Happy New Year From OSEP!

Improving Results for Youth and Children With Disabilities

January 2018: In This Issue

TOP NEWS: Welcome, Assistant Secretary Johnny Collett!

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The U.S. Department of Education (ED) welcomes Johnny Collett, our new assistant secretary for special education and rehabilitative services. Collett was most recently the Council of Chief State School Officers' (CCSSO's) director of special education outcomes. He also served as the Kentucky state special education director and a high school special education teacher.


Collett will lead the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) in its mission to improve early childhood, educational, and employment outcomes and to raise expectations for all people with disabilities, their families, their communities, and the nation.

INSIDE OSEP: Ruth's Report

Message From Acting Director Ruth Ryder

Happy New Year, Leaders!

2018 is off to a great start, and OSEP is looking forward to keeping the ball rolling as we work with states, local education agencies, families, educators, providers of early childhood education and early intervention services, higher education institutions, our centers, and many other stakeholder groups to improve outcomes for children and youths with disabilities. In early February, I'm thrilled to be participating in the annual Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) Special Education Convention and Expo, where I will have the opportunity to interact with many of these groups in a meaningful way. 


CEC 2018 will be held in Tampa, Florida and will host around 5,000 special educators, in addition to practitioners, researchers, and administrators from around the country. I will be presenting two sessions, providing updates from OSEP, and talking about coordinating efforts to implement both the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Many of my OSERS colleagues will be leading sessions as well, including OSERS Assistant Secretary Johnny Collett and Deputy Assistant Secretary Kimberly Richey. 


State Performance Plans/Annual Performance Reports (SPP/APR)

As in previous years, OSEP will set aside time during the second and third weeks in April 2018 for the SPP/APR clarification period. We will notify states as soon as the clarification dates are finalized. 


National Technical Assistance (TA) Call

We will hold our February National TA Call for states on Thursday, Feb. 8, at 4 p.m. ET. During the call, we will introduce some of our new early childhood TA centers. 


Differentiated Monitoring and Support (DMS)

Throughout the month of January, OSEP state leads continued to conduct calls with states to explain their designated engagement levels and identify resources for support. You can view more information about the DMS process here.

New! IDEA Section 618 Data Files, Notes, and Static Tables!

OSEP has recently released new data files from the 2015–16 and 2016–17 school years. These files are organized by category and downloadable in comma separated value (CSV) format on the IDEA Section 618 Data Products website. This release also includes accompanying notes and information, such as

  • data documentation that provides information about the data elements and format of the data files;
  • data notes associated with each of the newly released data files; and
  • static tables for each of the files, which provide commonly used percentages associated with the IDEA Section 618 data. 

We also invite you to view the IDEA Section 618 data as displayed in a number of other user-friendly forms. These include our annual reports to Congress on IDEA implementation, and the IDEA (1) Part B and (2) Part C & Section 619 Data Displays, both of which can be found under the "OSEP Response to FFY15 SPP-APR" section in each state's publicly displayed APR. You can navigate between IDEA parts B and C before selecting a state on the public APR landing page

EARLY CHILDHOOD CHECK-IN: Early Learning Updates From ED


Subscribe Today! ED's Early Learning Newsletter

OSEP and ED's Office of Early Learning invite you sign up for our monthly newsletter, Early Learning. This publication focuses on reporting the latest in federal early childhood education and early intervention initiatives, as well as culling timely and effective resources for families, practitioners, educators, and researchers in the field. Subscribe today! 

You can visit ED's Early Learning website to view more information on this initiative and others.

ED-funded Study to Evaluate Preschool Special Education Practices

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ED's Institute of Education Sciences (IES) has funded a study, Evaluation of Preschool Special Education Practices (EPSEP). The study is administered by Mathematica, the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, and the University of Florida. It is seeking evidence of the impact of an inclusive preschool curriculum with targeted instructional supports for children with disabilities on language, literacy, and social-emotional behavioral skill development.

Earlier this month, EPSEP released a request for proposals to participate in the study. They are seeking practitioners from approximately 20 inclusive classrooms, starting in the 2019–20 school year. Submissions are due Feb. 26, 2018. 

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RESOURCES FOR YOU: On Foster and Adoptive Families, New Research, and Assistive Technology!


New! From the Center for Parent Information and Resources (CPIR)

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CPIR has recently developed an online resource hub tailored to the needs of foster and adoptive families.


The resources are written for the families who’ve adopted children with disabilities (and without!), and those who offer them safe haven through fostering. Stakeholders who work in state agencies or in private organizations and who find foster homes and adoptive families for children may also find this useful. The latest resources can be found within the following sections on CPIR's website:

New From OSEP-funded Center on Technology and Disability

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The Center on Technology and Disability (CTD) has released several new resources on assistive technology (AT), including 

New Research Briefs From IES Center Focused on Special Education

National Center on Assessment and Accountability for Special Education

The IES-funded National Center on Assessment and Accountability for Special Education (NCAASE) has begun an exciting new series called "Did You Know?" Periodically, the center will release a reader-friendly, one-page summary (DYK) of timely research completed by NCAASE researchers. Below are the latest releases, and be sure to check back soon on the website for future DYKs!

COLLABORATION CORNER: Funding for Innovative Assessments and Title I Conference Details


OSEP Joins ED Colleagues and Stakeholders for 2018 National Title I Conference

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OSEP is excited to participate in this year's National Title I Conference, to be held Feb. 8–11, 2018, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The theme of this year's conference is "Liberty to Learn." Sessions will cover three broad themes: instruction, leadership, and policy. Within these focus areas, topics cover the many challenges faced in education, including family involvement and engagement, cultural understanding and support, and developing school-wide practices that ensure the success of every child. 


OSEP has worked with colleagues in the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE) to develop high-quality sessions that meet the needs of our stakeholders, and we look forward to engaging with them during the conference! OSEP's sessions will be

ED's Innovative Assessment Pilot Invites Applications

On Jan. 3, ED released a notice inviting applications (NIA) for FY 2018 new authorities for the Innovative Assessment Demonstration Authority (IADA). The IADA is a program administered by OESE, intending to give state educational agencies the authority to establish and operate an innovative assessment system in their public schools, as encouraged in Title I of ESSA. This NIA is a new opportunity for states to pilot innovative assessment systems in a handful of schools as they move toward statewide implementation of new assessment systems. High-quality assessments are essential to effectively educating students, measuring progress, and promoting equity. 


Applications are due April 2, 2018, for states that would like to implement an assessment system in the 2018–19 school year. Up to seven states may be approved to participate in the IADA. States may apply independently or as part of a consortium consisting of up to four states. States have also been asked to submit a non-binding notice of intent by Feb. 2, 2018.

VOICES FROM THE FIELD: We Hear From Educators and Literacy App Developers

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Check out the OSERS Blog for our latest voices, including ED teacher ambassador fellow Melody Arabo, who discusses her passion for bringing the educator's perspective to Washington. We also sat down with Gallaudet University research center staff members, Melissa Herzig and Melissa Malzkuhn, who have developed an exciting new platform and app for creating digital storybooks geared towards early learners who are deaf. 

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Follow Us on Twitter @Ed_Sped_Rehab

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


Visit 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 technical assistance opportunities? Parent resources? Webinar topics? Ideas for items to include in future newsletters? Send them to Charlotte Stein at charlotte.stein@ed.gov.

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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.