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OSERS: Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services
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What's New in OSEP



New! Grants for Leadership Consortia in Sensory Disabilities and Disabilities Associated with Intensive Service Needs

OSEP has made two new awards for lleadership consortia in the areas of sensory disabilities and disabilities associated with intensive service needs under the FY 2014 competition CFDA 84.325H. Salus University received a grant in the focus area of sensory disabilities, and Vanderbuilt University received a grant in the focus area of disabilities associated with intensive service needs. Each project will support a leadership training consortia to prepare doctoral-level leaders in special education, early intervention, and related services. Each consortium will prepare doctoral-level leaders with highly specialized skills, knowledge, and expertise in sensory disabilities or students with disabilities with intensive service needs, respectively. The consortia will prepare leaders who can act effectively in leadership positions in universities, state educational agencies (SEAs), local educational agencies (LEAs), lead agencies (LAs), early intervention services (EIS) programs, or schools.

(10/10/2014)

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New! National Technical Assistance Center on Improving Transition to Postsecondary Education and Employment for Students with Disabilities

OSEP has awarded the grant for the National Technical Assistance Center on Improving Transition to Postsecondary Education and Employment for Students with Disabilities to the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, NC. This grant was awared under the FY 2014 competition CFDA 84.325H. The Center will assist state educational agencies (SEAs), local educational agencies (LEAs), state vocational rehabilitation (VR) agencies, and other VR service providers to implement evidence-based and promising practices and strategies that ensure that students with disabilities, including those with significant disabilities, graduate from high school with the knowledge, skills, and supports needed for success in postsecondary education and employment.

(10/10/2014)

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New! Center for Systemic Improvement

OSEP has awarded the grant for the Center for Systemic Improvement (CSI) be provide support to states as they work to improve results for infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities. The award was made under the FY 2014 CFDA 84.326R to a consortium led by WestEd and including the AIR, NASDSE, CCSSO, SRI International, and the National Parent Technical Assistance Centers (NPTACs). The goals of the Center are to (1) increase the capacity of state educational agencies (SEAs) and lead agencies (LAs) to implement their State Systemic Improvement Plans (SSIPs); (2) increase SEAs’ and LAs’ utilization of evidence-based practices (EBPs); (3) improve SEA and LA infrastructure and coordination for delivering effective TA; (4) increase the use of effective dissemination strategies; (5) increase the effectiveness of SEAs and LAs to meaningfully engage state and local stakeholders; (6) increase the capacity of SEAs and LAs to effectively utilize available TA resources; and (7) increase the capacity of SEAs and LAs to implement general supervision systems that support effective implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

(10/10/2014)

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New! National Center on Accessible Educational Materials for Learning

OSEP has awarded the grant for the National Center on Accessible Educational Materials for Learning to Center for Applied Special Technology, Inc. (CAST). The grant was awarded under the DY 2014 comeptetion CFDA 84.327Z. The center will work with state educational agencies (SEAs), local educational agencies (LEAs), and other stakeholders to improve the quality, availability, and timely delivery of accessible educational materials and technologies for use by infants, toddlers, children, and youth with disabilities (hereafter referred to as “children with disabilities” and includes children who are blind or other persons with print disabilities.

(10/10/2014)

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New! IDEA Fiscal Data Center

OSEP has awarded the grant under the FY 2014 competition CFDA 84.373F for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Fiscal Data Center to WestEd. This cneter has the following goals: (a) improve the capacity of state staff to collect and report accurate fiscal data to meet the data collection requirements related to the IDEA Part B local educational agency (LEA) Maintenance of Effort (MOE) Reduction and Coordinated Early Intervening Services (CEIS) [LEA MOE/CEIS] and State Maintenance of Financial Support (State MFS); and (b) increase states’ knowledge of the underlying fiscal requirements and the calculations necessary to submit valid and reliable data on LEA MOE/CEIS and state MFS.

(10/10/2014)

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New! IDEA Data Management Center

OSEP has awarded the grant under the FY 2014 competition CFDA 84.373M for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Data Management Center to the Applied Engineering Management Corporation (AEM). This center has the following goals: (a) improve states’ data management procedures an d data systems architecture to build data files and reports to improve states’ capacity to meet the Part B reporting requirements under sections 616 and 618 of IDEA; and (b) improve states’ capacity to utilize their statewide longitudinal data systems (SLDS) to report high-quality data under IDEA Part B as required under sections 616 and 618 of IDEA. The Center’s work will comply with the privacy and confidentiality protections in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and IDEA and will not provide the Department with access to child-level data.

(10/10/2014)

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Decreasing Dropout Rates for Minority Male Youth with Disabilities from Culturally and Ethnically Diverse Backgrounds

In a time when graduation rates are showing notable improvement among students of color and students with disabilities, there are still great challenges that remain. The National Dropout Prevention Center for Students with Disabilities has published a monograph that explores the problem of high school dropout rates among American Indian, African American, and Latino males with disabilities and provide an in-depth look into the specific obstacles that impede this young population from graduating, while offering direction and articulating crucial changes that must be made to better serve these students. Click here to view the monograph: http://www.ndpc-sd.org/knowledge/EDC-2014-web-monograph.html

(09/08/2014)

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A Literature Map of Dropout Prevention Interventions for Students with Disabilities

This research synthesis represents the most up-to-date review of dropout interventions for students with disabilities. The authors conducted an extensive search of the literature to find articles that described school completion interventions that yielded positive outcomes for students with disabilities. Of 544 potential studies, 19 studies met the inclusion criteria: 3 experimental, 1 quasi-experimental, 5 qualitative, 5 mixed methods, 4 correlational, and 1 descriptive. The most commonly implemented interventions involved multiple components involving mentoring, family outreach, academic support, attendance monitoring, additional support services, and students' participation in school-related activities. Several studies also targeted students' specific disability-related needs, such as self-determination skills, social skills, and vocational skills. Overall, the interventions were aligned with recommendations made by the Institute of Education Sciences as effective interventions for general education students (Dynarski, et al., 2008 http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/pdf/practice_guides/dp_pg_090308.pdf. Click here to view the synthesis: http://www.ndpc-sd.org/documents/wilkins-huckabee-lit-review.pdf

(09/08/2014)

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Educational Services for Immigrant Children and Those Recently Arrived to the United States

Fact sheet provides information to help education leaders better understand the responsibilities of states and local educational agencies in connection with such students, and the existing resources available to help educate all immigrant students—including children who recently arrived in the United States.

(08/27/2014)

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Annual Report to Congress on the Implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
Section 664(d) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires that the U.S. Department of Education report annually on the progress made toward the provision of a free appropriate public education to all children with disabilities and the provision of early intervention services to infants and toddlers with disabilities. On June 20, 2014, the U.S. Department of Education released the following reports The 32nd through 35th Annual Reports to Congress contain six major sections that address the five annual report requirements contained in section 664(d) of IDEA. Sections I and II of the report contain national data and state-level data, respectively, pertinent to Parts B and C of the IDEA. The remaining four sections of the report include: a summary and analysis of the Department of Education’s findings and determinations regarding the extent to which states are meeting the requirements of Parts B and C of the IDEA; a summary of special education research conducted under Part E of the Education Sciences Reform Act of 2002; a summary of national special education studies and evaluations conducted under section 664 of the IDEA; and a summary of the extent and progress of the assessment of national activities, which focus on determining the effectiveness of the IDEA and improving its implementation. You can access these reports on the OSEP's Annual Reports page.

(08/21/2014)

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Questions and Answers Regarding Inclusion of English Learners with Disabilities in English Language Proficiency Assessments.
This guidance document is on the inclusion of English Learners (ELs) with disabilities in English language proficiency (ELP) assessments under Titles I and III of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended (ESEA). These are assessments designed to measure the progress of ELs in attaining English language proficiency. The Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE) administers the ESEA and the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) administers Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). OESE and OSERS are issuing the guidance to help states and LEAs understand how Part B of the IDEA and Titles I and III of the ESEA address the inclusion of ELs with disabilities in annual state ELP assessments.

  • Cover Letter:
    Word (203KB) | PDF (216KB)  
  • Q&A:
    Word (250KB) | PDF (94KB)

(07/18/2014)

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Community Eligibility Provision of School Lunch Program
OSEP Director Melody Musgrove provided information to chief state school officers regarding the opportunities under, and potential impact of, changes in the National School Lunch Program on the allocation of Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act funds to local education agencies. Specifically, this letter discusses the inclusion of the new universal meal option, the “Community Eligibility Provision” as a result of the passage of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.

  • Dear Colleague Letter:
    PDF (100KB)

(July 8, 2014)

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Handbook on Collaboration between Parent Centers and Protection and Advocacy Agencies
This handbook serves as a blueprint on collaboration between the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act funded parent training and information centers (PTIs) and community parent resource centers (CPRCs) and the protection and advocacy (P&A) and client assistance (CAP) programs funded by the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. The handbook includes examples of memoranda of understanding (MOU) that projects can use to develop their own MOUs.

Link: www.parentcenterhub.org/repository/collaboration-handbook.

(July 8, 2014)

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RDA Leadership Series for State Directors and Part C Coordinators
OSEP Director Melody Musgrove informed state directors of special education of several opportunities to learn more about the Result-Driven Accountability (RDA) initiative. These include the OSEP Project Directors' Conference starting July 21, 2014 (which will incorporate sessions on RDA on July 23 and 24), the Combined Federal Programs Meeting with Title I, Title III, and School Turnaround, and School Improvement Grants (SIG) programs on July 24, the Early Childhood Conference on September 8-10th, and several virtual opportunities related to RDA Phase I and Phase II during the Fall of 2014.

OSEP Meeting Opportunities:
 PDF (84KB)

(July 8, 2014)

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New Accountability Framework Raises the Bar for State Special Education Programs
To improve the educational outcomes of America’s 6.5 million children and youth with disabilities, the U.S. Department of Education today announced a major shift in the way it oversees the effectiveness of states’ special education programs.

Until now, the Department’s primary focus was to determine whether states were meeting procedural requirements such as timelines for evaluations, due process hearings and transitioning children into preschool services. While these compliance indicators remain important to children and families, under the new framework known as Results-Driven Accountability (RDA), the Department will also include educational results and outcomes for students with disabilities in making each state’s annual determination under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

“Every child, regardless of income, race, background, or disability can succeed if provided the opportunity to learn,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said. “We know that when students with disabilities are held to high expectations and have access to the general curriculum in the regular classroom, they excel. We must be honest about student performance, so that we can give all students the supports and services they need to succeed.”

For more information about today’s announcement, including graphs, state fact sheets and letters, click here.

(06/24/2014)

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Birth to 5: Watch Me Thrive! promotes early developmental and behavioral screening for kids
 Birth to 5: Watch Me Thrive! Celebrate your child's milestones.The U.S. Departments of Education and of Health and Human Services have launched Birth to 5: Watch Me Thrive! to encourage developmental and behavioral screening for children to support the families and providers who care for them. Birth to 5: Watch Me Thrive! will help families look for and celebrate milestones; promote universal screenings; identify delays as early as possible; and improve the support available to help children succeed in school and thrive alongside their peers.

(03/27/2014)

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Dear Colleague Letter on Bullying
OSERS issued a Dear Colleague letter to educators and stakeholders on the matter of bullying of students with disabilities. This guidance provides an overview of school districts’ responsibilities to ensure that students with disabilities who are subject to bullying continue to receive free appropriate public education (FAPE) under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

Please visit our Blog on keeping students with disabilities safe from bullying.

Dear Colleague Letter:
  MS Word (91KB) | PDF (1.4MB)

Enclosure:
  MS Word (64KB) | PDF (99KB)

(Aug. 20, 2013)

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Last Modified: 10/14/2014