If you have any questions regarding these hot topics, please contact the ESS Webmaster.

New RDA Implementation Grant Opportunity

To implement OSEP’s Results Driven Accountability (RDA) vision, ESS will offer a criteria-based RDA Implementation Grant to assist districts and charters in creating professional development plans that lead to increased academic achievement for students with disabilities. This grant will provide funds to implement items needed to sustain changes in teacher practices and student gains, including team time, materials, presenters, evaluation tools, and monitoring resources. Capacity coaches will be provided to all awardees to assist the district teams in the grant implementation.  Grant applications will be accepted until December 1, 2014.

Please click here to view the recorded webinar explaining the grant application process.

Grant Resources:

Implementation Grant Application

RDA Action Plan Calendar

RDA PD Budget Form

INFORMATION: Preschool Development Grant

Dear Colleague,

The Arizona Department of Education is planning a submission to Governor Brewer’s Office for the Preschool Development Grant. This is a statewide application with potential benefits for targeted high-needs communities within Arizona. Please see the attached information for more details.

The application does address the needs of children with disabilities as it outlines a requirement for LRE options of higher quality within the high needs communities. It also proposes providing site based coaching to support more inclusionary practices.

We appreciate your support as we move forward with the process.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Amy Corriveau
Deputy Associate Superintendent
Early Childhood Education
Head Start State Collaboration Director
High Academic Standards
Arizona Department of Education

Special Education Focus Groups

The Arizona Department of Education, Exceptional Student Services (ADE/ESS), is inviting people who are passionate about special education to participate in focus groups throughout Arizona to learn about, discuss, and help inform the State Systemic Improvement Plan—the SSIP.


Please visit the ADE Events Registration page to register for a focus group near you.

Regional Secondary Transition Trainings Available for 2014-2015

The Arizona Department of Education/Exceptional Student Services Secondary Transition unit is excited to bring regional secondary transition trainings to Arizona beginning in the fall of the 2014–2015 school year.

Secondary transition requirements for students 16 years old and older (or younger if appropriate) include ten specific IEP components that facilitate successful transition from high school to postsecondary life in the areas of education/training, career, and independent living.

These regional trainings will be presented in two parts:

  • Part 1 will be a full-day training for those who are new to secondary transition and will cover the following topics: Introduction to Indicator 13: Secondary Transition Requirements and Transition Plans and ECAPS.
  • Part 2 will be a half-day training for those who are familiar with secondary transition requirements and who want to participate in the Writing a Secondary IEP for Transition Using Best Practices workshop.

Participants attending Part 1 and Part 2 will learn both compliance requirements and the best practices to meet those requirements.

NOTE: If you want to attend both parts, you must register for each one separately.

Registration is available on the ADE Events Calendar at http://www.ade.az.gov/onlineregistration/EventLocationSelection.asp?EventID=3718&EventDate=9/17/2014.


September 9 and September 10 – Cochise County
September 17 and September 18 – Mohave County
October 6 and October 7 – Yuma County
October 20 and 21 – Pima County
November 13 and November 14 – Maricopa County (East)
November 17 and 18 – Maricopa County (West)
December 3 and December 4 – Pinal County
January 20 and 21 – Coconino County
January 22 and 23 – Navajo and Apache Counties
February TBD – Yavapai County
February 19 and 20 – Graham and Greenlee Counties

: 8:30 a.m.– 9:00 a.m.

Part 1: 9:00 a.m.– 4:00 p.m. Introduction to Indicator 13: Secondary Transition Requirements, Transition Plans, and ECAPS

Part 2: 9:00 a.m.– 12:00 p.m. Writing a Secondary IEP for Transition Using Best Practices Workshop

Please check the ADE Secondary Transition Website for updates on the dates and locations to be determined (TBD).

2015 IDEA Basic Entitlement Allocations for Arizona Public Schools – NEW POSTING

The Arizona Department of Education/Exceptional Student Services Funding and Finance Unit have re-posted the 2015 IDEA Basic Entitlement allocations for Arizona public schools. The new posting is due to new calculations for district-sponsored charter schools. All other allocations remain the same. The allocation list can be accessed at http://www.azed.gov/special-education/funding/.

The 2015 IDEA application is currently being developed in the ADEConnect grants management system (GME). The ESS Funding and Finance Unit will notify grantees, via the ESS listserv and Director’s Corner, when the grant application is available. The grants management system will have information on the status of the application posted on the GME homepage as well.

Arizona Department of Education
Exceptional Student Services
Funding and Finance Unit

Mentees & Mentors needed for New Special Education Director Mentor Program

The Arizona Department of Education, Exceptional Student Services will offer a mentoring program for new special education directors for the 2014-2015 school year. A “new special education director” is defined as a special education administrator who has served in this role for one or two years. If you are a new special education director and you are interesting in participating in this program, please find the mentee application attached to this email.

Additionally, ADE/ESS is seeking qualified mentors for the Arizona New Special Education Director Mentor Program. Mentors must have at least three years of experience serving as a special education director in order to apply. The mentor’s role is to provide ongoing support and assistance to mentees, as well as share his or her knowledge and skills throughout the school year in order to build confidence, competence, and awareness of the various demands of being a special education director. A stipend of $200 will be offered to mentors. Attached, please find the mentor application.

Please note the deadline for submission of all materials is Friday, September 5, 2014. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Lisa Aaroe at lisa.aaroe@azed.gov.

Mentor Application Mentee Application

Alternate Assessment Newsletter for Special Educators Includes Accountability Tips

To keep special educators (and directors) up on alternate assessment news, our monthly newsletter, Tidbits, addresses topics of interest and important dates for pilot testing and assessments. This month’s newsletter focuses on increasing performance expectations and Results Driven Accountability. To access the newsletter, go to http://www.azed.gov/assessment/aims-a/ and click on Newsletters.

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.

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.

Competitive Tuition Assistance Grants Available

The Exceptional Student Services, Professional Learning and Sustainability, Recruitment and Retention (ESS/PLS/R&R) Unit will soon release two tuition assistance grants for fiscal year (FY) 2015.

Paraprofessional Tuition Assistance (PTAG)

An Arizona school district or nonprofit charter school with a current or anticipated need for special education, early childhood special education, or related service staff may apply for an eligible paraprofessional with the desire and motivation to complete college coursework requirements for a(n):

  • Associate’s degree or the speech-language pathology assistant (SLPA) technical coursework required for the SLPA license issued by the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS); or
  • Bachelor’s degree in:
    • Early childhood special education;
    • Special education; or
    • An area of related service: speech-language (SL); occupational therapy (OT); or physical therapy (PT) sciences.

This competitive grant will pay for college tuition and textbooks for a special education paraprofessional or aide to a related services provider who works with your students with disabilities.

General Education to Special Education Tuition (GEtSEt)

An Arizona school district or nonprofit charter school with a current or anticipated special education teacher need may apply for an eligible general education teacher with the desire and motivation to complete certification requirements for the:

  • Cross-Categorical Special Education, K–12 Certificate for disabilities commonly known as high incidence disabilities (to become Mild to Moderate Professional Teaching Certificate on or about January 1, 2016);
  • Early Childhood Special Education, Birth–5 Years Certificate; or
  • Severely and Profoundly Disabled Special Education, K–12 Certificate for disabilities commonly known as low incidence disabilities (to become Severe and Profound Professional Teaching Certificate on or about January 1, 2016).

This competitive grant will pay for one-half of the college tuition required for an eligible general education teacher to pursue a career change to become a special education teacher.

If you have any questions about the grant please contact Celia Kujawski, IDEA Capacity Building Grant Coordinator, at 602-542-4610 or email Celia.Kujawski@azed.gov.