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Virginia Special Education

VDOE l Regulations l Parent Training & Information l Legislative Advocacy l Fact Sheets l News l IDEA Money Watch - VA

Legislative Advocacy Alert: Action Alert! Tell Virginia to Adopt Safeguards to Protect Children in School (September 2014)

02/11/14: HB 764 Speech-language pathologists, assistant; need for licensure. Provides for the regulation of assistant speech-language pathologists. The bill permits a person to practice as an assistant speech-language pathologist upon satisfying all educational, training, and registration requirements prescribed in regulations promulgated by the Board of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology.

Virginia's Guidelines for Educating Students with Specific Learning Disabilities. The guidelines (October 2013) are available online at Virginia Department of Education.

Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC). Every school division is required to have a SEAC. The major purpose of SEACs is to provide an opportunity for parents and other school board appointees to have a voice in the way school divisions provide services to students with disabilities. The responsibility for training and technical assistance was transferred from the Partnership for People with Disabilities at VCU to the Virginia Department of Education.

08/27/12 Protest Virginia AMOs. (Annual Measurable Objectives). Citizens of Virginia are encouraged to join the protest against new annual benchmarks announced by the Virginia Dept. of Education on July 24, 2012.

Youth Leadership Forum 2012. The Virginia Board for People with Disabilities invites applications from rising high school juniors or seniors with disabilities for the 2012 YLF. Students, parents, and teachers agree that the one week leadership training program, held in Richmond from July 23-27 at Virginia Commonwealth University, is a life-changing experience…and with expenses paid for the 25 students chosen as delegates, you should encourage a student to apply today! Deadline March 30! Video!

01/24/12 Pending VA Legislation
HB 400 School boards, local; policies permitting parents to observe children. Full text
HB 325 Teacher Licensure; Paraprofessional training (behavioral training for teachers and aides working with students with autism). Full text
SB 419 / HB 718 Bills imposing adult consequences on youth.

12/14/11 VA DOE Parent Involvement Survey
All parents of youth who receive special education services in VA's schools are encouraged to complete the annual Parent Involvement Survey. English and Spanish versions are available; paper versions are available if online access is not available. To learn more, visit https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/ParentInvolvementSurvey2011 or contact Gloria Dalton (VA DOE) at 804-371-7420.

11/28/11 Educate Every Child Report Released
The JustChildren program at Legal Aid Justice Center in Charlottesville, VA has released a study that argues more school districts should adopt the state-approved, individualized discipline philosophy called Effective Schoolwide Discipline.

11/18/10 Homebound Instructional Services
First Review of a Report on Homebound Instructional Services in Response to HB 257 Passed by the 2010 General Assembly. VBOE has just released a report on homebound instruction (for students on homebound due to physical or mental illness, or disciplinary reasons). The report discusses home-based instruction for students with IEPs and 504 plans, but it is not clear whether the surveys distinguishes between students placed for medical reasons, and students placed by their IEP teams (usually for disciplinary reasons).

The board accepted the report for first review and authorized 30 days of public comment on the findings of the review. Final action will be requested at the January meeting.

10/04/10 Public Comment: Autism Spectrum Disorders Report
In June 2009, the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC) published House Document No. 8, “Assessment of Services for Virginians with Autism Spectrum Disorders,” in response to the General Assembly’s directive.  The JLARC study contained 21 recommendations to improve services in Virginia.

A public comment period is now in place until 5pm October 15, 2010 for review of the DRAFT “Response to the JLARC Report: Assessment of Services for Virginians with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Please respond by email to:
Cindy Gwinn
Community Resource Manager - Autism Spectrum Disorder Specialist
Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services
Phone (804)371-2887

Update: February 8, 2010. Action Alert! Please contact your Virginia Senators TODAY! and ask them to vote NO on the bill. This week, the Virginia Senate will again consider SB 689, which would severely limit the ability of people with disabilities to access the court system through the Virginia Protection & Advocacy system. Here's what you can do.

Update: January 28, 2010. The Virginia Senate has temporarily delayed action on this bill. Updates will follow as we receive information about the status of SB 689.

Action Alert! Wednesday, January 27, 2010. Contact Your VA State Senator TODAY on Senate Bill 689. Here's how.

This bill threatens our right to have an independent Virginia Office on Protection and Advocacy that can file lawsuits under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and other federal disability rights laws. More information about the Bill.

Virginia Department of Education

New! Virginia Family Special Education Connection provides a one-stop-shop for parents, families and caregivers of children with special needs.

Special Education and Student Services

Special Education Laws, Regulations, and Policies

Contact Information

Directory of Local Special Education Directors

State Special Education Advisory Committee

Guidelines for Managing Student Behaviors In Emergency Situations in Virginia Public Schools Focusing on Physical Restraint and Seclusion (Revised Sept 2009).

Report on Seclusion and Restraint Policies in VA Public Schools (April 2009). ODR/AS contacted each Virginia public school division to determine whether local school divisions had adopted local policies or procedures implementing VDOE’s guidance document on physical restraint and seclusion.  As a part of this inquiry, VDOE was asked to ascertain the rationale of the school divisions that had not adopted such policies.

Physical Restraint and Seclusion in Virginia’s Public Schools. Supplemental Report (July 2009), Special Education and Student Services, Office of Dispute Resolution & Administrative Services. 81 LEAs (61.4%) in VA provide training on the use of restraint and seclusion and 51 LEAs (38.6%) do not. The report contains lists of those school divisions that provide training and those that do not.

Special Education Regulations

Final Special Education Regulations became effective July 7, 2009. (8VAC20-81)

History of the Revision Process for VA Special Education Regulations, April 28, 2008 - July 7, 2009.

IEPs and Instructional Services

Your Family's Special Education Rights: VA Procedural Safeguards Notice (Revised August 2009)

Parent Training and Information

Parent Resource Guide. Celebrating Special Children. Guide for Families of Children with Special Needs in the Commonweath of Virginia. Quarterly Newsletters.

New! Parents Guide to Special Education (Revised 2010)

Information for Parents and Students

Parent Resource Centers in Local School Divisions

Virginia Parent Educational Advocacy Training Center (statewide)
100 N. Washington St., Suite 234
Falls Church, VA 22046
800-869-6782 in VA
Fax: 800-693-3514
Web: http://www.peatc.org

PELE Initiative, Special Education Advocacy Clinic at William and Mary Law School. The clinic is designed to assist children with special needs, and their families, with Individualized Education Program (IEP) eligibility or meetings, discipline matters, mediation, and administrative hearings.

Law students offer their services to families at no charge and conduct a free training class each semester to offer tools and information to parents. Families interested in learning more about assistance offered by the Special Education Advocacy Clinic may call (757)221-3780 or email pele@wm.edu for more information.

Training Sessions

New! Myth: ESY is just about regression and recoupment! Learn the basics, the VA Regulations, and Caselaw about ESY from Patty Roberts, Director, William and Mary's Law School Special Education Advocacy Clinic PELE.

Training Advocates to Step Up to Leadership Roles. Become a Partner in Policymaking. Do you want to be a more knowledgeable and effective advocate for your own or your child’s rights?  Join a statewide corps of Virginians active in public discussions of policies and practices affecting people with disabilities.

The application for the 2012-2013 PIP cycle will be available here in January 2012.

April 15, 2010, Thursday, 4:30-6:00 pm, Workshop for Families of Children with Special NeedsPELE Parent Education: William & Mary Law School. Free - all are welcome.

April 15, 2010, Thursday, 4:30-6:00 pm, PELE Parent Education: Mythbusters: Unraveling the Myths concerning Parental Roles in IEPs, SOLs, BIP, Placement, LRE, ESY, Resources. (Free)

March 18, 2010, Thursday, 6:00-8:00 pm, Hampton Roads Special Education Parent Support Group Meeting. Guest speaker is Judy Lambert of Autism Tutoring Services. (Free) Hampton Roads Special Education Parent Support Group.

November 3, 2009, Tuesday, 4:00-5:30 pm, PELE Parent Education (Fall Session): Keeping Your Child’s IEP on Track.”

Review these Training Sessions

Presented by the Special Education Advocacy Clinic (PELE) Students at the College of William & Mary School of Law.

video"Keeping Your Child's IEP on Track" Available as a PDF and as a Powerpoint file.

video"Maximizing the Sucess of Your Child's IEP" See the slide show

"Mythbusters: A Workshop for Families of Children with Special Needs" See the slide show and PDF Handouts.

February 26,2009, Thursday, 6:00-7:30 pm, PELE Parent Forum (Spring Session).March 24, 2009,Tuesday, 5:00-6:30 pm, PELE Educator Forum (Spring Session).

VA Special Education Fact Sheets and Reports

Assessment of Services For Virginians With Autism Spectrum Disorders. Report of the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission To the Governor and The General Assembly of Virginia, House Document No. 8 2009.

Specific Disability Information Developmental Delay
Why was the age of eligibility for the category, developmental delay, changed from ages 2 through 9, inclusive to 2 through 6, inclusive?

Intellectual Disability
Why was the disability category Mental Retardation changed to intellectual Disability?

Response to Intervention (RtI) Parent Notification

Secondary Transition - Plan Early for Best Results

Severe Disability
Why was “severe disability” deleted in the 2007 state special education regulations?

IDEA Money Watch for Virginia

Here’s where you’ll find information about the impact of sequestration on federal funding for the IDEA in Virginia. Frequently Asked Questions on sequestration, IDEA, and the impact on education funding.

Follow IDEA Money Watch for Virginia. Virginia will receive $281,415,033 in IDEA Part B Recovery Funds to improve services to its 151,651 school age students with disabilities. The Virginia DOE has provided its school districts with guidance on use of these funds.

IDEA Money Watch has state-by-state blogs that report on use of funds and provide information and resources. State IDEA Facts provides quick data look-up on special education students and IDEA funds going to each state.

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Virginia Special Education: In the News

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Last revised: 09/30/14
Created: 11/24/09

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