. Um, but I think it’s very critical because just like you know your child better than anyone else, a child knows themself and you know, what we think, um, might be best or others, um, you know, might not exactly be what they feel, it- when talking with a child.

[00:51:52] If- if they’re not there and involved talking with them, with what do they see. Because we wanna go [00:52:00] in with the present levels with what we see bec- and also what the child sees that they might have some struggles with or need help with, or what they’re doing really well. So see how we’re getting input from everybody that’s critical? Um, I think it’s a very important. Um, but you know, go in there with that ahead of time.

[00:52:23] Um, now on the next slide here, we are going to start- talk about the goals. But let me just, um, and hey Brandy, um, the- Kentucky has it as 60 school days. Um, so some states may only take 30. So here- here’s sort of, um- “Are there any groups out there working to change this?”

[00:52:52] Um, I don’t know if there is currently any working to change that timeframe and [00:53:00] the regulations, so I can’t speak on that. But you- you are right. It varies- can very state to state. Um, and again, you know, the reason we go by the 60 school days is we already had that, put into place prior to IDEA and IDEA said, uh, IDEA 2004, said 60 days.

[00:53:26] Unless the district had already put a timeframe in place, we had in that school 60 school days, which is very different from 60 days because that would include weekends, summer break, all of that. Um, those actually are calendar days. Um, but, you know, that’s why we go by that. Um, there are some states that take much- I mean, you, uh, you all saw that, uh, (unintelligble) if- if they attend school on the military base in Kentucky, it’s [00:54:00] 45 days, it’s school days. Um, so it, um, you know, it can vary, uh, from state to state. Um, but when they reauthorized in 2004 and then Kentucky kept in their update, um, they did not update and change it from the 60 school days.

[00:54:21] Um, and I’m not aware of any legislation that’s been put, uh, and not saying that there’s not any, um, but I know there’s not any that’s- that’s passed that would change that. Um, but I’m not aware of any that, um, is out there, trying to change that from the 60 school days. Again, that doesn’t mean that there’s not, um, but until that takes place, that- that will be our- what our timeframe is. Unless they reauthorize IDEA and IDEA changes it in all- in states that it has to be a little different.

[00:54:58] So, [00:55:00] um, when we look at our goals, so now we’ve laid the foundation of, um, when we look at, you know, our present levels, right? Now, everything that’s developed from that is going to be directly from the areas identified- you’re welcome- identified from, uh, the, um, identified as areas that they need assistance with. They’re not commensurate with similar age peers.

[00:55:30] So now think of our goals. Our goals, these are annual goals, they have to be measurable. If it’s not measurable, it’s not going to be a go. Um, and it’s academic and functional. Um, it’s gonna identify the skills. Um, and when we think of this and- and when my brother Grant presents with me too, uh, is think of, uh, how you get from your first floor to your second floor.

[00:55:56] We wanna accomplish that with each go [00:56:00] within a year. And again, we’re laying the best-laid plans of how things are gonna roll out. Know that if it’s anything like my life, you know, we- we- we have the best-laid plans, but you have to adjust as you go, right? Uh, the I E P may be no different than that, right? So it doesn’t mean if you set this annual goal that you cannot meet- because you can request an ARC I E P meeting at any time, um, you can update those.

[00:56:28] Or if something’s not working or if they’re already, um, accomplishing- about to accomplish that and you still have a lot of the year to go, we wanna keep increasingly, um, working, uh, and increasing the difficulty, um, to keep our children on that track going up.

[00:56:47] So on the next slide here, you will see, um, that we’re- it’s gonna be in sequence. Modify the conditions, reque- reque- [00:57:00] um, increase- I can’t speak, it’s getting late. Uh, increase the difficulty, you know, and- and look at how it’s gonna be measured, when it’s gonna be, the periodic reports on the progress. What those periodic reports are gonna include is really critical as well. Who’s responsible?

[00:57:21] Now, on the next slide here, you’ll see that, um, when, um, that- so you have your annual goals, right? And then you’ll have your benchmarks or objectives that- that’s on each goal. Now it’s important, and I wanna make sure that I point out that, um, benchmarks or objectives are not required under IDEA 2004, except for students who are on the alternate assessment. Now, um, they had changed that in 2004. Now, Kentucky Administrative Regulations [00:58:00] lets the local, um, the public school districts decide now if they use the benchmarks or objectives for students who are not on the alternate assessment.

[00:58:11] I can tell you that all of the I E Ps that I have seen since then have included benchmarks or objectives. I think that it helps all of us involved. It is- think back on the previous one, it is those steps in between, but know that it’s not required unless they’re on the alternate assessment. And really it goes back to what did the district decide. If you don’t see ’em on there, then it would be in their procedures that they decided not to- to use those. But they help everybody involved.

[00:58:46] Um, on the next slide here, we’ll see that that is the, um, individual steps. When we looked at, um, the benchmarks or objectives, those are gonna be your individual steps that get you to that [00:59:00] top floor.

[00:59:01] Now, when we look at IDEA, it does require that there be a statement, a special- the special education-related services, supplementary aids, aids and services that are gonna be provided. A statement, especially designed instruction and it’s important to know, that specially designed instruction has to be provided by a qualified special education teacher.

[00:59:27] It can’t be a paraprofessional, it can’t be a regular education teacher. It has to, um, uh, be a, um, it has to be a, um, special, um, it has to be someone qualified in special education to provide that, and that’s really critical. Um, and one of the things I think that, um, Amber is gonna take over right now, but I wanna just make sure that nobody has, um, [01:00:00] any questions right now, uh, before I hand that over.

[01:00:11] I’m trying to make sure that I’m looking at all of my box, this is me trying to do multiple things at once, which doesn’t work a lot of times. (laughter) So if- if you don’t, but, um, let me know, um, and we’ll be keeping a monitor here. But Amber, why don’t you go ahead and take it away from here.

[01:00:31] Amber Hamm: Thanks, Rhonda.

[01:00:37] All right. “Statement of Related Services”, definition under IDEA is “developmental, corrective, and other supportive services as may be required to assist a child with a disability to benefit from special education.” A related service is never a [01:01:00] standalone goal. A related service supports a goal. Related services can include transportation, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech.

[01:01:23] Examples, including but not limited to, communication device, transportation, occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy, suctioning, assisting in developing positive behavioral strategies.

[01:01:47] The I E P must include types of services, service minutes, duration, service frequency, service period, start date, end [01:02:00] date, service provider, and location. An example of this would be occupational therapy or O T, 15 minutes, one time per week, starting October 1st, ending September 30th of the following year. So, um, when we start that, it would be, say, October 1st, 2022, ending September 30th, 2023.

[01:02:32] Occupational therapist in resource room. So all of the things that I had just stated above, type of service, service minutes, duration, service frequency, service period, start, end date, service provider, and location. All of these need to be listed, it’s very important. So when you’re viewing your child’s I E P, if you notice that they have [01:03:00] everything except where this service is going to take place, make sure that you are bringing that to the attention because you’ll want to know, um, how- how they’re getting it, where they’re getting it, is it going to be in a separate area, will this special education teacher be co-teaching in a general education classroom? So it’s extremely important that all of those things are listed.

[01:03:32] Accommodations, including but not limited to readers, scribes, paraphrasing, reinforcement and behavior modification strategies, prompting, cueing, use of technology, manipulatives, braille, interpreters or extended time. Individualized accommodations are put into place to help [01:04:00] learners at risk and students with special needs to have success in their I E P or academic program.

[01:04:13] Modifications. Usually a modification means a change in what is being taught to or expected from the student. Examples of modifications are making an assignment easier so that the student is not doing the same level of work as other students, is an example of a modification. Shortened assignments. Students still has to do the sub- same level skill of work, but not as much work as other students.

[01:04:47] And accommodations is a change that helps a student overcome or work around the disability. Example, allowing a student who has trouble [01:05:00] writing to give his answers orally is an example of an accommodation. This student is still expected to know the same material and answer the same questions as fully as other students, but he doesn’t have to write his answer to show that he knows the information.

[01:05:21] And when you’re going through the I E P process, it is okay at any point to stop and ask for clarification because sometimes modifications and accommodations can get confusing. Uh, so don’t ever feel like it would be a- a bad question to stop and just ask for clarifying information of what would be a modification for your child versus an accommodation.

[01:05:59] [01:06:00] IDEA requires that an I E P include an explanation of the extent, if any, to which the child will not participate with non-disabled children in the regular class and in activities. Least restrictive environment, L R E. To the maximum extent appropriate, children with disabilities are educated with children who are not disabled.

[01:06:28] Removal from an inclusive setting with non-disabled peers only when education with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactory. Placement is not decided until the end of the A R C meeting. It should be determined after all information has been discussed.

[01:06:52] Federal law requires students be served in as close to regular classroom as possible, with students [01:07:00] who are not identified with disabilities, and a lot of times you will hear an example being used, um, as your child should be with same age non-disabled peers. And once again, as a parent, as a legal guardian, you are just as much a part of the ARC team as anyone else. And this would be a decision made upon agreement of the ARC

[01:07:35] IDEA, requires that an I E P include the projected date for the beginning of the service described and the anticipated frequency, location, and duration of those services and modifications.

[01:07:55] The I E P guidance document states in designing the [01:08:00] measurable annual goals, the A R C must determine when periodic progress reports will be provided to the parents. The report must be at least concurrent with report cards, but can be more frequent, specific in when you will receive progress reports, and what the progress report will cover, and that is something that you can include into your child’s I E P, is if you would like more frequent reporting. Maybe it’s a weekly update or a monthly update instead of just getting a report when the report cards come out.

[01:08:51] IDEA requires Section 300.324, review the child’s I E P periodically, but not [01:09:00] less than annually to determine whether the annual goals for the child are being achieved. An I E P A R C meeting can be called at any time by school or parents. In making changes to a child’s I E P after the annual I E P team meeting for the school year, the parent of a child with a disability and a public agency may agree not to convene an I E P team meeting for the purpose of making those changes, and instead may develop a written document to amend or modify the child’s current I E P.

[01:09:41] If changes are made to the child’s I E P, in accordance with paragraph A four I of this section, the public agency must ensure that the child’s I E P team is informed of those changes. And if something new [01:10:00] occurs or if you have a concern, you can request an A R C meeting to discuss these, uh, new issues or concerns at any time. You do not have to wait until the year review.

[01:10:23] If it is a part of the student’s program, it needs to be in writing in the I E P. Anyone should be able to look at your child’s I E P and be able to implement their program. The I E P A R C meeting summary needs to be an accurate account of what occurred in the meeting. Any time that you finish an I E P meeting and at your request, asking them to read over or hand you a copy to read over of the minutes, [01:11:00] uh, that were written during the I E P meeting is very important because there may be things in there that you don’t feel were depicted accurately.

[01:11:11] It could be something small or it could be something large, but as the parent of this child, you should be given the right to put any kind of concern or appropriate writing in the minute summary at the I E P A R C meeting.

[01:11:30] What if the I E P conference summary is inaccurate or has missing info? Prior to the meeting ending, have summary read- have summary read back. If anything is missing or recorded wrong, request it be added or changed before the meeting ends. If the meeting has already ended, then in writing, provide what needs to be added or changed to the summary.

[01:11:56] Ask the changes be made immediately and all [01:12:00] members to be provided with an updated copy. And one thing that we say all the time in our world is if it isn’t written, it never happened. So this is the parent’s opportunity to make sure that their voice is being heard in those minutes. If it’s not in there, if it is important to you, definitely speak up. Write that email, let them know of the change that you would like to be made. But the most important thing is to put it in writing.

[01:12:36] The special education cycle. Consent, evaluation, written I E P, placement, annual I E P review, and three year review- three year reevaluation. Most of this cycle must occur at least once a year with the exception of the three year reevaluation. [01:13:00] In some cases, the school may not need another full evaluation to redetermine eligibility.

[01:13:07] In those instances, they may use existing information including teacher input, parent input, a records review, observations and progress monitoring to determine eligibility. It is always good to ask for another full evaluation after the child reaches age 16, so an adult IQ measure can be obtained. This will be needed for services following high school and also will be needed for students who plan to attend college.

[01:13:43] A reevaluation is an evaluation that happens after your child’s initial evaluation. A reevaluation isn’t the same as an annual review of your child’s I E P, which happens every year. [01:14:00] Nor is it just additional testing. A reevaluation is a full-fledged look at your child’s needs. There are two types of reevaluations.

[01:14:13] The first is a three year reevaluation. The second is a parent or teacher requested reevaluation. Under IDEA, a child may be evaluated only once per year, but that leaves room for you to request a new evaluation for many different reasons. Your child wasn’t originally found eligible and he’s still struggling.

[01:14:41] It’s possible that when your child was first evaluated, he didn’t meet the requirements of the I E P. After a year, if he is still struggling, you may want to request a new evaluation. You can do so even if he’s already receiving supports [01:15:00] or has a 5 0 4 plan.

[01:15:03] There are new areas of concern when your child is first referred for evaluation. The school notes the areas he was struggling in. For example, if your child was evaluated because he was having trouble with reading, the testing may have focused on dyslexia, but maybe once he received supports in reading, it became clear that he struggles in other ways, too. He may have writing or attention issues. If so, it’s appropriate to ask for a new evaluation to look at those areas as well.

[01:15:43] The information from a previous evaluation was incomplete. It’s also possible that your child’s initial evaluation didn’t address all the areas it needed to. For instance, perhaps you learned your child has [01:16:00] A D H D and the school put in place accommodations to help him focus. However, His impulsivity is also causing disruptions in the classroom.

[01:16:12] If a behavior assessment wasn’t part of the original evaluation, you may need to request a new evaluation to get one.

[01:16:25] Rhonda Logsdon: Well, and if I could add, you can request too just a behavioral assessment. That can, regardless of the disability and the category that they qualify, you can request that for any child that might need that. And that’s part of when you look at, um, a part of the present levels, there is a question that will state in special consideration factors is- does the child’s behavior impede their- their learning or that of others?

[01:16:59] And if it [01:17:00] does, that would initiate and you want to request there that there be the behavioral assessment. And again, that’s gonna be, um, it doesn’t matter what disability they have. Um, again, you can request those things. And- and too, um, that, uh, um, a lot of times it- it’s important like Amber’s saying about, you know, if there are areas that- that we need to have a reevaluation, but know that too, um, if your child is having trouble with the attention, um, paying attention with certain things, um, the things that would come along with the example of like with the A D H D, that would be very important even if you’re having a reevaluation done to also in your present levels, make sure that that is addressed and put in the present levels as a concern.[01:18:00]

[01:18:00] Not the disability, but the things that are associated with that- that is occurring, that is causing them difficulty. Does that make sense?

[01:18:12] Amber Hamm: Absolutely. Thanks for sharing that, Rhonda. Cause I- I totally- it slipped my mind about the behavioral intervention plan.

[01:18:24] And lastly with placement, decisions must be made on an individual basis by the I E P team. Placement should not be determined by eligibility category. It should be determined following the writing of the I E P because that is where the decision is made of, where the specI- I’m so sorry. That is where the decision is specially designed instruction will take place.

[01:18:56] If the parents do not agree with the I E P and [01:19:00] placement, they may discuss their concerns with other members of the I E P team and try to work out an agreement. If they still disagree, parents can ask for mediation or the school may offer mediation. Parents may file a complaint with the State Education Agency and may request a due process hearing at which time mediation must be available.

[01:19:27] But I do want to state if the parent disagrees with placement and they request for mediation, that has to be agreed upon with the parent as well as the district. So just because you request mediation does not mean that you’re going to get it. Um, and therefore then the next step would be parents can file a complaint with the State Education Agency.

[01:19:58] Always, always, [01:20:00] always put these in writing and remember our saying, if it is not written, it never happened, or it doesn’t exist.

[01:20:15] Critical I E P team members. Parents must be invited. Students, if transition services are to be discussed, they must be invited. However, when we as parents are working with our children and we’re working them, excuse me, with them on advocacy skills and really getting them to understand and accept and advocate for themselves over their disability, as soon as you feel that your child is mature enough to be present in these meetings, then it’s always a good idea to hear what your child [01:21:00] has to say because at the end of the day, this is their plan and they’re the ones that you know are in school and, uh, need these supports.

[01:21:12] Special education teacher and or consultant, a provider such as a therapist or a specialist. Regular education teacher, if the student is or may be participating in an inclusive setting. School system representative who is knowledgeable about and able to commit resources. An individual who can interpret the evaluation results. Representatives from other agencies who may be providing transition services or even maybe your child receives outpatient therapy or outpatient physical therapy or speech. Inviting anyone who is [01:22:00] working with your child on their daily living skills or extra supports, their voices are always good in the I E P meeting. That way everyone can be on the same page as to where the child is and what supports they may need. An interpreter if needed, and other individuals who have knowledge or special expertise about the child.

[01:22:34] Parental participation is critical. Parents have information about their child that is important to share, and this is something, that I just love to make sure parents understand. You are the expert of your child. Your child is the expert of themselves, but when you’re walking [01:23:00] into an I E P meeting and you are faced with several quote, unquote professionals who are experts in different areas, yes, they are experts that could be in special education or it could be an expert in physical therapy or an expert in speech therapy.

[01:23:20] However, don’t discredit how important you are as the parent because you’ve been with this child, you know this child, and you are the expert on how this child is, how they behave, what their fears are, their likes, their dislikes, and you bring valuable information to the table.

[01:23:46] It is not required. An I E P meeting can take place without the parents present if the school has tried numerous times to get the parent to participate and has- has been unsuccessful. [01:24:00] Participate in decision-making and development of the I E P. Identify strengths and needs, and monitor progress.

[01:24:14] Parents will receive prior written notice with proposed meeting date and time in advance so that the parent has the opportunity to participate in the child’s education program. And just as I was saying a moment ago, bringing that valuable information, being the expert of your child, if you can’t make the date that was originally sent to you because of work, another meeting, something’s come up, don’t hesitate to write several dates or even two to three dates that you could make a meeting and different times so that at least you are working with the school and giving information [01:25:00] back.

[01:25:00] Because as we heard on the previous slide, they can move forward with the I E P meeting without you present. So trying to work with the school and having that open communication is only going to benefit the child.

[01:25:18] So under 7 0 7 KAR, individual edu- education program, section four, parent participation, an L E A shall ensure that one or both of the parents of a child with a disability are present at each A R C meeting, or are afforded the opportunity to participate except for meetings concerning a disciplinary change in placement or a safety issue. An L E A shall provide written notice to the parents of a child with a disability at least seven days before an ARC meeting. And if a situation [01:26:00] arises that is very important, and you need to get that meeting as quickly as possible as the parent or guardian, you do have the right to waive your prior written notice in order to have a meeting in two days or three days. So you don’t have to have the seven days if you don’t need them, but the law says that the school shall- shall at least provide seven days before the A R C meeting.

[01:26:38] It is important is- it is important parents respond. Once again, the meeting can take place without you. If the school has tried and documented failed attempts to get the parental involvement. If the dates and times proposed don’t work, respond with a few days and times that would work for you. [01:27:00] We will do a deeper dive into prior written notice in just a few slides.

[01:27:08] Alternative Participation. IDEA 2004 for administrative placement or I E P meetings such as video conference or conference calls. Parent and district may agree to use video conference and conference calls and other alternate means of meeting participation. But also as the parent, you can always request that the meeting take place in person.

[01:27:36] It’s great that we have all of these options, but just because the school says, “I’d like to meet via Zoom” or “I’d like to meet via phone”, if you would prefer that the meeting take place in person, don’t hesitate to put that in writing and ask for that accommodation to be met.[01:28:00]

[01:28:04] The I E P is not a lesson plan. The I E P is a legal and binding living document.

[01:28:17] And Rhonda, we are back to you. So at this point we can take a minute and see if we have any questions.

[01:28:38] Rhonda Logsdon: I’m not seeing any. Um, um- oh, thank you, I’m glad it’s- it’s helpful. Um, well, and when we kinda jump into the procedural safeguards here, before we kinda start with, um, with that I do wanna say too, um, and Coco wants to let [01:29:00] you know as well, (laughs) that, um, it’s important, um, that again, like we had said in the beginning, that- that, you know, the disability categories so that your child qualifies.

[01:29:14] Um, but the, uh, disability or the categories should not dictate the I E P. It’s very critical that it be individualized because every child is different. Um, no matter if they- if both children have autism, each child’s different. Um, and so that’s the wonderful thing about IDEA and the I E P, it is individualized for them and for them to be successful because we’re all different.

[01:29:45] And when we look at our procedural safeguards, um, you know, letting you know, um, that procedural safeguards notice, you will get, um, a- what’s the notice and offered the copy at least annually [01:30:00] about what are under the law procedural safeguards, where it outlines, um, what are your rights under the federal law.

[01:30:11] Um, on the next slide here, part of it as well is the ability to have them explained to you as well. Um, when can you expect to receive this notice? At least when there is the initial referral for an evaluation. Um, also it will be, um, each, like I said, each school year, um, in accordance with discipline procedures because there are some procedural safeguards related to discipline. Um, and if- if the parent requests a copy of that, um, and- and the districts may also have that on their website that you can access as well.

[01:30:53] On the next slide here, we’ll see what does the [01:31:00] procedural safeguards notice contain? Well, it talks about your right to the in, uh, Individualized Education Evaluation, right? If you’re not in agreement with the evaluation that was completed, um, that you are able to access that, right?

[01:31:17] It also talks about your right for prior written notice. Uh, parental consent, access to educational records. These are all part of parental rights that you have for your child under IDEA.

[01:31:34] On the next slide here, we’re gonna look at, um, what does, um, the notice contain?

[01:31:41] It’s gonna tell you the timeline for filing complaints. Um, opportunity for- it’s gonna give too, and let you know that there’s the opportunity, um, that first of all, that there- there is a process that you could use if you’re in disagreement, right? Um, but [01:32:00] it’s also going to give the opportunity and have part of that notice that there is opportunity for the school system to resolve that.

[01:32:09] Um, and the- the difference between the different procedures, um, if it is, and we’re gonna talk about these rights here in a few minute, but, um, Amber had touched on it a little bit earlier, the right to- to mediation, um, filing a formal complaint with the State Department, Kentucky Department of Education, um, the right to due process.

[01:32:34] So all of these things, the timelines that are- that are set forth in them, they are part of the procedural safeguards. Um, and on the next slide here, we’re gonna see, um, the- the notice, the availability of the mediation, uh, child’s placement. Um, if you’re not, uh, in agreement, if- if it is, [01:33:00] uh, if you’re not in agreement with their placement, do, um, you- there can be, um, they put, um, while there is a due process complaint going on, and again, now that is if- if it is, uh, do just want to make sure that I mention if it is because of, um, uh, behavior or threat of harm, those are some different situations.

[01:33:28] Again, we can help step through those if those are the individual situations. Cuz a lot of it too, it depends on different factors. And- and let me just say that, not just with procedural safeguards, but for any part of the law, there are a lot of- because every child’s different, every situation is different and it depends on the different factors that are included there.

[01:33:51] Now, when we look at also, um, not just the placement, but um, also the right to the hearing. [01:34:00] Um, and what, um, and trust me, you hear (laughs) Crystal in the background. She- she just is- thinks she needs some attention. Uh, so just so you all know, she is quite alright (laughs) , but, uh, it sounds pretty pitiful.

[01:34:17] Um, but the right to, um, to file such actions, um, that you have there in, uh, attorney’s fees and all of that. So, when we go on to the next slide, we’re gonna see, um, the- the thing that I love that’s also included in this, because when you get, and if you saw the procedural safeguards, it’s, um, a lot of times it’s in the tiny print or of course, you know, um, I always joke with people and I’m like, “Okay, don’t make me have to, uh, break out a dictionary.”

[01:34:57] Um, it- [01:35:00] it not only is to be provided, but in an understandable language where we can all understand it, right? Because I don’t care who you are. If it could be in plain language, we can all understand it better. And especially when you’re talking about laws. Yes, it’s important to know key terms that are in it, but a lot of times it is- is like speaking a foreign language.

[01:35:22] Um, and so having that explained to you and having it in, if you speak a different language, if English is not your first language, having those procedural safeguards in your native language, having it explained and it’s not just, um, uh, you know, one of the things, uh, sometimes, you know, having it, um, it may not be, uh, in written form that, um, everyone, uh, understands it best, right?

[01:35:57] I’m a visual person, so visuals [01:36:00] help me. So, depending upon, it can be said, and that’s why it says here, the notice can be translated orally. People can- can say it. Um, however, that is the best mode of communication for a parent, um, that that can be used. And I think that’s critical because the procedural safeguard has the parental rights and the process outlined in it, um, for different things.

[01:36:28] And it’s- it’s critical that we all have the opportunity to understand it and see how it applies for our children.

[01:36:36] On the next slide, here, you’re gonna see, um, the prior written notice that- that we talked about. Remember, there’s the prior written notice like that Amber had said, you know, at least the seven day prior written notice for I E P ARC meeting.

[01:36:50] So, and we had talked about earlier, and if you’ll remember, like when Jennifer had, um, asked about, especially if- if, um, [01:37:00] you are not, uh, if they, um, if you request the initial evaluation and it, uh, is denied, here’s where it’s really critical in knowing about the, uh, prior written notice is for the purposes of initiating or changing the identification, evaluation, or educational placement of a child.

[01:37:24] Um, and or if they refuse to initiate or to change the identification, evaluation, educational placement, um, or, um, any provision that, uh, FAPE, uh, Free Appropriate Public Education is provided to your child. So anytime they deny to do a certain thing, they refuse to do it, you have to be given prior written notice.

[01:37:51] And prior written notice is not just we don’t agree to do this, we refuse to do this. It has to be very specific and [01:38:00] that they’re saying that they refuse to do it, why they’re refusing to do it, to- to do the proposed or, uh, to take the action. Describe the evaluation procedure assessment records that it backs up why they are doing it, and include a statement, um, of the procedural safeguards under Part B, that if you’re- that include, if you’re not in agreement with them denying it, which will be part of the, um, the thing that we are talking about here in just a second, your right to, even if they give you this prior written notice and tell you why they’re not gonna do it, that, um, that you have the option to- to not agree with that, right?

[01:38:47] And that you have some parental rights that you can access. The resource for them, um, they need to include resources for you to contact the help and understanding [01:39:00] Part B of IDEA, describe any other choices, um, that could be considered, or reasons why those choices were rejected in a description. So it- it can’t just be, as prior written notice, no, we refuse to do this. Um, it has to be very specific and why, what is backing up that decision?

[01:39:21] And also too even if they provide that, if you’re not in agreement with it, then what it would be your next step. Um, and I think, um, that’s very critical to know and to have. Um, and a lot of times too, it’s important and we’ll just use the example of, um, the example of if you request for the initial evaluation and they deny to do it, and so they provide you the pr- uh, prior written notice of the refusal, why they did it.

[01:39:55] And the reason that I brought up earlier, about [01:40:00] the child find responsibility under IDEA, then part of your procedural safeguards that you’re not in agreement, it is the responsibility of what then I would suggest that you re- that you could reply back to the denial is that they are required under child find activities to evaluate, identify, and provide, um, the evaluation for a child.

[01:40:32] So see that is very critical to provide back to them because that is a requirement that they have to do. And, um, so that, um, and I- I’m glad that Jennifer had brought that up earlier. So there are different areas and resolve that you can take, um, to still to try to get that accomplished.

[01:40:54] Now on your next screen here, you’re gonna see, so dispute resolution, [01:41:00] which part of that is, you know, through, um, uh, on the next slide, um, after I talk about this for a minute, you’ll see, um, the other parts that’s part of the parental, um, safeguards. We first suggest talk with the person directly that you have a dispute with, whether it be that why they didn’t agree.

[01:41:22] Many times you can talk things out, right? That you don’t have to go to the next level. As few amount of steps that you could take and get the resolve that you need, the better things will be, right? When I say that though, know that you can take- you have the opportunity that you could take any step necessary that you feel.

[01:41:49] Now, we always recommend going in these steps, but at any point you can go to the other without doing that. But many times they’re gonna ask you, “Have [01:42:00] you tried to talk with a person?” Have you tried, um, you know, they’re gonna ask if you’ve attempted these things, uh, first. So when, um, if- if you talking with them does- you don’t get the resolve, involve the principal or the counselor at the school.

[01:42:17] Um, and this could be a dispute on anything that you’re not in- in agreement with. And especially when it’s a child with an I E P, making sure, you know, request the ARC I E P meeting to discuss the concern. If you don’t get resolved there, contact the head of special education in your school district and here is the link there that you can access.

[01:42:38] And so, I- I wasn’t lying in the beginning because it- it is there. So, especially when you had, um, asked about, um, having the initial, um, someone had asked it, uh, earlier about if they’re not in the public school system, who would you contact? You’re not sure who the head of special education is, you can click on that [01:43:00] and go to your school district. Um, and then you can find them in that list.

[01:43:06] Now, on the next, uh, slide, you’ll see the examples of the rights. And Amber had explained some there, too. You do have the right to request mediation. Now with mediation, no one’s gonna come in and solve the problem for you. It’s an impartial person. They’re not coming in to side with you or to side with the school. They’re coming in to try to help to mediate.

[01:43:33] A lot of times this will help because, um, we, um, it- it would help, um, because sometimes it helps if there’s someone who is not directly involved in this situation come in and help you all try to come to an agreement. Now, when we look at this, what will occur is, again, and- and I believe Amber had said it [01:44:00] earlier, is that both you and the school have judgment to it, um, because if you don’t, it’s not gonna do any good.

[01:44:08] So what’s gonna occur is that, um, there is a form that will be filled out from the school district and if, um, if you agree, it’ll be sent to the Kentucky Department’s Education and, uh, an impartial mediator that is not anyone that is from your district or surrounding area will come in and mediate. And again, it is a written binding agreement that you come up with.

[01:44:41] Now, it doesn’t mean if you go to mediation that you give up your right to file a state complaint or due process. But when you look at, you know, you do have the right to file a state complaint, um, and it will be investigated by the Kentucky Department of [01:45:00] Education. And there- then there’s also the right to due process that is through the court system.

[01:45:06] Um, and again, as few amount of steps as possible that you have to take to get the resolve. Um, I think that the better that it- that it would be, again, know that these are rights that you do have. But, um, you know, and- and only you would know best. Um, and again, it’s individual choices on what you feel is appropriate.

[01:45:33] Um, but many times you don’t have to go all the way to the top one to get the result that you need. Um, but know that those options are there and available for you.

[01:45:45] Now on the next slide here, I think Amber’s gonna kind of go over a little bit. We’re getting towards the end here. Um, but, um, she is going to, if there’s any questions that y’all may have, if you wanna put in [01:46:00] the chat and everything, but Amber’s gonna take over from here.

[01:46:05] Amber Hamm: Uh, hello again everyone. So we have a few slides here and, uh, you- you will get this or you have, I think gotten the link, but Rhonda will definitely be emailing these out to you. When you get and open up, the PowerPoints, these are clickable links. So these are some of the, uh, very, very helpful resources that will help you along your journey, becoming more comfortable in just educating yourself about the I E P process, as well as helping you to advocate for your child, uh, in their I E P process.

[01:46:49] So we have the “Individualized Education Program (I E P) video and I E P Infographic”, “How to Get An Evaluation for Your [01:47:00] Child Through School”, “Communicating with your child’s school through letter writing”, uh, the “Evaluation: What Does It Mean for Your Child?” through the PACER Center, “Just for Parents: Learning about Special Education”. (crosstalk)

[01:47:16] Oh, I’m sorry, go ahead.

[01:47:17] Rhonda Logsdon: Sorry Amber. Well, and um, I had just, um, you, um, you wouldn’t have to- I know we’re getting close on time just to, um, in case there are any questions that people might have, I did go ahead and, um, you don’t have to go through each one of ’em that’s on cuz we’ve got like a couple of, uh, slides here that you can access these.

[01:47:40] But if you have any, um, uh, uh, questions in accessing that, um, I didn’t mean to be rude there Amber, but I didn’t know, I hadn’t looked at the- I hadn’t looked at the time until just now. Um, but I did go ahead again and put that link to the handout and again, we will be sending the [01:48:00] email of that, but I know that, um, if, uh, you could probably, cuz you’ll be able, when you bring up the P D F, you haven’t already clicked on it, you can click on those individual resources and it take you directly to ’em.

[01:48:17] Amber Hamm: Yes. And I suggest if you have a few moments, even every day or a couple of days, take a look at- at one link a day even. These are so, so very helpful in your process. And then on our last slide here, and I just posted the link in the chat box, um, this is our evaluation. You can also use the QR code if you hold your phone up to the screen.

[01:48:47] Please, please, please take a moment and fill this evaluation out. We want to hear your thoughts. We love feedback, good, bad or indifferent. Uh, this is how we [01:49:00] grow and, uh, be better and do better for our families in Kentucky. So we- we definitely wanna hear your voice and as well as our contact information at SPIN, we are all here to assist you in your journey.

[01:49:17] Please feel free to reach out to Rhonda, myself, uh, or the other fabulous team members we have by going to our website and filling out our referral form or question form. And then I wanna check real quick to see if there’s any questions in the chat box.

[01:49:40] Rhonda Logsdon: I didn’t see any or in the question area. I didn’t see any.

[01:49:46] Amber Hamm: I think we are good to go, Rhonda.

[01:49:50] Rhonda Logsdon: Okay. Well we greatly appreciate y’all. I hope this was helpful and we’re excited, um, about next month we’ll have, [01:50:00] uh, the Medicaid overview of the Medicaid waivers. Um, and so we are just excited and looking at all different ways of, um, different opportunities that we can bring to you all.

[01:50:13] Oh, well, thank you so much. Um, I hope y’all have a great evening, um, and we will be talking with you all later.

[01:50:22] Jenny Townsend: (crosstalk) Thank you all again, we appreciate you helping.

[01:50:25] Rhonda Logsdon: Thank you.

[01:50:33] Aww, thank you so much for sharing. That is wonderful. And just please let us know how we could help. Love to you all.