ODE news:  Every Student Succeeds Act webinars and stakeholder meetings and comment period for revisions to learning standards ending

As part of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) is required to create a Student Success Plan.  The plan will describe how local, state and federal programs are aligned.  ODE is inviting school board members, district employees, teachers, parents and any other interested parties to attend one of ten stakeholder meetings to share ideas for the development of the Student Success Plan.   

The two-hour meetings will occur in September and October at easily accessible locations across the state.  All meetings will be held in the evening from 6:00 to 8:00 PM.  No registration is required.  A list of the dates and locations is available from ODE here

The link above also includes information about ODE’s planned series of webinars on a number of ESSA topics. The webinars began this week and are currently scheduled to occur once each week through the end of September.  ODE has listed additional topics for webinars that are not scheduled.  Among the available topics are state assessments, quality report card indicators, and highly qualified teacher status transition.  For each webinar, ODE will also produce a topic discussion guide.  The first topic guide, on minimum subgroup size for accountability purposes, has already been posted and is packed with information.  It’s available here.   

ODE also sent a reminder that the review and comment period for proposed revisions to Ohio’s learning standards in English language art and math is closing on Monday, August 1 at 5:00 pm.  If you’re interested in reviewing or commenting, the survey is available at this link.

USDOE news:  New guidance on homeless students and student with ADHD

Earlier this week, the US Department of Education released guidance on two topics—homeless children and students with ADHD.  The guidance document on homeless youth provides technical assistance on practices for helping homeless youth by implementing homeless education requirements at the state and local levels.  The guidance highlights changes under ESSA, including amendments to the McKinney-Vento Act (effective October 1).  In addition to the guidance document, the USDOE released a Dear Colleague letter on homeless students notice of rights and protections and a fact sheet.  

The USDOE Office of Civil Rights (OCR) issued a Dear Colleague letter “to clarify and provide guidance on the Federal obligations of school districts . . . to students with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).”  According to OCR, it has received more than 16,000 complaints alleging discrimination on the basis of disability in elementary and secondary education programs over the past five years.  More than ten percent of those complaints involved discrimination against a student with ADHD.  While resolving these complaints, OCR found that many educators are not familiar with ADHD or how it could affect a student’s equal access to a school district’s education program. OCR issued the guidance to:

  • Explain that schools must evaluate a student who needs or is believed to need special education or related services.
  • Discuss the obligation to provide services based on the student’s needs rather than generalizations about ADHD.
  • Clarify that students who experience behavioral challenges could have ADHD and may need an evaluation.
  • Remind schools of their obligation to provide parents and guardians with due process regarding the identification, evaluation or educational placement of students with ADHD. 

OCR has also prepared a Know Your Rights document for students with ADHD and their parents.  

Posted by Jennifer Hardin on 7/29/2016