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The STAR NET Region IV staff provide support and professional learning opportunities in a variety of formats for families and early childhood professionals to improve outcomes for young children with disabilities. Our team focuses on supporting early childhood professionals and families in understanding evidence-based practices utilizing the DEC Recommended Practices, Early Childhood Outcomes, Least Restrictive Environment and Transition. These services are available to families and educators who are in the STAR NET Region IV area. Those from other regions of Illinois can check with their STAR NET Region to request services.
Technical Assistance via phone, email, or virtual: Families or early childhood professionals with questions specific to Early Childhood Special Education may contact any of our staff members directly to address questions or submit questions through the online form submission.
Technical Assistance via Program Visits: Professionals can request a member of the STAR NET team to come out and offer a program and/or classroom visit. Visits focus on generating strategies for improving the learning environment for young children with disabilities, children with an Individualized Education Plan or children you have concerns about.
Intensive Technical Assistance: Intensive TA is a service that provides ongoing support and requires a strong partnership between the TA provider and program to be successful. This type of TA is offered to a limited number of programs and requires a strong commitment to continuous quality improvement. Programs will sign a collaborative agreement and work towards change by implementing action plans and evidenced based practices aligned to the DEC Recommended Practices while participating in this type of professional learning.
Community of Practices: CoPs are a form of professional learning that brings together a group of individuals to learn together over time as they work in areas of shared interest. Check out the training calendar for existing in-person or virtual CoPs or submit a request to explore creating one in your area.
Collaboration: STAR NET values collaborative partnerships. We are always looking for programs and agencies to partner with to provide training sites or to share costs of presenter fees. STAR NET team members serve on various local committees to be a voice for high quality inclusion and special education services.
In-service Trainings: ECSE programs or programs serving children with Individualized Education Plans can request in-service trainings through STAR NET. Requests must be submitted at least 90 days in advance, relate to ECSE, and have a minimum of 20 people able to attend.
Pyramid eModules and Cohorts: ECSE programs can request funding through STAR NET to access the Pyramid Model eModules. The eModules are an on-demand format and offer 18 hours of continuing education hours. In addition, STAR NET offers Pyramid eModule Cohorts on the training calendar and takes requests for Pyramid Cohorts for ECSE programs. The cohorts include an additional 9 hours of continuing education and are spaced out to provide cohort participants an opportunity to reflect on eModule content. The minimum number of participants needed to consider a request is 12.
Family Support: Family Resource Specialists, who are parents of children with disabilities, are available to provide training, information, and support to families and providers.