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Individualized Education Programs 101

  • CASA of Luzerne County 667 South River Street Wilkes-Barre, PA, 18702 United States (map)

Effective communication between school and home is paramount to students’ success in the classroom. This is especially true for students with a disability who require specialized education and related services (IDEA eligible students). This interactive workshop is designed to help participants better understand how to collaboratively engage with the school during the special education process. The Individualized with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) mandates that IDEA eligible students are entitled to an Individualized Education Program (IEP), which is like a “contract” between the school district and the student. Appropriate development of the IEP requires ongoing, collaborative dialogue between school personnel and parents/guardians. Participants will also learn what an IEP is, the function of the IEP, what an appropriate IEP looks like, and the legal guidelines surrounding IEP development and implementation. Those participating in the workshop will be asked to view an approximate 45-minute, online presentation focused on these topics prior to attending, and are encouraged to email their questions, related to these topics, one week prior to the presentation to

Dr. Kathleen Provinzano was sworn in as a CASA volunteer in March 2014 and has advocated for seven children. She is an Assistant Professor of Educational Administration and Leadership in the School of Education at Drexel University. Dr. Provinzano studies leadership dynamics in full-service community schools and the influence of integrated student supports on student learning and behavior in community schools. She teaches research, policy, and leadership courses in Drexel’s principal and superintendent preparation programs.

Dr. Provinzano is currently a co-principal investigator (Co-PI) for a Pennsylvania Department of Education Eligible Partnerships Postsecondary Grant focused on the training and development of principals for the early grades. In this work, she provides professional development to twenty Future Principal Residents (FPRs) and their mentoring principals on topics related to PreK-3 instructional leadership and assessment, and creating, supporting, and scaling school-family-community partnerships. She is an experienced building administrator, school counselor, and classroom teacher. Her active Pennsylvania Department of Education certificates include Superintendent of Schools, K-12 Principal, Secondary School Counselor, and Social Studies Educator (7-12). She is also a graduate of the Pennsylvania Education Policy Fellowship Program and serves ad Editor of the peer-reviewed journal, Pennsylvania Educational Leadership, a publication for PASCD. 

Dr. Constance Lyttle is an Associate Clinical Professor at Drexel University, having created the Collaborative Special Education Law and Process Post Baccalaureate Certificate and Masters Concentration, including, but not limited to Special Education Advocacy and Early Special Education Dispute Resolution Skills Training; while serving as a PA Special Education Mediator, IEP/IFSP Facilitator and Resolution Meeting Facilitator. Dr. Lyttle has been actively involved in all areas of special education, serving as a tenured Associate Professor of Special Education at Duquesne University; a school district attorney (associate in the law firm of Kirkpatrick & Lockhart); a special education parent attorney in private practice, a PA Special Education Hearing Officer and PA Special Education Appeals Panel Officer. Almost ten years ago, Dr. Lyttle founded the consulting practice, Special Education Law Solutions,, through which she helps school districts and families of children with disabilities to resolve disputes collaboratively.