Directors Institute
Opening the Door to the Common Core
August 26-28, 2013

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Monday, August 26 – Schedule at a Glance

Monday, August 26

7:30 – 8:15 Registration and Continental Breakfast

8:15 – 8:30 Welcome – Angela Denning

8:30 – 9:45 Keynote: “Explicit Instruction: Path to the Common Core” – Anita Archer

In this keynote, Dr. Archer will review the past 30 years of research on explicit instruction and show how the major findings can be translated into daily practice in implementing the Common Core State Standards.  Scientifically-based practices for designing lessons, delivering instruction, and providing appropriate practice will be discussed.  Handout:  PDF of PowerPoint and PowerPoint

9:45 – 10:00 Break

10:00 – 11:30 Breakout Sessions

Sue Wolf
Awareness of the role executive functions play for success in the Common Core is essential. Focus is on coaching the executive functions with strategies in order to support academic success. Examples at the individual, group, classroom, and curriculum level will be shared. Value to those with suspected or identified brain injuries as well as cognitive and psychosocial disabilities. Handout: PDF
Peggy Staples and Nicole Armstrong
Bring your magnifying glass along as the ESS Data Management team guides session participants through the many steps of the Federal October 1 Child Count/Census process including verification, reconciliation, and non-reconciliation. Handout: PowerPoint
Kacey Gregson, Bob Fitzsimmons, and Shannon Chavez
In this session, participants will learn about the three dispute resolution processes available to assist schools and parents of a child with a disability in resolving special education–related disputes: mediation, due process hearings, and state administrative complaints.
William McQueary and Susan Voirol
The presenters will introduce the eight secondary IEP transition requirements for meeting Indicator 13 responsibilities. Participants will be introduced to two additional responsibilities related to transition—the provision of the transfer of rights for students approaching the age of majority and a summary of performance for students exiting high school. This session prepares the participant for a follow-up session titled, “Compliance Monitoring & Indicator 13: Bricks and Mortar.” Handout: PowerPoint
Mary Keeney
Sure, iPads are cool! But when are they assistive technology? There are so many apps out there —how do you know which apps are good for special education? Come and hear about valuable resources for locating app reviews by trusted sources. Learn how to evaluate apps using various rubrics tied to the Common Core Standards and also hear how to determine what is suitable for students in special education. A demonstration of the “Top Twenty Apps for Special Education” will be included. Handouts: Resource
Carol Kosnitsky
Ultimately, improved outcomes for students with disabilities will come from improved collaboration between general and special education. Yet so much seems outside of the special education administrator’s control. This session will focus on the opportunities available when districts adopt the principles of Universal Design of Learning to ensure all students and teachers will succeed! Handout: PowerPoint and Guidelines
Kent Gerlach
This session will address some of the current legal and ethical issues involving employment, and training and supervision of paraeducators. Topics will focus on clarifying the appropriate role of paraeducators who assist with instruction, and the need for state and local policy. ESEA and IDEA mandates “Appropriate Supervision of Paraprofessionals.” How is “appropriate supervision” defined? Quality indicators for designing staff development for paraeducators, administrators, and teachers will be addressed.

  • Participants will be able to understand the importance of state and local policy regarding paraeducator qualifications, training and supervision.
  • Participants will understand the importance of developing ethical guidelines for paraprofessionals who assist with instruction and for teachers who supervise. CEC’s new Professional Ethical Principles regarding paraeducator supervision and training will be distributed.
  • Participants will receive an update of the current legal issues involving paraeducators and their supervisors.
  • Participants will gain knowledge of what parents need to know about paraeducators who assist with instruction.
  • Participants will be provided a framework for the development of effective staff development for both paraeducators and teachers using the CEC Knowledge and Skills guidelines.

Handouts: PowerPoint, Handout 1, Handout 2, and Handout 3

Steve Leinwand
This fast-paced, example-laden presentation will explore and model a set of research-affirmed instructional strategies that provide all students, especially special education students, with greater access to mathematical skills and concepts. Handout: PowerPoint

11:30 – 12:45 LUNCH

SEAA Luncheon will be held in Aurora ABCD

SPECIAL EDUCATION ADMINISTRATORS ASSOCIATION of Arizona (SEAA) is a professional organization consisting of Directors of Special Education in public school districts, charter schools and private special education day schools. We encourage all directors, coordinators and consultants with special education administrative responsibilities to participate. If you have a legitimate interest in advancing the educational cause(s) of students with disabilities then SEAA is a professional organization that will meet your needs. You be well informed about the latest issues and developments in special education, both locally and statewide. Please come to our buffet luncheon to network with your professional colleagues and find out more about all we can offer to support you. There is no cost to attend our luncheon and membership in SEAA is $15.00 per year.


12:45 – 2:15 Breakout Sessions

Kathy Coloma
Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) can last a lifetime, but they don’t have to. Early exposure to family violence, abusive treatment, neglect, alcohol and drug abuse, or separated/divorced parents can lead to health and social problems, risk-taking behaviors, and a shortened lifespan. Safe, stable, and nurturing relationships and communities can break the cycle of abuse and maltreatment. According to the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, one out of every four children attending school has been exposed to traumatic stress. Traumatic stress can impact academic outcomes in some of the following ways:

  • higher absenteeism;
  • increased behavior problems leading to suspensions and expulsions;
  • decreased ability to focus, organize, and process information; and
  • disruptions in memory, attention, problem-solving, and/or planning.

Educators can help! Learn about how your district, schools, and staff can become trauma informed.
Handouts: PowerPoint, Fact Sheet for Parents, Fact Sheet for Educators, Brochure, and What’s my ACE Score?

PEA Panel: Stephanie Rowe, Humboldt Unified District; Lorrane McPherson and Gail Farren, Tucson Unified School District; and Sara Ackley & Mark Vite, Freedom Academy
ESS Data Management will facilitate a panel discussion with three PEAs (public education agencies) with different student management systems as they share their experiences and strategies for a successful Federal October 1 Child Count/Census reconciliation!
Kacey Gregson and Dispute Resolution Staff
Dispute Resolution staff will discuss actual cases in order to highlight common mistakes and pitfalls in special education disputes and help participants navigate tricky situations and maintain compliance with the IDEA.
Anita Archer
To provide effective instruction to special education students, the teacher must: 1) elicit frequent responses from the students, 2) monitor student responses and adjust the instruction, 3) provide immediate feedback including praise, encouragement, and corrections; and 4) maintain a brisk pace throughout the lesson. In this session, Dr. Archer will share an observation tool that captures these delivery skills. Handouts: PDF of PowerPoint, Checklist, Handout 1, and PowerPoint
Bruce Kennedy
Mobile devices are providing greater access to information for everyone. A print disability can pose major barriers for academic success—and a small hand-held mobile device can help reduce these barriers for success. Come to this session and learn the basics about making accessible reading materials available with mobile learning devices in order to support students in meeting the Common Core Standards. Handout: PowerPoint
Kent Gerlach
Many educators have received little or no training to assist them in effectively managing and directing the work of paraeducators. This session is designed to examine the issues, roles, and responsibilities of teachers who direct, manage, and supervise the work of paraeducators. The presentation will provide practical information and activities to enhance the knowledge and skills of teachers in effectively supervising paraeducators in various educational settings.

  • An understanding of the term “Appropriate Supervision.”
  • Explore common barriers to supervision.
  • Understand the role of teachers including delegation, feedback, and on-the-job training.
  • Explore the duties involved in directing and managing paraeducators.

Handouts: PowerPoint, Handout 1, Handout 2, and Handout 3

Carol Kosnitsky
Writing standards-based IEPs requires a fundamental understanding of the major instructional shifts in the Common Core State Standards. This session will provide a fast paced explanation of those shifts, their implications for students with high frequency disabilities and what you can do to ensure your staff will meet the instructional challenges ahead. Handout: PowerPoint, Handout 1, Handout 2, and Handout 3
Melissa De Vries, Sandy Thompson, and John Carruth
This session will focus on the requirements necessary for school districts to use scientifically researched interventions as part of the specific learning disability (SLD) evaluation process. In addition to ADE staff presentations, you will hear from several school districts that are using this method as part of their SLD evaluation process. Handout: PowerPoint
Steve Leinwand
This fast-paced, example-laden presentation will explore and model a set of research-affirmed instructional strategies that provide all students, especially special education students, with greater access to mathematical skills and concepts. Handout: PowerPoint

2:15 – 2:30 BREAK

2:30 – 4:00 Breakout Sessions

Becky Raabe
Policies, procedures, public awareness, referral, training, tracking, screening, and evaluation are critical elements of an effective child find program designed to locate, identify, and evaluate children who are eligible to receive early intervention and special education services. New administrators should attend this workshop to ensure federal and state child find requirements are achieved. Participants will receive professional guidance, useful resources, and practical ideas to build a successful child find program. Handout: PowerPoint
Kacey Gregson and Dispute Resolution Staff
Do you have a burning question you would like to ask Dispute Resolution staff? This session will be your “open mic” opportunity to get into the minds of ADE’s complaint investigators.
Lisa Aaroe
The Arizona Department of Education (ADE) launched a mentoring program in 2011 to provide support to new special education directors throughout the state. This session will focus on nationwide trends for mentoring new special education directors, provide an overview of the program launched by ADE, and discuss lessons learned from implementing the mentoring program.
Ann Gortarez
When you hear the words “assistive technology,” do you wonder how AT will work with the implementation of the Common Core Standards or how you’ll find the money to buy all that great technology? This session will review a variety of open source or web-based products that are FREE! You will learn how to access free resources that support students with disabilities in and out of the classroom setting, see features of resources that are readily available for use and the amount of time it takes to download them, and learn about features that already exist in computer operating systems. Handouts: PowerPoint and Resource
Kay Schreiber
Is your school preparing your students to be “career and college ready”? How does personalizing education prepare Arizona students? This session will briefly discuss the Arizona Education Career Action Plan (ECAP) process requirement for high school graduation and transition into post–high school educational opportunities and the world of work. Additionally, we will discuss the online education and career planning tool AzCIS (Arizona Career Information System) and how schools can use the system for meeting students’ needs. Bring your thoughts, ideas, and questions.
Carol Kosnitsky
The session will provide the essential questions to guide the IEP team in writing aligned IEPs that include meaningful and instructionally relevant accommodations and measurable goals. Examples of well written present level statements and measurable goals will be examined along with suggestions for how to train and monitor your district’s progress toward aligned IEPs. Handout: PowerPoint and Resource
Kathy Coloma
How do teachers in preschool classrooms help prepare children for literacy success? This session will explore the recommended practices of teaching phonological awareness (sound awareness, manipulation of sounds, and the association of sounds with symbols) and using interactive and dialogic reading (teacher as guide, teacher and children engaged in dialogue, child as storyteller) as the foundational stages of learning to read. Ensuring that preschool language and literacy skills are transferred before children leave preschool will allow them to carry that success forward as they “move on when reading”! Handouts: PowerPoint, Handout 1, Handout 2, and Handout 3
Anita Archer
The Common Core State Standards focus on three genres and their parallel purposes: informative (to inform and explain), opinion (to convince), and narrative (to convey a real or imaginary event). In this session, Dr. Archer will present research-based “Big Ideas” on how to optimize writing instruction for struggling students. Handout: PDF of PowerPoint; PowerPoint, and Examples
Angela Denning
We all know that IDEA requires a strong emphasis on procedural compliance for both our state and our schools. But isn’t it equally important to positively impact student learning outcomes? How can these two areas be combined to determine a state’s overall performance? Arizona’s participation in OSEP’s Results Driven Accountability (RDA) will guide how we move to a balanced approach to support program effectiveness in special education. Come hear what this will look like based on our state’s unique strengths, challenges, and needs.
Steve Leinwand
This fast-paced, example-laden presentation will explore and model a set of research-affirmed instructional strategies that provide all students, especially special education students, with greater access to mathematical skills and concepts. Handout: PowerPoint