eNotesApril 8, 2021
Updates from the ECTA Center
Preschool During the Pandemic: New Episodes and Facilitator Guides
The Preschool During the Pandemic series developed by Larry Edelman continues to grow. The five to 17-minute episodes in the series illustrate how early education and early childhood special education have successfully supported preschoolers and their families during the COVID-19 pandemic. Three new episodes and newly developed episode facilitator guides have been added.
The new episodes center on authentic assessment and practice-based coaching. Episode 13 has two parts: Part 1 features early childhood special educators, Brittany Behenna Griffith and Tara Hughes, who illustrate how they provide families engaging asynchronous learning activities and materials and how the families share rich documentation of their children participating in the activities on Seesaw (their classroom platform) to enable authentic assessment. Part 2 illustrates how the educators use authentic assessment documentation shared by families on Seesaw to inform and differentiate instruction.
Episode 14 explores how a preschool teacher and her instructional coach use their coaching process to support high-quality teaching. Michelle Rodriguez and Alex Ruiz also demonstrate how they use TORSH Talent, their coaching platform.
The facilitator guides for the series episodes include prompts to consider when viewing, reflection questions, activities, and supplemental resources. The guides can be used by individuals or as part of a facilitated team process.
Determining A Child's Eligibility for Preschool Special Education Services Remotely
This resource includes guidance, considerations, and resources for state staff and local practitioners who are determining Preschool Special Education eligibility remotely, due in part to COVID-19. Many states are using approaches such as teleconference, videoconference, and sharing information and video asynchronously. Therefore, effective state policies, procedures, and practices are important to appropriately identify children eligible for Part B, Section 619 Special Education services remotely. Included in this resource are three tables of assessment tools with potential for remote administration.
Part C Child Find Self-Assessment: Quick Start Guide
This new guide helps state leaders consider common areas of need and challenges in Child Find to determine which best practices in Section II of the Child Find Self-Assessment (CFSA) best address those challenges. The Part C Child Find Self-Assessment: Quick Start Guide, helps leaders identify high-leverage best practices that address their most pressing challenges., and was developed by the Center for IDEA Early Childhood Data Systems (DaSy) and the Early Childhood Technical Assistance (ECTA) Center.
Building the Case to Expand Medicaid and Private Insurance for Early Intervention
This integrated set of materials is available to help states successfully maximize Medicaid coverage and private third-party insurance funding for early intervention (EI). Through video interviews, five states, which have gone through the process, address the impetus for these changes and essential data used to make the case for change. A planning tool serves as a guide to process the information used in the expansion effort. Related PowerPoint presentations address the key content areas state teams need to consider when making the case to expand coverage for EI. The materials were produced during a cross-state cohort of Part C state staff and stakeholders, in collaboration with the IDEA Infant and Toddler Coordinators Association (ITCA), DaSy and the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) staff.
New General Supervision Materials Available
Three new documents support states in improving results and functional outcomes for infants, toddlers, and children with disabilities. A State Guide on Identifying, Correcting, and Reporting Noncompliance with IDEA Requirements describes the IDEA requirements related to identifying noncompliance, making findings, correcting, and verifying correction of noncompliance, and federal reporting noncompliance in the State Performance Plan (SPP)/Annual Performance Report (APR).
A companion piece to the State Guide summarizes the responsibilities of local early intervention programs or local education agencies (LEA), state lead agency or state educational agency (SEA), and data that needs to be reported to OSEP on compliance, correction of noncompliance and verification of correction for SPP/APR indicators.
Improving Part C Results and Compliance: A Six-Step Inquiry Cycle support states in improving educational results and functional outcomes for children with disabilities while ensuring IDEA compliance through state monitoring activities. This chronological process helps states select a focus area, collect, and use data to monitor this focus area, complete root cause analyses of the current performance, plan for and evaluate progress to resolve issues effectively, and implement continuous and sustainable improvement.
New aRPy Ambassadors
Thirteen new aRPy Ambassadors have been selected. Ambassadors help build a state's capacity to use the ECTA's Practice Improvement Tools that support the implementation of DEC Recommended Practices by local practitioners and families. Due to the robust response of applicants, thirteen ambassadors were selected rather than the 10 originally planned. There are two categories of Ambassadors: professional and family level.
The eight professional ambassadors represent state agencies, Institutes of Higher Education (IHEs), and technical assistance and professional development organizations. They are: Sandy Cade, Montana Milestones Part C Program; Jennifer Fung, University of Washington; Alesa Lambert, Arkansas Department of Education; Andrea Laser, University of Colorado Denver; Holly Lee, North Carolina Office of Early Learning; Toni Miguel, Pennsylvania Early Intervention Technical Assistance; Michelle Ogorek, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction; and Hilda R. Tompkins, Georgia Part C Program. The five family-level Ambassadors represent the Parent Centers such as Parent Training and Information Centers (PTIs), Community Parent Resource Centers (CPRCs), and PTACs. They are: Hannah Bridges, Exceptional Children's Assistance Center, North Carolina; Sasha Bueno, INCLUDEnyc, New York; Deb Chiodo, ASK Resource Center, Iowa; Laura McKee, Empowerment Center, Montana; and Brittany Miller, Raising Special Kids, Arizona.
Adaptive Leadership: How Do We Solve Complex Problems We Encounter Daily in Our Implementation Work?
This third recorded webinar in the Targeted Leadership TA Series focuses on the various leadership strategies needed to manage different implementation challenges encountered daily in systemic change efforts. The featured speaker for this session is Dr. Caryn Ward, Director of State Implementation and Scaling-up of Evidence-based Practices (SISEP) Center, Associate Director of Education and Measurement of the National Implementation Research Network (NIRN). Subsequent recorded webinars from the series will be posted as they become available.
News from the Field
Why Inclusion? Video Series
This new video series from STEMIE addresses the importance of inclusion. The three videos showcase literature about high-quality inclusion, the key characteristics of high-quality inclusive education and what the big deal is about social outcomes in inclusion. The series is based on a keynote presentation delivered by Dr. Phil Strain at the 2019 OSEP Leadership Conference.
- Part 1: Let's Change Attitudes and Beliefs
- Part 2: Key Characteristics of High Quality Inclusive Education
- Part 3: Social Outcomes in Inclusion
NIEER Plan - Universal Preschool in US Achievable by 2040
To achieve high-quality preschool, a financial cost-sharing partnership is needed between federal, state, and local governments. That's according to a two-part plan proposed by the National Institute for Early Education (NIEER) at the Rutgers Graduate School for Education Universal.
The NIEER plan expands preschool access to 5 million more 3- and 4-year-old children by 2040. Currently, public preschools serve 1.8 million children. The plan prioritizes raising quality and enrolling unserved children from families with low incomes.
CDC Releases Updated and Additional Child Care Provider Guidance on COVID-19
Two new resources released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) help child care professionals protect children, their families, and staff and slow the spread of COVID-19 and keep children healthy. Guidance for Operating Child Care Programs during COVID-19 and Toolkits for Child Care Programs provide updated and additional information on vaccinations, signs and symptoms of COVID-19 in children and support for children with disabilities and special health care needs. The resources align with the CDC's Operational Strategy for K-12 Schools through Phased Mitigation, and are intended for all types of child care programs, including child care centers, family child care homes, and other child care programs.
State of the States of IDEA Part C and Part B Data Systems
A high-quality statewide data system provides information needed to address important questions about EI and early childhood special education. The DaSy Center has developed maps that display the national status of features of high-quality IDEA early childhood data systems for Part C and Part B. Tabs on the interactive page allow users to browse national results and to view individual state results. State Part C or Part B 619 coordinators or data managers may provide information, make a correction, or request a copy of their responses by contacting DaSy.
Practice Improvement Tools on Sale
A printed version of the Practice Improvement Tools using the Division for Early Childhood (DEC) Recommended Practices are for sale. The Practice Improvement Tools guide practitioners and families in supporting young children who have, or are at-risk for developmental delays or disabilities across a variety of early childhood settings. Although free in a digital format, the printed version of the Tools allows practitioners to take them wherever they go. With a DEC membership, the printed Tools cost $24, without DEC membership, $30. They are available in English and Spanish.