UDL Series: What do you know about Universal Design for Learning?

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a framework for creating an approach to your instruction based on principles that allow all students to have access to the general education curriculum. Using a proactive approach to remove learning barriers by considering the natural variability of how students learn, UDL provides a blueprint for creating instructional goals, methods, materials and assessments to help optimize learning.

In summary,

Watch UDL at a Glance and …

… reflect on your teaching or leadership practices.  How are students engaged? How are materials presented? How do students show what they know?

Join us monthly through July as we discuss the following topics and how the UDL framework can help you close the gap in student achievement! This blog series will culminate with a workshop by Katie Novak , our UDL Distinguished Speaker, on July 27th, 2018!

Click to register now for the face-to-face workshop
Click to register now for the online workshop

UDL Blog Series:

  • Meeting the Needs of All Students
  • Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)
  • UDL and Teacher Appraisal Systems
  • Lesson Planning with UDL
  • Collaborative Teaching
  • Social and Emotional Learning
  • Producing Expert Learners
  • UDL and Technology
  • UDL Resources

For more information, contact Kim West kim.west@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

2018 STAAR Accommodation Updates

TEA has shared updated information on 2018 statewide assessment accommodation policies.

New for 2018:

Accessibility Features:

  • A sticky notes tool was added to the online system.
  • The use of amplification and projection devices was changed from designated supports to accessibility features.

Designated Supports:

  • Content and language supports were combined into one embedded support.
  • A spell check feature was added as an online embedded support for eligible students.
  • Photocopy is no longer an individual support, but has been included within the Large Print and Other policy documents.
  • Authority for decision for math manipulatives and supplemental aids has been expanded to include additional campus level teams (e.g., RTI team, student assistance team).

Policy:

  • Dictionaries for reading and writing in grades 3-5 are no longer a designated support. They are now part of the STAAR Dictionary Policy.
  • The STAAR Calculator Policy now includes the use of calculators for grade 8 science.
  • For students who take the braille test and require an extra day, refer to the “General Instructions for Administering Braille State Assessments.” TEA approval is not required.
  • For grades 2–12 TELPAS writing, an Accommodation Request Form does not need to be submitted for a student that meets the eligibility criteria for Complex Transcribing.

Other:

  • The “GA” accommodation bubble on answer documents was changed to “DS.”
  • The STAAR practice now includes 2017 released tests.
  • The STAAR Accessibility Team at TEA’s Student Assessment Division has a new email, specialpopulations@tea.texas.gov.

Visit the TEA Accommodation Resources webpage for updated policy documents and training materials.

To learn more about these updates, please join us on Thursday, September 21st from 3:30 PM – 4:00 PM. To reserve your spot in the live chat visit the Accommodation Central Community webpage.

For additional information contact kim.west@esc13.txed.net.

 

 

 

Are you a special education instructional leader?

Join us for the Special Education Instructional Network – SPIN – to connect and learn with other special educators in Region 13.

SPIN meets four times during each school year. Our first 2017-2018 meeting is on Wednesday, September 13, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM.

SPIN meetings are designed for special education instructional leaders to receive updates and resources and to share ideas, district news, and questions with each other.

You can register for SPIN meetings in Ecampus by using course number FA1737127.

For more information, contact Kim West, kim.west@esc13.txed.net

Student Assessment TETN Schedule

Mark your calendars for the September 12 TETN to receive the latest updates and training on STAAR Accessibility!

This TETN is open to districts as well as Education Service Centers. It may be viewed at Region 13 or from districts that are members of the Distance Learning Network by contacting Distance Learning at distancelearning@esc13.txed.net or 512.919.5444.

For more information, contact Mark Billingsley, District Assessment, Mark.Billingsley@esc13.txed.net

Title: STAAR Accessibility Updates
Time: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM (CST)
Audience: Open to ESCs and districts
Event#: 293
Summary: This TETN will serve as the state-level training for regions, districts, and campuses regarding 2018 statewide assessment accommodation policies. Presenters will discuss where to find accommodation information, how to determine student eligibility for accommodations, and how to document accommodation decisions and use. Questions will need to be routed through ESCs and will be answered as time allows.
Contact: Student Assessment Division

For additional information, contact:

Student Assessment Division
1701 North Congress Avenue
Room 3-122A
Austin, Texas 78701
(512) 463-9536

student.assessment@tea.texas.gov

Communication Connections Conference Website Launch

We are pleased to announce the launch of our CCC for SLPs website.  Find it at https://goo.gl/LrDt95.

Created as a companion resource to our conference, this website can be accessed across all platforms (iOS, Mac, PC, Android…).  As a conference guide, you can bookmark this site in your favorite browser and use it to:

  1. Follow the Schedule
  2. Refer to Session Descriptions to choose the ones that are right for you.
  3. Download and print Handouts. Please note! Printed handouts will not be available at the conference. Links to the handouts can be found in the session descriptions.  Handouts are being posted as soon as they are received from the presenters.

This conference brings you a fresh look on an old favorite!  Join us in learning evidence-based practices on topics ranging from evaluation to service delivery and everything in between.

This conference starts in just 8 days!  Have you registered? We still have a few open spots!  Register today, you can attend onsite or online.

Communication Connections Conference for SLPs!

(Formerly Hill Country Summer Institute for SLPs)

Renee Attaway from Michele Garcia Winner’s Social Thinking presents:

Implementing Social Thinking Concepts and Vocabulary:

A Day to Develop Team Creativity

We are so excited to host a presentation by Renee Attaway, a presenter from Michelle Garcia Winner’s Social Thinking®, that we would like to open up Day 2 registration for all educators – SLPs, Teachers, Behavior Specialists, and more – who would like to attend just this day.

Use the promotional code Day2 to register for the second day of the conference to hear Renee Attaway present “Implementing Social Thinking Concepts and Vocabulary: A Day to Develop Team Creativity.”

 

Face-to-Face

Join us in person at Education Service Center Region 13 to hear from highly qualified, national presenters on the topics you’ve been wanting.

 

Online

Whether you are near or far, log on from right where you are. You will have full access to the same, wonderful presenters!

 

 

 

STAAR, Tablets/iPads, Speech-to-Text, and Test Security!

slide 64 pic

Preparing for STAAR takes a village!

There is information on slide 64 in the 2017 ESC Testing Coordinators Training Presentation on exceptions to the prohibition on internet access for tablets used in STAAR testing that are not in any other TEA document.

These exceptions are important to students who have been using web-based speech-to-text as a support for spelling assistance and transcribing.

Conversation and planning among instructive technology, assistive technology, testing coordinators, and special education teachers will be important.

For discussion and details about this update, please read the Chat Transcript from January 31 on this topic… and consider joining our Accommodation Central Community.

Please contact Nichole.Kertis@esc13.txed.net  for assistance.

FIE to IEP – the ABCs of a Well-Written Plan

Team workFIE to IEP pictureThere are many aspects to writing a complete Individualized Education Program (IEP). These documents, when well-written, can be assets to the students they are designed for as well as their teachers.  It takes a multidisciplinary team to create such dynamic and effective plans.

This two-day training will focus on combining the details of a Full Individual Evaluation (FIE) with the knowledge of good instructional practice to write powerful PLAAFP statements which will lead to student-focused goalsTeams that include both assessment personnel and special education teachers will benefit from working together during these two days.

Participants will leave with tools to support their efforts for well-written IEPs aligned to the standards.  This intensive instruction will allow time for participant practice, reflection, and  individual questions.

IEP Best Practice: FIE to IEP

January 5 and 6, 2017

9:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Register for this workshop, SP1736044, in Ecampus.

For additional information, contact Kim West, kim.west@esc13.txed.net or

Joy Hunsucker, joy.hunsucker@esc13.txed.net

 

STAAR Alternate 2 Update

staar alt 2

Good news!

Based on the September 23rd STAAR Alternate 2 TETN on September 23, 2016 , there are only minimal changes to STAAR Alternate 2 for the April 2017 test administration.

 

 

Key dates for the 2017 administration are:

March 17, 2017 – last day for Test Administrator Training

March 20-31, 2017 – Preview Window for teachers to prepare needed accommodations

April 3-21, 2017 – Assessment Window

April 24-15, 2017 – Verification Window (new)

The soon-to-be published Test Administrator Manual will have clarified policies on Confidentiality, Security of Materials, Presentation Instructions, and Scoring Instructions.

Minor changes in Allowable Accommodations include the elimination of Photocopying which is replaced with photocopying guidelines in the Test Administrator Manual.  “Use calculator to arrive at response” has been expanded to “Use calculator, manipulatives, or math tools to arrive at response” and the accommodation on rereading sections of the text has been re-worded.

There were reminders from TEA on the No Authentic Academic Response (NAAR) designation:

  1. State assessment decisions are to be reviewed annually. Students who received a NAAR designation in the previous year should be monitored for skill development and be reconsidered annually.
  2. There should be evidence in the student’s IEP beyond the NAAR Eligibility Requirements form. The decision should be supported in the PLAAFP statement. The types of activities attempted with the student (released tests, daily instructional activities) and the outcomes should be recorded in the deliberations or elsewhere.

Already posted documents include:

Documents still to come:

  • Essence Statements (scheduled for October and henceforth will come in October, not the spring as they had previously)
  • The PowerPoint slides from September 23rd TETN (any day)
  • STAAR Alternate 2 Test Administration Manual (different from the Educator Guide which provides general guidance for the year)
  • TEKS Curriculum Frameworks (to include the updated Pre-K guidelines)

If you are a Region 13 district or charter school employee and  would like to view the September 23, 2016 STAAR Alternate 2 TETN, contact distancelearning@esc13.txed.net and ask for the recording of TETN Event # 43175.

Contacts:  Ann Jacobson at ann.jacobson@esc13.txed.net, Darcy Schiller at darcy.schiller@esc13.txed.net, Ann Jinkins at ann.jinkins@esc13.txed.net or the TEA STAAR Alternate 2 team at staaralt@tea.texas.gov