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Virtual Agenda

All times listed are eastern time. 

Wednesday, September 29

8:00 am

20 Tips for Increasing Positive Outcomes at IEP Meetings: Lessons Learned from IEP Facilitators
Participants will learn specific strategies that can implemented at IEP meetings to increase positive relationships with parents, increase transparency, and avoid complaints, repeated meetings, and due process requests. Attendees will leave with ideas to share with other case conference committee members to promote a more positive meeting environment.
Angela McKinney, Indiana IEP Resource Center

9:00 AM

Speeding Up SpEd Paperwork with Google
Attendees will have an understanding of how using Google Forms and Sheets can make doing paperwork faster while keeping it accurate.
Kara Guiff, Guiff Goodies for Education

10:00 AM

Effectively Providing Virtual Professional Development
This session covers methods and strategies used to ensure professional development is effective, provides high levels of engagement, and is an efficient use of time for both presenters and participants.
Daniel McNulty, PATINS Project
Marcee Wilburn, Indiana IEP Resource Center

11:00 AM

Thinking Differently About IEPs & Present Levels New Research Informs Evolving Best Practices
In this session you will learn: What new insights this study uncovered about the relationship between present levels quality and student achievement in reading and math. Which specific characteristics of present levels statements articulate a clearer connection to goal development and instructional planning. How the actionable findings of the study are being used to inform practice, resources, and professional learning. What best practice rubrics for present levels emerged from this research study. How and in what ways a systems-approach has supported the transformation of special educator practice. All participants in this session will receive a copy of the research report and the present levels rubric that emerged from this research project.
Vinnie Ray, Goalbook

12:45 PM

Virtual Networking Lunch

2:00 PM

IDEA Sp Ed Committee Report: Update on Post Pandemic Services & IDEA Reauthorization Recommendations
This presentation will cover trends in the outcomes of the special education complaint investigation reports and explore areas in which the IDOE issued corrective action to school districts.
Jessica Billingsley, Church Church Hittle + Antrim

3:00 PM

Assessing Educational Interpreters 
This session will include discussion and “decision trees” to use when hiring and evaluating ASL interpreters for the classroom. Attendees will more clearly understand the skill level of current and potential interpreters.
Rebecca Buchan, LUNA Language Services

Thursday, September 30

8:00 AM

My Kid Did What? Preparing for and Conducting MD Reviews
Presenters will provide the perspectives of both Director of Special Education and school attorney on the topic of manifestation determination reviews, including when one must be held, whom should be invited, how to prepare for the MDR, what to do if the parent submits new information, making the determination, and defending it at hearing.
Karen Glasser-Sharp, Lewis & Kappes, P.C.
Jennifer Scott, Franklin Community Schools

8:45 AM


Rodney Walker is an American author, entrepreneur, and inspirational speaker. He is the bestselling author of A New Day One, and is most known for his work in trauma-informed education. His award-winning keynote The Power of Resilience: From 12 Foster Homes to Harvard University, has received acclamation by school districts across the nation. A Chicago native, he has a Bachelors degree from Morehouse College and graduate degrees from Harvard and Yale University.

Given the obstacles placed before him as a foster child, Rodney struggled academically and socially in school. In his early years of elementary school, he was diagnosed with autism, placed in special education, repeated the fourth grade due to poor academic performance, and finished his freshman of high school with a sub-1.5 GPA. After joining a youth mentoring program in his senior year of high school, Rodney was able to deal with life struggles that had restrained him. During this period, he also joined the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), a youth entrepreneurship program for high school students. With the support and guidance of NFTE and committed mentors, Rodney competed and won various business plan competitions. It was here that Rodney became motivated and inspired to start his first business.

He is the founder of Forever Life Productions, a company that creates custom videos for special occasions and events. Along with his production company, Rodney travels both nationally and internationally, speaking at public schools, corporations, and conferences about the importance of trauma-informed education, entrepreneurship education, mentoring at-risk youth, and corporate philanthropy for non-profit organizations aimed to uplift and support at-risk youth. He has been a speaker at TEDxYale, served as a keynote speaker in Monaco, France for Ernst &Young, and has delivered a Keynote at the White House on the importance of financial literacy for urban youth. Portions of his story have appeared on PBS’s American Graduate Day, in the national education documentary Ten9Eight: Shoot for the Moon, and in It’s Your World: Get Informed, Get Inspired and Get Going by Chelsea Clinton.

In an effort to address the epidemic of violence and social failure among at-risk youth in Chicago, Walker partnered with former U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to create a comprehensive employment pipeline program for disconnected youth across the city. Since earning his Masters in Education from Harvard University, he has continued his career as a nationally-renowned youth speaker, thought leader, social-emotional learning expert, and ambassador for change. He delivers various SEL education programs, professional development, inspirational keynotes, and student workshops.

10:45 AM

IDOE Complaint Trends
This presentation will cover trends in the outcomes of the special education complaint investigation reports and explore areas in which the IDOE issued corrective action to school districts.
Amy Matthews, Church Church Hittle + Antrim
Chandler Lawson Flynn, Church Church Hittle + Antrim
ABA: Issues and Strategies for Collaboration
During this presentation, the distinction will be made between schools and ABA programs, national concerns about ABA, and considerations when bringing ABA centers/providers into your school/district.
Cathy Pratt, Indiana Resource Center for Autism

12:45 PM

Writing Defensible IEPs and Ensuring Meaningful Parental Participation
Attendees will received legal updates concerning the development of legal defensible IEPs that ensure meaningful parental input.
Monica Conrad, Lewis Kappes

2:00 PM

LRE Considerations for Students who are DHH
This presentation is timely as the Office of Special Education, IEPRC and other IRNs have focused more on LRE for all students with disabilities. School teams can use documents and resources shared in this session to ensure IEPs follow law and best-practice as it relates to LRE for students who are deaf and hard of hearing. Participants will be provided practical tips to assess students' access to various school environments.
Sarah Kiefer, Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Education
Legal & Public Policy Trends
This session will cover various legal and public policy trends relevant to special education administrators.
Seamus Boyce, KGR Law, LLP
Allyson Breeden, Siemer Stayman Weitzel & Shoulders, LLP

3:00 PM

Advocating & Addressing AT in the IEP
This session will bring together a fluid and easy way to be successful in documenting the intended use of the AT that is being addressed indirectly in the IEP, ensuring teams are well informed and directly address the use of AT which Article 7 requires. Increasing awareness of the AT documentation on the provision page is extremely important for the team so that students can be successful and independent while using the tools that are now being addressed in statewide assessments on the accommodations page.
Dr. Kelly Grillo, Lewis Cass School Corporation
Special Education Law, Policy, & Advocacy: Hot Topics
Participants will increase awareness about why special education legal and policy literacy is empowering and identify hot topics in special education law and policy including but not limited to: litigation resulting from pandemic and federal-level policy proposals, CARES Act & American Rescue Plan (ARP) funding, Indiana’s special education teacher shortage, etc. Participants will gain specific, practical ideas how they can individually increase their advocacy efforts at the local, state, or federal levels.
Janet Decker, Indiana University
Derek Nord, Ph.D., Indiana Institute on Disability and Community, Indiana University
John Andresen, MSEd, Ph.D. Candidate, Indiana Institute on Disability and Community, Indiana University
Mental Health in Indiana: Issues & Strategies
This session will highlight the status of mental health issues in Indiana and nationally, and describe the activities of the Indiana School Mental Health Initiative. Bring Change to Mind will be described as well as the process for becoming involved. Finally, data highlighting the voices of students and the impact of the Bring Change to Mind clubs will be explained.
Cathy Pratt, Indiana Resource Center for Autism
Dr. Teresa Grossi, Indiana Institute on Disability and Community

Friday, October 1

8:00 AM

Virtual Networking Breakfast

9:30 AM

Live Stream
ICASE News & Celebrations

10:45 AM

Live Stream
IDOE Presentation

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