Special Education Newsletter

Back-to-School Edition • September 2019

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TEA Rebooting the Special Education Listserv

In a continued effort to share as much information as possible related to TEA’s efforts to improve special education services across Texas, TEA’s Special Education team is rebooting the Special Education ListServ.

The ListServ reboot will feature regular communications, such as newsletters, including updates on TEA’s progress in implementation of the Texas Strategic Plan for Special Education, opportunities for broader stakeholder engagement, outcomes realized from various initiatives within the strategic plan, and information on new resources for families, students, and schools as they become available.

To help ensure that we can provide subscribers with the most relevant information possible, it would be helpful if ListServ subscribers could provide us with some information about themselves. Subscribers can do so by clicking the link below and responding to a quick, three-question survey.

TEA Listserv Subscriber Survey

Click this link to provide subscriber information

TEA Educator Survey

TEA is currently collecting data in order to inform the development of high-quality resources for parents/guardians of children with disabilities. TEA is inviting teachers, administrators, and related staff to complete an anonymous survey about their experiences in locating and disseminating special education resources to parents. The responses from this survey will be used to develop recommendations for the Parent Resources Initiative. The survey is voluntary and will remain confidential, as allowed by law. Thank you for your time and participation.

TEA Educator Survey

Click this link to take the survey.

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Local Accountability System

Districts interested in participating in the Local Accountability System (LAS) process for the 2019-20 school year must submit an online Notice of Interest and attend a TEA-sponsored training session during the fall of 2019.

The Notice of Interest (NOI) form and the 2020 DRAFT Local Accountability System Guide and Appendices are now available on the LAS website. By submitting the NOI form, districts will be provided with additional information about the LAS process but are not committed to participate in the process. The deadline to submit an NOI form for the 2019-20 school year is Friday, September 13, 2019.

Districts that anticipate participating in the LAS process during the 2019-20 school year are also required to attend a TEA-sponsored training session during the fall of 2019. The schedule for LAS training sessions this fall will be posted (available soon) on the LAS website. Districts with an approved NOI will be given priority when registering for the LAS training.

Have a question or comment about the local accountability system? Email LAS@tea.texas.gov or call (512) 463-9704.

Accelerated Testers Guidance

As was shared in the August 22 Enhancements and Updates to the Texas Assessment Program for 2019-20 TAA, there will be no policy changes to the testing requirements for accelerated students for the 2019-20 school year while the agency works to implement new funding established under House Bill (HB) 3. Districts should continue to follow existing policies and guidance concerning testing of accelerated students for the 2019-20 school year. HB 3 will provide funding for districts to administer the SAT or ACT, and this funding will facilitate the implementation of federal testing requirements for accelerated students who have taken the STAAR Algebra I end-of-course (EOC) prior to high school. During the upcoming school year, the agency will complete the required process to include these outcomes in August 2021 accountability.

Reminder on Substitute Assessments in Accountability


Beginning with the December 2019 and spring 2020 STAAR EOC administrations, substitute assessments will no longer be included in accountability calculations. During the upcoming year, the agency will amend Texas Administrative Code (TAC), Title 19, §101.4002, as appropriate, and remove references to the inclusion of substitute assessments in accountability during the adoption of the 2020 Accountability Manual. Substitute assessments may continue to be used to meet individual student graduation requirements, as adopted under 19 TAC §101.4002.

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Assistive Technology Newsletter

Click to access the Back to School edition

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Opportunity: Functional Behavior Assessment Workshop

The Burkhart Center for Autism Education & Research at Texas Tech University is partnering with ESC Region 11 to offer an intensive three-day Functional Behavior Assessment workshop. This FBA workshop is limited to 20 participants.

Information & Application Form

Click for more information

Autism Circuit 2.0


Autism Circuit 2.0 is seeking educators across the state of Texas to be a part of a unique cohort focused on learning more about evidence-based practices (EBPs) with students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Information & Application Form

Click for more information

Assembling the Pieces of the Puzzle: A Day of Learning for Parents of Children with Autism

October 29, 2019, is a day of learning dedicated to assisting families of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). The event is open to parents/guardians of children with autism in the Region 11 area. The training sessions will focus on behavior strategies, visual strategies to help structure the home, communication, understanding the IEP, social skill strategies, and more. Registration Deadline: October 20, 2019. See flyer for details.

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Statewide Supplemental Funds for the Education of Students with Visual Impairments (SSVI)

Option B won the majority vote - the funding formula based on student count at $362.50 per student. Eligible expenses for the SSVI award funds must be expended within the following dates: September 1, 2019, through May 30, 2020.

Please note that the final amount of SSVI funding may vary due to actual grant funding received by ESC Region 11 for 2019-2020. An award letter with the final SSVI grant amount and allowable use of funds will be sent to the district upon ESC Region 11's receipt of the grant funds from Texas Education Agency. Please contact me at pcannon@esc11.net or (817) 740-7587 if you have any questions.

Training Opportunities

iOS Voiceover Webinar Series

Voiceover is an essential accessibility feature to access iOS devices for students who are blind or have low vision. This webinar series, led by Carrie Farraje of Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, provides instruction and guided practice for teachers to learn this important accessibility feature. To receive access to recorded sessions, participants must register for the training.

Braille and Tactile Graphic Webinars

Sue O'Brien (Mattson) from TSBVI will be leading four webinars on Braille Production and Tactile Graphics to support braille transcription. For each webinar, participants can join via Zoom from their own computer and use their own braille production equipment to complete exercises or ask questions.

Scroll down to the Upcoming Professional Opportunities at the bottom of this newsletter for dates and registration.

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Industry-Based Certification Resources from TEA

Locate the one-page resource aligned with your district's course offerings. These requirements may inform course selections and ARD Committee recommendations when planning options with students. The certifying entity determines all requirements for their certification and additional information is available on the certifying entity's website.
Industry-Based Certification Resources from TEA

Click to access the TEA webpage of resources

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Scroll down to the Upcoming Professional Opportunities at the bottom of this newsletter for opportunities for Counselor training.
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Call for Proposals Form

Click this link if you are interested in hosting a breakout session for the ESC Region 11 Counselor Summit on October 31, 2019.

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Texas Deaf Education Legislation 2019

Click for LiveBinder of information

Engage Newsletter

Click to visit newsletter - Forward to appropriate staff - Subscribe for future newsletters

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Early Childhood Services

Click to open the Early Childhood webpage

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Evaluation Staff Newsletter

Click this link to open Wha'ts New in SPED Evaluation?

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Conference: Sharing Wisdom, Achievements, and Possibilities

From Diapers to Diplomas and Beyond

SWAP Conference

September 7, 2019, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Cook Children's Medical Center, 801 7th Avenue

Attend this annual conference geared towards parents who have children with disabilities and/or complex medical needs as well as youth ages 12-21.

Information & Registration

Click to register for this FREE event.

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Regional Transition-Related Events for Students and Families

  • Sept. 28 - Making Connections - ESC Region 11

  • Oct. 9 - iWork Youth Career Exploration - ESC Region 11

  • Oct. 24 - Capabilities Job Fair - ESC Region 11

  • Nov. 9 - Student and Family Strategies for Success - Mansfield Performing Arts Center

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ESC Region 11 SLP Scoop

Sign up for ESC Region 11’s SLP Scoop Newsletter here to receive information pertaining to professional learning opportunities and updates on speech-language pathology.

SLP Statewide Webinar Series 2019-2020

The Statewide SLP webinar series has proven to be an excellent source of continuing education for many speech-language pathologists and other school staff in Texas. Developed through the thoughtful collaboration of all 20 education service centers in Texas, this series hosts respected presenters delivering high-level content on topics related to school-based speech and language services. The webinars are from 9:00 a.m. to Noon, and 2.5 TSHA CEUs are provided.

Scroll down to the Upcoming Professional Opportunities at the bottom of this newsletter for dates and registration.


Please check out our ESC Region 11’s SPP 7 Webpage for information on the COS process, frequently asked questions about SPP 7, and free training resources. Please contact Katie Adams with questions.

Early Childhood Special Education

TEA is making an effort to clarify and promote understanding that any child (aged three through five years) who is eligible for and receiving special education and related services through a school district must be served in the least-restrictive environment specified in the child’s IEP. To that end, references to the term "PPCD" are being phased out over time and services will instead be called Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) services. TEA is currently working on revising their websites, documents, and resources to reflect the new verbiage.

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  • Begins Sept. 6 - Fall 2019 - Webinar + Canvas Series: Literacy Toolbelt - The Superpowers Within! - #024865
  • Sept. 19 - iOS Voiceover Series: 1 - Starting and Basic Gestures - #025401
  • Sept. 19 & Jan. 23 - New Speech-Language Pathology Academy - #024829
  • Sept. 20 - Speech Webinar #1: Supporting Adolescents and Young Adults Who are Facing the Challenge of Stuttering - #024958
  • Sept. 24-Dec. 10 - New Special Education Teachers Cohort - #024871
  • Sept. 25 - Braille Production: Getting Started with Braille and Tactile Graphic - #025384
  • Sept. 26 - Counselor Boot Camp - #026044
  • Sept. 30 - From the Classroom to the Testing Room: State Assessment Designated Supports Used Routinely and Effectively! - #025761


  • Oct. 3 - Teaching Students Self-Determination Skills - #025432
  • Oct. 10 - iOS Voiceover Series: 2 - Pages, Today View, Status Bar, and Dock - #025405
  • Oct. 17 - iOS Voiceover Series: 3 - App Switcher, Control Center, and Notifications - #025407
  • Oct. 18 - Collaborating for Student Success - “Save the Date”
  • Oct. 23 - Building Emergent Literacy Skills in Speech and Language Therapy - #025439
  • Oct. 23 - Braille Production: Creating Braille for Beginning Readers - #025386
  • Oct. 31 - Counselor Summit - #026000


  • Nov. 7 - iOS Voiceover Series: 4 - Settings, Rotor, and Voiceover Practice - #025408
  • Nov. 8 - Speech Webinar Series #2: SI Legal - #024965
  • Nov. 19 - Lunch & Learn: Community Resource Network - #026046
  • Nov. 20 - Braille Production: Tactile Graphics for Early Learners, Grades K-3 - #025387


  • Dec. 6 - All Access: Augmentative Alternative Communication and Assistive Technology - #025126 (AM) or #025127 (PM)
  • Dec. 9-10 - Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Foundations Team Training - #025433
  • Dec 13 - Speech Webinar Series #3: Integrating Time-Saving SLP Interventions into Classrooms and Curriculum - #025412
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Collaborating for Student Success Podcast Series

Click here to access the Podcast Series

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