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  • Research & Evidence-Based Practices - The resources provided here are supported by research and evidence. Topics include assessment, child development, curriculum & instruction, family involvement, inclusion, and transition.
  • Laws & Regulations - This page provides laws and regulations focused on the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). It also provides policy guidance and statements relevant to early childhood special education.
  • State/Federal Organizations - This page provides national and state level initiatives and organizations relevant to early childhood special education.
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Showing Results 1 - 50 of 201
Description: VDOE works closely with the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) and other state and federal authorities to provide the latest information and guidance on COVID-19 to the commonwealth’s public schools. This Web page provides division and building-level administrators, school health coordinators and educators with ready access to up-to-date resources and information about COVID-19 and the steps schools should take to safeguard the health of students and staff. Virginia public schools, in...
Description: Has there been any discussion about how school divisions will provide for a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) for students with disabilities in the event of school closures Timelines for special education and will the state or federal calendar be adjusted? What about the use of electronic signatures? What about children referred from Part C to Part B? What if a referral from Part C to Part B is late? How will VDOE’s Training and Technical Assistance Centers’ (TTAC)...
Description: On March 23, 2020, Governor Ralph Northam, closed all public and private schools through the end of this school year due to this unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. This FAQ document provides answers to commonly asked questions related to the transition from Early Intervention to Early Childhood Special Education. In This FAQ Early Intervention School Closures Transition from EI to ECSE Communicating with Families
Description: As increasing numbers of educators and students move to virtual learning during this time of social distancing due to COVID-19, join representatives from the U.S. Department of Education's Student Privacy Policy Office (SPPO) for a webinar to review some frequently asked questions on the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and implications for distance learning due to school closures. There is a FERPA & Virtual Learning Webinar on Monday, March 30, 2020. (This webinar is full.)...
Description: #GoOpenVA is a collaborative initiative that enables educational entities throughout Virginia to create, share, and access openly-licensed educational resources (OER, also known as open education resources). OER are free digital materials that can be used or modified to adjust to student needs; they are openly-licensed unhampered by many traditional copyright limitations. GoOpenVA encourages all Virginia educators and learners to create, share, and use digital resources with the end goals of...
Description: This document contains: Basic Resources Closures Virginia Preschool Initiative (VPI) Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) Expansion of VPI/Mixed Delivery Application for 2020-2021 Food and Nutrition Programs Learning Resources for Educators and Families CLASS Observations and Professional Development Planning/Consultations Monitoring Teacher Licensure Preschool Development Grant Birth-Five Upcoming Events
Description: When general education students and students with special needs play together, it breaks down unconscious biases about disability and fosters relationships. A powerful video from a California school that demonstrates inclusion on the playground.
Description: This manual was developed by the Virginia Department of Education and the state system of Training and Technical Assistance Centers to help local school divisions meet federal and state mandates that children with disabilities be educated in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE). This is specifically the IPOP Planning Guide. For the IPOP Modules, see this link: IPOP (Inclusive Placement Opportunities for Preschoolers) Manual ***Updated 2019***
Description: ABSTRACT: This Information Memorandum (IM) highlights requirements in the Head Start Program Performance Standards (HSPPS) related to the inclusion of children with disabilities and delays. It includes a list of free resources for grantees' use in implementation efforts. BACKGROUND: Head Start and Early Head Start programs are required to ensure that at least 10% of enrollment slots are occupied by children with disabilities. In fact, Head Start's founders and early pioneers recognized that both...
Description: This manual was developed by the Virginia Department of Education and the state system of Training and Technical Assistance Centers to help local school divisions meet federal and state mandates that children with disabilities be educated in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE). The manual contains 8 modules and extensive resources which provide critical information for understanding, building, supporting, and sustaining inclusive placement opportunities for young children with...
Description: The K-12 Inclusive Practices Guide is an informational resource to support school divisions and parents looking to improve outcomes for students with disabilities by meeting their needs to the maximum extent possible in general education setting.
Description: The VCPD Inclusive Practices Task Force has compiled a list of state and national resources in support of inclusive practices for young children birth to age five. The "VCPD Inclusive Practices State and National Resources November 2019" includes awareness and rationale, evaluation of inclusive programs, high quality inclusive practices, and systems level supports. Websites, books, and technical assistance center resources are described. If you cannot locate it on the homepage, search for title...
Description: The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE), in collaboration with Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), has begun work to develop a unified set of early learning and development (ELD) standards for children ages birth to five. Virginia’s ultimate goal is to help improve academic and developmental outcomes for all children across the Commonwealth.  Virginia’s unified Birth-Five ELD standards will (1) reflect cultural responsiveness, (2) be pragmatic for families and varied...
Description: From the big picture to the nitty gritty, learn more about CLASS® (Classroom Assessment Scoring System) from their free resources. This section includes: Webinars Videos Info sheets Research Case studies Crosswalks E-books Tutorials
Description: The Guidelines for Working with Students Who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing in Virginia Public Schools has been recently revised (9/2019). This announcement went out in the Superintendent's Memo #257 on Friday, October 25, 2019. In addition, the updated Virginia Communication Plan for a Student Who is Deaf or Hard of Hearing (Revised 9/2019) has also been posted. These documents may be downloaded and used as needed. Note, the Virginia Communication Plan is also located in Appendix G in the 2019...
Description: Preschool refers to the time before a child is old enough to go to kindergarten or elementary school.  In Virginia, preschoolers who are eligible for special education and related services are entitled to placement in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) alongside their peers without disabilities with supplementary aids and services.  Inclusion in early childhood programs is supported through years of research and reinforced by a strong legal foundation and can set a trajectory for...
Description: Virginia Child Count, 2018* Children with IEPs, Ages Two-Five In 2013, approximately 17,250 children In 2014, approximately 17,350 children In 2015, approximately 17,600 children In 2016, approximately 18,500 children In 2017, approximately 19,200 children In 2018, approximately 19,800 children- An increase of 620 children from 2017 Children with IEPs, by Age Ages 0-2: 1,038 children with IEPs (an increase of 110 children (15%) from 2017) Age 3: 4,309 children with IEPs Age 4: 6,485 children...
Description: Indicator 7: Early Childhood Outcomes Percent of children with IEPs who demonstrate improved: 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 needs Data are from the 2018-2019 school year. 1. Social-emotional skills a. Of those children who entered the program below age expectations in Outcome, the percent that substantially increased...
Description: Virginia Indicator 6 Data December 1, 2018 Indicator 6: Early Childhood Placement* Indicator 6: Early Childhood Environment for Children with IEPs Target A – Regular early childhood program and receiving the majority of special education and related services in the regular education childhood program; Target B – Separate special education class, separate school, or residential facility State Target for FFY 2017: Target A: Greater or equal to 35% Target B: Less than or equal to 17%...
Description: To support high-quality instruction, improve teacher-child interactions, and improve kindergarten readiness in Virginia’s preschool classrooms, the 2019 Virginia General Assembly appropriated funds to support well-prepared teachers for children served through the Virginia Preschool Initiative. The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) is pleased to announce the Virginia Preschool Initiative (VPI) Provisionally Licensed Teacher Incentive Program. This program provides funding up to...
Description: Virginia Early Childhood Foundation (VECF) is pleased to partner with the Virginia Department of Education in implementing the $9.9 million federal Preschool Development Grant Birth to Five awarded to Virginia earlier this year. Through this grant, Virginia seeks to understand the current state of early care and education and what it will take to provide children with quality care, support, and a strong start in life.   Today, critical first steps in this process - a statewide Needs...
Description: Governor Northam Establishes Executive Leadership Team on School Readiness Directs state agencies to develop plan to expand access to early education for all at-risk three- and four-year-olds by 2025   NORFOLK—Governor Ralph Northam on 7/24/2019 signed Executive Directive Four, which establishes the Executive Leadership Team on School Readiness. The Team will be responsible for making recommendations that unify and strengthen Virginia’s early childhood system, including...
Description: RICHMOND (Released June 3, 2019)—Governor Ralph Northam today announced that the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation (VECF), in consultation with the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE), will award four grants to local communities that have proposed innovative approaches to expand access to high-quality preschool for at-risk children through partnerships with community-based early childhood programs. This is the fourth cohort of mixed-delivery grantees since 2016. This year, VECF and...
Description: This webinar will provide the background and rationale for using a coaching interaction style in early childhood programs to build the capacity of parents, teachers, and other care providers to promote child learning within the context of everyday routines and activities. In this powerful webinar, the presenters, Dathan Rush and M'Lisa Shelden, will share the evidence-based characteristics of coaching practices and discuss strategies that can be used by all early childhood educators from a...
Description: Ready to learn the ins and outs of Listening and Spoken Language (LSL) early intervention? Hearing First just launched the Fundamentals of LSL Learning Series, a new 12-course learning program that will give professionals and parents a solid foundation of knowledge to help children with hearing loss learn to listen and talk. If you're new to LSL or just seeking to up level your learning, this program is for you! The first learning experience of the series starts in July, but you can learn...
Description: The VPI Guidelines have been revised to reflect goals and objectives in Virginia's Plan to Ensure High-Quality Instruction in All Virginia Preschool Initiative Classrooms. The guidelines are also available on the Virginia Department of Education's (VDOE) website at http://www.doe.virginia.gov/early-childhood/preschool/vpi/index.shtml.  
Description: RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today launched Virginia is for Learners, an initiative to engage students, parents, educators, and employers with the Commonwealth’s efforts to better prepare Virginia students for success in the 21st-century workforce and adapt to a changing world. The initiative includes a public information campaign and a coordinated set of future-focused strategies to accompany recent major changes the Commonwealth has made to public education. “Over the...
Description: CDC scientists published a report on the prevalence and characteristics of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) among 4-year-old children. This report is based on information from the Early Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network. Full report published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) Surveillance Summaries.  
Description: This online module from the ECTA Center addresses strategies to engage parents in activities to build their competence and confidence in providing learning opportunities for their child. The module is divided into 4 lessons ranging from 10-15 min. each, and includes short video demonstrations, checks a learner's understanding through a variety of interactive formats, and; includes a family capacity-building checklist for self-assessment or planning home visits.
Description: Parents and caregivers have certain goals in mind when children go to school. Regardless of whether children have disabilities or not, all parents want them to learn, explore, and experience as much as they possibly can. Parents strive for their children to complete their public education, obtain a diploma, and be fully prepared to move on toward their chosen path, whether that is immediate employment, higher education, or something else. In order for your child to achieve these goals, there are...
Description: Foundations of Coaching in Early Childhood: Partnering with Parents and Professionals is a video training resource for early childhood coaches, based on the 5 key characteristics of coaching as outlined by Dathan Rush and M'Lisa Shelden. These characteristics can be applied to a number of early childhood settings. The video features an early interventionist and family, as well as other types of coaches and coachees. (This video series was created by the following partners: Hartford...
Description: These narrated modules were developed by training personnel in Illinois based on content developed by the University of Connecticut Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities. The module corresponds to Indicator 7 child outcome - positive social emotional skills and is focused on identifying age-appropriate skills among children zero to three.
Description: This tool is a self-assessment intended to be used by division personnel involved in the OSEP Child Outcomes Summary process. It can be used by individuals or as part of a peer review process to reflect upon the extent to which the process used by the program meets the quality expectations of the state.  
Description: The Decision Tree can be used to assist teams when determining a rating and are completing the Outcomes Summary Form. 
Description: These resources are designed to help division level personnel increase the fidelity of the COS process. Child Outcome Summary Process Self-Assessment  - This tool is a self-assessment intended to be used by division personnel involved in the OSEP Child Outcomes Summary process. It can be used by individuals or as part of a peer review process to reflect upon the extent to which the process used by the program meets the quality expectations of the state.   Guidance for...
Description: Local Education Agencies (LEAs) must report the percentage of preschool children with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) who demonstrate improved: Positive social-emotional skills (including social relationships), Acquisition and use of knowledge and skills (including early language/communication and early literacy), and Use of appropriate behavior to meet needs. States are required to measure and report on the progress children make between the time they enter a program and the time they...
Description: The Indicator 7 Technical Assistance Document was developed in 2019 to assist school divisions to implement the COS process with fidelity.  Support documents include the COS Summary Form, COS Decision Tree, COS Summary Rating Guide, and COS Process Discussion Prompts.  Indicator 7:  Child Outcomes Summary Process Technical Assistance Document - The purpose is to assist school divisions to implement the COS process with fidelity. Indicator 7: Child Outcomes Summary Process...
Description: The Inclusive Practices (Inclusion) webpage has been designed to provide information and resources to assist in the development of school and community-based programs for students with disabilities, especially those with more significant academic and behavior needs to have greater access to inclusive education with their peers in general education settings. Two of the highlights of the site are the posting of the “Inclusive Practice Partnership Project” products and the announcement...
Description: In response to the 2018 General Assembly, the VDOE created this plan to help ensure that the VPI, which serves nearly 18,000 at-risk children across 1,300 classrooms, provides a high-quality preschool experience that helps prepare each 4-year-old served for kindergarten. The plan aggregates lessons learned from the JLARC study, Virginia Preschool Initiative Plus implementation, and University of Virginia – Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning (CASTL). As requested by the...
Description: The Let’s Participate! project, funded by the Office of Special Education Programs, was designed to help infants, toddlers and preschoolers with disabilities participate more fully in everyday activities through the use of assistive technology (AT). Let's Partcipate's newly revamped website is chock-full of information on using AT with young children. Build Your Assistive Technology Program Grow Your Assistive Technology Program Please check...
Description: In addition to the Virginia resources, the ECTA website provides many resources to help with delivery of professional development on the COS process. A Guide to the COS Process Training and Technical Assistance Resource - This document provides an overview of many of the resources available on the ECTA Outcomes webpage that can support local, regional or state training and technical assistance on child outcomes. COS Training Resources - The ECTA website provides...
Description: This guide aims to help parents like you understand the flexibility provided to States and school districts in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which amended the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, a landmark Federal education law. We know that parents are the most important advocates for their children. Because States and school districts have significant flexibility in how they meet the requirements of the law, you have an opportunity to influence how they use that flexibility to...
Description: The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) is pleased to announce free, online non-credit courses being offered by the University of Virginia (UVA) in the fall of 2018 and the spring of 2019 for teachers teaching Virginia Preschool Initiative (VPI) students during the 2018-2019 school year.  The Virginia Preschool Initiative teachers in school divisions that have not received federal VPI+ grant funds will have first priority for enrollment in these online courses.  Both courses are...
Description: The Teaching Channel now offers a large collection of professional development videos for pre-K teachers to discover new approaches for working with students. Some of the video topics include interactive read aloud, identifying feelings, building emotional literacy, and gathering data.
Description: Sign It! is an innovative new online curriculum for learning American Sign Language (ASL). The instruction is done by professional actors (both deaf and hearing) who are fluent in ASL and is highly interactive, entertaining, and engaging. You can complete the lessons at your own pace. Built-in quizzes provide feedback about how well you are learning the material, and there is ample opportunity for practice. You'll see video vignettes showing conversational ASL, interviews with deaf celebrities,...
Description: Data are from the December 1, 2017 Child Count unless noted otherwise. Child Count by Age Total Children with Individualized Education Programs Ages 2-5 as of December 1, 2017: 19,224 Total Children with Individualized Education Programs Ages 2-5 as of December 1, 2016: 18,504 (Approximately 3.5% increase)   Total Children with Individualized Education Programs Ages 3-5 as of December 1, 2017: 18,296 Total Children with Individualized Education Programs Age 2 as of December 1,...
Description: Scientists and parents know that young children’s brain development is critically important—and researchers learn more every day. Children experience their most profound cognitive, social, and emotional growth in the first eight years of life. Children’s Institute has put together a series to share educational resources and the latest news from experts about young children’s growing brains and how their caregivers can support and nurture this growth. In this series,...
Description: A four decade look at the Section 619 Preschool Program shows a significant increase in children served.  Part B, Section 619 of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is intended to help ensure that all eligible preschool children with disabilities, aged 3-5 years, receive special education and related services. This growth/comparison chart shows the federal appropriations allocated for Part B Section 619, the number of children served, and the federal dollars allocated per...
Description: This guidance document is designed to assist Virginia’s school divisions and early childhood communities in identifying, developing, and sustaining inclusive opportunities within high-quality early childhood programs for children with disabilities.
Description: VDSS is one of the largest Commonwealth agencies, partnering with 120 local departments of social services, along with faith-based and non-profit organizations, to promote the well-being of children and families statewide. We proudly serve alongside 1,650 (state) and 8,500 (local) human services professionals throughout the Social Services System, who ensure that thousands of Virginia's most vulnerable citizens have access to the best services and benefits available to them.