New Special Education Professional Learning Modules

The Bureau of Special Education (BSE) in partnership with the State Education Resource Center (SERC), has developed a series of Special Education Professional Learning Modules with three central themes running throughout the series:

  • individualized education program (IEP) development (for compliance and quality),
  • culturally-responsive family-school partnerships, and
  • State and federal special education regulations.

Several of these professional learning opportunities will be offered prior to the close of this school year, but all will be offered during the 2017-2018 school year, with some modules offered as overviews and others as in-depth learning opportunities.

Intentionally designed with a target audience that includes general educators/school leaders as critical partners, participants will return to their districts with tools and strategies ready for implementation to build staff capacity and to better support students with disabilities and their families.

Individual module details and registration information may be found at:

Special Education Professional Learning Modules

We’re Moving!

As a reminder, the Bureau of Special Education, along with all other offices of the State Department of Education, with the exception of the Connecticut Technical High School System, is moving to a new location.

Beginning on January 17, 2017, the Bureau of Special Education will be housed at 450 Columbus Blvd., Suite 604, in Hartford. The facility on Columbus Blvd. is located at the intersection of Interstates 91 and 84 along the Connecticut River. All telephone numbers will remain the same.

 

450 Columbus Blvd., Hartford, CT 06103. The new location of the State Department of Education

450 Columbus Blvd., Hartford, CT 06103. The new location of the State Department of Education

For mailing purposes, please use the following address: State of Connecticut, Department of Education, Bureau of Special Education, P.O. Box 2219, Hartford, CT 06145, Attention: [consultant’s name here].

For a time, the Postal Service will forward any mail sent to the old Hartford or Middletown addresses.

If you are visiting our new location, our physical address is: State of Connecticut, Department of Education, Bureau of Special Education, 450 Columbus Blvd., Suite 604, Hartford, CT 06103.

Visitors are directed to park in the Morgan Street garage and a nominal parking fee will be required. After parking, take the elevator down to the street level and using the cross walk, walk across the street to the public entrance of 450 Columbus Blvd. On-street parking is also available.

When visiting, you must sign in at the security desk with photo identification. All visitors will be entered electronically into the visitor management system and issued a visitor’s badge. Security personnel will contact the person whom you are visiting and direct you to an elevator where you will proceed to the appropriate floor. Your contact person will typically meet you in the elevator lobby of that floor and escort you to your meeting location. Please remember to turn in your visitor’s badge when you leave.

Additional information is available on the Connecticut State Department of Education Web site: CSDE is Moving!

Directions to the Morgan Street Garage

From the South

  • 91 North
  • Exit 32A-32B
  • Exit 32B Trumbull St
  • At light turn Left onto Market St
  • At 3rd light turn Left onto Talcott St
  • Garage is on your Left

From the North

  • 91 South
  • Exit 32A-32B
  • Exit 32B Trumbull St
  • At light turn Left onto Market St
  • At 3rd light turn Left onto Talcott St
  • Garage is on your Left

From the West

  • 84 East
  • Exit 50 Main St
  • At 3rd light turn Right onto Market St
  • At light turn Left onto Talcott St
  • Garage is on your Left

From the East

  • 84 West
  • Exit 50 Main St
  • At light turn Left onto Market St
  • At 2nd light turn Left onto Talcott St
  • Garage is on your Left

A map of 450 Columbus Blvd. and the Morgan Street Garage area.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Change in Topic for the February 10, 2017 Leadership Forum

There have been numerous requests from the field for discussion and guidance around Youth and Mental Health/Behavioral Issues faced by leaders and educators in their schools and districts.  We have been able to adjust the topic for our February 10, 2017, Leadership Forum to focus on this topic, facilitated by CSDE Consultants.  Since many have already registered for the February session prior to this change in topic, if you have already registered but would like to withdraw given the change, please email Linda Adorno at SERC, adorno@ctserc.org.  For new registrations, please go to https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-bureau-of-special-education-february-leadership-forum-registration-27758535527 . We do apologize for any inconvenience.

Early Childhood Privacy and Confidentiality


The U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) released a guidance document on Early Childhood Privacy and Confidentiality to assist early childhood programs under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) address privacy and confidentiality issues.  The document was produced and disseminated in response to requests for clarification of the privacy and confidentiality provisions of the IDEA for young children. This document is intended to provide responses to frequently asked questions to facilitate and enhance States’ implementation of IDEA privacy and confidentiality provisions and can be used in conjunction with the 2014 side-by-side guide of the IDEA and FERPA Confidentiality Provisions. The document can be accessed by the following link: http://www2.ed.gov/policy/speced/guid/idea/memosdcltrs/idea-confidentiality-requirements-faq.pdf.

Birth to Three Transition Update

The Birth to Three System has undertaken a recent review of their policies, procedures and practices specific to a number of cost saving measures proposed by their Birth to Three providers.  Some of the proposed measures are specific to the transition of age-eligible toddlers with disabilities to their school district.  The Birth to Three System administration has undertaken a careful and considerate review of the proposed measures and has provided written guidance to their providers in response.

The guidance provided by the Birth to Three System to their providers includes the following:

  • Convening of a Transition Conference

The obligation of convening a Transition Conference is the responsibility of the child’s service coordinator in the Birth to Three System.  With parent consent, a representative of the school district will be invited to the Transition Conference.  The IDEA Part C regulations require that meeting arrangements be made with, and written notice provided to, the family and other participants early enough before the meeting date to ensure that all will be able to attend (C.F.R. §303.342(d)(2)).  The IDEA Part B requires a school district representative participate in the Transition Conference (20 U.S.C. 1412 Sec. 612(9)).

  • Location of a Transition Conference

The date, time and location of the Transition Conference is based upon the IDEA Part C requirement that the meeting be convened at a setting and at times that are convenient for the family (C.F.R. §303.342(d)(i)).  There are no requirements in the Birth to Three System about where a Transition Conference should or must be held.  Rather, the decision regarding the Transition Conference location is made by the child’s family.  Meeting locations could include the home as well as a school facility.

  • Transition Activities Under IDEA Part C

The IDEA Part C identifies a number of required activities that would assist in supporting the transition of a child and family from the Birth to Three System.  Included is discussions with, and the training of parents, regarding future placements and other matters related to the child’s transition; and ways to prepare the child for changes in service delivery, including steps to help the child adjust to, and function in a new setting (C.F.R. §303.344(h)(2)(i)-(ii)).  To that end, the Birth to Three System identifies that consideration should be given to holding the Transition Conference at a school location as a way to introduce the child and family to the school facility, school personnel and the school community.  This and other types of introductions to upcoming changes for the child and family can be planned next steps to assist the child and family in becoming acquainted with and establishing relationships with new service providers in their school district.

  • Providing Child Assessment Information for Transition

There is nothing in the IDEA Part C or in the Birth to Three procedures that require Birth to Three programs to provide child specific evaluation reports to the child’s school district.  The Birth to Three System’s procedures do identify that programs “may”, upon the request of a school district, provide updated child information to support the child’s transition.  The Birth to Three System requires that programs complete a curriculum-based assessment three (3) months after receipt of Birth to Three services, as part of the ongoing assessment of a child’s strengths and needs and prior to the child’s exit while enrolled in the Birth to Three System.  Birth to Three programs can provide any updated curriculum-based assessment summaries or other child specific information that might be helpful to the child’s school district in understanding the strengths and needs of the child.  The obligation for the initial evaluation to determine a child’s eligibility for special education belongs to the child’s school district under the IDEA Part B provisions (C.F.R. §300.301, §300.305, §300.306).

  • Participation at Planning and Placement Team (PPT) Meetings

Under the IDEA, Part B, the school district, at the request of the parent, must invite the child’s service coordinator or other representatives of the Birth to Three System to assist with the smooth transition of services (C.F.R. §300.321(f)).  The Birth to Three System encourages their providers to attend the PPT meeting to assist in contributing to the determination of a child’s eligibility for special education.  The family, with the support of the child’s service coordinator, can provide child specific information about a child’s strengths and needs and child progress made during receipt of early intervention which can contribute to the PPT discussion and decision-making.

 

Announcing CAS Special Education Coaching Support Grant

Time sensitive – open submission ends December 15, 2016.

The Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) Bureau of Special Education and the Connecticut Association of Schools (CAS) Partnership

CAS is pleased to announce the availability of a grant to support special education administrators who are in years one through three in their position. In response to reports from the field indicating that newly appointed special education administrators would benefit greatly from the support of an executive coach with special education expertise, CAS has been working with the CT State Department of Education to develop a special education executive coaching model. The new model was approved in September and the CSDE has agreed to support the model through a competitive grant process made available to districts. Grant awardees can receive a coach at no cost for the services provided.

Through this grant, the CSDE and CAS will work collaboratively with partner districts to:

  • support the transition of a new special education administrator;
  • create a structured, individualized support plan for the administrator;
  • build capacity for supporting equitable learning experience for all students, specifically, students with disabilities; and,
  • enhance district capacity for implementing and sustaining successful practices that are developed throughout the year by providing training and technical assistance and resources to identified special education administrators.

Coaches will work with administrators to develop good time management and organizational skills. Systemic collaboration with all staff within the district will also be an area of focus. Ultimately, differentiated support will be provided as determined by district and school needs. Projected outcomes include increased job effectiveness; improved staff satisfaction and retention; timely responses and resolutions to compliance related matters; improved staff and family communication; and increased parent satisfaction. The coaching support will help to ensure compliance with federal and state regulations.

For further information and to download the grant application, please visit
CAS Special Education Coaching Grant Application or go to Web address: http://www.casciac.org/pdfs/CAS_Special_Education_Coaching_Grant_Application.pdf

For specific questions pertaining to this competition, please contact:

  • Marie Salazar Glowski, Assistant Executive Director — Connecticut Association of Schools, at (203) 250-1111, extension 3926 (mglowski@casciac.org); or,
  • Dr. Don Briere, Education Consultant – Connecticut State Department of Education, at (860) 713-6931 (donald.briere@ct.gov).

 

 

Birth to Three Transition Update

The Birth to Three System has undertaken a recent review of their policies, procedures and practices specific to a number of cost saving measures proposed by their Birth to Three providers. Some of the proposed measures are specific to the transition of age-eligible toddlers with disabilities to their school district. The Birth to Three System administration has undertaken a careful and considerate review of the proposed measures and has provided written guidance to their providers in response.

The guidance provided by the Birth to Three System to their providers includes the following:

1. Convening of a Transition Conference
The obligation of convening a Transition Conference is the responsibility of the child’s service coordinator in the Birth to Three System. With parent consent, a representative of the school district will be invited to the Transition Conference. The IDEA Part C regulations require that meeting arrangements be made with, and written notice provided to, the family and other participants early enough before the meeting date to ensure that all will be able to attend (C.F.R. §303.342(d)(2)). The IDEA Part B requires a school district representative participate in the Transition Conference (20 U.S.C. 1412 Sec. 612(9)).

2. Location of a Transition Conference
The date, time and location of the Transition Conference is based upon the IDEA Part C requirement that the meeting be convened at a setting and at times that are convenient for the family (C.F.R. §303.342(d)(i)). There are no requirements in the Birth to Three System about where a Transition Conference should or must be held. Rather, the decision regarding the Transition Conference location is made by the child’s family. Meeting locations could include the home as well as a school facility.

3. Transition Activities Under IDEA Part C
The IDEA Part C identifies a number of required activities that would assist in supporting the transition of a child and family from the Birth to Three System. Included is discussions with, and the training of parents, regarding future placements and other matters related to the child’s transition; and ways to prepare the child for changes in service delivery, including steps to help the child adjust to, and function in a new setting (C.F.R. §303.344(h)(2)(i)-(ii)). To that end, the Birth to Three System identifies that consideration should be given to holding the Transition Conference at a school location as a way to introduce the child and family to the school facility, school personnel and the school community. This and other types of introductions to upcoming changes for the child and family can be planned next steps to assist the child and family in becoming acquainted with and establishing relationships with new service providers in their school district.

4. Providing Child Assessment Information for Transition
There is nothing in the IDEA Part C or in the Birth to Three procedures that require Birth to Three programs to provide child specific evaluation reports to the child’s school district. The Birth to Three System’s procedures do identify that programs “may”, upon the request of a school district, provide updated child information to support the child’s transition. The Birth to Three System requires that programs complete a curriculum-based assessment three (3) months after receipt of Birth to Three services, as part of the ongoing assessment of a child’s strengths and needs and prior to the child’s exit while enrolled in the Birth to Three System. Birth to Three programs can provide any updated curriculum-based assessment summaries or other child specific information that might be helpful to the child’s school district in understanding the strengths and needs of the child. The obligation for the initial evaluation to determine a child’s eligibility for special education belongs to the child’s school district under the IDEA Part B provisions (C.F.R. §300.301, §300.305, §300.306).

5. Participation at Planning and Placement Team (PPT) Meetings
Under the IDEA, Part B, the school district, at the request of the parent, must invite the child’s service coordinator or other representatives of the Birth to Three System to assist with the smooth transition of services (C.F.R. §300.321(f)). The Birth to Three System encourages their providers to attend the PPT meeting to assist in contributing to the determination of a child’s eligibility for special education. The family, with the support of the child’s service coordinator, can provide child specific information about a child’s strengths and needs and child progress made during receipt of early intervention which can contribute to the PPT discussion and decision-making.

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.

paraeducator-development-and-leadership-symposium-16-17-flyer

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.