Archived Hot Topics

Changes in Florida’s School Grading Requirements

Please see the links below of interest to changes in Florida’s School Grading Requirements:

5 Tips For Dealing With School Anxiety


It’s that time of year…the holidays are over and students are going back to school for a new semester. Many parents and students feel hopeful about 2012 and the possibilities it can bring.

Others feel anxiety – another year of homework battles, stressful IEP meetings, and coaxing- no pleading- with your child to “Please go to school!”
If you and your child are feeling anxious, check out these tips to make the back to school transition easier.  “5 Tips For Dealing With School Anxiety” from PEAK Parent Center:

From Label to Able: Inclusive Education for Students with Significant Disabilities

From Label to Able is a three-part leadership development series designed to build awareness and knowledge of research-based inclusive practices for students with significant disabilities. For more information about this series, please click here.

How to Celebrate Inclusive Schools Week

Please go to the following site at the Inclusive Schools Network for ideas and have a great week!

Accommodations…Assisting Students with Disabilities

Students with disabilities may use accommodations during instruction and assessment. Accommodations are changes that can be made in the way the student accesses information and demonstrates performance. (Rule 6A-6.03411(1)(a) Florida Administrative Code [F.A.C.]).

For access to the Accommodation publication, it is available through the Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services, Florida Department of Education at the link below.

Florida Disability History and Awareness Weeks  

On June 13, 2008, Governor Charlie Crist signed into law Senate Bill 856, creating section 1003.4205, Florida Statutes, entitled “Disability History and Awareness Instruction.” The law requires school districts to designate the first two weeks of October of each year as Disability Awareness and History Weeks. For additional information and ideas for history and awareness activities, please click on the below links.

Response to Intervention (RtI)

Response to Intervention (RtI) refers to a multi-tiered approach to providing high quality instruction and intervention matched to student needs. Within the RtI framework, resources are allocated in direct proportion to student needs and data is collected to determine the effectiveness of the interventions so that meaningful decisions can be made about which instruction and interventions should be maintained and layered.

For more information about RtI, please visit the below websites:


Getting Ready for the New School Year

The memories of your fun-filled summer are fading, the back-to-school shopping has been finished, and everyone (parents, teachers, and students) is gearing up for another exciting and challenging school year! Here are some things that YOU can do to help your child/students to have a great year…

Tips for Parents of Students with Disabilities

Tips for Special Education Teachers

All Students Can Benefit from Physical Activity

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, “The benefits of physical activity are universal for all children, including those with disabilities.” With a bit of forethought and planning and a willing attitude by adult leaders, children with disabilities can be successfully included in sports, recreation and physical activities, alongside of their peers without disabilities. To learn about how students with disabilities can be included in a variety of physical activities, please explore the following resources:

Avoiding Summer Brain Drain

All students need to learn all year long and summer is no different. Whether it’s reading a book or going to a museum on the day with free admission, learning in the summer is important! For more ideas about summer learning, visit these websites:

Improved Employability

Student with disabilities graduating from high school with a standard diploma are presented with more options in life including increased opportunities for successful employment. Florida’s Project 10: Transition Education Network provides excellent resources to support graduates with disabilities as they negotiate entrance into the workforce. For more information, please visit Project 10’s website at:

Inclusion in FCAT and FCAT 2.0 

Most students with disabilities in Florida are required to take the FCAT and FCAT 2.0 just like students without disabilities. However, students with disabilities are eligible to receive accommodations when they take the tests, if they need them.

Accommodations are changes to how the test is given and enable the student with a disability to demonstrate knowledge and skills in ways that do not affect the validity or reliability of the test. For more information about FCAT and FCAT 2.0 accommodations, please click on the following links: 


Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

According to the National Center on Universal Design for Learning, educators must strive to develop multiple paths for learning, since not all students are able to learn in identical ways. This occurs through three basic principles: providing multiple means of representation, providing multiple means of action and expression and also providing multiple means of engagement. To learn more go to:

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