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OSEP's July 2021 Update: Director's Message| ED Updates | Announcements| Recommended Resource
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OSEP Update

A Newsletter for OSEP Grantees and Interested Stakeholders

July 2021

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In This Issue:

From the Director

David Cantrell (960px)

Message from Acting OSEP Director, Dr. David Cantrell

Dear Stakeholders!

I hope your summer is off to a good start! We have been very busy at OSEP, and July kicked off with the issuance of Part C, and Part B sections 619 and 611 grant awards to States, under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), plus the American Rescue Plan (ARP) IDEA supplemental awards. In addition, we recently released the 2021 Grantee Satisfaction Survey. The results of the survey are used to inform our work and make improvements so that we can better serve our grantees and stakeholders. If you received the survey, but have not completed it yet, please take the time to do so. We value your input!

There is still time to register for OSEP’s virtual  Leadership and Project Directors’ Conference happening July 19–22, 2021. This year’s conference will combine OSEP’s bi-annual Leadership and Project Directors’ conferences. This virtual-combined gathering brings together all members of our constituency — Federal, State, and local partners, parents of children with disabilities, OSEP grantees, advocates, researchers, and other allies — for four days of important information sharing. This is the first time the Leadership Conference and Project Directors’ Conference will be a combined virtual event. During the event, I will share with you some exciting new ideas related to ensuring that we are meeting the unique needs of each child with a disability as they return to school this fall. More importantly, I look forward to hearing from you, and learning from you.

As we reflect on our Nation’s Independence Day and commemorate the anniversary of the Declaration of Independence (est. 1776), it reminds us of the importance of the first sentence; “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that [or] …that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” We strive every day to ensure those rights, including a free and appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment for our infants, toddlers, children, and youth with disabilities and their families. Thank you for all that you do to improve outcomes and support their individual goals for independence.

David Cantrell, Ph.D.
Acting Director
Office of Special Education Programs


Other ED Updates

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Enhancing Language Instruction in Early Childhood Education: Effective Practices and Examples from NCELA’s Teaching Briefs

Join presenters from ED's Office of English Language Acquisition (OELA) and WestEd on Thursday, July 8th at 2:30 p.m. ET to learn more about research findings and evidence-based instructional practices for teaching dual language learners in early childhood settings and four educator practices that can be enacted to enhance the teaching of dual language learners. To register for this webinar, click here.

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Pushing Educational Boundaries: Student Recommendations for    Spending American Rescue Plan Funds

The 2020–21 Illinois Student Advisory Council spent months researching how to use the current influx of COVID-19 education funding to make the biggest impact for students. This webinar hosted by the Region 9 Comprehensive Center, features the council’s recommendations to help all students achieve educational success and incorporate student voices in decision-making.



There will be no OSEP Monthly Technical Assistance (TA) calls in the month of July. To view the recordings and materials from previous OSEP Monthly TA Calls, please visit our TA Call page. The next scheduled call will be on Thursday, August 12th at 4:00pm (EDT).  

State Performance Plans / Annual Performance Reports

OSEP issued APR determinations for Part C on June 22nd and for Part B on June 24th. All of the documents are available in EMAPS for your review. The APR Fact Sheet and each State’s Determination letter (along with the respective How The Department Made determinations document) are posted on the IDEA Website. OSEP will post the full APR documents in late July. 

As of June 30th the GRADS 360o web-link transitioned to Communities 360. The previous URL will no longer automatically redirect to the new web-link so please establish your new bookmarks.   


IDEA Part B/C Grants

The IDEA Part B and C grant awards were disseminated on July 1st. A press release was issued highlighting the unprecedented amount of supplemental American  Rescue Plan (ARP) funds (more than $3 billion) that were also distributed with the July 1st allocation. Additionally, a fact sheet providing an overview of the major statutory and regulatory requirements for IDEA Part B and C funds was released. Supplemental funding made available by the ARP is subject to the same requirements as Federal fiscal year 2021 IDEA funding made available under Public Law 116-260 (The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021).

The fact sheet and other resources regarding the IDEA ARP funds have been posted on the IDEA ARP page.

If you have any questions regarding the use of IDEA funds, please contact your OSEP State Lead.

Special Note: While applications were submitted electronically by the May due dates, hard-copy applications are due by August 2, 2021. Review the “Procedures for Receiving a FFY 2021 Grant Award” within the Federal Fiscal Year 2021 IDEA Part B and Part C Grant Application Packages for submission instructions.

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Differentiated Monitoring and Support

OSEP held a technical assistance (TA) call on June 24, 2021, as a part of the DMS 2.0 Pivot activities. OSEP’s June 24, 2021, monthly TA call highlighted the DMS 2.0 protocols for:

  1. Integrated Monitoring, and
  2. Sustaining Compliance and Improvement.

OSEP has also been conducting monthly COVID-19 calls with States. The intent of these calls is to ensure States have the support they need during these uncertain times, to answer any questions they may have related to the pandemic, and to help us better understand the issues that are occurring as a result of COVID-19 at the State and local level. These discussions will inform the pandemic-related TA and guidance we provide moving forward and share best practices.

OSEP plans to continue conducting DMS TA calls on the fourth Thursday of each month at 4:00 p.m. ET. The next call is scheduled for August 26, 2021. Please check the OSEP Monthly TA Call page for additional information to register and access the schedule.

To access resources related to monitoring activities (e.g., DMS 2.0, DMS Reports, and older monitoring reports, etc.) please refer to the DMS section on our IDEA website.


This Month's Recommended Resource


Supporting Students with the Most Intensive Needs Videos

The Center for Parent Information and Resources is hosting three informational videos for families of students with the most intensive needs, and the schools, educators, and other professionals who support these children. The videos are produced in collaboration with National Center on Intensive Intervention (NCII), the TIES Center (the national technical assistance center on inclusive practices and policies), and the National Center on Deaf-Blindness (NCDB).

These three videos highlight key resources available to support families of students with the most intensive needs at home and as they transition to and from in-school services during the COVID-19 pandemic. The videos speak directly to parents and recommend that parents share the videos (and the mentioned resources) with the team of educators and other professionals working with their child. Easy-to-share handouts for each of the videos identify and link the spotlighted resources that educators and parents can turn to in planning for and supporting children’s virtual learning or return to in-school learning.


Featured Resources

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New Learning Module Library from PROGRESS Center and NCII

In partnership with the National Center on Intensive Intervention, the PROGRESS Center recently launched a Learning Module Library that houses courses designed to support pre-service and in-service educators and administrators through just in time, self-paced and self-direct professional learning. The first available course from the PROGRESS Center is Path to PROGRESS: Developing and Implementing High-Quality Educational Programs. Check back often as additional modules will be added soon!

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Pursuing Equity for Black Students in K–12 Education: Exploring the Intersection of Race and Disability Thought Leader Conversation (TLC) Series — Session 5 Equity-Driven Coherent Systems

On Tuesday, July 13th from 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET, join the National Center for Systemic Improvement for their final session in the TLC series to explore how coherent systems can support (or lack of coherence can obstruct) equity efforts for black students with disabilities or those who may be identified as needing special education services. To register for this webinar, click here.


In Case You Missed It

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Parent Tip Sheets: Distance Learning

After a year spent learning virtually, many students are feeling frustrated and resistant to distance learning. Created by the IRIS Center, these handy tip sheets for parents offer practical ideas and strategies to support their children and reduce some of these challenges and frustrations.