Do Angels Travel Faster Than The of Speed of Light?

Can angels travel at the speed of light? Yes would be the correct answer. Consider that radiation travels at the speed of light. Radiation is energy and we can understand this when it hits our skin and causes a sun burn. When light waves travel through space they are potential energy. When these light waves hit a object they become kinetic energy and burn the object such as our skin. Therefore consider this, angels are potential energy when they move through space at the speed of light, or greater. But when they hit the atmosphere of a plant they become kinetic energy, which causes them to be observable by the human or alien eye.

Radiation such as the light we use to see, travels through space in a vacuum or near vacuum. It travels at the speed of light, which is approximately 186,000 miles per second. However light and other parts of the spectrum, such as UV radiation has no mass. So theoretically these forms of energy could travel faster than the speed of light, which is an astounding 300,000 km per second. Light waves travelling at any speed would have no mass and no momentum. Consequently no energy would be required to start their motion and accelerate their speed. In fact to get radiation to reach 300000 km per hour would be instantaneous.

We see the vastness of the Universe when we look into the night sky. The unlimited number of stars and galaxies are arraigned before us. Astronomers tell us the universe is so large it takes the light form the most distant parts to reach us in millions of years. In fact when describing how far away the most distant object is from Earth, the term light year is used. The term light year refers to the distance light can travel in one year. Yet angels can travel this distance in an instant, no time at all, as they can exist outside of our Universe. God created the Universe. God most certainly can travel anywhere in our Universe in an instant or in zero time. The time spoken of here is how we think of time.

God and the angels are not flesh. When they travel through our Universe they are energy, what we understand to be potential energy. Yet we fully cannot understand their energy. It is written in Exodus 33:20 “No man may see me and live”. They transcend our fleshly existence. They can travel beyond the speed of light and their movement is instantaneous relative to our motions.

Best Regards

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Is It a Problem That Computers Will Soon Be Able to Think?

Having upgraded and modern software, which is still on research, installed in computers, is it a threat that they will soon be able to think? Or, rather is it actually the problem that humans will start to think like computers? Read on for a discussion on this aspect.

That computers will be able to think is a plus for humans. Humans do not have to do all the hard work any longer. They get to relax more and have lots of leisure.

On the other hand, when humans sit down to interact with computers, now that they are smart, the human brain is more likely to grasp the level the computer is thinking and how it is doing so that they continuously focus on the issue. Therefore, in the long run, humans will start to think like computers which poses a problem to society.

These people will be weirdos, no longer being able to enjoy family life and recreation. Their minds will continue to concentrate on how computers are able to think and get glued to the aspect so that they go into another world, which no force might be able to bring them back to the real world.

They will continuously toil in lab in an effort to understand computers and interact with them at the root level so that hope for their families and social circles will get lost and lives will be changed for the worse.

Therefore, it is critical to comprehend that computers should be allowed to think and make the job of humans easier but no way humans should try to think like them. Because as I have illustrated, it poses a threat for others and they are actually likely to convert into robots, no more being able to function like real humans, missing out on all the fun of life.

It is encouraged though that humans work in labs to try to make computers and robots think that will help to solve complex real-life problems. But humans shouldn’t give attention about how they are doing it at the basic level otherwise they start to think like them and all hope is lost.

Summing up, I would suggest humans keep their distance from computers and robots but work on them to make them function in smart ways without getting dangerously involved with them so that they cease to start thinking like machines. That machines will be able to think is not the problem at all. Actually the problem is the other way round and humans should be cautious and canny and know beforehand where the threat actually lies.

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Real Estate Niche Marketing

When deciding how you will be marketing your property, you will have several options from which to choose. You can choose to market in a traditional sense to a broad audience, or you can choose to market to a specific group. It’s called niche marketing and the options are almost endless. Niche marketing allows you to be the expert and raise your credibility.

You might live in an area that makes niche marketing almost obvious, or you might be in an area that requires some in-depth research and planning. To get you started, here are a few ideas.

Some areas are dominated by certain ethnic groups. Marketing to ethnic groups makes sense, especially when they are anchored by a church and stores. You might have areas in your city filled with the rich cultures of Italy, Germany, India, Russia, Romania, Greece, Thailand, and Poland. Other areas are based around religions, like Judaism, Buddhism, Catholicism, Mormonism, or Islam. In both types of communities, there is often a dominant building that is the focus, like a Jewish community center or a large temple. By being savvy and knowing your area, you can help connect newcomers to places that can make them feel right at home right away.

Other niche marketing can revolve around specific buyers, like working with first time homebuyers. Not everyone buying his or her first home is a young person; sometimes people buy their first home because of a life change like a big job promotion or a divorce. Other first time buyers are able to do so because the kids have grown up and they can finally afford to have a small home of their own.

There are geographic ways you can market, particularly if you have a feature like a lake or a gorgeous mountain view that you can sell to people. Some folks are looking for a home on a lake so they can take their boats out or that they can have a shoreside retreat and want someone with that experience to guide them.

If you live near a large employer, it can be a good idea to specialize in marketing to people relocating to the area. It can be hard to find schools and get acclimated to the area, so it’s important to have that information handy for your clients. Specializing in helping people relocate also gives you an in with the company to help get access to their new employees.

Another niche you might want to fill is marketing to people who are looking for green or Earth-friendly living. There are people who are very committed to their causes and want to be able to live out what they believe. Though most homes are not made with any animal products, you can still cater to vegans, especially if you live in an area that is vegan friendly in terms of clothing options and grocery stores.

There is also an importance for politicians and lobbyists to be catered to, as they sometimes need to have temporary housing or part-time housing options. Being able to understand their needs and find just the right homes for them is not only beneficial to their careers but it will establish you as an expert.

As you can see, there are a lot of choices. If you have an idea to market in your area that you think would be a perfect fit, it’s OK to go in that direction. You know your area better than anyone else, and this is your chance to shine.

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Competitor Analysis – A Graphic Design Perspective

You probably already know all about SWOT analysis. You might even have your oppositions target demographics, market share and sales figures on hand. But have you ever applied the same type of stringent methodology to analysing your competitors’ visual presence in the marketplace? A graphic design audit is a fantastic and relatively easy way to get a clear picture of how your competitors are perceived, what key messages they are communicating and how you look when placed alongside them. It’s also a valuable exercise that informs you about the type of communication your customers are receiving on a regular basis from your key competitors.

So how do you do it?

The first step to a graphic design audit is to compile every piece of sales and marketing collateral you can find from the competition. This includes trawling through their website and taking screen grabs of key pages, subscribing to their mailing lists, getting your hands on their brochures, purchasing their products so you can have a look at packaging etc. etc.

According to Peter L. Phillips author of “Creating the Perfect Design Brief – How to Manage Design for Strategic Advantage”, one of the best, least expensive and fastest methods is to attend all industry trade shows. There is nothing illegal, unprofessional or immoral about this practice. Business is merely a game we are playing to win after all!

Mr Phillips also suggests using your sales force members to find out what the competition are up to.

As they come into direct contact with customers every day, they can often pick up competitive literature from the customer. They only need to know what you need and of course why you need it.

So once you have compiled the information, what do you do with it?

The best way to start is by putting your competitors’ information up on the wall and analysing them one by one. Invite as many people as possible from your sales, marketing and business teams to give their individual opinion on what design elements are working very well for the competition, and what weaknesses they can see. By starting your analysis on your competitors first, you will build up a bit of objectivity so you can then turn the same harsh critique onto yourself.

Look for ways the design and language make a document unique. Do they have a friendly look and feel that reflects more personalized service? Do they look more professional than you? Why? Is it because the page is less cluttered, the colours are more toned down or some other reason? Is their website easier to navigate than your own? What do you think their reasons behind these choices were? Is there anything you can learn from them? Most importantly, how are these competitors using design for competitive advantage?

Now for the hard part – using the same analysis on yourself. Reassure your staff that this is not an exercise where they need to defend their work, it is merely a way of gaining useful information that could give you a competitive advantage that improves your bottom line. This aspect of the audit sometimes proves a bit tricky so you might need an independent opinion from a graphic design firm that understands the process to help you out.

It is amazing how much strategic information this process can generate. It will give you new ideas and a fresh perspective that can influence the entire way you approach your marketing for the year. And considering a lot of businesses think of graphic design as an annoying inconvenience, if you are the first to use this more strategic approach you will find it is another tool to help you stay one step ahead of the competition.

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Fitness Cross Trainer Review: The Vision Fitness Elite X6100 HR

Introduction:

There’s no denying that the fitness cross trainer is the hottest selling piece of exercise equipment on the market today. With their busy, modern lifestyles, most people don’t have the time to travel to a gym to work out. Recognising that staying fit is important, many have elected to work out at home, in private and at their own pace. These machines are a good choice for these people, because they provide a total body workout that maximises the time spent working out. Here’s a brief review of one we like quite a bit: the Vision Fitness Elite X6100 HR

Overall Rating:

4.5 out of 5.0 stars

Key Features:

The X6100 is a terrific value in a full-featured elliptical. With a durable, heavy-duty ECB-Plus™ motor-operated resistance system that delivers smooth, fluid operation and changes on demand with just the push of a button. We also like the easy to read, backlit blue LCD console that includes 5 programmes along with a scrolling message centre. This is a great elliptical for those who have limited space because the arms fold conveniently for easy storage.

Price: About £799.00

Product Description:

The Vision Fitness Elite X61 HR trainer has all the features you’d expect on a much more expensive machine. It provides plenty of feedback during your workout, including displaying heart rate, watts, time, speed, distance, RPM, calories, programme, level and profile. Watts, by the way, is a measure of power that helps you know how hard you’re working. It indicates the amount of energy you’re burning over time during your workout. For example, you’re exercising at a rate of 42 watts for 100 seconds, you’ve expended one calorie. A recent review in Health magazine raved:

This elliptical trainer is made of heavy-gauge steel and folds to less than 4 feet long, making it a nice fit for nearly any room…This is a solid, smooth, quiet unit. The simple-to-decipher console offers five program options…and three other types of workout feedback. The X6100 also has hand grips that detect your heart rate on contact and a reading rack in case you need a distraction.

Product Specifications:

Open dimensions: 201 long x 69 wide x 175 high (cm) (79 x 27 x 69 inches)

Folded dimensions: 107 long x 69 wide x 175 high (cm) (42 x 27 x 69 inches)

Boxed dimensions: 165 x 55 x 80 (cm)

Product weight: 90 kg (199 lbs)

Maximum user weight: 136kg (300 lbs)

Warranty: Lifetime frame and brake, 10 years parts, 5 years labour

Product Features:

5 programmes: Manual, interval, weight loss, mountain and constant watts

Stride length: 19.75″

Pedal arms: BIO-RADIUS™ folding

Pedals: Standard footplates

Flywheel: 24 lbs balanced

Transport wheels: Yes

Heart rate measurement: Hand grip pulse sensors and built-in Polar receiver

Drive train: QUIET-GLIDE™ super-silent poly-V belt

Resistance levels: 16

Power supply: Mains powered

Conclusion:

With an affordable price point and a bevy of desirable features, the Vision Fitness Elite X6100 HR fitness cross trainer is an excellent choice for beginners and experts alike.

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IT WAS A VERY GOOD YEAR – 12 Months When Rock Music Reached Its Peak

Career peaks for Led Zeppelin, Marvin Gaye, The Who, Joni Mitchell and Rod Stewart – in 1971 popular music reached its high water mark.

On a recent flight to Alicante from the UK I read a magazine article making the case for 1966 being the high water mark for popular music. The evidence looked watertight – Revolver, Pet Sounds, Blonde on Blonde, Fifth Dimension, each one a landmark album and released the same year as outstanding offerings from The Kinks, The Who, the Rolling Stones (and that was just in London), with ground-breaking music also being made in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

During the plane journey I began making a mental list of what I consider the greatest albums ever made: What’s Goin’ On, Born To Run, Blue, Plastic Ono Band, Blood On The Tracks, Who’s Next, Rubber Soul, London Calling, Tapestry, and in doing so realised how many were made in 1971. So without further here is the case for that year being the ‘annus mirabilis’ of rock music.

At first glance 1971 is a strange year for rock. The Beatles had split, there was no new material from Bob Dylan and constant personnel changes had blown The Beach Boys and The Byrds off course. But with What’s Goin’ On, Marvin Gaye gave Motown its finest hour. More social comment than sweet soul, the songs focused on inner city deprivation, brotherhood and the mess being made of the environment – marvellous Marvin proving you could have a message and make great dance music at the same time. Tapestry (Carole King) and Blue (Joni Mitchell) are albums of incredible maturity and insight into human emotions, while Every Picture Tells A Story is Rod Stewart at his most charming, funny and poignant. The title track is a wonderful mixture of eloquence and ramshackle rock with the killer second side (Maggie May, Mandolin Wind, (I Know) I’m Losing You and Reason To Believe) a match for any side of an album ever recorded.

1971 also brought Sticky Fingers, an album of such swagger and attitude it could only have been recorded by the Rolling Stones, the best recorded rock band on the planet weighed in with the sonic masterpiece that is Led Zeppelin IV, while on Muswell Hilbillies, King Kink Ray Davies presents sketches of London that 40 years before Graham Greene would have been proud of.

But the final word in this momentous year goes to the Rolling Stone magazine Record Guide which states Who’s Next by The Who ‘may well be the finest rock record ever made.’ If you agree with that statement (as I do) there is little else to add. As Del Trotter once said: ‘I don’t care what they say, you can’t whack The Who.’

By the time we landed in Alicante my mind was made up, 1971 was the golden year. But waiting to show my passport I thought of 1969 – and of Abbey Road, Tommy, Crosby Stills & Nash, Let It Bleed, Bridge Over Troubled Water, The Band, Dusty in Memphis, Led Zeppelin II…

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New Book Offers Practical Tips for Achieving Financial Security

In Your Money and You: How to Increase Your Chances of Achieving Financial Security, Deborah Ellis, a longtime Certified Financial Planner (CFP), offers readers a plethora of information about stocks, bonds, saving, investing, allocating your investments, and even individual advice for people in different industries. While the book is full of information, it’s also written in a highly accessible manner. Ellis shares her personal stories of how she began saving money as a child and young woman, how her aunt taught her how to invest and buy stocks, and how things have changed in the decades since she began saving. Her personal experiences then branch into her professional experiences with clients and with years of investing in the market.

I know investing can be scary and confusing, but that’s usually due to a lack of information or the fear that we won’t understand the information. As Ellis shows us, investing is really not that difficult. In fact, anyone who passed middle school math classes can figure it out. What is harder is to learn to save and to break some negative beliefs we may have about money so that we can quit solely working for money and learn to make it work for us. The book opens with a quote from Napoleon Hill, author of the classic book Think and Grow Rich, that states, “If you let it, you will be surprised at how money attracts money.” Nothing could be truer, and Ellis shows us how it can be true for all of us. She states, “I believe that today the stock market is a gateway to opportunity in America. I believe it is a way for almost anyone from any walk of life to build wealth and partake in the American Dream.” Your Money and You shows you just how to pass through that gate.

The book’s opening chapters teach us how to take on a leadership role with our money. Ellis helps us learn how to plan for retirement and what to expect. She walks us through the elements of a financial plan. Then she has us take a financial inventory of where we currently are so we know what we have to work with and what is required to reach our goals. She teaches us how to develop a saving and a spending plan, and finally, how to assemble a team to help us, a team that may include an accountant, a financial advisor, maybe a lawyer, etc. We do not hand over our financial affairs to these people, but rather, we learn to lead them so they can help us achieve our goals. Ellis warns us “if one of your team members has different priorities, a bias, or wants you to go in a direction you don’t agree with, you need to find another team member!” That’s just one example of how Ellis tells it like it is. Another example I love and know is very true is that “If you want to charge something you cannot pay off in full, you cannot afford it.”

Next, Your Money and You gets into all the meat of investing. Ellis walks us through the power of compounded interest and how investing over time can benefit us. She explains to us the differences between stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. She clarifies just exactly what the stock exchange and market indices are, and she teaches us how to understand how different companies and their stocks are rated.

Once Ellis makes sure we understand the market, she gets into the more personal aspects of investing. She helps us understand our risk tolerance for investing, how to diversify our assets, and all the various scenarios we might encounter from inheriting money to winning the lottery and, ultimately, how to go about retiring.

The book closes with some chapters for people in special situations, including those in the military, those in industries like film and television where you may go from feast to famine at different times, and those who are self-employed. A bonus section includes several articles on how to achieve financial security.

Your Money and You is the perfect book to get you started with saving and investing your money. Don’t put off reading it; it’s time to invest in yourself. As Ellis warns us, “money is not static. If you nurture it, it will grow. If you neglect it, you will end up with very little. It is up to you.” Furthermore, Ellis tells us “Investing is not difficult. Developing an investing mindset might take a little more effort.” Your Money and You can help you develop that mindset, and once you do, your money will begin to work for you so that, ultimately, you will not have to work.

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Luxury Hotels Vs Budget Hotels

A hotel is defined as “an establishment that provides paid lodging on a short-term basis.” (See 1.)

In the early years of the hotel, accommodations were very basic, usually a room that has a bed, a cupboard, a small table and a washstand. These days, most rooms are equipped with modern facilities. In addition to bathrooms, there is air conditioning, a telephone, television, Wi-Fi (internet connectivity), and a mini-bar with snacks and drinks.

Hotel accommodations throughout the years have changed dramatically. There are several different types of hotels to suit almost every individual’s tastes, needs and most importantly, budget. The two main types of hotels are luxury hotels and budget hotels. Although both have similar basic amenities, these two types of hotels have significant differences:

Budget Hotels

As the name suggests, these hotels were established for people who have a small budget and therefore want to spend as little as possible. The rooms in these hotels usually have the basic facilities such as a bed and washing facilities and most of them have communal toilets. Most budget hotels are older. They are clean but not as fancy as luxury hotels. Some of these budget hotels are equipped with worn fixtures and they do not offer anything free except maybe a simple breakfast or newspaper which is sometimes included in the price that they charge.

Rates for budget hotels vary greatly depending on the location. In Los Angeles alone, budget hotels can charge anywhere from $45 to $119 per day.

Luxury Hotels

Luxury Hotels are for people who are used to lavish lifestyles. The employees at these hotels are specially trained to cater to everything that the guests need. They aim to provide their guests with all the luxuries they desire during their stay. These hotels were built in such a way that their guests’ stay is absolutely as stress free as possible. In addition to basic amenities in luxurious rooms, these hotels are usually equipped with spas that offer massages, gyms that have the latest exercise equipment, beauty centres that offer a wide range of beauty treatments, swimming pools, in house bars and restaurants and laundry service.

These services of course come with a much higher price compared to budget hotels. Other services that you can have in luxury hotels are free room service, free newspapers and even better channel selections on your television. You even get to use robes and slippers while staying in these hotels.

As with budget hotels, rates for luxury hotels vary greatly depending on the location. Luxury Hotels in London charge anywhere from 240 to 525 pound sterling per day.

There is truth in the saying “You get what you pay for.” So, for people who have the money to splurge on expensive hotel accommodations, staying in a luxury hotel would be best if they would like to have the best service that money can buy. But for people who have a limited budget but need a place to stay while they are away from home, they are better off staying at budget hotels.

For travellers who wish to get reservations way ahead of time, in the hotel of their choice, they can go online and check out the websites of different hotels all over the world.

1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hotel

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How to Make a Follow-Up Call to a Donor After Sending a Fundraising Letter

Follow-up calls to direct mail appeals or some special events can secure additional donations for your organization. But what do you say?

If you are new to the world of fundraising, you might be uncomfortable calling a donor on the phone. Don’t worry – they won’t bite! Most donors are delightful to chat with, especially if they really care about your organization.

Here’s a sample script you can use to make follow up calls after sending a fundraising letter through the mail.

Start with the obvious:

“Hi, this is (your name) and I’m the (your title) at the (your organization). We mailed you a letter a few weeks ago and I’m calling to see if you got it.”

Response could be ‘yes, we got it’, ‘no we didn’t’ or ‘what letter?’ Say something next that reflects the contents of the letter.

“As I mentioned in the letter, we’ve had a dramatic increase in request for our services. We’re asking our supporters to make a gift to help us continue to provide services and meet the increased demand.”

Then, listen.

You may need to tell them how to send a gift (in other words, be ready with the address). Listen for clues that they don’t want to receive any future solicitations, then obviously make a note in your database. Also make a note if they say yes, they’ll send a gift in. Offer to send them a pledge reminder if they need it.

Thank them for their time and for their continued support of your organization.

That’s it!

Once you make a few calls, you’ll get the hang of talking with donors and find a rhythm for yourself on the phone.

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The Roles of the Child Study Team and the IEP Process

Many teachers and administrators are unclear as to the roles of the Child Study Team and the IEP process. As the state and the country move more and more forward with inclusion, student growth objectives and other data driven initiatives for all students, it is critical that all pertinent personnel understand the special education process.

In order to understand the special education process one first must gain clarity with regard to the roles and responsibilities of the Child Study Team itself. According to N.J. Administrative Code Title 6A Chapter 14 (12/2010) the Child Study Team consists of 3 primary members. The primary members include the social worker, school psychologist and the learning disabilities teacher consultant. (p. 43) Secondary members may include the related service providers, the speech-language therapist, occupational therapist and the physical therapist. Each member has its own role and responsibility. In addition, the social worker, school psychologist and learning disability teacher consultant may also be case managers.

The function of the school social worker is to complete the social history and possibly adaptive functioning assessment, during an evaluation or re-evaluation. This includes a review of student records, parent interview and developmental history. In some districts, the social worker may also counsel students. The social worker on the child study team is usually a case manager and will coordinate services, create and manage the IEP. One important note is that it is not required for the social worker to have any classroom experience. Most often social workers have no classroom or educational experience.

The role of the school psychologist includes case management, cognitive assessment or intellectual functioning, administration of data collection for executive functioning and attention and adaptive functioning assessments. These measures commonly include the Wechsler Intelligence test(WISC), The Woodcock Johnson cognitive assessment, The Behavior Assessment System for Children(adaptive skills), and the Conner’s Scale (attention). The school psychologist is also not required to have any classroom experience and most frequently does not.

The learning disabilities teacher consultant functions as a case manager and conducts the academic achievement testing. This testing identifies strengths, needs, learning styles and where the student academically performs compared to same age or same grade students. Some of these assessments include the Woodcock – Johnson academic battery, The Wechsler Individual Achievement Test, Gray oral reading, Key Math and the Brigance amongst many others. The Learning Disabilities Teacher Consultant also develops instructional strategies, goals and objectives. The important distinction with the role and responsibility of the LDT-C is that they must have at least 5 years of classroom experience. The LDT-C is the only member of the Child Study Team who must have classroom experience -usually the only who does have classroom/academic experience.

The three primary child study team members are also case managers. Each student who is classified for special education and related services has a case manager. According to N.J. Administrative Code Title 6A Chapter 14 (12/2010) the case manager must:

1. Be knowledgeable about the student’s educational needs and their educational program;

2. Be knowledgeable about special education procedures and procedural safeguards;

3. Have an apportioned amount of time for case management responsibilities; and

4. Be responsible for transition planning. (p.44)

Additionally, they coordinate the development of the IEP, monitor and evaluate its effectiveness, facilitate communication between school and home and coordinate the annual review and re-evaluation.

The special education process begins with a referral to the Child Study Team. A referral may come directly from the parents or other personnel. In order for a parent to refer a child for evaluation a letter must be written to the administration with the request. A teacher, administrator of state agency may also refer a student to the child study team. Most often the teacher first brings the student to the Intervention & Referral Services team so strategies may be devised and implemented within the general education setting. According to The Special Education Process Companion, “The staff of the general education program shall maintain written documentation, including data setting forth the type of interventions utilized, the frequency and duration of each intervention, and the effectiveness of each intervention.” (p. 2) Once the Intervention & Referral Services team determines that an evaluation may be needed, a referral would be made. It must be noted that many parents confuse the Intervention & Referral Services meeting with a Child Study Team meeting. It is important to clearly define these meetings to the parents.

Once the referral is received, regardless of who makes the referral, a meeting must be held to determine whether an evaluation is needed. This meeting must be held within 20 calendar days of receipt of the referral (excluding holidays but not summer vacation). The participants of this meeting include the child study team, the speech and language therapist if indicated, the general education teacher and the parents. During this meeting the student’s progress, interventions and needs are discussed. The team then determines whether an evaluation is needed and the scope of the evaluation. Should an evaluation not be warranted the code states that:

Within 15 calendar days of the meeting, the parent is provided with:

Written notice of the determination that the evaluation is not warranted and:

A copy of the short procedural safeguards statement; and

Copies of the special education rules (N.J.A.C. 6A:14)

and the due process hearing rules (N.J.A.C. 1:6A)

In addition, should the parent disagree with the determination not to evaluate they have the right to a due process hearing to dispute the determination. However, common practice is such that it is not prudent to spend the time and money to go to due process, and the student would tend to be evaluated as requested by the parent. If it has been determined that an evaluation is warranted the procedure continues.

One element which it is critical to follow is obtaining signed consent by the parent when needed. Once it has been determined that an evaluation is needed and the elements of the evaluation delineated, signed parental consent must be obtained. This is the first of many times throughout the special education process that consent must be obtained. According to the administrative code 6A:14 -2.3, “Consent shall be obtained prior to implementation of the initial IEP, prior to conducting a reevaluation, prior to the release of student records, each time a board of education seeks to access private insurance, whenever a child study team member is excused from a meeting, whenever an IEP is amended and whenever a waiver for reevaluation is obtained.” (p.13)

The next step in the process is the evaluation. According to the Administrative Code, “students must be administered a multidisciplinary evaluation consisting of at least 2 evaluations from child study team members and be evaluated in any area of suspected disability.” (p.50) In addition it must be, “sufficiently comprehensive to identify all of the child’s special education and related service needs, whether or not commonly linked to the suspected eligibility category.” (p.24)

At this point the Child Study Team has 90 days to evaluate, determine eligibility and create the program if needed. However, should a parent fail to produce a child numerous times this timeline does not need to be followed. During the evaluation period it is customary that the student is given some type of cognitive evaluation which determines cognitive strengths, weaknesses and overall potential. Usually a full scale intelligence quotient (FSIQ) is determined. An academic achievement evaluation is conducted as well. This determines the level of learning achieved by the student based on comparison to same age or grade peers and achievement strengths and weaknesses. Most districts also conduct a social history, which is conducted by parent questionnaire or interview. The social history gives valuable information regarding prenatal and birth history, milestones and emotional/social issues or concerns. Once the evaluations are completed they are sent to the parents at least 10 days in advance of the eligibility meeting.

According to the N.J. Administrative Code, “Any eligibility meeting for students classified shall include the following participants:

1. The parent;

2. A teacher who is knowledgeable about the student’s educational performance:

3. The student, where appropriate:

4. At least one child study team member who participated in the evaluation:

5. The case manager:

6. Other appropriate individuals at the discretion of the parent or school district:

7. For an initial eligibility meeting, certified school personnel referring the student for services or the principal.”(p. 17)

This team is known as the IEP team. It is called upon to convene many times throughout the special education process.

In New Jersey a student may be found eligible for special education and related services in different ways depending upon the disability category. The most common category is specific learning disability, “which is comprised of;

1. Oral expression;

2. Listening comprehension;

3. Written expression;

4. Basic reading skills;

5. Reading fluency;

6. Reading comprehension;

7. Mathematics calculation;

8. Mathematics problem solving.” (p.53)

The two methods used to determine eligibility for this category include the discrepancy method and response to intervention. When using the discrepancy method, “a severe discrepancy between ability and achievement that is not correctable without special education and related services” is needed. (p.52) Common practice dictates that a “severe discrepancy” is present if there is a 1.5 or 1 standard deviation between the two areas. This translates to a 15-22 point discrepancy when using standard scores. The second method that may be used is response to intervention. According to the Administrative code 6A:14.-3.4, 6

“When a response to scientifically based intervention methodology is utilized to make the determination of whether the student has a specific learning disability, the district board of education shall:

i. Ensure that such methodology includes scientifically based instruction by highly qualified instructors, and that multiple assessments of students progress are included in the evaluation of the student;

ii. Not be required to include more than one assessment conducted pursuant to the district’s response to scientifically based intervention methodology in the evaluation of the student; and

iii. If the parent consents in writing extend as necessary, the time to complete an evaluation.” (p.53)

“Other disability categories include:

1. Auditorily impaired, which means an inability to hear within normal limits due to physical impairment or dysfunction. An audiological evaluation and a speech and language evaluation are required.

2. Autistic which means a pervasive developmental disability which significantly impacts verbal, nonverbal and social interaction that adversely affects a student’s educational performance. An assessment by a speech and language therapist and a physician trained in Neuro-develomental assessment are required.

3. Cognitively impaired which means a disability that is characterized by significantly below average general cognitive functioning existing concurrently with deficits in adaptive behavior. This category is broken into three areas including mild, moderate and severe.

4. Communication impaired which means a language disorder in the areas of morphology, syntax, semantics, and/or pragmatics which adversely affects a student’s educational performance. The problem shall be demonstrated through functional assessment of language in other than a testing situation and performance below 1.5 standards deviations, or the 10th percentile on at least two standardized language tests, where such tests are appropriate one of which shall be a comprehensive test of both receptive and expressive language.

5. Emotionally disturbed which means a condition exhibiting one or more of the following characteristics over a long period of time and to a marked degree that adversely affects and student’s educational performance due to:

i. An inability to learn that cannot be explained by intellectual, sensory or health factors;

ii. An inability to maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships with peers and teachers;

iii. In appropriate types of behaviors or feelings under normal circumstances;

iv. A general pervasive mood or unhappiness or depression; or

v. A tendency to develop physical symptoms of fears associated with personal or school problems.

6. Multiply disabled which means the presence of two or more disabling

conditions, the combination of which causes severe educational needs.

7.Deaf/Blindness which means concomitant hearing and visual impairments.

8 Orthopedically impaired which means a disability characterized by a severe orthopedic impairment that adversely affects a student’s educational performance. A medical assessment documenting the orthopedic condition is required.

9 Other Health Impaired which means a disability characterized by having limited strength, vitality or alertness, included heightened alertness with respect to the educational environment, due to chronic or acute health problems, such as attention deficit disorder, heart condition or tuberculosis. A medical assessment documenting the health problem is required.

10 Preschool child with a disability means a child between the ages of 3 and 5 experiencing developmental delay as measured by appropriate diagnostic instruments and procedures, in one or more areas and requires special education and related services.

11 Social maladjustment means a consistent inability to conform to the standards of behavior established by the school.

12 Specific learning disabled as described above.

13 Traumatic brain injury which means an acquired injury to the brain caused by external force or insult to the brain resulting in total or partial functional disability or psychosocial impairment.

14 Visual impairment means impairment in vision that, even with correction, adversely affects the student’s educational performance. An assessment by a specialist qualified to determine visual disability is required. Students with visual impairments shall be reported to the Commission for the Blind and Visually impaired. (p. 54-60)

Once eligibility has been determined and the parent has signed consent an Individualized Education Program may be written. The case manager comes to the meeting with a draft document and the specifics are discussed and created with the IEP team. The parent may sign consent at this point or wait up to 15 days to sign consent or disagree with the IEP. Signed consent is needed to implement the first IEP after eligibility is determined.

Once the IEP is created and consent is obtained the program may begin. The modifications, accommodations, program, goals and objectives must be adhered to by all personnel who interact with the student. The IEP is a legal binding document. However, it may be amended as needed.

Other points within the special education process include the annual review and triennial reevaluation. It is mandated that each IEP is reviewed annual. Progress is determined and changes are made as needed. Additionally, every three years a student is reevaluated to determine continued elgibility. If eligibility is clear or no further information is needed then the reevaluation may be waived.

In summary, the special education process in New Jersey is a very specific process as mandated by legal code. The entire process is spelled out in the New Jersey Administrative Code Title 6A, Chapter 14. All districts must be in compliance with this code. Non-public schools have specific requirements to follow as well. Timelines, signed consent, the specific elements found within the IEP and program adherence are critical features of the special education process. Failure to follow these provisions will render a district, “out of compliance,” which comes with sanctions by the department of education.

Works Cited

New Jersey Department of Education. New Jersey Administrative Code Title 6A Chapter

14. N.P.: New Jersey Department of Education, 2010. Print.

New Jersey Office of Special Education. Special Education Process: From Child-Find, Referral, Evaluation, and Eligibility to IEP Development, Annual Review and Reevaluation. N.P.: New Jersey Office of Special Education, 2007. Print.

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