IDEA Planning and Implementation
Even before the 2004 reauthorization of IDEA, data were being collected from schools and districts, on an annual basis, relative to providing special education students a free and appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment with scientifically-based strategies and interventions. With IDEA 2004, and its connections to the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA/ESSA), the following are important additional considerations—creating:
- An articulated multi-tiered continuum of services from general to compensatory to special education in both academic and social, emotional, and behavioral areas, and from prevention to strategic intervention to intensive need/wrap-around services.
- Positive behavioral support systems that result in positive school and classroom climates and high levels of school safety; students with effective interpersonal, problem-solving, and conflict resolution skills; and staff with the skills to complete functional assessments and implement strategic and intensive interventions for students with pivotal social-emotional/behavioral needs.
- Equity, whereby identifiable groups of students (especially minorities) are not disproportionately found to be eligible for specific areas of disability and/or do not disproportionately receive excessive levels of discipline (i.e., corporal punishment, suspension, expulsion, alternative learning environment placements).
- Functional assessment, Data-based Problem Solving, and strategic or intensive intervention, in academic or social-emotional/behavioral areas, when students do not respond to effective classroom instruction or effective classroom management, respectively (i.e., “Response-to-Instruction and Intervention”—RtI2).
- School-based or School-linked mental health services.
Project ACHIEVE has been active in all of these areas, working with schools and districts to help them enhance effective and successful services to all students—but, especially, students with disabilities at mild through extreme levels of need.
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IDEA Planning and Implementation Services:
- Organizational analyses and needs assessments relative to special education outcomes (especially relative to the federal Special Education "Triggers" and State Performance Plan expectations
- Organizational analyses and strategic planning relative to integrating general and special education services and addressing ESEA and IDEA provisions
- Due process protection services, as well as due process consultation and hearing services
- Functional behavioral assessment, strategic behavioral interventions, and the creation of School-wide positive behavioral support systems
- The SPRINT (Pre-referral Intervention/Child Study Team) Data-based Problem-Solving Process
- Development and implementation of (SPRINT) Early Intervention, Student Support, and Child Study teams
- Response-to-Intervention service-delivery development, implementation, and consultation
- Curriculum-Based Assessment (CBA/CBM), other functional academic assessment, and strategic Instructional Consultation intervention strategies and approaches
- Regular and Special Education inclusion, integration, and effective instruction procedures, strategies, and approaches
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Project ACHIEVE Experience in this Area:
Project ACHIEVE components have been implemented thousands of schools or districts across the country—focusing especially on IDEA compliance and effective special education processes. For thirteen years, Project ACHIEVE was a major anchor to the Arkansas' Department of Education's OSEP-funded State Personnel Development Grant (SPDG)--which guided the implementation of Positive Behavioral Support Systems and student literacy and math interventions to schools in Improvement status and students with disabilities across the state.
Project ACHIEVE has also received almost $10 million more (beyond the Arkansas SPDG) in external Federal and State grants since 1990, including six from the U. S. Department of Education's Office of Special Education, and four from other departments within the U. S. Department of Education. Project ACHIEVE also has been successfully written into numerous Safe School/Safe Student, Elementary and Secondary Counseling, and other federal grants received across the country.
In addition, Project ACHIEVE has worked with a number of state education departments over the years (e.g., Alaska, Kansas, Florida) relative to the integration of general education and special education services, along with many large and urban school districts (e.g., Washington, DC, Baltimore, Tampa, San Franscisco, New York City, Monterey County), and countless small and rural school systems. Project ACHIEVE presentations and keynotes have been delivered, for many years, at many notable national and state meetings--including those sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education- where IDEA-related strategies and issues are the main topics of discussion.