Please visit the link below for important information regarding upcoming Leadership Forums and registration information.
The Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) in partnership with the State Education Resource Center (SERC) is offering four professional learning opportunities related to Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD)/Dyslexia. In addition to these important SLD/Dyslexia learning opportunities, the CSDE/SERC partnership has planned an exciting Transition to Careers conference.
Please review the links below to learn more!
With a focus on “Evolving Relationships that Work for Kids”, special education directors are invited to chat with Dr. Isabelina Rodriguez during a series of six sessions around the state designed to foster an open dialogue and address topics important to the field. With the first session scheduled for November 20th and the final session for June 17th, Dr. Rodriguez plans to discuss topics such as:
- Partnerships Aligned with State Regulations and New Laws,
- Building Capacity of General Education Administrators,
- Working with Families in the Places Where They Live,
- Creating Advocacy Opportunities for Students with Disabilities within Boards of Education and Central Office,
- Working Together to Racially, Culturally, and Linguistically Diversify Our Special Education, and
- Director’s Workforce, and Developing Community Partners.
For a complete list of sessions, locations and times, please see the following link:
On October 30, 2015, Dr. Isabelina Rodriguez, Chief, Bureau of Special Education, and Abe Krisst, Chief of Student Assessment, issued a memorandum to Connecticut Directors of Special Education and Pupil Personnel Services and District Test Coordinators. The memorandum offers guidelines for decisions related to the Smarter Balanced text-to-speech and read aloud for English Language Arts passages. Please visit the link below to review a full copy of the memorandum.
On October 19, 2015, Elizabeth Bumgardner, Board President for the Connecticut Parent Advocacy Center, Inc. (CPAC) issued a letter to partners regarding the role of retiring Executive Director, Nancy Prescott, at CPAC in the coming days.
For an opportunity to review this letter, please follow the link below.
As you are aware, effective July 1, 2015, the Connecticut legislature passed new legislation, PA 15-141, that places significant limits on the use of restraint and seclusion in Connecticut schools. This new legislation provides revisions to previous restraint and seclusion legislation, the implementation of which is further articulated in the current Special Education Regulations related to Restraint and Seclusion in Schools. Attached you will find a memo from Dr. Isabelina Rodriguez, Chief, summarizing PA 15-141 and providing links to new guidance and resources. Click below for memo.
On September 9, 2015, Dr. Isabelina Rodriguez, Chief, Bureau of Special Education, issued a memorandum to Connecticut Directors of Special Education and Pupil Services. The memorandum serves as an updated clarification regarding how school districts should count hours for time with nondisabled peers as it relates to students with disabilities in various educational settings. Please visit the link below to review a full copy of the memorandum.
UPDATE: The Determination of Time with Non-Disabled Peers for Students with Disabilities Memorandum is now also available on the Bureau of Special Education Webpage at the following address: http://www.sde.ct.gov/sde/lib/sde/pdf/deps/special/determination_of_time_with_non_disabled_peers_for_swd.pdf
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com 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:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.