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.

Active Learning Expert Patricia Obrzut @ Beat the Heat 2018!

On June 21st, the first day of Beat the Heat 2018Patricia Obrzut, MS, OTR/L will present a full day session: Active Learning: Given the Opportunity, Any Child Can Learn! Active learning, an innovative approach developed by Dr. Lilli Nielsen, emphasizes that all individuals learn best by active participation.  For students with multiple disabilities, active participation is achieved by creating an enriched environment that fosters independent and appropriate developmental learning.

Join Patty as she discusses the principles of the Active Learning approach, and how to increase students’ functional independence and developmental skills while reducing stereotypical, self-injurious or aggressive behaviors.

On Day 2 (June 22nd), she will provide 2 breakout sessions. The first, Promoting Comprehending Hands through Active Learning will focus on detailed Active Learning strategies emphasizing those fine motor skills typically achieved from birth to two years.  The second, Early Learning & Movement: An Active Learning Perspective will focus on how individuals with multiple special needs progress from reflexive and unintentional movements to intentional movements.

Patty is the Assistant Director at the Perickton Center for Blind Children, a private non-profit organization serving blind, special needs children ages 1-12 years.  Mr. Obrzut has a Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy. She has been implementing programming for special need children since 1992.  In 2002 she received the permission of Dr. Lilli Nielsen to provide Active Learning educational trainings.  She is considered an expert in the use of Active Learning strategies, equipment, techniques, assessment tools, and curriculum.  We are excited to have her at this conference!

Don’t miss this rare opportunity to learn from an expert in Active Learning for students with multiple special needs!  Register for Workshop #SU1836780.  Patty’s full day session is not included in the BTH virtual conference

""Beat the Heat 2018
June 21-22, 2018
ESC Region 13
5701 Springdale Rd.
Austin, TX 78723

For more information and to see the complete conference schedule, visit our Beat the Heat Conference website.

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

TED Tips: Summer Earn and Learn from Texas Workforce Commission

Transition and Employment Services Designees (TEDs) and other educators will be interested to know about Summer Earn and Learn. This program provides students with disabilities, aged 16-22, with work readiness training and paid work experience. The program is a partnership between TWC, Texas Workforce Solutions Offices and Texas Workforce Solutions-Vocational Rehabilitation Services (TWS-VRS).

For more information about how to connect eligible students with Summer Earn and Learn opportunities, contact the Transition Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor (TVRC) for your campus. To find the TVRC assigned to your campus, contact the Regional Transition Program Specialist for Texas Workforce Solutions-Vocational Rehabilitation Services. For districts and charter schools in Region 13, your contact is Dae Eun Shin: dae.shin@twc.state.tx.us

For more information about transition planning for students with disabilities, contact Elizabeth.Danner@esc13.txed.net

Two Ways to Beat the Heat: In Person & Online! Register Now…

Beat the Heat 2018 is almost here!  This summer conference is dedicated to providing professional development to educators, parents, and others who work with children ages 3-21 with significant intellectual and low incidence disabilities.  Can’t attend in person? Want to attend in your pajamas? Wish you could see more than one session in the same time slot? Yes, you can…

Beat the Heat Every child matters.

WHEN

  • June 21, 2018 9-4
  • June 22, 2018 9-4

WHERE

Education Service Center Region 13 + Online
5701 Springdale Road
Austin, TX  78723

FEATURING    

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

ATTEND 2 DAYS IN PERSON

Attend any session in person for credit. Also, view any/all of the recorded sessions for a limited time after the event (no credit, for content only).


ATTEND 2 DAYS ONLINE VIA LIVESTREAM

Choose and watch 5 livestreamed sessions for credit. After the event, view the other recorded sessions for a limited time  (no credit, for content only).

The following sessions will be available online via Livestream.  Every participant will be able to choose and view 5 livestreamed sessions for credit during the live event.  The other sessions may be viewed after the event for a limited time* for content only (no credit given).

THURSDAY LIVESTREAM OPTIONS 6/21/18  (pick 1)

9:00-4:00

  • Topic: Linking Behavior Interventions for Young Children to Their Function– Susan Catlett, Ph.D., BCBA-D
  • *60 days

9:00-4:00

  • Topic: Alright, Alright, ALL Write: Differentiated Writing Instruction for Students with Significant Disabilities- Janet Sturm, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
  • *60 days

9:00-4:00

  • Topic: Taming the Data Monster– Christine Reeve, Ph.D., BCBA-D
  • *5 days

FRIDAY LIVESTREAM OPTIONS 6/22/18  (pick 1 for each time slot)

9:00-10:00

  • Keynote: “Changing the Narrative through Opportunity and Raised Expectations”– Liz Plachta and Mark Hublar
  • * 60 days

10:15 – 11: 45 AM Sessions

  • Topic: Instructional Routine for Achieving Early Counting  Claire Greer, Ph.D.  (*60 days)
  • Topic: Promoting Comprehending Hands Through Active Learning– Patty Obrzut, OT and Assistant Director of Penrickton Center for Blind Children  (*60 days)

12:45 – 2:15 PM Sessions

  • Topic: Building Independence Through Structured Work Systems – Christine Reeve, Ph.D., BCBA-D  (*5 days)
  • Topic: Early Learning & Movement: An Active Learning Perspective – Patty Obrzut, OT and Assistant Director of Penrickton Center for Blind Children (*60 days)
 2:30 – 4:00 PM Sessions
  • Topic: Building Cohesive Classroom Teams– Christine Reeve, Ph.D., BCBA-D  (*5 days)
  • Topic: Let’s Open a Can of Worms: Sexuality and Disabilities– Barbara Hobbs, ESC 16  (*60 days)
Note: You will NOT select the sessions you want to watch when registering.  You WILL be able to choose sessions on June 21 after logging in to Region 13’s ecampus/workshop registration system, finding the course SU1839863 and selecting the Launch button.  Once launched, you’ll be able to navigate to the sessions you want to attend. This will also be the pathway to recorded sessions afterwards.

Please let me know if you have any questions- nichole.kertis@esc13.txed.net.

 

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

Register for UDL Now! A Guide to Classroom Application with Author Katie Novak, Ed.D.

Katie Novak!

The internationally renowned educator and author of the best-selling book* UDL Now! A Teacher’s Guide to Applying Universal Design for Learning in Today’s Classrooms,

is coming to Region 13!

July 27th, 2018

Join us as we explore the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework and discover how to use the guidelines to plan lessons, choose materials, assess learning, and be proactively strategic in addressing learner variability.

Watch Katie Novak’s video to learn more about UDL and how using this framework can transform teaching and learning!

Click to register now for face-to-face workshop

Click to register now for online workshop

*Participants who attend face-to-face workshop will receive a copy of UDL Now!

UDL Series: Universal Design for Learning and Social Emotional Learning

“Emotion has a substantial influence on the cognitive processes in humans, including perception, attention, learning, memory, reasoning, and problem solving” (Tyng, Amin, Saad, & Malik, 2017).

Each day, teachers experience the challenging connections between emotion and learning.  The good news is that we can plan for social and emotional variability in our classrooms by referencing the UDL Guidelines for concrete suggestions for applying the  UDL framework.

Within the principle of engagement, we find strategies for recruiting interest, sustaining effort and persistence, and promoting self-regulation for our students.  By tapping into students’ interests in various ways, we provide meaningful access to our content.  When we provide options for students to sustain attention, we encourage them to build their skills that support learning.  When students have options for self-regulation, they begin to internalize the social and emotional skills necessary for interacting with and retaining content.

Reflect on the strategies you implement to provide access, build skills, and promote internalization of attention and effort.  Compare the UDL principle of engagement with the Core Social and Emotional (SEL) Competencies.  How can you eliminate barriers in your curriculum and environment related to social and emotional variability?

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!

UDL Blog Series:

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

Important Updates for the 2018 Spring STAAR Administrations

On April 5, 2018, Commissioner Morath issued a document entitled, “Important Updates for the 2018 Spring STAAR Administrations.”  This document addresses changes in medical exemptions for STAAR, transcribing student responses, and classroom displays during testing.

The April 2018 issue of the Student Assessment Newsletter contains these updates as well as links to the PDFs regarding medical exemptions and transcribing.  This information is in the Test Administration Updates section.

You can also find the newsletter and these new PDFs on the TEA Student Assessment Overview page in the What’s New in Student Assessment section.

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

 

UDL Series: Universal Design for Learning and Collaborative Teaching

Collaborative teaching is an opportunity to combine resources and expertise in order to provide students with the scaffolds and support they need to access the curriculum.

Are you part of a collaborative teaching team? Would you like to maximize your efforts and get the most out of having two adults in your classroom? The Universal Design for Learning (UDL) Guidelines are a great tool because they allow both adults to proactively plan together for the wide range of learner variability present in inclusive classrooms. But where do you start?

Create a Shared Vision

Get to know each other’s areas of expertise and communicate beliefs about student learning. Highlight those as you work and plan together throughout the year. Check out this video of author Elizabeth Stein sharing her experience using the UDL Framework as a common language between teachers.

Know Your Students

This Class Learning Profile (from Elevating Co-Teaching through UDL by Elizabeth Stein) goes beyond identifying student strengths, needs, and interests; it connects the UDL principles to instruction and serves as a valuable communication tool for teachers.

Look for Connections

Ask yourself, “What’s happening in our inclusion classroom that naturally aligns with implementing UDL?” Use this table to consider the instruction occurring within your collaborative teaching models. Do you see examples that address the UDL Principles of providing multiple means of engagement, representation, and action and expression?

Take the First Step

Meet as a team to review an upcoming lesson. Do you notice any potential barriers to learning? Focus on one of the UDL Guidelines and select tools, resources, or strategies that will help make the learning accessible to all of your students?

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!


Registration now available for the workshop:
UDL Now! A Guide to Classroom Application with Author Katie Novak

Participants can choose to attend face-to-face workshop or online workshop.

Register now for face-to-face workshop

Register now for online workshop


UDL Blog Series:

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

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