Quarterly Chronicle

for the Child Find, Evaluation, and ARD Supports Network

June 1, 2021

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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NEW!!! Free Online Child Find Duty-Everyone's Responsibility Training

This professional development session is a self-paced online course that is intended to provide participants with a fundamental understanding of the definition and purpose of child find and requirements for Local Education Agencies (or LEAs). The training will address the topics of an overview of child find, the key child find populations, and LEA responsibilities, including: written board policies and special education operating procedures; public awareness programs; coordination activities with other agencies; notification to families; targeted outreach to primary referral sources; special education referral procedures, including screenings; maintenance and reporting of accurate data, and professional development and training for staff.

Click HERE for more information.

NEW!!! Reevaluations: From REED to Evaluation Recorded Webinar

This webinar examines the regulations related to reevaluations, review the process for conducting a REED, and determine best practices of a comprehensive reevaluation.

Click HERE for more information.

Admission, Review, and Dismissal Committee Manager Training Course

The Child Find, Evaluation, and ARD Supports Statewide Network is also developing an on-demand training course for training ARD Committee Managers.

An ARD committee manager is a staff member who facilitates or leads ARD committee meetings and helps meet local, state, and federal guidelines for students being considered for or receiving special education and related services. This staff member often acts as a liaison during the ARD committee process between school personnel and a student’s parents or guardians. Other common job titles for this position include ARD Committee Facilitator, ARD Committee Chair, and Child- Centered Process Liaison.

This course will consist of six modules, beginning with an introduction and foundation of ARD committees, and then working through the responsibilities of an ARD committee manager throughout the school year, including beginning year planning, preparing for the meeting, conducting the meeting, following up after a meeting, and end of school year procedures.

Stay tuned for more information!

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Click HERE for recorded sessions links.

Triangulating Data in the Full and Individual Evaluation: Telling the Student's Story

Evaluations must be comprehensive and based on a variety of data sources. Participants will learn how to triangulate data (from more than two sources) to verify results. Consistency of findings leads to recommendations for evidence-based interventions and how to progress monitor those interventions.

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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NEW!! Parent's Guide to the Admission, Review, and Dismissal Process

Updated February 2021

The Parent’s Guide to the Admission, Review, and Dismissal Process is a comprehensive document that explains the admission, review, and dismissal (ARD) process and contains information that assists parents in participating effectively in the ARD committee for their child. Parents must be provided this document prior to the initial ARD meeting or upon request. Local education agencies (LEAs) are encouraged to maintain documentation of dissemination in the child’s eligibility folder.

Click HERE for more information, including a link to translations in additional languages.

New!! Notice of Procedural Safeguards

Updated February 2021

The Notice of Procedural Safeguards explains the rights and responsibilities of parents under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Parents must be provided this document once a year and with the following circumstances:

  • Upon initial referral or on request for evaluation;
  • Upon the first occurrence of the filing of a due process hearing complaint or special education complaint during a school year;
  • Upon a disciplinary change of placement; or
  • Upon a request by a parent.

The local education agencies (LEAs) must maintain documentation of provision of this document to parents in the child’s eligibility folder.

Click HERE for more information, including a link to translations to additional languages.

Updated State Performance Plan Indicator 11 (Timely Initial Evaluation) TEAL Application Resources

Updated State Performance Plan Indicator 12 (Early Childhood Transition) TEAL Application Resources

Supplemental Special Education Services (SSES)

Supplemental Special Education Services (SSES) are on-line accounts for eligible parents/caregivers of students with significant and complex disabilities that have been impacted by COVID-19 school closures. Families of students with eligible disabilities can use the on-line accounts to obtain special educational resources and supplies and/or services such as additional speech therapy or other specific services.

To learn more, click HERE.

Statewide Technical Assistance Networks

As part of the dissemination of discretionary funds that TEA receives under IDEA-B for state-level activities, TEA provides grants for statewide leadership networks. Networks address major, thematic topics that are identified as critical technical assistance and support needs for the state.

Click HERE to learn more about the current networks.