The Movement Toward Equity in Education for All Learners
April 20, 2022 • Earle Brown Heritage Center
6155 Earle Brown Dr., Brooklyn Center, MN 55430






7:00 – 8:00 A.M.

Breakfast & Networking

8:00 – 8:15 A.M.


RR&M’s Special Education Team

8:15 – 9:30 A.M.

The Year in Review: New Cases & What You Need to Know

In our annual review, we dive into cases in the 8th Circuit that may impact your education practice. We will discuss recent decisions on how the pandemic has impacted special education to cases on behavior, dyslexia, extended school days and years, and more.

9:30 – 9:45 A.M.


9:45 – 10:45 A.M.

Overcoming Dyslexia - Live Streamed

Dr. Shaywitz is a developmental pediatrician who has written what has been described as the definitive book on dyslexia. This session will include discussion of the science of dyslexia and the Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity’s work on strategies for overcoming this learning disability. All Conference participants will receive a copy of Overcoming Dyslexia by Sally Shaywitz, M.D.

Dr. Sally Shaywitz is the Audrey G. Ratner Professor in Learning Development at Yale University and Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity. Dr. Shaywitz is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards, served on congressional panels and committees about reading, and is the author of the award-winning, best-selling book Overcoming Dyslexia. Dr. Shaywitz’s presentation will cover the topic of dyslexia, including developing struggling readers into proficient readers.

Stop, Collaborate, and Listen (Before Discipline): Addressing Student Behavior

When addressing behavior for a special education student, it is important for building administrators and special educators to work collaboratively. Even more so than with other student discipline situations, it is important to do things by the book when imposing discipline against a student with special needs. From investigating alleged misconduct to manifestation determinations to enforcing discipline, this presentation will cover best practices and key insights for addressing student misconduct in the special education context.

Mental Health & School Attendance: Legal Obligations for Schools

In this session we will explore the legal obligations that arise when a student’s mental health impacts attendance. We will discuss practical ways to address the school district’s FAPE obligation, how to engage reluctant learners and their parents and more.

10:45 – 11:00 A.M.


11:00 A.M. – 12:00 P.M.

The Pandemic is Over. Now What? Ensuring FAPE in a New Era

The pandemic had multi-layered effects on education, students and staff. We will address virtual learning, child-find, what FAPE looks like with these new layers and the school district’s obligations to students.

School Safety & Threat Assessments:
A Solutions Focus

Jennifer McIntyre
Todd Savage, Ph.D., NCSP
Melissa Schaller, Ph.D

School Safety & Threat Assessments: A Solutions Focus

The last two years have seen an increase in threats of violence by students in schools and via social media. In this session we will learn more about threat assessments, when to use them, what reliable tools exist and how to communicate about such threats and other crisis preparation.

Does Compliance Matter: Special Education & Disproportionality

Dr. Voulgarides has researched and written on this topic and will share her insights on the compliance required by IDEA and its impact on the disproportionate numbers of students in certain eligibility categories and the impact on learners in general.

12:00 – 1:00 P.M.


1:00 – 2:00 P.M.

On Hope and Healing: Repairing Positive Learning Relationships Between Special Education Students and Their Teachers

The pandemic has been very difficult for students with special learning needs, especially when teachers and districts struggled to maintain meaningful access to learning experiences. It has also been very challenging for teachers to find effective ways to educate within the COVID restrictions. This workshop will explore practices that help both students and teachers access hope and healing.

Gender Diverse Youth & Special Education

This session will provide the participant with a brief understanding of gender diverse youth and their school experiences. Emphasis will be placed on how school-based personnel can support and accommodate gender diverse youth with special education needs through the assessment and intervention development processes.

Crosswalk between the IDEA & Section 504: Ensuring Compliance & Providing FAPE

This presentation will take a closer look at the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the way these two laws intersect. We will look at the ways in which the IDEA and Section 504 are the same, how they differ, and how these laws should be applied to students with disabilities in our schools. The session will conclude with a rapid-fire Q & A session, so bring your IDEA and Section 504 questions!

2:00 – 2:15 P.M.


2:15 – 3:15 P.M.

Staff Shortages - Now What: Navigating the New Normal

Join your colleagues to discuss how to navigate staff shortages from those impacting transportation to those that impact school and student safety and the provision of FAPE.

Whose Student is This: Residency, Placements & Transportation

From residency to placement, this presentation examines both the law and best practices regarding schools’ responsibilities for providing services to student. Topics covered will include the more complicated issues regarding a student’s resident and/ or providing school district, including students who are in foster care, are wards of the state, or are experiencing homelessness or housing instability; schools’ responsibilities under the McKinney-Vento Act; the extent (and limits) of schools’ obligations to provide transportation; and, once the school has determined a child is one of its students, where that child is placed to receive services.

Dyslexia: The Evolving Laws Related to Struggling Readers and Students with Dyslexia

Serving struggling readers and students with dyslexia is an increasing area of special education and Section 504 litigation. This presentation will provide practical guidance on a multitude of areas relevant to serving struggling readers and students with dyslexia. The topics will include screening for the characteristics of dyslexia, instruction of struggling readers, communication with families, evaluations, and IEPs. The presentation will also provide an overview of recent court and administrative decisions.

3:15 – 3:30 P.M.

Closing Comments, Evaluations and Drawing for 2023