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Arizona Employment First Forums

JOBS Pic

 Arizona Employment First Forums

Employment First Community Forums Flyer

Why is it important?

Integrated employment is the first priority of Employment First. The preferred outcome of the initiative is for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities that are job-ready and seeking to join the workforce obtain employment with an employer at or above minimum wage or generate earnings through self-employment. Maximum self-sufficiency through full integration into the community workforce is the desired end result of these efforts.

What do we want?

The Community Forums is the first in a series of activities planned to gather information from stakeholders, advocates, individuals with disabilities and their family members, about your needs for employment services. We want to hear from you. Your input will assist in the development of a comprehensive Employment First Strategic Plan which will be designed to empower our state to deliver quality, innovative employment supports focused on self-determination and inclusion.

Who should attend?

We need educators, people with disabilities and their families, self-advocates, transition specialists, service providers, business and community leaders, and all interested parties to discuss employment for people with disabilities.

How can you help?

Make a difference in your community by helping us improve employment outcomes. Attend one of our forums to provide your input and help us make employment the first option for all people with disabilities.

 

We hope that you will join us!  Register Now if you haven’t already, otherwise please feel free to share with your peers!

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1pN_5Unotm9ay4V41Ynl9F2T-MmU58UEuC29N3gnkvQs/viewform

FUNDING ALERT: 2015 IDEA Basic Allocations Available 7/31/14

The Arizona Department of Education/Exceptional Student Services Funding and Finance Unit is in the process of finalizing the 2015 IDEA Basic Entitlement allocations for Arizona public schools. This information should be available on or about July 31, 2014. At that time, the allocation list will be posted to http://www.azed.gov/all-programs/, Federal Programs, Special Education.

Arizona Department of Education
Exceptional Student Services
Funding and Finance Unit
ESSFunding@azed.gov



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 this link for a list of courses offered this fall.

 

For more information:

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

 


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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

DATA MANAGEMENT ALERT
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 attached alert for detailed information.

STATUS

All PEAs are required to complete the Annual Special Education Data Collection requirement each year. Currently, 66% of PEAs have not yet begun data entry for this data collection requirement. The due date for this requirement is 6 weeks away.  Please see timeline below for specific dates.

TIMELINE
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

Discipline Data Extract from Az SAFE

All SPED discipline data must be submitted to Az SAFE by 5:00 PM on Tuesday, July 8, 2014. This data will be finalized prior to August 4, in preparation for the final submission process (see additional information below). The discipline report within the ESS Annual Data application is pre-populated with Az SAFE data. Please take this opportunity to review these reports and submit any necessary corrections via Az SAFE by the abovementioned deadline.
Exit Data Extract from SAIS

All SPED exit data should have been submitted by June 30, 2014. This data will be finalized after the FY14 Statewide Recalculation scheduled for July 16, 2014.  We have been and will continue to work with PEAs that have outstanding integrity errors related to their exit data to get these corrections manually entered for inclusion in the Exit report.

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.



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.



ASU Study of Students with Intellectual Disabilities-Invitation to Participate

Arizona State University is conducting a statewide study funded by the Arizona Developmental Disabilities Planning Council that seeks to understand the aspirations of high school youth with intellectual disabilities after high school graduation, how they are preparing, and how they are being supported at home and in schools. The Division of Developmental Disabilities, the Arizona Department of Education, the Rehabilitation Services Administration, Raising Special Kids, and a few school districts are advising the study.

We are inviting your school district or charter school to participate. We will be surveying both high school youth with intellectual disabilities and their families. The study process will not take staff time; however, we will need assistance disseminating study information to specific students and families. We will be conducting the survey starting in March and will continue until our target sample size of guardians and students is met.

Also, we will be conducting focus groups in three selected public education agencies (PEAs) throughout Arizona to gather in-depth information on how guardians and students are involved in transition planning and what they are currently doing to prepare: an inclusion PEA, a PEA that uses the least restrictive environment approach, and a rural PEA. These groups will serve as case studies on how parents and students approach transition in different school settings. Staff from these PEAs will be interviewed to provide a balanced view.

After the research is complete, we will provide overall State outcomes and results obtained from your district or charter, upon request. The overall findings will be released in a final report and presented at a statewide conference.

If you have any questions or are interested in participating, you are welcome to contact Erica McFadden (erica.mcfadden@asu.edu), Sang-Eun Lee (slee128@asu.edu), or David Daugherty (David.B.Daugherty@asu.edu).

Contact information:

David B. Daugherty, PhD
Director of Research
David.b.Daugherty@asu.edu
(602) 496-0215 office
Arizona State University
Morrison Institute for Public Policy



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!