Recent News

1/20/2020

SPDG Activities at the 2020 PIE Conference

Going to the 2020 PIE Conference?
Join SPDG in any of the following activities to learn more about the benefits of SPDG's approach for ALL  students ages 3-22 and how your district can apply for SPDG 3.0.

Tuesday, January 28, Room 104DE
All SPDG district 1.0 & 2.0 educators are invited to a special session with PIE Keynote speaker Danny Steele: School Leadership: It’s Not Just for Principals.

  • 1.0 District Invite-only session – 1:30-2:45 p.m.
    For all SPDG district 1.0 educators [light blue badge ribbon]
  • 2.0 District Invite-only session – 3:15-4:30 p.m.
    For all SPDG district 2.0 educators [dark blue badge ribbon]
Wednesday, January 29, Room 104DE
Join us to learn how your district can increase access to engaging, high-quality instruction for every student every day.
  • SPDG 3.0 K-12 Content Preview – 10:15-11:30 a.m.
    D104DE. Motivation Marionettes: Creating Climates for Learning
  • SPDG 3.0 Application Information K-12 & Early Childhood– 1-2:15 p.m.
    E104DE. SPDG 3.0 Application: ACCESS to Instruction and Intervention for Each and Every Student
  • SPDG 3.0 K-12 Content Preview [repeat] – 2:45-4 p.m.
    F104DE. Motivation Marionettes: Creating Climates for Learning

Additional SPDG Activities at PIE

  • SPDG Booth 206/208 in the Exhibit Hall 4th floor Karl F. Dean Ballroom A
    Tuesday from 7a.m. – 4:30 p.m. and Wednesday from 7a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • Free Coffee Bar sponsored by SPDG on the 4th floor near registration.
    Tuesday 12:30 p.m and Wednesday 8 a.m. (Closes each day once 300 cups are served.)
  • SPDG related breakout sessions throughout the conference.
    Click on the SPDG button in the PIE app for more information about these sessions.
We look forward to seeing you there!

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1/10/2020

Benefits of Participating in SPDG 3.0

Infographic: SPDG Impacts both Educator Practice and Student Performance
(Click the image to download the full sized pdf)

Through SPDG 3.0, districts will have the exciting opportunity to participate in activities and supports that are focused on improving outcomes for all students, including those with disabilities.

Join us at Booth 206/208 at the PIE conference
on January 28 and 29 to find out more information and
 be one of the first to gain access to the application!
Or contact us at [email protected]

     TN SPDG Info graphic

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    12/4/2019

    Winter Break Reading Ideas for Families

    Parents and caregivers play an important role in supporting children’s literacy development, especially when children are having difficulty. With Winter break and the holiday’s right around the corner, remember to take time to keep your children engaged in learning and reading. 

    To aid you, STEP Inc. has published a list of suggestions for “sneaking” reading into daily activities with your children, as well as links to additional ideas and resources to keep your kids - of all ages - reading over the holidays.

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    11/15/2019

    Special Invite-Only session with Danny Steele at 2020 PIE

    ALL educators from participating SPDG 2.0 cohort districts are invited to a special session at 2020 PIE.

    When: January 28, from 3:15-4:30 p.m.
    Where: Music City Center in Nashville, TN.
    Speaker: Keynote Danny Steele
    Topic: School Leadership: It’s Not Just for Principals

    SPDG 2.0 district principals and assistant principals attend PIE for free! Enjoy complimentary registration for PIE and this exciting presentation by Danny Steele!

    See the linked flyer below for more information on Danny's session.

    TNSPDG 2.0 Districts 2020 PIE Invite-only session flyer

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    11/12/2019

    SPDG 3.0 Coming Soon!

    The Division of Special Populations is pleased to announce the opportunity for additional districts to become a part of the SPDG community (State Personnel Development Grant) with a 3rd cohort of districts.

    Through SPDG 3.0, districts will have the exciting opportunity to participate in activities and supports that are focused on improving outcomes for all students, including those with disabilities.

    Join us at the PIE conference on January 29th to participate in a preview session, attend an informational session, and be one of the first to gain access to the application!  Register for 2020 PIE

    See the SPDG 3.0 flyer for more information.

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    10/16/2019

    Sign up Now: Parent Webinar Series Focused on Supporting Partnerships for Student Success

    STEP-TN announces a new Webinar Series - Families and Schools Together (FAST): Increasing Student Success Through Partnership. The series consists of three webinars, each of which will be recorded and archived for those who are unable to attend. All webinars are 12:30-1:30 p.m. eastern time. Additional details are listed below.

    Reserve your webinar seat

    • October 22 - Identifying Each Student's Strengths and Needs
      Effectively communicating your child’s areas of strength and their unique needs sets the stage for children and youth with disabilities to be successful in school. STEP will provide tools families can use to provide important information about their child to teachers. These tools can be used by teachers to help families provide information to inform supports and service decisions.These tools can also be used by teachers to gather this information from families.
    • November 19 - Hearing the Families' Voice - Parent Concerns as a Priority
      Understanding the concerns of families related to the child’s education is an important part of the Individualized Education Program (IEP) process. This webinar will focus on how families can effectively share their concerns and strategies for IEP teams to respond to parent concerns..
    • January 22 - Supporting Students in their Least Restrictive Environment
      Students with disabilities are to receive education in their least restrictive environment (LRE), which means that students should participate with their non-disabled peers to the greatest extent appropriate. This webinar will look at child, family, and curriculum considerations to consider as the IEP team discusses the individual needs of each child related to supports and services to ensure student success in their LRE.

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    7/16/2019

    Baby Talks Webinar: ”Math is Everywhere"

    Did you know that as a parent you can help your baby or toddler understand math concepts during your everyday routines? This one hour Baby Talks Webinar, ”Math is Everywhere,” will help you discover fun ways to support early math skills that will help your child get a head start on math! Sign up for the webinar here. If you can’t join live, it will be available for viewing on demand.

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    5/1/2019

    New Tools to Support Preschool Learning: Supports for Bilingual Children and for Technology Integration

    The Education Development Center has published two new tools for developing a supportive learning environment for children who are emergent bilingual (or dual language) learners, while also seeking to meaningfully integrate technology tools into their programs.

    Supporting Emergent Bilingual Children in Early Learning  and Integrating Technology into Early Learning are short booklets (online in pdf format) that draw on current research into how children learn, giving educators promising practices for supporting the diverse needs of young learners. Easy-to-use classroom checklists are also provided to aid educators in effectively implementing these practices. These resources, available in Spanish, Chinese, and English, are applicable to all early childhood professionals, working in all types of learning environments, with young children from all backgrounds.

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    3/5/2019

    Milestone Tracer App Available

    Promoting healthy early childhood development is an important goal of Tennessee SPDG.  A free app is now available from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to assist with that goal. CDC's Milestone Tracer app helps families learn more about milestones a child should reach in how he or she plays, learns, speaks, acts and moves from birth to age 5.  The app allows parents to track their child's developmental progress through the use of an interactive, illustrated checklist.  It can also suggest when it's time to "act early" by talking with your child's health care providers about any concerns you may have about your child's development. While the use of the app is not a substitute for validated, standardized developmental screenings, it can be a very helpful tool for parents and families. Download it free on iOS and Android devices in English and Spanish.

    https://www.tnstep.org/new/?id=2683

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    2/4/2019

    Partners in Education Conference Held

    The Partners in Education conference took place in downtown Nashville January 28 - 31.  It was a great success. Registration had to be cut off at 2,300 participants. Keynote speakers included Dr. Rosemarie Allen, Gerry Brooks, and Dr. Temple Grandin. There was also an early childhood track throughout the conference that included sessions conducted by several early childhood professionals, along with special guest speaker Dr. Erin Barton from Vanderbilt. All speakers were well received and did a tremendous job.

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    12/3/2018

    Pyramid Training Conducted Across State

    Nearly 120 individuals participated in the three Pyramid Model train the trainer events that took place in the fall.  The four day trainings took place in each grand division of the state. The Pyramid Model is an evidenced-based approach to support social-emotional competencies for young children and is an effective model for improving outcomes in the classroom setting.  You can learn more about the Pyramid Model by visiting their website at http://www.pyramidmodel.org/about/. Plans are underway for some of those trained on the Pyramid Model to provide regional trainings in July, 2019.

     

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    9/14/2018

    STEP Offers New Resources for Dyslexia

    "Say Dyslexia" Law - Overview for School DistrictsThe Tennessee “Say Dyslexia” law requires school districts to screen all students for characteristics of dyslexia. The “Say Dyslexia” Law Overview for School Districts provides requirements of the “Say Dyslexia” law, universal screening process summary, continuum of programming, and resources. Dyslexia Overview for Parents

     The new Dyslexia Overview for Parents one-page guide includes information about the law, school obligations, the screening process, tips for parents, and resources.

    These new resources, developed in collaboration with Tennessee Department of Education, can provide parents and the school community with vital information that can improve knowledge of the law, enhance communication between parents and educators, and positively impact children’s school outcomes.

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    7/13/2018

    Early Childhood Inclusion Cohort Summit Held

    The first SPDG Early Childhood Inclusion Cohort Summit took place in Cool Springs July 11-12.  Nearly 100 individuals from the 17 SPDG districts participated. The wide range of Summit participants included special education supervisors and teachers, voluntary pre-K directors and teachers, Head Start directors, related services providers, other early childhood personnel, building principals, and a superintendent.

    Kiersten Kinder got the Summit kicked off on a high note as the keynote speaker. Many topics were covered at the Summit, all with a focus on increasing inclusive practices for young children at the district level. Each district team spent time developing a vision around inclusion as well as an action plan for increasing inclusive practices.

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    6/4/2018

    New Webinar on Preschool Inclusion and Kindergarten Readiness

    The TNSPDG initiative is committed to providing quality, inclusive early childhood programs to help children be successful in general education environments. To do this, professional development is provided through SPDG initiatives to support the work of districts toward increasing inclusive practices for 3-5-year-old children with disabilities and by addressing needs around improving and sustaining high-quality early childhood classrooms.

    TNSTEP’s newest Lunchtime Leaders webinar "Preschool Inclusion and Kindergarten Readiness" explores educational placement options for preschoolers, best practices in quality preschool classrooms and strategies families can use to be prepared participants in planning educational services for their children with special needs.

    Click here for the archived webinar

    Presented by:
    Colleen Van Dyke, IDEA 619 Consultant, East Tennessee TN Dept. of Education, Division of Special Populations and Student Support
    Karen Harrison, Executive Director, Support and Training for Exceptional Parents (STEP, Inc.).

    This webinar is a collaborative project of the Tennessee Department of Education State Personnel Development Grant (SPDG) and STEP, Inc. (Support and Training for Exceptional Parents), Tennessee's Parent & Youth Training and Information Center.

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    5/23/2018

    SPDG 2.0 Districts Named

     Click map to download larger Image.

    Congratulations to the new districts named in the State Personnel Development Grant for 2018-2019. After a rigorous application process, twenty districts were selected from across the state of Tennessee for the K-12 training and grant. These districts will begin their journey this June at the train the trainer event.

    In addition to being selected for K-12, many were also chosen for the first year of early childhood professional development as well as some additional districts notated below:


    SPDG 2.0 Participating Districts


    K-12

    Pre-school

    District Name

    Region

    District Name

    Region

    Lakeland School System

    SW

    Lakeland School System

    SW

    Bells City School

    NW

    Bells City School

    NW

    Lincoln County Schools

    SC

    Lincoln County Schools

    SC

    Chester County

    SW

    Chester County

    SW

    Cocke County School System

    FT

    Cocke County School System

    FT

    Bedford County

    SC

    Bedford County

    SC

    Cheatham County

    MC

    Cheatham County

    MC

    Marion County

    SE

    Marion County

    SE

    Milan Special School District

    NW

    Milan Special School District

    NW

    Henry County School System

    NW

    Henry County School System

    NW

    Kingsport City Schools

    FT

    Kingsport City Schools

    FT

    Houston County

    MC

    Houston County

    MC

    Sumner County

    MC

    Haywood County Schools

    SW

    Wilson County

    MC

    Loudon County School District

    E

    Jefferson County

    E

    Morgan County Schools

    E

    Benton County

    NW

     

     

    Unicoi County

    FT

     

     

    Fayette County

    SW

     

     

    Oneida Special School District

    E

     

     

    Washington County

    FT

     

     

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