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Back-to-School Tips for Parents and Students
Between the social-media-fueled pressure, college admissions madness
and bullying, schools today can be a minefield. We collected some
education-themed Op-Eds to help guide families as they settle into the new
what? A Familiar Fear When Disabled Children Turn 26
The murder-suicide of a respected educator and his son serves as a
rallying cry to some about the stresses that begin when special education
Bullying: The Complete Resource Guide
A list of the best resources on cyberbullying prevention including
guidance for victims.
to Help Heal Mental Disorders With Nutrition
These Nutrients Can Re-Energize Your Brain and Shun Depression,
Anxiety and More. There's a dark side to SSRIs and other drug-based mental
health treatments. These breaking revelations about the brain show that good
mental health demands only 6 or 7 nutrients, not 100, and it's not rocket
science. How could this help you or someone you love today?
Target in the House Health Bill: Special Education
While House Republicans lined up votes Wednesday to repeal the Affordable
Care Act, Vickie Glenn, a Medicaid coordinator for Tri-County Special
Education, an Illinois cooperative that helps more than 20 school districts
deliver special education services to students, was worried about an issue
that few in Congress were discussing: how the new American Health Care Act,
with its deep cuts to Medicaid, would affect her students.
How to Build Resilient Kids, Even After a Loss
Federal School Compliance Plan Will 'Negatively Impact' Disabled Students
Michigan Lt. Gov. Brian Calley says a federal compliance plan from
the Michigan Department of Education would not "meaningfully account" for
students with disabilities and needs additional work before the U.S.
Department of Education signs off on it. MDE's plan to comply with the
federal Every Student Succeeds Act includes an option for a system that
would hold schools accountable for the performance of student subgroups -
such as economically disadvantaged students or students with disabilities -
if there's 30 or more students in each group.
With Special Needs Put Talents to Work at Soul Studio
Here 60 artists paint, work with fiber and clay, sew, make music,
take photographs and use technology to reveal hidden
talents. Each of them has special needs, but all are welcome at Soul
Royals Talk About Mental Health and Their Own Struggles
Together: #OkToSay Films to Encourage Conversation
Around Mental Health
Calculator Shows How A Top College Can Be More Affordable Than You Thought
I'll start with a quick question. How much would you say it costs to
attend a top private college like Dartmouth or Pomona for one year?
I'm guessing that the first number that pops into your mind is quite
large, like $60,000.
Parenting Styles Shape Our Children
Everybody is familiar with the concept of helicopter parents,
so-called because they hover around their toddlers. But what happens when
kids get a little older and helping them develop gets more complicated than
simply to hover or not to hover?
Religious Schools Discriminate Against Students With Disabilities?
Michigan Supreme Court looks at decisions at Catholic school.
as a Small Boy. Now
When the fidgety, anxious, 5-year-old boy came in about a year ago to
see pediatrician Tina Hahn, it was soon apparent to her this was a case
medication alone would not solve.
The Amazing Moment When A Deaf Person Hears For The First Time (AOL
New Legislation Would Allow
Fingerprints/Photos of Kids w/Special Health Care
Michigan Representative Ben Frederick (R-Owosso) has introduced
Michigan House Bill 4137 to make it easier to find and identify children
with special health care needs who become missing.
Get the Same Haircut so Teacher 'Wouldn't be Able
to Tell Them Apart.'
A mom named Lydia Stith Rosebush posted a story on Facebook about her
5-year-old son, Jax, who wanted to get the same haircut as his best friend,
Reddy, to fool their teacher.
Resolution No. 31
A resolution to declare March 1, 2017 as “Spread The Word To End The
Word Day” in the state of Michigan.
Access Initiative: Access to Courts
Wonder, the Goldendoodle, Gets Another Day in Court
US Supreme Court orders review of Michigan service dog case
The U.S. Supreme Court today unanimously ruled that the U.S. 6th Circuit
Court of Appeals should reconsider whether Ehlena Fry and her family can sue
a Jackson County school district for its decision years ago to tell Ehlena,
who has cerebral palsy, that she couldn’t bring her service dog to school.
Webinar - Equity in IDEA:
Significant Disproportionality Final Rule
A new US Department of Education rule addresses the fact that students of
color are more likely to be identified with a disability, be educated in
segregated settings, and to face harsher discipline.
The webinar is on March 2, 2017 from 3-4 EST. A recording of the
webinar and presentation materials will be posted after the webinar at the
new SICC/SAP website.
Michigan's Lt. Gov. Brian Calley Has a Message for Parents
Calley recorded this video on the spur of the moment and posted it on
Facebook as the school year started, encouraging parents to talk to their
children about making friends with the kids who often get left out.
Part C of IDEA: Call For Comments
The Michigan Department of Education requests public comment on the
state's proposed application for federal funding for Michigan's Part C of
IDEA (Early On) program. This is a document submitted every year to assure
the federal government that there are policies and procedures in place to
support the use of the funds and also shows how the money is being
allocated. A link to the draft application and public comment instructions
is online at
www.michigan.gov/earlyon. Public comment can
be made from Feb. 27 through 5 PM on Mar. 29, 2017.
SAVE THE DATE: 2017 Early On Conference: Nov 15-16, 2017 in
Beyond Suspension or Expulsion, ‘Restorative Practices’ is More Thoughtful
Bill Sower is president of the Ann Arbor-based Christopher & Virginia
Sower Center for Successful Schools, a for-profit licensee of the non-profit
International Institute for Restorative Practices. Beginning August 1, a
package of new state laws will change the landscape of student disciplinary
action in Michigan. Depending on how these laws are implemented in schools,
they may either improve or damage the learning climate. The laws require
schools to consider certain circumstances like a student’s age and
disciplinary history before issuing suspensions or expulsions. In addition,
the laws require schools to consider an approach called “restorative
practices” (RP) as a disciplinary alternative for serious offenses, and they
encourage schools to consider RP for lesser offenses, including bullying.
While some school administrators will interpret the word “consider” as just
a brief, passing thought – opening themselves to challenges from parents and
advocacy groups to show evidence of good faith in their considerations –
others will want to embrace the opportunity to improve their school’s
culture and climate with a solid implementation of RP.
Senate Bill 63 Introduced to Allow Lead in Water to Remain at 10ppb
Michigan Senators Jim Ananich (D-Flint) and Curtis Hertel (D-East
Lansing) today introduced Senate Bill 63 to establish an allowable level of
lead in drinking water at 10 ppb and to allow it to remain at 10 ppb (parts
per billion) until January 21, 2021, after which it would drop to 5 ppb. In
2016 the CDC lowered the acceptable level of lead in drinking water from 10
ppb to 5 ppb stating: "Experts now use a reference level of 5 micrograms per
deciliter to identify children with blood lead levels that are much higher
than most children's levels. This new level is based on the U.S. population
of children ages 1-5 years who are in the highest 2.5% of children when
tested for lead in their blood." The CDC also notes: "No safe blood lead
level in children has been identified." You can read the bill language here:
Doodle Honors Ed Roberts, Activist Leader of the Disability Rights Movement
Today’s Google Doodle pays tribute to Ed Roberts, an early leader of
the disability rights movement and co-founder of the World Institute on
Disability. After contracting Polio at age 14, the
disease left Roberts paralyzed from the neck down. In spite of spending the
rest of his life in a wheel chair and unable to breath without a respirator,
Roberts fought for his rights – starting in high school when he was told he
wouldn’t receive his diploma because he had failed to complete phys-ed and
driver’s ed requirements. Roberts petitioned his
school and was awarded his diploma. He went on to be the first University of
California Berkley student with severe disabilities.
The Google Doodle Blog on Roberts shared the following quote from
Roberts’ mother, Zona: “I watched Ed as he grew
from a sports-loving kid, through bleak days of hopelessness, into
self-acceptance of his physical limitations as he learned what was possible
for him to accomplish. His years at UCB were great ones as he both enjoyed
his college status and got in touch with his leadership qualities. He took
great pleasure in watching people with disabilities achieve greater
acceptance.” Among his accomplishments as a
disabilities rights actives, Roberts created the Physically Disabled
Students Program at his University. California Governor Jerry Brown named
him Director of the California Department of Vocational Rehabilitation in
1976. Seven years later, Roberts co-founded the World Institute on
Disability – a nonprofit focused on disability rights policies, research and
consulting. Marking what would have been Roberts’
78th birthday, the doodle leads to a search for “Ed Roberts activist” and is
being displayed on Google’s U.S. homepage.
Where are the Top-ranked Schools in Michigan?
If you wanted to map the top-ranked schools in Michigan, you'd find a
heavy concentration of dots in one area of the state. To
find out what color your school received, and what it means, go to
click on "dashboards and accountability scorecard," then
"accountability scorecard" near the top of the screen.
D Deficiency During Pregnancy Raises Your Child’s Risk for Autism
There has been a dramatic and concerning increase in the rates of
autism spectrum disorder (ASD) over the last 30 years and experts believe
the rates will continue to increase. When I was in medical school more than
35 years ago, the incidence of autism was 1 in 10,000. According to a 2013
report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the
CDC, data collected from the 2007 and 2011–2012
National Survey of Children's Health suggested 1 in 50 children between the
ages of 6 and 17 had ASD. In April, 2016, the CDC reported an ASD rate of 1
in 68. However, that rate is only based on 8-year-olds in 11 states
(Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey, North
Carolina, South Carolina, Utah and Wisconsin). Despite that limitation, the
1 in 68 prevalence is the one listed on the CDC's Autism Data and Statistics
website, and the one most frequently reported in the news. Meanwhile, a
government survey issued in 2015 claims the ASD rate may be as high as 1 in
45 children between the ages of 3 and 17.
to Read Good
News For a
Change? Click here for
inspiring and uplifting stories.
Gov. Rick Snyder Announced Appointments to the
Following (MIRS 12/27/16)
Developmental Disabilities Council: Mark McWILLIAMS of Lansing is the
director of public policy and media relations for Michigan Protection and
Advocacy Service, Inc. Sharon MILBERGER of Farmington Hills is the director
of Developmental Disabilities Institute through Wayne State University. Paul
PALMER of Lansing is a member of the board of directors for the Community
Mental Health Authority of Clinton, Eaton, and Ingham Counties. Deborah ROCK
of Pewamo is a regional parent mentor at The Arc of Kent County. She
previously served as a teacher paraprofessional at Portland High School.
Tammy YEOMANS of Grand Rapids served as a job retention specialist and case
aide for the Work First Program at Goodwill Industries of Greater Grand
Rapids. Heidi DEVRIES of Grand Rapids served as a personal care attendant
for the Family Independence Agency and as a home health aide and companion
for the Circle of Care in Grand Rapids. Steven JOHNSON of West Olive
previously worked as a financial advisor from Chemical Bank. He is the
president and founder of OASIS Communities of West Michigan, LLC. Richard
KLINE of Grand Rapids serves as the acting director of the Aging and Adult
Services Agency for the state of Michigan, and previously served in the role
of executive director of the Beztak Corporation. Lisa GROST of DeWitt serves
as the Autism Section Manager for the Michigan Department of Health and
Human Services. Janet TIMBS of Mount Morris serves as a special education
consultant for the Michigan Department of Education. She holds a bachelor's
degree and elementary teaching certificate from Central Michigan University,
and both a master's degree and educational specialist degree from Saginaw
Valley State University. Lois ARNOLD of Mt. Pleasant is the president and
CEO of the Special Olympics Michigan through Central Michigan University.
David TAYLOR of Ferndale is a peer mentor and advocate at Community Living
Services of Oakland County. He will represent individuals with a
developmental disability. Roslynn WILLIAMS of Saginaw is a member of the
parent group Saginaw Community Mental Health Authority-Saginaw Max System of
Care. Matt BOLGER of Lansing is an inspector and senior executive assistant
director in the human resources division of the Michigan State Police.
Denise SIMMONS of Oak Park is a unit leader for Blue Cross Blue Shield of
Michigan. She previously served as a support coordinator from Quality Senior
Services. McWilliams, Milberger, Palmer, Rock and Yeomans will serve terms
expiring Sept. 30, 2017. DeVries, Johnson, Kline and Grost will serve terms
expiring Sept. 30, 2018. Timbs, Arnold, Taylor and Williams will serve terms
expiring Sept. 30, 2019. Bolger and Simmons will serve terms ending Sept.
Restraint, Seclusion Bills Move To MI Senate
Floor (MIRS 12-13-16)
With just under three days of session left in the 98th Michigan
Legislature, the Senate Education Committee on Tuesday afternoon moved out a
legislative priority of Lt. Gov. Brian CALLEY. The legislation includes 10
bills that make it illegal to use restraint and seclusion in controlling
problematic students, except in cases of emergency. The package includes HB
5409, HB 5410, HB 5411, HB 5412, HB 5413, HB 5414, HB 5415, HB 5416, HB 5417
and HB 5418, and puts into statute the recommendations of a year-long task
force. Calley said the genesis of the three years of work he put into the
bills was an incident in Kalamazoo that occurred 10 years ago. A student
with a developmental disability was put into restraints as a means to
control the child's behavior. That child later died of suffocation. (See
"What Did Calley Call 'Probably The Most Important Legislation You Will
Consider?' 04/14/2016). "There was, at that time,
a recognition that better behavior management was necessary,” Calley told
the Senate panel. In response, the Lieutenant Governor went on a listening
tour. What he found was that "in too many cases, was the use of seclusion
rooms for special education students in non-emergency situations." Under the
bill, schools would need to let parents know when their child is put in a
restraint or seclusion room. The package also requires these instances be
reported. "It brings it [school policies] more in line with what is found in
our health care settings,” Calley said. "There are more restrictions on
restraint in our prisons than there are in our schools." In
addition to limiting the use of restraint and seclusion, the package of
legislation also calls for "positive behavior intervention supports," or
what Calley describes as establishing clear behavior expectations.
"It's the idea of teaching behaviors," he said. In
March, Sen. Hoon-Yung HOPGOOD (D-Taylor) introduced parallel legislation in
the Senate, [ ] SB 0838, that is also designed to limit seclusion and
restraint in schools. It has been referred to the Senate Education
Committee, where it has not yet been discussed.
"This legislation is designed to provide a safe environment that promotes
dignity for all students, and I'm appreciative that my colleagues on the
Senate Education Committee chose to act on these important bills," Hopgood
said. According to an analysis of the
2011-12 U.S. Department of Education's Civil Rights data conducted by
ProPublica and National Public Radio, restraint and seclusion were used --
and documented -- more than 267,000 times nationwide. In three-quarters of
those cases, children with disabilities were involved.
Senate Passes Zero Tolerance School Discipline
Package (MIRS 12-13-16)
School districts that suspend students for longer than 11 days would
have to prove the child was a danger to others under legislation that moved
out the Senate today. The package moves schools away from their "zero
tolerance" policies on school violence. Rep. Andy SCHOR (D-Lansing) worked
with the Governor's office to sponsor the main bill based on a personal
story. His young son was suspended for two days for bringing a tiny Swiss
Army knife to class to sharpen his pencils. The class's pencil sharpener was
broken. Senate Judiciary Chair Rick JONES (R-Grand
Ledge) successfully added the change today as part of a compromise between
school groups and judges regarding when rebuttable presumption should come
into play. "Other children have been thrown out for a butter knife in a
lunch box," Jones said. "This brings common sense to our zero-tolerance
policies." The seven-bill package passed
unanimously in the Senate after coming out of committee in May and passing
the House in early June (See "House Package Tackles Zero Tolerance In
Schools," 05/12/2016). The lead bill in the package, HB 5618 sponsored by
Schor, would require school officials, before suspending or expelling a
student, to consider a number of situation-specific factors, including
whether a lesser intervention or restorative practices would address the
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