***Post written by Laura Lane, Secretary for WSPA***

I recently attended the LRP National Institute on Legal Issues of Educating Individuals with Disabilities.  I have attended this conference a few times and each time I come away with insights into the legal issues that have come up regarding special education.  This year I attended sessions on FAPE, 504, LRE, ED Identification, Mental Health Services as Part of FAPE, in addition to attending a general session with Marlee Matlin.

Here are some of my takeaways from this conference-

  • https://cyberbullying.org/ -This is a good site for real data on bullying. Data show a decrease in bullying over time from 2005-2015 according to the presenter.  You may have to dig around on the site, but there is good data.
  • Schools have to try to stop bullying/harassment, but are not required to make it stop completely according to federal courts. OCR will say the school has to succeed at stopping the bullying/harassment.
  • Resilience curriculum is more effective than SEL programs.
  • You must address behaviors if they are in the way of students learning academics.
  • When completing ED evaluations look at each part of the ED criteria step by step.
  • When completing ED evaluations, current testing will not be weighted as much as a teacher report/record of day to day performance.
  • You can consider the impact of a special education student upon the education of other students in a regular classroom and the amount of teacher time that might be required to modify the curriculum for a special education student. You can also consider the cost as a valid consideration.

All sessions I attended were presented by school law professionals.  They do a good job of reviewing current court cases and resolutions.

I saw many people from Wyoming attending the conference.  I would recommend this for school psychologists, special education directors, building administrators and special education teachers.

Another great resource from the LRP site is the Special Ed Connection’s e-Connections a daily posting of current court cases and ‘what would you do’ scenarios.