About Bureau Bulletin

The Bureau Bulletin is a news publication of the Bureau of Special Education, Connecticut State Department of Education

SAVE THE DATES – Special Education Leadership Year One Reflection Series

The Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE), Bureau of Special Education (BSE), in partnership with the State Education Resource Center (SERC), invites first-year special education leaders to participate in a FREE two-day training series designed to assist participants in reflecting on their past year, networking with similarly-positioned colleagues, and identifying professional needs to inform the development of future learning opportunities. Registration information will be available soon. SAVE the DATES! See flyer. Special Education Leadership Year 1 Reflection – SAVE THE DATES




CT Documentation and Observation for Teaching System (CT DOTS)

The Connecticut Documentation & Observation for Teaching System (CT DOTS) is a framework to guide early care and education providers in a process of monitoring children’s progress on the skills, abilities and behaviors in the Connecticut Early Learning and Development Standards (CT ELDS). Because this tool is based on the CT ELDS, it is aligned to the general education curriculum and covers the range of development from birth through age five. CT DOTS supports early care and education providers to observe children in naturally occurring situations and to plan engaging experiences that allow for more intentional observations. CT DOTS also provides a structure for providers to partner with families in sharing information about individual children.

Used in conjunction with the CT ELDS, CT DOTS is a foundation for

  • gathering data about children’s skills, abilities and behaviors;
  • planning additional supports (e.g., curriculum, instruction, professional development, family activities, adult support);
  • summarizing evidence of children’s progress; and
  • communicating around common goals.

When used in conjunction with standards-based IEPs, CT DOTS can provide progress-monitoring data.

The Connecticut State Department of Education and the CT Office of Early Childhood are currently conducting a crosswalk of the Brigance and CT DOTS so that data collected for the ECO requirement can be easily used as evidence within CT DOTS.

For more information: www.ct.gov/oec/elds

Communities of Practice for Related Services

The Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) and the Regional Educational Service Centers (RESC) are in the process of planning a series of Communities of Practice (CoP) designed to engage practitioners in meaningful discussions and activities that will broaden our capacity to improve outcomes for students with disabilities. The currently formed CoP’s are in the areas of Assistive Technology, Physical Therapy, Social Work, Occupational Therapy, School Psychology, and Speech & Language Pathology. Please see the flyer below for more information.

Related Services Communities of Practice


Writing Standards-based IEPs Using the CT Early Learning and Development Standards

IDEA states that, “the education of children with disabilities can be made more effective by … having high expectations for such children and ensuring their access to the general curriculum to the maximum extent possible, in order to meet the developmental goals.” (20 U.S.C. 1400(c)

For our youngest learners, there are often questions about what constitutes the general curriculum. Since the CT ELDS outline what children birth to age five should know and be able to do, this is an easy to access tool for writing standards-based IEPS focused on access to the general education curriculum.

The National Association of State Directors of Special Education document, A Seven-Step Process to Creating Standards-based IEPs outlines a process of writing IEPs based on state standards.  While this document refers to “content standards,” the CT ELDS address the whole child and include the following areas of development:

Look for training on writing IEPS based on the CT ELDS coming in Fall 2019.

The following are helpful resources:

Connecticut Office of Early Childhood. (2013). The Connecticut Early Learning and Development Standards.

The Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center (ECTAC), (2014). Enhancing Recognition of High Quality, Functional IEP Goals,

The National Association of State Directors of Special Education, (2007). A Seven-Step Process to Creating Standards-based IEPs.

Understood for Learning and Attention Issues (2014-2018). 5 Benefits of Inclusion Classrooms.

Alabama State Department of Education, (2012). Standards Based IEPs for Preschool Children.

Vermont preschool IEP on ECTAC website:


SAVE THE DATE/REGISTRATION IS OPEN for the 2019 Annual Autism Transition Forum – New England

Date:                     Saturday, February 2, 2019

Time:                    8:30 AM – 1:30 PM

Location:              Masonicare at Ashlar Village

74 Cheshire Road

Wallingford, CT 06482

Registration & Breakfast 8:30am
Forum 9:00am – 1:30pm
*Snow date February 9, 2019

Autism Speaks and Autism Services and Resources Connecticut (ASRC) are teaming up to present local and National experts sharing their best practices for transitioning individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders into the adult world.

Forum is free of charge.  Hot breakfast will be served.

Registration is required – Limited Spaces Available (http://act.autismspeaks.org/transitionforum)

For more information, contact ASRC vial email at info@ct-asrc.org or call 203-265-7717.

The Bureau of Special Education Welcomes Sean Cronin and Alycia Trakas.

In October, the Bureau of Special Education welcomed two new members of the team.  

Sean Cronin joined the Bureau of Special Education on October 12, 2018 as an Associate Education Consultant within the Due Process Unit.  Sean is providing technical assistance, complaint resolution and general special education support for school districts and parents.

Sean comes to the Bureau with past knowledge and experience from his previous role as an Assistant Child Advocate at the Office of the Child Advocate (OCA).  Prior to his work at OCA, he was the program manager for the Intensive Outpatient / Partial Hospitalization Programs at UCONN Health as well as the program manager for continuing care at Western CT Mental Health Authority in Waterbury (DMHAS).  Sean has been working with children and adults with disabilities for over 20 years. 

Alycia Trakas began her work at the Bureau on October 26, 2018 as an Education Consultant within the Program Improvement Unit.  In addition to general special education support for school districts and parents, her primary responsibilities include Specific Learning Disabilities/Dyslexia; Secondary Transition, Post-School Outcomes, and Graduation and Dropout.

Alycia comes to the Bureau with a wealth of knowledge and experience from her previous role as a School Principal and Assistant Superintendent of Schools and as an Interventionist/Teacher.  She has worked in the field of education for almost 15 years. 

Please join the Bureau in welcoming Sean and Alycia!