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,

Announcing the Region 13 Universal Design for Learning (UDL) Professional Learning Community (PLC)!


Are you looking for a way to transform your teaching and your students’ learning?

Submit your application to join the Region 13 Universal Design for Learning Professional Learning Community!  This PLC is designed to provide cohort members with an understanding of the UDL framework, knowledge and resources to support UDL implementation, and individualized learning opportunities to address campus needs.

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 addition, knowledge and implementation of UDL supports ESSA’s endorsement of UDL, enhances our connections to the student-centered focus of our appraisal systems, and provides a way to plan for social and emotional variability.

The UDL PLC application process is simple!  Just complete pages 3 and 4 of the application and submit it electronically by 5:00 PM on June 15, 2018.  To submit the application or for more information contact Kim West at or 512-919-5314.

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,

UDL Series: Meeting the Needs of All Students

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) offers all students a variety of ways to engage with the content. Today’s students enter classrooms with a wide range of skills, needs, and interests. At the same time, much of the curriculum available to teachers is narrowly focused, making it hard to meet the diverse needs of these students. Using the UDL framework can help you overcome curriculum barriers by focusing instruction on systematic learner variability rather than the mythical average student. Systematic learner variability is predictable, which means you can plan for it. Curriculum created using UDL is designed from the beginning to be flexible and customized, allowing teachers to meet students where they are.

Watch a video about how UDL classrooms are like an orchestra.

Learn from Todd Rose about the research behind learner variability.

Download Examples of addressing learner variability using the UDL Guidelines.

Reflect on why it’s important to know about learner variability. How do you or your teachers address learner variability in the classroom?

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:

  • What do you know about Universal Design for Learning?
  • Meeting the Needs of All Students
  • UDL and the Every Student Succeeds Act
  • 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,

Specially Designed Instruction In Math Summer Workshop Series

math students at the board

Concrete Models of Good Math Instruction—June 17th, 9am-4pm #SU1532436

In this workshop you will acquire strategies and ideas for how to best adapt the general education curriculum to meet the needs of students with disabilities. We will debunk the myth that students struggling should not be exposed to higher mathematical concepts. You will also gain ideas for how to adapt and modify curriculum while maintaining high expectations for all students.

Math Games: Box Cars and One-Eyed Jacks—June 22nd, 9am-12pm or 1pm-4pm

Shuffling into Math (Grades K-3) #SU1531794 – In this interactive and fun math games workshop, Jane Felling from Box Cars and One-Eyed Jacks will teach you to use games as a teaching strategy and will share the reasons behind why this strategy works. Handouts and game ideas will concentrate on numeration and number sense, patterning, basic operations, place value, data management, graphing, problem solving and other key parts of the state curriculum.

All Hands on Deck (Grades 3-6) #SU153173 – In this interactive, game-based workshop, John Felling will offer ways to engage and encourage your upper elementary math students. John and Jane teach workshop participants to use games as a teaching strategy and include why this powerful strategy works.

To Drill or Not to Drill: Math Facts Through Strategies—July 15th, 9am –4pm #SU1529402

Students are expected to master their basic math facts but many struggle to do so.  Research shows that instruction of strategies for basic facts increases students’ likelihood of mastery and retention. Many students develop their own strategies. However, these strategies can be ineffective and inefficient. In this workshop, you will learn strategy-based instruction for all basic math facts for all four basic operations: addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

Explicit Instruction for Math Word Problems—August 13th, 9am-4pm #SU1532437

This workshop will provide you with evidence-based strategies to support and strengthen instruction for math word problems for students with disabilities. Research has shown that for students who are struggling, the elements of explicit instruction are key to helping these students make gains and be successful.

OR Register for all 5 workshops for only $140! #SU1532452


Power of Inclusion workshop!


Is your school looking for guidance for creating an inclusive climate in which the needs of all educators and students are being met?

Power of Inclusion workshop has a few more seats open. Register today!

Including students with disabilities in the general education classroom is both a challenge and an opportunity. Educators need to effectively collaborate to meet the diverse needs of students to lead to academic success. It is vital that general and special educators develop a relationship that leads to a caring, structured and engaging environment with mutual respect and student growth. This 1-day training teaches the different approaches and models for the inclusive classroom while nurturing the relationship between special and general education. Participants leave with ideas to plan for and with 2 while implementing 6 different approaches to meet diverse student needs.

Workshop: February 18, 2015

Time: 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Price: $45.00

Register through Ecampus

STAAR A Update

Region 13 attended TEA’s STAAR A training on Wednesday, September 24th. The training covered STAAR A, the computer based assessment with accommodations. We learned of the embedded accommodations and accessibility features that STAAR A will provide to students with disabilities. We also learned of the eligibility requirements and timeline for release of more information.

We have attached a one page overview with the most current STAAR A information. We are currently working on a FAQ document for STAAR A and will post that as soon as it is finalized.

STAAR A handout-new

To find the most current information from TEA about STAAR A visit

We will continue to post updates through our blog. If you have specific questions, please call JC Sanders at 512-919-5420 or email at

Inclusion Institute Info: Sessions and Virtual Options

Here is a sneak preview of the breakout sessions for day two of this summer’s Inclusion Institute (Aug. 5 and 6):

  • Progress Monitoring for Secondary Students: Making It Work
  • The Concrete Model of Good Math Instruction
  • Small Group Instruction Made Easy
  • Scaffolding Instruction for STAAR A
  • Perfect PLAAFP Statements Lead to Purposeful Plans
  • I’ve Got 99 Problems. Communication Ain’t One.
  • The Steps to Writing Great Sentences
  • Disproportionality Through a Cultural Lens
  • Connecting the Dots of Collaboration: Making Inclusion Work
  • Including Students With Sensory Impairments: It’s Just Best Practice
  • Struggling Students? “Techniques and Tools to the Rescue!
  • Think College! Inclusive Opportunities in Higher Education
  • Brain-Based Strategies for Social Studies and Science

Register for the face-to-face conference here: If you are interested in staying together as a team and getting some time to talk about the sessions that you see, consider hosting a watch party on your campus. In the video below, Alejandro Gongora, of Manor ISD, describes the Virtual Conference that he hosted last year.

Register for the Inclusion Institute on E-Campus:
Face-to-Face: SU1427634
Virtual: SU1428827

Do you have students who did not pass their 5th or 8th grade STAAR Math assessment?

Do you have students who did not pass their 5th or 8th grade STAAR Math assessment and will be attending summer school? What researched-based interventions will you be employing with these students to help fill in the gaps in their mathematical understanding while at the same time challenging them to reach new levels?

In the IES Practice Guide, Assisting Students Struggling with Mathematics: Response to Intervention (RtI) for Elementary and Middle Schools recommendation number six states, “Intervention at all grade levels should devote about 10 minutes in each session to building fluent retrieval of basic arithmetic facts” (April 2009). So how do we address this important component of math intervention? The answer is through strategy-based instruction for basic math facts.

Teaching strategies to recall basic facts builds flexible thinking in students. Students with flexible thinking are able to see a number in several forms and use the knowledge and skills they already possess to find a solution. Strategies encourage a deeper understanding of numbers and their relationships.

Factastic Math Strategy System is designed to help students who struggle with mathematics build fact fluency. The system follows the model of explicit and systematic instruction to help students master the basic math facts.






To order Factastic Math Strategy System visit ESC Region 13 store at