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Add to your special education toolkit

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Add to your Special Education toolkit with WEA's Special Education trainings. Individual trainings are offered throughout the year and across the state. Or you can select from a menu of courses during one of our 4-day summer Boot Camps.

Contact Molly Baasch, Special Populations/Programs Coordinator, to learn more.

Find current training opportunities on our Events page.

Visit the Special Education Support Center, which was developed by a diverse group representing disabilities organizations, higher education, teachers, ESA personnel, administrators, para-educators, families, governmental agencies and community organizations, including WEA.


Boot camp

Prepare for four days of comprehensive focus on special education issues. These summer trainings provide relevant information on the responsibilities of those working with children with disabilities. The training, presented by the WEA Special Education Cadre, is open to

  • WEA members
  • Other school employees
  • Parents
  • Administrators
  • Representatives from community agencies

Course offerings

Courses like these are offered throughout the year and at Boot Camp.

Autism awareness - The puzzle of autism

  • Get an in depth look at deficits in areas such as social reciprocity, shared attention, and perspective taking.
  • Understand how these deficits translate into academic, social, motor, communication and adaptive difficulties in schools and communities.
  • Learn about the various behavioral, developmental, and structured teaching approaches as well as a variety of effective classroom strategies.

Behavior intervention

  • Understand the difference between discipline and changing behavior
  • Develop a Functional Behavior Assessment and Positive Behavior Plan
  • Learn skills for improving behavior

Common Core state standards and Special Education instruction

  • Understand the content and suggested general education use of the common core standards
  • Evaluate the functional use of the Common Core Standards as target for special education students
  • Use student evaluations to create IEPs which provide specially designed instruction
  • Create appropriate connections, when appropriate, to the Common Core Standards

Difficult conversations

  • Introduce new ways to analyze difficult conversations
  • Offer an alternative stance to your approach in difficult conversations
  • Learn strategies for structuring conversations that support shared learning and effective decision-making
  • Learn communication strategies necessary for engaging in critical conversations

Effective instruction

  • Look at brain research to answer these questions
    • Why do research-based strategies work?
    • What makes a strategy effective?
  • Align strategies that they are using in the classroom to what science knows about how the brain learns

IEP non-transition (elementary)

  • Understand the standards of the Rules and Regulations (WACs)
  • Focus on the intent of the IEP process in order to build meaningful, individualized and collaborative IEPs
  • Understand all essential elements of the IEP

IEP transition (secondary)

  • Learn the requirements of transition
  • Understand the components of transition planning
  • Learn how transition components drive the IEP process
  • Focus on the intent of the IEP process in order to build meaningful individualized and collaborative IEPs

Special Education and the law

  • Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE)
  • Appropriate student evaluation
  • Individualized education program
  • Least restrictive environment
  • Parent and student participation in decisions
  • Procedural due process

Universal design for learning

  • Define universal design
  • Understand how universal design transitions into learning
  • Recognize the elements of universal design and its principles
  • Utilize examples of universal design
  • Create classroom lessons using universal design of learning principles
  • Share UDL planned designs with others
  • Incorporate UDL into instruction plans