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

LSLS – Wear Orange TOMORROW, Oct 24th, to Support Bullying Prevention!

 

Together Against Bullying. UNITED for Kindness, Acceptance, and Inclusion.

Make it ORANGE and make it end! What are your true colors when it comes to showing that you believe that all youth should be safe from bullying? Come together in one giant ORANGE message of hope and support, WEAR AND SHARE ORANGE on Wednesday, October 24th, to color our nation, and even the world, visibly showing that our society believes that no child should ever experience bullying.

ORANGE provides a powerful, visually compelling expression of solidarity,” said Paula Goldberg, Executive Director of PACER Center. “Whether it’s hundreds of individuals at a school wearing ORANGE, store owners offering ORANGE products, or a community changing a landmark to ORANGE, the vibrant statement becomes a conversation starter, sending the supportive, universal message that bullying is never acceptable behavior.”

Read the history on Wikipedia, Unity Day sponsored by PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center since 2011

Visit the Facebook album for highlights from Unity Day 2017

From PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center

Life Skills Educator? Join our Region 13 Google Community to connect with other Life Skills Educators across our Region and receive tips and resources from your Region 13 Autism and Low Incidence Disabilities Specialists!

Contact:  Darcy Schiller at Darcy.Schiller@esc13.txed.net or 512-919-5224.

 

LSLS – Bullying Prevention Part 3: Tips for Victims of Bullying

Excerpted and adapted from Dr. Lori Ernsperger’s book Recognize, Respond, Report: Preventing and Addressing Bullying of Students with Special Needs, the suggestions shared here will help teachers provide effective support for all kids, no matter which side of the bullying equation they’re on. This is a three-part blog. Part 1 included tips for students who are bystanders. Part 2 included tips for students exhibiting bullying behavior. Part 3 includes tips for students who are victims of bullying.

Part 3 is particularly useful for supporting students with disabilities, who are two to three times more likely to be bullied than their peers.)

Implement modifications and accommodations. These might include preferential seating on the bus, counseling services, increased supervision, speech and language therapy, and regular meetings with team members to ensure that protections from harassment and bullying are being used consistently and effectively.

Amend the IEP or 504 plan. Since so many students with disabilities are bullied, education teams should add the following to a student’s IEP or 504 plan: “If a student is vulnerable to bullying, the team will determine accommodations, services, and interventions that are needed to prevent bullying and obtain a FAPE.” Then, as a team, write measurable goals for teaching the student verbal and nonverbal social skills, self-management, emotion regulation, and self-advocacy skills.

Teach identifying/reporting skills. Ensure that students understand and master the skills for reporting bullying to an adult. Supervise and give feedback when you first teach new skills, and then fade your support over time. Try these structured, multimedia teaching methods:

  • Video modeling. Show students videos of appropriate verbal and nonverbal interactions and imitate the social-communication behavior of the model.
  • Role playing. Have students practice and dramatize social-communication skills in a controlled small group. (Videotape sessions to give students a chance to analyze the interactions and identify key skills.)
  • Scripting. Provide students with short, one- or two-sentence scripts that teach them what to say and do in social situations.
  • Social narratives. Give students clear descriptions of social situations, highlighted with visual icons and symbols to help guide appropriate behavior.
  • Self-monitoringTeach students to record their own behaviors and use a self-assessment to distinguish between appropriate and inappropriate behaviors during a conflict

Build self-confidence. To empower students and reduce the long-term effects of bullying and harassment, focus on self-advocacy and self-determination. Help students recognize and build on their strengths, and work with them to set goals and pursue interests, hobbies, and activities. You might encourage students to participate in community-based activities (volunteering at a charity, tutoring younger children) to build their self-esteem while giving back to the community.

Check out this Stop Cyber Bullying Guide for tips on how to spot, report, and prevent cyberbullying.

From http://blog.brookespublishing.com/14-things-to-do-now-to-stop-bullying-in-its-tracks/

Life Skills Educator? Join our Region 13 Google Community to connect with other Life Skills Educators across our Region and receive tips and resources from your Region 13 Autism and Low Incidence Disabilities Specialists!

Contact:  Darcy Schiller at Darcy.Schiller@esc13.txed.net or 512-919-5224.

LSLS – Bullying Prevention Part 2: Tips for Students Exhibiting Bullying Behavior

Excerpted and adapted from Dr. Lori Ernsperger’s book Recognize, Respond, Report: Preventing and Addressing Bullying of Students with Special Needs, the suggestions shared here will help teachers provide effective support for all kids, no matter which side of the bullying equation they’re on. This is a three-part blog. Part 1 included tips for students who are bystanders. Part 2 includes tips for students exhibiting bullying behavior. Part 3 will include tips for students who are victims of bullying.

Model caring and respectful language. Don’t label students as “bullies.” When you model respect for all students, you discourage rejection of students who may exhibit aggressive behaviors.

Investigate the causes. There are many factors that can contribute to students exhibiting bullying behaviors. They may lack understanding of acceptable, age-appropriate social behaviors because of an intellectual disability or impairment of social-communication skills. They may have learned negative attention-seeking behaviors from their peers, or violent and aggressive behaviors from poor role models in their home life. A negative and unsupportive school climate may also be a contributing factor to bullying behaviors. Investigating and understanding the root causes of the bullying will help you choose appropriate solutions, from adjustments to the student’s IEP to a concerted effort to improve the school climate.

Use graduated consequences. In this model, students who exhibit bullying and harassment behaviors are held accountable for their actions, but harsh, zero-tolerance punishments aren’t doled out at the first offense (research shows they increase dropout rates and negatively impact the overall school climate). Rather, the consequences grow increasingly serious with repeated and egregious offenses. Dr. Ernsperger provides this example of what graduated consequences might look like:

  • Verbal reprimand or warning
  • Contract with the student to “cease and desist” and have no contact with the victim
  • Parent phone call to alert them of the incident
  • Conference with parent and teacher
  • Additional counseling or meetings with the administrator or school counselor
  • Alternative lunch detention or in-school lunch suspension
  • Student restitution/compensation for damaged items
  • Community service
  • Loss of extracurricular privileges
  • Before-or after-school detention
  • Referral to the school resource officer

Consider a referral for specialized services. Students who persist with bullying behaviors and don’t respond to traditional measures may have more severe psychological problems that require the expertise of a mental health professional. Cognitive behavior therapy, stress management interventions, and counseling to manage anger and aggression and can increase students’ coping skills and help them amend their thoughts and behavior.

From http://blog.brookespublishing.com/14-things-to-do-now-to-stop-bullying-in-its-tracks/

Life Skills Educator? Join our Region 13 Google Community to connect with other Life Skills Educators across our Region and receive tips and resources from your Region 13 Autism and Low Incidence Disabilities Specialists!

Contact:  Darcy Schiller at Darcy.Schiller@esc13.txed.net or 512-919-5224.

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.

LSLS – October is National Bullying Prevention Month: Part 1 – Tips for Students Who are Bystanders

Excerpted and adapted from Dr. Lori Ernsperger’s book Recognize, Respond, Report: Preventing and Addressing Bullying of Students with Special Needs, the suggestions shared here will help teachers provide effective support for all kids, no matter which side of the bullying equation they’re on. This will be a three-part blog. Part 1 will include tips for students who are bystanders. Part 2 will include tips for students exhibiting bullying behavior. Part 3 will include tips for students who are victims of bullying.

For Bystanders:
Invest in or develop a bystander education program. Formal training will teach students how to intervene safely and appropriately when a peer is being bullied. Whether you buy a prepackaged program or develop a unique bystander education program, your most important goal is to ensure student safety and deter students from aggressive confrontation. A bystander protocol with simple, concrete steps (similar to the “stop, drop, and roll” fire safety) will help encourage safe student interventions on behalf of peers who are bullied.

Raise awareness of bullying. How does bullying start? How can you tell when a bullying incident is beginning? What are the verbal and nonverbal signs of aggression, power, and domination? Teach students to look out for and recognize words and actions that indicate a peer is being bullied. Identify helpful actions bystanders can take. Your bystander education program should teach students to recognize whether they can safely intervene or should immediately contact an adult or the authorities. If a student determines it’s safe to intervene, then identify age-appropriate skills through guided group discussion. Some helpful peer actions—suggested in a survey of students who were bullying victims—include spending time with students experiencing bullying, encouraging them at school, helping them get away from the bullying situation, and helping them tell an adult.

Foster empathy for bullying victims. Some students may find it difficult to empathize with victims of bullying who exhibit challenging behaviors or diverse characteristics that are outside the other students’ realm of experience. Teaching your students about diversity and acceptance can help dismantle this mindset. For example, you might discuss the general characteristics of various disabilities and try simulation activities that foster a better understanding of differences.

Teach the difference between “tattling” and “upstanding.” Many bystanders are reluctant to intervene in a bullying situation because they fear they’ll be labeled a “tattletale.” That’s why it’s important to explicitly teach them the difference:

Tattletale—Someone who wants to get someone else in trouble. (Example: “Kayla cut in line in the cafeteria!”)

Upstander—Someone who wants to get a peer out of trouble or be a friend. (Example: “Someone threw Jason’s backpack in the toilet.”)

It’s tough to erase the stigma associated with tattling, but it’s important work. Start by teaching and reinforcing the language regarding tattletales vs. upstanders, provide plenty of examples your students can relate to, and hang visual reminders in the classroom (a poster, maybe) to keep the message fresh in your students’ minds.

Create a peer mentoring program. Studies have shown that peer mentoring can significantly reduce bullying victimization and students’ feelings of anxiety, depression, and social isolation. You can implement a more structured program like the We Will Generation of PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center, which provides activities, resources, and videos that educate and inspire peer mentors. Or try organizing informal peer social groups around the central goal of be a buddy, not a bully. Designate cafeteria tables, courtyard benches, or “friendship zones” on the playground where students who may struggle with social and communication skills can have a safe place to eat and play with others. Whether your efforts are structured or unstructured, the goal of peer mentoring can be a great way to foster friendships, support differences, and advance opportunities for inclusion.

I’d like to highlight Hutto ISD’s middle school peer buddy program where they model be a buddy, not a bully. The teachers who developed and implement that program presented at Region 13’s Beat the Heat conference in 2017.

From http://blog.brookespublishing.com/14-things-to-do-now-to-stop-bullying-in-its-tracks/

Life Skills Educator? Join our Region 13 Google Community to connect with other Life Skills Educators across our Region and receive tips and resources from your Region 13 Autism and Low Incidence Disabilities Specialists!

Contact:  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

 

Register today for Power of Inclusion!

Including students with disabilities in the general education classroom is both a challenge and an opportunity. Educators need to collaborate to successfully meet the needs of diverse learners.

Power of Inclusion is a one-day workshop that offers general educators, special educators, and paraprofessionals an opportunity to develop relationships and expand their understanding of how to provide access to the general education curriculum for all students.

Topics covered include co-teaching approaches, paraprofessional support, specially designed instruction, Universal Design for Learning, roles and responsibilities, collaboration, and planning.

Date: October 23, 2018

Time: 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Price: $45.00

Register for Power of Inclusion in Ecampus by using course number FA1839170.

For more information contact Gretchen Kehrberg, gretchen.kehrberg@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 2018-2019 meeting is on Wednesday, September 12, 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.  This year, our meetings will include a book study, UDL Now! A Teacher’s Guide to Applying Universal Design for Learning in Today’s Classrooms, by Dr. Katie Novak.  In addition, Region 13 Specialists will join us to provide behavior guidance and assistive technology information.

You can register for SPIN meetings for FREE in Ecampus by using course number FA1839043.

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