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A Resource Guide for Charter Schools and Cyber Charter Schools: Managing the Special Education Process Train-the-Trainer Session for IUs June 4, 2012 Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network
Pa. TTAN’s Mission The mission of the Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network (Pa. TTAN) is to support the efforts and initiatives of the Bureau of Special Education, and to build the capacity of local educational agencies to serve students who receive special education services.
PDE’s Commitment to Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) Our goal for each child is to ensure Individualized Education Program (IEP) teams begin with the general education setting with the use of Supplementary Aids and Services before considering a more restrictive environment.
Agenda • Welcome • Background on Charter Schools and Cyber Charter Schools • Review of Chapter 711 • Introduction of Resource Guide • Q&A 4
Charter School Legislation/Guidance • Act 22 of 1997 – JUNE 12, 1997 • Chapter 711 • BEC-Charter Schools, 24 P. S. Section 17 -1701 -A • BEC - Cyber Charter Schools, 24 P. S. Section 17 -1741 - A http: //www. portal. state. pa. us/portal/server. pt/community/charter_schools/7356 5
Background • Charter schools and cyber charter schools are public schools/school entities/LEAs • Charter schools were established in 1997 with passage of the Charter School Law (PDE website). • Chapter 711 oversight by PDE rather than State Board • Chapter 711 adopted June 2001 with few PA specific regs – Amended June 2007 effective July 2008 • More closely parallels Chapter 14; no regs re early intervention or Children with disabilities enrolled by parents in private schools 6
Definitions Charter school • Independent public school established and operated under a charter from the local board of school directors and in which students are enrolled or attend • Must be organized as a public, nonprofit corporation. Charters may not be granted to any for-profit entity. § 711. 1 and § 17 -1703 A 7
Definitions Cyber charter school • An independent public school established and operated under a charter from the Department • Uses technology to provide a significant portion of its curriculum and to deliver a significant portion of instruction to its students through the Internet or other electronic means • Must be organized as a public, nonprofit corporation. Cyber charters may not be granted to any for-profit entity. § 711. 1 and § 17 -1703 A 8
Definitions Regional charter school • Independent public school established and operated under a charter from more than one local board of school directors and in which students are enrolled or attend • Must be organized as a public, nonprofit corporation. Charters may not be granted to any for-profit entity. § 711. 1 and § 17 -1703 A 9
Establishment of Charter Schools • A charter may be granted for no more than 5 years by a school board. A charter application that is denied can be appealed with a petition signed by 1000 residents or 2% of the residents who are 18 or older of the district or districts granting the charter, whichever is less. § 17 -1717 A and -1720 A 10
Establishment of Charter Schools Existing public schools may be converted to charter schools by having approval of more than 50% of the parents of the children in the school and more than 50% of the teaching staff in the school. § 17 -1717 A 11
Cyber Charter Schools For each student a cyber charter school must • Provide all instructional materials • Provide all equipment, including a computer and printer • Provide or reimburse for all technology/ services necessary for the on-line delivery of curriculum and instruction § 17 -1743 A 12
IU Responsibilities Charter school may request the IU in which the school is located to provide services to assist school to address needs of exceptional students. IU must assist the charter school and bill for services. • IU may not charge more than it charges the districts of the IU § 17 -1725 A 13
CHAPTER 711: CHARTER SCHOOL AND CYBER CHARTER SCHOOL SERVICES AND PROGRAMS FOR CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES 14
Purposes and Intent Chapter 711 specifies how PDE will meet its obligation to ensure that charter schools and cyber charter schools comply with IDEA and Section 504: • Children with disabilities must have access to the general curriculum, and participate in State and local assessments as established and described in Chapter 4 (relating to academic standards and assessment) • The Department supports the use of pre-referral intervention strategies, to promote students' success in the general education environment § 711. 2 15
Supervision • PDE provides general supervision of special ed services/programs – IDEA and 504 – Compliance monitoring requirements – Corrective action § 711. 4 16
Annual Report • Instead of Special Ed Plan • Must include – Number students with disabilities • • • Age Exceptionality Level of intervention Staff certification Programs available § 711. 6 and § 17 -1728 A 17
Annual Report (cont’d) Must include – Services/programs implemented by school and/or through contracted services – Services/programs utilized through assistance of IU – Staff training in special ed through PDE/IU – Assurance that school in compliance with federal laws/regs and Chapter 711 § 711. 6 and § 17 -1728 A 18
Enrollment 711. 7 • Residents of the school district or participating districts – Nonresident students may also be enrolled with first preference given to resident students. • Capacity issues settled by lottery • Discrimination prohibited in admission decisions – Charter school may limit admission to grade level or area of concentration – May set reasonable criteria to evaluate prospective student – disabilities 17 -1723 A, § 711. 7 19
Education Records • When the records of a child with a disability are transferred from a public/private school or agency to a charter school or cyber charter school the sending school must forward all child’s records (including most recent IEP) within 10 days after notification child enrolled in charter school or cyber charter school • Same timeline when child transfers from charter school or cyber charter school • Charter school or cyber charter school must maintain educational records consistent with FERPA § 711. 8 20
Payments • District of residence must provide payments when – Child with IEP begins attending charter school or cyber charter school – Charter school or cyber charter school has developed IEP for enrolled student and notifies district of residence • Charter school or cyber charter school must immediately inform district of residence that payment responsibilities have ceased if student enrolls in another public/private school or private § 711. 9 and § 17 -1725 A agency 21
Child Find • Must establish written policies/procedures to ensure all children with disabilities enrolled in charter school or cyber charter school identified, located, evaluated • Public awareness activities sufficient to inform parents of children applying to/enrolled in charter school or cyber charter school of special ed services/programs § 711. 21 22
Transportation – Regular Charter School • Districts must provide transportation to students with disabilities to charter school if – School located in district of residence/district is part of regional school – Distance of school does not exceed 10 miles • Provision of modifications/accommodations for transportation obligation of charter school. 24 P. S. § 17 -1741 -A and § 711. 42 23
Transportation—Cyber Charter Schools • Charter School Law does not require that a student’s school district of residence provide transportation for cyber charter school students. • If transportation required as a related service in the IEP of a student with disabilities, who is enrolled in a cyber charter school, the cyber charter school must provide the required transportation. § 711. 42 and 24 P. S. § 17 -1741 -A 24
Educational Placement When IEP team places child in another public/private agency or private school and parents choose to keep child enrolled in charter school or cyber charter school, charter school or cyber charter school obligated to pay for that placement. § 711. 43 25
Personnel - Caseload • Caseload provisions are NOT in Chapter 711 – Full-time – Itinerant – Supplemental • Types of support are NOT in Chapter 711 – Learning support – Autistic support – Etc. 26
Parallel Requirements: Ch 14 and 711 General Provisions and Supervision • Personnel – Instructional paraprofessionals – Personal care assistants – Educational interpreters – Special ed certification • General ed certification required for 75% teachers • Complaint procedures 27
Parallel Requirements: Ch 14 and 711 Identification and Evaluation • Screening • Evaluation • Reevaluation • Criteria for Determining Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD) 28
Parallel Requirements: Ch 14 and 711 IEP • Transition • Transfers • ESY • AIM • Positive Behavior Support 29
Parallel Requirements: Ch 14 and 711 Procedural Safeguards • Suspension and Expulsion • Due Process • Pendency 30
SPECIAL EDUCATION FORMS SAME AS CHAPTER 14 31
A RESOURCE GUIDE FOR CHARTER SCHOOLS AND CYBER CHARTER SCHOOLS: MANAGING THE SPECIAL EDUCATION PROCESS
CHILD IDENTIFICATION FINDING THOSE WHO MAY BE IN NEED OF SPECIAL EDUCATION Section 1
Identification How does a Charter School Identify a Child Who May Need Special Education?
Identification • Child Find • Public Notice • Providing Services for Charter Schools
Child Find • Each school must establish a written policy and procedures related to child find. • The policy must include systematic screening activities that lead to the identification, location and evaluation of children with disabilities enrolled in the charter school or cyber charter school. • The policy must be published in the charter school or cyber charter school handbook and website.
DETERMINING ELIGIBILITY Section 2
Identification When does a child need special education?
Eligibility • Determining eligibility (the two-pronged criteria) • Initial screening procedures • Initial evaluation for special education • Conducting reevaluations
Reevaluation • Reevaluations must be conducted every 3 years, for students with an intellectual disability (mental retardation) reevaluations are conducted every 2 years. • The LEA and the parent may agree to waive a reevaluation. This must be in writing and placed in the child’s scholastic file. • The reevaluation process must be conducted within 60 calendar days and may or may not require a permission to reevaluate/consent form depending on whether new data is needed.
DETERMINING AN APPROPRIATE SPECIAL EDUCATION PROGRAM Section 3
IEP Process How is a child’s special education program determined?
IEP Process • • • Right to FAPE Timelines Contents of IEP Transition Planning Educational Placement Services to Incarcerated Students 43
Educational Placement • Amount and types of supports provisions are NOT included in Chapter 711 • Charter Schools/Cyber Charter Schools must ensure a continuum of alternative placements: – Instruction in general classes – Special schools – Home instruction – Instruction in hospitals and institutions
RESPONSIBILITIES TO CHILD AND PARENTS Section 4
Schools’ Responsibilities What are the schools’ responsibilities to the child and parents?
Schools’ Responsibilities • • • High School Graduation Confidentiality Materials and Classrooms Positive Behavior Support Disciplinary Exclusion Thought to be Eligible Students
High School Graduation • Children with disabilities have the right to stay in school through the school year in which they turn 21, or until they graduate with a high school diploma, whichever comes first • Children with disabilities who satisfactorily complete a special education program developed by the IEP team must be granted and issued a regular high school diploma by the charter school or cyber charter school
Confidentiality • The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) protects the privacy of student education records • IDEA contains confidentiality requirements modeled after those in the FERPA • Only school staff who have educational interests in the child will be permitted to see the child’s educational file • Schools must have written permission from the parent to release any information from a student’s educational record
DUE PROCESS RIGHTS Section 5
Resolving Disagreement What if parents or school officials disagree about a child’s special education program?
Resolving Disagreement • • • Due Process Revocation Mediation Special Education Due Process Hearing State Complaint Process
Special Education Due Process Hearing • Parents may request an impartial due process hearing when they have concerns about their child’s program, placement or evaluation • The charter school or cyber charter school may request a hearing to proceed with an initial evaluation or a reevaluation when a parents fails to respond to the school’s proposed evaluation or reevaluation
COMPLIANCE MONITORING Section 6
Compliance Monitoring How can you prepare for compliance monitoring?
Compliance Monitoring • Components of monitoring • The monitoring report • Corrective action and improvement planning
Compliance Monitoring • Components of monitoring: – The Facilitated Self Assessment (FSA) – File Review – Parent and Teacher Interview – Student Interviews – Administrative Interview – Classroom Observation – Parent Survey – Teacher Survey
RESOURCES Section 7
Resources • Federal and state laws and regulations • Basic educational circulars • Question and answer documents • Special education forms • Templates for developing charter school policies • Webinars related to special education programs and services • Publications
Contact Information www. pattan. net • Diane Funsten dfunsten@pattan. net 610/265 -7321 x 7270 • Ann Hinkson-Herrmann ahinksonherrmann@pattanpgh. net 412/826 -2336 ext. 2339 • Kim Jenkins kjenkins@pattan. net 800/441 -3215 x 7206 • Roni Russell rrussell@pattan. net 717/541 -4960 x 3314 Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Tom Corbett, Governor Pennsylvania Department of Education Ronald J. Tomalis, Secretary Carolyn C. Dumaresq, Ed. D. , Deputy Secretary Office of Elementary and Secondary Education John J. Tommasini, Director Bureau of Special Education Patricia Hozella, Assistant Director Bureau of Special Education