Tag Archives: students with disabilities

Dr. Mary Morningstar: What Does it Take to be College and Career Ready? Improving Outcomes for Youth with Disabilities

Dr. Mary MorningstarDr. Mary Morningstar is the keynote speaker at the Transition pre-conference of the UMTSS* Connections Conference in Layton, Utah June 23 – a three day event of sessions on Leadership, Literacy and Numeracy, Behavior and Positive Behavior Supports, Transition to Career Pathways, Educating English Learners, Special Education, Effective Instruction, Tiered Intervention, Assessment and other topics.

Today’s Transition event will include many topics on preparing students for post secondary education, employment and independent living.

“Dr. Mary E. Morningstar is an associate professor in the Department of Special Education at the University of Kansas and Director of the Transition Coalition, which offers online transition professional development and resources for secondary special educators and practitioners. Her research agenda includes evaluating secondary teacher quality and professional development, culturally diverse family involvement in transition planning, and interagency collaboration. She is also examining the impact of inclusive secondary experiences for students with significant disabilities on postschool outcomes. Currently, she is developing a multi-dimensional model of adult life engagement for transition.” (http://specialedu.soe.ku.edu/mary-morningstar)

Watch the Transition Universe Facebook and Twitter feeds for updates on the conference.

*Utah Multi-Tiered Systems of Support

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Graduation Requirements Controversy for IEP Students

Will this help or harm students with disabilities?

A graduation conundrum for students with disabilities

….Louisiana — a hotbed of American education reform — seems about to give its IEP teams the power to decide what students with disabilities need to graduate from high school. …. Christina A. Samuels now covers special education for Education Week and has written an eye-opening account of the battle being waged over this move.

Supporters of the Louisiana measure, unanimously approved by both houses of the state legislature, say “it could improve the state’s dismal record of graduating students with disabilities in four years with a standard diploma,” Samuels reported. “In 2011-12, the most recent year for which statistics are available, the four-year graduation rate for those students was 33 percent, compared to 72 percent for the general student population.”

The education officials and legislators in Louisiana believe that giving IEP teams the power over graduation requirements will narrow those gaps and give students with disabilities a better chance to find employment. But many advocates for children with disabilities — in Louisiana and nationally — say this would unnecessarily and harmfully lower standards for students with disabilities. The Louisiana state school superintendent endorsed the bill only after its sponsors agreed that the IEP teams could decide graduation requirements only if the student failed the annual state exams that are required for graduation.

Read more here.

 

Canadian University Program Provides Opportunities for Students with Disabilities

Acadia University offers a program for students with disabilities to experience college in the University setting.  (Kings County News, March 19, 2014)

Axcess Acadia allows learning-disabled students to succeed at university by taking an audit program that is not available elsewhere in Nova Scotia.

According to Dr. Lynn Aylward, the program, which is in its second year, was inspired by similar programs in Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Dr. Cynthia Bruce of Kentville prepared an initial study validating the concept.

“We looked at their programs and thought we should definitely do that,” Aylward said. “It fit in all kinds of ways because it mixes the community together. That’s the way we live.”

Axcess Acadia students can graduate with a certificate of completion in arts, science, professional studies and interdisciplinary studies.

The program is designed for students who self-identify as having a disability – intellectual, developmental or learning – that would not meet the current admission criteria set by the university.

Read more here.

From Compliance to Results-Driven Accountability: Addressing the Graduation Rate Issue

Education Week has posted an article on the graduation rate issue with students with disabilities (January 29, 2014).   The article highlights the data behind the low rate (including the readjusted formula for calculating graduation rate), examines what states around the country are doing, and summarizes changes in federal law that will address the issue of students with disabilities not graduating with their cohorts….or at all.  At stake for state special education programs is federal funding if results criteria are not met.

The most recent U.S. Department of Education data, for 2011-12, shows a four-year graduation-rate gap that ranges from a high of 43 percentage points in Mississippi to a low of 3 percentage points in Montana.

By 2015, the Education Department aims to take a closer look at graduation-rate disparities when it evaluates states on their special education performance. And that eventually could affect what states can do with their federal aid for special education

….The graduation gaps reported for the 2011-12 school year are based on what’s known as the “4-year adjusted cohort graduation rate,” which is a standard metric the Education Department now requires states to calculate.

….Looking more closely at the performance of students with disabilities will be a different way of measuring success, Ms. [Melody] Musgrove [director of the federal office of special education programs] said. “What OSEP focuses on is what the states will focus on. That’s what gets better,” she said.

….State special education directors offered different explanations for what was behind their graduation gaps, whether they were wide or narrow.

Patrice Guilfoyle, the director of communications for the Mississippi Department of Education, said that the state’s new accountability system in its No Child Left Behind Act waiver application will help it focus more on graduation rates for students with disabilities.

Read the entire article here.

Smiling With Hope Bakery: Real Life Skills with a Smile

Students in a Newark, Ohio High School are all smiles when it comes to making pizza. Smiling With Hope Bakery is operated by students with disabilities in a non-traditional way.

When it comes to pizzerias, the Smiling with Hope Bakery is not what you might call traditional.

Smiling with Hope is in a school, which means locked doors and specific hours.

There’s no direct phone line, no advertising, and customers have to order in advance.

There’s only one size option for pizzas, 18 inches, and two topping choices: cheese or pepperoni.

Still, the pizza is good, and people are starting to notice. This winter, Smiling with Hope Bakery — run by special-needs students at Newark High School — will be featured on Serious Eats, a cluster of websites dedicated to celebrating food.

Walter Gloshinski, Special Education Teacher, musician, and founder of Smiling With Hope, created this video as a thank you to the community for supporting the program:

….[Walter] Gloshinski has a caseload of six students at Newark High School, and they spend most of the day working in the bakery. There are another 10 that stop by just for a class period — Gloshinski’s students go elsewhere during that time for academic training — but to Gloshinski, the important factor is his students are learning while they bake. They’re not just rolling dough and shuttling pans in and out of ovens; they’re learning how to measure, shop, take inventory, follow directions for deliveries and work on a team, even with people they may not like.

Those are all necessary skills for the real world, Gloshinski said, and they are skills that will help his students land jobs later in life.

Read more about Smiling With Hope Bakery here.

See the Smiling With Hope Bakery website with menu here.