Wrightslaw

The Special Ed Advocate Newsletter
October 19, 2004


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ISSN: 1538-3202

In this Issue


1. Child with 504 Plan is Failing, School Won't Help

2. Who is Eligible for Section 504 Protections?

3. Wrightslaw Programs in VA, OK, FL, NJ, OH, NY

4. Answers to Your Questions

5. Advocacy 101: Gatekeepers & Why Schools Say "No!"

6. IDEA Reauthorization News

7. Free Prof Development Courses for Teachers

8. Free Tutoring

9. Subscription & Contact Info 

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At Wrightslaw, our goals are to help you gain the information and skills you need navigate the amazing, confusing world of special education.

Highlights: Child with 504 plan is failing, school won't help; who is eligible for protections under Section 504 (not IDEA); Wrightslaw programs in VA, OK, FL, NJ, OH, NY; answers to your frequently asked questions; advocacy 101 - gatekeepers & why schools say "no"; IDEA reauthorization news; free professional development courses for teachers; free tutors for kids. Download this issue of The Special Ed Advocate.

Quote of the Week: " "If you think education is expensive, try ignorance." -- Benjamin Franklin

Wrightslaw is ranked #1 in education law, special education law, and special education advocacy. (2003 Alexa rankings)


1. Question of the Week: Child with 504 Plan Is Failing, School Won't Help

"My daughter has a 504 plan. On the last progress report, she received two F's. When I asked that she receive more help, the principal said she has to fail before the principal can request testing. The school team said they don't know why we want an IEP -- there is nothing we can't get with her 504 plan."

"Bottom Line: The school won't evaluate her and won't consider an IEP. What can we do?"

What are the differences between 504 Plans and IEPs? What strategies can parents use to get a better program? Do children have to fail before schools can evaluate? How do deal with gatekeepers?

For answers to these questions and a Wrightslaw Game Plan to get better services while maintaining a healthy working relationship with the school, read Child with 504 Plan Is Failing, School Won't Evaluate or Consider an IEP.


2. Who is Eligible for Protections Under Section 504?

Who may be protected under Section 504, but not under IDEA? A student with AIDS? A student with ADD? A student with chronic asthma?

What do you think? Get the answers to these questions, and learn about differences between IDEA and Section 504, in Who is Eligible for Protections Under Section 504, but Not Under IDEA?

Learn more
about Section 504


3. Coming Soon! Wrightslaw Programs in VA, OK, FL, NJ, OH, NY


"What a marvelous conference! I often leave sped presentations angry and/or guilty because of all the things that were done or not done. This time I left encouraged, inspired and armed!"

November 12-13, 2004: Virginia Beach, VA

December 4, 2004: Oklahoma City, OK (FREE to Oklahoma parents & educational caregivers!)

January 21-22, 2005: Orlando, FL

February 18-19, 2005: Cherry Hill, NJ

February 23-24, 2005: Cincinnati, OH

March 4-5, 2005: Long Island, NY

Wrightslaw special education law & advocacy programs focus on four areas: special education laws; tests & measurements to measure progress & regression; SMART IEPs; and advocacy tactics & strategies. Participants receive two books, Wrightslaw: Special Education Law and Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy, with their registration (Value: $59.90).

"The Wrightslaw Special Education Law Seminar in Michigan was a tremendously rewarding experience and will forever change our practice." - Bryan I. Eder, Esq., Chudnof & Eder, PLC

Don't procrastinate - register today! These programs are often "sold out" ahead of time.

If you are interested in bringing a Wrightslaw program to your community, please read FAQs about Seminars. (We are now scheduling programs for 2006.)


4. Answers to Your Frequently Asked Questions

We get thousands of questions from readers - some questions come up again and again. Read our answers to your questions about accommodations & modifications, behavior problems, discipline, damages, confidentiality, measuring progress, mediation, due process, reading, parent-school relations, high-stakes tests, retention, No Child Left Behind, and other hot topics.

FAQs: Answers to Your Questions


5. Advocacy 101: Gatekeepers & Why Schools Say No!

When you advocate for your child, you are likely to meet gatekeepers. A gatekeeper may tell you that your child is not entitled to:

* An evaluation
* Any change in the IEP
* More services or different services

Sound familiar? Read Gatekeepers: Their Job is to Say No

To learn why schools develop one-size-fits-all (OSFA) programs - and resist requests to provide educational services that meet a child's unique needs - read 10 Reasons Why Schools Say No!

More articles and advocacy tips in Advocacy 101. Doing Your Homework articles.


6. IDEA Reauthorization Update: House Appoints Conferees

On October 8, the Speaker of the House of Representatives appointed conferees for the IDEA Reauthorization Bill. The Senate appointed its conferees on September 21. (Read Negotiations on IDEA Reauthorization to Begin)

What next? It's hard to say. Learn about the House and Senate conference committee and our analysis.


7. Free Professional Development Courses for Teachers & Principals

No Child Left Behind requires all teachers to be "highly qualified" by 2005. The U.S. Department of Education unveiled a new teacher-to-teacher professional development website with online courses about research-based practices and methods that have been successfully used in classrooms.

The current crop of Teacher-to-Teacher courses focus on English, Language Arts, Math, and Science. Here is a partial listing of courses:

* Looking at Vocabulary
* Reading in Content Areas: It's Just Different
* Beginning to Write
* Patterns to Symbols: Algebra
* Using Technology to Enhance Algebra Instruction
* NCLB Basics for Teachers & Principals

If you are a teacher, you may get in-service or continuing education credits by taking free courses on this site. Learn more

Find out what No Child Left Behind says about:

* Scientifically Based Reading Instruction
* Proficiency Testing in Reading, Math, Science
* Free Tutoring, Summer School, After-School Programs
* Transfers from Failing Schools and School Choice
* New Qualifications for Teachers and Paraprofessionals
* Bonus Pay, Stipends, Scholarships for Teachers and Principals
* Teacher Liability Protection

Bonus! Wrightslaw: No Child Left Behind (ISBN: 1-892320-12-6) includes the No Child Left Behind CD-ROM with the full text of the NCLB statute with commentary, regulations, guidance publications, resources, and fact sheets.


8. Free Tutors for Kids

Under the No Child Left Behind Act, low-income children in public schools “in need of improvement” can receive free tutoring (also called supplemental educational services (SES)).

Learn about supplemental educational services - how to find out if your child is eligible, how to find a tutor, questions to ask, and more at Tutors for Kids. Supplemental Educational Services by State (lists of providers & provider applications)


9. Subscription & Contact Info

The Special Ed Advocate is a free online newsletter about special education legal and advocacy issues, cases, and tactics and strategies. Subscribers receive "alerts" about new cases, events, and special offers on Wrightslaw books.

Law Library Seminars & Training
Advocacy Yellow Pages for Kids
No Child Left Behind Free Newsletter
IDEA Reauthorization Newsletter Archives

Contact Info

Pete and Pam Wright
Wrightslaw & The Special Ed Advocate
P. O. Box 1008
Deltaville, VA 23043
Website: http://www.wrightslaw.com
Email: newsletter@wrightslaw.com


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