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2021 Directors of Special Education Fall Meeting

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connections today's reality and beyond - directors of Special education fall meeting October 2021

Connections: Today's Reality & Beyond

The past 18 months have been a challenge for everyone and we have had to find new and often unique ways to connect with one another. Networking and conferencing have taken on a different form; communication with others has often been limited to a small circle; in-person passing social interactions – those incidental meetings with people we haven’t met before – have almost disappeared. Forming new connections has been difficult, making it all the more important that we maintain the ones we have.  The Directors of Special Education in Colorado have always been a connected community of caring educators, and we hope to help carry that on.

Please join us for our virtual Directors of Special Education Fall Meeting coming up soon.  Registration  is now open and will close on September 28th. (Please note that late registrations cannot be accepted.)  In keeping with a theme of Connections, directors are encouraged to invite assistant directors, special education coordinators, general education leadership personnel, fellow administrators, and others who might be interested in the topics we will share. We look forward to connecting with you as we navigate today’s reality and anticipate the times beyond.

General Information

Registration

Registration is closed. 

Session Confirmation 

Confirmation emails will be sent to participants by close of business on October 12, 2021. 

Virtual Platform

All sessions will be held using Zoom. For the best user experience use the latest version of Zoom. Download the latest version of Zoom

Session Description - Thursday October 14, 2021 

Plenary Session & Keynote (8:30 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.)

Welcome & Keynote Introduction

Presented by: Paul Foster Ed.D., Executive Director of the Exceptional Student Services Unit

Keynote Presentation - "And how are the children?" (Re)centering the Well-Being of Learners in Schools (9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.)

Presented by: Erica McCray, Ph.D. Director & Associate Professor School of Special Education, School Psychology, and EarlyChildhood Studies, University of Florida

Notions of diversity, equity, and inclusion are increasingly prominent in educational discourse, yet student opportunity and outcome gaps persist. In order for these concepts to be realized, educators must have deep knowledge of their students, families, and communities. This knowledge allows teachers to create effective and engaging learning opportunities. Effective leaders in inclusive and equitable schools establish culture, administer resources, and empower the professionals in their building to maximize learning for all. The presenter will offer considerations for (re)centering learners in all that we do.  

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Concurrent Breakout Sessions 101A-D (10:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.)

101A: Ascend Colorado IEP 

Presented by: Anlar Team Jennifer Howell & John Babb and Kerry Whitmore, General Supervision Supervisor at CDE

(This session is also being repeated on Friday at 10:30 a.m. - Session 201A)

Join us for an update on the Ascend Colorado IEP system. During this session, we will provide a brief system demonstration, discuss the system approach to professional learning, share information about how to sign up to use Ascend during the 2022-2023 school year, and offer opportunities to meet individually and discuss your AU needs. The session will be repeated, so please select the time that works best for you.

101B: Use the Science of Implementation to Scale Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.

Presented by: Michael Ramirez, Ed.D. 

(This session is also being repeated at 12:30 p.m. - Session 102C

Explore the relationship between the pathway to equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) and Implementation Science. Consider using the structures, strategies, and practices of implementation science to scale EDI within your educational system. Refine and organize your existing system to intentionally embed teaming, implementation drivers, and stages to set a cadence for EDI action-planning activities.

101C: A Comprehensive Model for Specific Learning Disability Evaluations: Using the Building Blocks of Brain Development to Understand and Assess Learning Disabilities. 

Presented by: Veronica Fiedler, Specific Learning Disability Specialist at CDE & Peter Thompson Ed.S., Ph.D. School Psychologist at Douglas County School District

(This session is also being repeated at 2:15 p.m. - Session 103C)

The SLD specialist, in collaboration with DR. Peter Thompson, has developed a framework for supporting IEP teams in building a comprehensive and defensible body of evidence for SLD evaluation and determination. The Building Blocks of Brain Development (BBBD) provides a model that ensures IEP teams are in alignment with certain legal requirements, as well as utilizing the most modern scientific practices. The BBBD acts as a critical framework to guide practitioners and teams in their assessment of children, as well as creating supports for struggling students. Another benefit of the BBBD is that it helps parents and staff understand the “why” a student is having difficulties in school and illuminates the true nature of a learning disability.

101D: Understanding IDEA’s Significant Disproportionality Regulations

Presented by: Bryn Harris, PhD, Associate Professor, CU Denver and CDE Consultant; Miki Imura, PhD, Supervisor of Data Accountability & Achievement, CDE

This presentation will provide an overview of IDEA’s significant disproportionality regulations and how CDE monitors AUs, significant disproportionality data across the state of Colorado (pertaining to special education, discipline, and placement), and how CDE is supporting AUs flagged with significant disproportionality (and those that may be at-risk for this designation). The presentation will also provide multiple resources (internal to CDE as well as external) that may be helpful for AUs that are critically examining their own data and plan to improve practices that may contribute to significant disproportionality.

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Concurrent Breakout Session 102A-D (12:30 p.m. - 1:45 p.m.)

102A: How Can We Help the Helpers? 

Presented by: Bill Brown & Krista Klabo

Supporting our staff’s wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic is essential so that they can care for and support their students. We have an ethical obligation to promote self-care and a positive school climate, hopefully preventing burnout and mitigating traumatic stress and fatigue. As these professionals move out of survival mode, the interventions and supports we implement now can make a lasting impact, reduce attrition of our professionals, and support our students and families.

102B: Exploring Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in the Data.

Presented by: Alyssa Ohleyer, Ph.D.

(This session is also being repeated at 2:15 p.m. - Session 103B)

In special education, we collect a lot of data! Some of that data is used specifically to explore formal questions around equity. CDE and Administrative Units (AUs) are required to examine racial over-representation through Significant Disproportionality, as well as Indicators 4B, 9, and 10. However, different indications of inequity can be seen in occurrences such as under-representation as well. The data analysis required by the US Office of Special Education Programs is just the tip of the iceberg. Administrative Units can use the data they have to evaluate equity within their unique situations. This session will cover the resources available to interpret the data analysis provided for Significant Disproportionality, and Indicators 4a, 9, and 10 as well as provide strategies to ask unique equity questions of AU level data.

102C: Use the Science of Implementation to Scale Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.

Presented by: Michael Ramirez, Ed.D. 

(This session is a repeat of Session 101B

Explore the relationship between the pathway to equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) and Implementation Science. Consider using the structures, strategies, and practices of implementation science to scale EDI within your educational system. Refine and organize your existing system to intentionally embed teaming, implementation drivers, and stages to set a cadence for EDI action-planning activities.

102D: More Than a Special Education Director

Presented by: Michael Sykes, Manager of Behavior Strategies, Denver Public Schools & Ashley Mosley

Participants will explore the value that they bring as individuals to their district, educators, parents, and students, and the broader community. Participants will learn how to leverage their unique experiences, identities, talents, and abilities in their daily work to promote equity and humanity. This workshop is designed to support individuals in discovering their power and using it to empower others.

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Concurrent Breakout Session 103A-D (2:15 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.)

103A: The Next 6 Years of the SPP Indicator Targets – Need Your Feedback! 

Presented by: Miki Imura

(This session is also being repeated on Friday at 2:15 p.m.- Session 203B)

IDEA requires each state to develop a state performance plan/annual performance report (SPP/APR) that evaluates the state’s efforts to implement the requirements and purposes of the IDEA and describes how the state will improve its implementation. Every 6 years, states must reset baselines and targets for the performance indicators in the SPP/APR. In this session, we will present the next 6 years of proposed targets resulting from internal and external stakeholder meetings held to date. Participants will have the opportunity to provide feedback for each of the proposed targets through an online survey.

103B: Exploring Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in the Data.

Presented by: Alyssa Ohleyer, Ph.D.

(This session is also being repeated at 12:30 p.m. - Session 102B)

In special education, we collect a lot of data! Some of that data is used specifically to explore formal questions around equity. CDE and Administrative Units (AUs) are required to examine racial over-representation through Significant Disproportionality, as well as Indicators 4B, 9, and 10. However, different indications of inequity can be seen in occurrences such as under-representation as well. The data analysis required by the US Office of Special Education Programs is just the tip of the iceberg. Administrative Units can use the data they have to evaluate equity within their unique situations. This session will cover the resources available to interpret the data analysis provided for Significant Disproportionality, and Indicators 4a, 9, and 10 as well as provide strategies to ask unique equity questions of AU level data.

103C: A Comprehensive Model for Specific Learning Disability Evaluations: Using the Building Blocks of Brain Development to Understand and Assess Learning Disabilities. 

Presented by: Veronica Fiedler, Specific Learning Disability Specialist at CDE & Peter Thompson Ed.S., Ph.D. School Psychologist at Douglas County School District

(This session is a repeat of Session 101C)

The SLD specialist, in collaboration with DR. Peter Thompson, has developed a framework for supporting IEP teams in building a comprehensive and defensible body of evidence for SLD evaluation and determination. The Building Blocks of Brain Development (BBBD) provides a model that ensures IEP teams are in alignment with certain legal requirements, as well as utilizing the most modern scientific practices. The BBBD acts as a critical framework to guide practitioners and teams in their assessment of children, as well as creating supports for struggling students. Another benefit of the BBBD is that it helps parents and staff understand the “why” a student is having difficulties in school and illuminates the true nature of a learning disability.

103D: You Are The Change

Presented by: Michael Sykes, Manager of Behavior Strategies, Denver Public Schools & Jamie Villarreal-Bassett

In this training, we will dive deep into understanding how to build and more importantly, maintain healthy relationships. We will also explore how biases happen, how to investigate and reject our own biases, and how to better advocate for your district and our students.

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Regional Meetings 3:45 p.m. - 4:45 p.m.

Colorado Directors of Special Education may take this opportunity to hold regional meetings. Each region will have a separate meeting room with a personalized Zoom link. Please confer with your regional leader and colleagues to determine the focus of your meeting.

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Session Description - Friday October 15, 2021

Plenary Session 200 (8:30 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.)

Colorado Overview  (8:30 a.m. - 9:15 a.m.)

Presented by Paul Foster Ed.D, Executive Director of the Exceptional Student Services Unit

Dr. Paul Foster will present an overview of what's happening in special education in Colorado. Important initiatives in the ESSU will be shared, as well as upcoming guidance and events for directors.

Consortium of Directors of Special Education Update (9:15 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.)

Presented by: Lucinda Hundley

This general session presentation will provide details of Consortium work on behalf of special education directors statewide, over the past year. This will include work at the legislative level as well as with the Governor’s office.

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Concurrent Breakout Sessions 201A-D (10:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.)

201A: Ascend Colorado IEP 

Presented by: Anlar Team Jennifer Howell & John Babb and Kerry Whitmore, General Supervision Supervisor at CDE

(This session is a repeat of Session 101A)

Join us for an update on the Ascend Colorado IEP system. During this session, we will provide a brief system demonstration, discuss the system approach to professional learning, share information about how to sign up to use Ascend during the 2022-2023 school year, and offer opportunities to meet individually and discuss your AU needs. The session will be repeated, so please select the time that works best for you.

201B: New CDE Dyslexia Guidance Document

Presented by: Veronica Fiedler, Specific Learning Disability Specialist at CDE

This presentation will introduce a new CDE dyslexia guidance document that is designed to support educators when they are approached by a parent who requests special education evaluation because they suspect their child has dyslexia.

201C: A New Department of Early Childhood: Impacts & Updates on Preschool Special Education 

Presented by: Heidi White & Panel moderated by Rebecca Browning-Floyd

Panelists: Jon Paul Burden, Moira Hawks & Tammy Johnson

(This session is also being repeated at 2:15 p.m. - Session 203C)

This interactive session will include a panel of local Special Education Directors and CDE staff who have been engaged in the transition work related to the new Department of Early Childhood, and specifically the Special Education subgroup. Bring your questions and insights to share as the work under HB21-1304 evolves.

201D: Supports for Deaf/Hard of Hearing, Blind/Visually Impaired, and Deafblind Students and Professionals in Colorado

Presented by: Tanni Anthony, Direct of the Access of Learning and Literacy Team, Exceptional Student Services Unit; Nancy Benham, Superintendent, Colorado School for the Deaf and Blind & Shauna Moden, Supervisor and Deaf Education Specialist, Exceptional Student Services Unit

(This session is also being repeated at 2:15 p.m. - Session 203D)

Dr. Benham, Dr. Anthony, and Ms. Moden will share the supports available for both students and professionals serving Deaf/Hard of Hearing, Blind/Visually Impaired, and Deafblind students from the Colorado School for the Deaf and Blind and the Colorado Department of Education.

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Plenary Session 202 (12:30 p.m. - 1:45 p.m.)

PEAK (12:30 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.)

Presented by: Missy Sieders, Parent Advisor

As Colorado’s Parent Training and Information Center, PEAK provides a variety of services for children and young adults ages birth to 26 and beyond. Most services are FREE. Hear how PEAK partners with families, schools, and service providers across all of Colorado to help students with disabilities be effectively included in their schools and communities. Learn how they partner with CDE and other support organizations across the state to train and support students, families, and educators to maximize school and community engagement for children and young adults with disabilities. PEAK is a resource for information that directors of special education will find extremely valuable.

CSEAC: The Power of Partnership (1:00 p.m. - 1:45 p.m.)

Presented by: Joyce Thiessen-Barrett & CSEAC Representatives

CSEAC Representatives: Aimee Guildner, Laurie Ditterline, Shelly Agostine, Heidi Graber & Anna Stewart

The Colorado Special Education Advisory Committee (CSEAC) is mandated by state and federal law and provides guidance for the department on the special education and related services for students with disabilities. Hear from Aimee Guildner, CSEAC Co-Chair; Laurie Ditterline CSEAC Co-Chair; Shelly Agostine, a CSEAC Parent Representative from Colorado Springs; Heidi Graber, a CSEAC Parent Liaison Representative from Poudre, and Anna Stewart, the BVSD Parent Liaison and local SEAC trainer. You will hear about the role of the State CSEAC, some of the projects and recommendations that CSEAC worked on this last year, as well as a quick overview of the importance and value of establishing your own local SEAC.

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Concurrent Breakout Session 203A-D (2:15 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.)

203A: CDE ESSU Mental Health Service and Supports

Presented by: Bill Brown & Krista Klabo

The Colorado Department of Education (CDE) Exceptional Students Services Unit (ESSU) mental health services staff will be sharing information with participants on the array of Technical Assistance and individualized training options that are available to the field to support the mental well-being, social, emotional, and behavioral needs of students and educator. Additionally, information will be shared about current staffing trends across the state related to School Counselors, School Social Workers, and School Psychologists.

203B: The Next 6 Years of the SPP Indicator Targets – Need Your Feedback! 

Presented by: Miki Imura

(This session is a repeat of Session 103A)

IDEA requires each state to develop a state performance plan/annual performance report (SPP/APR) that evaluates the state’s efforts to implement the requirements and purposes of the IDEA and describes how the state will improve its implementation. Every 6 years, states must reset baselines and targets for the performance indicators in the SPP/APR. In this session, we will present the next 6 years of proposed targets resulting from internal and external stakeholder meetings held to date. Participants will have the opportunity to provide feedback for each of the proposed targets through an online survey.

203C: A New Department of Early Childhood: Impacts & Updates on Preschool Special Education 

Presented by: Heidi White & Panel moderated by Rebecca Browning-Floyd

Panelists: Jon Paul Burden, Moira Hawks & Tammy Johnson

(This session is a repeat of Session 201C)

This interactive session will include a panel of local Special Education Directors and CDE staff who have been engaged in the transition work related to the new Department of Early Childhood, and specifically the Special Education subgroup. Bring your questions and insights to share as the work under HB21-1304 evolves.

203D: Supports for Deaf/Hard of Hearing, Blind/Visually Impaired, and Deafblind Students and Professionals in Colorado

Presented by: Tanni Anthony, Direct of the Access of Learning and Literacy Team, Exceptional Student Services Unit; Nancy Benham, Superintendent, Colorado School for the Deaf and Blind & Shauna Moden, Supervisor and Deaf Education Specialist, Exceptional Student Services Unit

(This session is a repeat of Session 201D)

Dr. Benham, Dr. Anthony, and Ms. Moden will share the supports available for both students and professionals serving Deaf/Hard of Hearing, Blind/Visually Impaired, and Deafblind students from the Colorado School for the Deaf and Blind and the Colorado Department of Education.

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Closing Remarks (3:30 p.m.)


2020 Fall Directors of Special Education Meeting Information

View session information from the November 2020 Directors of Special Education Meeting.

 
 
 

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