Principal January/February 2020: Special Education

With 1 in 5 public school students having a learning disability, it is critically important that principals have the knowledge and skills to cultivate a nurturing school environment in which all students thrive. This issue of Principal magazine helps you design learning experiences that bolster your most exceptional students. From ensuring equity and inclusion to engaging families in student support, we’ve got you covered.

Click here to read the digital edition.

This issue of Principal is also accompanied by a Leading Lessons guide, “Growing the Capacity of Assistant Principals," which helps to strengthen the APs role in school success.


The Point Person for Special Education
Principals must build a range of knowledge to navigate and deliver special education appropriately
Rhonda Brunner and David Bateman

Learning and the Law
Knowing the basics will ensure the lawful, effective delivery of special education
Mark Paige

In the Know About IEPs
Principals must be conversant in special education terminology to collaborate with parents
Amanda Morin

A Journey Taken Together
A Massachusetts school uses a co-teaching strategy to produce newfound growth among special needs students
Liz Garden

Solutions From the Source
Experts reveal strategies they use in handling common issues in special education

Research Roundup: Autism Spectrum Disorder
Recent reports examine current practice in the assessment, intervention, and socialization of students with ASD
Linda Fitch

Pumping Up Supports for Special Education
A focus on scheduling, professional development, and accountability ensures every student gets the resources they need
Brittany Vigil and Jessica Shroyer-King

The Old College Try
Can’t find good mentors for new special education teachers in your area? Look to colleges and universities
Lisa Burke and Linda Dauksas


From the Editor
The Principles of Inclusion
Kaylen Tucker

Nuggets of research, policy, and practice to keep you informed

5 Things
What you need to know about the association that has your back

In the Spotlight
Curtis Slater: Walking in a Superhero’s Shoes

Practitioner’s Corner
Measuring Mastery
Implementation of a standards-based grading system requires clear communication

Early Career
Clear Benefits
Added teacher clarity is the low-hanging fruit of learning improvement

The Reflective Principal
Overcoming the Overwhelming
Mentoring programs help slash turnover and shield new administrators from stress

School Law
10 Tasks to Ensure Compliance
Promote broad understanding of Section 504 to avoid costly
civil rights violations

Speaking Out
The Unintended Impact of Evaluation
Numbers and rubrics can turn the focus away from instructional improvement

Parents & Schools
Building Better Principal-Parent Partnerships
A multifaceted approach taps technology, involves students, and gives parents flexibility

In the Middle
The Kindness Curriculum
Life-skills learning turns middle-school special education
students into entrepreneurs

What Makes a Difference?
L. Earl Franks, Ed.D., CAE