Howard County SECAC Agenda
October 27, 2020 General Meeting 7:00pm-9:00pm
Zoom Virtual Meeting
ORDER OF BUSINESS
Call to Order - 7:01pm
Welcome and Introductions
Purpose and Vision
The Howard County Special Education Citizens Advisory Committee (SECAC) advises the school system on the needs of students with disabilities. We collaborate with other community disability advocacy groups to improve special education and the lives of our students in Howard County, MD.
Special Presentation - Delegate Ebersole and Senator Lam
Ebersole taught for 35 years in HCPSS. He sits on the Ways and Means committee, Education sub-committee Education, Early Childhood and Special Education sub-committees. He is seeing some concerns with family members with virtual learning. Concerned about kids not being identified due to the virtual environment.
He provided updates on the following House Bills (HB):
HB184 - Reimburse for attorney and witness fee for when the family wins against of school system. Co-sponsored with justice committee, but didn’t move out of that committee.
HB396 - Early screening, child care centers to screen as well for reading, referring to Infants & Toddlers, didn’t make it through the Senate committee.
HB699 - Created ombudsman to help with special education at the attorney general’s office. Passed.
HB718 - Dept of Ed has to create a Dyslexia and Early Reading Hdbk, didn’t get to the Senate yet.
Health Dept is concerned about COVID surge in Jan/Feb that could derail schools re-opening.
MD Legislative session will probably be a hybrid of in person and virtual. Will have to split up House because of how many people are in it. Testifying will probably be virtual.
MSDE recently update to legislators:
25% of students were not engaged in online learning in the spring.
Only 3 systems said they were able to do evaluations and new IEPs.
21 year old cap, question about extending for those students. IDEA doesn’t cover. Local school systems would have to decide, could use available CARES Act funds.
Virtual Education Workgroup formed in the House. Major topic is special education and extended school year, catching students up.
Update on the adult changing table bill. Session ended before it could be passed. Will take up again in the next session.
Education, Health, Environmental Affairs Committee
Kirwan took a lot of time. Will be trying to override the veto.
Got a briefing by superintendents that there hasn’t been much guidance about safe re-opening. Looking for consistency across counties about when to reopen, what to do if someone gets sick, etc..
Thousands of students disenrolled, next year’s budget is tied to numbers for this year.
Suggest for our group to find a priority and advocate for those at the state level.
Unsure of when the Howard County Delegation hearing will be. Stay tuned.
Del Ebersole thanks the group for advocating and teaching him about special education law.
Reminder from Mai - IDEA is to unsure have a free, appropriate public education. Including related services to allow every child to be ready for:
- Future education, (2) Employment and (3) Independent living.
- Wrightslaw books. “Special Education Law” and “From Emotions to Advocacy” are available for parents. Choose 1 book and email us to reserve your copy. Email us to reserve you copy.
- As always, keep an eye on our website as we update it when we receive new information! View News and Advocacy https://howardcountysecac.com/news-and-advocacy
- MSDE TA Bulletins
- 2020 Bulletins are COVID related. 20-03 talks about students engagement in distance learning. http://marylandpublicschools.org/programs/Documents/Special-Ed/TAB/20-03-Continuity_of_Learning_for_SWD.pdf
- Use this to advocate for your child during distance learning.
- 2020 - 07 Supplement http://marylandpublicschools.org/programs/Documents/Special-Ed/TAB/Supplement_to_20-07-Mask_Wearing_Tips_508.pdf
- Ways to support students wearing masks.
- Policy Volunteers - https://policy.hcpss.org/all/numeric/
- Supreet Anand- Student Search Policy 9260
- Committee is being thoughtful about creating the policy, looking at MoCo and AA as examples.
- Not finished the work yet. Still working through some scenarios and definitions.
- Concern about if someone plants something on a child with a disability because they may just say yes if it’s in their possession without really knowing what is going on.
- Concern about what “school personnel” will be present especially for these children.
- Safeguards for students with disabilities kids in particular. Disability awareness training. Safe to Learn Act requires SROs take disability awareness training.
- Next meeting is tomorrow. Members are encouraged to reach out to Supreet with ideas.
- Stephanie Mummert - 6010 Redistricting
- At least two more meetings.
- Last year was problematic.
- Timeline, criteria.
- More predictable for families and inclusive for input.
- Make the guidance as strong as possible for the board to follow.
- Add expectations for IEPs and 504s.
- Existing policy 9000 addresses that. But that’s a case by case.
- Looking for feedback.
- How is a school assessed for needing to move students?
- Concern from member
- Student could be in a more restrictive env if moved.
- Travel time.
- Dianne Henry - 5200 Transportation
- Guided by IEP for special education students.
- LRE includes transportation.
- We need a volunteer for Policy 9020 - Student Rights and Responsibilities
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Department of Special Education Introductions and Updates
- Dr. Terri Savage presentation - available for download here
- 2nd annual Parent Empowerment Conference
- Hiring a facilitator for DEI. Focus on disproportionality, mentor and disability acceptance.
- Want policies to reflect disability acceptance and not awareness.
- Small groups of students with IFSPs and IEPs.
- Will be contacted by school admin.
- Not all services and programs will be available due to staff..
- DSE matching students to staff.
- Cedar Lane and Homewood has small groups.
- ES regional and transitioning youth are next.
- Playground communication boards with HCAS
- 8 ES and Blandair
- Early Intervention
- Infants & Toddlers services are part of the small group plans.
- Working closely with parents.
- MINC soon
- Countywide Services
- Teletherapy for interventions for related services.
- K-12 School-based supports and transition services
- Transition teachers are providing direct instruction
- New virtual job shadowing begin in Nov.
- Attention areas
- Closing the gap.
Board of Education Introductions and Updates - Vicky Cutroneo
- Communication board at 8 ES. Katie Gandy and HCAS.
- On November 5th the plan for 2nd semester will be presented to the BOE.
- Monday November 9th input opportunity, townhall. Details to come. Public hearing not possible.
- Teachers that work with students who can’t wear a mask are being fitted for N95 masks.
- Q - HCEA agreement/MOU - a lot more flexibility built into the MOU. With an eye toward getting vulnerable students back in.
- Want to set ourselves up for success and not go back and forth opening and closing.
- Transparency. COVID dashboard to see where cases are in schools. Will never be 100% safe, never were before.
- Advocating for state wide dashboard to help with best practices.
- All HVAC filters have been changed to MERV-13.
- Asked for BOE tours of classrooms.
- K thru 2 is a concern with learning to read.
- Vicky is on BOE legislative committee.
PTACHC President Brent Loveless spoke.
PTACHC would like a SECAC rep.
PTACHC created a social distancing policy for themselves and PTAs.
Presented to school system. They weren’t cooperative at first. But clarified for official business, budget, etc.. 3 outdoor meetings this year. Did not do it as substitute for genera membership meetings. Brent will give us that info.
Next Meeting Dates
- November 18, December 16, January 20, February 17, March 17, April 21, May 19, June 16. Location subject to change, pending school closure.
Adjournment - 9:05pm