Special Education Teacher Professional Development Pilot Program Frequently Asked Questions

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1 Special Education Teacher Professional Development Pilot Program Frequently Asked Questions 1. Can special education teachers, employed by district or county, all be funded? Special education teachers, both resource and special day class, employed by the district, who provide instruction in beginning reading strategies will be funded. 2. Do we need to use the Senate Bill 472 as the provider for the professional development, or can we develop our own professional development for special education teachers? Required, in Year One (or the first year a teacher s professional development is funded through this Pilot Program), is participation in a state-approved SB 472, 40-hour program with an authorized state approved provider that matches the LEAs adopted reading/language arts program and 80 hours of follow-up training. Required, in Years Two and Three, is professional development tied to the adopted program that builds on the Year One professional development program (and matches the criteria in Appendix M) and provides (at a minimum) 40 hours of face-to-face training and 80 hours of follow-up training as specified in SB What specific professional development will be required of special education teachers? Professional development tied to the district adopted program at the grade level(s) that the teacher is teaching for year one and any appropriate professional development for years two and three. 4. Can high schools purchase other intervention materials with Special Education Teacher Professional Development (SETPD) funds? State approved programs as listed in Appendix B can be purchased with SETPD funds. 5. Can money be used to train para-professional or mainstream teachers? SETPD funds can be used only for special education teacher training and materials related to the district core or intervention programs. Para-professionals and mainstream general education teachers are not funded under this grant. Page 1 of 1

2 6. What assessments can the special education teachers use? Appendix I lists some recommended assessments however teachers can use assessments from the district-adopted core and intervention programs or other research-based assessments for screening and progress monitoring. 7. As a priority two district, are all of our special education teachers kindergarten through grade twelve (K-12) eligible or only those who teach at Reading First eligible schools? All special education teachers, kindergarten through grade three (K-3) in non-participating Reading First districts (Priority 1) are eligible for funding. All special education teachers, K-12 at all schools in Reading first districts (Priority 2) are eligible for funding. 8. If we are fully implementing components of a state board approved program, for example, using the Corrective Reading portion of Reach, can we be funded? Full implementation of all components of the Science Research Associates/Reach Program or any other state-approved program would meet requirements. 9. Is the $6500 per special education teacher provided each of the three years of the grant? Each special education teacher will receive the funded amount each year of the grant. No LEA shall receive more than 12.5 percent of available funding. 10. Are Diagnostic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) in English an accepted assessment? DIBELS is an accepted assessment in English and Spanish. 11. Since there is no Regional Technical Assistance Center (R-TAC) for Orange County, would we work with Sandra Ceja in San Diego? Sandra Ceja is the R-TAC assigned to Orange County. 12. Is the professional development for High Point available through SB 472? Professional development for High Point is available through SB 472. All of the programs that have professional development are available at the following California Department of Education (CDE) Web page at Page 2 of 2

3 13. Can interventions for K-3 be transitioned in? Limit supplemental materials and technology programs to those that are directly aligned to the LEA s adopted reading/language arts program and that do not supplant core instructional time. 14. What do LEAs need to provide to private schools? Ensure that private schools have been contacted regarding the LEA s Special Education Teacher Professional Development Pilot Program, and if appropriate, that services will be coordinated in compliance with Section 9501 of the No Child Left Behind Act of Should a member of the private school serve on the SETPD team? What if the private school is not using the district s adopted program, but an alternate adopted intervention program? If the private school is participating in the program, the private school should be invited to participate on the district SETPD team. They would not be obligated to participate. Districts are required to offer professional development services to the private schools credentialed special education teachers even if the core or intervention programs are different. 16. What training should the special education teachers take this summer if they have already completed the first level of training for their adopted program? They should participate in professional development tied to the adopted program that builds on the Year One professional development program (and matches the criteria in Appendix M) and provides (at a minimum) 40 hours of face-to-face training and 80 hours of follow-up training as specified in SB Can the district use Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading & Spelling (LETRS) for the first 40 hours and connect the 80 hours of follow up to Read 180 during the school year? LETRS is not a program that has state approved SB 472 training for the first year so it could not be used for year one of a special education teacher training. 18. Does the training have to take place during the summer of 2008? District will not receive grant notification until after teachers have left for summer vacation. It is the intent of the program to provide training for teachers each year and districts are encouraged to make every effort to achieve this. Training can take place during the summer of 2008, 2009, and 2010 or during the school year. Page 3 of 3

4 19. If a district has a middle school with Resource Specialists Program (RSP) teachers who teach two periods of Read 180, the instructional minutes add up to only 94 minutes per day. Do they meet the requirement for adequate instructional minutes? Even if they added a third period, the total minutes per day only equals 141 minutes. Should they exclude special education teachers in this situation Following the intervention program s instructional minutes requirement would be necessary to meet the grant requirements. The SETPD team can help to facilitate the implementation of the LEA-adopted reading/language arts programs in all special education instructional settings, and make regular classroom visits to ensure that special education students learning is progressing. 20. What are the requirements for a special education teacher to be funded? A special education teacher referred to in this application is one who holds a valid California Education Specialist Credential or holds a valid California teaching credential and is enrolled in an approved Special Education Intern Program and provides instruction in the technical skills of beginning reading to identified special education students. 21. This is a three (3) year grant. If the district adopts an alternate adopted intervention plan during this time, what is the impact of expectations for the district in regards to this sub-grant? Does the training then revert to year one or beginning level? The district should train all of its teachers in year one of the appropriate grade level if a new program is adopted. 22. What is the funding amount for Professional Development in Reading for Special Education Teachers Pilot Program Fiscal Year 2008? The total amount of funding for this grant is $34.9 million over three years. Special education teachers will be funded at an amount of $6,500 to $8,000 per teacher. Funding over $6,500 requires the submission of two three-year budgets (Appendix H) and two separate budget rationales: one budget calculated at $6,500 per teacher and the second calculated at whatever additional amount is being requested (up to $8,000 per teacher). Only the budget and rationale based on $6,500 per teacher will be used in scoring applications. However, the three-year budget and rationale for over $6,500 funding must be submitted with this application if the applicant is applying for the additional funding. 23. Are matching funds required for this program and if so, do they significantly alter an applicant s chances at funding? Matching funds are not required. Page 4 of 4

5 24. Is the application due date still May 23, 2008? The due date is May 23, 2008 by 1:00 p.m. 25. Would special education teachers who share a contract both be eligible for the training opportunities or does a teacher have to be employed full time Both teachers are eligible and should participate in the professional development but the funding would be for one special education teacher. 26. Do pacing schedules apply to the pacing calendar of the student s grade level or the pacing calendar of the grade level at which they are working? For example, a third grade student reading at a first grade level: Can the teacher use the pacing of the first grade curriculum? Adopt pacing schedules for self-contained classrooms (teaching, at a minimum, 50 percent of the adopted program annually), thereby ensuring that the most essential components are covered as appropriate for designated special education instructional settings. Special education teachers can formulate the pacing schedule in collaboration with the appropriate grade level teachers of the curriculum s grade level. 27. Could an LEA qualify for the Reading First grant if they have less than 2.5 hours in kindergarten language arts time in half-day Kindergarten classrooms? Sixty instructional minutes are required in half-day kindergarten classrooms. 28. For grades four and five, the interpretation is that besides two hours of language arts instruction and the half hour of RSP time of strategic intervention (presumed to be focused on language arts) would we still need to provide more additional RSP time to students? Special education teachers must look at the requirements of the students individual educational program to determine the number of additional RSP time. 29. May a district apply for the SETPD grant if it did not send in an Intent to Apply form? A district can apply without sending in the Intent to Apply form. Page 5 of 5

6 30. On Appendix B, it says: Voyager Passport - Is that the core California Passport - grades four through eight (2.5 hrs of instruction daily) or is it the Voyager Passport (intervention instruction of minutes daily in kindergarten through grade eight?) This district uses both programs. The core California Passport for grades four through eight is the state-approved program and must be used as intended by the publisher, including the number of minutes required to fully implement the program. 31. May a district apply for both core programs & intervention programs included in the application or just one or the other? In the application, specify which program special education teachers are using with their students and what training the teachers will be receiving. 32. Does this grant application allow for consortiums of both priority one and priority two districts involved in the combined consortium application? Each LEA must apply separately as a priority one or two. Special Education Teacher Professional Development Pilot Program Additional Frequently Asked Questions 1. Can we include our directly funded charter schools in our district application? No, directly funded charter schools must apply independently. 2. The application states that indirect costs may be no more than 3.5 percent. What if my district only allows 2.5 percent? Follow your district rules if the allowable amount is less. The state allows for no more than 3.5 percent. 3. Do we need a table of contents? A table of contents is not required. 4. What order should we submit the application documents? Use the Section II Application Content (page 12 in the application) to order the documents in your submission. Page 6 of 6

7 5. Question number six asks about the budget for kindergarten through grade three teachers. What if we are a Priority Two district? Should we include information for our kindergarten through grade twelve teachers? Priority Two applicants should give information pertaining to all special education teachers that are included in the application and specify the grade levels of teachers and core or intervention programs as needed for clarity in the review process. Page 7 of 7

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