Updates


Published: April 9th, 2020

PD INFO: STAR Autism Support Opportunities – Time Sensitive

Special Education Directors,

ADE/ESS and Early Childhood Education (ECE), and STAR Autism Support are collaborating to offer resources and professional learning opportunities to support your staff through this unprecedented period of remote learning. The following information details your FREE access to tools intended to support remote learning for all learning levels, including children who have minimal language or are non-verbal, have motor skill limitations, or have challenges attending to instruction.

Access to the STAR Online Learning System (SOLS)

All educators throughout Arizona may now receive FREE access to SOLS through STAR Autism Support. The STAR Online Learning System offers programming for early-childhood and primary age students, as well as for secondary students. A short administrator webinar (with information about SOLS and the provided resources) is available here: https://www.starautismsupport.com/webinar/registration?webinar=3348

Three ways of engaging with teachers, students and caregivers are offered:

  • Home Supports are offered to caregivers and students during this time of significant routine upheaval, including visual resources and video modeling for families. Caregivers can use these resources to support their children during daily routines.
  • Instructorless Learning Home Packets include printable materials that offer caregivers and students fun, theme-based materials designed to meet students’ individual learning levels. The printable packets offer flexibility for caregivers to decide when their children engage with materials, providing opportunities for students to work independently to maintain previously learned skills.
  • Synchronous Remote Learning Tools include everything needed for a comprehensive remote learning program. To support individual IEP goals and the development of new skills, synchronous remote instruction offers the opportunity for teachers to individualize and scaffold curriculum to meet the unique needs of all students.

To request FREE access to the STAR Online Learning System (SOLS)

Simply forward the attached flyer to your staff or direct them to register here: https://starautismsupport.com/AZ-SOLS-Access.

Professional development opportunities for instructional staff and related services

Several virtual professional development opportunities will be made available to staff implementing remote learning.  These trainings will both provide guidance on ensuring successful learning sessions, as well as offer Q&A opportunities for staff to troubleshoot various challenging scenarios. Each series of trainings includes:

  • 3 introductory webinars (each building on the previous) to support implementation of remote learning
  • 8 subsequent weekly webinars to offer staff support on various topics, as well as Q&A opportunities

Your public education agency’s (PEA) staff will be asked to select participation in one of 3 training series (beginning each of the following 3 weeks). Staff may register here for access to the professional development: https://www.starautismsupport.com/az-sols-webinar-registration.

The first professional development opportunities begin on April 14, 2020. PEAs are also encouraged to contact STAR Autism Support if they would like additional individualized support during this time for their teachers, related service staff members and paraprofessionals! Click here to learn more about these additional support opportunities: https://www.starautismsupport.com/AZ-SOLS-Support.  

We are excited to offer these opportunities to work with your teams to support their remote learning sessions!

 

Posted in Autism, Updates |
Published: April 8th, 2020

PD INFO: Join the ADE/ESS Secondary Transition Team for Transition Tuesdays

Special Education Directors,

 Join the ADE Secondary Transition team for Transition Tuesdays!

The ADE/ESS Secondary Transition specialists miss you and want to reconnect! We will be providing webinars and “office hours” to assist you with continuing to support your students through the transition planning process. On Tuesday mornings, we will present a webinar on a transition topic, and on Tuesday afternoons, we will be helping you navigate through some of the many resources available for transition planning online. Alternate Tuesday afternoons will feature virtual office hours when you can ask questions and problem-solve with the specialists and other transition stakeholders.

We hope you’ll join us! We will be using the Microsoft Teams format. Please ensure that your work computer is capable of running Microsoft Teams. Microsoft Teams can be downloaded and utilized on a personal computer or smartphone. For any further questions or assistance, please email the ESS Transition inbox.

Topic Tuesdays: 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Click on the Date to register.

Date Topic Description
April 14 Summary of Performance The Summary of Performance is an important part of the transition process for students with disabilities who are exiting high school. Not only is it an IDEA requirement, but it is designed to provide the student with the information needed to continue pursuing his or her postsecondary goals. Join the secondary transition team for a review of best practices for developing the Summary of Performance.

 

April 21 Transition Activities Online Transition activities are part of the coordinated set of services that provide students with disabilities opportunities to explore the aspects of their postsecondary goals and make informed decisions. The secondary transition team will review best practices and provide resources that will support the IEP team in making decisions for attainable postsecondary goals.

 

April 28 Transition Assessments Online Transition assessments provide the foundation for the entire transition planning process. Join the secondary transition team to review best practices and resources for finding your students’ interests, preferences, and strengths.

 

May 5 Transition Assessments & Measurable Postsecondary Goals for Complex Support Needs Transition assessments provide the foundation for the entire transition planning process. For students with complex support needs, the assessment process is the same, but we know that the information may need to be accessed in different ways. Join the secondary transition team to review this process and how the information can lead to a meaningful day for your students.

 

May 12 Transition Activities for Complex Support Needs Transition activities are part of the coordinated set of services that provide students with disabilities opportunities to explore the aspects of their postsecondary goals and make informed decisions. For students with complex support needs activities may look a little different but the outcomes should be the same. Join the secondary transition team to review this process and how the information can lead to a meaningful day for your students.

Transition Talk: 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

No registration needed! Just use this link each week: Join Microsoft Teams Meeting 

Date Topic Description
April 14 Online Resources Join the secondary transition specialists as they walk through some of the resources for providing secondary transition services in a virtual environment.

 

April 21 Office Hours This is your time to chat with secondary transition specialists about your questions related to providing secondary transition services.

 

April 28 Online Resources Join the secondary transition specialists as they walk through some of the resources for providing secondary transition services in a virtual environment.

 

May 5 Office Hours This is your time to chat with secondary transition specialists about your questions related to providing secondary transition services.

 

May 12 Online Resources Join the secondary transition specialists as they walk through some of the resources for providing secondary transition services in a virtual environment.

Again, for any questions please contact us at the ESS Transition inbox.

 

Posted in Transition Training, Updates |
Published: April 8th, 2020

COVID-19 INFO: Special Education COVID-19 Check-In Meeting – Thursday, April 9

Special Education Directors,

Please join ADE/ESS for our weekly Special Education COVID-19 Check In on Thursday, April 9, from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. This is the third in a series of weekly “check-ins” ESS has planned during school closure, or as long as they are needed. Content for weekly check-ins will be determined based on current needs.

This week’s webinar will cover: How to Leverage the Principles of FIEP to Conduct Virtual IEP Meetings. There will be time for additional questions and answers.

Join Special Education COVID-19 Check-In Meeting – Thursday, April 9

As a reminder, the Special Education Guidance for COVID-19 webpage contains guidance and resources related to special education for students with disabilities for Arizona’s public education agencies (districts, charters, state institutions, and secure care schools) as they navigate the COVID-19 response. NOTE: The Q & A parts of the Special Education COVID-19 webpage will be updated on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Additionally, the Q & A have been time stamped and revisions have been noted.

If you have questions regarding COVID-19 and school closure related to students with disabilities or the IDEA, please send them to the ESS Inbox.

Posted in COVID-19, Updates |
Published: April 2nd, 2020

RECRUITMENT & RETENTION INFO: Professional Learning Updates

Special Education Directors,

There have been many challenges as a result of COVID-19 and, after careful consideration, our leadership team has made the difficult decision to cancel Teach Camp 2020 as well as a new professional learning opportunity that was planned for new special education directors.  Our goal is to begin a new cohort of Teach Camp and professional learning for new special education directors in the summer of 2021. Currently, we are considering ways to connect with our 2019 Teach Camp participants and help them reconnect with each other during the next school year.

For your information, a resource that has been available to teachers participating in Teach Camp is now open to others as well. CEC is opening its doors to the special education community in need of resources. Nonmembers of CEC can receive a free basic membership from now through May 31 by using the promotional code “CECED60”. This will provide access to all of CEC’s journal articles, member discounts on publications and events, and their online membership community where educators can ask questions and receive support from special educators, administrators, and support personnel. Join now by clicking here.

Thank you for your continued service to our field. We look forward to collaborating with you to support new teachers and new special education directors again in the future.

Posted in COVID-19, Professional Learning and Sustainability, Updates |
Published: April 1st, 2020

PD OPPORTUNITY: ADE K12 Standards/ESS Virtual Professional Learning

Special Education Directors,

ADE K12 Standards and ESS is excited to collaborate and offer the following virtual professional learning opportunities:

AZ Math Leaders Office Hours The meeting is open to all Math Department Chairs, Math Specialists, Special Education Lead Teachers and Math Coaches.  This is an opportunity to share and problem solve with your colleagues. These Math Leader Meetings will take place every other week.

First meeting is Thursday, April 2 from 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Please register in advance for this meeting. You can register for all of the April meetings from the same link. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

AZ Math Teacher Office Hours These virtual meet-ups are a chance for general education and special education teachers from around the state to connect with each other, collaborate and learn from one another, and also to celebrate and share successes during this new educational landscape. Please join during your grade band(s) meet-up and connect with your colleagues to learn and lead from wherever you are in our state!

Grade Band: K-2 April 8 from 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. or April 9 from 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Grade Band: 3-5 April 8 from 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. or April 9 from 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Grade Band: 6-8 April 8 from 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. or April 9 from 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Grade Band: High School April 8 from 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. or April 9 from 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Together we can continue to provide exceptional learning for all Arizona students!

We look forward to connecting and learning with you all.

Posted in Professional Learning and Sustainability, Updates |
Published: March 31st, 2020

COVID-19 INFO: Special Education COVID-19 Check-In Meeting – Thursday, April 2

Special Education Directors,

Please join ADE/ESS for our weekly Special Education COVID-19 Check In on Thursday, April 2, from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. This is the second in a series of weekly “check-ins” ESS has planned during school closure, or as long as they are needed. Content for weekly check-ins will be determined based on current needs.

This week’s webinar will cover: ESS COVID-19 webpage content and a presentation on the most frequently asked questions during school closure. There will be time for additional questions and answers.

Join Special Education COVID-19 Check-In Meeting – Thursday, April 2

As a reminder, the Special Education Guidance for COVID-19 webpage that launched last week contains guidance and resources related to special education for students with disabilities for Arizona’s public education agencies (districts, charters, state institutions, and secure care schools) as they navigate the COVID-19 response. NOTE: The Q & A parts of the Special Education COVID-19 webpage will be updated on Tuesdays and Thursdays. If you have questions for ESS, please send them to the ESS Inbox.

Posted in COVID-19, Updates |
Published: March 31st, 2020

RECRUITMENT & RETENTION INFO: GETSET and SETTA Tuition Assistance Programs

Special Education Directors,

We understand that this has been a busy and stressful time as you work to meet the needs of your students and staff. As such, we are extending the application deadline for the SETTA and GETSET Tuition Assistance Programs until 5:00 p.m. on Friday April 17.

For questions, please email Aanya Rispoli or call (602) 364-4022.

Posted in Professional Learning and Sustainability, Updates |
Published: March 26th, 2020

COVID-19 INFO: Governor’s Expansion of Telemedicine – OT, PT, SLP Services

Special Education Directors,

As you may already be aware, there has been some uncertainty regarding the ability of OTs, PTs, and SLPs to provide services during school closures via telehealth to those students for whom it is deemed to be appropriate and feasible. The uncertainty arose from a lack of clarity as to whether their respective licensing entities permitted the provision of therapy services by telehealth.

Yesterday, Governor Ducey issued Executive Order 2020-15: Expansion of Telemedicine. The order includes Occupational, Physical, and Speech therapies. The Executive Order is effective immediately and expires upon the termination of the Declaration of Public Health Emergency related to COVID-19 (March 11, 2020). As a result of the order, OTs, PTs, and SLPs are authorized to provide services by telepractice for the duration of the health emergency.

Future changes with regard to Medicaid billing are unknown. To date, therapies provided by PEAs using telehealth are not reimbursable through Medicaid school-based claiming. ADE/ESS is aware of this issue and will keep you apprised of any updates.

The FAQ section of the ESS COVID-19 webpage is being updated to include new questions related to the provision of these services through telepractice.

For questions or comments, please email the ESS Inbox.

Posted in COVID-19, Updates |
Published: March 25th, 2020

COVID-19 INFO: Special Education COVID-19 Check-In Meeting – Thursday, March 26

Special Education Directors,

Please join ADE/ESS for a Special Education COVID-19 Check-In on Thursday, March 26 from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. This is the first in a series of weekly “check-ins” ESS has planned during school closure, or for as long as they are needed. Content for weekly check-ins will be determined based on current needs.

This week’s webinar will cover recent guidance from the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS), and the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) related to special education services and school closure. It will also introduce the new Special Education Guidance for COVID-19 webpage that was launched this week. The webpage was updated today to include special education resources as well as questions and answers. The check-in will also provide an opportunity to ask questions, time permitting.

Join Special Education COVID-19 Check-In Meeting – Thursday, March 26

NOTE: The Q & A parts of the Special Education COVID-19 webpage will be updated on Tuesdays and Thursdays. If you have questions for ESS, please send them to the ESS Inbox.

Posted in COVID-19, Updates |
Published: March 24th, 2020

COVID-19 INFO: ADE/ESS Special Education Guidance for COVID-19 Webpage Now Available

Special Education Directors,

ADE/ESS has developed a Special Education Guidance for COVID-19 webpage that is an extension of the main ADE Guidance to Schools on COVID-19 webpage. The ESS page contains guidance and resources related to special education for students with disabilities for Arizona’s public education agencies (districts, charters, state institutions, and secure care schools) as they navigate the COVID-19 response.

The ESS COVID-19 contains a number of content tabs:

  • School Closures: Clarifications and Guidance
  • Communication from Federal Oversight Bodies at the USDOE
  • Communication from ADE/ESS
  • Special Education Resources
  • Special Education Questions & Answers

Special Education Resources and Q & A are currently going through final revisions and should be published tomorrow, Tuesday, March 23.  Additionally, ESS is hosting a webinar for special education administrators on Thursday, March 26. Further information will also be sent tomorrow.

If you have questions or comments, please direct them to the ESS Inbox. Thank you all for your hard work and flexibility during this time.

Posted in COVID-19, Updates |