Greer Gazette

March 2015


  • You must sign up in Eduphoria to get PD credit!!!

  • Remember those advancement meetings? Here are the next step

What needs to happen after the meeting:

Receiving Campus

1. Receiving lead teacher will review the entire Advancement Staffing Document for each student.

2. Designated teacher will use the document to be prepared for new student:

a. Support and services (i.e., individual para support for certain classes, unique inclusion supports, unconventional programming that will require campus to maximize use of staff and resources)

b. Core Curriculum needs that are not currently available on your campus. Any curriculum needs identified should be addressed with your campus coordinator by May 15th of the current school year.

c. Continuation of Phases that are currently in place at the end of the previous school year. There should be no interruption in the level or type of support provided by the previous campus. If changes in supports and services that need to be addressed through the IEP appear to be needed, these changes should be made prior to the end of the current school year. These changes can be made in an Advancement ARD meeting.

d. Behavior Plans or Positive Behavior Supports should be reviewed to ensure continuity of implementation. There should be no interruption in the level or type of support provided by the previous campus. If changes appear to be needed in the BIP or PBS, these changes should be made prior to the end of the current school year. These changes can be made in an Advancement ARD meeting.

e. Discipline concerns that are unique to the student and may require preplanning to appropriately address at the new campus.

f. ARD Paper Work (ARD Paperwork Verification Section). Teacher will initial each section in box provided and check yes or no as to whether or not additional action is needed at an Advancement ARD.

i. Review current PLAAFPs

ii. Review IEP goals and objectives

iii. Schedule of Services

iv. Accommodations

g. Lead teacher will collect all Advancement Staffing Documentation by February 27 and scan/email to their current coordinator and the sending campus lead teacher.

Sending Campus

1. Upon getting email with the scanned Advancement Staffing Document from the receiving campus lead, review Advancement Staffing Documentation forms and determine which students will need Advancement ARDs based on recommendations from the receiving campus identified in the Advancement Staffing Document.

2. Schedule Advancement ARD meeting (e.g., brief ARD, Annual ARD, IEP amendment).


With the district rezoning middle schools, we are asking that you hold off on any ARDS or placement decisions because parents are allowed to request a transfer. Please let your coordinator know if you have questions or concerns.


eSped for Secondary campuses:

Please remember to fill in the Transition Screens completely. You must have a post secondary goal in order for us to be in compliance.

eSped for all campuses:

Team Leaders: You can run your campus STAAR accommodations using the User Export application. Please verify the accommodations are accurate for the students. It will run an excel spreadsheet for your testing coordinator. Campus Administrators should also have access to this application.

Make sure you are using the PLAAFP template completely.

There have been a lot of changes made to eSped this month. Please take a moment to read, so you are familiar with the screen changes.

1. On the bottom of the Student Information screen, five staff dropdowns have been added to the existing Case Manager and the renamed Diag/LSSP/ARD Fac. The new fields are: Speech Therapist, OT, PT, Other Staff 1, and Other Staff (Other staff 1 can be used for AI/VI etc.

2. These fields will be available to be used in an Export Builder report.

Action needed: OT/PT/SPEECH Therapist will need to add their name for the students they service.

2. A Foundation High School Program Endorsement Opt-Out Agreement screen was added to ARD Forms. A check box and Go-To arrow leading to the screen are now on the IEP/Transition screen in the Graduation section.

3. Changes have been made on the Behavior/Language screen in ARD Forms.

• Added Yes/No/Clear radio button for BIP. This will be bi-directional with the BIP Yes/No/Clear radio button on the Accommodations/Modifications screen

• Added a Go-To arrow for FBP

• Check to Print statements:

◦ Reordered so Statement of assurance with regard to discipline will be first and the Code of Conduct Statement second.

◦ In Statement of assurance with regard to discipline, changed BIP to Individualized Education Program.

◦ Legal reference in Statement of Assurance with regard to discipline was updated.

• In Language Needs section, the check boxes will be replaced by a dropdown. This data will be bi-directional with the same field on the Modifications/Accommodations screen.

• When N/A is selected for “The recommendation on form LPAC Report is being accepted by the ARD/IEP Committee”, the remainder of the screen will suppress from printing.

4. The field to enter Language of delivery on 3 screens has been removed since it was redundant. The 3 screens are:

eStar State Assessment Accommodations (TAKS)

eStar State Assessment (STAAR)

STAAR Accommodations.

5. On the District Wide Assessment screen:

• When No is selected for the top statement, the remainder of the screen will suppress.

• Blank lines will be suppressed in the section where assessments are selected from the dropdown.

6. Changes have been made to the eStar Related Services, R11 IEP Services/Supports, and Personal Care Services screens.

• For eStar Related, R11 IEP Services/Supports, and Personal Care Services, when the Draft record is activated, any services without end dates will be auto-populated with the SpEd Services End date.

• The Clone button on the eStar Related and R11 IEP Services/Supports screen will create a copy of the selected record and Users will have the flexibility to modify the contents. This will always create a new record.

• In an Active record on the eStar Related, R11 IEP Services/Supports, and Personal Care Services screens: (Only applies when the option Create a new Service when editing Related/Other Services or IEP Services/Supports in Admin-ARD>PEIMS Preferences is chosen by the district eSTAR Administrator.)

◦ When start and end dates are in the past, the Edit icon will be hidden.

◦ When start and end dates are in the future, the Edit icon will be available and it will not trigger a new record creation.

◦ When start date is the present date or in the past and the end date is the present date or future, this is called a “current” Service. Modifying any element in a Current service (except the End Date) will trigger creation of a duplicate of the selected record with the new changes. The End Date in the original record will be changed to the modified date minus 1 day.

• For eStar Related, R11 IEP Services/Supports, and Personal Care Services a Cancel button has been added to the pop-up box when creating a new record. This allows to abort the process and not save any changes.

• A Hover feature has been added to eStar Related, R11 IEP Services/Supports, and Personal Care services. Hover the mouse pointer over the service and a pop-up will appear that will contain details of that service. NOTE: the Hover feature must be selected on the User’s My Profile screen

• On the eStar Related and R11 IEP Services/Supports screens, a new column is at the far right that shows the name of the district that added that service. This is to help clarify for transferred records. The column only appears on the screen and does NOT print on the schedule of services.

7. The Review of Committee Decisions screen has been refined and updated. The purpose of this screen is to summarize the main decisions made during a full ARD meeting.

• Some verbiage has been revised (assessment to evaluation, IEP to Goals/Objectives, Transition to Transition and/or Graduation Plan)

Additional Evaluation is needed - this will auto-populate from the field on the Review of Additional Evaluation/Information screen where additional evaluations needed are listed.

Timeline for Completion of Evaluation - this will auto-populate from the field on the Review of Additional Evaluation/Information screen where the timeline for completion of additional evaluations is listed.

Behavior Intervention Plan will auto-populate from the Behavior Intervention Plan Yes/No radio buttons on the Behavior /Language screen.

Transportation Services will auto-populate from the Special Transportation Yes/No radio buttons on the R11 Schedule of Services screen.

• Supplements section (formerly titled Services) will have a check auto-populated when the IF CHECKED box is selected on the supplement. The supplements are organized alphabetically.

8. When a Draft is created, all electronic signatures in the ARD will automatically be cleared.

9. The Prior Written Notice screen in ARD Forms will now have a check at the top that can be clicked to exclude from the Full ARD bundles. (You should NEVER check this one. We are legally required to have PWN as a part of any ARD meeting. This feature was added for another district – they use an internal form and not eSped for this piece.)

10. The field for the date that Procedural Safeguards were/will be given is now multi-directional on the list of screens below. If the date is changed on any field it will change on all the others.

Notice of ARD

Notice of Proposal to Evaluate

Notice of Proposal or Refusal

Notice of Action

Notice of Revocation of Consent

Notice of Full and Individual Evaluation

Prior Written Notice in ARD Forms

**The field in the Mutual Agreement section on the Committee Members and Other Participants (2) screen is NOT connected to the others and remains a stand-alone field.

11. Updated wording has been added to the notices in the Notices application and the Prior Written Notice in the ARD Forms application to better align with the Legal Framework. “The parent(s) of a student with a disability/adult student has protection under the procedural safeguards of the IDEA.” was added to the Procedural Safeguards section.

12. On the Transportation Eligibility report in ARD Forms, suppression has been added to reduce the length of the printed report. Only what is selected or completed on the screens will print.

13. An Orientation & Mobility eligibility screen and corresponding report has been added to the FIE application to meet the new evaluation requirement in 19 TAC §89.1040(c)(12).

14. The 2 Contact screens in ARD Forms have been added to the Private School Forms application.

15. This is just a reminder of a notice sent previously that we have removed the screen labeled R11 Schedule of Services (2). Screen numbers have been automatically adjusted

STAAR A ~F and Q


Q: If you have technical difficulties on the day of testing contact:

Contact TEA’s Student Assessment Division at 512-463-9536 also please contact Gordon Butler/Leighann Johnson at central office ext. 4023

Q: Does Oral Administration need to be documented for students taking STAARA ? What about documenting the level of reading support students receives on STAAR A?

No. According to the Oral Administration policy, this accommodation does NOT apply to STAAR A since this assessment is not listed in the “Assessments” section of the policy.

In addition, the rationale for Oral Administration NOT applying to STAAR A is included in the “Examples/Types” section of the policy.

The IEP/IAP should NOT list Oral Administration (or levels of reading support) as a testing accommodation if the student is eligible for STAAR A. Text-to-speech is an embedded accommodation and the student will use it independently when needed.

Q: Can the test administrator assist students having difficulty navigating through STAAR A?

At any point during the test session, the test administrator may use the SAY directions in the Test Administrator Manual to assist students if they have trouble navigating through the assessment or need reminders of how to turn the tools and accessibility features on and off. In addition, the test administrator may read aloud the information presented to the student in the Help tool.

Q: Can the test administrator set up the student’s online settings or can a “reminder card” with the student’s preferences be provided to each student?

The test administrator may NOT set up the student’s accommodation preferences nor can the test administrator require a student to use the preferences determined during the tutorials.

However, a test administrator may provide the student with a “reminder card” that indicates the settings the student prefers as determined during the tutorial session. The student must be allowed to determine whether he or she uses these settings when taking STAAR A.

Q: Since STAAR A is an online assessment, will students taking a writing test have to type their responses to the written compositions?

Students taking STAAR A will be recording their responses online, which includes typing responses to the written composition. However, students who are eligible for the Basic Transcribing accommodation may have the test administrator type responses (mistakes and all) into STAAR A.

TEA is currently in discussion regarding the typing proficiency of students with disabilities taking STAAR A.

Q: Are there any graduation implications for a student who takes STAAR A instead of STAAR?

No. STAAR A is a general assessment just like STAAR

Please review and let me know if you have further questions! This will be posted in canvas.

Resource Classrooms

The power of observation

How do we know that a student is learning? What behaviors must they demonstrate for the teacher to draw the conclusion that the student has learned? Who determines learning? The teacher, the curriculum, and the standards do.

The current measure of learning is assessment. The student must indicate what he knows by answering questions in a test format. Then, educators use the results of the assessment to determine what students have and have not learned.

However, there is a piece missing that is important to determine if a student has learned and is learning.

The missing piece is observation. What is observation? Listening, watching and waiting. Listening to what the student is saying. How do they explain what they are doing? Are they clear in their explanation or hesitant?

Watch what the student is doing. Write down, or record by use of pictures, what the student is doing. Do not question while watching, as this may cause the student to change course from what he intended to do. Just watch and record. Waiting involves regarding the student’s timing in completion of the assessment.

The observer must avoid inference while observing. Inference is not observation. It is making assumptions — but observation is answering questions. When a person infers, they see what they want to see. It is easy to add assumptions to observations to answer why something is occurring with a student.

We need to evaluate ourselves as we observe to make sure we are not adding inference statements, as these may inadvertently become facts when they are not.

Educators can observe the student while he takes a test to add to the depth and breadth of the assessment. Watch how the student makes a choice. Why do they choose what they do? Ask them — be interactive — ask why they did what they did.

The written narrative of the observation can be attached to the assessment to provide additional information that the teacher needs to determine learning. This provides a supplementary component to formative and summative assessment.

Consider this example: A second-grade student is solving double-digit addition equations for an assessment. The teacher provides the assessment and then grades the test, looking for answers that are correct. This is a typical procedure for a math assessment.

However, if observation is added to the assessment, the teacher could record information that would not be known from just seeing the correct or incorrect answers. Some questions to answer through observation could be:

· What procedure did the student use to answer the problems?

· Did the student use his fingers to count up to the answer, use a number chart or number line, or does he have the facts memorized?

· Did he demonstrate the correct procedure for regrouping?

· Did he have to erase and re-solve the problems? If so, why?

· How much time did it take to complete each problem?

· Which problems were the most difficult to complete?

There is power in knowing. When a student can show and verbally tell a teacher what he knows, there is a greater measure of learning.

There is a greater amount of assurance and motivation to continue on with learning a concept when the student knows he understands and gains commendation from his teacher. There is a greater confidence for the teacher that the instructional methods she has used are effective for the student to learn.


General Classroom Management:

Teaching students by modeling is the best way we can foster learning that facilitates mutual respect. It can be difficult to think about modeling appropriate behavior when a student is being disrespectful such as name calling, throwing items or refusing to do something we have asked them to do. However, this is the most important time for us to teach by modeling. As the classroom teacher it is your job to consistently show respect by engaging with students using a calm tone, calm posture and body language and full neutrality. When you’re supporting a student in behavior it can be helpful to ask yourself, “Am I speaking calmly?” “What is my body language communicating”. Regardless of the situation, it is always best to remain hands off. Never grab things from students or attempt to gain compliance by using physical force.

Restricting the movement of or moving a Special Education students’ body from one spot to another (regardless of distance) is legally defined by TEA as a restraint. Per our district policy, only teachers that have been trained in CPI (Crisis Prevention Institute) techniques are qualified to restrain. A restraint is always a last resort and only employed if the child’s behavior poses “serious and imminent bodily injury to self or others”.


Don’t forget our next centralized program meeting at Greer is March 17th at 4:30. I will have snacks and goodies! Be prepared to discuss the following: Confidentiality from campus to campus, new social skills curriculum for next year, and Fun Friday. All of you are doing such a wonderful job and I want you to know how much I appreciate you! Go team DSSC!

Special Olympics

Basketball Individual Skills Competition. Thursday, March 5, 2015 at FieldhouseUSA in Frisco.

(Due to STARR ALT testing, the basketball individual skills competition will now be held Thursday, March 5, 2015)

Track date is April 10!

If you own a business or work for a business that would like to help sponsor the 10th annual McKinney ISD Special Olympics Track and Field Meet, please contact Janice Morriss, or 469-302-6342. Your companies logo will be printed on over 2,000 T-shirts.


Activity Schedules; Promoting Independence

An activity schedule is a set of pictures or words that prompt a learner to engage in a sequence of independent tasks or activities. Effective teaching procedures including prompts, prompt fading, and reinforcement to teach tasks such as completing self-help activities, selecting play or leisure activities in the classroom, on the playground, in P.E., or in their homes, or completing school or work tasks. Ultimately, these schedules remove the reliance on adult instruction, increase on-task behavior, and promote independence in various environments.

The use of activity schedules is an effective teaching procedure used to increase a variety of skills, as well as independent performance of a sequence of skills.

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Life Skills

February 16th Life Skills/CAP/Next Step Training—REMEMBER:

Data Collection on acquisition responses allows for frequent progress monitoring and must be first trial to monitor progress. Prompts can be added to goal to aid in student success. No all IEPs will be addressed simultaneously. MISD Data Collection Terminology “cheat sheet” can be found on the portal. Please print and post so it can be referenced by teachers and assistants as needed

Assessment should drive each students plan. Be looking for more training on appropriate assessment to come this summer.

Schedules should reflect active, successful student participation in the learning process and minimal downtime, i.e. breaks are limited in number and duration. It should also indicate who is working with each student, where each student is at each time increment, what is being addressed at each interval and staff breaks/lunches/planning.

*Any Life Skills teachers who missed the training will be expected to attend a make-up training on another date after school. Betsy Sexton will send information regarding time and place following the close of the STAAR-Alt window.

Assistive Technology

this link to online Boardmaker Trainings.

Thoughts and Thanks

Special Education Teachers of the Year for 2014-15

  • Amy Thomas- Wolford Elementary
  • Lisa Rich- McClure Elementary

Thanks to those that administered STAAR ALT and those that supported STAAR ALT!