Toward Dignity and Opportunity: Dr. Michael Wehmeyer at Beat the Heat

Photo of Dr. Michael Wehmeyer

Region 13 is thrilled to announce that Dr. Michael Wehmeyer will be presenting at this year’s Beat the Heat conference in June! Why are we thrilled? Well . . .

He’s kind of a big deal . . .

Dr. Wehmeyer is a Distinguished Professor in Special Education with the Beach Center on Disability at University of Kansas, and has been a leader in the field of special education for over 30 years. His work includes a focus on transition planning for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities. He has written or contributed to countless books, articles, and other resources to promote understanding and application of self-determination skills to increase independence, communication, and connection for students with disabilities.

It’s kind of a big topic . . .

Self-determination has been a focus of special education for decades, as it has been shown to increase positive post-school outcomes for students with disabilities. In June 2017, Senate Bill 748 was signed into law requiring schools to provide supplementary aids, services, curricula, and other opportunities to assist the student in developing decision-making skills… and supports and services to foster the student’s independence and self-determination” beginning in the 2018-19 school year. Schools must provide these resources “as appropriate” for each student, individualizing according to each student’s needs and strengths, regardless of their support needs.

On June 21st, Dr. Wehmeyer will be hosting a full day presentation on Self-Determination for Individuals with Significant Disabilities. This is a great chance to receive resources for teaching self-determination skills in your classroom straight from the source: the distinguished speaker who *literally* wrote the book on it.

Don’t miss this rare opportunity to learn from one of the leaders in the field of transition planning for students with disabilities!  Register for the 2018 Beat the Heat conference now!

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

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.

Dr. Vickie Mitchell: Beat the Heat 2017 Featured Presenter

Dr. Vickie MitchellOn Beat the Heat Day 1, Vickie Mitchell will be presenting the workshop: Building Sustainable Adult Schedules: The Life Plan with a Focus. Students with significant disabilities need supports to be successful in different environments. How can schools effectively plan for each student to be successful in adulthood? What is the impact of diversity, language and Culture and how does that impact Transition Services? Join us for a review of the Life Planning tool, an essential element of transition services that can lead to sustainable adult schedules. This tool can help schools understand what students and their families see for the young adult’s future. Imagine the sudden jarring moment, when they think about the day the bus stops coming and school supports are no longer available! The Life Plan is designed to help families think through the adult life planning and articulate what the school can do to help them build a good life for their child with significant disabilities. Resources will be shared to help schools review their processes and consider ways to ensure each student is connected with a meaningful, sustainable schedule beyond public school.

Dr. Mitchell has been in education over 38 years, ten years as a secondary general education teacher and over 28 years as a special educator in both elementary and secondary schools. She has been a special education administrator, transition specialist, taught at two Texas universities, and served as the Transition Specialist at Region 4 Education Service Center in Houston, Texas. Although Dr. Mitchell has been intricately involved in inclusion and training research-based inclusive practices, her love is transition services. Her partner of many years is her daughter, Beth Mitchell Panter They are the authors of the student and teacher editions of “The Student-Led IEP Meeting” and the companion teacher training guide to help district and campus-level educators learn how to organize and implement student, parent, and teacher training on Student-Led IEP Meetings. Dr. Mitchell is the President of the Texas Division of Career Development and Transition (DCDT) and was appointed by past-governor George W. Bush and Governor Rick Perry to the Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities. Vickie and Beth’s last publication, “Student-to-Student”, is a trainer of trainers model for students who have led their IEP Meeting to become trainers of other students, served by special education, on the Student-Led IEP model.

Previous year’s particpant said, “Awesome information on transition. Need to hear this.” We are eagerly looking forward to having Dr. Mitchell back again this year!

To see Dr. Mitchell or any of our other excellent Day 1 presenters, register for Beat the Heat 2017, Workshop SU1734208.

""Beat the Heat 2017
June 21-22, 2017
ESC Region 13
5701 Springdale Rd.
Austin, TX 78723

Texas Public Prekindergarten Class Size and Student-to-Teacher Ratio Study

In 2015, the 84th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, passed House Bill (HB) 4 focused on high-quality prekindergarten programming. A key aspect of the bill was authorizing and funding the HB 4 High-Quality Prekindergarten Grant program, which the Texas Education Agency (TEA) awarded in July 2016 for the 2016–17 school year. HB 4 also specified expansion of early education reporting requirements for all Texas public schools offering a prekindergarten program beginning in the 2016–17 school year. Finally, HB 4 specified that a study be conducted to understand the relationship between quality and class size and student-to-teacher ratios in prekindergarten.

Recommendations from the study:

Class size guidelines should be set to a maximum not to exceed 22 students per prekindergarten classroom. Given the class size recommendation, a student-to-teacher ratio not to exceed 11:1 is recommended for all public prekindergarten classes with between 16 and 22 students. In cases where class size is 15 or fewer students, a student-to-teacher ratio should not exceed 15:1. However, following these guidelines alone will not ensure conditions for high-quality prekindergarten classrooms.
The full report and executive summary are available from the links below:

Texas Public Prekindergarten Class Size and Student-to-Teacher Ratio Study (ICF International, September 2016)

Executive Summary (12 pages)

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Hill Country Summer Institute App Available!

Hill Country Summer Institute LogoAre you attending this year’s Hill Country Summer Institute? We’d like to help you make the most of your time at the institute by providing you access to our app.

Here are some of its features:

  1. Schedule – From the main schedule you can create your own personal schedule.
  2. Speakers – Browse through our speakers and select session provided by your favorites!
  3. Handouts Please note! Printed handouts will not be available at the institute. We are making handouts available for download through this app.  Links to handouts can be found in two locations within the app in the session descriptions and in each speaker’s bio.
  4. Floor Maps – Have our floor maps in the palm of your hand!
  5. Twitter – Tweet about Hill Country directly through the app using this hashtag: #r13hillco. You can also follow the discussions @SLPRegion13.

Our app is available on three different platforms.

FYI! The iPhone and Android apps will sync across platforms and devices.  For example, if you have an Android phone and an iPad, you can download the app to both devices.  You create a profile/login on one device.  When you open the app on the other device, you will use the login/profile you created to access your information.

The WebApp works only online and is device and browser specific.  It will not sync your information across platforms, browsers or devices.

Download the app!  The 2016 Hill Country Summer Institute will be here before you know it!

Access to General Curriculum Statewide Guidance Documents

The new year is upon us and you may have questions about Special Education.  Don’t fret, guidance is at your fingertips!

resources

AGC Resources are statewide guidance documents covering important topics such as co-teaching, LRE, IEP, paraprofessionals, and grading.   Quick access to all of these documents can be found at www.esc20.net/agcnetwork. The website has been up-dated with short informative videos that provide a brief explanation of each of the resources.

In addition, Education Specialists at Region 13 are available to answer questions you may have regarding Special Education.

Wishing every teacher a great start to the new school year!

 

HB 440- Change in Education Code re: Physical Education/APE

HB 440 was recently passed and signed by Governor Greg Abbott.
Following is an excerpt from the Bill Analysis:
C.S. H.B. 440 amends the Education Code to require the State Board of Education , in identifying the essential knowledge and skills of physical education, to ensure that the physical education curriculum
required in each school district that offers kindergarten through grade 12 meets the needs of students who are eligible to participate in a school district’s special education program as provided by law or who meet the eligibility criteria developed by the Texas Education Agency for a special education program.
The bill takes effect in the 2015–2016 school year.
All of the related documents are located here: http://www.legis.state.tx.us/BillLookup/text.aspx?LegSess=84R&Bill=HB440
For districts with procedures in place to properly identify student need and provide a continuum of services and supports, the implications of this legal change may be insignificant.  Consider reviewing your APE referral process; revisiting your continuum of service delivery models; and adding this information to back-to-school training agendas.
Region 10’s Adapted Physical Education website has helpful resources toward the bottom of the page.  Should you have further questions or needs, please let us know!
Contact: Nichole.Kertis@esc13.txed.net or 512-919-5246.

Inclusion Institute 2015

Are you thinking about attending professional development this summer?

Are you wanting to learn evidence-based strategies to increase student success?

Are you interested in how to increase student motivation and effort?

…YES!

You need to attend the 2015 Inclusion Institute: New Frame of Mind. Join us June 11th for a one-day conference that will bring you LOTS of ideas to help students. Plus, in addition to the keynote session covering Growth Mindsets with Emily Diehl, you will also receive a copy of MindSet: New Psychology of Success. The day will also include opportunities to attend breakout sessions covering current inclusive topics. For more information and to register check out Inclusion Institute 2015, http://bit.ly/Inclusion2015.

Register now for a chance to receive your very own copy of MindSet!

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 http://tea.texas.gov/About_TEA/News_and_Multimedia/Correspondence/TAA_Letters/Required_RF_Tracker_Data_Collection_(LEAs)/ .

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 http://tea.texas.gov/index4.aspx?id=25769818165

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 joy.hunsucker@esc13.txed.net or 512-919-5177.

 

New Grading & Progress Monitoring Resource

The Statewide Access to the General Curriculum Network and Texas Education Agency have released Grading and Progress Monitoring for Students with Disabilities- A Resource for Teachers. This resource will provide educators and schools with effective grading and reporting guidance. In addition, it identifies how to make grading systems accurate and meaningful while supporting students in special education.

The resource can be found at Region 20, the statewide leadership for Access to the General Curriculum at www.esc20.net/agcnetwork. Check it out!