October 2021 Special Education Newletter

Texas Education Agency

October 2021

Special Education Newsletter

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Special Education Monthly Newsletter Reminder: Each month, critical announcements, newly posted resources, and important upcoming dates are highlighted in this newsletter. This is the best resource for real-time updates to all things special education at TEA. If you need to find information from a previous newsletter (or participate in a special education webinar), go to TEA's Recent and Upcoming Webinars webpage

Please take a minute to review the To The Administrator Addressed Correspondence dated October 21, 2021 about Results Driven Accountability (RDA): Determinations and Monitoring. Topics include 2021 RDA Updates/Changes, 2021 LEA Determinations, Monitoring Activities and Interventions, Data Issues and Unanticipated Circumstances, and RDA Training and Resources. 

The Texas Special Education Equity (TxSEE) Initiative is pleased to announce the launch of a new virtual workshop on December 7-8, 2021 designed to extend an LEA's capacity to address issues of significant disproportionality among students receiving special education services. Join project staff and other LEA staff throughout Texas by registering today!  

New! TELPAS Braille Reading Tests: Beginning with the spring 2022 administration, braille versions of TELPAS reading tests for grades 2–12 will be available. Student eligibility and policy information for braille assessments can be found here.  

The TEA English Learner Support Division has recently updated two resources that include information on LPAC and ARD Committee collaboration: FAQ - LPAC and Emergent Bilingual Students/English Leaners and Guidance on Identification and Reclassification of Dual-Identified Students.


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 Upcoming Dates

September 30 - January 7, 2021: Anonymous survey for LEA leaders about what State Board of Education members should know about special education. 

October 28, 2021 at 2:00 PM: TEA recently posted a guidance document to assist ARD committees to appropriately consider the provision of compensatory services for a student with an IEP who was not provided timely access to special education and related service due to an initial delay or denial in conducting an evaluation. This webinar will review the guidance and a recording of the webinar and handouts will be posted following the live date. 

October 28, 2021: TEA Student Assessment TETN Training "2021-2022 State Assessment Accessibility Updates" (contact ESC TETN site coordinator to register)

October 29, 2021: All LEAs special education operating procedures for the areas of Child Find, Evaluation, and free appropriate public education (FAPE) required to be uploaded or linked to the Legal Framework website

Beginning November 1, 2021: The new SSES eligibility guidelines will go into full effect, meaning all currently enrolled Texas public school students served by Special Education will be eligible to apply!

November 4, 2021 at 1:00 PM: Review and Support Continuous Improvement Overview webinar for LEAs and ESCs

November 18, 2021 from 2-3 PMInformational webinar for LEA educators and leaders on significant disproportionality (SD). Attendees will learn more about SD and Texas-specific resources that are available to support LEAs that have SD, including the Texas Special Education Equity Initiative (TxSEE). 

Department News

Supplemental Special Education Services (SSES)

Beginning on November 1, 2021, the SSES program will expand eligibility to include all students served by special education who attend a Texas public school. Funding for the expanded criteria will begin in January 2022. We encourage parents of eligible students to apply now, but we also want parents to know that new applicants may not receive an award notice until January 2022. Visit the SSES Homepage to apply and for additional program information.

Apply Now


TX CAN Videos for Administrator

The Texas Complex Access Network (TX CAN) has added a series of videos for administrators to their video library. TX CAN’s administrator series focuses on effective practices and offers suggestions and resources for supporting educators working with students with significant cognitive disabilities.

Find Out More


Transition Requirements and Resources

Per Texas Education Code (TEC) §29.0112, the Transition and Employment Guide is for students enrolled in special education programs and their parents to provide information on statewide services and programs that assist in the transition to life outside of the public school system. Spanish and American Sign Language (ASL) versions are coming soon.

Access Guide Here


TEC §29.011 requires updated minimum training guidelines for Transition and Employment Designees (TEDs) at least once every four years with stakeholder input. A TED asynchronous training is now available to fulfill this requirement. 

Get Trained Here


Virtual Professional Development: Literacy for ALL

Literacy for ALL virtual synchronous professional development is available through TEA! Many students in grades 4-12 lack proficiency in foundational reading skills. This is the reason many older students cannot comprehend text. The Literacy for ALL training addresses the needs of those students. Participants will build knowledge and understanding of how to utilize the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework to proactively identify and address instructional and environmental barriers. Participants will also learn how to design instructional supports, including assistive technology, to accommodate for the impact of the disability in order to improve student achievement in reading. This virtual professional development will be offered through Zoom on November 11th and 18th from 8:30 – 4:00. Participants can earn 12 CEUs for this training.

11/11/21 Registration Here

11/18/21 Registration Here


TX CAN Virtual Institute Exclusive Opportunity

The Texas Complex Access Network (TX CAN) Virtual Institute is an exclusive event for people who have earned 3 badges by completing 3 TX CAN online courses by December 31. The 2022 Institute will open February 14 – March 10 and culminate in a synchronous session on March 11. This Institute addresses the need for increased opportunities and access through sessions that will provide all stakeholders with information to broaden their own understanding of the capabilities of students with complex access needs, and impart effective strategies to address those needs. 

Explore TX CAN Courses


Texas Collaborative Institute

Gather your district teams and save the date for the first virtual Texas Collaboration Institute hosted by the Student Centered Transitions Network (SCTN) in partnership with the National Technical Assistance Center on Transition: The Collaborative (NTACT: C). District teams comprised of Special Education (SPED), Career & Technical Education (CTE), and Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) will begin the discussion on partnerships that change the results and lives of students with disabilities. Join us, October 28th from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Register Here

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