PD on the Go: Streamlining Special Education Procedures with Dr. Kevin Rubenstein

Let’s Go Learn recently interviewed an expert on streamlining Special Education procedures. As the President-Elect of National CASE (Council of Administrators of Special Education) and Assistant Superintendent of Elmhurst 205 in Illinois, Dr. Kevin Rubenstein is widely respected in the field of special education. In the interview (see below) he provides valuable insights into their district’s initiatives to enhance efficiency and consistency in special education procedures.

At Elmhurst 205, a key focus has been on creating a comprehensive procedures manual to ensure uniformity across the district. Collaborating with directors and administrators, the team meticulously crafted a well-written manual, addressing everything from timelines to specific sections of Individualized Education Plans (IEPs). This centralized document acts as a guiding compass for educators, eliminating ambiguities and fostering consistency in compliance with state requirements.

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To facilitate easy access and real-time updates, the district utilized a cloud-based platform. The procedures manual, conveniently stored on a Google doc, allows authorized personnel to access and refer to it seamlessly. The dynamic nature of the document enables quick updates and revisions to accommodate emerging needs and best practices.  To ensure timely and efficient updates, a structured process has been established. During weekly team meetings, the team identifies areas that require modifications, additions, or clarifications. Following a thorough review, the updates are promptly released on Monday mornings, allowing educators to stay informed and make informed decisions throughout the week.

Emphasizing the importance of individualized approaches, the district retains flexibility in areas such as adverse effects, allowing educators to tailor interventions to each student’s unique needs. While some aspects require standardized procedures for consistency, the district acknowledges the value of customized solutions to cater to diverse learners effectively.

With a shared commitment to enhancing special education practices, Elmhurst 205 exemplifies how streamlined procedures, regular updates, and a balance between standardization and individualization can empower educators and foster optimal outcomes for students with diverse learning needs. The innovative approach championed by the President-Elect and Assistant Superintendent serves as an inspiration to districts nationwide, contributing to the advancement of special education practices on a broader scale.