MY EXPERIENCE

Getting from San Francisco to Bozeman, Montana: Frontier Airlines. Never again. First flight delayed 2-3 hours. Almost missed my connecting flight (arrived right when they were closing the boarding gate). Consequently, my carry-on didn’t make it to Bozeman due to the late arrival of my initial flight. All my professional attire was in my carry-on. I was wearing pretty casual clothes. Fortunately, the airline manager was extremely kind and generous and offered me a stipend to buy clothes. In the end, got a great story and a free set of clothes for my first business trip. Bravo.

At The Conference: To be honest, I was a bad student in high school in the academic sense. It was intimidating to be around superintendents and special education directors. Humorously to say, I represented Team Diversity in the house (i.e. only Asian face haha).

Impressions of the Conference: Man. These individuals are heroes in my eyes. Especially because they fight for students with special needs. I view myself as a toddler in the universe of special education, therefore, the whole experience truly expanded my understanding and knowledge of the issues plaguing the special education space.


ABOUT THE CONFERENCE 9/18/16 -9/20/16

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110 Superintendents, 70 SPED Directors. In the past, individual educators and administrators of Montana attempted to stand against problems resulting from the lack of state funding. Divided they fell. However, presently united as one body and one voice, they have a fighting chance to fighting for a reform. The conference provides professional training and discussions on pragmatic approaches to employ results-oriented pedagogy for Montana SELPA school districts

Disclaimer: These are my rough notes from the conference. 

20160919_065000TOPICS: LEADERSHIP IN SUPPORTING BHEAVIOR NEEDS IN DISTRICTS by Shawna Heiser

Age is equal to a kid’s attention span

Attention-Seeking-Behavior Case study: Shawna showed a YouTube clip of a toddler engaged in controlled, voluntary fits of screaming and crying. (Quite interesting clip)

Solution

  1. Sustainable Solutions: focus on teaching students appropriate ways to seek attention
  2. Taking Away Attention: deliberate ignoring of inappropriate behaviors to encourage a children’s desirable behavior
  3. Positive Reinforcement: Reinforce appropriate behavior with attention

Ineffective Solutions

  1. Reprimanding: is a form of rewarding attention for bad behavior
  2. Time-Outs: Avoids the true issue and reinforces negative attention for inappropriate behaviors

20160919_113356POSITIVE BEHAVIORAL INTERVENTIONS AND SUPPORTS IN TEACHER’S MINDSETS: A SHIFT IN TEACHING PARADIGMS

Sustainable Solution Practices

  1. Behavior Reformation: Rule of thumb for verbal reprimanding is you must execute a 3-1 positive reproach to every negative reproach
  2. Consistency: Employ discreet, personal cues to allow the student to know they are on the right track and practicing appropriate behavior

Virtual Learning

  1. Use Face Time to engage in a student’s regular class while they are in the resource room replacement
  2. Increase opportunities for peer involvement
  3. Provides opportunity for social coaching without peer pressure

EDUCATION ROLES IN PRE-K-12 PUBLIC EDUCATIONDr. Waded Cruzado, MSU President

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UNDERSTANDING AND ADVOCATING FOR MONTANA’S PUBLIC SCHOOLS

  • State-funded budget normally account inflation for GED K-12 education models, unfortunately, special education funds are deprived of this consideration
  • The ideal is to advocate equality for all department within education to receive matching funds across the board
  • MQCR: The constitution mandates that government funding must be disseminated to public schools in lieu of private schools, religious-founded, and charter schools, etc

Special Education Funding- Co-Op

  • New strategies based on leveraging constitutional authority, namely article 10, to demand the attention from legislators that stating funding for special education related purposes is constitutionally mandated.
  • This would involve lobbying and sending hundreds of orange colored complaints to the legislators
  • Legally, the state needs to prioritize funding to constitutionally obligated institutions. Consequently, failure to comply can potentially lead to lawsuits against the state

9/20/16 NATIONAL ALLIANCE FOR MEDICAID IN EDUCATION (NAME) CONFERENCE: SPECIAL GUEST SPEAKERS 

Disclaimers: Some quotes are condensed or paraphrased

Mark Smith: Agency Lead, Ohio Medicaid in Schools Program, Ohio Department of Education

It might come as a shock, but children like to use technology

  • “Telehealth supports onsite practitioners to perform respective therapies”
  • “Telepractice is an opportunity for people who are retired, who want to work part-time, and supplement their retirement or individuals who resists the thought of relocating to a rural school district”
  • “Telepractice is instrumental in providing a tangible solution to urgent, short-term needs of remote and rural school districts”
  • “Why are we (school districts) not making full use of resources that are available that are cost-effective and yield outcomes that meet or even surpass in-person face-to-face standards”
  • “The data reveals that the ethicacy of telepractice is greater than face-to-face services”
  • “We know that telehealth is cost-effective, complementary to face-to-face services, and it does not pose a threat to existing practitioners”
  • “Therapist are burdened with the task to juggle commutes between multiple school districts miles apart, consequently, decreasing actual therapy time for children”
  • “The argument that passed was the proposition that qualifications for Medicaid reimbursement is predicated by whether face-to-face therapy is accomplish, regardless of modality”
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Portland,Oregon

Kevin Bauer: Department Specialist, Michigan Department of Community Health

  • “Most schools do not meeting their IEPs 80% of the time, which poses a huge compliance problem”
  • “Some therapist use telepractice because they don’t feel safe physically being present at certain school districts”

Superintendents at the Conference

  • “As our administrators reviewed telehealth, they were won over due to a substantial data that collectively points to outcomes that meet or exceed expectations”
  • “As long as the service involves face-to-face therapy, it qualifies for Medicaid reimbursement”
  • “Larger barriers (to teletherapy) involve hesitation from teachers, however, from a practitioner’s standpoint, telehealth is wonderful… Kids are now more motivated to go to their therapy session because they feel like it’s a game for them, when historically, they dread going to therapy session with an onsite therapist… I was not onboard with online therapy 5 years ago, but now I am a huge advocate”
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Portland, Oregon

MEDICAID Policy for Telehealth

  1. Telehealth is Medicaid reimbursable to all states regardless of whether it exists or not as regulated by the legislature
  2. Medicaid reimbursement policy can be implemented in all 50 states

How to Turn On Medicaid in Your State?

  1. Each of state is different
  2. We recommend working at the agency level to start, focusing on your Medicaid Offices And Departments Of Education
  3. Legislation may be needed and often can become part of your governor’s legislative agenda to broaden support
  4. Voice out the demand for Medicaid through associations, committees, Co-Op