OSEP Update: Our New Secretary and Resources Galore!

Improving Results for Youth and Children with Disabilities

February 2017: In this Issue

TOP NEWS: Department Welcomes Education Secretary Betsy DeVos!

Secretary DeVos addresses staff

Elisabeth "Betsy" DeVos was confirmed as the 11th U.S. Secretary of Education on February 7th, 2017. We look forward to working with Secretary DeVos, and thank her for her words to staff on her first day as Secretary, "...embracing diversity and inclusion are key elements for success...I believe that getting to know, working with, befriending and including people who are different from ourselves is enriching and expanding."  

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INSIDE OSEP: Ruth's Report

Message from Ruth Ryder, Acting Director

Hello Leaders!

We've had a busy start to the year, including our very first OSEP Symposium, the first of three virtual meetings on varying topics. February's Symposium discussed Significant Disproportionality. Visit the OSEP Meetings page for all of the Symposium materials, including a recording and transcript of the live presentations, as well as an opportunity to engage in a post-work discussion.  OSEP also released  the Significant Disproportionality 101 webinar, which walks through the contents of the Equity in IDEA final rule by providing: (1) an overview of the final rule; (2) an explanation of the  standard methodology and; (3) a description of the upcoming  data reporting requirements.  

Finally, we'd like to bring your attention to our IDEA.ed.gov website.  On February 8, the server hosting the site crashed.  Starting that evening, users were redirected to a web page with the most pertinent IDEA-related information.  Testing indicated the existing host server was not stable, so the agency began moving files to a viable host server.  We are happy to report that IDEA.ed.gov is up-and-running, and that we will soon begin outreach to stakeholders to get input on a new and improved site.  IDEA.ed.gov will continue to be available. Please send in your thoughts on additional resources and features for this new site, or just let us know what your favorite current resource is, so that we can be sure to include it!  Watch the OSERS blog site for the opportunity to provide input.

EARLY CHILDHOOD CHECK-IN: New Early Learning Newsletter and Updates from the PEP

New Newsletter: Early Learning at ED!

In February the Department released a revamped version of its monthly Early Learning at ED newsletter, which shares with readers updates from the U.S. Department of Education and our partners on the work we are doing in the field of early childhood education and intervention. Check out the newsletter archive on the Department's Early Learning webpage, and subscribe here. Please help us continue to improve the look and content of the newsletter by providing feedback to EarlyLearning@ed.gov 


Pyramid Equity Project 

The Pyramid Equity Project (PEP) is working in partnership with two Preschool Development Grant programs: Clifton Early Learner Academy in Clifton, New Jersey and Cambridge Early Learning Center in Antioch, Tennessee to implement the Pyramid Model to address inequities in early childhood discipline practices.  Together they are implementing the program-wide use of effective practices and procedures for promoting the social and emotional skills of all children, preventing challenging behavior of children at risk of challenging behavior, and providing individualized interventions for children with persistent challenging behavior.

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RESOURCES FOR YOU: Funding and Technical Assistance

Funding Opportunities: State Personnel Development Grants

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OSEP announced the following Notice on February 13, 2017:


Notice inviting applications for the State Personnel Development Grant program (CFDA 84.323A).

Deadline for transmittal of applications: April 14, 2017.

         Upcoming deadline for transmittal of applications for CFDA 84.325K competition:

                                                     March 6, 2017.

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New hub of resources from the SISEP Center!

The State Implementation and Scaling Up of Evidence-based Practices Center (SISEP) has created a one-stop shop called the Active Implementation Hub, which includes lessons, videos, work groups, and other tools to support the implementation of evidence-based practices.

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ED UPDATE: Literacy Center breaks virtual ground!

National Center for Improving Literacy logo

The National Center on Improving Literacy launched its website early in February. The Center is a partnership between literacy experts, university researchers, and technical assistance providers at the University of Oregon, Florida State University and RMC Research Corporation, and is jointly administered by OSEP and the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education.  The Center will increase access to, and use of, evidence-based approaches to screen, identify, and teach students with literacy-related disabilities, including dyslexia.  Stay tuned as resources for States, schools, families and communities are rolled out in the next few months, make sure to follow the Center’s facebook page and twitter feed, and click here to subscribe to the Center's newsletter.


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FROM THE FIELD: Utah administrator talks Early Learning and Inclusion

Brenda Van Gorder

Words of wisdom from Brenda Van Gorder, early learning director at Granite County Schools in Salt Lake City, Utah. 


Read Brenda's interview on the OSERS Blog, where she shares with us the importance of high quality preschool programs, and strategies for overcoming barriers to inclusion, all based on her experiences leading the expansion of preschool opportunities. 

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Follow us on Twitter @Ed_Sped_Rehab

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OSERS is on Twitter with the latest from special education advocates, educators, families and students. Follow us @Ed_Sped_Rehab and tell your friends. We'll see you in the Twittersphere!


Tune in to the OSERS Blog!

Visit our blog for powerful stories and useful information from parents, families, educators and practitioners in the field.  Be sure to bookmark sites.ed.gov/osers for future posts!


Send Us Your Feedback and Comments


We want to hear from you!  Do you have suggestions for TA opportunities?  Parent resources?  Webinar topics?  Ideas for things to include in future newsletters?  Send them to Charlotte Stein at charlotte.stein@ed.gov.

If you know someone who would like to subscribe to the OSEP newsletter, encourage them to sign up HERE! This link will also allow you to manage your subscriber settings. 


This newsletter may reference and contain links to external sources. The opinions expressed in these sources do not reflect the views, positions, or policies of the U.S. Department of Education, nor should their inclusion be considered an endorsement of any private organization.