Agency Fair + Parent Classes + Revised SPED Rules & SLD Eligibility + Upcoming Events

TIMELINES & REMINDERS

1.  Agency Fair for Students with Disabilities, Parents, and Educators:  The 2014 Agency Fair will be held at the Canyons School District Support Services Center on Thursday, April 10, 2014, 6 p.m.-8 p.m.  This open-house event provides families an opportunity to learn about various community agencies that offer services and supports to students and adults with disabilities.  Representatives from over 50 agencies will be available to provide information on a variety of services (i.e., family support programs, employment, guardianship, college with disability supports, independent living, etc.).  Special educators and students with disabilities and their parents are encouraged to attend.  Please share the following information with your students and their families:

2.  Parent Trainings:  The following classes are available to parents of students with disabilities:

Additional information is available on the Parent Information page of Special Education Web site).

NEWS & OTHER INFORMATION

1.  Revised Utah Special Education Rules:  The Utah State Board of Education Special Education Rules have been revised (November 2013). Click on the following link to access the revised Rules:  Utah Special Education Rules (Table of Content interactive).

– Change to SLD Eligibility Requirements:  In the revised Special Education Rules, the cut score of “93 percent confident” has been removed when using the Discrepancy Method to determine a student’s eligibility for Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD).  Instead, teams are required to make eligibility decisions based on data from a comprehensive evaluation.

Since Jordan School District uses the Discrepancy Method for determining SLD eligibility, please refer to the following guidelines provided by the Utah State of Education and Utah Personnel Development Center.  If teams have questions, they should contact the Teacher Specialist assigned to their schools.

  • Question:  Are we still required to produce and discuss a discrepancy “report?
  • Answer:  Yes; however, the team must consider all evaluation data and not rely only on the score of the discrepancy report.  Determination that a student has a specific learning disability is based on 3 eligibility factors:   (1)  The student’s scores demonstrate that a severe discrepancy exists between achievement and intellectual ability; (2) the learning disability must adversely affect the student’s educational performance, and (3) the student must need special education and related services.
  • Question:  If the team does not agree that the discrepancy report confirms the existence of a significant discrepancy, but other significant data support SLD eligibility, can the team still qualify the student?
  • Answer:  Yes.  Eligibility for special education services has always been a team decision, using multiple data points.  No one data source should be considered as a reason for automatic inclusion or exclusion for special education services.  The Evaluation Summary Report should include all data used to make the determination.
  • Question:  Will a numeric discrepancy score be required as evidence of a “significant discrepancy” for the purpose of UPIPS monitoring?
  • Answer:  No.  But the UPIPS monitors will be looking for the existence of a discrepancy report and also documentation (team meeting notes) of the team’s discussion about whether or not the report represents a significant discrepancy.  Templates for team meeting notes are available in the Forms section of the Special Education Department’s Web site (File:  IEP).

Sources:

 2.  Upcoming Events: Please refer to the Special Education Department Professional Development page for more information regarding classes, registration and other class details.

Upcoming Events 3-27-14

 

SAGE Brochures + Secondary Transition + Upcoming Events

~ Welcome, Sweet Spring 2014! ~

1.  SAGE Brochures:  The following brochures may be helpful as teams discuss SAGE testing with parents of students with disabilities.

2.  Opportunity for Students with Disabilities Ages 17-21:  A consortium of states (Utah, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Colorado and Arizona) led by the Utah State Office of Rehabilitation has been awarded funding from the Department of Education’s PROMISE Initiative (Promoting Readiness of Minors in Supplemental Security Income).  The consortium’s project, ASPIRE (Achieving Success in Promoting Readiness for Education and Employment), will help youth with mild to severe disabilities, ages 14-16, achieve better outcomes (i.e., high school graduation and post-secondary transition).  To prepare for the ASPIRE project, the USOE Special Education Services is seeking interested youth, ages 17-21, who have received services through an IEP or Section 504 plan, to submit an application to serve on a Youth Advisory Board.  Please share this information and the following application with any students and families who may be interested:  Application to Participate on the ASPIRE Youth Advisory Board.

Applications must be returned by Friday, March 28, 2014 to:

Susan Loving, Transition Specialist
Utah State Office of Education
250 South 500 East, P.O. Box 14420
Salt Lake City, UT 84114-4200
Phone: 801-538-7645
E-mail: susan.loving@schools.utah.gov

3.  Upcoming Events: Please refer to the Special Education Department Professional Development page for more information regarding classes, registration and other class details.

Upcoming Events 3-24-14

UAA + UCAS Updates + Upcoming Events + Remembering a Devoted Paraeducator

TIMELINES & REMINDERS

1.  UAA:  The Evaluation, Research & Accountability Department will be entering our Utah Alternate Assessment (UAA) data into the online system, this year.  In preparation for the data entry, Bekkah Friant, Testing Support Coordinator, is sending out a form that will need to be completed for all students taking the UAA.  The form will be sent to Principals, asking that they give it to the appropriate team member(s) to complete.  It is very important that these forms are completed and returned to Bekkah in the Evaluation, Research & Accountability Department, as soon as possible.  

2.  UCAS Updates:  The 2013-14 Utah Participation and Accommodations Policy has been updated (2/21/14).  Changes include the following clarifications:

  • Calculation Devices & Computation Tables:  All students are allowed to use an online calculation device when it is embedded during the allowed segments of the assessments.  If a student requires the accommodation of a handheld calculation device or printable computation table, they can be provided that resource during the allowed segment of the assessment (i.e., the segment in which a calculator is allowed); this accommodation must be included in the student’s IEP.  (Examples of Calculation Devices are:  calculators, slide rules, abacus, etc.  Examples of Computation Tables are:  Multiplication, division, addition and subtraction charts, number lines, etc.)(Policy pages 27-28)
  • Descriptive Audio:  SAGE – Embedded and allowed.  Students may listen to audio descriptions of interactive answer spaces in test questions.  This audio is provided in addition to text-to-speech as a test setting.  It must be activated in the student’s preferences in the SAGE Portal prior to the assessment.  (Policy pages 24-25, 35)
  • Graphic Organizer:  SAGE – not allowed; NAEP – allowed; UAA/DLM – depends on the needs of the student on . (Policy pages 30-31).
  • Human Reader:  DWA – Allowed on an individual student basis and only if a school’s bandwidth is insufficient to provide the Text-to-Speech.  (Policy pages 24 and 31).

Further clarification has been provided by the JSD Evaluation, Research & Evaluation & Accountability Department:  Page 24 of the Utah Participation and Accommodations Policy 2013-14 document stated that the use of a human reader is an allowable resource for students, but the “text-to-speech” should be used for the prompt.  Teachers are not to read DWA passages to an entire class.  Individual students who need the text read to them should be given the “Text Reader” form of the test.  If the use of the “Text Reader” form of the test is not available for an individual student, or does not function properly due to bandwidth issues, the use of a human reader is allowed, but again, only on an individual basis.  This would necessitate testing the student in an appropriate separate location.  As stated above, if needed and available, “text-to-speech” should be used for the prompt.

INFORMATION & OTHER NEWS

 1.  Upcoming Events: Please refer to the Special Education Department Professional Development page for more information regarding classes, registration and other class details.

Upcoming Events 3-11-14

♥  ♥  ♥

~  In Memory of a Devoted Paraeducator  ~

Kristina Davis, Paraeducator at South Valley School, passed away on February 28, 2014.  She was well-loved and respected by her students and colleagues.  We appreciate the years of dedicated service that Kristina gave to students and teachers in Jordan School District.  Our thoughts are with her family and loved ones.

Kristina Davis, Obituary, Salt Lake Tribune

♥  ♥  ♥

Budget + Transportation + IEP/Re-eval Due Dates + UCAS + Requesting Student Records + Kudos to an Amazing Paraeducator and Much More!

TIMELINES & REMINDERS

1.  Special Education Budgets for the 2013-14 School Year:  All Special Education purchase orders/requisitions for the 2013-14 school year must be received by April 1, 2014.  For detailed information and instructions, please review the Intradistrict Communication memo that was recently sent to all principals and special education staff (2/26/14).

2.  Special Education Transportation Requests for the 2014-15 School Year:  Students who are attending self-contained support classes (SCSC) in schools outside of their neighborhoods, are provided transportation as a related service on their IEPs.  In preparation for the 2014-15 school year, any students who meet the criteria listed below, MUST have a transportation request completed by the current IEP team and submitted to Beth Usui, Director of Special Education, by Friday, March 21, 2014:

  • 6th grade students in self-contained support classes who will be attending a SCSC in their boundary middle school, and cannot get to school in the same manner as their siblings or peers in the neighborhood due to the nature and severity of the student’s disability.
  • 9th grade students in a SCSC who will be attending their boundary high school, and cannot get to school in the same manner as their siblings or peers in the neighborhood due to the nature and severity of the student’s disability.

The Special Education or 504 Request for Transportation form is available in the Forms section of the Special Education Department Web site (folder:  Transportation).  Please remember the following guidelines when completing a transportation request for next year:

  • The school year will be 2014-15.
  • List the student’s school, grade, and teacher/contact person for the 2014-15 school year.
  • List the name of the person completing the request.
  • Send completed forms to Beth Usui, Director of Special Education.

3.  IEPs and 3 Year Re-evaluations:  All IEPs and 3 year re-evaluations due prior to October 15, 2014, must be updated by the sending school before files are delivered to the receiving school.  Example:  If a 6th grade student has an IEP or re-evaluation that will be due after the end of this school year and before October 15th of next school year, the current IEP team must update these documents before delivering the student’s file to the receiving school.

4.  Agency Fair:  The 2014 Agency Fair will be held at the Canyons School District Support Services Center on Thursday, April 10, 2014, 6 p.m.-8 p.m.  This open-house event provides families an opportunity to learn about various community agencies that offer services and supports to students and adults with disabilities.  Representatives from over 50 agencies will be available to provide information on a variety of services (i.e. family support programs, employment, guardianship, college with disability supports, independent living, etc.).  Special educators and students with disabilities and their parents are encouraged to attend.  Please share the following information with your students and their families:

5.  UCAS Updates:  Please use the USOE revised IEP Assessment Addendum (2-14-14) in lieu of the GoalView IEP assessment page, and refer to the Utah Participation and Accommodations Policy 2013-14 (revised 2-14-14) for updated information regarding Resources and Accommodations.  Both of these documents are posted in the Forms section of the Special Education Web site (folder:  UCAS).

  • Calculators and SAGE Mathematics Assessment:  Question:  Why aren’t calculators permitted on certain parts of the SAGE Mathematics Assessment for grades 3-6?  Response:  The decision was made based on the Utah Core Standards and how students should be instructed on and learn the core curriculum. The assessment items match the expectations outlined by the core curriculum, so the use of a calculator is not permitted on test items measuring a student’s ability to perform basic calculations, such as the ability to fluently multiply or divide numbers.  A student may use “visual representations” (e.g., manipulatives) throughout the math assessments, as long as it is written into the IEP.  Additional sources of information:
  1. What, I Can’t Use a Calculator?
  2. SAGE & DLM Discussion
  • ACT Accommodations:  Question:  Now that students in 11th grade are required to take the ACT, who is responsible for making arrangements for test accommodations?  Response:  Accommodations for the ACT are very specific and are determined by ACT, not the IEP team.  Typically, one school counselor deals with all requests for accommodations, but that may vary by school.  More information about accommodations allowed, documentation, etc., may be downloaded at ACT Services for Students with Disabilities.

6.  Requesting Student Records from Private Service Providers:  When student records are requested from a private service provider (i.e., Primary Children’s Medical Center, etc.), teams may be charged for the cost of copying and mailing the records. Do not request any records without knowing if there will be a charge.  It is recommended that teams ask parents to provide copies of records in their possession.

INFORMATION AND OTHER NEWS

1.  Praxis 5169 Prep Classes:  The second Praxis Prep cohort began on March 5, 2014 and will continue on the following dates:  March 12, 26th, April 2nd, 9th, and 16th.  All classes are held from 4 p.m.-6 p.m., at the Utah Personnel Development Center (UPDC) (230 W. 200 S.).  The classes are free and open to current secondary special educators.  Participants must register through Ontrack; the course number is 59780.

2.  Microsoft DisAbility Scholarship:  The Seattle Foundation, on behalf of the Microsoft disAbility Employee Resource Group, is offering a $5000.00 scholarship to students with disabilities who are planning on attending college. For more information on the scholarship and application requirements, please click on the following link:  Microsoft DisAbility Scholarship.

3.  2014 Paraeducator of the Year:  Peggy Beuchert, Paraeducator and Transition Peggy BeuchertCoordinator at South Valley School, has received the 2014 CEC Special Education Paraeducator of the Year Award! 

I consider Ms. Beuchert an inspiration to both faculty and students.  She has encouraged all of us to expand our horizons beyond the walls of the school into the community.  I believe that her vision for community integration is central to the field of special education and she has gone way beyond the scope of her employment and role to facilitate students’ transition to the world of work.  ~Abby Gottsegen, Ph.D., School Psychologist, South Valley School

Peggy is an exceptional paraeducator, who has worked in a variety of special education settings throughout  Jordan School District.   Congratulations, Peggy!

4.  Upcoming Events:  Please refer to the Special Education Department Professional Development page for more information regarding classes, registration and other class details.

Upcoming Events 3-5-14

ESY + Private Providers + Agency Fair & Transition + UCAS Updates + Upcoming Events

TIMELINES & REMINDER

1.  Extended School Year (ESY) Qualification Data:  Thanks to all teams who submitted ESY information for eligible students by the February 24, 2014 deadline!  If there are teams who have not submitted ESY qualification data and plan to do so, it must be done as soon as possible. Please refer to the Intradistrict Communication (memo), “Extended School Year (ESY) Qualification Procedures and Timelines” (01/06/14), for specific details.

2.  Utah Autism Project:  The Utah Autism Project, Utah Department of Health has released the following statement:  Applied Behavior Analysis services for students of school age should be focused on pre-academic skills (e.g. attending, following group instruction, social development, etc.) and behaviors that impact access to instruction.  Autism Treatment Account providers are requested to avoid providing treatment in school settings within academic and core curriculum standards. 

If school teams receive requests from private providers to observe students, please contact the Teacher Specialist assigned to your school. 

3.  Transition Agency Fair:  Don’t forget to save date — April 10, 2014 (6 p.m.-8 p.m.) to attend the annual Agency Fair!  This is a perfect opportunity to invite your students and their parents to learn more about community agencies that provide support for students with disabilities, especially as they prepare for post-secondary transition. This year, the Agency Fair will be held at the Canyons Transition Academy in Canyons School District.  Teachers who attend will be eligible for a gift basket of goodies, and receive relicensure points.  Please click on the following link for a flier that can be printed and shared with parents and students.

Agency Fair – Save the Date!

4.  UCAS Updates: 

Resource:  Calculation Devices & Comprehension TablesEmbedded when allowed; availability depends on grade (Policy manual, pages 24, 27-28).

Resource:  Scratch PaperStudents may use blank scratch or graph paper without any directions or numbers included (Policy manual, pages 25 and 32).

Accommodation:  Calculation Device and Computation TableUse of handheld calculator as accommodation.  Allowed only during calculator section of assessment (Policy manual, pages 24, 27-28).

Accommodation:  Sign LanguageUSOE authorization, allowed when text-to-speech is allowed as “Resource for All Students” (Policy manual, pages 25 and 33).

On the SAGE Summative Assessment, students who are receiving American Sign Language (ASL), as an accommodation that must be documented on the their IEP, may have the assessment question interpreted, if the “Text-to-Speech” option is available on the assessment question.  Specific guidelines include:

1)  Only an ASL certified interpreter may interpret the SAGE Assessment.                           2)  The student must engage the “Text-to-Speech” option on each item and the interpreter must only interpret the audio portion.
3)  Interpreters MAY NOT interpret any item that the “Text-to-Speech” option is not available.
4)  If ASL is provided onscreen, the interpreter MAY NOT interpret the item. The student MUST use the online interpreter.

Accommodation:  Visual RepresentationVisual Representations are manipulatives such as cubes, tiles, rods, block, models, etc.  Allowed during the entire mathematics assessment.  This accommodation MUST be documented in the student’s IEP or 504. (Policy manual, pages 33 and 35).

  • Scribe Accommodations Guidelines:  If you will be using a scribe to help students with accommodations for instruction in the classroom or in the state-wide assessments, please refer to the Policy manual (pages 25 and 32-33) and the following information regarding the appropriate expectations to assist students:

USOE Scribe Accommodations Guidelines

Scribe Accommodations Guidelines Video Presentation

  • DLM Training Modules:  Training modules are available for teachers of students with significant cognitive disabilities to learn more about the Dynamic Learning Maps (DLM), and how they relate to the Essential Elements and appropriate grade-level standard expectations.  The USOE will issue a “Certificate of Completion” and 10 hours of relicensure points after each set of ten modules are completed.  There are currently 14 modules, but teachers should check back, periodically, to complete new ones as they are added.  Click on the following link to access the DLM Training Modules:   DLM Self-Directed Learning Modules (Note:  Use the same name each time you login to complete the training modules.  The Certificate of Completion will not be provided when the training modules are completed using an iPad.)

NEWS & OTHER INFORMATION

1.  Secondary Transition – Nonacademic Behaviors Associated with Post-School Employment and Education: The December 2013 issue of Career Development and Transition for Exceptional Individuals (Vol. 26, No 3) included an article describing the results of an analysis of research literature to build a list of nonacademic behaviors associated with post-high school employment and education.  The review yielded the following constructs, which should be considered as we assist students with their secondary transition goals:

  • Students must have knowledge of their own personal strengths and limitations in multiple settings.
  • Students must be able to act on this knowledge, and consider their strengths and limitations when making decisions.
  • Students need to understand and be able to explain their disability to others.
  • Having a paid job during the high school years is positively associated with employment after high school.
  • Students need to learn how to set and attain goals by breaking down large goals into smaller goals, and making a plan to implement the smaller goals.
  • Students need to develop persistence, the ability to use a variety of strategies to complete tasks and attain goals.
  • Students need to understand their rights and responsibilities and be able to advocate for themselves.
  • Students need to utilize resources for assistance when individuals in the immediate support group are not available to help with a specific task.

2.  Upcoming Events:  Please refer to the Special Education Department Professional Development page for more information regarding classes, registration and other class details.

Upcoming Events 2.26.14