Wrightslaw Summer School or Back to School is a series of self-study activities that will help you prepare for the next school year.
The series usually runs for four to six weeks during the summer. In 2010 and 2018, we featured a Back to School series.
During these self-study short course series, you'll receive your reading and written assignments - and maybe even a quiz or two. When you complete the series, you'll get a certificate for a job well done!
2019: Transition - Planning for Your Child's Future
It's never too early to plan for your child's future. Transition planning should be done with your child, not for your child.
Hopefully, you have been working closely with your child’s IEP team through high school to ensure that the team established appropriate transition goals. You should have also measured and documented your child's progress toward these goals.
Summer School 2019: Transition you will take a close look at IDEA transition requirements, transition assessments, and transition planning to ensure that your child is prepared for further education, employment, and independent living. You'll find advice, transition checklists, and tips to help your child make a successful transition.
2018: Mistakes People Make
As the school year begins, it is a good time to reflect back on any frustrations, disappointments, and mistakes made last year!
It's a great time to think about avoiding unnecessary mistakes next year.
Caution! Common mistakes that are often made by -
Back to School 2018: Mistakes People Make Anxious about this school year? Remembering the frustrations, disappointments, and mistakes made in the past? Need help steering clear of disagreements with the school team? The stakes are high. Don't shoot yourself in the foot. Find out what you need to learn and what skills you need for effective advocacy and how to avoid common mistakes.
2017: Present Levels in the IEP. What's so Important?
How can you know where you’re going, if you don’t know where you started? Start here!
Present Levels of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance.
In this four part self-study series, Summer School 2017, you will learn:
Summer School 2017: Present Levels in the IEP. What's so Important? Learn the requirements for Present Levels in IEPs. Parents must learn how to design current and accurate Present Levels if you want good IEP goals! All goals need Present Levels. Find out why parent input is so important during this part of developing the IEP.
2016: Tape-Recording IEP Meetings, Transcribing Follow-Up Letters
There should be no conversation at an IEP meeting that cannot be repeated or taped. Learn how to put your recordings to good use!
If you are in Due Process, how can you "tell" the administrative law judge or hearing officer what happened in your IEP meeting?
Your tape-recordings and follow-up letters can “testify” for you.
In this four part self-study series, Summer School 2016, you will learn about:
Summer School 2016: Tape-Recording IEP Meetings, Transcribing Follow-Up Letters will provide a self-help study guide that will explain why, and how, to tape-record IEP meetings and provide tips for taping. You will learn the three levels of follow-up letters, how to transcribe tapes, and a step by step guide for writing follow-up letters that can testify for you.
2015: Self-Study Advocacy Plan for the New Parent
Until now, parents have been barred from effective advocacy by lack of information and isolation. The Internet is changing the status quo. Raising children is hard work. If you have a child with a disability, you’ll work harder and longer. We want to teach you to “work smarter.”
In this six part self-study series for Summer School 2015 you will learn:
Summer School 2015: Self-Study Advocacy Plan will provide a self-help study plan that good parent advocates need to have. You'll learn how to plan and prepare to be an effective advocate, and find out where to go to get the information you need.
2014: Parent Rights & Responsibilities in the IEP Process
As your child’s parent, you are a key member of the IEP team. You are not a spectator. You are an active participant.
IDEA gives you the power to make educational decisions for your child. Do not be afraid to use your power. Use it wisely. Don’t be afraid to take charge.
In this six part self-study series for Summer School 2014 you will learn to see your role in the IEP process as equally important as the educational professionals. You will learn:
In Summer School 2014: Parent Participation in IEPs learn the law and regulations about your parental role in the IEP process and how to add parent input at IEP meetings.
2013: So You Want to Be an Advocate?
Have you thought about becoming an advocate but don't know where to start?
In this four part series, Summer School 2013: So You Want to Be an Advocate?, you will:
2012: Organizing Your Child's File: Do It Right!
The special education system generates mountains of paper. After you organize the information about your child into a file, you will have a clearer understanding of your child's disability and needs. If you don’t have a file for your child, it is time to create one. If you have already started a file, it’s time to review and update the file.
Your goal this summer...
In Summer School 2012: Organizing Your Child's File, you will learn where to start, what supplies you will need, and how to develop your Master Provider List. Learn how to review your child's record and request copies of all necessary documents. Get tips for writing effective request letters. Find sample letters. Find out how to generate your Master Document List and locate a document in your child's file in seconds.
2011: Advocating Through Effective Letter Writing
If you have issues or concerns with the school, you must document these problems in writing. You will not resolve these problems by waving caselaw at school personnel or by writing letters that demand, blame, or complain.
You use letters to build relationships, identify and solve problems, clarify decisions that were made and not made, and motivate people to take action. You write letters to request information, request action, provide information or describe an event, decline a request, and express appreciation.
2010: Back to School Series
August and September can be two of the most trying months of the year. Families everywhere are planning for the return to school - trying to get back on track in old routines or create new ones.
For parents of children with special educational needs, back to school means the start of a new IEP advocacy year. To be an effective parent advocate, you must know the steps to take to ensure that your child receives an appropriate education.
In Back to School 2010, you'll find information and advice, advocate's tips and effective advocacy strategies, and legal resources to help you start the year off right. You will learn how the effective parent advocate stays focused, anticipates problems, and avoids mistakes.
2009: Summer School for Advocates
If you are the parent of a child with special educational needs, you need to develop and hone your advocacy skills. If you are a teacher or special ed service provider, you may want to fine-tune your advocacy skills on behalf of your students.
Whether you are a parent advocate, teacher advocate, or professional advocate, you need to become an expert on the child, the child's disability, understanding evaluations, understanding the laws, and knowing where to find experts when you need to consult one.
In Summer School for Advocates 2009, you'll find a refresher course in effective advocacy skills...gathering and organizing information, planning and preparing, documenting, problem solving. Review important caselaw, complete some practice questions, then test your knowledge with the special education law final exam.
2008: Summer School for Parents
How did it go at the IEP meetings this year? Were you able to maintain a positive parent-school relationship? Were stress levels too high?
It's time to relax, re-evaluate, and ratchet down that stress level by ramping up your advocacy skills.
You'll find a summer "to do" list that will encourage you to spend time with friends and family, re-charge your batteries, and brush up on your advocacy skills and technique..
In Summer School for Parents 2008, you've been reading, learning statistics to measure progress, completing written assignments, submitting answers to quizzes, improving your skills for becoming a more effective parent advocate.