Braille Code Changes Meeting: Collaborating to Meet the Educational Needs of Arizona’s Teachers and Students

We are excited to announce an interagency collaboration to develop an effective pathway for introducing the changes from English Braille American Edition (EBAE) to Unified English Braille (UEB). The approaching changes to the Braille Code require that those it impacts and those responsible for addressing those changes gather to plan for its implementation. We want to work as a community and to support the implementation of UEB and are inviting stakeholders to participate in an initial meeting on January 12, 2015 from 9:00-4:00 that will be held at the Arizona Department of Education Building, Room 312, 1535 W. Jefferson, Phoenix, AZ. A second, follow up meeting has been scheduled for February 9th, 2015 at the Flinn Foundation on 1802 N Central Ave., Phoenix, AZ if necessary to finalize recommendations made, and invite additional participants. To help us to strategically plan for the needs identified by the group, we have invited a meeting facilitator to help us collaborate effectively.

Some of the questions to be addressed at this meeting are:

  • What is the initiative that is bringing about these changes?
  • Who will these changes impact?
  • What actions need to be taken as a result of decisions made?
  • What additional stakeholders need to be included?

Lunch will not be provided, however time will be allotted to order in, or to go to nearby restaurants.

Event Locations: Arizona Department of Education Building, Room 312, 1535 W. Jefferson, Phoenix, AZ

Dates and Times: Session 1 January 12, 2015 Session 2 Feb. 9th 2015

Registration Deadline: January 1st, 2015

Registration questions please contact Abby Sanchez 602-364-3026 or abby.sanchez@azed.gov.

Please bring a laptop, tablet or braille notetaker if you need access to written material during the day. Also, indicate if you need materials in an alternative format and the format you prefer (large print, braille, electronic files, ASL interpreter, other).

Who Should Attend: Invitees
Contact: Suzanne Perry @ 602-542-2185



Meeting Arizona College and Career Ready Standards (AZCCRS) for Special Educators

Throughout the two-day workshop participants will have the opportunity to engage in whole group, small group, and paired collaborative discussions within grade level and content areas to refine collaborative practices between general education and special education and develop and write AZCCRS standards-based Individualized Education Program (IEP) goals.

Training Outcomes:
During this two-day workshop, participants will:

  • Expand understanding of the AZCCRS for ELA/Literacy and Mathematics in order to develop standards-aligned IEP goals aligned to the student’s AZCCRS present levels of academic achievement and functional performance (PLAAFP)
  • Integrate research of how children learn to order to identify areas of need in the development of IEP goals
  • Obtain a solid understanding of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) to integrate learning into daily practice
  • Develop and write standards-aligned IEP goals related to students’ needs as described in the PLAAFP
  • Discuss and explore how to use and differentiate assessments based on students’ IEPs to inform instruction
  • Explore and use readily available resources, tools, and evidenced-based strategies to support students with disabilities to access the AZCCRS in ELA/Literacy and Mathematics

Please bring laptop or iPad to the training if possible.

Presenters: Sharen Bertrando and Kevin Schaefer
WestEd’s Center for Prevention & Early Intervention (CPEI)
Elementary Emphasis:
January 7–8, 2015

Sheraton Crescent Hotel
2620 West Dunlap Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85021

Secondary Emphasis:
March 4–5, 2015

Sheraton Crescent Hotel
2620 West Dunlap Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85021

Breakfast and lunch provided each day for both sessions.

Registration Fee: $175 covers the two-day attendance.

Make payment payable to Arizona Department of Education.
Mail to:
Arizona Department of Education
Attn: Abby Sanchez
1535 W. Jefferson, Bin #24
Phoenix, Arizona 85007

*At the discretion of Arizona Department of Education staff, ‘emergency situations’ are defined as: Illness, accident, etc.

Who Should Attend: Special education directors, special education teachers, and administrators.
Contact: Linda Mosteller @ 602-542-4469



PD OPPORTUNITY: ADE/ESS Recruitment and Retention Offers Three Webinars

The Arizona Department of Education/Exceptional Student Services is pleased to announce three upcoming webinars. We hope that you can join us for these learning opportunities.

Teacher Evaluation and Implications for Special Education
The focus of this webinar is to provide information on the new teacher evaluation. How this evaluation pertains to special education will be highlighted.
Date: Friday, January 16, 2015
Time: 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM
Space is limited.
Reserve your webinar seat now at https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/800267854.

ADE Special Education Certification Changes
This webinar will explain changes to special education certification that will be effective January 1, 2016. Reciprocity and proficiency exams will also be discussed.
Date: Friday, February 13, 2015
Time: 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Space is limited.
Reserve your webinar seat now at https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/770619782.

Recruitment and Retention Strategies
During this webinar, strategies to recruit and retain special education teachers and personnel will be discussed. After discussing what the Arizona Department of Education is doing in this area, dialogue will then be opened to the field to discuss recruitment and retention strategies used in Local Education Agencies (LEAs) throughout Arizona.
Date: Monday, February 23, 2015
Time: 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Space is limited.
Reserve your webinar seat now at https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/982456182.



LETRS for Early Childhood Educators TOT Institute

Arizona Department of Education’s Exceptional Student Services is bringing a LETRS for Early Childhood Educators TOT Institute to Arizona.

LETRS (Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling) for Early Childhood Educators is foundational professional development for early childhood educators helping pre-kindergarten and kindergarten children learn the early literacy and language skills shown in research to be critical for later success. This professional development will provide educators with an understanding of the foundations of language and help them gain instructional strategies to complement their teaching practices. This course of study will:

  • Build a bridge between research and practice
  • Cultivate knowledge about teaching literacy and language
  • Provide practical strategies that work for different types of learners
  • Engage teachers with real-world application

LETRS for Early Childhood Educators was created by Lucy Hart Paulson and Louisa Moats, both internationally known reading experts, teachers, and researchers on the topics of early literacy, reading, spelling, and language.

Because the Arizona Department of Education is sponsoring this LETRS for Early Childhood Educators TOT Institute to build capacity within our state, representatives from schools/charters/LEAs/regional centers who have responsibility for the professional development of Pre-K–3 teachers and/or Pre-K–3 special education teachers are encouraged to apply. The LETRS for Early Childhood Educators TOT Institute is designed primarily for certified staff developers and school leaders with experience and background in teaching and assessing reading. Enrollment in the institute is limited to 35 participants and is reserved for certified candidates who are currently responsible for staff development.

For further information on the LETRS for Early Childhood Educators TOT Institute, please see the attached application or contact Sandra Laine at Sandra.Laine@azed.gov.



Special Education Rule Committee 12/2/14 Communique

The Special Education Rule Committee’s purpose is to examine Arizona Special Education State Board 401 rules, to propose rules that are clear, instructive, and aligned to the IDEA, and to provide guidance for implementation. Please read the December 2, 2014, Rule Making Communique for more information about the Committee, the Core Team membership, and the December 2 meeting.



The Special Edition Newsletter

The Exceptional Student Services team is honored to introduce the inaugural issue of the Special Edition. The Special Edition is our quarterly newsletter to share information on relevant topics and communicate upcoming events. We hope you enjoy our first edition. Please let us know if you would like a topic addressed in upcoming issues (http://ess.fluidsurveys.com/s/special-edition-1-1/). Look for the second edition in March 2015. Enjoy!

specialed1.1



National Inclusive Schools Week

Save the Date Inclusive Schools


Letter from Angela Denning
Submit your school’s inclusive activities
National Inclusion Week Flyer


What is Inclusive Schools Week?

Inclusive Schools Week is an annual international event designed to acknowledge the hard work and commitment of teachers, administrators, students, and parents in making their schools more inclusive, thereby significantly contributing to the development of a more accepting society.

What are the goals of Inclusive Schools Week?

  1. Celebrate the progress schools have made in serving a diverse student population.
  2. Acknowledge the commitment to schools, families, and communities in creating inclusive opportunities.
  3. Encourage reflection on how culture, policies, and practices in schools can promote inclusive education.
  4. Promote action to increase the capacity of schools and communities to meet the needs of all learners.

Why is Inclusive Schools Week important?

Inclusive Schools Week increases the dialogue on the importance of building inclusive schools and communities, where ALL students have full access to educational opportunities.

Theme: Inclusive Education: One School Community

As the diversity of learners within our classrooms continues to grow, the need to structure curricula, lessons, and activities that not only meet the needs of all students but also celebrate the diversity among those learners becomes critical. The resources we have will encourage and inspire movement toward a more inclusive community.

Plan:

To assist you in planning for the week, we have categorized the activities into three groups: (1) for classrooms; (2) for schools; (3) for communities. Within these categories, there are three levels of implementation:

1) Activities that promote awareness: These activities help create an awareness of the benefits of inclusive education.
2) Activities that build knowledge and skills: These activities reflect the importance of taking action.
3) Activities that influence the system: By changing policies, procedures, and culture in our schools, it is more likely that positive advances in inclusive education will become an integral part of the community framework.

There are also self-assessments, planning guides, group activities, ideas, and resources aimed at helping schools get organized and motivated. You can access further information at the following web link: www.inclusiveschools.org.


OCR Issues Guidance on Same-Sex Classes

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued guidance that applies only to single-sex classrooms and not to single-sex schools, which are covered under different guidance. The link to the press release: http://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/education-department-clarifies-requirements-offering-single-sex-classes. The link to the guidance document: http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/faqs-title-ix-single-sex-201412.pdf.



State Summative Assessments

The Education Commission of the States published 50 Ways to Test: A look at state summative assessments in 2014-15, which provides an overview of the two testing consortia and federal testing requirements. The report also includes a comprehensive table with a breakdown of the state summative assessments being administered in grades 3–12 in all 50 states during 2014–15.



Special Education Rule Committee 11/14/14 Communique

The Special Education Rule Committee’s purpose is to examine Arizona Special Education State Board 401 rules, to propose rules that are clear, instructive, and aligned to the IDEA, and to provide guidance for implementation. Please read the November 14, 2014, Rule Making Communique for more information about the Committee, the Core Team membership, and the November 14 meeting.