Guide for Developing Coordinated Early Support Systems Focuses on Four Areas

What does it take to give children the best start in life? We all know that the first years of a child’s life are the most formative and that learning and achievement gaps start long before kindergarten, but what can we do to enhance those precious few years? A new guide for state policy is a blueprint for developing early support systems that are better coordinated. It includes information on pre- and post-natal support, child care, early educational systems, and cohesive early support systems. Click here to download this new policy guide!

The Use of Seclusion and Restraint: A Guidance Document on Best Practices

This guidance document categorizes and compares current best practices in the use of seclusion and restraint from the United States Department of Education, the Council for Exceptional Children, and the Arizona Task Force on Best Practices in Special Education and Behavior Management. A list of references is provided at the end of the document.

Seclusion and Restraint

Keep Kids Reading All Summer: Digital Library Available to All Children in Arizona

A new option for summer reading began this April, and Arizona children as young as three will be able to access this free digital library through September 30, 2014. Thousands of books are available through the Internet, and there is even a free downloadable app available that will allow a reader to access as many as 20 books to read offline anytime. For the hesitant reader, there is the option for audio support with text highlighting and an embedded dictionary that gives help with pronunciation and definitions. The summer reading program is a project of Read On Arizona. To send your students home this summer ready to read, send home the instructions for accessing this service. Read on Arizona!

Click on the images below to download the flyers.

Student Flyer

My on Student

Instructions to create an account
My On Site

National Institute of Justice to Fund Research on Increasing School Safety

If your school has an interest in juvenile justice and school safety, you might be interested in applying for the 2014 National Institute of Justice (NIJ) grant entitled Developing Knowledge About What Works to Make Schools Safe. The funding is for schools to learn more about how personnel programs and activities contribute to their school safety. An example is hiring resource officers and mental health service providers to increase school safety. Applications are due on July 10, 2014. See the link above for more information.

Special Education Rule Committee 5/1/14 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 draft of the Child Find section generated at the meeting.  Please read the May 1, 2014, Rule Making Communique for more information about the Committee, the Core Team membership, and the May 1 meeting.

ADE/ESS New Physical Address

We Moved

Please note the new address of the Arizona Department of Education, Exceptional Student Services section’s Phoenix office.

3300 N. Central Ave
Phoenix, AZ  85012

Click on the map to get driving directions.

Map 3300 Tower

The mailing address for all of ADE/ESS remains:

Arizona Department of Education, Exceptional Student Services
1535 W. Jefferson St., Bin #24
Phoenix, AZ 85007

Telephone: 602-542-4013
Fax: 602-542-5404

Webinar for Youth with Disabilities, Their Families, and Others Hosted by Youth Transitions Collaborative

On May 15, 2014, an educational seminar entitled “Making the VR Connection” will be held, which will be captioned, recorded, archived, and available on webinar. The collaborative, in partnership with the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) has designed the seminar for youth with disabilities, their families, practitioners, vocational rehabilitation counselors, educators, and other stakeholders to learn the value of collaborations in transitions for students with disabilities. To register for this webinar, which starts at 10:00 a.m. mountain time, go to:

Employment for People with Disabilities the Focus of New Toolkit and Focus-Group Research Report

RespectAbilityUSA, a nonprofit organization working to empower people with disabilities to achieve the American dream, held focus groups in the Washington, DC area and polled 3,839 friends, families, and professionals in the disability community. The result is a formal report, “America at Risk: Job Crisis for People with Disabilities—Views on Solutions from 3839 People on the Front Lines” and a new toolkit for policy makers, leaders, and activists. Both are designed for those who want to use the real-life experiences and opinions of others to expand job opportunities for people with disabilities. To download a copy of the report, go to:


OSEP Request for Information On Use of Results Data for Determinations

Request for Information on the Use of Results Data in Making Determinations Under Sections 616(d)(2) and 642 of Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

The U.S. Department of Education (Department) is requesting stakeholder input on how best to use results data (e.g., performance on assessments, graduation rates, and early childhood outcomes) in its accountability system under the IDEA. We believe that the Department must provide greater support to States’ efforts to improve results for infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities (children with disabilities). We need to ensure that States focus not only on complying with provisions of the law, but also on improving results for children with disabilities.

Dates: Responses must be received by April 25, 2014.

April Webinar to Explore How to Improve School Discipline and Climate

On April 29, 2014, at 12:30 p.m. MT, The US Departments of Justice and Education will present a 90-minute webinar on principle 3 of the guiding principles of the school discipline guidance package. The webinar, “Guiding Principle 3: Equity and Continuous Improvement,” a product of the Supportive School Discipline Initiative, will identify action steps schools can use to eliminate discriminatory school discipline policies and practices and explore ways to implement the steps. Register online or get more information on the Supportive School Discipline Webinar series.