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Oregon Department of Education logo. Oregon Achieves Together

Informational Update February 2018 
Sarah Drinkwater, Assistant Superintendent
Office of Student Services


As I write this introduction, I was reminded of last year’s snowfall, rainfall, and school closures. Fortunately we have not had that extreme weather this year, but there are few weeks left until Spring!
The Legislature is in full swing, and there are a few bills that relate to education, and some, more specifically to students with disabilities.  This list is current as of this February 26, though some bills may have already been adopted.  The Legislative session’s Constitutional Sine Die is March 11, 2018.  Here is the link to the Oregon Legislature should you want to research any of these bills. Legislation.  

  • HB 4047   Prohibits education service districts from imposing high school diploma requirements that are in addition to requirements established by state law if child is enrolled in educational program under Juvenile Detention Education Program or Youth Corrections Education Program.
  • HB 4067   Expands definition of term "child with a disability" for purposes of special education to include children who have developmental delays and who are in third grade or lower.
  • HB 4102   Directs Department of Education to conduct study related to school dropouts.
  • HB 4113   Includes class size as mandatory subject of school district collective bargaining.
  • HB 4117   Increases amounts of moneys received by school districts that are not considered Local Revenues for purposes of State School Fund calculations.
  • HB 4130   Establishes grant program under which Department of Education awards grants to school districts for percentage of certain student transportation costs for which school district does not receive any amount in distributions from State School Fund.
  • HB 4150   Requires specified information to be shared with student or staff member following conclusion of investigation related to sexual harassment.
  • SB 1520   Expands 90-day grace period for employment to all licensees who are licensed by Teacher Standards and Practices Commission.
  • SB 1522   Modifies requirements imposed on school districts for persons receiving special education who have received modified diploma and corrects amendments to grandfather in YCEP students.
  •  SB 1547   Expands list of health care professionals who can provide medical release to youth athlete who is suspected of having concussion.

We are using a new format for our newsletter to make it fully accessible to individuals with disabilities, and are utilizing the same program as Deputy Superintendent Gill’s Education Update, so hopefully you will find it just as easy to navigate.
Lastly, ODE is recruiting for a skilled leader for the position of Assistant Superintendent, Office of Teaching, Learning and Assessment.  If interested, please feel free to contact me or Colt Gill.  Here is the link to the position posting.

New Staff

Sasha Grenier joined ODE in January as the new Sexual Health and School Health Specialist. Sasha spent the last three years at Portland Community College, where she taught and led the Health Studies discipline at the Sylvania campus. Before that, she worked for an international, public health non-profit, Management Sciences for Health in Washington D.C., where she developed education programs for sexual and reproductive health service providers in Sub-Saharan Africa. Sasha has also supported monitoring, evaluation and health communication initiatives at the Pan-American Health Organization’s Office of Gender, Diversity and Human Rights; conducted research on a NIH-funded maternal health project; and worked on behavior change campaigns for the Miami-Dade Health Department’s Women’s Health office.

Grant Wiege is also a new member of our support staff in Student Services.  He was born and raised in Salem, Oregon, though now resides in Silverton.  Currently Grant supports a team of education specialists in the Regional Programs/Best Practices Unit.  He is an avid sports fan with a passion for the Seattle Seahawks and enjoys spicy food.

Education Programs, Secondary Transition and Assessment

PSO Training 2nd Time Around

During the months of April and May, ODE will offer eight Post School Outcome workshops across Oregon.  Whether you attended the first PSO training in 2016 or you are new to this training, it will have important information for you! This all-day workshop will review strategies for collecting, analyzing, and using PSO data to make informed decisions about services and transition programs. This information can be used by districts to develop SPR&I action plans. Participants will learn how to use community supports, experiences, evidence-based practices, and evidence-based predictors as frameworks for implementing in-school transition programs. These practices lead to positive post-school outcomes for students and graduation higher rates. 

ODE will be providing districts with grant awards to cover the costs for participants attending the trainings. Grant award amounts will cover mileage, lodging and per diem (meals) and a fixed stipend amount for those attending on non-contracted days. Lodging and per diem allowance will be included in the award amount only if participants travel over 70 miles one-way to attend a training location. In addition, PDUs will be available for all participants.

Here are all eight events coming up. Please register where it is best for you. Thank you!
Pendleton: Pendleton Convention Center – Tuesday, April 3, 2018
Redmond: High Desert ESD – Thursday, April 5, 2018                 
Eugene: Lane ESD - Monday, April 16, 2018 
Florence: Driftwood Shores Resort - Thursday, April 19, 2018 
Hillsboro: NWRESD – Monday - April 23, 2018                
Portland: MESD – Tuesday - April 24, 2018 
Salem: Best Western Plus Mill Creek Inn - Tuesday, May 1, 2018 
Ashland: Southern Oregon University – Tuesday, May 8, 2018 

Questions: or your TNF

Assessment Update

Below are updates to a memo sent out by Deputy Superintendent Colt Gill, addressing stakeholder concerns related to testing time and the statewide high school summative assessment.

  • Shortened Test Blueprints
    • In an effort to be responsive to feedback from stakeholders, the Oregon Department of Education Assessment Team worked with the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium to implement customized, shortened test blueprints (ODE’s Test Specifications and Blueprints webpage) for all Smarter Balanced assessments. The new assessments:
      • Reduce testing time while maintaining reliability;
      • Include an estimated 1-hour reduction in testing time for English language arts (ELA) at all grade levels;
      • Will go into effect when the 2017-18 test window opens on February 6, 2018. 
  • High School Summative Assessment
ODE has also been exploring the possibility of replacing the high school Smarter Balanced assessment with another nationally recognized test, such as the SAT or ACT, as one way of addressing stakeholder concerns regarding testing at the 11th Grade. ODE released a Request for Information (RFI) to identify potential assessment options and allowed us to make more accurate cost projections in May 2017.
Responses to the RFI, review of additional information shared by other states, and United States Department of Education Peer Review feedback raised issues related to:
  • Equitable access and benefits for historically underserved populations, including students of color, students experiencing poverty, students with disabilities, and English learners
  • Compliance with federal requirements related to technical adequacy, standards alignment, and accessibility within the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the Individualized Education Program (IEP) team assessment decision-making process within the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and state assessment requirements related to language access
  • College-reportable results for all students, including those who test with ODE-approved accessibility supports
  • Logistical considerations around test administration, test windows, scheduling, and scoring and reporting timelines
  • Sufficient inclusion of Oregon educators in the test development process

Subsequent cost projections demonstrated that implementing a replacement nationally recognized high school assessment could cost approximately $5.2 - 5.7 million more per biennium than the current high school assessment. 

Due to the issues listed above and the updated cost projections, it will not be feasible to switch to a new high school assessment in the 2018-19 school year. 

ODE will seek feedback from stakeholders over the next few months as we consider next steps to resolve these issues or develop alternative options to address stakeholder concerns regarding the current approach to high school summative assessment in Oregon. Should it be determined, based on stakeholder input, to pursue a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a replacement nationally recognized test, the significant budgetary impact would require ODE to submit a budget request to the 2019 Legislature to support a transition to a new assessment that would likely be implemented in the 2020-21 school year. 

Questions: (ODE Interim Director of Assessment) 

Modifications and Essential Skills  

For modifications and essential skills requirements information, see the following summary: 
  • An eligible student seeking a Modified Diploma must meet the Essential Skills requirement via an eligible statewide assessment option and/or Work Samples. Student proficiency on the Essential Skills for a Modified Diploma must be substantially similar to Essential Skills proficiency for a Regular Diploma as the Modified Diploma is the recognized equivalent of the regular high school diploma and both are eligible for federal financial aid.
  • Modifications must be in accordance with the decisions made by the student’s IEP or 504 team and documented in the IEP or 504 Plan prior to assessment administration. For students not on a IEP or 504 Plan, the modifications must be in accordance with decisions made by the team responsible for documenting the student’s progress. When modifying cut scores on the statewide assessment, teams must consider the student’s past performance on statewide assessments using the score-to-percentile conversion tables, available here: ODE's Conversion Tables: Scale Score to Percentile Rank.
  • For students using Work Samples to demonstrate proficiency, two Work Samples are required. Modified Essential Skills Work Samples must be linked to high school content standards and the criteria in the official state scoring guide. Modifications are student-specific and may include modifications to the construct (big idea behind the standards), the content (specific information, skills, or domains of knowledge in a content area), or the learning expectations (level of proficiency expected).
  • Work Sample modifications must be the same as the modifications the student received during instruction in the content area to be assessed and in the year in which the Work Sample(s) are administered.
  • Modified achievement standards or other modifications may not be applied to the other standardized assessments, as there is no means of considering past performance and percentiles on the assessment in order to set a defensible modified achievement standard.
  • A student seeking a Modified Diploma may also use the Oregon Extended Assessment to demonstrate the Essential Skills. 

For additional information, please consult the ODE’s Essential Skills and Local Performance Assessment Manual at: 6.0 Students Seeking Modified Diplomas.


Essential Skills for Student Pursuing Modified Diplomas: State Tests and Other Standardized Assessments

The recent article about Work Samples provides specific information about the statewide assessment, other standardized assessments, and the extended assessment. The full requirements and guidance on the Essential Skills for students pursuing Modified Diplomas can be found in Section 6.0 of the Essential Skills and Local Performance Assessment Manual

Statewide Assessment: Smarter Balanced
When modifying cut scores on the statewide assessment, Smarter Balanced teams must base a decision on the student’s past performance on statewide assessments using the score-to-percentile conversion tables available here

Other Standardized Assessments
Modified achievement standards or other modifications may not be applied to the Other Standardized Assessments, as there is no means of considering past performance and percentiles on the assessment in order to set a defensible modified achievement standard. 

Extended Assessment
A student seeking a Modified Diploma may also use the Oregon Extended Assessment to demonstrate the Essential Skills. The achievement standards for Essential Skills on the Extended Assessment are:

  • Reading Essential Skill: Extended Assessment high school reading sub-score: ≥ 914
  • Writing Essential Skill: Extended Assessment high school writing sub-score: ≥ 909
  • Math Essential Skill: Extended Assessment high school math total score: ≥ 907


IDEA Compliance and District Resources

Fiscal and Data Collection Updates

Fiscal Data Collections Updates


 2018 Data Team Feedback Survey

The 2018 Feedback Survey will be sent out via listserv to data submitters and special education administrators on March 1, 2018.  We invite each staff member who submits or is directly involved with the submission and maintenance of special education data to complete the survey. We will solicit additional feedback during the IDEA Data Manager trainings held in April/May 2018. 


IDEA Complaints 

The Oregon Department of Education has completed the following investigations for State IDEA complaints. Full text versions of all the orders can be found here.  

17-054-012 – The parent, with assistance from an advocacy group, filed this complaint against the school district as well as ODE. The Parent alleged that the district failed to conduct an evaluation in a timely fashion, failed to amend the student’s IEP to meet the student’s needs, failed to provide a free appropriate public education to the student, and changed the student’s placement without following appropriate procedures. These allegations were substantiated. The parent also alleged that ODE violated the IDEA by not providing sufficient resources to rural school districts and by not monitoring school district compliance. These allegations were not substantiated.
17-054-014 – This systemic complaint was filed by a former employee of the district, alleging that the district failed to provide specially designed instruction to students, that the content of students’ IEPs was inappropriate, that IEP teams failed to consider the academic, developmental, and functional needs of students, and that evaluation and re-evaluation procedures were not being followed. These allegations were substantiated. The complainant also alleged that for an individual student, a re-evaluation was not conducted prior to terminating the student’s eligibility for special education. This allegation was not substantiated. 


Predetermination and the IEP Process

Predetermination occurs when a school district unilaterally decides a student’s placement in advance of the IEP team meeting.  Prohibited unilateral decision making would also include refusing to consider a particular placement as a matter of district policy.  Predetermination constitutes a denial of a free appropriate public education (“FAPE”) because it impedes meaningful parent participation in the development of an IEP.  There is a difference between predetermination and preparation.  District staff may convene in advance of an IEP team meeting to discuss potential placements, but must approach IEP team meetings with an openness to parental input.  Practices that avoid findings of predetermination include discussing parent objections to placement offers, considering multiple placements, and avoiding drafting documents in final form prior to IEP team meeting discussion taking place.   Actively seek parent input and be receptive to considering parent criticism to avoid allegations of predetermination.  


Regional Programs and Best Practices 

English Learners with Disabilities Webpage on the ODE Website

A new webpage is available with information related to English learners with disabilities. The primary purpose of the English Learners with Disabilities page is to assist community members and educators with resources and updates that help our English Learners with Disabilities to succeed. This page contains links to resources, guidance, conference presentations, and other related pages and resources relevant to English learners with disabilities.

You can access this page from the Regional Programs and Best Practices landing page on the ODE website.


Dyslexia Training Updates 

Please note the following three dyslexia training updates:

  1. The Department has posted a new Request for Information (RFI) for dyslexia-related training opportunities through the Oregon Procurement Information Network (ORPIN). The deadline for vendors to respond to the new RFI is March 15, 2018. The Department will vet training opportunities in April and May and release an updated list of approved training opportunities by June 15, 2018.
  2. Amendments to the dyslexia-related training OARs were adopted by the State Board of Education on January 18, 2018. 
  3. The dyslexia training grant awards have been entered into the Electronic Grant Management System (EGMS). Notification of the grant awards will go out to districts through EGMS the last week of February. The award per K-5 school is $2,523.24. To claim a reimbursement, districts will need to submit the following deliverables:
    1. The name, position, and contact information for each teacher who completed the training;
    2. Certificates of completion from the training for each teacher;
    3. A completed online survey by each trained teacher;
    4. Participation of each trained teacher in a virtual Dyslexia Group on the Oregon Educator Network (OEN); and
    5. Documentation of costs incurred for the training.
Instructions on how to submit a claim along with the required form will be posted on the dyslexia page of the ODE website. The grant period runs the full biennium. 

Universal Screening for Risk Factors of Dyslexia Updates.
SB 1003 requires that districts universally screen for risk factors of dyslexia in kindergarten (and in first grade for students who first enroll in public school in Oregon for first grade) beginning in the 2018/19 school year. The Department has worked with a dyslexia advisory council to draft OARs related to universal screening. The proposed rules   for universal screening will be open for public comment beginning March 1st. Comments can be emailed to the Department at once the rules are posted. The rules will go before the State Board of Education for a first reading at the March 22nd meeting with possible adoption at the April 19th meeting. A public hearing has been scheduled for April 9th at 1:00 p.m. in room 200A of the Public Service Building in Salem.
Upon adoption of the rules related to universal screening by the State Board of Education, the Department can release a list of approved screeners for districts. The Department will also work with the advisory council to develop guidance for notifications to be sent by school districts to parents of students who are identified as having risk factors for reading difficulties, including dyslexia. An estimated timeline for completing the work is as follows:

March - April, 2018 OARs related to universal screening to State Board of Education for approval
End of April, 2018 Department posts list of approved screening tools and guidance for parent notification on ODE website

For updates on the progress of the work related to universal screening, please check the dyslexia page of the ODE website


House Bill 3318:  New Legislation Regarding FBA & BIP

Signed by Governor Brown on June 22, 2017
Effective date July 1, 2018
Applies to the 2018-2019 school year
HB 3318 text (PDF) 
House Bill 3318 establishes procedures for conducting functional behavioral assessments and for developing, reviewing and revising behavior intervention plans for students with IEPs or 504 Plans.
Key text from the bill is outlined as follows:
 A school district must conduct a functional behavioral assessment and develop, review or revise a behavior intervention plan within 45 school days of receiving parental consent to conduct the assessment for every student who has:

  • An IEP or a 504 Plan; and 
  • Placed the student, other students or staff at imminent risk of serious bodily injury as a result of the student’s behavior.
"Serious bodily injury” has the meaning given to that term in ORS 339.285 (4).  
When a behavior intervention plan is developed, reviewed or revised, the school district must:
  •  Ensure that the behavior intervention plan is based on a functional behavioral assessment that was conducted by a qualified person; 
  • Ensure that the behavior intervention plan appropriately addresses the student’s needs; 
  • Allow service providers involved in the incident when the student, other students or staff were at imminent risk of serious bodily injury to provide meaningful input into the development, review or revision; 
  • Inform the service providers about any portions of the behavior intervention plan that are relevant to the service providers and about any training opportunities for the service providers; and, 
  • Ensure that the behavior intervention plan was correctly implemented before making any revisions.

Multiple future training opportunities in best practices prior to implementation in the 2018-19 school year will be available. 


Hearing Impaired or Deaf/Hard of Hearing: Which term should Oregon use?

A request has been made to change the term for a hearing loss that establishes a student’s eligibility for special education services from “Hearing Impairment” to “Deaf/Hard of Hearing.” Individuals have expressed that the term “Hearing Impairment” implies a negative connotation and is outdated.  The term “Deaf/Hard of Hearing” is perceived as an all-inclusive term representing individuals with a wide range of hearing loss and cultural affiliation. 
Please take a moment to give us your input regarding this possible terminology change via this four-question survey. 
Survey link:  Hearing Impaired or Deaf Hard of Hearing Survey.


Special Education and EI/ECSE/General Supervision

Consolidated Plan

Information, guidance, and resources in support of districts SPR&I Consolidated Plan efforts can be found at ODE’s SPR&I Consolidated Plan Webpage.

Over eighty school districts participated in a Consolidated Plan webinar presented by ODE on February 8, 2018. The webinar addressed the Consolidated Plan cycle and timelines, dashboard and indicator access, indicator flagging rules, directions for completing the plan, and a review of data analysis and action planning. There was also a description of the ODE review process and scoring rubric.  ODE suggests district personnel view the webinar in preparation of updating consolidated plans.  The webinar, resources and tools are located on the SPR&I Consolidated Plan webpage on the ODE website. 

  • SPR&I Consolidated Plan: Annual Cycle
  • SPR&I Consolidated Plan Template
  • 2017-18 SPR&I Consolidated Plan: Users Guide (which includes the following):
    • Instructions for accessing the SPR&I dashboard
    • Detailed instructions and best practices resources (Appendix A)
    • Consolidated Plan FAQs (Appendix B)
  • SPR&I Consolidated Plan: Scoring Rubric
  • SPR&I Consolidated Plan: Webinar
    • SPR&I Consolidated Plan PowerPoint
  • Part B (School Age) Indicators: Tree of Influence 

Questions: Contact your County Contact

PCR Files

Thank you all for the monitoring work that went into completing and successfully submitting this year's PCR reviews.  Although the due date for additional file reviews and individual student corrections is April 14, 2019, you need not wait.  You may complete individual student corrections as soon as possible to assure compliance when noncompliance is discovered. Additionally, if you have outstanding systemic corrections from last year, please remember that you may need two or three months to complete this work.  April 14th, 2018 is the due date for PCR corrections from your February 2017 PCR submission.

Questions: Contact your County Contact

Save the Date!

 ODE/COSA Special Education Administrators Annual Fall Conference
Eugene Hilton Conference Center, Eugene, Oregon
Pre-conference Seminars:
Wednesday, October 3, 2018
General Conference Sessions: 
Thursday & Friday, October 4 & 5, 2018


Quick Links

Oregon Department of Education

State Board of Education

Oregon Association of Education Service Districts

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