Increasing the dialogue among stakeholders in New Jersey’s special education system

NJCommonGround.org is working to increase the dialogue among stakeholders in New Jersey’s special education system. Online and via E-news – Subscribe Now!

We want to know what YOU – our readers – would like to see in Common Ground. Cast your vote for your favorite topics now!

Feature Articles & Resources

Feature articles • In-depth consideration of current special education topics and practices. • Experienced and authoritative writers. • Resources for parents, teachers, and professionals. • Fostering dialogue among special education stakeholders.

From the Courts & Capitols

Covering legal and legislative developments that shape special education in New Jersey and nationally. • Specific cases from administrative, state and federal courts. • Legislative and administrative policy developments at state and federal levels.

Information Parents & Educators Can Use

By and for parents, teachers and professionals. • Teaching and assessment strategies for specific learning and behavioral challenges • Peer-to-peer advice and experience sharing • Q&As and FAQs for use on the front line • Statistics and data for trend identification.

Latest CG Articles

Snapshot: Medicaid and Special Education

Statistics on Medicaid and Special Education.

From the Capitol: Law Requires New Teachers to Have Experience Working with Students with Disabilities

Governor Christie has signed a measure (S1474) that requires teacher preparation programs to include instruction or clinical experience in special education, and for students with disabilities endorsement to include credit hours in autism spectrum disorders.

From the Capitol: State Board Supports Social and Emotional Learning

In June, the State Board of Education voted to adopt a resolution supporting new state guidelines to assist schools in teaching social and emotional skills.

From the Capitol: Parents are Not Required to Inform Districts if They Plan to Bring an Attorney to IEP Meetings

The Office of Special Education Programs, OSEP, issued a response last year to a letter seeking clarification on a school district’s options when a parent brings an attorney to an IEP meeting without giving the district prior notice.

Opinion: An Onsite Advocate for Every Child

Imagine what might happen if every child entering a school were assigned a social-emotional and academic development (SEAD) liaison who would advocate for the needs and rights of that child? It would transform relationships between schools and parents/guardians, and go a long way toward redressing the impact of inequities that affect children and their learning.

Principal’s Perspective: Using Intervention & Referral Services to Support Struggling Students

I&RS is a process designed to support teachers as they work to provide appropriate interventions for students requiring extra support. It includes school staff and parents. Parents and staff provide input to the I&RS team and interventions are continually monitored. I&RS is not meant to solve every challenge that a child might be experiencing, but rather is meant to focus on one or two items that may be impeding student progress. The I&RS process ensures that a child’s behavior and/or academic progress are monitored closely and is one way to support children who need assistance.

Medicaid and Special Education

Since 1994, New Jersey has participated in a federal program, Special Education Medicaid Initiative (SEMI). The program assists school districts by providing partial reimbursement for medically related services listed on a student’s Individualized Educational Program (IEP). Under the program, New Jersey school districts are required to maximize their participation in the program. In exchange, districts receive 35% of the federal aid; the remainder goes to the state. The SEMI program focuses on compliance and makes sure Medicaid is billed for certain health-related services considered medically necessary in each student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP), including IEP meetings and evaluations.