SPED Winter 2019 News

SPED Child

The special education partnership between RVA and consortiums is crucial to special education student success in the RVA.  I appreciate all of the feedback that I have received from districts through surveys and online meetings this year. I plan to hold another round of online meetings in early spring and will send a Doodle poll prior to scheduling those meetings.  Please don’t ever feel you need to wait for an email or online meeting to speak with me. You can call me at 715-894-0434 or email me at sam.penry@ruralvirtual.org any time. If you have a need for me to visit your district and talk with your staff I am always willing to schedule a time for an onsite meeting or presentation in person.

The special education partnership can be quite complex, it’s difficult to always know who is supposed to do what.  I have provided a quick cheat sheet to help with this. Please note that the last three bullets on the consortium side are all services the RVA can provide through an alternate agreement and additional fee above the per pupil tuition rate if the consortium has a need for the RVA to service these areas.



  • Case manage and serve special education needs

  • Schedule IEP meetings

  • Write IEP’s, Progress Notes, PtP’s

  • Collaborate with consortium pseudo case manager

  • Implement and progress monitor SLD interventions


  • Assign a pseudo case manager who will be the go to person for the RVA case manager

  • Give appropriate RVA staff access to PtP’s when requested

  • Provide related services to students (speech, OT, PT etc.)

  • Conduct initial and reevaluations for special education students attending RVA

  • Case management of speech only students

504 Plans

Earlier in the school year several consortium districts expressed interest in having the RVA maintain 504 plans for the students in their districts who attend the RVA.  One of the reasons for this was our partners were frustrated not knowing who to invite to these meetings and determining what accommodations were appropriate for students in the RVA. In response, we determined that the RVA school psychologist would attend all of the consortium 504 meetings.

In addition, a Prek-8 regular education teacher will attend meetings for those grade levels while a high school guidance counselor will attend 9-12 meetings.  We feel this will help to alleviate frustrations while also providing knowledgeable staff in determining the appropriate accommodations and support for districts and families.  The RVA assessed the sustainability of having an existing RVA staff member assume the responsibility of managing all consortium 504 plans. It was determined that the RVA does not have the capacity to do this, as it would add additional responsibilities to an already full time staff.

The RVA recognizes that some of our partners may have a need for the RVA to manage 504 students.  In response, at the last RVA Governance Board meeting the Board approved consortium districts contracting with RVA for 504 plan writing.  This is a service that would require an alternate agreement and would have an associated cost above the per pupil tuition rate. The Board approved the rate of $250 per annual 504 plan (scheduling the meeting, writing the plan, sharing the plan out, etc.) and $750 for any contracted initial evaluations or reevaluations (consent paperwork, testing, scheduling the meeting, writing the plan, sharing the plan out, etc.).  If you have questions or are interested in contracting for services please contact me.

Take Care,

Samantha Penry
RVA Director of Special Education

Athena Podolak