September 2021 Special Education Newsletter

Texas Education Agency

September 2021

Special Education Newsletter

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  • SB 1716 passed in the 87th Legislative session expanded the current Supplemental Special Education Services (SSES) program which gives $1,500 grants to families of qualifying Special Education students. Beginning November 1, 2021, new eligibility guidelines will go into full effect, making all currently enrolled Texas public school students served by Special Education eligibleVisit the SSES Homepage to apply, review program informationand discover how to become a Service Provider.   
  • In the 2021-22 school year, LEAs are again (same as in 2020-21) required to ensure their special education operating procedures for the areas of Child Find, Evaluation, and free appropriate public education (FAPE) are uploaded or linked to the Legal Framework website. The requirement must be completed by October 29, 2021. For more information, refer to the TEA correspondence 2021-22 Special Education Operating Procedures. To review existing guidance and training on this requirement, visit the TEA Special Education Guidance page.

  • Don't forget to check out the To the Administrator Addressed (TAA) Correspondence regarding Updates to the Dyslexia Handbook: Procedures Concerning Dyslexia and Related Disorders. This communication provides LEAs with a high-level overview of some important updates regarding recent revisions to the Dyslexia Handbook that will go into effect in the coming weeks. Additional guidance and information will be released as the in-effect date approaches.   
  • Don't forget to update your Transition and Employment Designee (TED) in the online Texas Education Directory, AskTED, for the 2021-2022 school year. Contact your LEA AskTED Administrator to enter the current TED in the directory or contact directly if your LEA does not have an AskTED Administrator. 
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 Upcoming Dates

  • September 29, 2021 Dyslexia Monitoring Overview webinar for LEAs will provide overview of dyslexia monitoring activities, review 2020-21 dyslexia monitoring outcomes, and make connections to dyslexia resources and technical assistance
  • September 30, 2021 - January 7, 2022 Anonymous TEA survey to gather opinions about what state board representatives should know about special education and will be used to develop resources for training board members. Intended for Superintendents, Assistant Superintendents, Special Education Directors, Curriculum Instruction Directors, Chief Academic Officers, and Special Education Coordinators. 
  • October 1, 2021 Publication in the Texas Register of the adopted updates to 19 TAC Chapter 89, Adaptations for Special Populations, Subchapter AA, Commissioners' Rules Concerning Special Education Services
  • October 5-19, 2021 Small and Rural Schools Evaluation Certification Program application window for educators in small or rural LEAs who are accepted into a certification program for Licensed Specialists in School Psychology (LSSP) or Educational Diagnosticians.
  • Upcoming TEA Student Assessment TETN Trainings - To register and receive meeting link, contact your ESC TETN site coordinator. 
    • October 7, 2021: 2021-2022 Language Proficiency Assessment Committee (LPAC) Decision-Making Training for ESCs
    • October 14, 2021: 2021-2022 Fall Updates for STAAR Alternate 2, TELPAS, and TELPAS Alternate for LEAs and ESCs 
    • October 28, 2021: 2021-2022 State Assessment Accessibility Updates

Department News

Questions and Answers: Child Find Under Part B of the IDEA

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education and
Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) has issued new guidance interpreting requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) in light of the many challenges of the
COVID-19 pandemic and as more schools and programs are returning to in-person services. Topics include meeting timelines, ensuring implementation of initial evaluation and reevaluation procedures, determining eligibility for special education and related services, and providing the full array of special education and related services that children with disabilities need in order to receive FAPE. 

Read Q&A 

Senate Bill 89 FAQ

Senate Bill 89 requires specific supplemental information be included in the individualized education program (IEP) for students with disabilities who received special education services during the 2019-20 or 2020-21 school years. TEA recently posted a frequently asked questions (FAQ) document to accompany the TAA correspondence that was released in July 22, 2021. This document provides further clarification regarding the requirements of the bill.

Read FAQ

Differentiated Monitoring and Support: Special Education Self-Assessment

The purpose of the special education self-assessment is to assist LEA leadership teams in evaluating and improving their educational program serving students with disabilities receiving special education services. The special education self-assessment is completed annually by all LEAs, regardless of Results Driven Accountability (RDA) framework determinations, and is intended to engage leadership teams in proactively addressing special education compliance and support student performance. The window for completion of the special education self-assessment will be May 2, 2022 to September 30, 2022. For the 2021-2022 School year, LEAs will be required to complete the 7 prioritized compliance/strategy areas (Child Find, IEP Implementation, IEP Development and Content, Instructional Strategies, Properly Constituted ARD, Secondary Transition, Family Engagement) with the option to complete any other compliance/strategy areas. LEAs will submit their special education self-assessment within the Ascend Texas Application. 

Find Out More

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

Conducting Necessary Transition Assessments

The Student-Centered Transitions Network (SCTN) has posted the Conducting Necessary Transition Assessments asynchronous training course approved for 2 Continuing Professional Education (CPE) hours. This training gives educators the information and tools needed to conduct meaningful transition assessments. Age-appropriate transition assessments are the foundation upon which transition goals and services are based by collecting data on the student’s needs, preferences, and interests.

Register Now

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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