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Posted: 3/2/2018

Schools generally organize themselves according to categories: They divide students by age, grade, and often by academic progress or lack thereof. But what about students who don't fit into those categories?

That's the problem junior Brendan Olson and senior Joey Firestone faced.

On a recent morning, they sat with about a dozen other students in a classroom at Lionsgate Academy in Minnetonka. The class is specifically for students who are called "twice-exceptional," meaning they have a disability and qualify as intellectually gifted. Brendan and Joey are on the autism spectrum.

Students started discussing a book about leadership, and Brendan spoke up first.

Read More

Posted: 2/14/2018

On January 10, 2018, the U.S. Department of Education has approved Minnesota’s Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) state plan. The plan provides a framework for the state’s testing and accountability framework with a goal of ensuring all students, including those with disabilities, are successful. Read more

Posted: 2/14/2018

Emagine Willow Creek in Plymouth, MN hosts “Secret Cinema” at 7:00 p.m. on the second Thursday of each month and a portion of the proceeds support PACER. The film is a secret - you won’t know what you’re watching until the lights go down and the movie starts rolling! Each movie is selected by local film professors, critics, and industry professionals, and a Q&A session follows each screening. Admission is just $6 and, best of all, $1 of each ticket purchase benefits PACER! The next Secret Cinema is March 8.
For information, visit Emagine Willow Creek.

PACER offers helpful resources for alternative dispute resolution

Posted: 2/14/2018

One of the most important jobs of parents is helping their child with disabilities receive an appropriate education. Sometimes, families and school districts disagree about special education. PACER provides extensive dispute resolution resources, including the Minnesota Due Process Options brochure that outlines the options available to parents along with key contacts. The brochure is available for free download.

Newly updated IEP guide now available

Posted: 2/14/2018

PACER has updated its most widely used resource, “A Guide to the Individualized Education Program (IEP) for Minnesota Parents.” This book helps parents work with schools to address each child's special needs through understanding the required components of the IEP. Download a copy or call 952-838-9000 to order.

New guide to mobile apps for transition-age youth

Posted: 2/14/2018

Many free and low-cost mobile apps are available to support transition-age youth with disabilities as they embark on their journey towards post-secondary education, job training, employment, and independent living. With so many options, where do you begin? A new PACER book, “The Path to Independence: Mobile Apps to Support Transition-Age Youth,” includes apps that parents and professionals have found useful and well-designed. Download a copy or call 952-838-9000 to order.

Posted: 12/27/2017

The U.S. Department of Education recently released a question-and-answer document supporting the unanimous Supreme Court opinion on Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District in March 2017. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)-related case clarifies the scope of a free appropriate public education (FAPE).

The Department issued the Q&A document to provide information to parents, educators, and others on the issues addressed in the case and the impact of the Court’s decision. The document also explains how FAPE is currently defined, clarifies the standard for determining FAPE, and addresses how this ruling can support children with disabilities.

View the Q&A document on the U.S. Department of Education website

View the Supreme Court decision on the SCOTUSblog website

Posted: 10/9/2017

Minnesota school districts are currently required to develop a local literacy plan to ensure that all students are reading well by no later than the end of third grade. Minnesota school districts are also now required to report K-2 summary reading data, reading disability identification efforts and provision of alternate instruction along with their Local Literacy Plans to the Minnesota Education Commissioner by July 1 of each year.

During the 2017 legislative session, new language was added to the “Reading Well by Third grade” law that included three new school district requirements.

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Posted: 8/23/2017

PACER Center presented a workshop for youth 16-24 and their families in Marshall, Minn. on Sept. 13. Here’s what the Marshall Independent newspaper had to say about “What Families Need to Know about Career Pathways and WorkForce Centers.”

Read More

Posted: 7/23/2017

Here's a link to the fair's accessibility information for guests with disabilities. Minnesota State Fair Accessibility
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Upcoming Workshops


Becoming an Active Partner in Your Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP)

(see flyer pdf icon)

PACER Center


A Star Wars 3D Printed Universe

(see flyer pdf icon)

PACER Center


Too Many Apps for That? How to Find, Choose, and Evaluate Mobile Apps to Meet Your Needs

PACER Center


Creatures of the Ocean

(see flyer pdf icon)

PACER Center


Off to College: What You Need to Know Before You Go

PACER Center


Anxiety at School: Making a Plan that Works for Students with Vision Loss

(see flyer pdf icon)

PACER Center


Planning for Educational Inclusion: A Viewing of “Including Samuel”

Maple Grove


The ABCs of the IEP: Making the Individualized Education Program (IEP) Work for Your Child

PACER Center


Building a Robot

(see flyer pdf icon)

PACER Center

View more workshops

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