Texas Inclusion ActivitiesOverview Dottie Goodman TEA | Division of IDEA Coordination Lilie Elizondo-Limas TEA | Division of School Readiness & partnerships
Texas Expanding Opportunities Supported by Interagency Technical Assistance from – • NECTAC(National Early Childhood TA Center) • SERRC(Southeast Regional Resource Center) • NCCIC(National Child Care and Information TA Center) • Head Start State Training & Technical Assistance Office
The Goal of Expanding Opportunities The goal is to support state efforts to increase inclusive opportunities for young children with disabilities.
Texas Mission and Vision Vision: All Texas children birth through five and their families have access to high quality inclusive early care and education opportunities. Mission: The Texas Expanding Opportunities State Interagency Team will work collaboratively across systems to develop and sustain a continuum of inclusive early care and education supports and services.
Beginning Activities • Explore issues and challenges related to Texas children with disabilities • Discover examples where inclusion is going well • Articulate systems outcomes • Develop a plan
Texas Expanding Opportunities Plan Key points in the developed plan: 1. Achieve a cohesive interagency system with shared values and vision 2. Increase and improve the awareness of the need for inclusive practices through collaboration
Texas Expanding Opportunities Plan 3. To offer and coordinate professional development on inclusion 4. To improve program and staff access to expertise
Activities in Progress to Support the Texas Plan Pre-K Guidelines Project Phase I Align each Pre-K guidelines to one or more of the three Early Childhood Outcomes Positive social-emotional skills (including social relationships) Acquisition and use of knowledge and skills (including early language / communication and early literacy Use of appropriate behaviors to meet their needs
Phase II Provide modifications and adaptations for children with special needs aligned with the Pre- K Guidelines Extend document to include a developmental continuum for teachers to use in developing appropriate goals for three year olds based on the guidelines. Activities in Progress to Support the Texas Plan
School Readiness Integration Partnerships • TEC § 29.1533 requires that before establishing a new prekindergarten program, a school district shall consider the possibility of sharing use of an existing Head Start or other child care program site as a prekindergarten site.
Free Prekindergarten Eligibility A child is eligible for enrollment in prekindergarten if at least three years of age and: • unable to speak and comprehend English; • educationally disadvantaged; • homeless; • dependent of active duty member of US military; • dependent of member of US military injured or killed on active duty; or • is or has ever been in foster care
What is School Readiness Integration? • High-Quality, Intensive Instructional Program • Serves children 3 and 4 years of age • Encourages shared resources among 3 groups of government-funded public and private child care programs
What is School Readiness Integration? • Sharing resources across program sites in a community or communities such as having a certified teacher, sharing space, sharing training dollars. • Developing strong partnerships among service providers who jointly take responsibility for providing early education services and who develop new relationships and systems to improve services for children. • Promotes community relationships and communication to serve more children in cost-effective ways.
Prekindergarten Early Start Program • Grantee must provide appropriate instruction for children eligible under the bilingual and special education programs. Services to special populations eligible for free prekindergarten such as educationally disadvantaged, limited English proficient, homeless, Preschool Program for Children with Disabilities (PPCD), IDEA-B, community child care and Head Start sites through SRI partnerships. • Grantee must provide assurance that all regulations that apply to public prekindergarten programs also apply at community sites. Funds provided to districts to serve special population students must continue to be used for the benefit of the child regardless of the setting in which the child is placed.
Prekindergarten Services • When a student who is eligible for special education but not eligible for PK is served in a PK classroom, a special education teacher must be in the classroom for the entire half or full day for contact hours to be generated. • When a student who is eligible for both special education and PK is served in a PK classroom, the student should be assigned the appropriate instructional arrangement/setting code based on the location, amount, and type of special education services provided to the student. • When a student who is eligible for special education is served in a childcare facility, a special education teacher must provide services at the facility for the entire half or full day for contact hours to be generated.
Texas Prekindergarten Resources • Children’s Learning Institute – UTHSC – Houston • http://www.childrenslearninginstitute.org/ • Texas Pre-K Guidelines – English and Spanish http://www.childrenslearninginstitute.org/our-programs/program-overview/TX-Pre-K-Guidelines/ • For information, contact: Dr. John Gasko, Director of State Initiatives Texas State Center for Early Childhood Development and the Texas Early Education Model (TEEM) Tel:713-500-3575 John.W.Gasko@uth.tmc.edu
Texas Inclusion Activities • Contact Information for Dottie and Lilie: • Dottie Goodman • firstname.lastname@example.org • Lilie Elizondo-Limaslilie.email@example.com School Readiness & Partnerships Texas Education Agency 1701 N. Congress Avenue, Austin, TX 78701 512-936-6060
What is Opportunity? • A chance to do or a time for doing (something) • Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. ~ Thomas A. Edison (1847-1931)