The Future of Special Education

The past few years have proven that being proactive is the best measure against unpredictable and unexpected changes in education. We’ve seen the benefit of proactivity in measurable ways: Districts that already had mobile devices issued to their students faired better during the pandemic than their counterparts; districts that were already using edtech to deliver education in and out of the classroom faired even better.

But to create the inclusive, equitable future in education that we all want, students who are most vulnerable to unexpected and unpredictable changes – students on IEPs and 504s, and other students who require accommodations to their education – need to be prioritized in future planning.

The Complex and Dynamic Challenges of Managing Special Education

Today’s students are a complex and dynamic population, and districts are obligated to provide unique support and student management for everything from medical disorders and allergies to mental health and SEL to special needs accommodations. Facilitating the needs of students who require special learning accommodations through IEPs and 504s has often been quite laborious and paperwork intensive. And if the student’s services aren’t properly documented, the school may have difficulty getting reimbursements from Medicaid, which can be quite costly.

Special Education Management Does Not Have to Be Overwhelming or Costly

Schools that implement a stable, collaborative, and data driven system like Lumen Touch’s Bright SPED, which handles the unique needs of the school’s population, can save money and time while delivering a more comprehensive individualized education to students that lead to better outcomes. With funding riding on a compliant and accurate report of services and students, having a single platform like Bright SPED, in which data monitoring and compliance checks are built into the software, can help districts better manage their entire special education program.

Bright SPED Empowers Districts, Teachers, Students, and Parents

Bright SPED is an integrated IEP, 504 and Medicaid Billing management system designed for students, teachers, parents, and administrators. The Medicaid billing allows you to bring additional money back to the district more easily and effectively. Bright SPED has a customizable goal bank, automated notifications, and personalized dashboards for each user. These tools ensure all areas of IEPS are completed correctly and are fully compliant. Highlights include:

  • Simultaneous collaboration – no worries about overwriting some else’s input!
  • Customizable options to allow districts to track data efficiently and assist departments to increase improvement for state compliance.
  • Embedded progress monitoring tools offers parents understandable visuals to share the progress on IEP goals and objectives for their student.
  • Provides a data-driven infrastructure that does not rely on forms processing, allowing Bright SPED to meet Federal and State compliance modifications in a timelier manner.

Benefits of Bright SPED for Your School

Data Driven – Clear and concise data across all schools in a district.

Unified Platform – Bright SPED provides districts with a unified platform that Is adaptable to goals and efficiently manages Medicaid Billing.

Compliance Focused – Built-in compliance checks throughout the Bright SPED system help ensure success.

Customer Centered – The Lumen Touch team works with schools through implementation and beyond, always willing to make customized adjustments to meet the specific needs of a district.

Learn more about Bright SPED by Lumen Touch: https://www.lumentouch.com/sped

Supporting Students and Teachers through Challenging Times

Look at any teacher’s social media posts and you’ll encounter an emotional journey:

  • Sadness from having to temporarily say goodbye to students
  • Frustration over having to quickly adapt lessons to an online environment
  • Fear for the safety and health of their students and colleagues
  • Desperation to get technology to function properly
  • Melancholy at the realization that students may not be returning to the classroom this year

Not every school district has cancelled classes for the year; some are reassessing every two weeks, but the likelihood of most students finishing the school year from home is high. But as Dr. Brad Johnson recently tweeted, “Schools, remember this is not the new normal. This is just surviving a crisis. You don’t build a new home in a storm, you weather the storm and then regroup once it’s over.”

When the Going Gets Tough, We’re Stronger Together

As difficult as this has been for educators and students alike, we’ve been heartened at seeing the incredible strength demonstrated by members of our education community as they come together and support each other. From sharing lesson ideas and supporting each other online to making sure school children are still fed a nutritious breakfast and lunch to sharing moments of humor to help us all get through, the education community has never been more committed to each other and to their students and parents. We’re hearing stories about school districts handing out laptops and hotspots to ensure every student has access to online learning, EdTech companies offering their services for free, and so many resources being provided to help families and schools cope.

Surviving the Stay-at-Home Order

Whether you’re a parent learning core curriculum for the first time so you can help your child with their studies or you’re a teacher who is repurposing assignments to adapt them for distance learning, you are not in this alone. We’ve rounded up some great resources to help.

Screen time. Parents, relax. As with everything, moderation is key, but according to a review of the research,  the evidence linking screens to harm is, in reality, paper thin.

Adapting lessons. This guide can help teachers stay engaged with students and adjust lessons.

More resources. WeAreTeachers has put together an exhaustive list of resources for teachers and students.

Lumen Touch Is Here to Support You

The Bright SPED™ system will continue to support communication among staff and student teams, as well as the development of progress reports, IEP forms, and associated documentation. Bright SPED is a multi-user system, allowing your team to work together on an individual record at the same time. We are also adding a parent portal.

Bright Student™ has the same capabilities when used remotely as it does in the school.  This empowers the school staff, students, and parents, providing them with the ability to interact with each other in a new learning environment that accommodates this emergency situation and perhaps creates a confidence that respects a different model for our future.

We are holding a variety of webinars to help. You can schedule here.

We will get through this. We are stronger together. Stay home, stay safe, and let us know how we can be of service to you.

The Future of Education

For the past few weeks, our team has been busy attending some of the largest education conferences in our area, including the 2020 KASEA Winter Conference and Kansans Can 2020. While there are some challenges facing the education industry that are being complicated by the coronavirus, these conferences left us inspired about what the future of education will look like.

Why These Conferences Matter

Gathering with fellow educators, solutions providers, and decision makers gives us all a chance to share ideas and learn from each other. This year’s conferences were focused on student success, the evolution of education, and developing a world-class education standard in Kansas that can serve as a template to districts throughout the country.

The Kansans Can and Do! Symposium, co-sponsored by the Kansas State Department of Education and the Kansas Association of Education Service Agencies was, “designed to assist administrators, administrative teams, and school leaders with the process of implementing the Kansans Can initiative. All symposium presentations, guided discussions, and collaboration time [focused] on facilitating high levels of conversation.”

The Kansas Association of Special Education Administrators (KASEA) Winter Conference theme was “Fostering Success.” KASEA realizes that leaders in education “strive to create an environment that leads toward the success of all students, teachers, and leaders in our organization.”

Educators Are All In

Every educator we saw, spoke to, or listened to had one thing in common: They are committed to providing the best possible education to students and are willing to embrace the solutions and technologies that will benefit their students, free teachers to engage more concretely with students, and stretch their budgets so that they can do more for their students. Everywhere we turned, there was a focus on the importance of STEM – and more importantly, STEAM education

It Takes a Village

Giving our students in this country the education they need and deserve really does take all of us – from parents and teachers to administrators and legislators. Everyone must work together to create a generation of engaged learners. Lumen Touch is committed to being a part of the evolution of education in Kansas and throughout the country.

At Lumen Touch, we know that there are no simple answers to solving the big challenges that face schools. But there are changes that can make a difference. To learn more about how Lumen Touch can help your school with our all-in-one solution, get in touch.

Bright SPED: Delivering the Individualized Education that Students Need

Today’s school population is complex and dynamic, especially when trying to facilitate and meet the specialized needs of students on 504s and IEPs. It’s not that teachers can’t or won’t provide required accommodations; it’s often the process that hinders success. How do you make sure every teacher knows about a student’s accommodations without violating their HIPAA and FERPA rights? Without overtaxing SPED teachers, how do you make it easy for them to deliver the education that students need?

Give Teachers and Aides the Tools They Need

Most schools rely on forms-driven solutions for special education. It’s all about IEP and 504 completion. But a form is not a student. And a form is not a teacher. To make SPED work for the people involved – the students, the teachers, the aides, the parents, and the CSE teams – schools and districts need a solution that lets teachers take the time they spend working on IEPs and use that time instead to work with students.

How Bright SPED™ Transforms Special Education

Bright SPED is designed to address the complexities and changing dynamics of special education planning, development, and reporting. It delivers powerful functionality through a data-driven infrastructure that does not rely on forms processing, providing schools with a comprehensive, timesaving, web-based tool for special education programs. This significant difference is one of the aspects that allows Bright SPED to meet federal and state compliance modifications in a timely way.

What Does Bright SPED™ Mean for Your School?

Bright SPED is designed for the user experience. Teachers who work with students who have individualized needs can view or print IEPs with the click of a button, so there so is never any requirement to dig through a paper file to find out about accommodations or special curriculum goals. It also guides teachers through the entire IEP process, including the time-consuming process of developing annual goals. Bright SPED makes it easier for teachers to build IEPs, communicate with parents and team members, and support students.

  • For teachers, it means less frustration and more time working directly with students. This in turn results in better job satisfaction, less attrition, and more time to collaborate with other teachers.
  • For parents, it means easier communication and the confidence in knowing that their child’s accommodations are disseminated to every teacher and support professional who works with the student.
  • For the student, it means needs can be met more confidentially and more effectively, so that the overall education experience is more positive.
  • For school and district administrators, compliance stops being a headache.

Teachers are taxed beyond their capacity in every way in today’s public schools. They are expected to meet not only a variety of educational mandates and goals but an extraordinary number of compliance-related demands – all while still creating engaging lesson plans, providing emotional support to students, and meeting their own continuing ed licensing requirements. Lumen Touch exists to make it easier for teachers to meet all of those demands without losing the joy in doing what they love: teaching students.


Schools that implement Lumen Touch experience an average savings of 30% to 60%, which is realized from the time of engagement. In addition, Lumen Touch eases the aggravation that may result from negotiating with multiple vendors and removes the need for telecom contracts, carriers, and fees.

If meeting EdTech mandates has overwhelmed your school and district, let Lumen Touch demonstrate how we can free you up to focus on what’s really important: educating students and creating the leaders of the future. Email us at sales@lumentouch.com, call us at 816.880.0066, or visit www.lumentouch.com.