Special Education

Office of Special Education - Our Purpose

To lead the improvement of outcomes for preparing all children and students with disabilities and their families for learning, earning and living through effective use of data, collaboration, communication, and a framework of differentiated support.

New Guidance Document - Available for Public Comment

Determining Special Education Eligibility for Specific Learning Disabilities

The Nebraska Department of Education, Office of Special Education is releasing a newly developed guidance document – Determining Special Education Eligibility for Specific Learning Disabilities.  This 2020 version, replaces the Verification Guidelines, Specific Learning Disability 2015.  This linked document is available for public comment for 30 days.  Should you have questions or comments, please email amy.rhone@nebraska.gov.

Guidance and Resources for Para-educators During Remote Learning

This webinar addresses key roles and responsibilities for paraprofessionals during remote learning and provides specific examples of responsibilities in the areas of preparing virtual instruction, supplementing instruction, monitoring student progress, and communicating with students, colleagues and families. In addition, guidance is offered on ways paraprofessionals can help students with remote learning tasks, set remote learning expectations for students, and engage learners virtually. Resources are provided at the conclusion of the webinar for additional information regarding paraprofessional guidance during remote learning.  

Coronavirus Resources - IDEA Guidance

The NDE is committed to assisting school communities during public health emergencies. We support school districts in their decisions to keep student and staff safety their top priority. Should a crisis arise, NDE will work closely with other state and federal agencies to ensure continuation of critical services to students, families, and educators and the restoration of the teaching and learning environment.

NDE RESOURCES FOR THE CORONAVIRUS

Below is communication released by the Office of Special Education Programs to support you as you implement IDEA during the Coronavirus outbreak.  Please reach out to our office should you have any further questions.

OSEP – IDEA Part B Use of Funds

OSEP – IDEA Part C Use of Funds

OSEP Q & A – Implementation of IDEA Part B Dispute Resolution Procedures

OSEP Q & A – Implementation of IDEA Part C Dispute Resolution Procedures

IDEA Best Practices Document

SUPPLEMENTAL FACT SHEET: ADDRESSING THE RISK OF COVID-19 IN PRESCHOOL, ELEMENTARY, AND SECONDARY SCHOOLS

QUESTIONS & ANSWERS ON PROVIDING SERVICES TO CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES DURING THE CORONAVIRUS DISEASE 2019 OUTBREAK

NDE – Q AND A FOR PROVIDING SPECIAL EDUCATION AND EARLY INTERVENTION DURING CORONAVIRUS SCHOOL CLOSURE

SPECIAL EDUCATION SERVICES DURING THE CORONAVIRUS SCHOOL CLOSURES CLARIFICATION

Part C/EDN COVID-19 Resources

Data Collection Process During Covid-19 School Closures/In-Home Visit Suspensions – GOLD

Communication for Families/Parents of Students with Disabilities during this Covid-19 epidemic

Extended School Year Guidance Document

Learning Guidance for Students with Disabilities for Summer Programming and Beyond

Additional Covid-19 Special Education Resources

Teaching Special Education Online Resource Toolbox

SPECIAL EDUCATION – PROFESSIONAL LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES

Five Formative Assessment Strategies to Improve Distance Learning Outcomes for Students with Disabilities

Dyslexia and Reading Disabilities Resources Guide

Home-school Services During Covid-19

Electronic Consent OK During Covid-19

NSPA Testing Considerations Document

Rethinking Deaf and Hard of Hearing Accessibility in Post-COVID-19 Classrooms

Nebraska Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing – Letter regarding Clear Masks

NE Council of School Administrators (NCSA): Continuity of Learning Zoom Conference Call (3/23/20)

Remember Accessibility in the Rush to Online Instruction: 10 Tips for Educators

How to Be a Better Online Teacher – Advice Guide

Supporting Students with Disabilities in K-12 Online and Blended Learning

KSB School Law Coronavirus Blog

 NCDHH Communications NCDHH Communications

4 Ways to Help Kids Relax as the Coronavirus Upends Everyday Life

How to Talk to a Child who is Deaf/Blind About COVID19

National Center for Systemic Improvement (NCSI) – “Open-Access”  Resources for Educators & Parents to Use At Home / Providing Services to Children with Disabilities During COVID-19 Outbreak.

Remote Use of Paraprofessional Supports for Students with Disabilities During the Covid-19 Pandemic

MHTTC Resources around Mental Health

National Association of School Psychologists COVID-19 Resources

Supports for Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities

Parent Resources

Schools reopening during the Covid-19 pandemic are facing extraordinary challenges at this time. We know parents have many questions and concerns about what the return to school will look like for their children in special education. Parents want to know how the school district’s plans will meet their child’s needs. How will the school districts address health and safety precautions for students, educators, and other school personnel in regards to scheduling, staffing, social distancing practices, transportation, and more?  Please see the linked video for a presentation by our Administrator, Amy Rhone in collaboration with PTI Nebraska: https://www.pti-nebraska.org/amy-rhone/

You may also access the slides and notes for this presentation here:  https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1ZTbZ5cGvazIbcdCJNcCXEFpyeIqGCgarrCi2K5U7yTQ/edit#slide=id.g8c1f228135_0_0

Communication for Families/Parents of Students with Disabilities during this Covid-19 epidemic

TVI O&M Activities for School at Home

National Center for Systemic Improvement (NCSI) – “Open-Access”  Resources for Educators & Parents to Use At Home / Providing Services to Children with Disabilities During COVID-19 Outbreak.

Ceeder Center Family Guide to At-Home Learning

Translating IEP Goals to Home – Using SEL Fundamentals

TIES Center Parent/Family Resources

Virtual IEP Meeting Tip Sheets from the Progress Center

Positive Behavior Intervention and Support

Tips for Families – Distance Learning for Special Education

Early Childhood Resources – Pyramid Model

Supporting Child and Family Well-being

Talking to your child about COVID-19

IDEA Best Practices Document

Upcoming SPED Events

Teaching Reading IS Rocket Science!

Register for FREE at: https://events.education.ne.gov/events/louisamoats/

Mark your calendars and be prepared for a lively webinar featuring Dr. Louisa Moats on September 28. 2020! The free event is supported by the Nebraska Dyslexia Association and NDE, Office of Special Education. Dr. Moats will summarize the highlights of her updated paper for the AFT (Teaching Reading IS Rocket Science, 2020), with a focus on what needs to happen to bridge the divide between the world of scientific reading research and typical reading instruction practices. Her presentation is 4:15-5:15 P.M., followed by a Q and A.

2020 Virtual Para-educators Conference

Register for FREE at: https://events.education.ne.gov/events/paraeducator-conference/

This year’s theme of “Paraeducators, The Link to Meaningful Connection” is more relevant than ever!  The focus of the conference is how to create and maintain social-emotional connections with students.  The breakout sessions are relevant for Paraeducator that work with  Early Childhood, Elementary, Middle, and High School students. These breakout sessions cover a variety of topics Social Emotional Learning, Personal Care Development and Care, Literacy, and Math. This year’s keynote speaker is Dr. Aria Fiat. Dr. Fiat received her doctoral degree in School Psychology and holds a B.S. degree in Education and Social Policy. She specializes in culturally-responsive therapeutic interventions, universal mental health promotion programs, integrated behavioral healthcare, risk and resilience. Her current research centers around improving capacity for schools to deliver culturally-responsive mental health prevention and intervention programs. She works to cultivate resilience in children, educators, parents, and systems by integrating various therapeutic modalities and adapting them to fit the school context.

Recent SPED Updates

Clarification on guidance for 92 NAC 51 – 009.04 and IDEA 60 Day Timeline for School Age Children

45 school day vs 60 day guidance (PDF)

Guidance on Special Education Certification – April 2019

Guidance on Special Education Certification – Reimbursable under IDEA (PDF)

Department Information

Public Reporting and Determination Guides

Public Reporting
Part B Levels of Determination 2017


Early Childhood Inter-Agency Coordinating Council

ECICC Biennial Report to the Governor


Guidance from the U.S. Dept. of Education – Office for Civil Rights

Colleague Letter – Resource Guide on Students with ADHD
Know Your Rights – Students with ADHD


Maintenance of Effort

Federal Proposed Regulations on Significant Disproportionality
Federal Study and State Analysis of Disproportionality

Updated September 23, 2020 1:58pm