2016-17 Leadership Forums – SAVE THE DATES

Once again, the Connecticut State Department of Education, the State Education Resource Center, and the Connecticut Council for Administrators of Special Education have come together to offer leadership forums packed with important information for educational leaders in the field. Please visit the leadership forum flyer below and save these important dates in your calendars!

2016-17 Leadership Forum Flyer

Required Legislation – Language and Communication Plan for Students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing

Effective July 1, 2012, Section 11 of Public Act (P.A.) 12-173, entitled an Act Concerning Individualized Education Programs and Other Issues Relating to Special Education, requires that the individualized education program (IEP) of any child identified as deaf or hard of hearing must include a language and communication plan (LCP) developed by the child’s planning and placement team (PPT).  Any child with an identified hearing loss, regardless of whether deafness or hard of hearing is the primary disability category, must have a LCP which documents the considerations and/or actions discussed and identified by the child’s PPT.

The LCP must address:

  • The primary language or mode of communication chosen for the child;
  • Opportunities for direct communication with peers and professional personnel in the primary language or mode of communication for the child;
  • Educational options available to the child;
  • The qualifications of teachers and other professional personnel administering the child’s LCP, including the teachers’ or professionals’ proficiency in the primary language or other mode of communication for the child;
  • The accessibility of academic instruction, school services and extra-curricular activities for the child; and
  • Communication and accommodations in the physical environment for the child.

Section 300.324(a)(2)(iv) of the Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.) pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA) requires that the child’s PPT consider the following areas regarding the communication needs of a child who is deaf or hard of hearing:

The child’s language and communication needs;

  • Opportunities for direct communication with peers and professional personnel in the child’s language and communication mode;
  • The child’s academic level;
  • The child’s full range of needs, including opportunities for direct instruction in the child’s language and mode of communication; and
  • Whether the child’s needs a technology device and/or service(s).

Section 11 of P.A. 12-173 requires documentation of the special considerations outlined in the IDEA and P.A. 12-173 through a LCP developed by the child’s PPT and included in the IEP of each child who is deaf or hard of hearing.  This requirement is reflected on page 10 of the IEP.  The LCP is available on the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) web site at http://www.sde.ct.gov/sde/lib/sde/word_docs/deps/special/language_and_communication_plan.doc

The CSDE has made available the LCP since 2009 as a tool recommended for use as a best practice document for children who are deaf or hard of hearing.  The passage of P.A. 12-173 now makes the LCP a required part of the IEP for each child who is deaf or hard of hearing.  The CSDE has posted the LCP as part of the IEP form on the CSDE web site.  To assure that each child’s unique needs are identified and considered in the development of a child’s IEP, the LCP must be developed at the initial IEP for each child who is deaf or hard or hearing and must be reviewed at least annually and revised as appropriate. The LCP as developed and/or revised must be included in the IEP.

Additional LCP resources that are available on the CSDE website include:

Annotated Language and Communication Plan [PDF] http://www.sde.ct.gov/sde/lib/sde/pdf/deps/special/annotated_language_and_communication_plan.pdf

Language and Communication Plan FAQ’s [PDF] http://www.sde.ct.gov/sde/lib/sde/pdf/deps/special/faqs_langauge_and_communication_plan.pdf

Memo from Chief Operating Officer – Section 11 of Public Act 12-173: Required Language and Communication Plan for Deaf or Hard of Hearing Students [PDF] http://www.sde.ct.gov/sde/lib/sde/pdf/deps/special/public_act_12_173_lcp_memo.pdf

Questions regarding the LCP can be directed to Colleen Hayles at 860-713-6922 or via email at colleen.hayles@ct.gov.


Connecticut’s School Climate Transformation Grant (CT SCTG)– Opportunity for Support

 CSDE has partnered with the State Education Resource Center (SERC) to assess the status of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) implementation across the state.  By visiting schools that have been trained in PBIS and conducting the School-wide PBIS Tiered Fidelity Inventory (TFI) alongside the school’s team, SERC will be able to assist schools in evaluating their progress, guide their implementation, and develop action plans for improvement. This half-day support is at NO-COST to the school and district and is funded through the CT SCTG project.

The SWPBIS Tiered Fidelity Inventory (TFI) is  a tool schools can use to efficiently assess their implementation of PBIS. By measuring the core structures across all three tiers of this multi-tiered behavioral framework schools get a snapshot of their current implementation fidelity, an action plan for continued school improvement, and specific recommendations for content knowledge development that would advance implementation. To be eligible for this no-cost support, the interested school must have completed PBIS training in the past.  Once scheduled, the school’s leadership team will meet with an external TFI facilitator for 90-120 minutes to work through the TFI process.

To schedule your, SWPBIS TFI please visit www.ctserc.org/sctg and complete the Online Request Form. For troubleshooting questions, please call Lauren D. Johns, Education Services Specialist at (860) 632-1485 ext. 256 or johns@ctserc.org. For more information on the TFI process, please contact Sarah L. Jones, Project Officer at (860) 632-1485 ext. 307 or sjones@ctserc.org.


2016 Achievement Through Technology Conference

Registration is open for the 2016 Achievement Through Technology Conference to be held on April 1, 2016 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Cromwell, CT. To view the conference flyer for more details and the day’s agenda, please follow this link: http://eepurl.com/bCiAhn.

Guidance Regarding the Role of Paraprofessionals in IEPs and at PPTs

On November 27, 2015, Isabelina Rodriguez, Chief of the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE), Bureau of Special Education issued a memorandum to Directors of Special Education and Pupil Services. This memorandum served as further guidance for school districts regarding the June 2015 agreement between the CSDE and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) which clarifies the role of Paraprofessionals in the Individualized Education Program (IEP) process.

To review the complete memorandum, please follow the link below.

Role of Paraprofessionals in IEPs memorandum 11-27-15

Upcoming Professional Learning Opportunities and Conferences

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!

SLD-Dyslexia Professional Learning Opportunities 2015-16

CT Forum on Promising Practices in SLD- Dyslexia

Transition to Careers Conference

“Regional Chats” with the Bureau of Special Education’s Bureau Chief, Dr. Isabelina Rodriguez

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:

Regional Chats with the Bureau Chief



Smarter Balanced Text-to-Speech and Read Aloud for English Language Arts Passages Decision Guidelines

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.

Smarted Balanced Text to Speech for ELA Reading