2018 News Archive

9/14/2018

STEP Publishes Guide to Parents Rights and Responsibilities

To be involved, parents and family members need information. STEP, Inc. collaborated with the Tennessee Department of Education on a new information guide that families can use to become informed, empowered and engaged in their child’s education.

The Quick Guide to Parent Rights and Responsibilities in Special Education is an overview of some of the provisions of special education. It is designed to assist families in understanding their rights and responsibilities in the special education process. Parents of children who receive or may be eligible for special education services have rights under both the TN Rule 0520-01-09 and The Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA 2014). An important part of these laws provides parents with the right to participate in their children’s education.

 

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9/14/2018

STEP Offers New Resources for Dyslexia

"Say Dyslexia" Law - Overview for School DistrictsThe Tennessee “Say Dyslexia” law requires school districts to screen all students for characteristics of dyslexia. The “Say Dyslexia” Law Overview for School Districts provides requirements of the “Say Dyslexia” law, universal screening process summary, continuum of programming, and resources. Dyslexia Overview for Parents

 The new Dyslexia Overview for Parents one-page guide includes information about the law, school obligations, the screening process, tips for parents, and resources.

These new resources, developed in collaboration with Tennessee Department of Education, can provide parents and the school community with vital information that can improve knowledge of the law, enhance communication between parents and educators, and positively impact children’s school outcomes.

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8/16/2018

Newly Posted: Administrator Resources

Several online resources to support administrators in supporting systems change towards success for all students are now available on tnspdg.com. We invite you to explore these additions via the following documents:

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6/4/2018

New Webinar on Preschool Inclusion and Kindergarten Readiness

The TNSPDG initiative is committed to providing quality, inclusive early childhood programs to help children be successful in general education environments. To do this, professional development is provided through SPDG initiatives to support the work of districts toward increasing inclusive practices for 3-5-year-old children with disabilities and by addressing needs around improving and sustaining high-quality early childhood classrooms.

TNSTEP’s newest Lunchtime Leaders webinar "Preschool Inclusion and Kindergarten Readiness" explores educational placement options for preschoolers, best practices in quality preschool classrooms and strategies families can use to be prepared participants in planning educational services for their children with special needs.

Click here for the archived webinar

Presented by:
Colleen Van Dyke, IDEA 619 Consultant, East Tennessee TN Dept. of Education, Division of Special Populations and Student Support
Karen Harrison, Executive Director, Support and Training for Exceptional Parents (STEP, Inc.).

This webinar is a collaborative project of the Tennessee Department of Education State Personnel Development Grant (SPDG) and STEP, Inc. (Support and Training for Exceptional Parents), Tennessee's Parent & Youth Training and Information Center.

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5/31/2018

SPDG Year 3 and Beyond: 1st Cohort Begins Expansion

Congratulations to the 25 SPDG 1.0 Districts who are expanding their professional development and classroom implementation work in their 3rd year of implementation. These districts from across the state of Tennessee will continue their work to address the needs of all students through the integration of differentiated instruction, universal design for learning, and effective use of data-based interventions.

These districts will continue with Strand 1 implementation, using revised and more interactive Strand 1 materials and activities, and some districts will begin expansion of Strand 2 with a focus on providing increasingly intensive interventions.

The following resources have been created to help these districts as they take on full ownership of these trainings at the district level:

  1. Updated SPDG content, handouts, videos, and tactile templates for Strand 1: ACCESS to High-Quality Tier I Instruction for All. Revised materials, provided primarily in digital format, incorporate Tennessee’s ACCESS work, as well as more interactivity and work with classroom climate and student motivation. A flash drive with all of these materials, as well as a newly printed Facilitator Handbook, were mailed out to these districts last week.
     
  2. A District Planning Worksheet for SPDG Year 3 and Beyond – This editable Microsoft Word document guides districts through a self-assessment and planning process to help ensure a successful step-by-step district-wide expansion.
     
  3. A “SPDG Roles and Responsibilities Year 3 and Beyond” chart outlines roles and responsibilities within the expansion work, as well as additional questions to guide planning for 2018-19.
     
  4. A SPDG 1.0 Expansion - Suggested District Timeline for Year 3 (2018-19) to assist with planning professional development and evaluation activities in the first year of expansion.

Regional consultants will provide planning support to districts as they implement expansion efforts to impact learning environments for ALL students.

SPDG 1.0 Expansion Districts

District Name

Region

District Name

Region

Alcoa City

East

McMinn County

Southeast

Bradford Special School District

Northwest

Metro Nashville

Mid-Cumberland

Bradley County Schools

Southeast

Murfreesboro City

Mid-Cumberland

Clarksville-Montgomery County Schools

Mid-Cumberland

Rhea County

Southeast

Cleveland City

Southeast

Robertson County

Mid-Cumberland

Clinton City

East

Sequatchie County

Southeast

Cumberland County

Upper Cumberland

Sweetwater City

East

Dickson County

Mid-Cumberland

Trenton Special School District

Northwest

Elizabethton City

First

Tullahoma City

South Central

Fayetteville City

South Central

Warren County

Upper Cumberland

Gibson Special School District

Northwest

Weakley County

Northwest

Hawkins County

First

White County

Upper Cumberland

Lawrence County

South Central

 

 

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5/23/2018

SPDG 2.0 Districts Named

 Click map to download larger Image.

Congratulations to the new districts named in the State Personnel Development Grant for 2018-2019. After a rigorous application process, twenty districts were selected from across the state of Tennessee for the K-12 training and grant. These districts will begin their journey this June at the train the trainer event.

In addition to being selected for K-12, many were also chosen for the first year of early childhood professional development as well as some additional districts notated below:


SPDG 2.0 Participating Districts


K-12

Pre-school

District Name

Region

District Name

Region

Lakeland School System

SW

Lakeland School System

SW

Bells City School

NW

Bells City School

NW

Lincoln County Schools

SC

Lincoln County Schools

SC

Chester County

SW

Chester County

SW

Cocke County School System

FT

Cocke County School System

FT

Bedford County

SC

Bedford County

SC

Cheatham County

MC

Cheatham County

MC

Marion County

SE

Marion County

SE

Milan Special School District

NW

Milan Special School District

NW

Henry County School System

NW

Henry County School System

NW

Kingsport City Schools

FT

Kingsport City Schools

FT

Houston County

MC

Houston County

MC

Sumner County

MC

Haywood County Schools

SW

Wilson County

MC

Loudon County School District

E

Jefferson County

E

Morgan County Schools

E

Benton County

NW

 

 

Unicoi County

FT

 

 

Fayette County

SW

 

 

Oneida Special School District

E

 

 

Washington County

FT

 

 

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4/10/2018

SPDG 2.0 New Supervisor's Webinar


A webinar was held on April 10, 2018 for our new SPDG 2.0 districts, and it provided information for both the K-12 and Early Childhood initiatives for the next two years.

The agenda for the webinar was as follows:

  • 2.0 for K-12
    • Professional development
      • Structure
      • Timelines
    • Facilitator and school selections
    • Communication and Support
    • Next Steps
  • Incentive Funds for K-12 and Early Childhood
    • 2.0 for Early Childhood
    • Timeline and calendar considerations
    • Cohort collaboration (in-person)
  • Communication and Support
  • Participant questions

View the webinar recording online here.

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3/9/2018

Newly Posted: Three Strand 2 Resources

Three TN SPDG resources to support Special Education as the Most Intensive Intervention (Strand 2) are now available on the tnspdg.com.

  1. The Strand 2 Intervention Observation Rubric outlines the core elements of a quality intensive intervention. Administrators and instructors can use this rubric:
    • as an observation tool to measure the extent to which the elements of quality intervention techniques are incorporated.
    •  as a part of evaluation activity measuring progress toward incorporating the elements quality intervention techniques.
    • for training or informational purposes with staff or parents. • as a guide within a coaching relationship.
    • as a tool to oversee peer review activity using the tool.

  2. The Quicksheets for the Strand 2 Intervention Observation Rubric explain each element of the rubric and give things to “look for” when using the rubric. Some of the elements may require a pre or post interview to gather additional information.

  3. The Reading Resources: Assessments to Inform Present Levels gives guidance on proper selection and use of reading assessments and guides the user toward higher quality IEP Present Levels of Educational Performance.

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2/19/2018

SPDG Strand 2, Part 2, Train the Trainer Event

On February 4 -5, SPDG Facilitators and Supervisors were immersed in Part 2 of SPDG Strand 2, Special Education: The Most Intensive Intervention. Provided by Kate Martin, Executive Director, Division of Special Populations, this powerful training offered an additional opportunity to actively learn how to effectively intervene to remove barriers and obstacles to learning for all students. The wordle at right is a compilation of the participants’ feedback about this engaging and empowering training event.

Facilitators will redeliver this training in their districts during Spring 2018. You can see a list of participating school districts, facilitators, supervisors and interventionists here.

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2/16/2018

Special Session with Dr. Carol Ann Tomlinson for SPDG Participants at the 2018 PIE Conference

At PIE 2018, current State Personnel Development Grant (SPDG) districts had the privilege of spending the afternoon with Dr. Carol Ann Tomlinson. She eloquently reminded us about the "why" of differentiation and about what it takes to reach a child by creating ties.

Linked below, Dr. Tomlinson has graciously shared several of her presentation slides.
Listen to What the Kids Say: Knowing and Serving the Students we Teach

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2/2/2018

STEP Article: Family Engagement

Family Engagement in Every School is a short article outlining why family engagement is such an important element in the education process, as well as how, together, schools and families can help students achieve their best outcomes.

Thanks to our Support and training for Exceptional Parents (STEP) partners for posting this great family resource!

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1/23/2018

Announcing: TN SPDG Video Resources on YouTube

We are proud to announce the launch of the TN SPDG Media Resources channel on YouTube.

Featuring Tennessee K-12 students, these 5-8 minute videos provide teacher interviews and classroom demonstrations of high-quality teaching and differentiated instruction.

We encourage educators to use these videos for their own professional development, discussions with parents, or staff training.
 
Current playlists include Best Practice Strategies and Access to Core Instruction  with videos on these topics:
- Small Group Differentiation in Middle School
 -The Jigsaw Strategy (Middle School)
 - Inclusive classrooms in Tennessee (Elementary School)
 - Differentiation in the classroom via Multiple Intelligences Inventory (Elementary School)

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1/12/2018

Newly Posted: Differentiated Instruction Rubric and Differentiation Quicksheets

Two TN SPDG resources to support differentiated Instruction (Strand 1) are now available on the tnspdg.com.

The Differentiation Inventory: Classroom Observation Rubric outlines the core elements of a quality differentiated classroom environment. Administrators and instructors can use this rubric:

  • as an observation tool to measure the extent to which the elements of a quality differentiated classroom are incorporated into the classroom environment.
  • as a part of evaluation activity measuring progress toward incorporating the elements quality differentiated classroom.
  • for training or informational purposes with staff or parents.
  • as a guide within a coaching relationship between teachers
  • as a tool to oversee peer review activity using the tool.

The Differentiation Quicksheets explain each element of the Differentiation rubric and give things to “look for” when using the rubric. Some of the elements may require a pre or post interview to gather additional information.

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