The Special Ed Advocate Newsletter
December 3, 2001

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Issue: 144
ISSN: 1538-3202

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Best School Websites


Highlights: This special issue features the winners of the "Best School Site Contest"; new articles and checklists about IEPs on FetaWeb.com; download free chapter about SMART IEPs.

Subscribers on December 3, 2001: 33,758

1. Best School Site Contest

On October 1, we sent out an announcement about our "Best School Site Contest."

We advised subscribers that we are building a new site called FetaWeb.com as a companion site to our new book, From Emotions to Advocacy - The Special Education Survival Guide. We decided to develop a directory of Best School Sites for FetaWeb and asked for your help.

To qualify as a "Best School Site," the site must help parents and others advocate for children with disabilities by providing sample forms, worksheets, and useful information about special education. Sample forms may include:

* Eligibility Determination Forms
* IEPs
* Functional Behavioral Assessments
* Behavior Intervention Plans

Many people sent links to their favorite school district sites. Others sent links to their favorite Parent Advisory Committee (PAC) and Parent Teacher Association (PTA) sites.

We visited these sites and logged in your votes. Then we asked our Research Director to explore the sites and make independent recommendations.

She suggested that we give awards in three categories:

* Best School District Sites
* Best PAC Site
* Best PTA Site

We received messages from many people whose school districts do not have web sites. If you want your school district to build a site that is a good source of information, you can use these sites as your models.

Make your pitch - and offer to help!

For years, we used the free software Notepad and Netscape Composer to build the Wrightslaw site. Less than a year ago, we realized that we needed to upgrade to a more efficient software program. If we can build a site with free software, so can you!

2. Best School District Sites

#1 Cooperative Education Service Agency Number 7, Green Bay, Wisconsin


Several people recommended this Wisconsin site. When we visited the site, we understood why they were so enthusiastic about this site, maintained by the staff of Cooperative Education Agency Number 7.

The site has information for parents at:


Special Education in Plain Language - http://www.cesa7.k12.wi.us/sped/Parents/plainlanguageindex.htm

Results of Parent Satisfaction Survey - http://www.cesa7.k12.wi.us/sped/Parents/parentsatinstr.htm

You can read memoranda from the special ed director to his staff on topics like IEPs, assessment, and discipline - http://www.cesa7.k12.wi.us/sped/issuesandmemos.htm

The site includes the forms used by the district.

IEP Forms - http://www.cesa7.k12.wi.us/sped/IEPforms.htm

Functional Behavior Assessment - http://www.cesa7.k12.wi.us/sped/1999spedforms/fba.pdf

Behavior Intervention Plan - http://www.cesa7.k12.wi.us/sped/1999spedforms/FBAplan.pdf

Sitemap - http://www.cesa7.k12.wi.us/sped/sitemap.htm

The IEP checklists are great! When we contacted Nissan Bar-Lev, special education director, he gave us permission to use several articles and checklists about IEPs on FetaWeb site

When you visit these pages on Feta site, you will find links to the original CESA documents at the end of each page (see # 5 below).

#2 Sevier County, Tennessee

This site has hundreds of informational links for parents, teachers, activities, lesson development links, and caseload support. The site includes a comprehensive list of local, state, and federal forms.


The site has information for parents - http://www.slc.sevier.org/parents.htm

Webmaster Jeff Romanczuk has organized information by topic, from ADHD and accommodations to Section 504 and vision impairments.


When you request a copy of your child's records, it is useful to have a list of the forms used by your school district. This site has a list of forms about IEPs, Section 504, discipline, assessment, etc.


#3. Mahway Township Public Schools, NJ

http://www.mahwah.k12.nj.us/ (scroll down and click "Child Study Team" to get special ed info)

This site is more difficult to navigate but has good sample letters that you can tailor to your circumstances:

* To Request an Evaluation
* To Request an IEP Meeting
* To Request an Independent Educational Evaluation
* To Discuss Problems; Communication Breakdown
* To Give Positive Feedback

And "Questions Parents Should Ask" About:
* Your Child's Disability & Eligibility
* Your Child's IEP
* Your Child's Placement
* The IEP Notebook

3. Best PAC Site: Concord MA Special Education: Parent Advisory Committee (SPED PAC)


Fantastic site for parents! The Mission Statement captures the essence of this site:

* We can help you become an effective advocate for your child.
* You don't have to do this alone.


Webmaster Melody Orfei has organized information in logical categories:


* Signs of trouble
* Why evaluate
* Type of evaluations, types of testing
* List of evaluators and tutors recommended by other sped parents
* Letters to request a school evaluation; independent evaluation


* Questions to Ask Private Evaluator



* IEP Meeting Checklist
* Measurable IEP goals
* Extended school year
* Behavior Management Plan
* 504 Plans


* Parent Toolkit


* Recommended Articles


* FAQs


Scroll down to find recommendations for professional help:
* Evaluators, therapists, doctors
* Tutors, educational consultants
* Advocates, attorneys

* Local support groups
* Mass. organizations
* Mass. PAC site: http://www.masspac.org/

4. Best PTA Site: Mountain Road Elementary GA PTA

This PTA site includes links to special events; disability organizations; resources; assessment accommodations; behavior plans and assessments; advocacy information; conferences; interesting facts.


5. New Articles on FETAWEB - IEPs, Checklists, Articles, More

We have been working hard on the FetaWeb site. This link will take you to new articles and checklists for "The Parent as Expert."

Does your child's IEP team use terms like weak, difficulty, unmotivated, limited, defiant, irresponsible and uncooperative? Read "How to Make Annual Goals Measurable: Examples and Tips."

Print several copies of this article and send to the members of your child's IEP team. Be polite and gracious!

More New Articles

The File - Do It Right!

Sample Document List as a pdf file

How to Write Measurable IEP Goals

Writing Transition Statements in the IEP

New IEP Checklists

Present Levels of Performance Checklist

Annual Goals Checklist

Short term Objectives Checklist

IEP Meeting Checklist

Our thanks the staff of Cooperative Educational Service Agency #7 (CESA) for permission to make these documents available to the parents and teachers who visit our sites.

6. Free Download: SMART IEPs Chapter

Download the chapter about SMART IEPs .

Learn more about From Emotions to Advocacy.

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