Mar 17, 2014

Joanne D. Sommer, Esq. to Speak at Upcoming Seminar

Sommer_JJoanne D. Sommer, Esq. will speak as a member of a panel discussing one of the required components of the delivery of special education services – progress monitoring.

The panel will be held on Tuesday, March 25, 2014 from 9am to noon and will provide the opportunity to hear from a wide-array of individuals on effective progress monitoring. Progress monitoring is a scientifically based practice used to systematically assess students’ academic performance and evaluate the effectiveness of instruction. It is a method of formative assessment that assists educators in making data based decisions about instruction and building more effective supports for students. From a regulatory perspective, reporting student’s progress toward measurable IEP annual goals has been a requirement under federal and state special education regulations for many years. This process has been found to be problematic and challenging, and school districts across the Commonwealth struggle to monitor and report student progress in effective ways.

Ms. Sommer has over thirty two (32) years’ experience representing school districts in Pennsylvania including an appearance before the United States Supreme Court to argue a special education case. Ms. Sommer is a member of PSBA’s School Solicitor Association and regularly presents to school districts, Intermediate Units, colleges and universities and the legal community about education and special education law.

The mission of the Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network (PaTTAN) is to support the efforts and initiatives of the Bureau of Special Education, and to build the capacity of local educational agencies to serve students who receive special education services. To learn more about this organization, please visit its website,

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