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ERIC Number: EJ1047433
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 13
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: EISSN-2327-3607
Max's Family Experience: Web-Resources for Working with Special Education Students and Their Families
Theoharis, Raschelle; Fitzpatrick, Michael
Critical Questions in Education, v2 n1 p1-13 Win 2011
Today's principals are required to put in longer hours, lead larger schools, and supervise more faculty and staff members. Additionally they need to create a positive learning environment for students, a productive work environment for their employees, and contend with a variety of student behaviors at the building level. Aside from the duties briefly noted above, one of the major challenges principals encounter is guaranteeing that special education (SPED) programs are an active and welcomed part of the school community. Moreover the No Child Left Behind Act has increased principals' responsibilities to ensure the academic success for all students, especially students with disabilities. Similarly the reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act reinforced the requirements of NCLB. To ensure IDEIA mandates are implemented with the spirit in which they are intended, principals need to be informed and committed to increasing the academic and social outcomes for all students with disabilities. To illustrate the importance of the principal's ability to successfully create and foster a school climate, this article will present a case study that focuses on one family's interaction with two different elementary school principals with very diverse perspectives of SPED and students with disabilities, specifically a child with autism. Each case scenario illustrates issues related to a principal's ability or inability to: (1) Establish an effective and positive school climate that promotes access to the general education curriculum; (2) Communicate a clear understanding of the responsibilities to students with disabilities according to NCLB and IDEIA mandates; (3) Play an active role in Individual Education Program (IEP) meetings and promote success and access for all students; (4) Support the needs of families of children with disabilities. In addition, this article will provide web-based resources from the field of SPED--specifically autism--that support the need for principals to use effective leadership and communication skills to meet the needs of SPED programs, educators, students, and parents.
Academy for Educational Studies. 2419 Berkeley Street, Springfield, MO 65804. Tel: 417-299-1560; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Kindergarten; Primary Education; Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act 2004; No Child Left Behind Act 2001
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A