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Getting Ready for the 2021-22 School Year: FAQs about Testing Children with Disabilities

The 2020-21 school year was an unprecedented year with many districts implementing virtual learning, and with some districts moving back and forth between in-person and distance learning. Now, as children return to school in Fall 2021, it is critical that states and districts gather information on what children with disabilities have learned and where they need more support to meet standards-based learning goals. With this information, educators can make changes to current programs and to instruction to address children’s needs. Both formal and informal tests are important tools for gathering information.

This brief from NCEO answers frequently asked questions about whether (and how!) to test children with disabilities. The FAQ notes in particular that individualized education program (IEP) teams may need to revisit a child’s IEP before making test participation decisions. IEPs written before the COVID-19 pandemic may no longer address an individual child’s needs after the pandemic. For a list of the FAQs posed and to connect with the brief, read more here.

Parent Center Data Collection FAQs

Updated August 2021 In Part 1 of the data collection process, Parents Centers will use the data collection worksheet and accompanying definitions key to report: numbers of contacts with parents and professionals; an unduplicated count of parents served; demographic data on children (e.g., disability, race, ethnicity) and the primary language of parents; numbers of meetings attended by staff; and outreach […]

Parent and Caregiver Guide to Special Education Evaluations

(2021, July) | Useful to Parent Centers, schools, and families of children who have or are suspected of having a specific learning disability This guide (available in English and Spanish) comes from the National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) and offers guidance to schools and families as to evaluating children for disability and especially for […]

Eligibility for Special Education under a Specific Learning Disability Classification

Identifying students who have specific learning disabilities (SLD) and are eligible for special education can be a complicated process under IDEA. To improve policy and practice, 11 national organizations, working together, developed this 2-page resource, Eligibility for Special Education Under a Specific Learning Disability Classification. The resource succinctly lays out 8 critical elements of a quality evaluation process when SLD is suspected. Using these 8 principles, schools and evaluation teams can examine their current practices and determine areas that need improvement. Access the principles and a list of additional resources here.

Practice Guides for Families

The ECTA Center offers a collection of Practice Improvement Tools to support early childhood specialists in using evidence-based practices with young children experiencing developmental delays or disabilities. This large set of tools includes Family Practice Guides that practitioners can share with families to illustrate recommended practices that can be used at home. There are more than 25 guides available, on topics ranging from parent involvement in their child’s assessment, learning activities for the child that parents can provide, and teaming with professionals.

Each of the guides is available in English and Spanish and comes with a brief video, a scenario, and changes to expect as a result of using the practices with a given child. Find out more about, and access, the Family Practice Guides here.

Dear Colleague Letter on Early Intervention Services and Screening

(2018, December 20) | Useful to early interventionists, lead agencies, and Parent Centers on screening during evaluation of an infant or toddler for hearing loss or deafness. This Dear Colleague letter from OSEP responds to a question about the evaluation process for an infant or toddler suspected of being deaf or hard of hearing to determine […]

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