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Special Education Newsletter

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Senate Bill 89 and Dyslexia Handbook 2021 Training and Communication Requirements

The To The Administrator Addressed letter dated March 31, 2022 provided notice to local education agencies (LEAs) of required activities and associated assurances that must be completed. LEAs must provide assurance through the Legal Framework that:

  • The LEA has complied with the requirements of SB 89 by June 1, 2022.
  • The LEA has posted links in English and Spanish to required TEA documents on their local public facing websites, materials, static resources, and information available to parents and staff to reflect the Dyslexia Handbook 2021 update by June 1, 2022.
  • At least one staff member in the LEA who is well placed to disseminate information has attended the agency-developed training Texas Dyslexia Academy 2 (TDA 2): The Dyslexia Handbook 2021 by August 31, 2022. (Check out TEA's TDA 2 training sessions in the Upcoming Dates section of this newsletter.) 
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 Upcoming Dates

Department News

Speech and Mental Health Teletherapy: Quick Start Guide

TEA's Small and Rural Schools Network (SRSN) has published a "Quick Start Guide” for LEAs interested in pursuing teletherapy for speech and/or mental health services and evaluations. Teletherapy can be particularly helpful for LEAs experiencing staffing shortages of diagnosticians, speech-language pathologists, or licensed specialists in school psychology. This guide provides your LEA information on what to consider and steps to getting a teletherapy program started. If you have more questions or want support, please reach out to Jam Page at Education Service Center (ESC) Region 15  at jam.page@esc15.net.

View the Quick Start Guide 


Data-Based Individualization (DBI) Learning Opportunity

The National Center on Intensive Interventions (NCII) has announced an opportunity to participate in their pilot communities of practice. These communities of practice serve to increase the knowledge of DBI for targeted stakeholders, including educators, faculty, and state education agency personnel. NCII will facilitate 3 community of practices: one for educators, including special educators and interventionists; one for faculty currently teaching reading methods, assessment, or intervention courses; and one for state-level personnel. As space fills up, please continue to sign up if interested as NCII will send out advanced notification of future communities of practice. 

Sign Up Now


Recently Added Specially Designed Instruction Field User Guides

As a reminder, the Specially Designed Instruction (SDI) Field User Guides are now published on TEA's Inclusion in Texas website. The SDI Field User Guides are intended to be a bridge between existing student support plans and the instructional content within the High-Quality Instructional Materials (HQIM) available in the Texas Home Learning suite of resources from TEA. Each section of the document provides ways to connect HQIM to student plans and leverage the tools found in the HQIM resource. These documents provide multiple ways to approach and plan for the provision of SDI and presents multiple lenses through which users can examine the connections between HQIM tools and the components of SDI.

SDI Field User Guides available include:

  • NEW! Carnegie Learning Texas Math Solutions (6-12)
  • NEW! Eureka Math TEKS Edition (K-5)
  • Amplify ELAR (K-5th)
  • Amplify ELAR (6-8th)
  • Odell Texas High School Literacy Program
  • Great Minds PhD Science TEKS Edition

Go To SDI Guides


Autism and Dyslexia Grant Award Program Update

Congratulations to the Autism and Dyslexia Grant Award Program Grantees! The Autism and Dyslexia Grant Award Programs, authorized by House Bill 1525, Section 10, 87th Texas Legislature, allocated $50,000,000 across the biennium for LEAs. Senate Bill 1, Rider 69, allocated an additional $10,000,000 across the biennium specifically for autism grants to LEAs. 

The purpose of the 2022-2024 Innovative Services for Students with Autism Grant Award Program is to increase local capacity of LEAs to appropriately serve students with autism by providing innovative services that improve functional and/or academic outcomes for students with autism. The project will result in effective, scalable models that can be replicated in other areas of the state. 

The purpose of the 2022-2024 Dyslexia Grant Award Program is to increase local capacity of LEAs to appropriately serve students with dyslexia. The grant program provides funding for high-quality training to educators and/or specific training programs that results in dyslexia credentials (e.g., certified academic language therapist).

A competitive application process was conducted in March-April 2022 to identify grant recipients. LEAs submitted grant proposals, which were independently reviewed and scored by three reviewers. Grant reviewers represented a diverse group of stakeholders: educators, dyslexia interventionists, autism specialists, Institute of Higher Education (IHE) faculty, parents, ESC staff, school administrators, and TEA staff. Reviewer scores were averaged and  ranked from highest to lowest. All LEAs recommended for award received scores that met or exceeded minimum expectations on the scoring rubric. The list of selected grant applicants and their funding amounts can be found at the links below. 

Dyslexia Grant Awardees


Autism Grant Awardees


Summer Professional Development Ideas

Don't forget that TEA's special education technical assistance networks have tons of resources to meet all of your professional development needs. Check out our resources based on your needs and don't forget to sign up for updates on our network listservs. 

  • Do you need to learn more about how to implement effective academic, behavioral, or mental health interventions? Check out the training opportunities offered by our Tiered Interventions Using Evidence-Based Research (TIER) network which provides educators, caregivers, and other educational stakeholders with the knowledge and materials to ensure appropriate implementation of multi-tiered system of supports (MTSS) in every school across Texas.
  • Are you looking to increase your knowledge in the area of special education compliance and best practices? Then look no further than the Child Find, Evaluation, and ARD Supports Network or the Student-Centered Transitions Network! Each of these networks house stand-alone guidance documents, useful templates, recorded webinars, and asynchronous courses on a variety of compliance and best practice topics. 
  • Could you use some professional development focused on your work with students with autism? We've got you covered. Check out the Texas Statewide Leadership for Autism Training (TSLAT) network. Not only does this network house over 90 online courses and a robust video library for quick tips on a variety of topics, but they also have several mentoring guides to help mentors pinpoint the specific training LEA staff may need. 
  • Do you work with students who have significant cognitive disabilities? Then check out our Texas Complex Access Network (TX CAN). This is your one-stop shop for a variety of resources, online courses, and videos, including monthly instructional guides to help with planning throughout the school year, IEP development training, and information to help students build authentic social relationships just to name a few. 
  • Are you looking for some high-quality dyslexia training? Since the Dyslexia Handbook was revised, you may be searching for some support. Visit TEA's Dyslexia and Related Disorders webpage for information about the online courses we have available and other useful resources to meet your needs. 
  • Do you teach students who are visually impaired, blind, deafblind, deaf, or hard of hearing? Then you have to visit our Texas Sensory Support Network. There are standalone guidance documents about determining eligibility, opportunities to engage with other professionals in a community of practice, and so many other amazing resources. 

Shout Outs!

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Congratulations to the following 10 campuses from various LEAs within our state. These cohort campuses have completed their first year in the TIER Model Demonstration Cohort focused on the implementation of MTSS. Throughout the year, they completed 12 trainings, attended 8 professional development sessions, and participated in coaching sessions focusing on the overview of MTSS and developing their MTSS problem-solving team. They have started the development of their MTSS plan and will begin their implementation in year two of the cohort. Keep up the great work!

  • Bishop Elementary, Bishop CISD, Region 02
  • Flour Bluff Primary/Elementary, Flour Bluff ISD, Region 02
  • Kenedy Elementary, Kenedy ISD, Region 03
  • LHS Killough, Lewisville ISD , Region 11
  • Livingston Jr. High, Livingston ISD, Region 06
  • Progreso Early Childhood, Progreso ISD, Region 01
  • Seashore Learning Center, Seashore Charter Schools, Region 02
  • Slaton High School, Slaton ISD, Region 17
  • Stafford High School, Stafford Municipal School District, Region 04
  • Stafford Middle School, Stafford Municipal School District, Region 04


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