By Tamas Mondovics
Students, parents, and teachers are invited to find answers and make connections at a free post-secondary special education transition and skill-building session planed for later this month. The event hosted to be held at the First Christian Church Education Center 401 West Main Street, Mountain City is organized and presented by STEP, Inc (Support and Training for Exceptional Parents) Tennessee’s Parent Training and Information Center.
The three-phase morning, afternoon and evening programs scheduled for Thursday, July 26, 2018 is promising to offer parents, caregivers, and teacher’s special education assistance, information, and support regarding issues that impact students with disabilities. According to event organizers, the first of the three two hour sessions will be held from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., and will offer training and discussion on the topic “How to Effectively Participate in Planning Your Child’s Education.”
Parent are promised to learn their rights and responsibilities under the Individuals with Disabilities Education or Act
(IDEA) along with what is required in a child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP). Tools and strategies to effectively
communicate information with teachers and actively engage in decision-making for a child’s education are all on the agenda to be presented.
“Students receiving special education services have a right to receive a high-quality education that will equip them to be
successful in life. Parents and caregivers have an important role in the development of their child’s education plan,” STEP Inc. spokesperson, Karen Harrison stated in a recent press release.
A second session between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. will provide free one-on-one assistance for families who would like additional
assistance reviewing their child’s IEP or 504 plan, discussing placement and services, reviewing IEP goals, and planning for upcoming IEP meetings.
“STEP staff will be on hand to assist parents with their individual concerns,” Harrison said.
Perhaps one of the most important topics for many parents will be discussed during an evening and the final session from
5 pm to 7:30 pm to provide information and answer questions about preparing for life after high school for students
with disabilities. Some of the pressing subjects will include the importance of creating a well-written transition plan that includes measurable post-secondary goals; the type of diploma options in Tennessee including the new Alternate Academic Diploma; post-secondary education options available to students after high school as well as transition tools and tips to make planning for transition much easier will all be addressed.
To register for the event residents are urged to contact Nancy Bailey at 828-808-7424 or email nancyannebailey5@ gmail.com or call the STEP office at 800-280-7837 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. A light dinner will be provided at 5 p.m., for those who call to register. Childcare is available with prior arrangements made by July 24 by calling 828-808-7424.