Jan. 15 Dept. of Teaching and Learning Update: Services for English Learners, Special Education and Gifted Students

Dear Parent or Guardian,

Happy new year! Please note the following information about the services and supports available to special education students, English Learners and Gifted students.

Special Education 
UPCOMING EVENTS: The Parent Resource Center (PRC) Is sponsoring/co-sponsoring several wonderful events over the next few weeks. Please click here for more details. Highlights include:

  • Worry and Anxiety in Children and Adolescents: Using evidence based strategies to help kids and caregivers cope during tough times: Tue, Jan. 19: 7-8:30 p.m.
  • Understanding Transition Services: Supported Decision Making (SDM) Wed, Jan. 27: 7-9 p.m.
  • Talking with Kids about Race and Discrimination Tue, Feb 2: 6:30-8 p.m.

Additional upcoming community events include:

  • Stress and Mental Health: Wed, Jan. 13: 2-3 p.m.
  • Know What Your Teen Knows: Thu, Jan. 14: 6:30- 8 p.m.
  • Home Safety: Tue, Jan. 19 at 6 p.m.

The PRC has also created a new Parent Academy video. The PRC Overview  introduces families to the PRC’s staff, supports and services; touches on the Student Support Process; and wraps up with PRC resources.

English Learniers (EL)
As required by the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) in compliance with the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), all students eligible for English learner services are required to take an annual English language proficiency assessment. This year APS will continue to use the assessment mandated by VDOE, the ACCESS for ELLs 2.0. Who must take the 2020-21 ACCESS for ELLs 2.0? K-12 English Learners (EL) at English Language Proficiency Levels 1-4, including presumptive ELs, and students who are eligible but have opted out of EL services must take the ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 if they:

  • were enrolled in grades K-12 in 2019-20 and received less than 4.4 on the overall composite score on the 2019-20 ACCESS for ELLs 2.0;or
  • have been identified to receive English Learner services for this school year and did not take or complete the ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 in 2019-20.

K-12 students who are considered presumptive ELs will take ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 in order to determine eligibility for EL Services. That is a recent change from the Virginia Department of Education.

Results from the ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 will be used to help determine English language proficiency (for Presumptive ELs), progress and program placement and/or proficiency.

ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 testing will begin in mid-January and end in mid-April and must be conducted in-person. Your school will be reaching out to schedule the testing. For additional information you can see this information in ParentVue or you can contact your student’s school.

Gifted Services 
VDOE Summer Residential Governor’s School
Academic Applications are due on Wednesday, January 13. Contact your RTG for support and additional information.

VDOE Summer Residential Governor’s School
VPA applications are due on Friday, January 15. All VPA applicants moving on to the state adjudications will audition on Friday, January 8th (PM) and Saturday, January 9th. Contact your RTG for support and additional information.

William & Mary’s Center for Gifted Education is offering two virtual programs for high-ability students:

  • Saturday, January 30th:  Focusing on the Future is a career and academic planning experience for students in grades 6-12, their parents, and their counselors. 

Brochure (shares parent and student sessions)

The National Research Center on Gifted Education Hosts Free Parent Webinars

Renzulli Center Third Thursday Parenting Topics (Streaming LIVE at 8 p.m. Eastern)

  • Helping Your 2E Child (Sally Reis and Susan Baum) – Jan. 21
  • Technology Roulette in the Age of COVID-19 (Stacy Hayden) – Feb. 18
  • Talking with Children About Their Giftedness (Del Siegle) – March 18
  • Perfectionism and Productive Struggle (Catherine Little) – April 15

Registration is open.

Building Leaders for Advancing Science and Technology (BLAST) Virginia Space Grant Consortium offers a free educational program, BLAST,  designed to ignite a passion in students who already show an interest in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). BLAST is a 3-day residential, on-campus experience, which is packed with demonstrations and collaborative activities led by college faculty, designed to inspire students to envision a career in a STEM field and motivate them to expand the number of STEM-related classes they take in higher grade levels. Registration is open now and closes on February 8, 2021.

Gifted Services in Action @APSGifted: Spotlight on Schools 

















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