Inclusion Institute 2015: New Frame of Mind

marketing-package_twitter header

Do you have questions on how to grade students in special education?

As a special educator do you fully understand your role in grading?

At June 11th’s  Inclusion Institute 2015: New Frame of Mind, attend the session, I Don’t Give Grades, You Earn Them. In this session, teachers will explore what TEA says about grading exceptional learners and what that means to us as professional special educators. After this breakout session, you will walk away with a deeper understanding of grading and what grades truly mean for students in special education.

Don’t miss out…REGISTER NOW at, class #SU1528847.

Are you a paraprofessional? Want to save money? Click here to obtain a 50% discount code to this one-day conference.

FREE Mindset Webinar

marketing-package_twitter header






Heard about Growth and Fixed Mindsets but want to learn more?

The AGC team is offering a sneak peak at this year’s Inclusion Institute 2015: New Frame of Mind keynote speaker, Emily Diehl!

In this 30 minute webinar, Emily will share the research behind a growth mindset and preview strategies for nurturing a growth mindset in your students and you.

Register now for this FREE webinar.

When: Wednesday, April 29, 2015, 3:30-4 PM


Inclusion Institute 2015

Are you nurturing a growth mindset in your students? 

Are you looking for ways to increase motivation and effort from your students?

Join us June 11th at the Inclusion Institute 2015 to learn about cultivating a Growth Mindset. Emily Diehl from Mindset Works will lead sessions on how to change our own mindsets and cultivate growth mindsets in all students leading to greater success! Register now at

We are offering a discount code for the first 50 paraeducators and preservice teachers. Simply follow this link to obtain your discount code:

TEA Guidance in Regards to Determining STAAR A Eligibility

News from TEA in regards to STAAR A accountability, April 8, 2015

Along with the grades 3–8 math assessments, results from STAAR Accommodated (STAAR A) and STAAR Alternate 2 (a redesign of the original STAAR Alternate) will also be excluded from the 2015 state accountability system. The U.S. Department of Education no longer allows Texas to use modified assessments (such as the STAAR Modified), which had been used for students receiving special education services that met certain participation criteria. Those students were administered the STAAR Accommodated this year. In addition, House Bill 5, passed by the Texas Legislature in 2013, required the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to redevelop the STAAR Alternative (STAAR Alt) test which is designed for the state’s most cognitively disabled students. That test was administered for the first time this school year. While results from the STAAR Accommodated and STAAR Alternate 2 will be excluded from the state accountability system, results will be reported to school districts, charters and parents.

Follow-up guidance from TEA Student Assessment Division, April 13, 2015

Determination of Eligibility for STAAR A and Spring 2015 Testing

It is important that local school districts ensure that appropriate assessments are selected and administered to students with disabilities, independent of state accountability considerations.  For students who are served by special education or who participate in a 504 program because of dyslexia, it is the responsibility of Admission, Review, and Dismissal (ARD) and 504 committees to make decisions about which state assessment—STAAR or STAAR A—is the appropriate test to administer.

TEA has provided training and explicit guidance to help ARD and 504 committees make decisions that are in the best interest of students with disabilities. At this point in the school year, the decision to administer STAAR or STAAR A should already have been made and documented for each individual student based on the state’s eligibility requirements and the types of accommodations he or she is successfully using in the classroom to access instruction.

In the absence of new information related to student eligibility and accommodations previously not considered, ARD and 504 committees should not reconsider those testing decisions at this time (OR before spring 2015 testing occurs).

If you have questions regarding STAAR A eligibility, please contact the TEA Student Assessment Division at (512) 463-9536 or

For additional support, contact JC Sanders at (512)919-5420 or or Ann Jinkins at (512)919-5207 or


SPP Data Submission for 2014-15

The deadline for submission of data for State Performance Plan (SPP) Indicators 7, 11, 12, 13, and 14 is August 12, 2015. All districts and charter schools must report data for each indicator through TEASE, even if you are reporting that no students in your district meet criteria for that indicator.

TEA has posted the documents and requirements for this year’s data submission. You can also find resources at the Region 13 SPP LiveBinder:

Region 13 will host a webinar to review the requirements for SPP data submission on Wednesday, May 6 from 10:30 – 11:30 am. Registration is available through Go To Webinar.

For more information, contact:

Lori Merrell: SPP 7, 11, 12

Elizabeth Danner: SPP 13, 14



IDEA MOE Fiscal Requirements: Excess Cost and MOE

Budget Planning for 2015-16 is here. In preparation, each LEA is required to conduct fiscal compliance calculations prior to applying for and receiving federal funds (SPED Consolidated grant application).

Fiscal Requirement #1: Excess Cost Calculation IDEA-B funds must only be spent on the excess cost of serving students with disabilities (SWD). Excess costs are those costs over and above what the LEA spends, on average, for students enrolled at the elementary or secondary level. To determine excess cost, the LEA must calculate the annual average expenditures for the education of elementary and secondary students separately. The LEA is compliant when it spends at least the minimum annual average amount for its SWD before it uses IDEA-B Funds. (For practical purposes, the LEA must spend the minimum average amount per student by the end of the school year to meet compliance).

TEA  Calculation Tool and Instructions

Excess Cost Activities and Timeline: Perform a preliminary calculation to support completion of the SPED Consolidated grant application CS7000 schedule. Then perform a final calculation after the annual audit is finalized.

Fiscal Requirement #2: Maintenance of Effort (MOE) and Supplement, Not Supplant

To eligible to receive IDEA-B funds, the LEA must meet the fiscal requirement called MOE and supplement, not supplant. For MOE, LEAs that accept IDEA-B funds must expend on students with disabilities (SWD) at least an amount equal to 100% of the state and/or local funds expended on SWD during the previous year. For supplement, not supplant, LEAs assure that state and/or local funds will not be diverted to other purposes simply because federal funds are available.

TEA IDEA MOE Calculation Tool and Instructions

Recommended Activities Prior to eGrant Submission:

1. Complete Calculation Tool for the two most recent completed years (FY 14 comparing 2012-13 and 2013-14).

2. Estimate compliance by completing the Tool for FY 15 comparing 2013-14 and 2014-15.

3. Project compliance by completing the Tool for FY 16 comparing 2014-15 and 2015-16.

Reports Needed to Calculate MOE FY 14, FY 15, and FY 16

CheatSheets: Instructions for Completing MOE FY 14, FY 15, and FY 16

Questions? Contact

Revisions to Maximum Entitlements: 2014-15 IDEA-B Formula Grants

TEA received a revised grant award from the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) which requires TEA to recalculate maximum entitlements for the 2014-2015 IDEA-B Formula program.

Not all LEAs will receive an adjusted maximum entitlement.

Method of Revision

TEA staff will adjust the largest class/object code to account for the change in the maximum entitlement amount.

Affected LEAs will receive email notification of the changes TEA staff have made to their program budget. The revised Notice of Grant Award (NOGA) will be attached to that email.


TEA will send out an email bulletin alerting LEAs when the revision process is complete.  From now until that alert is distributed, TEA requests that LEAs stop submitting any amendments to claim IDEA-B Formula funding.  Amendments for any other changes to the application may be submitted at any time.

Once TEA sends out its alert that the revision process is complete, affected LEAs may file an amendment to revise their budgets, if necessary. Please refer to the “When to Amend the Application” document on the TEA website to determine if an amendment is necessary.

The deadline to submit “amendments” is 5:00 p.m. Central Time, June 12, 2015.

ESC 13 SPED Funding Contact: Linda McDaniel at

Training for New EDGAR Regulations Formally called Uniform Guidance


On December 26, 2014, new regulations from the Office of Management and Budget (OMG) went into effect for all federal agencies that award grants, including the US Department of Education (USDE). The TEA website has details on the new regulations that are now referred to as the New EDGAR.

The New EDGAR governs all federal grants awarded by USDE to the state on or after December 26, 2014. To prepare for the changes in administering 2015–2016 LEA federal grants, TEA has scheduled the following training sessions.


Education Service Center Cluster Site Trainings

In March and April 2015, TEA will hold cluster site face to face trainings at selected education service centers (ESCs) throughout the state. TEA will focus these trainings on grantee implementation of the new guidance requirements, rather than repeating the information shared at the statewide training that occurred on March 2 and 3. Each of the five cluster site trainings will cover the same content. Use the following links to register directly with the following ESCs:

Education Service Center Region 13 Opportunities 

On March 27 the cluster site face to face training at ESC 4 may be viewed at the ESC 13 or you can view it at your LEA through video conference. If you are interested in viewing the video conference via ESC 13, please register in ecampus with the following workshop number

  • In person at ESC Region 13 viewing the video conference – SP1532033
  • Video conference through ESC 13 at your LEA – SP1532034

On April 16 the cluster site face to face training at ESC 20 may be viewed at the ESC 13 or you can view it at your LEA through video conference.  If you are interested in viewing the video conference via ESC 13, please register in ecampus with the following workshop number.

  • In person at ESC 13 viewing the video conference – April 16 SP 1532035
  • Video conference through ESC 13 at your LEA – April 16 SP1532036

If you have questions, please contact Shirley Sanford at or 512.919.5375.

Transition Fair at Region 13

Region 13 will be hosting a Transition Fair to connect students and families with information about the services and supports available for adults with disabilities. This event is free and open to the public. Spanish and ASL interpreters will be available. For more information, contact Elizabeth Danner at

Date: Saturday, April 18, 2015

Time: 10:00 am – 2:00 pm

Location: 5701 Springdale Rd, Austin, TX, 78723

Flyers available in English and Spanish

Consultation for Private Nonprofit School Participation

Reminders about private / home school consultation for LEAs (Does not apply to Charters)

1. According to the Program Guidelines for the Special Education Consolidated Grant Application, LEAs must consult with private schools “before preparing and submitting this application” (page 29 of current grant guidelines).

2. Consultation must be “timely, meaningful, and ongoing” (page 32 of current grant guidelines). The ‘ongoing’ requirement includes how the consultation process will operate during the school year to ensure that parentally-placed children with disabilities identified through Child Find activities can meaningfully participate in special education and related services.

3. LEA must consult with private school representatives and representatives of parents of parentally-placed private school children with disabilities during the design and development of special education (page 32 0f current grant guidelines).

What this may mean for your LEA (Does not apply to Charters)

1. Consider beginning consultation for 2015-16 in late spring or June before developing your 2015-16 Special Education Consolidated Grant Application. This timing ensures stakeholders’ input is considered upfront during the design and development of the grant application.

2. Determine how additional consultation opportunities will be offered during 2015-16 for new eligible students, e.g.,  identified through child find activities or recent withdrawal to homeschool or private school.

3. Review your LEA’s Special Education Operating Guidelines against the Program Guidelines to ensure compliance. The 2015–16 Program Guidelines will be published with the 2015-16 SPED Consolidated Grant Application later on this spring.

Private Nonprofit School Participation Contact: Joy Hunsucker at joy.hunsucker@esc13.txed

Funding / Proportionate Share / eGrants: Linda McDaniel at


Public Review and Comment Period: Proposed Texas Application for IDEA-B Funds

Deadline for Submitting Public Comment: March 31, 2015

For the state of Texas to receive its IDEA Part B grant funds each federal fiscal year, TEA must complete an application packet and submit it to the USDE Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP).

Prior to submission to OSEP, the State Application (Texas) will be available for public review for 60 days. Within that 60-day time period, there will be a 30-day public comment period.

The TEA will accept written comments pertaining to the Proposed State Application by mail to Policy Team, TEA Division of Federal and State Education Policy, 1701 North Congress Ave., Austin, Texas 78701-1494 or by e-mail to

Individuals are encouraged to use the comment form provided on the TEA web page. The deadline for submitting public comment is March 31, 2015.

Questions to any ESC Region 13 Compliance Team member: Ann Jinkins, Lori Merrell, Joy Hunsucker, Elizabeth Danner or Linda McDaniel

New Charter Form for Requesting Federal Funding and Indirect Cost Rate for 2015-16

For the 2015–2016 school year, TEA has developed a single special collections report to replace the SC5010–NCLB Data Request Form for Federal Funding and the SC5011–Special Education Charter Data Request. This data collection requirement applies to open-enrollment charter schools, special local educational agencies (LEAs), and state schools only. It does not apply to independent school districts.

The 2015–2016 Request for Federal Funding & Indirect Cost Rate for Charter Schools (SC5050) is now available in eGrants.

SC5050 Deadline: April 7, 2015

To ensure eligibility and planning amounts are determined for the applicant, the SC5050 must be certified and submitted no later than April 7, 2015.

Applicable Entities

The SC5050 is an eGrants special collections report that applies to the following entities:
* Open-enrollment charter schools
* South Texas ISD
* Windham School District
* Texas Juvenile Justice Department
* Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired
* Texas School for the Deaf

TEA will use this submission of the SC5050 to determine eligibility and planning amounts for applicable No Child Left Behind (NCLB) federal programs and indirect cost rates, if requested. TEA will open the SC5050 again in August 2015 to collect data for NCLB and special education significant expansion consideration.

For details on the SC5050, refer to the To the Administrator Addressed letter entitled “New Special Data Collection Report Available” posted to the TEA Correspondence webpage.

ESC 13 Special Education Funding Contact:

Subscribe to RSS Feed Follow me on Twitter!


Specially Designed Instruction In Math Summer Workshop Series

math students at the board

Concrete Models of Good Math Instruction—June 17th, 9am-4pm #SU1532436

In this workshop you will acquire strategies and ideas for how to best adapt the general education curriculum to meet the needs of students with disabilities. We will debunk the myth that students struggling should not be exposed to higher mathematical concepts. You will also gain ideas for how to adapt and modify curriculum while maintaining high expectations for all students.

Math Games: Box Cars and One-Eyed Jacks—June 22nd, 9am-12pm or 1pm-4pm

Shuffling into Math (Grades K-3) #SU1531794 – In this interactive and fun math games workshop, Jane Felling from Box Cars and One-Eyed Jacks will teach you to use games as a teaching strategy and will share the reasons behind why this strategy works. Handouts and game ideas will concentrate on numeration and number sense, patterning, basic operations, place value, data management, graphing, problem solving and other key parts of the state curriculum.

All Hands on Deck (Grades 3-6) #SU153173 – In this interactive, game-based workshop, John Felling will offer ways to engage and encourage your upper elementary math students. John and Jane teach workshop participants to use games as a teaching strategy and include why this powerful strategy works.

To Drill or Not to Drill: Math Facts Through Strategies—July 15th, 9am –4pm #SU1529402

Students are expected to master their basic math facts but many struggle to do so.  Research shows that instruction of strategies for basic facts increases students’ likelihood of mastery and retention. Many students develop their own strategies. However, these strategies can be ineffective and inefficient. In this workshop, you will learn strategy-based instruction for all basic math facts for all four basic operations: addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

Explicit Instruction for Math Word Problems—August 13th, 9am-4pm #SU1532437

This workshop will provide you with evidence-based strategies to support and strengthen instruction for math word problems for students with disabilities. Research has shown that for students who are struggling, the elements of explicit instruction are key to helping these students make gains and be successful.

OR Register for all 5 workshops for only $140! #SU1532452


Required Residential Facility Tracker Data Entry

Yes it is that time of year again.

For LEAs with residential care and treatment facilities within their boundaries or jurisdiction, in which students with disabilities have resided during the 2014-2015 school year, the due date for the completion of the RF Tracker data collection is June 5, 2015.  When entering your data the end of the year “as of” date is May 15, 2015. Districts will continue to enter enrollment of students with disabilities who reside in RFs until the May 15th  date. After May 15, new students who enter an RF will be served by the district until the end of the year, but will not be entered into RF Tracker.

TEA has posted a To the Administrator Addressed letter regarding the timeline for RF Tracker data collection.  You  may access this letter on the TEA website at .

LEAs that are required to complete the data collection can access RF Tracker through the Texas Education Agency Secure Environment (TEASE) under the RF Tracker link.  If you do not have an account in the TEASE system for RF Tracker you will need to submit an on-line request for access by following the instructions on the TEA website at

Guidance and resources regarding the RF Monitoring System can be found on the TEA website by clicking Guidance and Resources

If you have questions please contact Joy Hunsucker, Region 13 at or 512-919-5177.


Inclusion Institute 2015

marketing-package_twitter header

Are you looking to learn new ways to motivate students, teach explicitly, explore strategies to increase student achievement in core academic classes, and walk out with a  New Frame of Mind?

If the answer is YES- then the 2015 Inclusion Institute is for you!

Join us June 11th for an all-day institute of practical strategies for inclusive settings. Breakout sessions will be offered for both special and general educators, as well as paraprofessionals. In addition, Emily Diehl from Mindset Works will be providing the keynote and discussing the research about the growth mindset and why it is a critical lever for motivation and success.

When: June 11th, 2015
Where: ESC Region 13
Who: Educators, paraprofessionals, pre-service teachers

Register:, workshop ID SU1528847

Inclusion Institute Flier_3.31