OSEP's November 2022 Update: Director's Message| Announcements | ED Updates | ICYMI

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OSEP Update

    A Newsletter for OSEP Grantees and Interested Stakeholders

"Showing gratitude is one of the simplest yet most powerful things humans can do for each other." — Randy Pausch

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November 2022

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In This Issue:

From the Director

Valerie C. Williams

Message from OSEP Director,
Ms. Valerie C. Williams

Dear Friends!

I’m very excited for November. Sure the holidays are around the corner, we get to spend more time with family and friends, and there’s food I only eat in November, but this year I’m excited about a relatively new tradition that I will be celebrating for the first time—it’s National Apprenticeship Week.

This year marks the 15th anniversary of National Apprenticeship Week, an event organized by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Apprenticeship. For most of us in the field of early intervention and special education, we don’t think enough about apprenticeships as a means for providing transition services for young adults with disabilities, nor do we think of it as an approach to increase to early intervention and special education professional pipeline. I’ll circle back on apprenticeships for young adults in upcoming newsletters, but this month I want to focus on registered apprenticeships as an approach to address our personnel pipelines.

Registered apprenticeships are approved by either the U.S. Department of Labor or a state labor agency and include the following components:

  • They are paid jobs
  • Apprentices receive on the job training
  • Educational training is provided as part of the apprenticeship
  • Apprentices receive support from a mentor
  • Apprentices earn a recognized certification

I hope you can see the applicability in using the registered apprenticeship model in expanding our early intervention and special education pipelines, but it does require a reexamination of our current practices in how we recruit and prepare early interventionists and special educators. In a registered apprenticeship model, the employer plays a much larger role in the development of skills and knowledge of their employees. There is a lot more coordination and collaboration with multiple stakeholders, but the hard work pays off. The registered apprenticeship model has a demonstrated 89% three-year retention rate.

Earlier this year the Clarksville-Montgomery School District in Tennessee became the first U.S. Department of Labor approved registered apprenticeship program to attract and prepare teachers—including special education teachers. The Tennessee Department of Education has developed a robust set of resources to support school districts in developing a registered apprenticeship program.

To encourage the use of registered apprenticeships, staff at OSEP collaborating both within the Department and outside the Department to see how we can best support the expansion of registered apprenticeships across the country. For questions on registered apprenticeships please reach out to Daniel.schreier@ed.gov.

In solidarity,




Technical Assistance (TA) Calls

Next TA Call: November 10, 2022 at 4:00–5:00pm (EDT)

During the first November National TA Call, the Center for IDEA Fiscal Reporting (CIFR) TA staff will review the regulatory foundations of IDEA Part B State set-aside funds and raise considerations for making budget decisions. When States apply for IDEA Part B subgrants, SEAs must decide how to budget State set-aside funds for administration and other state-level activities. CIFR TA staff will review the federal requirements for IDEA Part B state set-aside and highlight key concepts and considerations for SEAs as they budget these funds.

We look forward to you joining us on Thursday, November 10th.

You are invited to a Zoom webinar.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Visual Impairments: November 17, 2022 at 4:00–5:00pm (EDT)

OSEP is conducting a second National TA call in November. The purpose of the call is to remind the field about requirements when making eligibility determinations for children suspected of having a visual impairments, including blindness, under IDEA.  During the call, presenters will review the components of OSEP Memo 17-05 and address the continued confusion around visual impairment requirements.

We look forward to you joining us on Thursday, November 17th. You are invited to a Zoom webinar.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Previous TA Calls:

State Performance Plans / Annual Performance Reports (APRs)

We have posted the new FY 2023 SPP/APR submission documents (e.g., memo, instructions, etc.) on the IDEA website. The next OSEP Monthly TA Call on the SPP/APR submission will be on Thursday, December 8, 2022.

IDEA Part B/C Grants

In an effort to provide increased transparency regarding the implementation of the requirements around significant disproportionality within states, that allows LEAs, and stakeholders to monitor significant disproportionality and to emphasize the importance of soliciting public input in the review and revision of risk ratio thresholds, cell sizes, and n-sizes, OSEP is posting states’ submitted Significant Disproportionality Reporting Forms. States had an opportunity to update their Significant Disproportionality Forms, if necessary, before the documents were posted to OSEP’s website by submitting revised forms with their FFY 2022 Part B grant application. States also will continue to provide updated forms to the Department, through their Part B grant applications, when any changes are made to their methodologies.

We are just working on reconciling 508 issues on a handful of forms, but most of the forms are available on the website.

The second portion of FFY 2022 IDEA Part B funds was disbursed on October 1, 2022. Grant Award Notifications (GANs) were sent to Part B programs receiving funds. Due to an administrative error, the GANs will be reissued to include language referencing the Build America, Buy America Act (Pub. L. 117‑58). This program requires that grantees and their subrecipients (subgrantees) and contractors use materials manufactured in the United States when using their grant funds for infrastructure projects or activities (e.g., construction, remodeling, and broadband infrastructure).

Grantees may request waivers to these requirements by submitting a Build America, Buy America Act Waiver Request Form. For more information, including a link to the Waiver Request Form, see the Department’s Build America Buy America Waiver website.

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Differentiated Monitoring and Support (DMS)

The next OSEP Technical Assistance (TA) Calls on DMS will be in January 2023 as teams will conduct engagement activities (formerly Phase 2) during the months of November and December.

To review other resources and documents related to our monitoring activities (e.g., DMS 2.0, DMS Reports, and older monitoring reports), please refer to the DMS section on our IDEA website.


ED Updates

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New State Personnel Development Grantees Announced!

OSEP is excited to share the 12 state education agencies (SEAs)s that were recently granted new awards. These FY 2022 (State Personnel Development Grants) SPDG projects are:

Alabama, California, Georgia, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Vermont

Many of these new projects have a focus on supporting a Part C Comprehensive System of Personnel Development as well as supporting MTSS in K–12.

If you would like to learn more about the SPDG, please visit the State Personnel Development Network (SIGnetwork).

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National Clearinghouse of Rehabilitation Training Materials Launches New Website

The National Clearinghouse of Rehabilitation Training Materials (NCRTM) launched a new version of its website in October.

NCRTM, funded by the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA), serves as a central repository for vocational rehabilitation information and resources for individuals with disabilities in topic areas such as education and transition, advocacy and empowerment, employment and career development, and independent living.

RSA and OSEP both come under the Department of Education’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS), which strives to improve early childhood, educational, and employment outcomes and raise expectations for all people with disabilities, their families, their communities, and the nation.

Molly of Denali

Upcoming Tribal Early Childhood Webinar: Native American Heritage Month Celebration with Creators of Molly of Denali!

Please join this Administration for Children and Families (ACF) celebration of Native American Heritage Month! This webinar — on November 10, 2022, 3:00-4:30 pm EDT — is part of a series of webinars on topics related to the implementation and coordination of early childhood programs in American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities. The celebration will include a facilitated panel discussion with Alaska Native producers and advisors of the animated television show Molly of Denali. Participants will dialogue, share insights, and discuss Indigenous representation in media and the impact of Molly of Denali on families, children, and early childhood programs. Thank you to many of you for joining our ongoing Tribal Early Childhood Webinar Series. Register for this webinar here. Recordings and resources from all prior webinars are available here.


Benetech Secures U.S. Department of Education Award to Enable Equitable Education and Improved Reading Outcomes for All Students

Benetech, a global nonprofit focused on education equity, eliminating barriers to knowledge and providing opportunity for all learners, today announced a five-year award from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), to expand and improve access to books for students who read and learn differently due to dyslexia, blindness, low vision, or a physical disability. This five-year award was granted for Benetech’s DREAM (Delivering Revolutionary Equitable and Accessible Materials) Center program which will focus on accessible educational materials including STEM content, as well as professional development opportunities for educators and community outreach to underserved groups. 

The continued support from the Department of Education to enable more equity in education through the DREAM Center is the exciting evolution of Benetech’s successful OSEP-funded Centers over the past 15 years. It includes Benetech’s Bookshare platform, the world’s leading online service for accessible ebooks and materials, along with outreach, training, and support. These services will remain free for all U.S. school districts, schools, educators, and their qualified students. 

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Cultural and Linguistic Competence Assessment for Dispute Resolution Systems

The Center for Appropriate Dispute Resolution in Special Education (CADRE) has developed a self-assessment tool for dispute resolution systems to support them in being culturally and linguistically competent to meet the interests and needs of diverse populations residing in the United States, territories, and tribal nations. This self-assessment tool can be useful in determining the level of cultural and linguistic competence in a dispute resolution system.

National Center on Intensive Intervention (NCII)

Integrating Intensive Intervention into Teacher Preparation

To support teacher education faculty integrate the principles of intensive intervention within undergraduate and graduate-level programs for aspiring and current teachers, the National Center on Intensive Intervention (NCII) has developed course content focused on explicit instruction, intensive intervention in mathematics, intensive intervention in reading, and behavior support intensive intervention that includes video lessons, presentation materials, and workbooks with activities as well as online modules that can be used in a flipped classroom model or to supplement learning about intensive intervention. NCII has also developed resources spotlighting how faculty can integrate the wealth of resources on the NCII website into their courses through a faculty guide on strengthening intensive intervention preparation, a recent webinar highlighting how three faculty members have embedded NCII content into their courses, and a number of “voices from the field” pieces on embedding the course content, NCII Tools Charts, and intensive intervention principles within teacher preparation programs.

To learn more, explore curated resources by visiting the Higher Education Faculty page on the NCII website.

Strengthening Intensive Intervention Preparation - A Guide for Faculty
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Research Highlights from the National Center for Special Education Research

The Institute for Education Science’s National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER) funds research designed to expand knowledge and understanding of learners with and at risk for disabilities, from infancy through postsecondary settings. We share reports below on issues, findings, and events related to special education.

NTACT - The Collaborative

National Technical Assistance Center on Transition: The Collaborative (NTACT:C) — Technical Assistance Activities and Events

The National Technical Assistance Center on Transition: The Collaborative (NTACT:C) is excited to host its Mid-Year Check-In: Maintaining Capacity with state interagency team leaders and team representatives focused on secondary students and youth with disabilities on Wednesday, November 2, 2022, during the DCDT Pre-Conference in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Additionally, the NTACT:C is planning for its in-person 2023 Capacity Building Institute: Back Together to Build Together, May 16–18, 2023, in Charlotte, North Carolina. Participants will enjoy access attendees will participate content sessions and panel discussions, engage with colleagues and content experts, take part in interagency state team strategic planning, and much more. The institute will feature youth voices and leadership throughout and reflect the center's name, focusing on the necessary collaborations at each level of the system — from student-to-state — that are critical to support young people and their families through successful transitions into adult life. Registration coming soon!

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Drivers Tip Sheet

Have you ever wondered what the Implementation Drivers are all about? The State Implementation and Scaling-up of Evidence-based Practices (SISEP) Center has a quick-read, known as a Tip Sheet that describes each of the drivers (e.g., selection, training, an coaching) and describes considerations for each. Helpful hint — Take a look at “Selection” when you are exploring a new initiative or getting one going!

SISEP Implementation Drivers
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Active Learning: NCDB Practice Guide

Active Learning strategies create motivating environments and natural opportunities that promote curiosity, learning, and engagement. National Center on Deaf-Blindness (NCDB)’s newest practice guide, Active Learning, details the essential components of this important instructional practice. This and other NCDB Practice Guides are intended as a tool for state deaf-blind project personnel and practitioners to inform training and coaching needs.

Girl lying on back playing with toys

Registration Now Open: STEMIEFest 2022 on December 8, from 12–4 pm EST

Registration for 2022 STEMIEFest is now open! Organized by ED-funded STEM Innovation for Inclusion in Early Education (STEMIE), STEMIEFest is a gathering of families, early childhood and early childhood special education professionals, faculty, and many more, to engage in innovative STEM learning experiences as well as explore and develop a model to support young children with and without disabilities in early STEM learning. This year’s event will be a half day virtual event and it will be followed by a series of targeted professional development opportunities in 2023.

STEMIEFest 2022 poster

In Case You Missed It

ED Seal

Department Hosts Raising the Bar Kickoff: Literacy & Math Series to Address Academic Recovery

On October 26, as part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s ongoing efforts to support students’ academic recovery from the pandemic, the U.S. Department of Education hosted the first of five sessions focused on strategies and programs to boost student literacy and math outcomes. Find the full October 26 kickoff recording here: Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE) Literacy and Math Series. This recording includes an example of one spotlight of Principal Ashley Aldridge Wilson’s school, where administrators used American Rescue Plan funds to address pandemic-related learning loss by meeting students’ specific academic needs.

The sessions will occur monthly through February and will center on sustained, cohesive efforts to improve educational practice. Convenings in the series will focus on the following:

  • Learning research-based practices from content experts
  • Highlighting promising practices from state education agencies (SEA) and districts
  • Leveraging American Rescue Plan (ARP) funding to implement literacy and math achievement best practices at scale
  • Offering dedicated time and expertise to support action planning (i.e., guided working sessions and support from technical assistance providers). Read the full press release here.
NTACT - The Collaborative

More from NTACT:C

NTACT:C recently hosted a webinar, Improving Career Outcomes for Youth with Mental Health Challenges*. Participants received information about this population of youth and young adults, education and employment barriers that can impede their career success, and program models designed to improve their career outcomes. To access the recording of the Webinar, please visit: Work Makes a Difference: Improving Career Outcomes for Youth with Mental Health Challenges.

At the end of the summer, the center held its annual Capacity Building Institute State Team Celebration, with 28 states from across the country virtually sharing their 2022–23 state interagency strategic plans for secondary transition capacity building. Throughout the celebration, states shared their identified goals and projected strategies, activities, and plans for resource development and cross-stakeholder engagement. To access the recording of the celebration, please visit the State Team Celebration and Sharing of State Plans for 2022–23.

*For most NTACT:C resources, you’ll need to quickly create a free account on the website to view or download the resource. This feature allows the center to customize the user’s experience with www.transitionta.org.


COVID-19 Resources


New Resource on Deaf-Blindness for School Administrators

School administrators play an important role in supporting the identification and referral of children who are deaf-blind. Identification of Children with Deaf-Blindness: Resources for School Administrators, by Deborah A. Ziegler, provides information to help school administrators increase their knowledge of deaf-blindness and strategies they can use to ensure that children with deaf-blindness are identified, referred, and receive appropriate services.

Department of Education

Check the Department's COVID-19 Information and Resources for Schools and School Personnel web page for information and resources, including information and resources from other federal agencies.

OSEP’s IDEA Covid-19 Questions and Answers and Resources

The National Center for Systemic Improvement is the primary source for TA resources during the COVID-19 national emergency for IDEA Part B programs. The Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center is the primary source for IDEA Part C programs.

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If you have questions or comments, please send them to josiah.willey@ed.gov.

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 Department Education, nor should their inclusion be considered an endorsement of any private organization.


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