LRP's National Institute on Legal Issues of Educating Individuals with Disabilities REGISTER AGENDA  
[ 2017 Program Materials & Attendee list ]
Agenda At-A-Glance
7:30 - 9 a.m. Breakfast
9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Special Education Administrator’s Compliance Management Seminar: Guide to Legal and Practical Compliance Tools
Pre 1
Mary Schillinger Mary Schillinger, M.S., EDLD
Consultant, Former Deputy Superintendent, Las Virgenes Unified School District, Calif.
Jan Tomsky Jan Tomsky, Esq.
Fagen Friedman & Fulfrost, Oakland, Calif.

Legal compliance and litigation management is an overwhelming responsibility for any special education administrator. The dynamic team of Jan Tomsky and Mary Schillinger will explain critical legal mandates and trends, plus alert you to legal gaffs and how to avoid and fix them. You will increase your knowledge of special education law, and get hands-on, practical tools for training and monitoring compliance in your district. Designed with the new administrator in mind, this full-day training will also provide seasoned administrators with reminders and tools they can use in working with newer staff to ensure compliance with critical mandates and best practices. You will leave with checklists, monitoring documents, practical ideas, solutions for frequent legal traps and much more.

Documenting Employee Performance and/or Misconduct
Pre 2
David Hodgins David Hodgins, Esq.
Thompson & Horton LLP, Houston, Texas

Supervisors of employees who serve students with disabilities will at one time or another be required to document employee performance and alleged employee misconduct. Attorney David Hodgins, will review and discuss important steps and recommendations for effective documentation of employee performance and employee misconduct as well as provide practical advice regarding this important employer duty and responsibility. You will also participate in hands-on activities involving real-world case studies and scenarios to further develop the critical skill of providing effective documentation in the school setting.

Discipline and the Law: Where Are We in 2017?
Pre 3
Jim Walsh Jim Walsh, Esq.
Walsh Gallegos Treviño Russo & Kyle, Austin, Texas

Educators and practitioners need a deluxe tool set to handle the many discipline dilemmas in special education today. And that’s just what Jim Walsh will provide. He’ll lay a framework for understanding the complex regulations that govern the discipline of students with disabilities and share practical advice and illustration on such topics as short-term and long-term removals, stay put, special circumstances, change-of-placement considerations, manifestation determinations, and the 10-day rule — giving you a solid understanding of the dos and don’ts of disciplining students with disabilities. For anyone involved in day-to-day behavior and discipline decision-making, this is a session not to be missed.
9 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Students With Mental Health Issues: What Are Schools Required to Do?
Pre 4

Julie J. Weatherly Julie J. Weatherly, Esq.
Resolutions in Special Education, Inc., Mobile, Ala.

Now more than ever, educators must be aware of the legal requirements for educating students with mental health issues under the IDEA and Section 504. Julie Weatherly will provide an in-depth look at schools’ legal obligations when presented with a student who is displaying emotional, behavioral, social and/or academic difficulties and who, as a result, may be suspected of having mental health issues that could constitute a disability. Referencing recent judicial and administrative decisions, she will address important mental health issues such as schools’ child find duties, violations of discipline codes of conduct, students who are a danger to themselves and others, and the use of restraint and seclusion.
7 - 8:30 a.m. Networking Breakfast
8 - 9:30 a.m.

Opening General Session
President Trump and the U.S. Supreme Court: How Will the New President and the New Court Impact Special Education?
Melinda Jacobs, Esq. Melinda Jacobs, Esq.
Law Office of Melinda Jacobs, Townsend, Tenn.

For the first time in the history of the IDEA and Section 504, three judicial decisions directly affecting the field of special education will be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court during a single term. The High Court’s review of the IDEA’s “FAPE” standard, the exhaustion of administrative remedies, and the rights of transgender students will have a dramatic and long-term impact on the field and the provision of special education and related services to students with disabilities. How will President Trump’s policies and his appointment of new and future U.S. Supreme Court justices change the way your school district complies with the law?

Will the Court raise the FAPE standard to require school districts to provide educational services that ensure “meaningful benefit” for every student with a disability, or will it keep the traditional Rowley standard of “some educational benefit” as interpreted by existing federal court precedent? Will parents be permitted to avoid a due process hearing entirely by alleging discrimination, retaliation and/or systemic violations of the law? Will the High Court reinforce, or deny, the rights of transgender students, and how will the Court’s decision affect the authority of OCR and OSERS/OSEP to enforce federal laws affecting special education? In this general session, Institute Chairperson Melinda Jacobs shares her review and analysis of the short-term and long-term impact of these important Supreme Court decisions, adding her own expert commentary and practical guidance for special educators, administrators, parents, attorneys and others.

9:30 - 10:15 a.m. Refreshment Break
10:15 - 11:30 a.m.

Section 504 FAPE: Creating the Plan
S1
Dave Richards Dave Richards, Esq.
Richards, Lindsay & Martín, Austin, Texas

Section 504 FAPE is not about reducing expectations for students, but rather providing accommodations and services that give students with disabilities an equal chance to participate and benefit at school. Attorney Dave Richards will analyze this 504 FAPE obligation and, through a review of OCR letters, guidance, and court decisions, provide examples of data-based problem-solving. He’ll answer questions like: How do you ensure in a 504 plan that a student with a peanut allergy has an appropriately safe learning environment? When should the plan include technology or related services? What is the appropriate role of parent and student preferences, medical data, and doctor opinions in determining elements of the plan? Questions from the audience are encouraged.

Core Standards and Students With Moderate to Severe Disabilities: How to Align IEP Goals and Services
A1
Mary Schillinger Mary Schillinger, M.S., EDLD
Consultant, Former Deputy Superintendent, Las Virgenes Unified School District, Calif.

Interpreting rigorous core state standards and selecting associated skills to target for students with disabilities can prove daunting. What’s more, service providers for students with cognitive delays often are left out of training focused on core standards in their states. Mary Schillinger will provide you a roadmap to determine essential learning targets and skills to help students with moderate to severe disabilities gain proficiency with core standards. You’ll get guidelines for IEP teams to determine the functional, vocational and communication needs of individual students; align IEP goals to the core learning targets; and implement outcomes-based supports and services. And you’ll leave with training agendas, strategic planning templates, examples of essential skills-aligned IEP goals, implementation strategies and more.

Residential Placement: Handling Legal Issues Once Your Decision Is Made
I1
Teri E. Engler Teri E. Engler, Esq.
Engler Callaway Baasten & Sraga LLC, Oak Brook, Ill.

Deciding whether a residential placement for a student with disabilities reflects the least restrictive environment and is required to meet educational needs can be difficult. Frequently, these decisions are the subject of due process litigation. However, unique “back-end issues” after such decisions are made can be challenging too. Attorney Teri Engler will focus on legal issues and pitfalls that can arise after a residential placement recommendation is made. She will address parent objections to a district’s placement recommendation or residential facility, interim programming while a residential placement is put into place, expenses your district may be responsible for, the extent of your district’s responsibility for transportation, and planning for students’ transition back from residential placement.

Exiting Students From Special Education
I2
Jan Tomsky Jan Tomsky, Esq.
Fagen Friedman & Fulfrost, Oakland, Calif.

Exiting a student from special education may occur in a variety of ways, including when the IEP team concludes that a student no longer meets eligibility criteria and does not require special education instruction and services. Through an analysis of relevant law and illustrative case decisions, attorney Jan Tomsky will cover the unique procedural and substantive issues that surround an IEP team’s considerations related to exiting a student from special education. She will also discuss other circumstances in which a student exits special education, including graduation, “aging-out,” and parental revocation of consent.

I Have a Complaint! The Ins and Outs of the IDEA’s Administrative Complaint System
I3
Art Cernosia Art Cernosia, Esq.
Education Consultant, Office of Art Cernosia, Williston, Vt.

The latest data reported from the National Center on Dispute Resolution in Special Education indicates that more administrative complaint reports were issued than due process hearing decisions. Yet, there is still a great deal of confusion and misunderstanding of the complaint process, which can involve a single student or a systemic special education issue. Attorney and consultant Art Cernosia will cover both the legal and practical aspects of implementing the administrative complaint system required by the IDEA, and you’ll leave with expert insights on how this system operates.

Discipline of Students With Disabilities: The Key Rules and Regulations From Removals to MDRs
B1
Art Cernosia David Hodgins, Esq.
Thompson & Horton LLP, Houston, Texas

Take an in-depth look at the key discipline rules and regulations affecting the discipline of students with disabilities. From the “10-day rule” to manifestation determinations, attorney David Hodgins will cover the most important legal requirements, plus provide practical advice and illustrations to give you a solid understanding of the dos and don’ts of disciplining students with disabilities.

The Potential Impact of Trauma on Special Education Policies
B2
Robert Hull Robert Hull
Education Consultant, School Psychologist, Prince George’s County Public Schools, Md.

Data indicate that adverse events, including poverty and community violence, are often the primary cause of disruptive behavior disorders, emotional dysregulation, and students’ inability to perform well in school. Taking a trauma-informed approach is a method to address the achievement gap for these students. Indeed, recent legal activity, including P.P. v. Compton Unified School District, suggests that schools need to consider trauma histories when evaluating students for special education services. Consultant and school psychologist Robert Hull will focus on the importance of taking a whole-school approach to supporting students with a history of trauma. He will review the implications of trauma-informed care on special education assessment and programming and provide intervention strategies you can use in your district.

Where Special Ed and Technology Intersect: Identifying Emerging Legal Compliance Issues
T1
Nicki Bazer, Esq. Nicki Bazer, Esq.
Of Counsel, Franczek Radelet, Chicago, Ill.
Amy Kosanovich Dickerson, Esq. Amy Kosanovich Dickerson, Esq.
Partner, Franczek Radelet, Chicago, Ill.

Nicki Bazer and Amy Kosanovich Dickerson will provide an overview of the legal aspects of the intersection of technology and special education — covering issues of cyberbullying, student and employee discipline, the use of social media, student data privacy, virtual schools, and assistive technology. You’ll gain insights on the major legal issues associated with the use of technology in inclusive classrooms, ways to identify compliance problems when technology issues intersect with special education law, and best practices to employ when providing special ed services as they relate to the use of technology.
11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. Lunch in Expo Hall
1 - 2:30 p.m.

General Session
Championship Habits for Personal Change and Growth
Dr. Adolph Brown< Dr. Adolph Brown
The Leadership & Learning Institute, Virginia Beach, Va.

Dr. Adolph Brown, an internationally renowned master educator, educational and clinical psychologist, author, and influential thinker and practitioner in the field of education, will inspire you and give you insights and practical tips on how to form positive leadership habits.
2:30 - 3 p.m. Refreshment Break
3 - 4:15 p.m.

Over-identification, Misidentification and Disproportionality in Special Education: What to Do Before OCR Comes Knocking
S2
Geneva Englebrecht-Taylor, Esq. Geneva Englebrecht-Taylor, Esq.
Thompson & Horton LLP, Houston, Texas

Disproportionality in public schools has gained the attention of local and national media. While many school districts recognize the prevalence of the problem, some find themselves without sound methods for prevention and rectification. Attorney Geneva Englebrecht-Taylor will address the national prevalence of over-identification, misidentification and disproportionality of special education eligibility and discipline of special education students. After examining the impact and common causes, Geneva will focus on how your school district can develop policies, procedures, and staff development to prevent and rectify disproportionality — giving you the knowledge to prepare preemptive action plans instead of waiting for OCR to investigate.

Today’s Greatest Hits (and Misses): Due Process Hearing and Resolution Case Review
I4
Karen A. Haase, Esq. Karen A. Haase, Esq.
KSB School Law PC, Lincoln, Neb.

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. Karen also will share real-life stories of what can go right and 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 session will be fast-paced and informative, so bring your listening shoes and sense of humor.

Mastering the What, When, Why, and How of Prior Written Notice
I5
Anahid Hoonanian, Esq. Anahid Hoonanian, Esq.
Senior Counsel, Lozano Smith, Los Angeles, Calif.

A district must provide parents with prior written notice whenever it proposes or refuses to initiate or change the identification, evaluation or educational placement of the child, or the provision of a free appropriate public education to the child. Prior written notice can be an easily satisfied procedural requirement, and the well-written notice can be a significant factor in how a complaint is decided. Join an experienced attorney to learn the legal components of prior written notice, as well as when and how to provide the notice. You’ll leave with examples of circumstances requiring prior written notice, as well as sample language to include in the notice.

Factitious Disorder Imposed Upon Another: How Do You Respond to a Parent Who Insists That a Child Is Disabled?
I6
Melinda Jacobs, Esq. Melinda Jacobs, Esq.
Law Office of Melinda Jacobs, Townsend, Tenn.

School districts have an affirmative duty to “locate, identify, and evaluate” all students who are “suspected” of having a disability. This duty exists equally under both the IDEA and Section 504. The generous eligibility provisions of 504 invite some parents to insist that the child is “disabled” under the law and requires special education, related services, and classroom and testing accommodations. What steps can a school district take to determine whether a child has a particular health diagnosis, educational need, and/or medical need at school? Is it easier for schools to make students “eligible” rather than become adversarial with parents? What are the legal risks of districts making eligibility determinations relying on questionable private evaluations and/or diagnoses? Attorney Melinda Jacobs analyzes the existing case law, due process hearing decisions, and practical concerns your district confronts in these difficult scenarios.

LRE and Placement Under the IDEA
I7
Anahid Hoonanian, Esq. David Hodgins, Esq.
Thompson & Horton, LLP, Houston, Texas

Serving students with disabilities in the least restrictive environment and in an appropriate placement are fundamental legal obligations under the IDEA. Yet, from a legal and practical perspective, what do those terms really mean and how are they properly applied? Attorney David Hodgins will outline and discuss the key legal requirements regarding LRE and placement of students, as well as provide practical strategies regarding how you can stay legally compliant and meet your responsibilities to students with disabilities under the IDEA.

From Good to Great: Tips for Improving Your IEP Goals
I8
Anahid Hoonanian, Esq. Teri E. Engler, Esq.
Engler Callaway Baasten & Sraga LLC, Oak Brook, Ill.

The IEP is your district’s blueprint for its offer of FAPE to a child with a disability, and the academic, functional, and transition goals are the backbone of the IEP. The sufficiency of a child’s IEP goals is one of the most common issues raised at due process hearings when parents claim there has been a denial of FAPE. How does your school system determine needed goal areas and develop IEP goals? How can you and your staff improve on the IEP goal-writing process? Attorney Teri Engler will offer important legal and case law information, as well as practical, step-by-step guidance for you to avoid common IEP goal-writing pitfalls — so you can take your goals from good to great.


Town Hall Meeting — New Administration, Reauthorization and More
I9
Moderator: Christopher Borreca, Esq. Moderator:
Christopher Borreca, Esq.

Thompson & Horton LLP, Houston, Texas
Jacque Chevalier Jacqueline Chevalier Deputy Director of Education Policy, House Committee on Education and the Workforce
Constance Garner Constance Garner
Policy Director/Practice Leader, Foley Hoag LLP.
William Knudsen William Knudsen
Director of Government & Affiliate Relations, National Association for Gifted Children
Brad Thomas Brad Thomas
Senior Education Policy Advisor, U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce

With a new president and new Congress, change is on the horizon in 2017 and that could finally mean reauthorization of the IDEA. This roundtable session will bring you together with legal practitioners, Capitol Hill staff, and national policy makers — all of whom played significant parts in the last reauthorization and will be involved in the upcoming one. Discussion will center upon ways to improve the federal law as well as the future of the U.S. Department of Education. Don’t miss this session designed to give you a peek into how the Trump administration and Congress will handle not only reauthorization but transgender students, common core, and OCR investigations.

High-Tech in Special Education: Modern Legal Issues in Assistive Technology and Services
T2
Mary Schillinger, M.S., EDLD Jose Martín, Esq.
Richards Lindsay & Martín LLP, Austin, Texas

The rapid evolution of education technology has brought renewed attention to IDEA provisions addressing assistive technology devices and services, at times creating complicated legal questions. Attorney Jose Martín will explore IDEA language related to AT services and address common problem areas, including helpful legal practices for incorporating the use of tablets into IEPs, developing a protocol for your AT process, deciding how best to include communication and other AT devices in students’ IEPs, and choosing among high- and low-tech AT options. Jose also will identify ways to avoid disputes by carefully wording AT provisions in IEPs and complying with ADA requirements on effective communication. Additionally, he’ll highlight recent case decisions that offer practical ideas for effectively applying new technologies to students’ educational programs in a manner that can withstand legal scrutiny.
4:30 - 6 p.m. Welcome Reception
7 - 8:30 a.m. Networking Breakfast
8 - 9:30 a.m.

General Session
Year in Review
Jack Gallagher Jim Walsh, Esq.
Walsh Gallegos Treviño Russo & Kyle, Austin, Texas

Attorney Jim Walsh presents the always popular, fast-paced and entertaining overview of the most interesting and enlightening legal cases of the past year. You'll get expert analysis and commentary plus predictions of litigation trends for the coming year.
9:30 - 10:15 a.m. Refreshment Break
10:15 - 11:30 a.m.

Over-identification, Misidentification and Disproportionality in Special Education: What to Do Before OCR Comes Knocking
S2
Jose Martín Geneva Englebrecht-Taylor, Esq.
Thompson & Horton LLP, Houston, Texas

Disproportionality in public schools has gained the attention of local and national media. While many school districts recognize the prevalence of the problem, some find themselves without sound methods for prevention and rectification. Attorney Geneva Englebrecht-Taylor will address the national prevalence of over-identification, misidentification and disproportionality of special education eligibility and discipline of special education students. After examining the impact and common causes, Geneva will focus on how your school district can develop policies, procedures, and staff development to prevent and rectify disproportionality — giving you the knowledge to prepare preemptive action plans instead of waiting for OCR to investigate.

Today’s Greatest Hits (and Misses): Due Process Hearing and Resolution Case Review
I4
Jan Tomsky, Esq. Karen A. Haase, Esq.
KSB School Law PC, Lincoln, Neb.

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. Karen also will share real-life stories of what can go right and 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 session will be fast-paced and informative, so bring your listening shoes and sense of humor.

Mastering the What, When, Why, and How of Prior Written Notice
I5
Julie J. Weatherly, Esq. Anahid Hoonanian, Esq.
Senior Counsel, Lozano Smith, Los Angeles, Calif

A district must provide parents with prior written notice whenever it proposes or refuses to initiate or change the identification, evaluation or educational placement of the child, or the provision of a free appropriate public education to the child. Prior written notice can be an easily satisfied procedural requirement, and the well-written notice can be a significant factor in how a complaint is decided. Join an experienced attorney to learn the legal components of prior written notice, as well as when and how to provide the notice. You’ll leave with examples of circumstances requiring prior written notice, as well as sample language to include in the notice.

Factitious Disorder Imposed Upon Another: How Do You Respond to a Parent Who Insists That a Child Is Disabled?
I6
Elena Gallegos, Esq. Melinda Jacobs, Esq.
Law Office of Melinda Jacobs, Townsend, Tenn.

School districts have an affirmative duty to “locate, identify, and evaluate” all students who are “suspected” of having a disability. This duty exists equally under both the IDEA and Section 504. The generous eligibility provisions of 504 invite some parents to insist that the child is “disabled” under the law and requires special education, related services, and classroom and testing accommodations. What steps can a school district take to determine whether a child has a particular health diagnosis, educational need, and/or medical need at school? Is it easier for schools to make students “eligible” rather than become adversarial with parents? What are the legal risks of districts making eligibility determinations relying on questionable private evaluations and/or diagnoses? Attorney Melinda Jacobs analyzes the existing case law, due process hearing decisions, and practical concerns your district confronts in these difficult scenarios.

LRE and Placement Under the IDEA
I7
J. Stephen Cowles, Esq. David Hodgins, Esq.
Thompson & Horton, LLP, Houston, Texas

Serving students with disabilities in the least restrictive environment and in an appropriate placement are fundamental legal obligations under the IDEA. Yet, from a legal and practical perspective, what do those terms really mean and how are they properly applied? Attorney David Hodgins will outline and discuss the key legal requirements regarding LRE and placement of students, as well as provide practical strategies regarding how you can stay legally compliant and meet your responsibilities to students with disabilities under the IDEA.

From Good to Great: Tips for Improving Your IEP Goals
I8
J. Stephen Cowles, Esq. Teri E. Engler, Esq.
Engler Callaway Baasten & Sraga LLC, Oak Brook, Ill.

The IEP is your district’s blueprint for its offer of FAPE to a child with a disability, and the academic, functional, and transition goals are the backbone of the IEP. The sufficiency of a child’s IEP goals is one of the most common issues raised at due process hearings when parents claim there has been a denial of FAPE. How does your school system determine needed goal areas and develop IEP goals? How can you and your staff improve on the IEP goal-writing process? Attorney Teri Engler will offer important legal and case law information, as well as practical, step-by-step guidance for you to avoid common IEP goal-writing pitfalls — so you can take your goals from good to great.

Developing Effective Responses to Inappropriate Sexualized Conduct and Behaviors Related to Adverse Childhood Experiences
B3
William Zee, Esq. David Walker, Esq.
Barley Snyder, Lancaster, Pa.
Geneva L. Englebrecht, Esq. William Zee, Esq.
Barley Snyder, Lancaster, Pa.

Gain perspective on the importance of using trauma-informed school practices, at the intersection of the IDEA, to address student behaviors. Attorneys David Walker and William Zee will examine best practices designed to help shape a district’s response to the manifestation of trauma-related and/or inappropriate sexual behaviors and provide tips on conducting a thorough investigation. In addition to a review of the IDEA’s procedural protections, they will explore a balance of disciplinary responses and behavioral supports and share the importance of staff professional development and victim support.

ADA Compliance: Ensuring Students With Disabilities Can Access Your Technology and Websites
T3
Christopher J. Fernandes, Esq. Christopher J. Fernandes, Esq.
Partner, Fagen Friedman & Fulfrost LLP, San Diego, Calif.

School districts continue to maintain and modify websites that provide access to important content, such as school rules, policies, assignments, calendars, forms, and more. Attorney Christopher Fernandes will discuss the numerous website accessibility complaints filed with OCR during the last year, as well as steps your district should take to ensure that your websites are accessible and compliant. Chris will walk you through some of the most frequent issues, such as inaccessibility to individuals with visual impairments, the lack of images with alternative texts, and failing to integrate with assistive technologies. He also will explore potential accessibility issues arising from the sometimes rapid adoption of emerging technologies or applications by individual teachers, and how staff must be able to ensure that students with disabilities are able to effectively access and utilize them.
11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. Lunch in Expo Hall
1:15 - 2:30 p.m.

Section 504 and Activities: When Your Cheer Tryout Makes CNN
S3
Stanton Samenow, Ph.D. Karen A. Haase, Esq.
KSB School Law, PC, Lincoln, Neb

The equality of access required by Section 504 entitles students with disabilities to receive educational opportunities equal to nondisabled students. This includes enrichment activities such as field trips, extracurricular activities such as sports and school plays, and co-curricular activities such as marching band and Future Business Leaders of America meetings. School attorney Karen Haase will review the law and cases in this area, including a very practical discussion of the facts of some of her cases ranging from swim meet modifications to cheerleading tryouts. Karen also will cover an emerging area of the law: the applicability of Section 504 to students with gender identity considerations and its impact on the national discussions.

Working With Chronically Ill Students
S4
Linda J. Silver Linda J. Silver
Educational Consultant, Former District Section 504/ADA Specialist, Broward County Schools
Cynthia P. Vines Cynthia P. Vines
District Section 504 Program Specialist, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, N.C

Students diagnosed with chronic illnesses often juggle their medical treatment and school requirements. Absences from the school setting for treatment impact their social, emotional and academic growth. School staff may not understand the effect a medical condition has on a student and may not be aware of appropriate accommodations, interventions, or the hospital/homebound options that may be available. Cynthia Vines and Linda Silver will explore the major factors chronically ill students face and offer Section 504 and IEP teams strategies for services and supports. You’ll leave with a deeper understanding as well as practical tips on how to collaborate with health care providers, the student and the student’s family.

Resolving Difficult Special Education Disputes and Getting Agreements Down on Paper
A2
John Comegno, Esq. Jose Martín, Esq.
Richards Lindsay & Martín LLP, Austin, Texas

Most special education disputes are resolved by agreement, but it can be difficult to both get past some key areas of disagreement and reduce the terms to writing in a manner that truly resolves the matter while not creating more arguments. Drawing from his personal experience in resolving hundreds of cases in private settlement and mediation, attorney Jose Martín will explore a variety of practical ideas for resolving particular problem terms. You’ll see examples of effective language that can be used to prevent post-settlement problems in areas such as IEEs, placement, reimbursements, discipline, aide assistance, release and waiver issues, and attorney’s fees, among others. Plus, you’ll take away proven strategies to apply when resolving your next difficult dispute.

ESSA: A Legal Update on What You Need to Know
A3
Teri E. Engler, Esq. Art Cernosia, Esq.
Education Consultant, Office of Art Cernosia, Williston, Vt.

With the full implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act set for the 2017-18 school year and in light of the Trump administration’s impact on federal education policy, it is important to learn the latest ESSA regulatory and administrative updates. Art Cernosia will review the implications of the ESSA updates for special education including the impact on the role of the IEP team and state and local administrative responsibilities.

Tips for Demonstrating FAPE
I10
Elena Gallegos, Esq. Julie J. Weatherly, Esq.
Resolutions in Special Education Inc., Mobile, Ala.

Because IDEA lacks specific guidance with respect to demonstrating whether a student has been afforded FAPE, schools must look to the courts to find the factors or evidence considered in making FAPE determinations. Attorney Julie Weatherly will share practical tips, based upon a review of extensive court authority, including the Supreme Court’s decision in Rowley, that are designed to assist educators in demonstrating that FAPE has been provided to a particular student with a disability.

Can Special Ed Connection® Really Do That?!
I15
Julie Kline, Esq. Julie Kline, Esq.
Editorial Director, Education, LRP Publications
Deb McKinnon Deb McKinnon
Special Ed Connection® Director, LRP Publications

The most valuable tools on Special Ed Connection® may just be the ones you aren’t using yet. You will learn about one-of-a-kind tools – Roundups, Index Searching, SmartStarts and more – that are designed to save you time and effort. Using IEEs as a search topic, you’ll discover many resources that can be used proactively to guide and train staff; and reactively to answer parent questions, determine responses to issues, conduct research and more. Come learn how to make your Special Ed Connection® subscription pay for itself.

The Growing Concern Regarding School Resource Officers
B4
Joseph Ryan, Ph.D. Joseph Ryan, Ph.D.
Stanzione Distinguished Professor, Clemson University College of Education, S.C.

School resource officers increasingly are used to manage student disciplinary issues, sometimes to disastrous effect. Recent cases receiving national media attention include one in Kentucky, where an SRO allegedly handcuffed two elementary students above the elbows for noncompliance, and another in South Carolina, where an SRO allegedly assaulted a high schooler for refusing to give up her cellphone. Moreover, legal cases brought by parents and advocacy groups claim SROs have traumatized and injured students. Behavior expert Dr. Joe Ryan will address several critical staff training issues concerning SROs, including the appropriate roles and responsibilities of SROs, top concerns regarding problematic practices, and helpful policy review measures. He also will provide recommendations and best practices for your future use of SROs.

Addressing Bullying in the IEP
B5
Timothy Mahoney, Esq. Timothy Mahoney, Esq.
Frazer & Feldman LLP, Garden City, N.Y.

What should a district do when faced with allegations of bullying? Education attorney and former impartial hearing officer Timothy Mahoney will detail the responsive steps to take in the wake of the 2d Circuit’s 2016 landmark decision of T.K. v. New York City Department of Education. He’ll take you through the four-prong test to determine when bullying constitutes a denial of FAPE, then review current case law across the country, proving insights into IEP-based responses to bullying — both for the victim and assailant. You’ll leave this session with schoolwide and districtwide bullying prevention strategies you can use.

Reading and Writing Disabilities: How Technology Can Help You Improve Student Outcomes, Reduce Special Ed Costs
T4
Denise Gibbs Denise Gibbs
Director, Alabama Scottish Rite Foundation Learning Centers, Birmingham, Ala.

Cross-platform technologies that provide text-to-speech and speech-to-text functions on Mac and PC operating systems hold enormous power for your IEP teams. These readily available, inexpensive, and often free technologies can help students with reading and writing disabilities access print-based core content and develop written expression skills. Emerging cross-platform technologies also can diminish students’ reliance on others to read content to them, including for test-taking, and reduce the need for scribes to dictate their answers or thoughts. Denise Gibbs will share examples on how several tech tools, including free Google Chrome extensions and the free Bookshare web service, can reduce your special education costs, increase your students’ independence, and result in improved educational outcomes.
2:30 - 3 p.m. Refreshment Break
3 - 4:15 p.m.

Section 504 FAPE: Creating the Plan
S1
Dave Richards, Esq. Dave Richards, Esq.
Richards, Lindsay & Martín, Austin, Texas

Section 504 FAPE is not about reducing expectations for students, but rather providing accommodations and services that give students with disabilities an equal chance to participate and benefit at school. Attorney Dave Richards will analyze this 504 FAPE obligation and, through a review of OCR letters, guidance, and court decisions, provide examples of data-based problem-solving. He’ll answer questions like: How do you ensure in a 504 plan that a student with a peanut allergy has an appropriately safe learning environment? When should the plan include technology or related services? What is the appropriate role of parent and student preferences, medical data, and doctor opinions in determining elements of the plan? Questions from the audience are encouraged.

Core Standards and Students With Moderate to Severe Disabilities: How to Align IEP Goals and Services
A1
Mary Schillinger, M.S., EDLD Mary Schillinger, M.S., EDLD
Consultant, Former Deputy Superintendent, Las Virgenes Unified School District, Calif.

Interpreting rigorous core state standards and selecting associated skills to target for students with disabilities can prove daunting. What’s more, service providers for students with cognitive delays often are left out of training focused on core standards in their states. Mary Schillinger will provide you a roadmap to determine essential learning targets and skills to help students with moderate to severe disabilities gain proficiency with core standards. You’ll get guidelines for IEP teams to determine the functional, vocational and communication needs of individual students; align IEP goals to the core learning targets; and implement outcomes-based supports and services. And you’ll leave with training agendas, strategic planning templates, examples of essential skills-aligned IEP goals, implementation strategies and more.

Residential Placement: Handling Legal Issues Once Your Decision Is Made
I1
Teri E. Engler, Esq. Teri E. Engler, Esq.
Engler Callaway Baasten & Sraga LLC, Oak Brook, Ill.

Deciding whether a residential placement for a student with disabilities reflects the least restrictive environment and is required to meet educational needs can be difficult. Frequently, these decisions are the subject of due process litigation. However, unique “back-end issues” after such decisions are made can be challenging too. Attorney Teri Engler will focus on legal issues and pitfalls that can arise after a residential placement recommendation is made. She will address parent objections to a district’s placement recommendation or residential facility, interim programming while a residential placement is put into place, expenses your district may be responsible for, the extent of your district’s responsibility for transportation, and planning for students’ transition back from residential placement.

Exiting Students From Special Education
I2
J. Stephen Cowles, Esq. Jan Tomsky, Esq.
Fagen Friedman & Fulfrost, Oakland, Calif.

Exiting a student from special education may occur in a variety of ways, including when the IEP team concludes that a student no longer meets eligibility criteria and does not require special education instruction and services. Through an analysis of relevant law and illustrative case decisions, attorney Jan Tomsky will cover the unique procedural and substantive issues that surround an IEP team’s considerations related to exiting a student from special education. She will also discuss other circumstances in which a student exits special education, including graduation, “aging-out,” and parental revocation of consent.

I Have a Complaint! The Ins and Outs of the IDEA’s Administrative Complaint System
I3
Melisa Genaux Art Cernosia, Esq.
Education Consultant, Office of Art Cernosia, Williston, Vt.

The latest data reported from the National Center on Dispute Resolution in Special Education indicates that more administrative complaint reports were issued than due process hearing decisions. Yet, there is still a great deal of confusion and misunderstanding of the complaint process, which can involve a single student or a systemic special education issue. Attorney and consultant Art Cernosia will cover both the legal and practical aspects of implementing the administrative complaint system required by the IDEA, and you’ll leave with expert insights on how this system operates.

Discipline of Students With Disabilities: The Key Rules and Regulations From Removals to MDRs
B1
David Hodgins, Esq. David Hodgins, Esq.
Thompson & Horton LLP, Houston, Texas

Take an in-depth look at the key discipline rules and regulations affecting the discipline of students with disabilities. From the “10-day rule” to manifestation determinations, attorney David Hodgins will cover the most important legal requirements, plus provide practical advice and illustrations to give you a solid understanding of the dos and don’ts of disciplining students with disabilities.

Answering Your FAQs on FBAs and BIPs
B6
Art Cernosia Julie J. Weatherly, Esq.
Resolutions in Special Education Inc., Mobile, Ala.

What the law actually provides — rather than what may be “best practice” — regarding the requirement to conduct functional behavioral assessments and to develop and implement behavioral intervention plans is important to all educators. Attorney and consultant Julie Weatherly will review court and agency decisions regarding those legal requirements, as well as challenges to the content and quality of FBAs and BIPs as they relate to the provision of FAPE to students with disabilities. She’ll address your frequently asked questions and provide practical answers you can share in your district.

How to Ensure Your IEP Goals Software Is a True Asset
T5
Geneva Englebrecht-Taylor, Esq. Geneva Englebrecht-Taylor, Esq.
Thompson & Horton LLP, Houston, Texas
Lorin Furlow Lorin Furlow
Director of Special Services, Brazosport Independent School District, Houston, Texas

Making use of special education software is increasingly necessary to comply with federal and state recording requirements. Yet, IEP teams often struggle to individualize students’ goals and objectives while meeting IDEA mandates within a standardized technology format. Attorney Geneva Englebrecht-Taylor and administrator Lorin Furlow will discuss recent case law to teach you how to empower your IEP teams to move beyond the “cut and paste” to develop clear and concise documents that are legally defensible, meet the individualized needs of students with disabilities, and measure true progress through academic achievement and functional performance. They will systematically analyze IDEA mandates in conjunction with current special education software systems to help you identify and evaluate current programming and modification needs with your technology provider. You’ll be able to better recognize common pitfalls and poor practices to avoid when developing IEP goals and objectives.
3 - 5 p.m.

Handling Ethical Surprises in Special Education Matters
E1
Brandon K. Wright, Esq. Brandon K. Wright, Esq.
Miller, Tracy, Braun, Funk & Miller Ltd., Monticello, Ill.

Surprise! Nothing can be more challenging to attorneys handling special education matters than ethical dilemmas arising out of the blue and requiring a quick or immediate response. Attorney Brandon Wright will walk you through some of the most “I didn't see that coming!” ethical challenges that may arise, so you’ll be prepared for upcoming IEP meetings, due process hearings and litigation regarding special education.
7 - 8:30 a.m. Networking Breakfast
8 - 9:15 a.m.

Section 504 Requirements, Common Implementation Pitfalls, and Helpful Tips and Guidance to Ensure Compliance
S5
Jennifer Castillo, Esq. Jennifer Castillo, Esq.
Brustein & Manasevit, Washington, D.C.
Jennifer Mauskapf, Esq. Jennifer Mauskapf, Esq.
Attorney, Brunstein & Manasevit, PLLC

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a civil rights legislation designed to prevent any form of discrimination based on disability. Two education law attorneys will provide an overview of Section 504 requirements, common implementation pitfalls, and helpful tips and guidance to ensure compliance. You’ll get guidance on hot topics, such as when a 504 plan must be in place versus when a medical intervention plan is sufficient; whether service animals can be a required accommodation; whether it is ever the school’s responsibility to provide medical devices, such as wheelchairs and corrective lenses; and whether there is ever a limit on the amount of funding a school must spend to provide a necessary accommodation.

Spending IDEA Funds: What You Need To Know
A4
Tiffany Winters Kesslar, Esq. Tiffany Winters Kesslar, Esq.
Brustein & Manasevit, Washington, D.C.

IDEA has many procedural and programmatic requirements, but it also includes numerous requirements about how its federal dollars must be spent. When a state or school district receives IDEA funds, it must ensure all costs follow the Uniform Grants Guidance as adopted under the Education Department General Administrative Regulations. Attorney Tiffany Winters Kesslar will explore the issues you can’t afford to overlook: Do you know how to prove costs are allowable, necessary, reasonable and allocable? Are you meeting your maintenance of effort requirement or your maintenance of state financial support? Are you meeting excess costs? Gain a full understanding of these rules so you can avoid significant audit findings and repayment of funds.

Developing Legally Compliant IEPs
I11
David Hodgins, Esq. Anahid Hoonanian, Esq.
Senior Counsel, Lozano Smith, Los Angeles, Calif.

The IEP is the roadmap that defines the course of special education for each child with a disability. Attorney Anahid Hoonanian will review the procedural and substantive requirements for developing legally compliant IEPs, including required team members, planning for the meeting, key components of the IEP, and practice tips for personnel attending IEP meetings. You’ll also learn about IEP meeting planning and get timesaving strategies for developing a solid IEP.

FERPA and Educational Records
I12
Brandon K. Wright, Esq. Brandon K. Wright, Esq.
Miller, Tracy, Braun, Funk & Miller Ltd., Monticello, Ill.

Student records are subject to complex and confusing laws. School districts can get into trouble for releasing student information, or for not releasing it, depending on the circumstances. Attorney Brandon Wright reviews what school districts can, should, and must do to comply with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, as well as the confidentiality provisions of the IDEA. You’ll get his guidance on the scope of parents’ right to review records, when records can be disclosed without parent consent, what to do when parents refuse to consent, how to handle challenges to the content of student records, and much more.

Effective Transition Planning to Support College and Career Readiness
I13
Gene Bamesberger Gene Bamesberger
Associate Director of Special Education, Denver Public Schools, Colo.

What keeps students with disabilities from graduating at the rate of their peers? Gene Bamesberger’s hypothesis: limited opportunity to access courses that engage their interest and natural aptitudes, curricula either well above or well below their skill level, and “business as usual” transition planning that provides little guidance for how to translate a dream into a step-by-step action plan toward an achievable goal. Gene will explore the “coordinated set of services” school districts are required to develop to facilitate students’ transition to post-school life. You’ll glean insights into systemic changes that promote the effective use of ongoing transition assessment, tools for career exploration, and use of a self-directed IEP to help students to communicate their plans for achieving their postsecondary dreams.

Rising to the Dyslexia Challenge: Implications of RTI, Legislation, and OSERS Guidance
I14
Denise Gibbs Denise Gibbs
Director, Alabama Scottish Rite Foundation Learning Centers, Birmingham, Ala.

In recent years, students have begun receiving intensive interventions through general education multitiered systems of support and RTI. What’s more, over 30 states have implemented dyslexia laws and regulations, Congress has adopted the READ Act, and OSERS has issued a dyslexia guidance document. Each of these developments impacts special education services for students with specific learning disabilities. Reading expert Denise Gibbs will address the impact of these factors on the IEP considerations your staff makes. You’ll also learn best practices to improve outcomes for students with dyslexia and ways to avoid due process entanglements in serving this student population.

Legal Considerations in Responding to Student Threats of Self-Harm and Suicide
B7
Betsey Helfrich, Esq. Betsey Helfrich, Esq.
Mickes O’Toole LLC, St. Louis, Mo.
Sarah Schmanke, Esq. Sarah Schmanke, Esq.
Mickes O’Toole LLC, St. Louis, Mo.

Join school attorneys Betsey Helfrich and Sarah Schmanke as they cover best practices and legal strategies for responding to student threats of self-harm and suicide, including crucial information regarding the duty to warn. They will review districts’ child find obligations, procedures for change of placement of special education students, and steps for ensuring the provision of FAPE. You’ll learn the risks of banning students from school until cleared by a mental health expert, key considerations when determining whether to contract out for mental health services, and proactive steps to take to minimize liability related to student suicide and mental health.

Student Data Privacy Issues in Special Education
T6
David Hodgins, Esq. Teri E. Engler, Esq.
Engler Callaway Baasten & Sraga LLC, Oak Brook, Ill.

Continually evolving advances in technology have significantly changed the landscape of public education. What’s more, special educators increasingly use a wide array of online and cloud-based tools and forums to expand, customize, and improve service delivery and to store information about children with disabilities. Using computer hardware and software, mobile apps, and web- and cloud-based tools to provide FAPE can spark a number of student privacy, confidentiality, and security issues. Attorney Teri Engler will provide a legal overview of current requirements for ensuring student data privacy and security — including those related to FERPA, the Children’s Internet Protection Act, and the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. Teri also will offer practical information on how student data privacy laws apply to technologies commonly used for evaluating, serving and storing information about students with disabilities. Additionally, she will identify the elements of sound school district policies and procedures to help you ensure special education student data privacy.
9:15 - 9:45 a.m. Refreshment Break
9:45 - 11 a.m.

Section 504 and Activities: When Your Cheer Tryout Makes CNN
S3
Karen A. Haase, Esq. Karen A. Haase, Esq.
KSB School Law, PC, Lincoln, Neb.

The equality of access required by Section 504 entitles students with disabilities to receive educational opportunities equal to nondisabled students. This includes enrichment activities such as field trips, extracurricular activities such as sports and school plays, and co-curricular activities such as marching band and Future Business Leaders of America meetings. School attorney Karen Haase will review the law and cases in this area, including a very practical discussion of the facts of some of her cases ranging from swim meet modifications to cheerleading tryouts. Karen also will cover an emerging area of the law: the applicability of Section 504 to students with gender identity considerations and its impact on the national discussions.

Working With Chronically Ill Students
S4
Linda J. Silver Linda J. Silver
Educational Consultant, Former District Section 504/ADA Specialist, Broward County Schools
Cynthia P. Vines Cynthia P. Vines
District Section 504 Program Specialist, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, N.C.

Students diagnosed with chronic illnesses often juggle their medical treatment and school requirements. Absences from the school setting for treatment impact their social, emotional and academic growth. School staff may not understand the effect a medical condition has on a student and may not be aware of appropriate accommodations, interventions, or the hospital/homebound options that may be available. Cynthia Vines and Linda Silver will explore the major factors chronically ill students face and offer Section 504 and IEP teams strategies for services and supports. You’ll leave with a deeper understanding as well as practical tips on how to collaborate with health care providers, the student and the student’s family.

Resolving Difficult Special Education Disputes and Getting Agreements Down on Paper
A2
David Hodgins, Esq. Jose Martín, Esq.
Richards Lindsay & Martín LLP, Austin, Texas

Most special education disputes are resolved by agreement, but it can be difficult to both get past some key areas of disagreement and reduce the terms to writing in a manner that truly resolves the matter while not creating more arguments. Drawing from his personal experience in resolving hundreds of cases in private settlement and mediation, attorney Jose Martín will explore a variety of practical ideas for resolving particular problem terms. You’ll see examples of effective language that can be used to prevent post-settlement problems in areas such as IEEs, placement, reimbursements, discipline, aide assistance, release and waiver issues, and attorney’s fees, among others. Plus, you’ll take away proven strategies to apply when resolving your next difficult dispute.

ESSA: A Legal Update on What You Need to Know
A3
David Hodgins, Esq. Art Cernosia, Esq.
Education Consultant, Office of Art Cernosia, Williston, Vt.

With the full implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act set for the 2017-18 school year and in light of the Trump administration’s impact on federal education policy, it is important to learn the latest ESSA regulatory and administrative updates. Art Cernosia will review the implications of the ESSA updates for special education including the impact on the role of the IEP team and state and local administrative responsibilities.

Tips for Demonstrating FAPE
I10
David Hodgins, Esq. Julie J. Weatherly, Esq.
Resolutions in Special Education Inc., Mobile, Ala.

Because IDEA lacks specific guidance with respect to demonstrating whether a student has been afforded FAPE, schools must look to the courts to find the factors or evidence considered in making FAPE determinations. Attorney Julie Weatherly will share practical tips, based upon a review of extensive court authority, including the Supreme Court’s decision in Rowley, that are designed to assist educators in demonstrating that FAPE has been provided to a particular student with a disability.

The Growing Concern Regarding School Resource Officers
B4
Joseph Ryan, Ph.D. Joseph Ryan, Ph.D.
Stanzione Distinguished Professor, Clemson University College of Education, S.C.

School resource officers increasingly are used to manage student disciplinary issues, sometimes to disastrous effect. Recent cases receiving national media attention include one in Kentucky, where an SRO allegedly handcuffed two elementary students above the elbows for noncompliance, and another in South Carolina, where an SRO allegedly assaulted a high schooler for refusing to give up her cellphone. Moreover, legal cases brought by parents and advocacy groups claim SROs have traumatized and injured students. Behavior expert Dr. Joe Ryan will address several critical staff training issues concerning SROs, including the appropriate roles and responsibilities of SROs, top concerns regarding problematic practices, and helpful policy review measures. He also will provide recommendations and best practices for your future use of SROs.

Providing FAPE in Virtual and Blended Public School Settings
T7
Tracy Broccolino Tracy Broccolino
National Director of Special Education, Connections Education LLC, Baltimore, Md.
Victoria Sulerzyski Victoria Sulerzyski
Director of School Legal Affairs, Connections Education LLC, Baltimore, Md.

Virtual and blended schools have never been more mainstream, attracting a diverse group of K-12 learners with complex needs across more than 30 states. Gain practical and legal perspectives from veterans in the field of online learning on staying compliant with federal and state special education laws in such settings. You’ll also learn how special ed instruction and related services are delivered in virtual and blended learning environments, as well as how virtual schools can and must meet accessibility and privacy standards. This is a must-attend session whether you communicate with virtual school staff, are working to create your own in-district virtual school, or simply must stay abreast of legal issues that emerge in this challenging and ever-changing learning environment.
11:15 - 12:30 p.m.

Section 504 Requirements, Common Implementation Pitfalls, and Helpful Tips and Guidance to Ensure Compliance
S5
Jennifer Castillo, Esq. Jennifer Castillo, Esq.
Brustein & Manasevit, Washington, D.C.
Jennifer Segal, Esq. Jennifer Segal, Esq.
Brustein & Manasevit, Washington, D.C.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a civil rights legislation designed to prevent any form of discrimination based on disability. Two education law attorneys will provide an overview of Section 504 requirements, common implementation pitfalls, and helpful tips and guidance to ensure compliance. You’ll get guidance on hot topics, such as when a 504 plan must be in place versus when a medical intervention plan is sufficient; whether service animals can be a required accommodation; whether it is ever the school’s responsibility to provide medical devices, such as wheelchairs and corrective lenses; and whether there is ever a limit on the amount of funding a school must spend to provide a necessary accommodation.

Spending IDEA Funds: What You Need To Know
A4
Tiffany Winters Kesslar, Esq. Tiffany Winters Kesslar, Esq.
Brustein & Manasevit, Washington, D.C.

IDEA has many procedural and programmatic requirements, but it also includes numerous requirements about how its federal dollars must be spent. When a state or school district receives IDEA funds, it must ensure all costs follow the Uniform Grants Guidance as adopted under the Education Department General Administrative Regulations. Attorney Tiffany Winters Kesslar will explore the issues you can’t afford to overlook: Do you know how to prove costs are allowable, necessary, reasonable and allocable? Are you meeting your maintenance of effort requirement or your maintenance of state financial support? Are you meeting excess costs? Gain a full understanding of these rules so you can avoid significant audit findings and repayment of funds.

Developing Legally Compliant IEPs
I11
David Hodgins, Esq. Anahid Hoonanian, Esq.
Senior Counsel, Lozano Smith, Los Angeles, Calif.

The IEP is the roadmap that defines the course of special education for each child with a disability. Attorney Anahid Hoonanian will review the procedural and substantive requirements for developing legally compliant IEPs, including required team members, planning for the meeting, key components of the IEP, and practice tips for personnel attending IEP meetings. You’ll also learn about IEP meeting planning and get timesaving strategies for developing a solid IEP.

FERPA and Educational Records
I12
Brandon K. Wright, Esq. Brandon K. Wright, Esq.
Miller, Tracy, Braun, Funk & Miller Ltd., Monticello, Ill.

Student records are subject to complex and confusing laws. School districts can get into trouble for releasing student information, or for not releasing it, depending on the circumstances. Attorney Brandon Wright reviews what school districts can, should, and must do to comply with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, as well as the confidentiality provisions of the IDEA. You’ll get his guidance on the scope of parents’ right to review records, when records can be disclosed without parent consent, what to do when parents refuse to consent, how to handle challenges to the content of student records, and much more.

Effective Transition Planning to Support College and Career Readiness
I13
Gene Bamesberger Gene Bamesberger
Associate Director of Special Education, Denver Public Schools, Colo.

What keeps students with disabilities from graduating at the rate of their peers? Gene Bamesberger’s hypothesis: limited opportunity to access courses that engage their interest and natural aptitudes, curricula either well above or well below their skill level, and “business as usual” transition planning that provides little guidance for how to translate a dream into a step-by-step action plan toward an achievable goal. Gene will explore the “coordinated set of services” school districts are required to develop to facilitate students’ transition to post-school life. You’ll glean insights into systemic changes that promote the effective use of ongoing transition assessment, tools for career exploration, and use of a self-directed IEP to help students to communicate their plans for achieving their postsecondary dreams.

Rising to the Dyslexia Challenge: Implications of RTI, Legislation, and OSERS Guidance
I14
Denise Gibbs Denise Gibbs
Director, Alabama Scottish Rite Foundation Learning Centers, Birmingham, Ala.

In recent years, students have begun receiving intensive interventions through general education multitiered systems of support and RTI. What’s more, over 30 states have implemented dyslexia laws and regulations, Congress has adopted the READ Act, and OSERS has issued a dyslexia guidance document. Each of these developments impacts special education services for students with specific learning disabilities. Reading expert Denise Gibbs will address the impact of these factors on the IEP considerations your staff makes. You’ll also learn best practices to improve outcomes for students with dyslexia and ways to avoid due process entanglements in serving this student population.

Reducing Due Process Cases Through Better Data Collection
T8
Dawn Netzel Dawn Netzel
Supervisor Pupil-Special Services, Edison Township Public Schools, N.J.
Christopher Rigdon  Christopher Rigdon
Director of Special Education Programs, Katy Independent School District, Texas
Patricia Wright Patricia Wright
VP, Professional Services, Rethink, New York, N.Y.
   

Districts rack up significant legal fees every year on due process hearings. These hearings also require administrators to prepare for countless hours, as losing a case can cost upwards of $60,000 or more per year on out-of-district placements. In this session, pupil services leaders will explain how better data collection and thoughtful use of technology can help you improve professional development, heighten student progress and achievement, and lead to greater parent satisfaction. You’ll hear ideas to help you save money on attorney’s fees and other due process costs simply by better capturing, recording and monitoring IEP data throughout the year. You’ll also learn best practices to monitor student progress, assess IEP goals and objectives, and adjust instruction for lack of progress. You’ll leave with concrete ideas for strengthening teacher-parent communications and reducing the likelihood of due process complaints.
12:30 - 1:45 p.m. Lunch on your own
1:45 - 5 p.m.

Preparing for Challenging and Litigious IEP Meetings
Post 1
Larry Brunson Larry Brunson
Executive Director/Founder, Brunson Educational Consulting Group, Corona, Calif.

Conducting a contentious IEP meeting is tricky even for the most skilled administrator. Consultant and Special Education Director Larry Brunson will walk you through steps to take before, during and after the meeting to diffuse challenging situations and ensure positive student outcomes. You’ll learn the importance of developing a precise action plan before you head into the meeting, and get tips on how to establish roles and responsibilities at the meeting that will allow you to stay a step ahead of potential issues before they emerge. Plus, you’ll discover effective follow-up strategies to maintain positive relationships with parents. Leave with take-home templates and practical tips to keep your district’s IEP meetings on track.

The Special Education Director’s Guide to Appropriate Use of Social Media
Post 2
David Hodgins, Esq. Karen A. Haase, Esq.
KSB School Law, PC, Lincoln, Neb.

The explosion of social media has revolutionized the way students and adults interact with one another, creating huge issues for pupil services staff who struggle to understand the practical and legal implications of their daily communications. The immediateness of social media also has led to legal firestorms that engulf school districts. Attorney Karen Haase will lead you through an experience-based approach for handling these major issues including those related to FERPA, Section 504 and bullying. Through vivid, real-life and recent case illustrations, you’ll also learn the legal issues that can and do arise when school staff communicates with students, colleagues and community members via social media.
 
 
National Institute Other Education Conferences