Statewide Technical Assistance Networks
As part of the dissemination of discretionary funds that TEA receives under IDEA-B for state-level activities, TEA provides grants for statewide leadership networks. Networks address major, thematic topics that are identified as critical technical assistance and support needs for the state. A network is comprised of:
- The grantee who implements the network under TEA's leadership
- Network members (At least 1 from each of the 20 Education Service Centers (ESCs) across the state)
- TEA special education program staff
Many networks also utilize stakeholder or advisory groups in the design and implementation of network activities. Technical assistance, resources and trainings from these networks are available to any local education agency (LEA) in the state and are intended to leverage best practices.
As part of the April 2018 special education strategic plan, TEA incorporated stakeholder feedback, data, and interviews to reimagine the network structure. As a result, the current networks launched July 1, 2019. ￼
The Child Find, Evaluation and ARD Supports Network assists LEAs by providing resources and training that are aligned with implementing effective Child Find practices, conducting comprehensive evaluations, and practicing collaborative admission, review and dismissal (ARD) committee processes that lead to a free appropriate public education (FAPE) for students with disabilities.
The School, Family, and Community Engagement Network provides resources and professional development to build the capacity of educators to work collaboratively with families and community members in supporting positive outcomes for students with disabilities. As part of the School, Family, and Community Engagement Network, SPEDTex (the Texas Special Education Information Center) optimizes information and responds with technical assistance in a succinct and useful format that is user friendly, culturally responsive, and accessible to all individuals. All parent resources connected to the Special Education Strategic Plan will either be housed or linked on the SPEDTex website.
The Inclusion in Texas Network is working to promote a statewide culture of high expectations for students with disabilities and significantly improve academic and functional outcomes for students served by special education. The network assists LEAs build capacity to develop and appropriately implement instructional programs that provide meaningful access to inclusive environments and grade-level standards, where appropriate.
Texas Statewide Leadership for Autism Training (TSLAT) increases LEAs’ knowledge, understanding, and implementation of evidence-based practices that ensure the academic, functional, and behavioral needs of students with autism are met. TSLAT provides access to training, technical assistance, support, and resources for educators who serve students with autism. The TSLAT website includes online courses (some in Spanish), webinars, information about opportunities for deeper learning, a video library, and more.
The Tiered Interventions using Evidence-based Research (TIER) network is developing comprehensive and coherent trainings and resources for evidence-based intervention practices across the state. The network strives to increase LEA and ESC capacity to develop and implement an effective, integrated, comprehensive framework for intervention that is grounded in differentiated instruction and aligns the systems that are fundamental for all students’ academic, behavioral, and social achievement.
The Texas CAN Network provides statewide leadership and support to increase the capacity of LEAs and families to meet the needs of students with significant cognitive disabilities. The network provides resources and supports that provide for the complex and intensive educational and functional needs of students with significant cognitive disabilities. ￼
The Texas Sensory Support Network (TxSSN) ensures the provision of support to infants, toddlers, children, and youth with sensory impairments, their families, and the professionals who serve them. This network provides information and strategies for development of communication, mobility, tactile skills, and environmental adaptations. Additionally, TxSSN addresses diagnosis, evaluation, and educational programs for services to students in their home communities in support of the comprehensive statewide education plan for this student population.
This network strives to build capacity of small and rural LEAs to provide a more equitable level of access for students with disabilities in these communities. The network will develop state-level infrastructures, resources, and professional development to support LEAs who face unique challenges, such as resource limitations and geographic remoteness.
The Student-Centered Transitions Network builds collaborative infrastructures among students, families, schools, LEAs and communities. The SCTN aims for all students with disabilities to be actively involved in planning, communicating, and evaluating progress in meeting their transition goals from early childhood through high school graduation and post-secondary readiness.
A student with multiple exceptionalities and multiple needs is a student served by special education and identified in one or more of the following special populations: gifted and talented (GT), English learner (EL), or highly mobile family situation, including military, migrant, foster, or homeless. The multifaceted needs of these students require planned and purposeful coordination. Through the creation of partnerships and a foundation in evidenced-based practices, this network builds capacity for educator support through training and resources specific to identification and programming for students with multiple exceptionalities and multiple needs.