Special Services Update - October 13, 2021

Presented by the Department of Special Services (DSS) for the Advisory Committee for Students with Disabilities.


  • VDOE Results Driven Accountability Review
  • Professional Development for Special Education Staff
  • Behavior Support Initiatives
  • VDOE - Unified Early Childhood System
  • New VAAP Assessment for 2021-22
  • World Language Credit Accommodation
  • Post-Secondary Students
  • Recovery Services

RDA Core Special Education Assessment

  • VDOE has identified FCPS as one of the school divisions scheduled to be part of this effort during 2021


  • Targets policies, procedures, and practices associated with IDEA and special education regulations
  • Document review by DSS staff
  • Must complete and submit by December 17
  • On-site follow-up visit in spring 2022

Professional Development

  • Most PD is being offered virtually
  • Mandt and PCM must be in-person
  • Department Chair and Lead Teacher meetings are virtual and more frequent
  • Many offerings are also asynchronous
  • Offering office hours to support teachers

Behavior Support Initiatives

  • Collaborative & Proactive Solutions is the evidence-based model of care that helps educators focus on identifying the problems that are causing concerning behaviors in kids and solving those problems collaboratively and proactively
  • The model is a departure from approaches emphasizing the use of consequences to modify concerning behaviors
  • In schools, the CPS model has a track record of dramatically improving behavior and dramatically reducing or eliminating discipline referrals, detentions, suspensions, restraints, and seclusions
  • The CPS model is non-punitive, non-adversarial, non-exclusionary, and trauma-responsive

Behavior Support Initiatives

  • Verbal and nonverbal communication
  • Managing and de-escalating conflict by converting/diverting aggressive behavior
  • Building an environment focused on comfort rather than on control
  • Taking into account the high prevalence of traumatic experiences in individuals who receive services for developmental, behavioral and mental health needs

Behavior Support Initiatives

  • Dr. Hanley’s approach uses a three-step
  • The three-step process consists of workshop delivery; coaching for functional assessment implementation with students; and a series of weekly videoconference meetings to develop, support, and problem solve individual student behavioral intervention plans
  • Each core team selects a group of focus students with whom to conduct these initial, intensively supported assessment and treatment processes

Behavior Support Initiatives

  • A Practical Functional Assessment consists of an
  • The Skill-Based Treatment follows directly from the assessment

Behavior Support Initiatives

Dr. Greene

  • Targeted Training & Support
  • Train the Trainer Model for Divisionwide Access
  • Targeted Training & Support
  • Train the Trainer Model for Divisionwide Access
  • Targeted Training & Support

Behavior Support Initiatives

  • Understanding The Regulations Governing The Use Of Restraint And Seclusion
  • Mandt System & Professional Crisis Management
  • Positive Behavioral Interventions And Supports
  • Responsive Classroom
  • Behavior Intervention Teacher Support
  • Applied Behavior Analysis Coach Support

VDOE - Unified Early Childhood System

  • Legislation was signed in July 2020, directing Virginia to create a uniform measurement and improvement system in order to build a unified early childhood system under the Virginia Department of Education
  • VDOE is implementing a new measurement and improvement system which focuses on the quality of all publicly-funded birth-five classrooms
  • The Unified Measurement and Improvement System will use an interactions standards to measure quality and inform improvement
  • The interactions standard measures the quality of teacher-child interactions and instruction in a developmentally-appropriate way, as measured by the Classroom Assessment Scoring System

VDOE - Unified Early Childhood System

  • CLASS is a non-evaluative tool which measures teacher child interactions within the domains of Emotional Support, Classroom Organization, and Instructional Support
  • Observations must be completed at the beginning and end of school year
  • Each observation lasts approximately 2 hours
  • Feedback after the observation must be provided
  • Individualized professional development must be provided in between observations

Scaling Up CLASS

  • 2021-22 VQB5 Practice Year 1
  • 2022-23 VQB5 Practice Year 2

Scaling Up CLASS

  • 2023-24, All publicly-funded programs will be required to participate in VQB5, with the first public ratings shared in the fall of 2024

New VAAP Assessment for 2021-22

  • The Virginia Alternate Assessment Program is designed to evaluate the performance of students with significant cognitive disabilities in grades 3-8 and high school
  • Beginning in the 2021-22 school year, the portfolio-based VAAP will be replaced with a new multiple-choice assessment in the content areas of reading, mathematics, and science that will be administered to students in an online or paper format
  • The new VAAP will be based on academic content standards derived from the Standards of Learning in reading, mathematics, and science that have been reduced in depth, breadth, and complexity

New VAAP Assessment for 2021-22

  • Student must still meet the criteria of a student with a significant cognitive disability to participate in VAAP
  • Each test item will offer three answer options
  • Test conditions which include time/scheduling, setting, presentation, and response conditions will be allowed for all students and no longer need to be marked as an accommodation on the IEP
  • Accommodations which must be documented on the IEP include braille, interpreting/transliteration, read aloud, and alternate representation of response options

World Language Credit Accommodation

  • Applies to Advanced Studies diploma
  • Waiting for guidance from VDOE
  • Special Education Department Chairs will be given available information regarding this new credit accommodation at their November meeting

Post-Secondary Students

  • FCPS worked with families during summer 2021 to create
  • On August 27, 2021, a VDOE Superintendent’s Memo was issued with new language from the VA General Assembly Special Session indicating that the one-year eligibility extension is meant to be through the IEP process and requires school divisions to offer a free appropriate public education
  • PSAP document is no used
  • IEP teams will reconvene by the end of October to develop a PSS IEP. Information developed as a result of the PSAP can be used to inform the development of the IEP

Post Secondary Students

  • Numbers at a Glance
  • 130 FCPS students qualified for a PSAP
  • 21 out of the 24 high schools had at least one student who qualified
  • FCPS special education career centers Davis Center and Pulley Center had the highest number of qualifying students

Recovery Services

  • Fairfax County Public Schools hired more than 200 staff to serve students of all grade levels and all areas of need through the Summer Recovery Academy during summer
  • School staff continue to work with families to convene IEP meetings to discuss the data resulting from these services
  • Students who have recovery services on their IEPs as of the start of the 2021-22 school year are also being served
  • Procedural support liaisons and multi-agency services liaisons continue to assist IEP teams as they discuss data from the recovery services provided and and consider additional or new recovery services for students

Crisis Prevention Review Team

  • Applied Behavior Analysis Team
  • Behavior Intervention Services
  • Due Process & Eligibility
  • Equity & Cultural Responsiveness
  • Equity & Student Conduct
  • Multi-tiered System of Support
  • School Counseling Services
  • School Psychology Services
  • School Social Work Services
  • Special Education Procedural Support

CPR Team

  • Debriefs with school administrator teams if any component of the policy is out of compliance