Jan 13, 2015

Educator Training Marks Second Phase of Act 833 Implementation

BATON ROUGE, La. – The Louisiana Department of Education today announced a new phase in the implementation of Act 833, cementing a partnership with the LSU-Human Development Center (LSU-HDC) in New Orleans to provide districts support in the writing of Individualized Education Plans (IEP) for students with special needs. 
The partnership continues the state’s comprehensive Act 833 implementation plan. After months of dialogue with parents, experts, and practitioners, the Department will focus not just on creating appropriate policy but also on effective practice in schools.

“After speaking with parents and educators for months about getting policies right, it is time to focus at the school level,” said State Superintendent John White. “This partnership with local experts will provide districts with specific guidance on how to effectively execute these responsibilities in the development and execution of IEPs for students.”

More than 100,000 IEP Team meetings are conducted each year in Louisiana by educators and families. These team meetings set the path for a student with a disability to be successful in school.  The trainings will make the IEP Team process more efficient and effect for both families and educators.

“We at the Human Development Center are delighted to work with our partner, Jefferson Families Helping Families, in developing professional learning modules for Louisiana’s educators and families,” said Alan Coulter, Director of Program Area for the LSU-Human Development Center in New Orleans. “We are committed to developing high quality materials that enhance the knowledge and skill of IEP Teams including families and students with disabilities. A broad-based Stakeholder Group will oversee the quality and usefulness of the modules and ensure that the training materials are easily consumed by families and educators.”

Through this partnership, the LDOE and the LSU-HDC will gather feedback from educators and families to develop and implement a comprehensive plan for the professional development of IEP teams in districts across the state. The trainings will include:

  • An overview of the IEP team process
  • Measureable goals for students
  • Classroom accommodations and support
  • Creating the least restrictive environment and delivery of an appropriate education

Once these trainings are developed, the LSU-HDC will support the LDOE in providing face-to-face workshops around the state. Additionally, the trainings will be available to educators and families online by the start of the 2015-2016 school year. By making these trainings accessible in two formats (face-to-face and online), more Louisiana educators and families can receive the benefit of the knowledge and skills in the IEP process.

The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education approved the contract today during their committee meetings. The contract will be funded through the IDEA-Part B federal grant. Trainings and online professional development will begin in the spring.

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