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News and Updates

Transition Capacity Building Institute, October 29-31, 2014

Source: John Stains, Supervisor, Effective Practices
Intended Audience:  Special Education Directors and Teachers, General Education Administrators, Teachers, and Counselors, Local Vocation Rehabilitation staff, and Department of Mental Health Staff.
Date: September 9, 2014

The Office of Special Education in partnership with the National Secondary Transition Technical Assistance Center, Vocational Rehabilitation, the Department of Mental Health, and the Show Me Career Initiative will be offering the Transition Capacity Building Institute.  Local districts are invited to participate in this three-day capacity building event that will involve not only district staff, but also staff from Vocational Rehabilitation and the Department of Mental Health from the district's area.

To build capacity for improving transition education and services, a continuous improvement model is used to support strategic planning at the school or district level.  School or district teams who attend the Institute will participate in team meeting sessions, in addition to attending content sessions that are based on the needs of the local teams.  The team meetings are facilitated by a neutral person and are designed to move a team through a process of reviewing data, highlighting strengths and needs, and developing an improvement plan with goals and evaluation components.  The content sessions are chosen with the intent of providing strategies, information, and guidance to the teams as they implement their plan back in their schools or districts.  By the end of the institute, the local teams will have a workable community action plan on transitional services to take back and implement.

An important component related to the success of the community action plan is the demographics of the team that attends the Institute.  It is recommended that a team consist of a special educator, a general educator, an administrator or someone with the authority to make decisions, an agency representative, and transition personnel.  Parents and students are also strongly recommended. 

Teams are encouraged to bring school- and program-related data.  The first part of the strategic planning process is a review of the data from the district that informs the team members about where they are currently.  This data can include academic achievement numbers, SPP/APR Indicator data, agency referrals, etc.  Teams will be using an online planning system to document their discussions, identify their strengths and needs, and to develop their plan.  This plan is always available to teams to update their progress, make changes to the plan, and to report evaluation results.

The Missouri Show-Me-Careers initiative will provide $500 to each participating school district to be used to offset their costs associated with attending the Institute (e.g. substitutes for instructional staff, travel, lodging).

This Institute will be held October 29-31, 2014, in Jefferson City, MO.  If your district is interested in participating, please contact John Stains at (573) 751-0225 or at [email protected] no later than October 3, 2014.  

6th Annual Transition Summit Presented by MPACT, October 29, 2014

Source: John Stains, Supervisor, Effective Practices
Intended Audience: Special Education Directors/Process Coordinators, Special Education Teachers, Paraprofessionals, Parents, and others who provide transitional services to students with special needs
Date: September 9, 2014

Missouri Parent ACT (MPACT), a statewide parent training and information center that serves parents of children with all disabilities, is hosting the 6th Annual Transition Summit.  This one-day Summit is designed for students who have disabilities, special education transition personnel, student teams, family members, case managers, VR counselors, and Centers for Independent Living personnel.  The 6th Annual Transition Summit will be held at the Truman State Office Building, 301 West High Street, Jefferson City, MO, on October 29, 2014.  Summit sessions are focused on preparing youth for transition to post-secondary education, employment, independent living, and community experiences.  The Summit is free for students, parents, and professionals who attend with a student.  Presenters include Governor's Council on Disability, Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, Missouri Vocational Rehabilitation, Office of Civil Rights, Missouri Assistive Technology Center, Center for Independent Living, Missouri Inclusive Housing, MPACT staff, and mentors.

Sessions include:

*     KEYNOTE - My Life Journey: How to Gain Self-Determination, Leadership, and Self-Advocacy
*     Assistive Technology & Transition: The Need to Plan
*     Believe It Or Not, Your Enthusiasm Might Get You The Job!!!
*     Bully Prevention: What Parents Can Do
*     Bullying - What You Can Do!!
*     Career Preparation - How can you get in the job/career you have a passion for?
*     Centers for Independent Living: Who We Are, Where We Are, and What We Do
*     Employer's Perspective on How You Can Get a Job
*     Finding a Home of Your Own: Transitioning Into Independence
*     Missouri Youth Leadership Forum
*     Student Led IEP
*     Student Self-Determination
*     Transition Career Exploration - Parent/Family Involvement
*     Transition Issues Under Title II of the ADA and Section 504
*     VR: A Team Player in Transition

Additional information including registration is available at http://www.ptimpact.org/.  For questions, please contact MPACT at [email protected] or by phone at 800-743-7634 or 816-531-7070. 

Webinars - BACK TO SCHOOL WITH DROPOUT PREVENTION IN MIND - Creating a Positive School Climate and Culture:  Recommendations of Success

Source: Barb Gilpin, Assistant Director, Effective Practices
Intended Audience:  Directors, Administrators, Teachers, and Counselors
Date: August 20, 2014

As the school year resumes, educators are focused on a successful year ahead.  It is recommended that "schools" first review their data in order to identify and highlight areas of need and areas of accomplishment, all of which aid in the identification of next steps for maintaining success, building capacity, and continuous improvement throughout the school year.  When considering sustainability and capacity building in the areas of dropout prevention and school completion, teams must first focus on building and maintaining a "positive school climate" that will support and enhance academic, cognitive, behavioral, emotional, and social success for all students, with targeted intervention for students with disabilities.

Please join us for the MO DESE "Graduation Matters" State-wide Initiative for Dropout Prevention 2014-2015 webinar series.  This webinar is the first of the 2014-2015 school year and will focus on "school climate," the first essential area of evidence-based dropout prevention.  Dr. Sandra Covington Smith, Consultant, and Robin Morrison, Instructional Supervisor, Miami-Dade County Public Schools, will conduct the webinar on August 28, 2014, at 1:30 p.m.    

To participate in the webinar, go to http://dese.mo.gov/communications/webinar/webinarSE08-28-14.  The webinar will be recorded and posted under the Webinars-Recorded button at http://dese.mo.gov/webinar/.   

If you have questions, please contact Barb Gilpin at 573-751-7661 or at [email protected].

If you need an accommodation as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act to participate in this webinar, please call 573-751-5739 at least 48 hours in advance of the webinar to discuss the accommodation. 

Seeking Applicants for Transition Liaisons

Source: John Stains, Supervisor, Effective Practices
Intended Audience: Special Education Directors, Special Education Teachers
Date: July 15, 2014

The Transition Coalition with sponsorship from Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) is recruiting school personnel to join the team of secondary Transition Liaisons.  All applications will be considered, however, filling liaison vacancies in Regions 2, 5, 6, 7, and 8 are a priority.

RPDC Region 2 - Heart of Missouri (Columbia) RPDC Region 5 - Northwest (Maryville) RPDC Region 6 - South Central (Rolla) RPDC Region 7 - Southwest (Springfield) RPDC Region 8 - St. Louis (St. Louis)

Missouri Transition Liaisons devote time and energy increasing the capacity of local level secondary special educators and districts.  They work within their own districts to enhance transition programming and reach out to other districts to engage them in opportunities to enhance their practices and programs.  Liaisons disseminate information at both the district and regional levels to develop a collaborative network of colleagues around issues related to secondary transition of youth with disabilities.

If selected as a liaison, an honorarium of $1,000 is provided to offset costs for lLiaisons to meet their responsibilities (travel, lodging, meals for site-based meetings, and trainings).  During the 2014-15 school year, liaisons will be expected to:

*  Contact a minimum of 4 identified school districts to engage them in transition professional development activities and to provide peer assistance and document the contacts using provided materials;

*  Attend 2 face-to-face meetings/training sessions (one in Fall 2014 and one in Winter 2015);

*  Participate in 2 conference calls/web meetings in Fall 2014 and Spring 2015;

*  Participate in online discussions on the Missouri Liaison website and on the Missouri Transition Community of Practice both at http://missouritransition.org/moodle/; and

*  Attend the 2015 Missouri Transition Summer Institute and support liaison activities during the event.

If you or someone you know would like to become a Missouri Transition Liaison, please complete the Transition Liaison application and submit by August 1, 2014.   The application is located at http://dese.mo.gov/special-education/effective-practices/transition

Free Workshop on Assessments for Students with Visual Impairments

Source: Beth Bashore, Assistant Director, Effective Practices
Intended Audience: Superintendents, Special Education Directors/Process Coordinators, teachers working with a student with a visual impairment and additional severe disabilities, paraprofessionals, and parents
Date: May 5, 2014

DESE, through the Office of Special Education, in coordination with the Northeast Regional Professional Development Center would like to invite you to a professional development opportunity; "Functional Vision Assessment/Learning Media Assessment" on June 20, 2014, from 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. at Northeast RPDC Truman State University. There will be a working lunch - must bring sack lunch, no lunch provided.  Must register to attend!  Participation is limited to 30.

This workshop is intended for certificated teachers of students with visual impairments, paraprofessionals who may be assisting the teachers with functional vision evaluations, administrators who are interested in learning more about Functional Vision Assessments (FVA), and parents who may be interested in knowing what to expect when their child has been referred for a functional vision evaluation.  Components of an appropriate FVA will be discussed, demonstrations of specific instruments, and appropriate report writing will be topics covered.

To register for the workshop, go to the Northeast RPDC web site at http://rpdc.truman.edu (link is external).   Click on 'Workshops"; click on "Northeast RPDC Workshop Registrations"; make sure the between dates in the search options box include June; scroll down the screen to see the workshop offerings (listed by date); click on the workshop title you want; and, follow the directions to enroll.

For more information, contact J. Anthony Blades, Blindness Skills Specialist, Northeast RPDC Truman State University, at [email protected] or Northeast Regional Professional Development Center, 1312 Violette Hall, Truman State University, 100 East Normal, Kirksville, MO 63501.