Exceptional Education Newsletter

RPS Office of Exceptional Education May 2021

In this Issue

  • Compliance Corner
  • SEAC
  • Vertical Transition Meeting Update
  • ESY
  • Speech-Language Pathologist "May is Better Hearing and Speech Month"
  • Professional Learning Opportunities
  • Spotlight
  • Previous Issues

Thank you Teachers!

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Action Items

  • May updates to the December 1 Child Count, Indicators 9, 10, 11, and the Out of Compliance Spreadsheet are due on May 27, 2021
  • As schools hold IEP meetings for English Learners, Language Instruction Educational Program (LIEP), teachers should be invited to participate as team members.
  • Instructional and Compliance Coordinators (ICC's) should indicate "none" followed by the month of submission when there is no new information to report.
  • Revisions to the Out of Compliance Report should be captured each month under ICC Comments
  • Instructional Compliance Coordinator's Professional Development Schedule for April and May.
  • Administrators are welcome to attend. Please see the corrected dates for August.

Professional Development Days

  • Elementary ICCs • August 18th & 19th –Tentative ICC Academy Dates Secondary ICCs
  • May 27, 2021-Transition Partners Updates (DARS, SOAR 365, and Resources for Independent Living) (2:30-4:00)
  • August 18th & 19th –Tentative ICC Academy Dates Link to the 2020-21 Office of Exceptional Education Compliance Calendar: OOE Compliance Calendar

Closing Out 2020-2021 School Year

A gentle reminder to all ICCs: The School Closing Certification form serves as documentation that IEP meetings have been held for all students for the 2020-21 school year. All paperwork has been filed in the student's cumulative folder. Along with the finalization of all indicators and reports. Your principals will sign the form, and ICCs will submit it to the Coordinator of Systems and Processes of the Office of Exceptional Education by June 21, 2021.

As we close out the 2020-21 school year, the last audit that the Office of Exceptional Education will complete will be the vertical transition audit. We are requesting that ICCs assist their Instructional Specialist in reviewing 3 of their student's folders who participated in a vertical transition meeting. The IEP will be reviewed using the 2020-21 IEP Checklist. All reviews must be completed by May 18th. The elementary schools must include one student transitioning from Preschool to Kindergarten. Please reach out to Ms. Elizabeth Ragland or Ms. Alison Baugh Preschool ICCs for assistance.

Words of Encouragement

“Sometimes the strength within isn’t a big fiery flame for all to see. Sometimes it’s just a tiny spark that whispers ever so softly, ‘Keep going; you got this.'” — Unknown

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The school board has officially approved this year's SEAC! Congratulations to all of our awesome volunteers. We are so thankful for your time, energy, and commitment to helping our students and our community!

Any questions regarding SEAC please email seac@rvaschools.net or Carol Smith at Csmith27@rvaschool.net.

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Vertical Transition Meetings for rising 6th and rising 9th graders were very successful! ICCs commented on increased collegiality and improved communication between and among school levels. They also noted they learned much from one another, as well as about their incoming students. The priority given to these meetings, and the dedication to ensuring our students positively transition to their next school, are much appreciated by the Exceptional Education Department. The Office Of Exceptional Education also thanks all participating ICCs for completing the vertical transition surveys; your feedback and suggestions are valuable as we plan for 2021-2022. Thank you all for embracing this endeavor with professionalism, collaboration, and partnership. RPS ICCs ROCK!


ESY & Summer School Interest

ESY & Summer School Interest

Greetings, Teachers and Staff! As a reminder, if you are interested in teaching ESY or Summer School, please be sure to complete the interest survey that was sent out by the Talent Office. Interested individuals will still be required to complete an application (when available) and go through the hiring process. Please contact Dr. Rossi Volley at rvolley2@rvaschools.net if you have any questions or concerns.

Speech and Language Pathology

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Thank you Speech and Language Pathologist!

The Office Of Exceptional Education would like to extend a Special shout-out to our wonderful Speech-Language Pathology Team! Thank you for all of your hard work.

In accordance with the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association (ASHA), “May is Better Hearing and Speech Month!” This year’s theme is: Building Connections! Please take a moment to join me in celebrating our wonderfully talented Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs), and our fabulous Educational Audiologist. These highly sought after clinical educators tirelessly serve students through our Exceptional Education Department, and are skilled in evaluating and providing specially designed instruction for our students in keeping with federal, state and local requirements. RPS and the community at large is tremendously fortunate to have such a high caliber of therapy service providers (to include our fantastic PTs, OTs and Psychologists) who have logged countless hours in research and service delivery via virtual sessions with students in each of our K-12 schools, as well as our preschool centers and students in the broader community, who require our support. Despite COVID-19 creating barriers to their ability to physically connect with our students with special needs in a traditional “hands-on” manner, the degree of creativity in their activities and collaboration with parents and educational partners in therapeutic interventions via teletherapy is nothing short of phenomenal! Our therapists are passionate in their work, and exhibit a true appreciation for the many and varied needs of diverse learners. They are mindful of evidence based practices and current trends in their professions, and they do not hesitate to go the extra mile to assure that their students are equipped with appropriate and individualized modalities by which to access their educational programs, so that despite their disability, they are afforded opportunities to engage in meaningful and functional communication with their families, teachers and peers. That being said, if you haven’t already done so, please take a moment to join me in “Building Connections” and extending kudos and a huge “Shout-Out” to our amazing SLPs and our fantastic Audiologist, in observance of “May is Better Hearing and Speech Month!”

“Speech-Language Pathologists, also called SLPs, are experts in communication. SLPs work with people of all ages, from babies to adults. SLPs treat many types of communication and swallowing problems.”

  • American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) Speech-Language Pathologists provide specialized services for: Speech Language Cognition Swallowing Fluency Voice Auditory (re)habilitation
  • The focus of school-based Speech-Language Pathologists is the communication abilities of students. The school-based Speech-Language Pathologist’s goal is to remediate, improve, or alleviate student communication and swallowing problems within the educational environment.
  • SLPs serve “school-age children with communication disorders that adversely affect children’s educational performance” (IDEA).
  • Communication problems can affect success in classroom activities, participation, social interaction, literacy, learning. Special education services can be provided under the eligibility category of Speech-Language Impairment or as a related service for a different eligibility category.

Professional Learning Opportunities

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Augmenting Mathematics and Special Educator Teams for Middle School and Algebra I in the General Education Classrooms: The VDOE Office of Special Education Instructional Services, in consultation with the Office of STEM and Innovation, and in partnership with the James Madison University Content Teaching Academy, is sponsoring the Augmenting Mathematics and Special Educator Teams (AMSET) Academy. The Academy is designed for mathematics and special educator school teams working together to enhance student outcomes, especially for students with disabilities, by focusing on improving content understanding, pedagogical strategies, co-teaching strategies, and specially designed instruction in mathematics. This four-day virtual Academy will be held June 21, 2021, from 12:15 to 4 p.m. and June 22-24, 2021, from 12:30-4 p.m.

Special Education Teacher Support Academy (SETSA)

The goal of SETSA is to build the capacity and efficacy of early-career special education teachers by improving teacher effectiveness and reducing teacher attrition in K-12 classrooms. The Academy is designed for early-career (beginning year through year 2) special education teachers and experienced special educators interested in being trained as instructional coaches. It will enhance your knowledge and ability to meet the needs of students with disabilities successfully.

Dates: June 21- 24, 2021
Time: 10:00am - 3:00pm
Format: Virtual

District PD's

Thank you for attending our previous sessions. Please continue to sign up for professional developments through SCHED.

  • 5/19/211:00-2:00Applied Studies Framework: Developing The Plan
  • 5/19/211:00-2:00 Developing Quality IEP's
  • 5/19/212:15-3:15 High Leverage Practices
  • 5/19/211:00-3:15 Introduction to Inclusive Practices
  • 5/19/211::00-2:00 Dually Identified Students (EL/SWD)

Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) Co-Teaching Webinar Series

SESSION 1: June 15, 2021 9-10:30 a.m. Session Length: 90 minutes Title: Specially Designed Instruction (SDI): Are We on the Same Page? This session will review the core elements of specially designed instruction as it applies to co-teachers and their students. In addition, it will outline the process that special educators should use to analyze student needs and then select, implement with a teaching partner, and evaluate SDI in a co-taught environment.

SESSION 2: June 23, 2021 9-10:30 a.m. Session Length: 90 minutes Title: Macro-Specially Designed Instruction (SDI): Strategies and Techniques to Use Across Grade Levels and Subject Areas Some SDI is widely applicable and referred to as macro-SDI. Included in this category is direct explicit instruction, self-regulated strategy development (SRSD), and techniques to foster maintenance and generalization of student knowledge/skills. This session will overview these critical special education instructional methodologies and strategies, including examples of how they can realistically be incorporated into co-taught classes

SESSION 3: June 29, 2021 9-10:30 a.m. Session Length: 90 minutes Title: Specially Designed Instruction (SDI) for Reading, Writing, Math and Behavior Some SDI relates primarily to particular subject areas. This session will include examples of SDI across core academic areas and also address SDI for student behavior. Time will be reserved to address questions that have arisen from throughout the professional development series. All webinars will be held 9-10:30 a.m. on the scheduled dates. Once you have registered, an acknowledgement of the registration and a link to access the webinar will be sent to your email. Registration has been limited to 250 participants and a certificate of attendance will be provided.

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