Special Education Rule Committee 7/18/14 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 July 18, 2014, Rule Making Communique for more information about the Committee, the Core Team membership, and the July 18 meeting. Also for your review are the two drafts pertaining to child find and evaluation.

AzTAP’s 16th Annual Assistive Technology Summer Institute

The only statewide Assistive Technology conference is scheduled for July 21 & 22 at the Arizona Grand Resort. There are so many great reasons to attend AzTAP’s  16th annual Assistive Technology Summer Institute, including:

  • A diverse and exciting schedule of local and out-of-state presentations on a wide range of topics related to AT in the public schools
  • A vibrant vendor hall with more than 50 AT vendors
  • Keynote speakers Haben Girma and Carolyn Phillips
  • Sit-down luncheon with lots of opportunity to network with other teachers and therapists  interested in AT
  • Fabulous door prizes

Visit the registration site: http://aztap.org/conference/registration


Competition Announced for Improving Students’ Postsecondary and Job Outcomes

The Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) has announced a new competition in the Federal Register. The competition will select an organization to establish and operate a National Technical Assistance Center on Improving Transition to Postsecondary Education and Employment for Students with Disabilities. Because many students with disabilities continue to struggle in completing high school and gaining the knowledge and skills they need to succeed, OSERS and the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) are collaborating to support this technical assistance center. The center will coordinate its expertise and resources and build capacity by implementing evidence-based practices and strategies in state education agencies (SEAs), local education agencies (LEAs), and vocational rehabilitation (VR) service agencies.

The Federal Register notice can be accessed at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-07-02/pdf/2014-15437.pdf. This competition is open to SEAs, LEAs (including charter schools that are considered LEAs under state law), VR agencies, institutes of higher education (IHEs), other public agencies, private nonprofit organizations, outlying areas, freely associated states, Indian tribes or tribal organizations, and for-profit organizations. The Department intends to fund one project for $2.5 million a year for 5 years. The deadline for submitting completed applications is Monday, August 18, 2014.

Second Annual Teachers’ Institute

Please visit the Second Annual Teachers’ Institute page for more information about this event.

Excellent Educators for All Initiative Announced

The Department of Education (ED) has recently posted a new press release about the announced teacher equity initiative. The initiative is aimed at helping states and school districts support great educators for the students who need them most–low-income students in high-need schools. To read the press release, go to http://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/new-initiative-provide-all-students-access-great-educators. To read the letter addressed to the chief state school officers, click here.

Bulletin on Medicaid Services for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder Issued

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services recently released a new informational bulletin on services that are available to children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) under the Medicaid program. The five-page informational bulletin can be accessed at http://www.medicaid.gov/Federal-Policy-Guidance/Downloads/CIB-07-07-14.pdf

SELECT Fall 2014 Classes

SELECT courses are available online for special education teachers, general education teachers, administrators, and paraprofessionals to meet re-certification requirements or to provide professional growth for anyone working with students with disabilities. Classes can be taken for university credit or free for professional development hours. Please share the attached information with your special education staff and school administrators.

All SELECT classes are taught online and are three (3) credit hours or forty-five (45) contact hours. SELECT classes are graduate level – students should contact SELECT for a syllabus to plan ahead to meet the work load.

Click on these links for course descriptions and a list of courses offered in the fall.


For more information:

Visit the SELECT website: http://nau.edu/SBS/IHD/Programs/SELECT-Program/
Email: select@nau.edu
Telephone: 928-523-1809


Back to PLS.
Back to ESS Calendar.

Struggling Adolescent Readers with Anita Archer

Middle school is a critical period for students facing reading difficulties. It is in grades six through eight that struggling readers may fall seriously behind their peers, jeopardizing their chances for success in high school and beyond. Yet, despite the importance of their task, middle school teachers are often forced to use reading curricula that are outdated, impractical, or simply do not work.

During this three-day conference, Dr. Anita Archer will help participants master the most current research-validated strategies for increasing fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, and decoding skills.

Dr. Archer serves as an educational consultant to school districts on effective reading and writing instruction, classroom management, and design of effective literacy programs. She is nationally known for her work on instructional procedures and design and is the recipient of eight Outstanding Educator awards. In addition, Dr. Archer has taught at San Diego State University, the University of Washington, and the University of Oregon.

Conference Schedule
July 7–9, 2014
8:30 a.m.–4:15 p.m.

Sheraton Phoenix Airport Tempe
1600 South 52nd Street
Tempe, AZ 85281

Register for this conference at the ADE Events Registration page.

For more information about either conference, contact Linda Mosteller at Linda.Mosteller@azed.gov.

Materials for this conference can be downloaded below:

LETRS Institute

Arizona Department of Education’s Exceptional Student Services is bringing a LETRS Institute to Arizona.

In support of A.R.S. 15-701 (Move On When Reading) and Arizona’s Common Core ELA standards, the Arizona Department of Education is extending a professional development opportunity for schools to improve teaching of reading. This professional development opportunity is consistent with ADE’s commitment to build capacity at the local, regional, and state levels.

ADE’s Exceptional Student Services section is providing LETRS training in Arizona. The LETRS (Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling) course content is strongly aligned to the Arizona Common Core Standards in these areas: Foundational Skills (K–5), Reading Standards for Literature and Informational Text (K–5), and Language Standards (K–5). The LETRS content is designed as a course of study that connects research to practice using accessible language and interactive exercises. LETRS training provides excellent information for K–5 teachers and special education teachers, K–12.

LETRS was created by Dr. Louisa Moats, internationally known reading expert, teacher, psychologist, and researcher on the topics of reading, spelling, language, and teacher preparation.

Exceptional Student Services is offering two options for a participant to complete LETRS training:

Option 1: Participant will complete LETRS modules 1–9 and be able to use the content in his or her classroom and in collaboration with colleagues (dates and locations are listed on the Calendar of Events on the ADE website). The cost per participant is $1,399.00. For those choosing Option 1, please register for LETRS training via the Calendar of Events on the ADE website by October 1, 2014.

Option 2: Participant will complete the LETRS modules, the Training of Trainers (TOT) modules, and LETRS coaching (dates and locations are on the Training Information page of the attached application). Upon completion of the course requirements, the state certified LETRS trainer would then be available to train teachers in the district and region. LEAs will be eligible for a grant to cover the training registration fees, LETRS materials, and travel expenses for participants that work with students with disabilities or work with teachers of students with disabilities. For those requesting to participate in Option 2, please submit the application by September 12, 2014.

Because LETRS training is an intense course focused on literacy knowledge and skills, it is suggested that a participant seeking to attend the training of trainers (TOT) has background knowledge in reading instruction. We suggest that a school or district send a master special or general educator, reading interventionist, or a reading coach with a strong background in reading to participate in this training.

If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact Sandra Laine at Sandra.Laine@azed.gov or call (602) 542-3962.

FY 2014 Annual Special Education Data Collection Status Update

FY 2014 Annual Special Education Data Collection Status Update

The Annual Special Education Data Collection consists of the following sections: Exit, Discipline, Personnel, Teacher Attrition Rate Survey, Preschool Transition (if applicable), Parentally Placed Private School Students (if applicable), and Secure Care Survey (if applicable).

Please see http://www.azed.gov/special-education/funding/data-management/annual-sped-data-collection/ for more detailed information.


All PEAs are required to complete the Annual Special Education Data Collection requirement each year.  Please see timeline below for specific dates.

OSEP requires the Annual Special Education Data Collection information in order for Arizona to receive Part B IDEA funding. Therefore, failure to promptly submit your PEA’s data may cause an interruption of your federal funds and may also impact your PEA Determination.

Monday,  April 28, 2014 ESS Annual Data online application opened
Tuesday, July 8, 2014 @ 5:00 PM Deadline for submitting discipline data to Az SAFE
Monday, August 4, 2014 Final Submit process begins within the ESS Annual Data online application; manual corrections to special education discipline data can be made
Friday, August 15, 2014 Deadline for completing the Final Submit process and making any manual corrections to SPED discipline data; signature form due to ESS Data Management

ASDB Student Reporting

As the district of residence (DOR), PEAs that voucher preschool students to ASDB are responsible for reporting preschool transition data for their students. The home district receives the referral from AzEIP and is ultimately responsible for the IEPs of its students.

As in the past, ASDB will continue to report its personnel by FTE, respond to the Teacher Attrition Rate Survey, and report discipline (via Az SAFE) and exit data (via SAIS) for students to be extracted and reported out in the application.

Final Submission

The final submission process will commence on Monday, August 4, 2014, and signature forms are due to ADE/ESS by Friday, August 15, 2014. During this time period, PEAs will have the opportunity to complete any outstanding agency reports, review exit and discipline reports, proceed with the final submission process (which will allow PEAs to confirm the accuracy of their discipline report and elect to do manual corrections to discipline data if necessary), and submit the required signature form.

Contact Info

If you have any questions, please direct them to ESS Data Management at ESSDataMgmt@azed.gov.

General questions regarding Az SAFE can be directed to Barb Michlin, Az SAFE Coordinator in the School Safety and Prevention office at 602.364.2092 or barbara.michlin@azed.gov.