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

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.



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.


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



Talk with ADE and SEAA Meetings — Friday, November 21

SEAA MEETING AND TALK WITH ADE

November 21, 2014
SEAA Meeting, 8:30 AM – 9:30 AM
Talk with ADE Meeting, 9:45 AM – 11:00 AM

There are two ways to attend the Talk with ADE (attached agenda) and SEAA meetings. You can attend the meetings in person or join the meetings via webinar.

If you are attending the meetings in person:

The physical meetings will be held at
Arizona Department of Education
3300 North Central Avenue, Phoenix
16th floor, room 101

Parking:
See the attachment for parking information. Remember to bring your parking ticket stub to the meetings to have it validated.

If you are joining the meetings via webinar
The meetings also will be available by webinar, which allows for remote participation using your computer and telephone (or only the telephone). Read the instructions below to participate remotely. Note that advance registration is required.

Register for Talk with ADE and SEAA meetings on Friday, November 21, 2014, 8:30 AM – 11:00 AM MST at:

https://student.gototraining.com/r/3821903880265737728

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information and directions on how to join the meetings. Space is limited.



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.

stakeholder

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.

TRAINING DATES, LOCATIONS, and TIMES:

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

Sign-in: 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
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.



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.



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.