SAVE THE DATE for the Paraeducator Development and Leadership Symposium

On November 16, 2016 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Legislative Office Building at 300 Capitol Avenue in Hartford the Paraeducator Development and Leadership Symposium will be held.
For the symposium flyer and a look at the list of high caliber key speakers follow the link below.


Student Assessment Update to Special Education Directors – Guidelines and Resources

The Bureau of Student Assessment recently released two updated resources which include information on assessment for special student populations. These are the 2016-17 Assessment Guidelines and the 2016-17 Test Supports and Accommodations Form.

The updated 2016-17 Assessment Guidelines may be viewed on the Student Assessment web page under Special Populations Documentation and Resources. This resource provides guidance to Connecticut school district personnel who must make decisions about testing special student populations on the Smarter Balanced Assessments, the Connecticut Mastery Test (CMT) Science, the Connecticut Academic Achievement Test (CAPT) Science, the CMT Skills Checklist Science, the CAPT Skills Checklist Science, and the Connecticut Alternate Assessment (CTAA). These special student populations include students identified as eligible for special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), students identified as disabled under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and students who are identified as English Learners (EL). This decision-making also includes general education students who may require additional supports.

Further, the 2016-17 Test Supports and Accommodations Form, also available on the Student Assessment web page under Special Populations Documentation and Resources, was recently updated. The form is used to document the Smarter Balanced and CMT/CAPT Science supports and accommodations for students with disabilities or English Learners.

If after reviewing these documents you have questions about the special student populations, the criteria for participation in various assessment options or allowable supports or accommodations, please contact the Bureau of Student Assessment at 860-713-6837 or 860-713-6855.

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

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]

Language and Communication Plan FAQ’s [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]

Questions regarding the LCP can be directed to Colleen Hayles at 860-713-6922 or via email at


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 and complete the Online Request Form. For troubleshooting questions, please call Lauren D. Johns, Education Services Specialist at (860) 632-1485 ext. 256 or For more information on the TFI process, please contact Sarah L. Jones, Project Officer at (860) 632-1485 ext. 307 or


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:

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