REPRESENTING CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL EDUCATION NEEDS THROUGHOUT CALIFORNIA AND NEVADA​

California District Adopts Tablets for Special Education

California’s Mountain View Whisman School District has deployed 80 tablets to its special education classrooms. The Silicon Valley-based district, serving approximately 5,000 students, decided to adopt SpEd K12’s Android-based SmartEdPad, a tablet designed specifically for special ed classes. “We have stories of school districts that haven’t achieved measurable benefits by rushing to buy tablet devices,” said Cynthia Loleng-Perez, director of special education at MVWSD, in a prepared statement. “We knew from the beginning buying a few tablets and loading it with a few dozen apps

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Supreme Court Rules Special Education Litigation Costs are Public

The California Supreme Court has opened the door for public disclosure of school district costs in ongoing lawsuits where the school districts, cities or other public agencies refuse to reveal the bills before litigation is complete. In Orange County and other jurisdictions, governmental agencies have frequently refused to disclose the costs of ongoing litigation, claiming these legal bills are exempt from disclosure under the California Public Records Act. According to the Voice of Orange County, this court decision removes a ploy used by the Orange

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Positive behavior workshop scheduled

The Desert/Mountain Special Education Local Plan Area will be hosting a positive behavior workshop for parents, psychologists, counselors, administrators and providers starting February 12, 2014 in Victorville, CA. For more information, please visit the Desert/Mountain SELPA website at: http://dmselpa.org/event.php?event_id=164

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Significant gaps between the graduation rate

A new report from the US Department of Education shows significant gaps between the graduation rate for all students and the graduation rate for special education students in Alabama. U.S. Department of Education data shows that for 2011-2012, the state had overall graduation rate of 75 percent, while special education students had a graduation rate of 54 percent – a 21 point achievement gap. The report found big gaps overall throughout the country. Special education cover a wide range of students, from children with learning

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School district settles teacher abuse case for $2.75 Million

The Orange Unified School District has reportedly agreed to pay a $2.75-million settlement to the families of six special education children who were allegedly abused by a teacher at Taft Elementary School in Orange, according to lawyers for the families. Among other things, teacher Daniel Ryan Lentini, allegedly threw a ball in the face of a girl with autism, stood on the back of another child with spinal deformities and dragged a student with a leg brace around the classroom. State and Federal laws guarantee

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California school district agrees to federal government monitoring of special education program due to alleged civil rights violations

The San Ramon Valley Unified School District has agreed to the monitoring of it’s special education program for the next two years by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR), reports the Contra Costa Times. San Ramon Valley USD was the subject of two disability-based discrimination claims by two sets of parents between 2012 and 2013. One student complained to the OCR after his special needs class was routinely excluded from school field trips. A prior allegation accused San Ramon Valley USD

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Schools for special needs students focus on vocational training

In a recent Daily Breeze article, Rob Kuzinia reported on the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) having increased their focus on vocational training for special needs students. He shared the story of Claudia, an obese teenager with developmental disabilities who had a habit of acting out at her school by dropping to the floor and refusing to move for hours. However, when her school started a nail salon where the students perform manicures for each other as well as paying customers, her behaviors have

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Special education teacher’s Facebook post calls autistic child a ‘hot mess’ and parents ‘crazy’

A special-education teacher in the Torrance Unified School District was taken from the classroom after parents discovered her Facebook post saying she was about to enter a meeting with “crazy parents” to discuss an autistic student whom the teacher describes as a “hot mess.” The teacher, Suzanne Hutton, said she was looking forward to ”hitting happy hour” after work. According to a recent article in the San Jose Mercury News, Hutton led a class of seven elementary school children with autism. The school district moved

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