What’s New In Schools
As we think about education, it is important to remember that special education is designed to meet the unique needs of the individual student. Schools still need to be flexible and sensitive to family circumstances. Being creative and continuing to work collaboratively with families will help to ensure student success.
When is Nevada’s Statewide Testing Window?
Accountability Assessments are important because they provide necessary information for educators, families, the public, and students themselves to measure progress and improve outcomes for all learners. A high quality assessment system can provide information and tools for teachers and schools to improve instruction and help students succeed—regardless of disability, language, or subgroup. February through May is the testing window for Nevada public schools. The Nevada Department of Education (NDE) develops and approves state assessments. Smarter Balanced Assessments for Grades 3 – 8 is the selected test that is aligned with Common Core Standards to determine students’ progress in Reading, Language Arts and Math. Practice Tests help parents check out the types of questions in the assessment. Ask your child’s school for more details regarding their testing dates. When meeting with your child’s IEP team, discuss the accommodations that your child may need to participate in the assessments.
Nevada Private Schools
Private schooling is also an option Nevada families have to educate their children. For more information on these options, please visit the links below:
Special Education – What You Need To Know Webinar
Learn how parents can work with schools during COVID-19 to determine special education, supports and services that will be provided to ensure students with disabilities continue to progress during this pandemic.
Find this webinar and many others on our On-Demand Training page!
Parents have different options if they disagree with their child’s special education program, the Nevada Department of Education has a link on their home page titled IDEA Dispute Resolution that has options for resolving differences. Parents can request an IEP Facilitation which is a process where a non-bias facilitator helps with communication at the IEP meeting to develop a meaningful IEP. Another option is Mediation this is a meeting between parents and the school district. A person who does not work for the school district helps both sides to find agreement. Parents also have the option to file a State Complaint which is an option provided by IDEA used when parents believe the school has violated special education law or regulation(s). Another option is a Due Process hearing, this is a formal hearing, each side presents its position and a hearing officer makes the final decision. In addition to IDEA related resolution options, the Nevada Department of Education offers a Constituent Concern Inspection process that can be initiated by a person, including an organization, or governmental agency when there is a belief that there is noncompliance with the laws and regulations governing the education of pupils with disabilities by providers of special education. PEP staff is available to provide families with more information about any of the above options.
Understanding Diploma Options and Graduation Rates
Nevada has variety of diploma options that students with disabilities can earn in order to graduate from high school. The types of diplomas are Standard, Adult Diploma, Advanced Diploma, College and Career Ready, Alternative and Adjusted. Click here to review the Nevada Alternative Diploma Implementation Guide. The graduation rates in Nevada have continued to increase each year. Recently, Nevada Department of Education published information about the improving graduation rates for all of the diplomas. Click here to check out the graduation increase in your school district.
Nevada Law (NRS 392.070) provides for a waiver of compulsory attendance laws. For more information about this option Nevada families have, please visit the links below:
How Can Parents Join a School Organizational Team (SOT)?
Each school in the Clark County School District has created a School Organizational Team which assists the principal in making important decisions that affect the school. This team meets monthly and is made up of elected licensed staff, education support professionals, parents/guardians, and students (at the secondary level), as well as one or more optional, non‐elected community members. Being part of a School Organizational Team allows parents to partner with school staff and provides a voice to address the School Plan of Operation. To learn more about how to join a School Organizational Team, click here.
Summer Family Survey Report 2020
Over the Summer, Nevada PEP surveyed families to learn about the impact of COVID-19. Youth MOVE Nevada also surveyed their participants to uplift the voices of youth during the pandemic. Of the nearly 400 participants, 62% of families were concerned about finances and 62% of youth missed going to school in-person. You can view the full results of both surveys here.
GoGuardian Beacon 24/7 Chrome Book Monitoring
GoGuardian Beacon is a monitoring program that some schools in the Clark County School District are using on school issued chrome books. The program can identify students who have searched or written text that may mean that they are feeling extreme stressors or experiencing a mental health issue. If the software detects self-harm warning signs, a school administrator is alerted and the student’s parents are notified. Parents can ask if their school is part of this pilot program. To learn more about GoGuardian Beacon, check out their information page and video.