Quarterly Chronicle

for the Child Find, Evaluation, and ARD Supports Network

March 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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Texas Educational Diagnosticians Week!

March 1-5, 2021

Educational diagnosticians undergo specialized training to use a variety of assessments and measures to assist with enhancing students' performance in the classroom. By developing and recommending strategies and materials, these professionals help provide our students with the knowledge and skills fundamental for lifelong excellence.

We want to recognize the invaluable contributions of educational diagnosticians and their hard work to ensure a better future for our young Texans!

We appreciate all that you do for our students!

TEA Dyslexia FAQ Update

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) has updated the Frequently Asked Questions: Dyslexia and Related Disorders from March 2019. There are new sections with question and answers regarding dyslexia screening, dyslexia instruction, and dyslexia Public Education Information Management System (PEIMS) data submissions.

Click HERE for the updated FAQ.

STAAR Alternate 2 Eligibility Training Module

TEA's Student Assessment Division has developed a new supplemental training module to provide guidance to Admission, Review and Dismissal (ARD) committees when determining who is eligible for the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR®) Alternate 2.

Click HERE to access the module.

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NEW!!! Informed Consent Quick Guide and Video

The Special Education Informed Consent for Evaluation and Services Quick Guide document highlights the key points and important resources for local education agencies (LEAs) to consider for obtaining informed consent for special education evaluations and services. The quick guide provides an overview of procedures and requirements for obtaining informed consent, and legal and state resources. An asynchronous video module and handout also accompany this quick guide.

Click HERE for more information.

NEW!! Child Find Duty Quick Guide

This Child Find Duty Quick Guide document highlights key points and resources for local education agencies (LEAs) to consider for implementing child find. The quick guide provides an overview of child find, a summary of LEA responsibilities, and key points to remember.

Click HERE for more information.

Child Find Duty Training Course

The Child Find, Evaluation, and ARD Supports Statewide Network is developing an on-demand training course on Child Find duty requirements, titled Child Find Duty– Everyone’s Responsibility.

The intent of this training is to provide participants with a fundamental understanding of the definition and purpose of child find and requirements for Local Education Agencies (or LEAs). Specifically the topics addressed will be a child find overview, the key populations for whom child find focuses, and the LEA's responsibilities related to child find.

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

We have increased our webinar capacity to 3000!! If you were not able to register for a session previously, click on the registration link to register now.

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

Writing Effective Impact and Need Statements in the Full and Individual Evaluation

Description: This virtual workshop will review the development process of an individualized education program (IEP), which begins with the student’s full and individual evaluation (FIE). Participants will be provided guidance and resources for writing effective impact and need statements that will drive the creation of comprehensive present levels of academic achievement and functional performance (PLAAFPs) and development of an appropriate IEP.

Click HERE to register for Zoom session.

Reevaluations: From Review of Existing Evaluation Data (REED) to Evaluation

Description: A reevaluation must occur at least once every three years unless the parent and the local education agency (LEA) agree that it is unnecessary. A review of existing evaluation data (REED) is part of any reevaluation and is a process to identify what, if any, additional data is needed to determine eligibility and/or programming. Participants will examine regulations related to reevaluations, review the process for conducting a REED, and determine best practices of a comprehensive reevaluation.

Click HERE to register for Zoom session.

Recorded Sessions

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.