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Description: VESOL Instructional Resources for Reading, Mathematics and Science - TTAC Online Additional VAAP Resources on TTAC Online The Department of Student Assessment, Accountability, and ESEA Programs and the Department of Special Education and Student Services at the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) are pleased to announce the availability of the Virginia Essentialized Standards of Learning (VESOL) on the Virginia Alternate Assessment Program (VAAP) webpage on the Virginia Department of...
Description: Inclusive Practices in Successful Schools: Virginia Inclusive Schools Planning Guide Module addresses the following components: A Clear and Consistent Vision and Vocabulary for Inclusive Schools, Legislative and Accountability Standards, Strong Tier One Instruction, Student-Centered Decisions/Staffing and Scheduling, Effective Use of Resources, Collaboration Among Educators, Specialized Support, Social Inclusion, Family and Community Engagement, Sustaining Inclusive Success. This module was...
Description: HLP Highlight Tool - HLP 1: Collaborate with Professionals to Increase Student Success, HLP Highlight Tool - HLP 2: Organize and Facilitate Effective Meetings with Professionals and Families, HLP Highlight Tool - HLP 3: Collaborate with Families to Support Student Learning and Secure Needed Services, HLP Highlight Tool - HLP 4: Use Multiple Sources of Information to Develop a Comprehensive Understanding of a Student’s Strengths and Needs, HLP Highlight Tool - HLP 5: Interpret and...
Description: Over a decade ago, a committed group of youth with disabilities requested that Virginia officially recognize October as Disability History and Awareness Month (DHAM). The youth also developed a credo: “Disability history education and awareness will promote positive attitudes in schools creating a culture of mutual respect, understanding, and equal opportunities for all.” With the recognition of injustices people with disabilities, of all races and ethnicities,...
Description: The Federal and State definition of special education and specially designed instruction are: "Special education" means specially designed instruction, at no cost to the parent(s), to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability, including instruction conducted in a classroom, in the home, in hospitals, in institutions, and in other settings and instruction in physical education. The term includes each of the following if it meets the requirements of the definition of special education:...
Description: The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) has been working closely with the Governor’s Office, the Virginia Department of Health, and other state agencies to ensure our public schools and communities have the most up-to-date information and resources. The health and safety of our children and staff are our top priorities.  
Description: This webinar introduces the College Access Evidence Matrix, an informational resource designed to help college-access providers and educational leaders easily find proven interventions, aligned to the highest Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) evidence standards, that can increase the likelihood that students successfully transition to postsecondary education and training. REL Appalachia staff provide an orientation to the evidence matrix and demonstrate how it can be used for a variety of...
Description: Each school year the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) is required to report to the U.S. Department of Education the "Percent of parents with a child receiving special education services who report that schools facilitated parent involvement as a means of improving services and results for children with disabilities." Your school division should have provided you with an opportunity to participate in a short survey, which VDOE will use to collect the necessary data to report on this...
Description: Superintendent of Public Instruction James Lane is inviting Virginia’s 132 school divisions to apply for $107 million in federal pandemic-relief funds to move the commonwealth’s students onward and upward in their journey out of the pandemic by providing targeted math and literacy support to students, in addition to addressing their other academic and mental health needs. These “Onward and Upward VA” grants are funded from the American Rescue Plan Act and include support...
Description: The New York State Education Department (NYSED) is committed to providing all public school students with equal access to educational programs and activities. School counseling staff and other school personnel play a vital role in ensuring that all students are able to learn in a civil and positive school environment free from bullying and harassment. This training will provide you with information on how to recognize, respond to, and reduce cyberbullying at your school. 
Description: In this report, the Child Mind Institute examins the growing body of research on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on children’s mental health, including the results of a survey of thousands of parents conducted by the Child Mind Institute. We explore several key questions, including: What do we know about how the pandemic has affected young people’s mental health? What are some of the most common mental health challenges that children and adolescents have experienced? What are...
Description: Presentation Recordings from VDOE Family Literacy Night Family Literacy Night included presentations on the following topics: Early Childhood: Early Literacy Starts at Home Assessment Supports: An Explanation of Your Student's SOL Reports Family Field Trips: Connecting Literacy to the Commonwealth Family Engagement: Supports for the Home Virginia State Literacy Association: Choosing Books for the Children in your Lives Virginia Association for Teachers of English Equity & Community...
Description: Embedding social and emotional learning (SEL) into instruction is a powerful way to help students connect and engage in learning. According to CASEL, one of the leaders in schoolwide SEL, explicit SEL instruction requires “consistent opportunities for students to cultivate, practice, and reflect on social and emotional competencies in ways that are developmentally appropriate and culturally responsive.” Critical to that approach is sharing with our students the why behind SEL...
Description: This tool provides personalized resources aligned with reading, writing and language skills for beginning readers. It is designed to help guide parents, caregivers, and professionals in recording the presence of important reading, writing, and language skills in Kindergarten through 5th grade.
Description: For many students in America’s public schools, the past year has been marked by the many challenges of a global pandemic—from facing illness or the illness or death of a loved one, experiencing abrupt school shutdowns, to feeling fear, grief, and anxiety as the virus spread. This discussion begins with a review of the pandemic’s effects on instruction, student mental health, and student achievement for elementary and secondary school students. It then turns...
Description: This University of Florida Literacy Institute (UFLI) webinar provides some of the basics about dyslexia.
Description: The future depends on our children and one way to fully empower them is to recognize that literacy is a fundamental right in society.  Join Dr. Maria Murray—founder and president and CEO of The Reading League—for an innovative podcast episode as she explains why the science of reading is now regarded as a defining movement and addresses the need to protect the integrity of its findings so that the promise of successful reading outcomes for our students can be realized. In this...
Description: High-leverage practices (HLPs) and evidence-based practices (EBPs) when used together can become powerful tools for improving student outcomes. This brief is designed to show the promise of these practices in advancing educator preparation and practice and, subsequently, outcomes for students with disabilities and those who struggle. We begin by defining HLPs and EBPs and sharing examples of how educator preparation programs are integrating them in their candidates’ learning opportunities...
Description: In today’s learning environments, a wide range of technologies are creating new options for differentiating instruction and supporting the participation of all students, including students with disabilities. Students and school staff in an Alberta K-6 school discuss the importance of providing students with the technology tools they need in order to be successful learners.
Description: A recent study indicated that students, on average, could experience five to nine months of “unfinished learning” by the end of June 2021. The Education Trust highlights 3 ways to begin to address unfinished learning: Targeted Intensive Tutoring Expanded Learning Time The Importance of Strong Relationships
Description: Emily Freitag and other Instruction Partners separated their literacy examples into two parts, because the way students learn foundational skills is quite different from the way students advance comprehension. This is not a grade-band division—students in K–2 need to learn foundational skills and comprehension (chiefly through oral reading) and students in grades 3+ may continue to need support with foundational skills. But leaders benefit from understanding the differences...
Description: At the start of the 2021-22 school year, perhaps more than any other year, getting students off to a strong start is critical. Teachers and administrators are rightfully worried about what the data will show due to past instructional interruptions. During this event, Dr. Susan Hall discusses using MTSS data to determine how to address the literacy needs of K-5 students by pinpointing skill gaps and acting quickly to provide the most effective differentiated instruction. MTSS Data Webinar...
Description: The purpose of the Return to School Roadmap IDEA guidance documents, which focus on school reopening efforts, is to support the full implementation of IDEA requirements. The documents also serve to clarify that, regardless of the COVID-19 pandemic, or the mode of instruction, children with disabilities are entitled to FAPE, and infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families to appropriate IDEA Part C services. The Department recognizes that some parents may have specific health and...
Description: By hiring someone with Down syndrome, you start a virtuous chain: the more that people with Down Syndrome are seen at work, the more they’ll be recognized as valuable employees, and the more they’ll be hired.
Description: The page contains a few of the many general online resources that are free to teachers, parents, and students at all times.
Description: This article by Joan Sedita explains why vocabulary instruction is an essential piece of reading instruction and outlines strategies that teachers can use to boost vocabulary instruction in their settings. 
Description: Teaching vocabulary is complex. What words are important for a child to know and in what context? In this excerpt from Bringing Words to Life: Robust Vocabulary Instruction, the authors consider what principles might be used for selecting which words to explicitly teach.
Description: The Frayer Model is a strategy that uses a graphic organizer for vocabulary building. This technique requires students to (1) define the target vocabulary words or concepts, and (2) apply this information by generating examples and non-examples. This information is placed on a chart that is divided into four sections to provide a visual representation for students.
Description: A word map is a visual organizer that promotes vocabulary development. Using a graphic organizer, students think about terms or concepts in several ways. Most word map organizers engage students in developing a definition, synonyms, antonyms, and a picture for a given vocabulary word or concept. Enhancing students' vocabulary is important to developing their reading comprehension.
Description: This online guide builds on two fundamental documents produced by CCSSO and the Collaboration for Effective Educator Development, Accountability, and Reform (CEEDAR) Center: the 2015 Professional Standards for Educational Leaders (PSEL) and PSEL 2015 and Promoting Principal Leadership for the Success of Students with Disabilities. This guidance can support states in strengthening principals’ capacity to lead inclusive schools in which each student has an equitable opportunity to...
Description: To improve school readiness by supporting early childhood education in Virginia’s preschool classrooms, the 2021 Virginia General Assembly appropriated funds to support well-prepared teachers for children served in VPI or other publicly-funded preschool programs operated by the school division. The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) is pleased to announce the Early Childhood Provisionally Licensed Teacher Incentive Program. This program provides funding of no more than $30,000 each...
Description: Administrators play a special part in supporting students with ASD and other disabilities and particularly in supporting teachers and other team members to be effective in working with students with ASD and other disabilities. This webpage hosts a framework for evaluation of special education teachers and programs, online courses, instructional videos and other resources to support administrators.
Description: Danny Rubin is an award-winning author and speaker who works directly with students and working professionals. He provides advice on networking and interpersonal skills, writing emails, and press releases. 
Description: SSA Outreach Materials for People Facing Barriers The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impose hardships, especially on people who face barriers to accessing services and benefits. These include people with low-income, limited English proficiency, facing homelessness, or with mental illness, who have historically relied on meeting with us face-to-face to get the help they need. You will find an up-to-date list of resources and materials that you can use to learn about the Supplemental Security...
Description: This is the first one-pager in the Critical Decision Points One-Pager Library. This one-pager provides families with a quick reference guide that explain the differences between Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) and 504 Plans.
Description: There are several important points all principals should understand about special education. These points are not isolated; instead, they are often intertwined. Keep them in mind when working with the students in your building. 1. Make all students your responsibility. There might be other programs housed in the building, and there might be students who receive special reading instruction or other supplemental services, but the principal is responsible for ensuring that all students receive an...
Description: This curriculum evaluation tool features components that align with the Simple View of Reading (Gough & Tunmer, 1986) and Scarborough’s Rope (Scarborough, 2001). Word Recognition and Language Comprehension are broken down into subcomponents and writing and spelling as well as assessment are included.
Description: Most students with disabilities spend the majority of their school day in a general education setting. Therefore, it is essential for all teachers and school leaders to have knowledge, skill, and ongoing professional development to meet their complex learning needs. In this webinar, presenters will provide an overview of the HLPs, share a resource for school leaders to encourage implementation, and discuss strategies that can be used to differentiate support for beginning special and...
Description: Specifically designed with school administrators in mind, this module offers guidance on how to support and facilitate the development and implementation of high-quality IEPs, including the monitoring of student progress (est. completion time: 2 hours). If you have not done so already, consider completing the following module: IEPs: Developing High-Quality Individualized Education Programs
Description: Social Security recently changed the rules about what types of financial assistance can affect an individual’s Supplemental Security Income (SSI) eligibility or their monthly SSI payment amount. Usually, they consider any help an individual receives in cash to meet their need for food or shelter as countable income. Generally, the more countable income someone has, the less their SSI payments will be. If their countable income is over the allowable limit, they are ineligible to receive SSI...
Description: The Social Security Administration (SSA) provides various benefits to certain eligible individuals who experience significant disabilities – including children and adolescents. These benefit programs provide monthly cash payments and in some cases health insurance such as Medicaid and/or Medicare. These programs also include work incentives designed to help beneficiaries become employed and increase earnings over time.
Description: Social Security benefits provide resources that can enable students with disabilities to successfully transition to adult life. The following tips will help guide teachers, families, and students with the process of applying for and managing benefits. 
Description: Using a trauma-informed lens can help educators be better prepared to meet students’ unique educational and transition needs. Trauma informed care provides a common language and an understanding of how to approach situations in a way that is supportive. This brief provides an overview of trauma and trauma informed strategies to support students who have experienced trauma. These strategies are a sample of best practices and actions that can be implemented...
Description: Effective transition assessment and planning are critical to increasing students’ employment outcomes, especially for those who face the most significant barriers to employment. Discovering ME! is a youth-focused, person-centered transition assessment and planning process. This process is designed to build early, customized work-based learning experiences for individuals with significant barriers to employment. The long-term goal of Discovering ME! is that all students...
Description: Virginia’s Start on Success (SOS) program is designed for high school seniors with disabilities who are pursuing a standard or advanced studies diploma. SWD should be provided opportunities to increase career pathway skills through WBL. To increase student success, SOS components consist of four evidence-based practices related to in-school or post-school success for students with disabilities (Test, et al., 2009). These SOS core components (Interagency Collaboration, CTE Course, Paid...
Description: This module examines the ways in which culture influences the daily interactions that occur across all classrooms and provides practice for enhancing culturally responsive teaching (est. completion time: 1 hour).
Description: This article provides a compliation of tips, strategies, and resurces to help improve the connection from home to school and expand parent involvement.
Description: The Parents’ Guides to Student Success were developed by teachers, parents and education experts. Created for grades K-8 and high school English, language arts/literacy and mathematics, the guides provide clear, consistent expectations for what students should be learning at each grade in order to be prepared for college and career.
Description: PACER Center enhances the quality of life and expands opportunities for children, youth, and young adults with all disabilities and their families so each person can reach his or her highest potential. PACER operates on the principles of parents helping parents, supporting families, promoting a safe environment for all children, and working in collaboration with others. With assistance to individual families, workshops, materials for parents and professionals, and leadership in securing a free...
Description: The purpose of this brief is to provide recommendations to district and school leadership teams on how the components of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) can be used to prioritize staff health and wellbeing.