The following post was contributed by Pam Bernards, Director of Professional Development at NCEA.
Today marks the 40th anniversary of the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA). This legislation provides opportunities for students in Catholic schools. Certainly, the idea of providing a faith-filled learning environment of high expectations designed to meet the learning needs of students is a standard to which all Catholic schools can aspire. The Individuals With Disabilities Education Act Guide + Toolkit is available through the NCEA online store to assist Catholic school principals in this regard. It provides information on the processes involved when working with local educational agencies to provide services to students with disabilities attending Catholic schools and provides an overview of IDEA, guidance and tools, and support materials.
Additionally, the U.S. Department of Education and Justice have released several resources that may be of assistance to Catholic school educators as they seek to implement various levels of programming to serve students with disabilities.
• IDEAs That Work: Preparing Children and Youth with Disabilities for Success website will connect teachers and families with resources to assist them in improving instruction and supporting the needs of students with disabilities.
• Supporting and Responding to Behavior: Evidence-Based Classroom Strategies for Teachers toolkit, summarizes evidence-based, positive, proactive, and responsive classroom behavior intervention and support strategies for teachers.
• Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) Implementation Blueprint and Self–Assessment, is designed to guide leadership teams in the assessment, development and execution of action plans designed to provide sustainable implementation of multi-tiered practices and systems of support.
Please take a few minutes to review these resources and share with other Catholic school educators who may be interested in serving Exceptional Learners within their Catholic school communities. May our Lord continue to bless the work each of you does in service to the students entrusted to your care!