Response to Intervention – Easy to Read Guidance
Response to Intervention (RTI) is designed to provide high quality, research-based instruction/intervention matched to a child’s needs, by using the child’s own learning rate over time and level of performance as the basis for educational decisions about that student. Such instruction begins in the regular education classroom and moves through a three-tiered model towards increasing intensity and focus of instruction. Committees on Special Education (CSE) must now consider RTI data when determining a child’s need for special education services. You can find a guide to understanding RTI here.
In a related story, the NYSED has released a memo regarding school districts’ responsibility to use Response to Intervention (RTI) as part of the process to determine if a student in grades K-4 has a learning disability (LD) in reading. The memo can be found here.
Think Global, Eat Local!
This September, the Northeastern Organic Farmers Association of NY will host the 3rd Annual NY Locavore Challenge
. The Locavore Challenge is a unique month-long campaign to engage all New Yorkers in supporting their local organic food movement. The Challenge helps consumers participate in various events and activities that promote the local economy, while encouraging organic and sustainable growing practices. New this year is the 30 Challenges in 30 Days
calendar with daily recipes, tips and events.
Free registration runs until August 30 - click here to register.
To Frack, or Not to Frack…
The fate of hydrofracking in NYS is still up in the air, but Governor Cuomo’s decision is expected by the end of August. The latest proposal is to limit hydrofracking to several counties in the Southern Tier where the Marcellus Shale is deeper. Drilling would be banned in Catskill Park, aquifers and nationally designated historic districts. Also unclear is how conflicts will be resolved if the state allows hydrofracking in areas where local municipalities have voted to ban it. Meanwhile, hydrofracking opponents plan to gather in Albany on August 27 to take a “Pledge to Resist Fracking in New York State.” Click here for a concise, objective update on the hydrofracking controversy.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is providing detailed information regarding the Supreme Court Ruling on Health Care. To check it out, click here
The federal government has developed a number of websites related to support available for military families. Click here for details.
In 1997, the Partnership for a Walkable America organized the first Walk to School Day in the USA as a one-day event to build awareness of the need for walkable communities. By 2000, it became the International Walk to School Day, and in 2012 a Bike to School Day was also held. This year International Walk to School Day is October 3rd. Click here for more information and to register your event.
Special Education UpdatesSpecial Education at Risk?
With special education mandate relief a hot topic in New York, discussion continues about bringing New York’s Special Education regulations more into line with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and federal regulations (which tend to be weaker) as a way to provide relief to NY school districts. Already we have seen changes in service delivery as well as programs. It is very important to be informed about the differences between NY and federal regulations and how any changes may impact students with disabilities. A memo detailing the differences can be found here.
According to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, federal funding for students with disabilities could face “devastating” cuts next year, with a reduction of as much as $900 million. Because of Congress’ failure to reach a budget deal last year, education programs may be subject to an across-the-board spending cut of about eight percent, and federal special education spending would fall to 14.5 percent, the lowest rate since 2001. These cuts will begin in the fall of 2013 unless Congress acts soon. Additional information can be found here.
Back to School Hint
Back to school time can be hectic and stressful for parents and students, especially those with disabilities. Click here for a helpful link from the National Center for Learning Disabilities for parents and educators.