New Frontier: Why and Wins for an Intentional SEA Policy to LEA Practice Feedback Loop
Following building closure due to COVID-19, the Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) Special Education and Title Services (SETS) team received a flood of questions from special education administrators about how to navigate this new frontier of supporting students with IEPs during continuous learning. Recognizing the need from the field for a space to learn from each other while staying grounded in the law and guidance, KSDE SETS asked two technical assistance providers to facilitate a virtual Community of Practice (CoP) for special education administrators for a span of 20 weeks. This session will unpack the CoP from system perspectives and data, highlighting lessons learned, benefits realized, and opportunities to leverage an intentional creation of a supported (and consistent) policy to practice feedback loop. The session will include activities to showcase where quick wins can be made in strengthening relationships through levels of the system in a virtual environment.
As an assistant director on the Special Education and Title Services team at the Kansas State
Department of Education (KSDE), Laura brings her expertise as an attorney to the oversight of the
team’s integrated accountability efforts. This includes dispute resolution, integrated monitoring
and technical assistance across special education and title requirements, SPP/APR
responsibilities, significant disproportionality, and oversight of the state’s seclusion and restraint
requirements and technical assistance. Laura has been with KSDE for eight years, five as an
attorney and three in her current position.
As assistant project director for the General Supervision and Timely and Accurate Data (GSTAD) Project, a project of the Kansas State Department of Education's Technical Assistance System Network (TASN), Elena coordinates a team of technical assistance providers to support local educational agencies in a number of areas, particularly general supervision compliance and corrective actions and provides technical assistance to the state department's special education and title services team on IDEA general supervision systems. She is a co-lead for the New Frontier Community of Practice and served as a community of practice co-lead through her work for the American Institutes of Research on the Center for IDEA Fiscal Reporting (CIFR). Elena has over 20 years of experience in education including serving as the former Assistant Director of Special Education for the Kansas State Department of Education. Elena is also a former local special education director, legal consultant, education lobbyist, and secondary English teacher. She holds a Bachelor’s in English/Secondary Education from Washburn University, a Master’s in Education Administration from Emporia State University, and a Juris Doctor from University of Toledo College of Law. She is a licensed district administrator and attorney, and she serves as a board member for Special Olympics Kansas.
Jana Rosborough, JD, MSE, work focuses on assisting states in transforming systems of early intervention and special education, leveraging her legal background to drive systems alignment, to improve outcomes for all students, including students with disabilities. Rosborough has served as a consultant, facilitator, and coach, assisting states and school districts with outcome driven accountability across systems, special education compliance, issues related to intersection of special education with general education programming, fiscal requirements, and Multi-Tiered Systems of Support. Prior to joining WestEd in 2015, Rosborough was an Assistant Director on the Early Childhood, Special Education, and Title Services team with the Kansas State Department of Education. She is also a licensed attorney in Kansas and Missouri.