Winter Workshops for Educators of Students with Significant Disabilities!

You won’t want to miss these winter learning opportunities in 2019!

1/8/19:  Evidence-Based Practices: Research Based Teaching Strategies for Teachers of Students with Disabilities (SP1939799) $45

In this workshop, participants will learn the definition of evidence-based practices (EBPs), why these high yield strategies are important, and where to find resources on EBPs that can enhance instructional practices. By the end of the workshop, participants will have the knowledge and tools needed to implement the EBPs of prompting, modeling, reinforcement, differential reinforcement, task analysis, visual supports, and social narratives.

1/28/19 and 1/29/19:  Road to Recovery: Supporting Children with Intellectual and/or Developmental Disabilities Who Have Experienced Trauma (SP1939395) $90

Participants will learn basic knowledge, skills, and values about working with children with IDD who have had traumatic experiences and how to use this knowledge to support children’s safety, well-being, happiness, and recovery through trauma-informed practice. Training activities, including small group exercises, analysis of case vignettes, and discussion, will also encourage exploration of assumptions and attitudes that providers may bring to these cases that may help or hinder their ability to do the work needed. The setting will allow providers to immediately apply ideas, practice problem-solving skills, and learn from each other.

2/6/19:  STAAR Alternate 2 Overview (SP1939620) Free

This training is designed for first-time STAAR Alternate 2 test administrators.   In this optional training we will discuss the updated participation requirements, key dates, allowable accommodations for STAAR Alternate 2, planning for instruction using the essence statements,  TEKS Curriculum Framework, and TEKS vertical alignment. Participants will also have the opportunity to practice administering the test using released STAAR Alternate 2 sample test questions.

2/15/19:  Introduction to the Active Learning Approach: Strategies for Teaching Students with Visual Impairments and Multiple Disabilities (SP1939624) $45

In this introductory workshop, participants* will explore the fundamentals of the Active Learning approach, including the Dynamic Learning Circle, Active Learning equipment, the 5 Phases of Educational Treatment, and additional training resources.  There will also be a make and take!

*This workshop is appropriate for Life Skills teachers, PPCD teachers, teachers of students with Visual Impairments,  Occupational Therapists, and Assistive Technology Specialists.

2/25/19: Creating Successful Teams for Teachers and Paraeducators (SP1940744) $45

Are you part of a team of educators working closely together in a special education setting? Then this is the workshop for you!

In this workshop, special education teachers and paraeducators will examine strategies and skills for promoting effective communication, collaboration, and team building.  Workshop topics will include ways to improve teamwork, working relationships, communication, leadership, and role clarification.  Participants will also learn strategies to support effective problem solving and decision making.  Teachers and paraeducators are encouraged, but not required, to attend as a team.

For more information, contact jennifer.russell@esc13.txed.net or darcy.schiller@esc13.txed.net

STAAR Alternate 2 Updates for 2018-2019!

TEA has shared their Fall Updates for the 2018-2019 STAAR Alternate 2! 

New Information

  • There is no longer a verification window.
  • Students who transfer/move to a new district ON OR AFTER the first day of the STAAR Alternate 2 testing window do not have to be tested.
  • For the 2019 administration, student booklet images will be in full color except for historical photos and images where color is found to be distracting (e.g. multiple sets of geometric shapes).
  • Initial orders of student booklets will be shipped based on students registered during Student Data Submission window, not enrollment estimates as in previous years.
  • Beginning with the 2018-2019 school year, the general oath will no longer be found in the back of STAAR Alternate 2 Test Administrator Manual. The new online District and Campus Coordinator Resources (DCCR) includes the new interactive oath.
  • TEA will be requesting a waiver for the 2018-2019 school year in order to assess more than 1.0 percent of students, based on assessment data from 2017-18. This will be similar to the request made for the 2017-2018 school year.

Clarifications

  • STAAR Alternate 2 must be administered with the student booklet.
  • Use of the image cards is optional.
  • A test administrator may use image cards for multiple students if there is no evidence of reuse or that accommodations were applied (e.g. highlighting, coloring, cropping, etc.).
  • Examples of ways that “clean” image cards may be used for multiple students include pairing the cards with text and presenting answer choices one at a time.
  • New resources include the Science Vertical Alignment document and Science Curriculum Frameworks.
  • STAAR Alternate 2 is an untimed assessment, and the test does not have to be given in one session. See the full TETN presentation for timing options.
  • TEA has outlined best practices for utilizing the Preview Window. Any presentation of materials or introduction of concepts or topics prior to test administration is considered a serious irregularity.  See the full TETN presentation for more information.

Coming in October

  • Updated STAAR Alternate 2 Educator Guide
  • NEW revised Medical Exception Eligibility and No Authentic Academic Response requirements in both English and Spanish
  • Updated Instructional Terms Lists and Essence Statements
  • Revised STAAR Alternate 2 Test Administrator Manual (non-secure portion) (posted 10/01/2018)

Key Dates

  • Enrollment Window: October 22-November 9, 2018
  • Enrollment counts for large print should be submitted during the “district submits participation counts” window of October 22-November 9, 2018.
  • Preview Window: March 18-29, 2019
  • Assessment Window: April 1-23, 2019
  • Region 13 will be presenting two free workshops focusing on STAAR Alternate 2 administration

Click here to access TEA’s full TETN presentation on STAAR Alternate 2 Updates for 2018-19.

Questions? Contact Jennifer Russell at Jennifer.Russell@esc13.txed.net or 512-919-5206 or Darcy Schiller at Darcy.Schiller@esc13.txed.net or 512-919-5224.

Attention Teachers of Students with Significant Disabilities! Register Today for These Great Workshops in October!

Are you a teacher of students with significant disabilities? Then you’ll want to check out these October workshops at Region 13!

October 10th

Teaching Students Who Can’t Talk: Supporting Significant Communication Impairments in the Classroom (FA1839892)

This workshop is designed to help teachers support the communication and instructional needs of students with severe communication impairments. Participants will learn about communication development and best practices for teaching students with complex communication needs.

October 16th and 17th

 Life Skills Fundamentals (FA1839396)

In this 2 day training, participants will learn the fundamental skills and strategies necessary to successfully instruct and engage students with significant cognitive disabilities. The training will cover classroom organization, routines, evidence-based practices, challenging behavior, data collection and planning, and much more.  Teachers will create materials that will be ready to use in their classrooms immediately!

October 23rd

Creating Successful Teams for Teachers and Paraeducators (FA1839992Participants will examine strategies and skills for promoting effective communication, collaboration, and team building. Workshop topics will include ways to improve teamwork, working relationships, communication, leadership, and role clarification. Participants will also learn strategies to support effective problem solving and decision making. Teachers and paraeducators are encouraged, but not required, to attend as a team.

Register today in ecampus! For questions, please contact:

jennifer.russell@esc13.txed.net

 

Calling All LID Literacy Leaders! Submit Your Applications Today for Region 13’s 2018-19 Literacy Leaders Professional Learning Community (PLC)!

It’s that time again! We are now accepting applications for the 2018-19 LID Literacy Leaders Professional Learning Community (PLC)!  This is a great opportunity for special education teachers, speech and language pathologists, and relevant related service providers to learn more about teaching literacy to students with significant and/or multiple disabilities.

This past year, we had 14 amazing teams from  six districts across Region 13 come together for six face-to-face workshops, where they received literacy instruction based on the Four Blocks Literacy Model.  Participants learned how to implement Shared Predictable Chart Writing, Shared and Guided Reading, Word Work, Self-Selected Reading, and Writing using the First Author Writing Curriculum, which all teams received at no cost.  Teachers also learned about the importance of giving students access to appropriate Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) supports and the role AAC plays in success in literacy for students with significant cognitive and/or multiple disabilities. After implementing strategies learned in the PLC, teams reported greater student engagement and confidence during literacy activities.  Teachers stated that students who once resisted writing became self-identified authors who were eager to share their work in the “Author’s chair!”

Example of an “Author’s Chair”;  Allesandra Ciarlo from Round Rock ISD proudly displays one of her class-created books based on their Shared Predictable Chart Writing lessons. 

The deadline for submissions is Wednesday May 16th, 2018.  To access and complete the application and for more information, including PLC description, requirements and cost, please follow the link below.  We’re looking forward to hearing from you!

 Literacy Leaders Professional Learning Community (PLC) 2018-19

“No child is too anything to be able to read and write.” David Yoder (2000)

For more information, please contact Region 13 Education Specialist, Jennifer Russell, at jennifer.russell@esc13.txed.net.

Alright, Alright, ALL Write! Janet Sturm @ BEAT the HEAT!


Region 13 is thrilled to announce that First Author Writing Curriculum creator, Janet Sturm, Ph.D, CCC-SLP, will be presenting at this year’s Beat the Heat conference in June!

Dr. Sturm is a professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Central Michigan University, and she has been working in general and special education classrooms for over 30 years. Her research and development work focuses on writing instruction for students with disabilities, computer-supported literacy, formative and summative assessments of beginning writers, classroom communication and augmentative and alternative communication (AAC).

On June 21st, Dr. Sturm will be doing a full day presentation (also being livestreamed) on teaching writing to students with significant intellectual and multiple disabilities.  She will also present a 90 minute breakout session on June 22nd.

Don’t miss this rare opportunity to learn from one of the best writing instructors of students with disabilities in the nation!  Register for the 2018 Beat the Heat conference now!

BTH 2018 WEBSITE
http://bit.ly/BTH18

New STAAR Alternate 2 Participation Requirements Take Effect May 1, 2018!

In a TETN presentation on April 25, 2018, new STAAR Alternate 2 participation requirements for the 2019 administration were announced.  The newly revised Participation Requirements take effect May 1, 2018.  They include changes to the number of requirements (there are now five instead of four), and clarifying language that defines a significant cognitive disability. The participation requirements state that a determination of significant cognitive disability is made by the ARD committee and based on an evaluation performed by a qualified evaluation team.  The disability must significantly impact the student’s intellectual potential AND adaptive behavior and be documented in the student’s individualized education program (IEP).

Clarifying language and examples have been added to paint a more complete picture of what “specialized, extensive supports” and “intensive, individualized instruction” may look like for a student with a significant cognitive disability when accessing the grade-level curriculum and setting.  Additionally, the language of the previous participation requirement which states that students taking the STAAR Alternate 2 must access and participate in the grade-level TEKS through prerequisite skills has been expanded to include descriptions of how a student with a significant cognitive disability is most likely to access those prerequisite skills during instruction.  The participation requirement now states that a student with a significant cognitive disability accessing the TEKS through prerequisite skills that are “significantly below grade level instruction” requires “a highly specialized educational program with intensive supports and modifications to the curriculum.”

The newly added, fifth participation requirement has been pulled from the previous assurances section to emphasize that the STAAR Alternate 2 assessment determination must be based on the student’s significant cognitive disability and not on any other factors such as racial or economic background, excessive absences, location of service delivery, English learner status or anticipated difficulties with student behavior.

Beginning on May 1, 2018, admission, review and dismissal (ARD) committees will use the new STAAR Alternate 2 participation requirements for determining assessment decisions for the 2018-19 school year.  ARD committees that used the previous participation requirements for the 2018-19 assessment decisions prior to May 1st, 2018 may move forward with assessment decisions they have already made.  However, TEA recommends that campus personnel review the new participation requirements and determine if revisions should be made to previous assessment decisions.

The review and revision of the participation requirements is part of TEA’s response to state assessment requirement in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).  Any state assessing more than 1% of students with an alternate assessment aligned with alternate academic achievement standards is required to submit an annual waiver application.  The Texas plan and waiver for this year was approved.  While the 1 percent rate is a statewide requirement, LEAs above the rate may expect additional oversight and support from TEA’s Student Assessment Division.

Visit TEA’s website or click on the following link to view the new 2018-19 STAAR Alternate 2 Participation Requirements.

For more information, please contact TEA’s Student Assessment Division at assessment.specialpopulations@tea.texas.gov  or ESC Region 13 Education Specialist, Jennifer Russell, at jennifer.russell@esc13.txed.net

STAAR Alternate 2 Updates

TEA has shared their Fall Update: New Features of the STAAR Alternate 2 for 2017-2018! 

  • Large print student booklets are now available and can be ordered by districts through the enrollment collection process.
  • Student booklets will feature limited color images.
  • An image card set will come with each standard size student booklet.  Cards contain the same images that appear in the student booklet.
  • An Exit Survey must be completed upon the submission of all student responses and can be found in the Assessment Management System.

Revisions

  • Medical Exemption Form:  Under the section, Specific Medical Condition Eligibility Criteria, the form now states that a student meets the criteria for medical exemption if they are unable to respond to test questions due to a “terminal or degenerative illness.”  Previously, students met the criteria if they were unable to answer a test question due to a “chronic illness.”
  • In The Test Administrator Manual, under the Medical Exemption score coding section, what previously read, “The student is receiving non-academic homebound services due to medical issues and does not receive academic instruction,” now reads, “The student is unable to receive sufficient or consistent homebound services due to medical issues.”
  • Some prerequisite skills have been added to the Curriculum Framework and Vertical Alignment documents.
  • The “Confidential Student Report” will now be known as the “STAAR Alternate 2 Student Report Card,” and will include parent resources.

Key Dates

  • NEW Enrollment Collection: October 23rd-November 10th, 2017
  • October 20th- Essence Statements and Test Blueprints will be posted (projected)
  • Last Date for STAAR Alternate 2 Test Administrator Training: March 16, 2018
  • Preview Window: March 19-30, 2018
  • Assessment Window: April 2-20, 2018
  • Verification Window: April 23 & 24, 2018
  • Students who transfer/move to a new district AFTER the first day of the STAAR Alternate 2 testing window (April 2nd, 2018) do not have to be tested.
  • Region 13 will be presenting two free workshops focusing on STAAR Alternate 2 administration

To learn more about these updates, please join the Accommodation Central Community for a Live Chat on October 31st from 3:30 – 4:00.  Visit Accommodation Central to reserve your spot.

For more information, please contact:

Jennifer Russell, Low Incidence Disabilities Education Specialist, 512-919-5206 or email jennifer.russell@esc13.txed.net 

Darcy Schiller, Autism Education Specialist, 512-919-5224 or email darcy.schiller@esc13.txed.net