Thursday, November 12, 2015

I knew "Special Education" was a magical and sacred place

I can clearly remember one of my early experiences in “Special Education.” It was an overcast and rainy day. I was a relatively new nurse in a classroom for orthopedically disabled children. Many of the students in this particular class came to school in power wheelchairs. On this dreary January morning the veteran special education teacher, seeing one of her newer students stare out the window at the other kids playing in the rain, asked if she, also, wanted to go outside and play in the rain. The girl, sitting in her purple power wheelchair, said she’d love to go outside in the rain, but her mom didn’t want her to get her chair wet--because it could malfunction. (Later, I would learn that this girl had never, as a child, been able to play in the rain.) I stood on the other side of the classroom and just listened. I thought the conversation was over; it was not. The teacher told the student if she really wanted to go outside that she would be glad to carry her out. The girl slowly smiled then quickly unbuckled her seat-belt and the teacher lifted her out of the chair. After they left the classroom, I watched out the window as the teacher ran through the rain holding the student in her arms; the student had her head back trying to drink up rain drops. After watching this I knew “Special Education” was a magical and sacred place--and I wanted to be there.
--Allen Lujan

Attitude (little thing ... BIG Difference)

"What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you." --Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The Educator

“The task of the modern educator is not to cut down jungles, but to irrigate deserts.”
― C.S. Lewis

“I am not a teacher, but an awakener.”
― Robert Frost

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Requesting a Special Education Evaluation

Sample Parent Letter:
Here is a sample parent letter that can be used as a template when requesting a special education evaluation from your school site.
Remember to keep a copy of the letter for your records. The evaluation must be completed within 60 days of receiving your written request. Within 15 days of receiving your request, the district should provide you with a copy of your procedural safeguards and its assessment plan.


Date: January 15, 2011

To: Steven Hannoy, Principal
Hope Elementary School
334 Ivy Rd.
Anytown, CA USA

Re: Grace Jones, Grade 3, Mrs. Andrew’s Class

I am writing to you because my child is experiencing difficulties in school. (Here you can list specifics). Grace continues to read below grade level. She struggles with classroom assignments and does not seem to understand the math concepts. She struggled last year and we tried some intervention strategies, but she is still having difficulties.

I am formally requesting that the school immediately begin a special education evaluation. Since this process can take up to 60 days, I would like to receive my procedural safeguards and the evaluation plan explaining the tests that may be given to my child within 15 days. Once I consent to the evaluation, I would like to be informed of when the evaluation will be scheduled.

Thank you very much for your assistance. I look forward to hearing from you and your staff.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.



Mrs. Jane Jones
(715) 555-2425

Monday, November 9, 2015

The Brown Act: "The People Insist"

Government Code 
Section 54950-54963   

54950.  In enacting this chapter, the Legislature finds and declares
that the public commissions, boards and councils and the other
public agencies in this State exist to aid in the conduct of the
people's business. It is the intent of the law that their actions be
taken openly and that their deliberations be conducted openly.

   The people of this State do not yield their sovereignty to the
agencies which serve them. The people, in delegating authority, do
not give their public servants the right to decide what is good for
the people to know and what is not good for them to know. The people
insist on remaining informed so that they may retain control over the
instruments they have created.

54950.5.  This chapter shall be known as the Ralph M. Brown Act.