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

Arizona’s Fifteenth Annual Transition Conference

Connecting for Success: Shared Expectations, Responsibilities, and Outcomes

August 24–26, 2015

Talking Stick Resort

9800 East Indian Bend Road

Scottsdale, Arizona

Please visit the 2015 Transition Conference website, http://www.azed.gov/special-education/2015-transition-conference, for additional information.


Call for Papers

Arizona’s Fifteenth Annual Transition Conference, Connecting for Success: Shared Expectations, Responsibilities, and Outcomes, invites the submission of proposals for breakout sessions. This year’s conference is structured around three topical strands: 1) Connecting with Youth; 2) Connecting with Families; and 3) Connecting with Agency and Community Partners. This collaborative, cross-stakeholder event includes youth and young adults with disabilities, family members and caregivers, state agency staff, educators, service providers, and community members who share a commitment to the successful transition of students to adult life.

Proposal submissions are invited that address one of the three strands, include practical and replicable activities or strategies, and focus on strengths as they relate to:

• Best practices/evidence-based practices;

• Implementation strategies;

• Outcomes and/or products; and

• Tools to share that support replication.

Proposals will be chosen to create a balance of topics that will appeal to a variety of audiences.

To view the Call for Papers, please click here.


Call for Cover Artwork

Arizona’s Fifteenth Annual Transition Conference Planning Committee is seeking artwork designed by students with IEPs for this year’s conference brochure cover. Any student currently enrolled in an Arizona public education agency (PEA) or approved private school who is identified with a disability and is between the ages of 14 and 22 is eligible to submit an entry.  The entry submission deadline is Friday, March 6, 2015.

The first-place winning entry will be used on the brochure cover. Other winning entries will be used throughout the conference brochure, and all student entries will be acknowledged by the Arizona Department of Education/Exceptional Student Services. The theme, Connecting for Success: Shared Expectations, Responsibilities, and Outcomes, reflects the importance of making connections with the people, agencies, and resources that support engagement, independence, and successful post-school outcomes for students with disabilities. The cover artist winner and his or her family will be offered scholarships to attend the conference.

To view the Call for Cover Artwork, please click here.


General Information

Registration is scheduled to begin in May 2015 – check back regularly for updates!

Save the Dates – 2015 ADE Conferences

Save the Date 2015 Conferences



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

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

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, March 2, 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.



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



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.

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



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
ESSFunding@azed.gov



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.



Move On When Reading Monitoring Alert

There have been many questions pertaining to how the Move on When Reading statute affects students with disabilities. ADE has provided clarification in the Monitoring Alert.



Newly Redesigned Promising Practices Website

ARIZONA PROMISING PRACTICES

 www.azpromisingpractices.com

Whether you are an administrator looking for information about positive behavior supports, a teacher searching for tips on differentiated instruction, or a parent in need of a transition planning process, you will find the newly redesigned Promising Practices Website to be a comprehensive source for information. This online guide provides easy access to over 1,400 excellent resources for parents and professionals serving students with disabilities in Arizona.

The newly redesigned Promising Practices Website features:

  • An increase from 315 to over 1,400 resources
  • Categorized entries for easy access under the following titles:
    • Administrators
    • Paraprofessionals
    • Parents
    • Related Service Providers
    • Special Education Directors
    • Teachers
  • Resources that can be accessed to assist students at-risk and students with disabilities in both general and special education settings
  • Information that is consistent with Arizona guidelines

The Promising Practices Website will continue to evolve and provide additional resources and strategies to assist parents and Arizona school personnel in improving results for students with disabilities.  Because the Promising Practices Website will be continuously updated, make sure to check back often for new resources!