CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO AUDIO VERSION OF THE ARTICLE. Your Child’s IEP Case Manager Plays A Vital Roll In Your Child’s Success. A side from their unique brilliance, a primary key to your child’s success may be their case manager. The goal of a case manager is to make sure that everything included in your child’s IEP is accomplished—but not without services and support that will help them exercise their full potential. Case managers are provided through a child’s school and they’re typically a special education teacher or someone who is involved in the IEP team. The essential role of the case manager is to make sure that everything in your child’s plan is carried out properly; this includes making sure that paperwork, evaluations and services are current and therefore meeting the goals of the overall IEP. In doing all of this, case managers are responsible for cooperating with teachers and parents to schedule meetings, gather information from teachers about the child’s progress, as well as putting together data and finalizing the IEP document so that it may be reviewed and used to advance into the next part of the plan. It’s important that parents stay in frequent contact with their child’s case manager in order to stay up to date with what’s going on at school. Allowing this kind of communication will make it easier to bounce ideas back and forth based on observations of strengths and weaknesses, ultimately allowing you and the IEP team to decide what could be the most successful route for your child. Reference: understood.org What is ESSA? The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) is the primary K–12 education law in the U.S. It was enacted in 2015, and it covers every public school in the country. The law will be in effect beginning in the 2017–2018 school year, and states are now planning for this change. ESSA replaces the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). ESSA’s stated goal is to “provide all children significant opportunity to receive a fair, equitable, and high-quality education, and to close educational achievement gaps.” Under ESSA, states will have more power to determine what education looks like in their schools, while still following a federal framework.Each state must develop an education plan to present to the U.S. Department of Education by either April or September, 2017. The plan must include a description of the following: • Academic standards • Annual testing • How schools will be held responsible for student achievement • Goals for academic achievement • Plans for supporting and improving struggling schools States and school districts must also develop report cards to inform the public about how their schools are doing in general, as well as how certain groups of students are faring. One of those groups is kids with disabilities, which includes many kids with learning and attention issues. States must write a separate plan focused on special education to meet the requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Source: ESSA Advocacy Toolkit by National Center for Learning Disabilities and Understood.org
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