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Loyola University Chicago

Civitas ChildLaw Center

School of Law

Special Education in Charter Schools Event

SPECIAL EDUCATION IN CHARTER SCHOOLS: CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES

 

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2011 • 8 AM – 5 PM
PHILIP H. CORBOY LAW CENTER
KASBEER HALL, 15TH FLOOR

Charter schools, like all public schools, are obligated to serve students with disabilities. Yet for many charter schools in Chicago and throughout the country, a variety of obstacles make meeting this obligation extraordinarily difficult.

This conference, designed for educators, lawyers, and policymakers, explored the legal and policy context for special education in charter schools, discussed the current state of special education in Chicago’s charter schools, and provided examples of best practices, both locally and nationally. Paul O’Neill, an education law professor, attorney, and charter school founder who is among the nation’s foremost experts on charter schools and special education, provided the luncheon address. The program also included training sessions on school discipline and implementation of special education services led by representatives from Chicago Public Schools, Illinois State Board of Education, Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago, Franczek Radelet, and Loyola University Chicago School of Education.

To download a PDF copy of the event information, please click here.

 

CONFERENCE SCHEDULE

 

8:00 - 8:30 a.m.  

Welcome

Hillary Coustan
Associate Director, ChildLaw and Education Institute
Loyola University Chicago School of Law

Michael Kaufman, moderator
Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, Professor of Law, and Director of the ChildLaw and Education Institute
Loyola University Chicago School of Law

8:30 - 9:00 a.m.  

The Basics of Special Education in Charter Schools

Eileen Ahearn, PhD
Project Director
National Association of State Directors of Charter Schools

During this session, Dr. Ahearn explained how certain aspects of a state’s charter school law— including whether a charter school is its own district (also known as local education agency (LEA)) or part of another LEA for purposes of special education — determines allocation of responsibilities for special education.

9:00 - 10:30 a.m.

 

Chicago Charter Schools and Special Education

Rod Estvan
Education Policy Analyst, Access Living

Maureen Komperda
Director of Special Education for Charter Schools
Chicago Public Schools
Office of Special Education and Supports: Presentation by Maureen Komperda and Kathleen Gibbons, Chicago Public Schools

Michael Kaufman, moderator
Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, Professor of Law, and Director of the ChildLaw and Education Institute
Loyola University Chicago School of Law

10:30 - 10:45 a.m.  

Break

10:45 - 12:15 p.m.

 

Best Practices

Eileen Ahearn, PhD
Project Director
National Association of State Directors of Charter Schools

Parker Baxter
Senior Legal Analyst
Center on Reinventing Public Education

Teri Pettit
Consultant, Public School Academy (charter school)
Liaison, Michigan Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Early Intervention Services

Andrew Broy, moderator
President, Illinois Network of Charter Schools

12:15 - 1:30 p.m.  

Lunch & Keynote Address

Paul O’Neill
President and Founder
Tugboat Education Services

Charter Schools and Special Education:
What Does Success Look Like and How Do We Get There?

1:30 - 1:45 p.m.   Break
1:45 - 3:15 p.m.  

Developing a Special Education Program and Infrastructure

Hank Bohanon, PhD
Associate Professor
Loyola University Chicago School of Education
Developing a Special Education Program and Infrastructure: A Three-Tiered Approach

Juana Burchell
Special Education Charter Schools Coordinator
Illinois State Board of Education
Charter School Initial Application for Special Education Services
Charter School Renewal Application for Special Education Services
Charter School Special Education and Implementation Rubric Instructions
Charter School Application Process

Kathleen Gibbons
Senior Assistant General Counsel
Chicago Board of Education

Bruce Boyer, moderator
Clinical Professor and Director, Civitas ChildLaw Clinic
Loyola University Chicago School of Law

This panel discussed the types of policies, procedures and infrastructure that charter schools should implement to ensure that they have complied with their obligations under federal law. Panelists addressed enrollment, identification of students with disabilities, services, staffing, and budgetary planning, among other topics.

3:15 - 3:30 p.m.   Break
3:30 - 5:00 p.m.  

Special Education and Discipline

Andrea Brown-Thirston, PhD
Chief Academic Officer
Chicago International Charter School

Erin Han
Senior Attorney
Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago

Darcy Kriha
Partner
Franczek Radelet

Special Education and Student Discipline Presentation by Darcy Kriha, Franczek Radelet and Erin Han, Legal Assistance Foundation

Miranda Johnson, moderator
Salisbury Clinical Teaching Fellow in Child and Family Law
Loyola University Chicago School of Law

Hypothetical Examples: Charter School and School Discipline

This panel considered schools’ obligations to students with disabilities within the context of school discipline. Working through various hypothetical scenarios, panelists will discuss student handbooks and codes of conduct, disciplinary policies and procedures, and accommodations for students with disabilities.

 

 

CONFIRMED SPEAKERS

Eileen Ahearn   Project Director, National Association of State Directors
of Special Education
Parker Baxter   Consultant, Center for Reinventing Public Education
Hank Bohanon

 

Associate Professor, Loyola University Chicago School of Education
Andrea Brown-Thirston   Chief Academic Officer, Chicago International Charter School
Andrew Broy

 

President, Illinois Network of Charter Schools
Juana Burchell   Principal Consultant (Special Education Services),
Illinois State Board of Education
Rod Estvan   Education Policy Analyst, Access Living
Kathleen Gibbons   Attorney, Chicago Public Schools
Erin Han   Staff Attorney, Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago
Miranda Johnson   Salisbury Clinical Teaching Fellow in Child and Family Law,
Loyola University Chicago School of Law
Michael Kaufman   Associate Dean and Director, Loyola ChildLaw and Education Institute
Maureen Komperda   Chicago Public Schools, Office of Special Education and Supports
Darcy Kriha   Partner, Franczek Radelet
Paul O'Neill   President and Founder, Tugboat Education Services
Teri Pettit   Public School Academy (charter school) Consultant/Liaison for the
Michigan Department of Education, Office of Special Education and
Early Intervention Services
Elizabeth Purvis   Executive Director, Chicago International Charter School
Rachel Shapiro   Staff Attorney, Equip for Equality

Loyola

SCHOOL OF LAW CIVITAS CHILDLAW CENTER
Philip H. Corboy Law Center · 25 E. Pearson Street Suite 1107 · Chicago, IL 60611 · 312.915.6481
· E-mail: ChildLaw-Center@luc.edu · www.luc.edu/childlaw

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