You are here

IDEA Discretionary Project Summaries

The vision of these projects is to leverage collective responsibility and resources to develop and provide equitable access to evidence-based strategies, supports, and systems change that ensure learners with IEPs graduate with the knowledge, skills, and habits necessary to be college and career ready.

Disproportionality Technical Assistance Network 
The Disproportionality Technical Assistance Network, "the Network," is a multi-tiered system of compliance activities and improvement supports to address racial disproportionality in special education.
SPP Indicators supported by the Network Grant: 4B, 9 and 10
Fiscal Agent: CESA 6
DPI Grant Director: Ananda Mirilli, (608) 266-0043

Early Childhood Program Support and Leadership
The overarching purpose of this project is to provide early childhood program support and leadership to school districts to improve outcomes, with a focus on early language and literacy for preschool children with disabilities in Wisconsin, through evidenced based improvement strategies and meaningful inclusive practices. Additionally, this grant supports Indicators 6 (preschool environments); Indicator 7 (child outcomes); and Indicator 12 (early childhood transition) of the State Performance Plan (SPP).
SPP Indicators supported by Early Childhood Grants: 6, 7, and 12
Fiscal Agent: CESAs 1-12, Milwaukee Public Schools
DPI Grant Director: Jenny Giles, (608) 267-9172
Enhancing Sensory, Social and Emotional and Self-Regulation Skills in Students with IEPs (ES3)
This ES3 grants assist educators working in district-level teams to learn how to implement evidence based improvement strategies in the areas of sensory, social and emotional and self-regulation skills with a focus on supporting students with autism and students with emotional behavioral disabilities. Through a coaching model designed to build capacity for sustainability, participants will receive support in identifying beliefs, skills, and systems in to support sensory, self-regulation, and social and emotional skills with an emphasis on utilizing Universal Design for Learning to enhance inclusive strategies enriched by evidenced based improvement strategies.
SPP Indicators supported by the ES3 grant: 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5
Fiscal Agents: Wisconsin Local Education Agencies by competitive application
DPI Grant Director: Jessica Nichols, (608) 266-1218
Independent Charter School Special Education Capacity Building Initiative
This initiative is intended to ensure the provision of a free and appropriate education to students with disabilities in Wisconsin’s independent 2r charter school, improve the quality of special education services, and improve academic and behavioral outcomes for those students.
SPP Indicators supported by Independent Charter School Grant: 3, 4, and 20
Fiscal Agent: CESA 1
DPI Grant Director: Sarah Okonkwor, (608) 267-3749

Parents in Partnership (PIP) and Youth in Partnership with Parents for Empowerment (YiPPE)
Parents in Partnership (PIP) PIP is a leadership development training for parents who have children with disabilities ages 6-14. PIP participants explore issues around health education, policy-making, legislation, inclusion, self-determination, family well-being, and IDEA Special Education Law. Youth in Partnership with Parents for Empowerment (YiPPE) is an opportunity for youth with disabilities and their parents to learn about the transition process in a unique way, building leadership skills, and increasing their knowledge in health care, employment, education, inclusion, legislation and adult services.
SPP Indicators supported by PIP & YiPPE: 2, 3, 8, 13 and 14
Fiscal Agent: CESA 12
DPI Grant Director: Rita Fuller, 608-266-5194
The Regional Special Education Network (RSN)
The purpose of the Regional Special Education Network (RSN) is to support Wisconsin local education agencies (LEAs) in advancing the academic achievement and social and emotional competencies of students with disabilities by providing coordinated technical assistance that promotes continuous systems improvement, fosters collaboration, and develops educational leadership capacity.
SPP Indicators supported by RSN Grant: 1-15
Fiscal Agent: CESAs 1 through 12
DPI Grant Director: Erin Faasuamalie, (608) 266-1785
Research to Practice: Inclusive Communities Grant
The Research to Practice Inclusive Communities project is part of a statewide system of supports for continuous improvement. The grant will provide intensive supports for LEAs to implement research-based practices with fidelity, and will facilitate the collection and analysis of their implementation data, with the intention to utilize project data to scale up promising practices across the state of Wisconsin. The overarching goal of the Inclusive Communities Project is to provide high-quality evidence-based professional development to LEAs to support strategic development of district-wide inclusive learner-centered environments. Through project support for professional learning and coaching, LEAs will establish professional learning communities (PLCs) that will enable the development of inclusive learner centered environments (ILCE) to help increase the knowledge, skills and habits of students with IEPs.
DPI Grant Directors: Debra Ahrens & Rachel Fregien

RTI Center and Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports (PBIS) Network
The Wisconsin RtI Center/PBIS Network was established to operationalize DPI’s vision for equitable Multi Level Systems of Support in order to maximize opportunities for every learner to achieve academic and behavioral success. Implementing an equitable MLSS means providing equitable services, practices, and resources to every learner based upon their responsiveness to effective instruction and intervention. This project focuses on providing schools and districts throughout the state high quality professional development and technical assistance to build and sustain systems that ensure every learner is successful in life.
SPP Indicators supported by RtI Center: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 9, and 10
Fiscal Agent: CESA 5
DPI Grant Director: Lynn Winn, (608) 267-3748
Calendar of Events

Supporting Neurodiverse Students
This professional learning system includes regional training sessions, webinars, online discussion groups, book clubs and other professional learning opportunities to support educators serving students with disability-related needs in the areas of social and emotional learning including self-regulation, social communication, flexibility, sensory processing, and executive functioning. The State Neurodiverse Coordinator provides training and support statewide along with supporting the ES3 Grants. This professional learning series is especially beneficial to educators supporting students with autism and students with emotional behavioral disabilities. Emphasis is placed on utilizing Universal Design for Learning to enhance inclusive strategies enriched by evidenced based improvement strategies.
DPI Grant Director: Jessica Nichols, (608) 266-1218
Transition Improvement Grant (TIG)
The mission of the Transition Improvement Grant (TIG) is to provide professional development and technical assistance in evidence-based transition planning and service practices to educators throughout the state. Regional TIG Coordinators focus on supporting school districts to meet Indicator 13 compliance goals and positively impact post school outcomes as measured through the Indicator 14 post school outcomes survey. The TIG also strives to promote collaboration between schools, youth, families, vocational rehabilitation, higher education, and additional transition partners to ensure every child graduates, college, career and community ready!
Fiscal Agent: CESA 11
DPI Grant Director: TBD
Universal Design for Learning
The UDL grant project is intentional in recognizing and reducing barriers to learning opportunities, and connecting every learner to learning so they can thrive. Linked teams – regional>district>school>classroom – position themselves to reflect on beliefs and values that inform policies and practices, and apply UDL thinking in the design of learning environments and curriculum. CESAs as learning organizations continue to develop capacity for equity-centered supports, and district grant participants offer onsite visit options to statewide peers.
DPI Grant Director: Jayne Bischoff (608) 266-5583
Very Special Arts of Wisconsin (VSA)
VSA Wisconsin expands the capabilities, confidence and quality of life for children and adults with disabilities by providing programs in dance, drama, creative writing, music and visual art. VSA programs enhance education, advance socialization and promote inclusion for students with disabilities.
SPP Indicators supported by VSA Grant: 1, 2, 7, and 14
Fiscal Agent: Very Special Arts Wisconsin
DPI Grant Director: Sue Hart, (608) 267-2349
WI Family Assistance Center for Education, Training and Support (WI FACETS) Milwaukee Schools Initiative
Increase the knowledge and engagement of families of Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) students to make decisions regarding their children’s education. Improve the knowledge of families of MPS students to become more engaged in MPS’ implementation of RtI and PBIS.
SPP Indicators supported by WI FACETS: 4 and 8.
Fiscal Agent: WI FACETS
DPI Grant Director: Rita Fuller, (608) 266-5194

WI Special Education Mediation System (WSEMS)
WSEMS assists parents and schools to resolve disputes about special education through mediation and facilitated IEPs.
SPP Indicators supported by WSEMS: 18 and 19
Fiscal Agent: CESA 7
DPI Grant Director: Christina Spector, (608) 267-3720
Calendar of Events

WI Statewide Parent Educator Initiative (WSPEI)
WSPEI assists Wisconsin school districts and parents of children with disabilities to develop and maintain ongoing, positive communication about their children's education. WSPEI helps parents and school districts find or create the resources that will help them build positive working relationships that lead to shared decision making and children's learning.
SPP Indicators supported by WSPEI: 8
Fiscal Agent: CESA 12
DPI Grant DirectorRita Fuller, (608) 266-5194

For more information, contact: Susan Hart, Grants Specialist, Special Education Team, at (608) 267-2349.