2016 Mini-Courses

Monday, October 3
8:00 AM
Registration opens

8:00-9:00 AM
Continental Breakfast

9:00-11:00 AM – Morning Mini-Courses

A Special Education Law Primer: Understanding Your Rights as Students and Parents
Selene Almazan, Attorney at Law, Selene Almazan Law, LLC, Silver Springs, Maryland

This two hour presentation, by an experienced parent and student attorney, will review basic special education law and procedure as well as strategies and practice tips for managing the IEP process, child find process and evaluation and reevaluation. Participants will learn more about transition requirements for students as they exit; requirements of least restrictive environment and research. Program includes an overview of the IDEA and a history of disability rights and protections.
B Role of the Special Education Director
Carol Bartz, Consultant, Carol Bartz Education Consulting, Indio, California

There’s a good chance at age 16 your employment goal was not to be a Special Education Director. Nevertheless, now that you are responsible for administering programs and services for students with disabilities, how do you deal with the challenges and opportunities to provide leadership to support quality programs for students? In this interactive session, we will explore the basic legal requirements and strategies for working effectively with school site and district staff, advocates and attorneys, and parents of children with disabilities. You will also have the opportunity to identify why you are doing this job, and, more importantly, how you can keep on doing it!
 C  Section 504: The Lore v. the Law
Perry Zirkel, University Professor Emeritus of Education and Law, Lehigh University, Allentown, Pennsylvania

This session includes everything you should know as an astute practitioner, including the most recent legal developments.  It will also cause you to question the legal accuracy of some of your previous understandings of these issues.  The coverage extends across the various student issues, such as concussions, expulsions, mitigating measures, and private schools, via a comparison of 1) common perceptions and practices with 2) an objective synthesis of the § 504 and ADA regulations, case law, and–at the outer margin–OCR policy interpretations.


Lunch on your own

12:45-2:45 PM – Afternoon Mini-Courses

D Common Core Standards Access for Special Education Students – Key Success Strategies for IEP Alignment and Student Success
Mary Schillinger, Educational Consultant/former Assistant Superintendent of Education, Collaboration for Success, Simi Valley, California

Your new Core State Standards are challenging and rigorous, requiring higher level thinking skills, knowledge of academic vocabulary and perseverance in working through complex problems – tasks that often prove overwhelming for Special Education students.  This session will cover many key success strategies for aligning your IEPs to your new state standards, as well as specific tools to support Special Education students in access the rigor of those standards.  Find out what the ‘Grid of Success’ is and how it will help you strengthen your programs.  You will leave this presentation with strategies, ideas, checklists, planning templates, and step by step guidance for supporting your students!  Learn several legally tested techniques for IEP development as well as tools, including technology tools that will open up the world of rigor and relevance for your students.
E Today’s Greatest Hits (and Misses): Due Process Hearing and Resolution Case Review
Karen Haase, Attorney at Law, KSB School Law, PC, LLO, Lincoln, Nebraska

School attorney Karen Haase will give you a Casey Kasem-style countdown (for you millennials out there, he was Ryan Seacrest before Ryan Seacrest was Ryan Seacrest) covering the most recent and interesting due process hearing opinions and resolution cases.  She will also share real-life stories of what can go right and what can go wrong when you are in the crucible of a due process hearing.  Sometimes, the best way to keep yourself out of a school attorney’s presentation is by studying the lessons learned from others in the midst of these disputes.  This presentation will be fast-paced and informative, so bring your listening shoes and sense of humor.
F The Changing Role? Or Changing the Role of the School Psychologist?
Eric Hartwig, Administrator/Psychologist, Marathon County Special Education,Wausau, Wisconsin

School psychologists are uniquely qualified to provide direct support and strategic input to help improve school wide practices. The defined role and importance of the school psychologist has gradually and incrementally moved from isolated psychometric work to supporting and creating a school environment that helps encourage a child’s ability to learn and a teacher’s ability to teach. The transition has not been easily accepted by some but the future success of the position is dependent on evolving  partnerships with families, teachers and administrators to improve sound educational practices. This session will highlight these new expectations while providing a blueprint of school psychology for the future.

2:45 PM
Refreshment Break

3:00-5:00 PM – Late Afternoon Mini-Courses

G Legally Defensible Programs for Students with Autism – Essential Elements & Guidelines
Mary Schillinger, Educational Consultant/former Assistant Superintendent of Education, Collaboration for Success, Simi Valley, California

This presentation will cover the critical attributes of comprehensive and defensible programs from preschool through high school for all functioning levels of students with autism. Find out what the essential components are that must be addressed in any IEP and program for your students with Autism. Learn about common program gaps that cause district’s to loose litigation challenges. A model for building capacity within district staff for the training and implementation of Applied Behavior Intervention in all settings will be described with suggestions for addressing the unique needs of your district and students. Find out how a well-trained behavior team can reduce disruptive behaviors and conduct in class models for intervention. Checklists for use in conducting a gap analysis of your district programs as well as resources, strategies, and forms will be provided. Tools for compliance, communication, collaboration, and de-escalation will be shared.
H Hot Topics in Special Education Law
Art Cernosia, Attorney at Law/Education Consultant, Williston, Vermont

This intensive two hour mini-course will provide participants with an overview of critical legal topics and trends and their practice implications for schools and families. Topics will include child find/RTI, Section 504/ADA issues including both service animals and effective communication, bullying and liability issues for educators.
I Ethics Seminar: Ethics and Professional Responsibility in the Practice of Special Education Law
Diane Wiscarson, Attorney at Law, Wiscarson Law, Portland, Oregon and Graham Hicks, Attorney at Law, Graham M. Hicks, P.C., Beaverton, Oregon

An interactive ethics seminar specially designed for attorneys to meet State Bar Association CLE program standards; includes problems and hypotheticals with ethical considerations based on real life school law practice; issue identification, participant discussion; and recommended professional practices.