Pennsylvania Council of
Administrators of Special Education


bulletPresident - Michel Bennish - [email protected]
bulletPresident-Elect -
bulletVice President -
bulletSecretary -
bulletTreasurer - Bob Torpey

What's News

Whenever there is a gathering of experienced special education administrators, you can be sure there is a great deal of wisdom in the room. Such was the case at the Annual Council of Administrators of Special Education (CASE) conference at Grantville in November. Here are a few of the "pearls of wisdom" and "jewels of knowledge" gleaned at that gathering.

The greatest percent of the work (as a special education administrator) is managing communication between parents and the school.

Achieve clarity: establish whose court the ball is in. Confusion occurs when it is unclear whose responsibility it is to take the next step.

Multiple documents won't make up for clarity.

The answer to any administration question is "it depends."

There is an inverse relationship between the complexity of the question and the simplicity of the answer.

Persons considering special education as a career must have a high tolerance for ambiguity.

Special education administrators need to develop principles to apply to situations to assist in making decisions.

Start with what you know and venture out from there.

Special education is not an island onto itself.

Special education administrators are responsible to be knowledgeable about special education regulations.

If you do something that harms a child, you are doing something wrong.

The laws/regulations are not meant to harm children.

Never let the "format" of a "form" inhibit you from recording your good deeds.

Students with Disabilities and Prescription Medication

The Pennsylvania Department of Education has received inquiries concerning the appropriateness of educational personnel becoming involved with medical decisions for students with disabilities. There is a specific concern about teachers and other school personnel "recommending" that parents consider placing their children on medication.

In some circumstances it may be appropriate for educational personnel to suggest to parents that they may wish to consult their family physician for a medical opinion regarding the difficulties their child is experiencing in school. If school personnel believe a student has a disability, school personnel may request that an initial evaluation of the student be performed. There may be discussions in the Multidisciplinary Evaluation (MDE) meeting or in the Individualized Education Program (IEP) meeting about behavior and medication. In these discussions, consideration is given to various strategies that may help control a student's behavioral problem, and this may include school personnel advising or recommending that medication be considered as an option. This message has to be delivered carefully. A parent could construe such a suggestion to mean that it is the opinion of the school staff that their child is in need of medication or is suffering from a specific medical disorder. Educators should refrain from engaging in specific medical recommendations or speculating as to what medical problems the student may be experiencing. A licensed medical professional must make the decision whether medication is necessary or appropriate.

The federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) prohibits school personnel from making a decision about a child's educational services without the consent of the child's parent(s). School personnel must refrain from making statements that may be construed to be offering medical advice. While school personnel may intend to be helpful, they should avoid comments to parents suggesting that the child is exhibiting behaviors similar to other children who have gone on medication.

The decision to place a child on medication is reserved to the family and must be made in consultation with licensed medical personnel. Under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act, a child cannot be discriminated against due to a disability or perceived disability. School personnel cannot require, suggest or imply that a student take medication as a condition of attending school.

We hope this advisory letter has been helpful and clearly states the shared view of our two Departments that medical decisions must be made by the family in consultation with appropriate medical personnel. Please feel free to contact the Bureau of Special Education at (717) 783-6134 if you have any questions or concerns

Thomas P. Carey, Ed.D., Department of Education
Dr. Helen Burns, Department of Health

FREE access program for all home and hospitalized students

As a NASDSE partner, Achievement Technologies, Inc. would like to remind you of our FREE access program for all home and hospitalized students. Details of this special program can be viewed at

Many State Directors of Special Education have already taken advantage of this free access program since November of last year.

bulletOver 151 registered users.
bulletOver 3,357 lessons and activities delivered.
bulletMore than 421 hours of instruction.
bulletOn average 7.53 minutes are spent on each activity.
bulletOver 151 registered users.
bulletOver 3,357 lessons and activities delivered.
bulletMore than 421 hours of instruction.
bulletOn average 7.53 minutes are spent on each activity.

Average Gains Between Pre & Post Test Scores:

bulletLanguage -- 61%
bulletMath -- 73%
bulletReading -- 123%
bulletWriting -- 61%

SEE for yourself the extensive ways SkillsTutor will benefit your students and maximize service to all home and hospitalized students with a FREE TRIAL at

We guarantee SkillsTutor will help your home and hospitalized students remain in the learning process to improve core skills knowledge and increase performance on state and national tests when they are unable to attend regular classes.

Call us at 1-888-391-3245 or email us at [email protected] to discuss this program today!

Jack Dolan, Executive V.P. Sales & Marketing Achievement Technologies,

P.S. SkillsTutor was rated OUTSTANDING by Multi-Media Schools September issue...SEE


Other Interesting and Related Web Sites
for Administrators & Supervisors of Special Education

bulletCEC Council of Administrators of Special Education
bulletAssociation for Supervision and Curriculum Development
bulletAmerican Council on Education (ACE)
bulletIndiana Council of Administrators of Special Education (CASE)

Contacting your officers:

Michel Bennish
East Pennsboro Area School District
890 Valley St
Enola, PA 17025
Voice: 717-732-3601
Email: [email protected]

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