In This Issue:
Message from OSEP Director,
Ms. Valerie C. Williams
Hafa Adai! I just returned from an incredible week in Guam with the six Pacific Outlying Areas and Freely Associated States during the National Center for Systemic Improvement’s (NSCI) Pacific Entities Learning Collaborative. I was able to meet with the special education departments in each of the entities and learn how they are both administering IDEA and providing services for nearly 6,000 children with disabilities. I was also able to hear about how our technical assistance providers are working with the Outlying Areas and Freely Associated States to ensure compliance with IDEA and improve results for children with disabilities..
If you are not aware, we are nearing the end of National Hispanic American Heritage Month (Sept. 15–Oct. 15). According to our IDEA Section 618 data, approximately 28 percent of school age children with disabilities are Latino—a figure that aligns with the overall percentage of Latino students in public schools. Census figures show that Latino children are the fastest growing racial/ethnic group of children in America. Further, according to census data the overall number of children in the United States would have decreased but for the increase of Latino children in America—93% of whom were born in the United States. Despite the growth rate, Latino communities were disproportionately impacted during the COVID-19 Pandemic, both in the rates of contracting COVID-19 and dying from COVID-19. Two years ago, the National Research Center on Hispanic Children & Families offered multiple suggestions on developing responsive adaptation in service delivery to Latino families as a result to COVID-19. Their recommendations are still relevant and are examples of how we can become more responsive to our children and their families’ needs.
Last month I talked about early childhood transition and wanted to share with you that for the upcoming year, I will be asking OSEP staff to think about how we improve the transition processes for all children with disabilities. APR Indicator 14, which measures post school outcomes showed a decline in median data for post-secondary education and employment for youth with disabilities who exit school. The Department of Labor’s Annual Youth Labor Force Participation Rate and Unemployment Rate shows that only 46.7% of adults with disabilities age 20–24 are part of America’s labor force (compared to 72% of comparably aged nondisabled Americans). This results in an unemployment rate of 16.5% for young adults with disabilities--nearly twice the rate of nondisabled Americans (8.7%). It is imperative that we begin discussing and providing meaningful transition services earlier in school so that our children with disabilities who leave school have the tools they need to live successful, fulfilled, independent lives.
OSEP Recognizes National Disability Employment Awareness Month
October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). NDEAM, led by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, is a nationwide campaign that raises awareness about disability employment issues and celebrate the many and varied contributions of America's workers with disabilities. This month serves as a reminder of the importance of our work at OSEP. As we strive towards fulfilling our mission to lead the nation's efforts to improve outcomes for children with disabilities, ensuring access to fair, equitable, and high-quality education and services, we continue to do so with our vision in mind: a vision for a world in which individuals with disabilities have unlimited opportunities to learn and to lead purposeful and fulfilling lives. For all children, including those with disabilities, entry into the workforce is a prominent marker of post-school success.
In support of State Education Agencies, Local Education Agencies, students with disabilities and their families, here is a list of resources from the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services and the Office of Special Education Programs, National Technical Assistance Providers, intended to assist transition age youth identify and move toward their postsecondary goals, including the area of employment:
To learn more about National Disability Employment Awareness Month and ways to promote its messages — during October and throughout the year — visit www.dol.gov/NDEAM.
OSEP Launches New Resource to Help Stakeholders Reduce Discipline Disparities
OSEP, in collaboration with our technical assistance partners, has unveiled a new webpage on the OSEP Ideas that Work website to share implementation-related resources supporting OSEP’s recently released Guidance to Help Schools Support Students with Disabilities and Avoid Disparities In the Use of Discipline. Here you will find:
- 8 Resources guides on positive, proactive approaches to discipline, which addresses topics such as: addressing discipline disparities, reducing exclusionary practices, and creating a positive predictable environment, among many others;
- Evidence-based approaches to support and respond to student, school, early childhood program needs;
- Strategies to support personnel preparation and professional development to address social, emotional, behavioral needs; and
- Video overview and links to OSEP Guidance to Help Schools Support Students with Disabilities and Avoid Disparities In the Use of Discipline.
For more information, please visit www.osepideasthatwork.org
New Documents Regarding Personnel Qualifications under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). (Oct. 4, 2022)
OSEP recognizes that states are facing many challenges exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, including worsening the impact it has had on the shortage of special education teachers and related services providers across the country. We also understand that in an effort to address these challenges, some states have policies and procedures in place that may not be consistent with IDEA requirements. OSEP believes it is critical to ensure that state educational agencies (SEAs) are fully aware of the IDEA requirements related to personnel qualifications and alternate certifications. The attached memo describes these requirements and also provides information about resources available to support states’ efforts in meeting them
New Documents to Encourage Collaboration Between State Agencies, Local Agencies and Head Start
The U.S. Department of Education's Office of Special Education Programs, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Head Start are releasing new documents to encourage collaboration between state educational agencies (SEAs), local educational agencies (LEAs), and Head Start programs to effectively meet the Individual with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requirements.
These documents make clear that SEAs, LEAs, and Head Start programs all have responsibilities for implementing IDEA to ensure that children with disabilities enrolled in Head Start programs receive a free appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment.
Updates from Our Partners
R8CC Presents: Accelerating Learning in Dayton Public Schools
Join the Region 8 Comprehensive Center on Monday, October 10, from 3:00pm – 4:00pm ET to learn from Dayton Public Schools (DPS) Superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Lolli about how the placement of two teachers in the district’s first, second, and third-grade classrooms helped student achievement return to pre-COVID levels. Funded primarily with federal COVID relief monies, DPS’s two-teacher model represents a targeted and novel approach to learning acceleration. Participants will hear from Dr. Lolli about how her team conceptualized, prepared for, and implemented the model, with practical advice for others who might be interested in adopting or adapting it. The target audience for this webinar includes Classroom Teachers, District Leaders, Community Members, and State Education Agency Staff.
To register, click here.
Technical Assistance (TA) Calls
During the first October call, OSEP invites Part B, Special Education Directors, 619 Coordinators, and Part C Coordinators to hear highlights of the Department’s recently released, Guidance to Help Schools Support Students with Disabilities and Avoid Disparities In the Use of Discipline. This presentation will focus on IDEA’s discipline requirements, as well as the longstanding practices that have resulted in high rates of exclusionary discipline for children with disabilities, particularly children with disabilities of color. Through the discipline guidance package, OSEP seeks to shift from an overreliance on exclusionary discipline to one of prevention and proactive attention to addressing the behavioral needs of children with disabilities.
OSEP will highlight three documents within the guidance package:
The session will include resources to support states in their effort to address the needs of students with disabilities and avoid the disparities in the use of discipline.
You are invited to a Zoom webinar.
When: Oct 13, 2022 04:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Topic: OSEP October National Technical Assistance Call
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
OSEP will conduct a second National TA Call on DMS 2.0 on Thursday, Oct. 27, 2022, at 4:00pm (EDT). As part of the Universal TA OSEP is providing for DMS 2.0, we intend to host periodic DMS National TA calls to provide guidance on specific components of general supervision in coordination with our monitoring activities, or other guidance related to DMS 2.0.
- The goal of DMS 2.0 is to improve outcomes and results for infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities and their families in conjunction with compliance.
- Our monitoring will focus on states’ systems of general supervision integrating both results and compliance
- These activities are organized around the 8 components of general supervision:
OSEP is using various protocols in our monitoring activities but encourage all states to use them as resources and self-assessments as appropriate. DMS 2.0 monthly TA calls will cover content, best practices and guidance for all state’s on the completion of the various protocols, expectations and address any questions.
You are invited to a Zoom webinar.
When: Oct. 27, 2022, at 4:00pm Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Topic: OSEP National TA Call on DMS 2.0
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
Previous TA Calls:
(All National TA calls are recorded and typically posted within a week on the OSEP National TA Calls and Related Resources webpage)
State Performance Plans / Annual Performance Reports (APRs)
We have posted the new FY 2023 SPP/APR submission documents (e.g., memo, instructions, etc.) on the IDEA website. The next OSEP Monthly TA Call on the SPP/APR submission will be on Thursday, Dec. 8, 2022.
IDEA Part B/C Grants
In an effort to provide increased transparency regarding the implementation of the requirements around significant disproportionality within states, that allows LEAs, and stakeholders to monitor significant disproportionality and to emphasize the importance of soliciting public input in the review and revision of risk ratio thresholds, cell sizes, and n-sizes, OSEP is posting states’ submitted Significant Disproportionality Reporting Forms. States had an opportunity to update their Significant Disproportionality Forms, if necessary, before the documents were posted to OSEP’s website by submitting revised forms with their FFY 2022 Part B grant application. States also will continue to provide updated forms to the Department, through their Part B grant applications, when any changes are made to their methodologies.
We are just working on reconciling 508 issues on a handful of forms, but most of the forms are available on the website.
The second portion of FFY 2022 IDEA Part B funds was disbursed on Oct. 1, 2022. Grant Award Notifications (GANs) were sent to Part B programs receiving funds. Due to an administrative error, the GANs will be reissued to include language referencing the Build America, Buy America Act (Pub. L. 117-58). This program requires that grantees and their subrecipients (subgrantees) and contractors use materials manufactured in the United States when using their grant funds for infrastructure projects or activities (e.g., construction, remodeling, and broadband infrastructure).
Grantees may request waivers to these requirements by submitting a Build America, Buy America Act Waiver Request Form. For more information, including a link to the Waiver Request Form, see the Department’s Build America Buy America Waiver website.
Differentiated Monitoring and Support (DMS)
The OSEP Technical Assistance (TA) Calls on DMS will resume Oct. 27, 2022, at 4:00pm (EDT).
To review other resources and documents related to our monitoring activities (e.g., DMS 2.0, DMS Reports, and older monitoring reports), please refer to the DMS section on our IDEA website.
- Data from SY 2012 includes students ages 6–21 and data from SY 2020 includes ages 5 (school aged)–21.
* Data for Louisiana in SY 2020 were suppressed for the age range 5 (School Age)-21.
Blog Post: Getting Started: Where Does Your Agency’s Existing Data Governance Live?
The saying that you can’t have data quality without data governance is true. And many worry that data governance is too complex and complicated—but it doesn’t have to be.
Check out DaSy’s blog post to learn more and remember, DaSy can provide technical assistance and resources for your data governance needs.
Three New IRIS Modules
The IRIS Center has released three self-paced, online modules for use in educator preparation courses and school or district PD activities.
Inclusion of Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities: Supports in the General Education Classroom, developed in collaboration with the TIES Center, is designed for general educators. This module explains fundamental concepts like core values and principles of inclusion, access to the general education curriculum, alternate achievement standards, educational goals, services, and supports, and more.
Addressing Challenging Behaviors (Part 1, Elementary): Understanding the Acting-Out Cycle discusses challenging behavior in terms of the seven phases of the acting-out cycle and offers strategies and tips for responding to students in each phase.
Addressing Challenging Behaviors (Part 2, Elementary): Behavioral Strategies describes low-intensity strategies that can increase initial compliance to teacher requests as well as others that can be implemented to prevent or decrease challenging behaviors. Key strategies include: behavior-specific praise, pre-correction, active supervision, high-probability requests, and opportunities to respond.
And for those of you in middle- and high school settings? Not to worry—secondary versions of these modules are coming soon!
All three modules include classroom video examples, free PD Certificates of Completion, Kahoot games, and more.
New Resource on Deaf-Blindness for School Administrators
School administrators play an important role in supporting the identification and referral of children who are deaf-blind. Identification of Children with Deaf-Blindness: Resources for School Administrators, by Deborah A. Ziegler, provides information to help school administrators increase their knowledge of deaf-blindness and strategies they can use to ensure that children with deaf-blindness are identified, referred, and receive appropriate services.
Addressing the Needs of Children with Disabilities and IDEA’s Discipline Provisions
On July 19, 2022, the U.S. Department of Education announced the release of new guidance from its Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) to help public elementary and secondary schools fulfill their responsibilities to meet the needs of students with disabilities and avoid the discriminatory use of student discipline.
These newly released resources are the most comprehensive guidance on the civil rights of students with disabilities concerning student discipline and build on the Department’s continued efforts to support students and schools through pandemic recovery.
Department of Education
Check the Department's COVID-19 Information and Resources for Schools and School Personnel web page for information and resources, including information and resources from other federal agencies.
OSEP’s IDEA Covid-19 Questions and Answers and Resources
The National Center for Systemic Improvement is the primary source for TA resources during the COVID-19 national emergency for IDEA Part B programs. The Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center is the primary source for IDEA Part C programs.
Visit the OSERS Blog
Visit our blog for powerful stories and useful information from parents, families, educators, and practitioners in the field. Be sure to bookmark sites.ed.gov/osers for future posts!
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