Quarterly Chronicle

for the Child Find, Evaluation, and ARD Supports Network

About us

Project Purpose

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) is committed to providing effective supports and guidance to Texas public schools in their implementation of strong and effective programs for students with disabilities. The purpose of this project is to increase capacity in Texas local education agencies (LEAs) regarding the implementation of effective practices related to child find, evaluation (including full and individual initial evaluations (FIIEs) and the admission, review, and dismissal (ARD) process. This will be accomplished through the development of easily accessible resources and professional development opportunities, both of which must reflect best practice regarding adult learning theory.

About this chronicle

This chronicle is to provide you with a highlight of the resources and tools created by the network team this quarter, descriptions and links to virtual workshops (both upcoming and recordings), links to relevant resources and entities, and to feature a relevant topic related to child find, evaluation, ARD committees, or IEP development.
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Student Data Review Guide Tools

The Student Data Review Guide When Considering a Referral to Special Education is designed to support school teams in reviewing and analyzing student data and information to make informed decisions regarding referrals for special education. This guide will help teams consider multiple areas that may impact the decision to proceed with a referral.

The Student Data Review Guide Summary of Responses provides an opportunity to graph responses from the Student Data Review Guide to obtain a visual representation of the student’s needs in the various areas. This visual representation is designed to guide the team through a process of individually considering a student’s data to make more informed referral decisions.

This supplemental response form to the Student Data Review Guide When Considering a Referral to Special Education is designed to help CLD review teams consolidate the referral information for easy reference as they analyze a variety of information.

Click HERE for more information.

Referral for Initial Evaluation Quick Guide and Video

This Special Education Referral for Initial Evaluation Quick Guide document highlights the key points and important resources for local education agencies (LEAs) to consider for receiving referrals and requests for initial special education evaluations. The quick guide provides an overview of procedures for referral for an initial evaluation request, what is required, considerations for developing special education operating procedures, and legal and state resources. An asynchronous video module accompanies this quick guide.

Click HERE for more information.

Initial Evaluation Referral and Evaluation Timelines

The Special Education Initial Referral Timeline provides an overview of the timeline and legal requirements for a referral for an initial special education evaluation from the point of campus or parent request for a referral for an initial evaluation to the initial ARD committee meeting where eligibility is determined, and may be another helpful resource for ensuring timelines and legal requirements are implemented.

The Special Education Full and Individual Initial Evaluation (FIIE) Timeline provides an overview of the various timelines for an initial evaluation and ARD committee meetings where eligibility is determined based upon when the school district received written consent for an FIIE.

Click HERE for more information.

Virtual Workshops

We are excited to offer FREE virtual workshops on a variety of pertinent topics related to child find, evaluation, and ARD supports.

If you cannot attend the live virtual workshop, please check the Recorded Sessions page after the workshop date and you can access the recording.

Upcoming Sessions

Recorded Sessions

Click HERE for recorded sessions links.

Best Practices for Conducting a Virtual Admission, Review, and Dismissal (ARD) Committee Meeting

This session is designed to address critical issues and provide best practices in conducting virtual admission, review, and dismissal (ARD) committee meetings. Topics to be included are the basic requirements of an ARD committee meeting, confidentiality considerations, preparing staff and families for the virtual ARD format, tips for engaging ARD committee members in the virtual meeting, and obtaining electronic signatures will also be addressed.

Evaluations During the 2020-21 School Year

The full and individual evaluation (FIE) must be comprehensive and yield decisions that are valid, data-based, and lead to the development of appropriate services. This session is designed to address critical issues in completing FIEs during in-school learning and remote learning, whether synchronous or asynchronous. Topics to be discussed include: planning the FIE, using multiple methods and sources of data to inform decisions, collection and interpretation of data given issues related to test administration and observations, and factors influencing decision-making.

ARD 101

This virtual workshop will review the requirements of an ARD committee meeting, including membership, participation, and components. Participants will gain an understanding of the different types of ARD committee meetings and the processes for mutual agreement. Learn best practices of a compliant ARD committee meeting and process.

Documenting Growth in the FIE

While it is important to obtain a peer comparison level of performance, standard scores and percentile ranks are not the best measures to document growth in students with disabilities. Equal interval scores compare a student’s performance to his/her previous performance. The purpose of this virtual workshop is to promote the inclusion of equal interval data in the full and individual evaluation (FIE).

Evaluating Dysgraphia in the FIE

Participants will gain a deeper understanding of the academic and underlying difficulties associated with dyslexia and develop a comprehensive plan for evaluating dysgraphia within an FIE.

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The Texas Education Agency (TEA) and the Child Find, Evaluation, and ARD Supports Network will not provide the Statewide Evaluation Personnel (SWEP) conference during the 2020-2021 school year. In lieu of holding a statewide conference, the Child Find Network will gather information on regional and state level needs and develop a proposal that considers the efficacy of large in person conferences as professional development.

If you would like to participate in the Statewide Evaluation Personnel (SWEP) Conference Future Planning Survey, please click on the link below. There are ten questions that should take approximately five minutes to complete. Thank you for your contribution. We appreciate your input!

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Important Child Find Reminders

Referrals for Children Ages Birth to Three Years

There will be situations when a family will contact their local school district to refer their child for an evaluation and possible services and supports. For children ages birth to three years, the LEAs, as soon as possible, but in no case more than seven days, provide referrals to the local ECI program for all children under three years of age discovered through the child find process. Further information regarding the referral to ECI can be located in the Texas Education Agency/Health and Human Services Memorandum of Understanding for Early Childhood Intervention.

To locate the local ECI program nearest to you, visit the Texas Health and Human Services Early Childhood Intervention Services website. You can search by city, county, or zip. One or more ECI programs will appear along with the address, phone numbers, email and Web site (if available); be aware, there may be several ECI programs in your city or county.

Evaluations for Children Ages Birth to Three Years

If the child will turn three years of age in fewer than 45 days, then the child is potentially eligible for preschool special education services. A referral should be made directly to the LEA as soon as possible. This is required per the regulations in Title 40 Texas Administrative Code Rule 108.1207.

Standard procedures regarding a parent request for a full and individual initial evaluation must be followed. If a parent submits a written request to a school district's director of special education services or to a district administrative employee for a full individual and initial evaluation of a student, the school district must, not later than the 15th school day after the date the district receives the request either:

• provide the parent with prior written notice of its proposal to conduct an evaluation; a copy of the procedural safeguards notice; and an opportunity to give written consent for the evaluation; or

• provide the parent with prior written notice of its refusal to conduct an evaluation, and a copy of the procedural safeguards notice.