NCSECS' Monthly Newsletter: September 2018

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Looking Back on September with NCSECS

September 28, 2018


NCSECS Growth

Chanelle Figueroa-44.jpg

Welcome Chanelle!

NCSECS is excited to welcome another talented new staff member to support our work on behalf of students with disabilities.

Chanelle Figueroa joins NCSECS as the inaugural Senior Director of Communications. In this role, she will lead the creation and execution of a comprehensive internal and external communications strategy to maximize NCSECS’ profile and impact. For eleven years, Chanelle led strategic communications efforts in three school districts - the NYCDOE, Newark Public Schools, and, most recently, at YES Prep Public Schools, a charter management organization in Houston, Texas. Read more about Chanelle and please join us in welcoming her to the NCSECS team!

Grant from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

With the generous support of a $1.2 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, NCSECS will improve the federal and state policy context in which charters operate to enable them to develop exemplary programs for students with disabilities. This investment will support NCSECS in (1) building capacity to advocate at the national level regarding efforts to improve outcomes for students with disabilities and (2) leveraging the research reflected in the NCSECS Model Policy Guide to inform state efforts to ensure that students with disabilities are able to access and thrive in charter schools across the nation. 


NCSECS On the Road

Program Specialist Stephanie Lancet spent an exciting and engaging afternoon with the Coalition of Public Independent Charter Schools during their virtual conference. View their program guide which also includes information about the coalition, its mission, and its founding principles.

Executive Director Lauren Morando Rhim traveled to New York City to participate in the National Council of Learning Disabilities (NCLD) Understood for Educator’s advisory board which is assisting NCLD to develop a robust and dynamic resource for educators analogous to Understood.org

Multiple members of the NCSECS team traveled to Washington, DC to participate in the Equity Coalition and celebrate the release of the Principles of Equitable Schools.

NCSECS News

Principles of Equitable Schools
NCSECS and Equity Coalition members developed the Principles of Equitable Schools, to establish a standard of equity intended to guide policy makers and help parents weigh their options when choosing a school. Through these essential principles, NCSECS and the Equity Coalition aim to establish core principles that should be upheld by any school enrolling students using public dollars. With one unified voice, the Equity Coalition offers the following Principles of Equitable Schools, to collectively preserve and promote access and quality for all students.

The principles were officially released on Wednesday, September 12 to coincide with the first day of the fall Equity Coalition convening in Washington, D.C. They have received positive media attention. 


NCSECS Turns Five!
We are celebrating our fifth birthday in October! We are honored by all of the enthusiasm and commitment expressed not only by our growing team but also the many organizations who have partnered with us to establish and grow this work over the last five years. Be sure to visit our website on October 15 for our reflections about the progress we have made and looking ahead. Here are ways you can celebrate with us:

  1. Follow us, like, comment, or share our posts on social media

  2. Follow and use our hashtag #NCSECS5

  3. Share your own experience with NCSECS by emailing info@ncsecs.org. We will post testimonials to our website!

  4. Join the CMO Network  

  5. Join us at the NACSA Leadership Conference in Orlando, FL on Tuesday, October 23 where our co-founders will lead the "Oversight + Special Education Programs" workshop between 1:30 and 4:30 pm. Celebrate our fifth birthday with us at happy hour from 5 - 7 pm that day. You will receive an invitation with the location soon.


Special Education News

The Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) unveils the framework for how they plan to "re-think special education." NCSECS is encouraged by certain elements of the framework and remains vigilant about potential loosening of federal oversight especially over states with poor track records of serving students disabilities.

Charter schools in San Francisco face the prospect of greater regulations following the passage of a new Board of Education resolution. Charters can avoid additional regulation by proactively addressing concerns that students with disabilities are not experiencing access to charter schools on par with their peers and that schools are not prepared to provide essential special education and related services.

The state of Georgia is charged with violating Title II of the American's with Disabilities Act. The New Yorker published a detailed description of the violations endemic in highly segregated Georgia Network of Educations and Therapeutic Support Schools (G-NET). 


The Rutgers Education and Health Law Clinic in Newark submitted a complaint to the New Jersey Department of Education alleging thatNewark's North Star Academy Charter Schools improperly suspends students with disabilities.


Thank you for reading, and please join us in ongoing virtual conversations by following @NCSCES on FaceBook, Twitter, and Instagram!