Region 17 SpEd Updates

Child Find, Evaluation & ARD Supports - UPDATED 03/23/2022

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WooHoo for spring! Let the ARD's roll and the evaluation consents flow :)

Hope everyone had a good spring break!!! I know we are all ready to wrap this school year up! My SMORE is super full of new updates/information/training options. Be sure you check out all the options below and let me know if you have any questions :)

Get Ready for DYSLEXIA training opportunity overload :)

Dyslexia Coordinator Meeting

Wednesday, March 30th, 9am-4pm

1111 West Loop 289 Access Road

Lubbock, TX

Cynthia Hobbs and I will be doing this one together on March 30th. This is an all day session (9-4) and was initially intended for dyslexia coordinators only. We have decided to open this up to Diags/LSSP’s/SpEd Directors who would like to attend and learn more about the new SpEd and Dyslexia requirements. Cynthia will also be doing Module 2 of the new Texas Dyslexia Academy modules that will overview the new handbook updates.

Since we should no longer be operating in “silos” it is important that we start training on dyslexia together and learning as teams :) This would be a great opportunity for you to attend with your campus/district dyslexia staff and start building those relationships!

If you are interested in attending, please register here: This is an invitation only session so you will not find it through the ESC Works Region 17 website.

Dyslexia Identification: Single-Pathway and Best Practices with Dr. Ed Schultz

Monday, April 4th, 9am-4pm

1111 West Loop 289 Access Road

Lubbock, TX

Dyslexia identification in Texas has been impacted in recent years due to the corrective action plan (CAP), screening requirements, and students missing critical early phonics skills due to COVID 19. In addition, policy changes (Single Pathway and change of language in §TAC 80.1040) requires significant practice changes. This session will address these changes, where dyslexia can “hide” in the reading process, and how to structure a comprehensive dyslexia evaluation.

Registration Link:

Texas Dyslexia Academy - Module 1

Wednesday, April 13th, 9am-4pm

1111 West Loop 289 Access Road

Lubbock, TX

This all day training with Cynthia Hobbs will cover Module 1 of the Texas Dyslexia Academy. This module will be an overview of what dyslexia is and other conditions that may co-exist with dyslexia. This would be another excellent opportunity for our special education evaluators to learn more about dyslexia and the elements of readying that dyslexia impacts.

Registration link:

Dyslexia Handbook Update

On September 3rd, 2021, the State Board of Education (SBOE) gave final approval for updates to the Dyslexia Handbook. Some of the updates to the Dyslexia Handbook may require LEAs to make policy, procedure, and practice changes. LEAs were informed of these changes in a To The Administrator Addressed letter in September, 2021 so that they could be well positioned to be in compliance once the changes went into effect. LEAs are encouraged to inform staff and begin the process of preparing for implementation, so they are well positioned to be in compliance once the changes go into effect.

The updated Texas Dyslexia Handbook, linked below, is in effect as of February 10th, 2022.

Texas Dyslexia Handbook 2021

***NEW Appendix A - Dyslexia Handbook FAQ (Updated March 18, 2022) NEW ***

Additional appendices will be posted as they are finalized and become available.

The Power of Native Language Influences: Assessment Considerations and Working Alongside Interpreters

April 25, 2022 for ALL assessment staff (SLP’s, Diagnosticians, and LSSP’s)

Phuong Palafox is an amazing speaker! Don’t let the title discourage you from attending. This information is applicable to ALL of us who evaluate students for special education 😊

As educators, it is imperative for us to understand the intersections of cultural responsiveness as we adhere to our roles and responsibilities within educational settings. Within the scope of our professional work, we need to incorporate evidence-based considerations related to native language influences, under-resourced and under-funded environments and individualized narratives of students and their families. Participants will gain an effective and human-centered framework for assessment and intervention strategies to use immediately. Attendees will walk away from the high-impact course fueled and empowered to support the comprehensive needs of our diverse populations.

  • Participants will identify culturally responsive considerations for the entire IEP process--from intake to assessment to IEP meeting.
  • Participants will describe the assessment framework for discerning a speech/language disorder from natural, native language differences.
  • Participants will describe the process for effectively working alongside interpreters.
  • Participants will describe culturally responsive, family-centered considerations to obtain information for assessment protocols.


Core-Selective Evaluation Process (CSEP) 4-Part Series with Dr. Ed Schultz

This four-part series will provide a comprehensive training in all aspects of CSEP which will prepare evaluators for initial implementation in the 22/23 school year. While all evaluators will benefit from all trainings, scheduling demands sometime interfere. Districts will benefit if they make sure a small leadership team is present at all meetings who can transfer knowledge to their districts. Teams should engage in follow-up discussions and train others in order to build capacity in their organizations.

· Day 1 (May 2nd): This session will introduce CSEP and provide a strong rationale of its use, especially in this era of change. CSEP has been used successfully implemented in numerous districts across Texas; success stories will be shared as well as barriers to implementation. Basic steps in CSEP, principles, and best practices will be explained and illustrated with case studies. Linking best practice to current policy will also be emphasized. (Overview)

· Day 2 (May 31st): This session will build on Part 1 and will use case studies to help the evaluator increase their skills in a) core-test selection, b) selective testing, c) interpreting norm-referenced data beyond standard scores (RPI, Task Demands, Conditional Analysis), and d) test publisher recommendations for most used tests (e.g.,WISC-5, WIAT-4, WJIV, etc.). This session will also update current thinking regarding the CHC model to be able to gain more insight into the learner and increase diagnostic precision. (Advanced Interpretation)

· Day 3 (June 27th): This session will go beyond norm referenced data as SLD identification requires the use of multiple sources of data. Evaluators will learn how to collect, analyze, and integrate this data as well as be able to “anchor” this information to norm-referenced testing data. Understanding “what” the students struggles with using informal data (including instructional response) combined with norm-referenced testing explaining “why” the student is struggling will lead to a better understanding of learning and help the evaluator develop impact statements. Assessing special populations (English Learners) using CSEP will also be discussed. (Informal data integration)

· Day 4 (July 11th): This session will summarize all the learning in days 1-3 by focusing on communicating results in written and oral communication. When using CSEP, written reports go beyond test descriptions and test scores to fully explain how a pattern of strengths and weaknesses in “intellectual development” may explain why a student is not meeting grade-level standards. Multiple examples will be used including reports of students who do not qualify (DNQ) for special education. (Communication and Report Writing)

ARD Committee Manager Training

Admission, Review, and Dismissal (ARD) Committee Manager Training

This FREE professional development session is a self-paced, online course that is intended to provide participants with best practices to ARD committee managers for local education agencies (LEAs) that choose to use this model. This course is intended to provide information, guidance, and best practice for successfully achieving the expectations, roles, and responsibilities of an ARD committee manager, including scheduling ARD committee meetings, preparing and finalizing required ARD committee paperwork, facilitating the ARD committee meeting, and supporting families and school personnel with the ARD committee processes.

Click HERE to register for the session.

Supplemental Special Education Services (SSES)

The following Texas Administrative Code (TAC) rule action was filed with the Texas Register for publication in the December 10, 2021 issue:

Adopted New 19 TAC Chapter 102, Educational Programs, Subchapter MM, Commissioner's Rules Concerning Supplemental Special Education Services Program, §102.1601, Supplemental Special Education Services and Instructional Materials Program for Certain Public School Students Receiving Special Education Services

Summary: The adopted new section implements the Supplemental Special Education Services program added by Senate Bill 1716, 87th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2021. The new section was adopted with changes since published as proposed.

Effective Date: December 12, 2021

TEA has also issued a TAA about the Supplemental Special Education Services (SSES) Program - read the TAA by clicking HERE.

We MUST include SSES information in our ARD deliberations. Make sure you have included the information from the TAA within your deliberation templates.

Standards Based IEP Training

Upcoming SB IEP Training Dates:

This Standards Based IEP Training is from TEA and the Child Find, Evaluation, and ARD Supports network. Myself, Julianna Carpenter, Elda DeSantiago, and Kasey Murillo will be providing this training here at Region 17.

The content will include utilizing FIE data for IEP development, appropriate PLAAFP development, drafting annual goals and collecting data for progress monitoring. There will be something for everyone during this training so we are recommending it for evaluation staff (Diags/LSSP’s/SLP’s), ALL special education teachers, special education directors, related service providers, and anyone else who has a part in IEP development. The training is a 2-day face to face workshop and will be provided here at Region 17. We will not be offering this virtually. The activities and content require in-person attendance and lots of participation 😊

NEW! Q&A Document: Review of Existing Evaluation Data and Reevaluation

Question and Answer Document: Review of Existing Evaluation Data and Reevaluation

TEA has recently posted this Q&A document to the Child Find, Evaluation and ARD Supports Network website on the Reevaluations and Review of Existing Evaluation Data (REED) pages.
This question and answer document is intended to provide guidance and best practices to LEAs regarding review of existing evaluation data and reevaluation.

House Bill 785 FAQ

House Bill 785 FAQ and Updated Sample Student Restraint Reporting Form Available

House Bill (HB) 785 was passed during the 87th Regular Texas Legislative Session and was signed by the Governor on June 4, 2021. HB 785 amends statutory requirements related to student behavior plans, Functional Behavioral Assessments, and requirements for the documentation of student restraint and use of time-out. Commonly asked questions about HB 785 are addressed in a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document on this topic.

TEA has just posted an FAQ document for HB 785 :

It can also be found on the Special Education Guidance webpage under Question and Answer Documents.

To address new statutory requirements for student restraint documentation, a revised Sample Written Summary of Restraint form is now available in both English and Spanish. The revised form includes all statutorily required changes and proposed changes to Commissioner Rule regarding procedures for restraint documentation. Please continue to check back in the spring for any updates based on final, Commissioner Rule adoption.

Get Sample Restraint Form

IEP Measurable Annual Goals Q&A Document

This question and answer document is intended to provide guidance and best practices to local education agencies regarding ways to approach writing annual individualized education program (IEP) goals that ensure involvement and progress in the student’s grade-level academic standards. This is also known as a standards-based IEP process.

This guidance document was originally developed by ESC 20 as part of the Progress in the General Curriculum Network. It was updated June 2021 as part of the continuing work of the Child Find, Evaluation, and ARD Supports Statewide Initiative.

Click here to access the Q&A document -

Reminder: Senate Bill 89 Requirements

As a result of Senate Bill (SB) 89, the COVID-19 Special Education Recovery Act, Admission, Review, and Dismissal (ARD) committees must complete a required supplement as a written statement included in the IEP of each child enrolled in the local education agency (LEA) during the 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 school years by May 1, 2022. For details about the specific requirements ARD committees must document related to SB 89, you can:

Child Find, Evaluation, and ARD Supports Network - RECORDED WEBINARS

If you are looking for recorded webinars, on a variety of important topics, check out the Child Find, Evaluation and ARD Supports website: -

These webinars were recorded over the last year and are still very applicable to questions and issues in our field. Topic areas include:

  • Writing Effective Impact and Need Statements in the FIE
  • Reevaluations: From Review of Existing Evaluation Data (REED) to Evaluation
  • ARD 101
  • Documenting Growth in the FIE
  • Evaluating Dysgraphia in the FIE
  • Evaluation Dyslexia in the FIE - NEW
  • Writing Present Levels of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance (PLAAFP) and Developing Measurable Annual Goals - NEW

Autism 101 and Autism Supplement recorded trainings

The Texas Statewide Leadership for Autism Training created a recorded video that covers requirements for the Autism Supplement. These trainings are excellent and you will receive a certificate for CEU's hours that will be issued by Region 13.

Autism Supplement (CEU 1 hour):

Autism 101 (CEU 6 hours):

NEW Students with Visual Impairments: Eligibility for Special Education

Students with Visual Impairments: Eligibility for Special Education
The Students with Visual Impairments Eligibility guidance document provides information about determining the presence of the VI disability and educational need. Additional questions and references are also included.

NEW Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students: Eligibility for Special Education

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students: Eligibility for Special Education
The DHH Students Eligibility guidance document provides information about determining the presence of the DHH disability and educational need. Frequently asked questions are also included.

Elizabeth's Transition SMORE

Post-secondary Transition SMORE link:

This SMORE contains up-to-date information related to Transition, Graduation, SPP 13, etc.

Statewide Network websites

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The Network 1 Child Find, Evaluation & ARD Supports website has many helpful resources. They do not currently have anything posted specific to COVID 19 but the resources on this website would be good to have throughout any school year.

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The Network 9 Student-Centered Transition Network website is also a great resource for all things related to post-secondary transition. This website does have resources specific to COVID 19 and transition services. I also sent your district/SSA Transition and Employment Designee (TED) an email today with additional information and updates related to Transition, Graduation requirements, etc. due to the COVID 19 mandates. Contact your TED and have them share that email with you if you would to have those updates.

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The Legal Framework App

Check out the Legal Framework app! Both of these apps are free and available for download. Look for the Legal Framework image to download the app!