Assistive Technology Resource Guide

The Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) has published a resource document on assistive technology (AT) called the Connecticut’s Resource Guide of Assistive Technology, Supports and Accommodations for Daily Instruction and Formative, Interim and Summative Assessments.

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA) states that AT must be considered in the development of the Individualized Education Program (IEP). Students often need assistive technology supports to access instruction and participate in assessments.

The purpose of Connecticut’s Resource Guide of Assistive Technology is to inform educators, instructional staff, parents and students about available resources for consideration during instruction and highlight elements for individualized supports/accommodations that mirror supports utilized during instruction for assessment such as on the Connecticut’s Alternate Assessment (CTAA) and the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC).

Utilizing these resources in conjunction with the Connecticut AT Guidelines during instruction as well as assessment, provides students access to enriched educational experiences, prepares them to be career and college ready, and ensures that positive educational outcomes can be realized for all students.

If you have questions related to the AT Resource Guide and/or AT Guidelines, please contact Thomas Boudreau, Bureau of Special Education, at 860-713-6925 or thomas.boudreau@ct.gov.

 

Updates for District Contacts for Paraeducator Issues

The Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) together with the University of Connecticut A.J. Pappanikou Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education (UCEDD) are hosting the Summer Symposium for Supervision and Management of Paraeducators focused on helping school districts to improve their supervision and management of paraeducators. The event will be held on July 20-21, 2015, from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the University of Connecticut Greater Hartford Campus, 85 Lawler Road, West Hartford, CT 06117. The cost to attend is $50.00. If you have questions related to this event, please contact Christine Sullivan at chsullivan@uchc.edu or call 860-679-1500.

The ParaPro Assessment is a test developed by Educational Testing Service (ETS) and adopted by the Connecticut State Board of Education to comply with the No Child Left Behind Act. The following are two newly established locations to take the ParaPro Assessment in Connecticut:

‘Timely Manner’ for Accessible Educational Materials (AEM)

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA) Section 300.172 addresses access to instructional and educational materials in a timely manner by individuals who are blind or have other print-related disabilities through the establishment of the National Instructional Materials Access Center (NIMAC) and the adoption of the National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard (NIMAS).

Connecticut has adopted the NIMAS standard, and in a recent AEM – Topic Brief defines timely manner as “all reasonable efforts will be made by the local education agency (LEA) to ensure that accessible educational materials (AEM) are provided to children with disabilities who need accessible formats of educational materials at the same time as other children receiving their educational materials”.

If a student is identified by the planning and placement team (PPT) as having a print-related disability (e.g., blindness, visual impairment, physical limitations and specific learning disability in reading), which impacts the student’s ability to access curriculum, then the PPT may determine, as the competent authority, that the student qualifies to receive AEM produced in specialized formats as delineated on the individualized education program (IEP) through an accessible media producer and/or the NIMAC.

A helpful AEM – Flowchart with AEM – Scenarios that indicate how to determine the need for AEM, and sources which may be acquired in order to allow the student access to AEM in a timely manner, are available on the Connecticut State Department of Education website under NIMAS/NIMAC (http://www.sde.ct.gov/sde/cwp/view.asp?a=2626&q=322684).

If you have questions related to AEM and the NIMAS/NIMAC process, please contact Thomas Boudreau, Bureau of Special Education, at 860-713-6925 or thomas.boudreau@ct.gov.

 

 

New Special Education Bureau Chief, Dr. Isabelina Rodriguez Offers a Note of Introduction

Wrapping up her second month in the position of Special Education Bureau Chief, Dr. Isabelina Rodriguez makes introduction to the field and offers some recently created guidance on Independent Educational Evaluations (IEE) and a Kindergarten Option. Visit the links below to review her introduction and the important guidance documents.

New Special Education Bureau Chief Introduction

Independent Educational Evaluation Guidance Memorandum

Kindergarten Option

Early Childhood Outcomes & the Brigance® IED-III, Early Childhood Edition

The Connecticut State Department of Education, Bureau of Special Education, has identified that the Brigance Inventory of Early Development III (IED-III) – Early Childhood Edition, will be the single statewide assessment instrument that will be utilized to collect and report Early Childhood Outcome (ECO) information for the State Performance Plan (SPP) and Annual Performance Report (APR).  By June 30, 2015, all school districts will have received a Brigance IED-III Early Childhood Edition assessment manual and a small package of IED-III Record Booklets that have been purchased by the Bureau of Special Education for school districts.  Implementation of the IED-III Early Childhood Edition to collect and report ECO information is effective July 1, 2015.

A letter has been disseminated to all Directors of Special Education identifying the change in the assessment instrument to collect ECO information.  To access that letter, please click on the following link:  ECO Change Assessment Instrument (3-2015)

To order additional IED-III assessment manuals and/or IED-III Record Booklets, please click on the following link:  ECO Ordering the Brigance IED-III

Early Childhood Outcomes Timelines

The Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE), Bureau of Special Education, has directed all school districts to convert to the Brigance® Inventory of Early Development III (IED-III) – Early Childhood Edition, effective July 1, 2015, to collect and report Early Childhood Outcome (ECO) information.  The following outlines important timelines for completing all post-tests using the Brigance IED-II and when to start using the Brigance IED-III.  Please click on the following link: ECO IED-III Timelines Document

 

Bureau of Special Education to Get New Bureau Chief

The Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) has appointed a Bureau Chief for the Bureau of Special Education (BSE).  Dr. Isabelina Rodriguez was recommended and has accepted the bureau chief position.  It is anticipated that Dr. Rodriguez will join the Department in late March.

In year 30 as an educator, Dr. Rodriguez began her career as a special education teacher in the Springfield, Massachusetts public schools before being promoted as a supervisor of special education in that district.  After nine years in the Springfield school system, Dr. Rodriquez worked in Northampton, Massachusetts public schools, first as the director of pupil services for 10 years and then as superintendent of schools for six years.  Dr. Rodriguez currently serves as the superintendent of schools for the Granby, Massachusetts public schools, a position she has held since January 2011.

As superintendent, Dr. Rodriguez has presented on issues related to special education, English learners, teaching strategies, and school committee relations and budgeting at state and regional conferences.  She has also held various adjunct faculty positions in education and for the past six years with the American International College in Springfield, Massachusetts.  She has served on many state advisory committees and has represented the Massachusetts’ superintendents at the state level on the executive board of the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents and as Massachusetts’ national representative of the Association of School Superintendents.

Dr. Rodriguez brings a wealth of experience to the CSDE and Connecticut in the role of state director for special education and chief of the BSE.  In addition to her considerable knowledge in the area of special education, Dr. Rodriguez has led systemwide school change efforts to raise the achievement levels of all students, including students with disabilities and other student populations.  In her administrative positions, Dr. Rodriguez has consistently demonstrated a collaborative, inclusive approach and has proven to be a highly effective educational leader.  She supports Connecticut’s current reform efforts and will be a welcome member of the CSDE management team.

Sending Education Records to Proposed Out-of-District Placements Without Parent Consent

The State Department of Education, Bureau of Special Education is providing guidance on a school district’s ability to disclose personally identifiable information from education records in connection with an education placement made under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Part B.  The guidance is based upon clarification from the Family Policy Compliance Office (FPCO), which indicates that a student’s education records can be provided to proposed out-of-district placements without parent consent so long as the district’s annual notification of rights includes that the district discloses education records for enrollment purposes or the district makes a reasonable attempt to notify the parent in advance of such disclosure.

To see the entire guidance document, please click on this link:

Sending Educational Records to Proposed Out-of-District Placements without Parent Consent

 

 

Updates to the Connecticut Individualized Education Program (IEP) Form

The Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE), Bureau of Special Education (BSE) recently issued guidance via e-mail distribution to directors of special education and pupil services.  The guidance issued by Dr. Patricia Anderson, consultant with the BSE, was specific to the Individualized Education Program (IEP) form and related documents.  The same information provided to directors has also been sent to vendors of electronic IEPs. The e-mail distributed to directors of special education and pupil services as well as IEP vendors is provided along with related IEP pages. Related documents  can be accessed by clicking the links below.  Please review the information carefully.

Access guidance e-mail and updated documents here:

Email guidance of updates to the Connecticut Individualized Education Program

IEP 2014-15 Page 1 10-1-14 R2 (MS Word Doc.)

IEP 2014-15 Page 1 10-1-14 R2 (PDF)

IEP 2014-15 Page 12 9-29-14 (MS Word Doc.)

IEP 2014-15 Page 12 9-29-14 (PDF)

ED625 -Consent Initial Eval 10-1-14 (MS Word Doc.)

ED626 -Consent Initial Provision Spec.Educ. 10-1-14 (MS Word Doc.)

ED627 -Consent ReEval 10-1-14 (MS Word Doc.)