Building a future where schools are designed for the success of all students.  

As September comes to a close, students and educators alike are settling into their school routines. The season of cooler weather and cozy traditions is upon us. This time of year is a great moment to remind ourselves of what matters most. In this issue of the CLE newsletter, we highlight recent wins, offer updates on new and ongoing projects, and share resources and events we think you'll find valuable. We hope your fall season is filled with family, fun, and joy!

What's New?

CLE has been awarded an additional grant by the Camden Education Fund to continue our work in Camden, New Jersey. The new grant will support the expansion of the Accelerating Inclusion Institute in collaboration with Toni Barton from Spelligent and ongoing research examining emerging best practices developed to improve outcomes for students with disabilities. 

The Spotlight

On August 17th, The 74 Million published "Special Ed Kids Were Shunted Back Online. Is It a Move to the Virtual Basement?"an article exploring how virtual learning is impacting students with disabilities now that schools have reopened. CLE Senior Director of Policy, Wendy Tucker, weighed in on the controversial practices that are putting students with disabilities at a learning disadvantage in Minneapolis schools. Access the full article here 

"Is this the way you put kids with disabilities out of the general education environment? Legally, the answer is no. But unless somebody pushes back, districts are going to be able to do it, and that’s concerning."

- Wendy Tucker, Senior Director of Policy

Best Practices Emerging from Camden, New Jersey

This summer, CLE released a series of briefs about emerging best practices in Camden, New Jersey. The briefs are a product of a collaboration with the Camden Education Funda non-profit organization in New Jersey dedicated to accelerating progress in Camden’s public school system. The briefs explore various educational practices at three schools that are working to improve the educational experiences for students with disabilities. Topics such as social and emotional learning and staffing shortages are highlighted.

“Prioritizing Mindset and Relationships in a Tiered Behavior System” and “Developing Inclusive Educators with the Camden Teacher Pipeline’s Inclusive Education Program” can be read here. The third and final report, “Expanding the Continuum of Placements for Students with Disabilities through the Impact Program” can be accessed by following this link

Resources and Events

Wendy Tucker Presents at US ED NCSSLE Webinar

On July 17th, the United States Department of Education and the National Center on Safe Supportive Learning Environments hosted a webinar entitled "Lessons from the Field - Providing Required Compensatory Services That Help Students with Disabilities in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic". The webinar explored the $190 billion the federal government has invested in K-12 education during the COVID-19 pandemic, presenting school districts with the opportunity to improve support for students with disabilities and assist with learning recovery.

CLE's Senior Director of Policy Wendy Tucker served as a speaker on the panel of practitioners, discussing aspects of compensatory services under Section 504 and the IDEA, and the individuals responsible for developing plans to address pandemic related compensatory services. You can access the webinar materials here.

CLE presents "Providing Students with Disabilities

Equitable Access to Charter Schools"

CLE partnered with the National Charter School Resource Center to host “Providing Students with Disabilities Equitable Access to Charter Schools”. The webinar offered insight from Lauren Morando Rhim and Wendy Tucker on how charter schools can implement legal and effective recruitment and enrollment practices for students with disabilities. During this session, attendees learned how to ensure charter schools are compliant with state and federal laws while providing equitable access to all students.

Inclusive School Spotlight Podcast Series

CLE Comments on Section 504 Regulations

In partnership with the Educating All Learners Alliance (EALA), CLE released the Inclusive School Spotlight Series, a series of five podcasts featuring school leaders from across the country. Hosted by CLE’s Senior Director of Communications and Marketing, Caché Owens, the podcasts discuss how these educators are fostering a culture of inclusion at their schools through innovative techniques. Season 1 of the series is available now and can be heard on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, and Google Podcasts. You can also listen to episodes through your web browser by clicking here.

The U.S. Department of Education announced this year that they intend to amend the regulations around Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, which impacts many students with disabilities across the country. CLE has engaged closely with the U.S. Department of Education and with other stakeholders to give input on where those efforts should be focused, including a letter to US ED setting forth CLE’s suggestions on the issue. Read CLE's statement here.

CLE to Present at NACSA Conference in October 2022

CLE Executive Director Lauren Morando Rhim and Research Manager Laura Stelitano will be presenting at NACSA Con: Excellence from Communities in October. The conference is hosted by the National Association of Charter School Authorizers and will take place from October 24th - October 27th in Minneapolis, MN. If you're attending NACSA Con, we encourage you to attend the presentations below:

Marketing, Recruiting, and Enrolling for Equity: Website Review Tool

     Hosted by Lauren Morando Rhim 10/26 9am - 10am

Supporting Students with Disabilities through the Pandemic: What role can authorizers play? 

Hosted by Laura Stelitano & Lauren Morando Rhim 10/26 3pm - 4pm

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