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Idaho SESTA resources provide broad special education support to Idaho schools


BOISE, Idaho (KIFI) – More than ever, Idaho public school districts and charters are accessing resources to support their special education services with Idaho’s Special Education Support and Technical Assistance (SESTA) trainings.

SESTA is a collaborative project by Boise State University and the University of Idaho, with funding provided by the Idaho Department of Education’s Special Education Department.

It provides online resources, problem-solving support, professional development and targeted technical assistance to educators to improve outcomes for students with disabilities using a tiered model to support all local education agencies (LEAs) based on their unique needs.

In January, February and March of this year, LEAs accessed a variety of trainings and supports, including special education process activities, Tier 1 and 2 universal support activities and Tier 3 intensive support activities.

Some of the most accessed trainings include:

  • Essential Components of the Individualized Education Plan: this full-day, statewide training was provided to 299 attendees in six different locations, supporting a total of 64 LEAs. Attendees reported a 97 percent satisfaction rate.
  • Behavior Change Processes: this full-day, statewide training was provided to 199 attendees in five different locations, supporting a total of 49 LEAs. Attendees reported a 99 percent satisfaction rate.
  • Idaho Tiered Behavior: this Tier 2 training was provided to 133 attendees with a total of 14 LEAs supported. Attendees reported a 99 percent satisfaction rate.

“Addressing the needs and concerns that our educators see in the field is such an important part of what SESTA does for our educational communities,” Director of Special Education Chynna Hirasaki said. “I’m encouraged to see that these supports are being utilized, and most importantly, that our administrators and educators are finding them useful in everyday practice.” 

Any local education agency seeking support in special education is encouraged to access SESTA resources on the Idaho Training Clearinghouse website. LEAs can learn more about accessing problem-solving support, virtual observations and virtual and in-person training specific to districts, schools or individual students. Long-term training and support is also available for LEAs seeking intensive, systemic change.

“Whether they’re looking for technical support or long-term, in-person training, I hope that our schools, charters and districts will keep SESTA in mind for all levels of assistance,” Hirasaki said. “Idaho’s students deserve the best, and taking advantage of these resources is a great way to ensure that we’re giving them nothing less.” 

Article Topic Follows: Idaho

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