Special Education Professional Learning


Professional learning is a critical component to increase capacity, build knowledge and skills, and support educators who work with students with disabilities. The Special Education Services section at the Utah State Board of Education (USBE) works to provide personnel opportunities to gain the necessary skills and knowledge to be successful in serving students with disabilities. Our professional learning provides an increased focus on academics, core content areas, and specially designed instruction for special education educators. We also provide support to general education educators to build the necessary skills and knowledge to deliver instruction, to students with disabilities, in the regular education classroom.


The Utah Institute on Special Education Law

The annual Utah Institute on Special Education Law is designed for administrators, educators, service providers, families, attorneys, and others responsible for the implementation and interpretation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and the Utah State Board of Education (USBE) Special Education Rules. Conference content includes relevant case law, and best practices to foster awareness and further ensure that Utah students with disabilities receive a free and appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment.


Jordan DeHaan
Dispute Resolution
Phone: (801) 538-7541 | E-mail

Systems Conference

The Utah Systems Conference supports USBE's Strategic Plan goal of promoting safe and healthy schools, where each student learns in a safe and healthy environment. The conference includes evidence-based content provided by a variety of presenters as well as practical application of resources to help Local Education Agencies (LEAs) integrate academic and behavior systems, implement systems and interventions with fidelity, utilize data, attend to Social Emotional Learning (SEL) needs and equitable practices supporting efforts to positively impact student outcomes.

The Utah Systems Conference is for all educators. The upcoming conferences will offer sessions on Equity, Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports, Trauma-Informed Care, Prevention, Cultural Awareness, and Social Emotional Learning. The overall goal of the Systems Conference is to support Utah LEAs, and educators in developing sustainable, evidence-based practices to provide supports for students within a multi-tiered system.


Sydnee Seager
Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) Project Manager
Phone: (801) 538-7609 | E-mail


Co-teaching is one of the fastest growing inclusive school practices and is identified as a successful instructional model to support all students’ academic achievement. Participation in the Co-teaching Cohort requires that a team of both a general education and a special education teacher attend up to seven days of professional learning in developing effective Co-teaching practices, fostering a growth mindset as part of classroom culture, and differentiating instruction to give access to all learners while considering individual students' levels and abilities. The project provides opportunities for teachers to learn from effective Co-teachers and participate in onsite classroom coaching.

The Co-teaching Cohort is a venture to support effective Co-teaching strategies while ensuring access for all learners, grades 6-10, to the grade level Utah Core Standards in Secondary English Language Art (ELA) and/or Mathematics. The yearlong experience focuses on implementing best practices in co-delivered instruction and co-accountability for student outcomes. Information about each cohort is released in the spring.


Jennie DeFriez
Effective Instruction Coordinator
Phone: (801) 538-7522 | E-mail

Running Start

Running Start is for teachers who are newly hired and within three years of teaching special education. Running Start is designed to help teachers navigate special education policies, specially designed instruction, behavior, and classroom management. This training occurs during the summer.


Janet Hansen
Utah Program Improvement Planning System (UPIPS)
Phone: (801) 538-7787 | E-mail 

Becky Unker
Specially Designed Instruction
Phone: (801) 538-7907| E-mail

New Leaders' Summit

New Leaders' Summit is a series of training sessions presented by the Utah Program Improvement Planning Systems (UPIPS) team for individuals in their first three years as special education directors, or other Local Education Agency (LEA) personnel who may benefit from the content provided. For more information, refer to the Utah State Board of Education (USBE) Special Education Directors New Leaders' Summit.

Transition Institute

The Transition Institute is an annual two-day event that has been held since 2011. The event is hosted by the Utah State Board of Education (USBE) and is focused on increasing outcomes for students with disabilities in the post school areas of education/training, employment, and independent living. The specific focus area from year to year is dependent upon the transition related needs of Local Education Agencies (LEAs) as well as State-level transition data (Indicators 1, 2, 13, and 14). Focus areas are based on the planning model:

Team collaboration sessions are structured to create LEA Transition plans that focus on the implementation of best practices in transition planning.

LEAs attend the Transition Institute as interdisciplinary teams that include special educators, general educators, teacher specialists, transition coordinators, administrators, school counselors, parents, Career and Technical Education (CTE) and Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) counselors, and other local transition stakeholders. All LEAs are encouraged to participate in the Transition Institute regardless of the size or knowledge of their team. Small LEAs with teams of one to two people are encouraged to join other similar sized LEAs. The Transition Institute is a blended learning event, with a learn-collaborate model that includes facilitated team planning time and targeted networking sessions. Teams attend learning sessions, with content delivered by expert presenters, to gain knowledge, skills and dispositions of various topical areas.

Supports for the Transition Institute have been provided by the NTACT. At least one NTACT staff member has been present at the conference for support, preparation, and content sessions.

The Transition Institute is a collaborative effort with our Utah State Office of Rehabilitation (USOR) partners in an effort to improve collaboration between schools and USOR to provide access to pre-employment and employment services to transition age (14-22) students with disabilities.

Interagency Cooperative Agreement State Level Special Education
April 1, 2018 through May 31, 2023


Lavinia Gripentrog
Post-Secondary Transition and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
Phone: (801) 538-7645 | E-mail

Deanna Taylor
Post-Secondary Transition
Phone: (801) 538-7775 | E-mail

Dynamic Learning Maps (DLM)

Dynamic Learning Maps (DLM) administration training covers content and requirements to administer Utah’s alternate assessment for students with significant cognitive disabilities. Participants will learn about participation criteria and compliance requirements for the alternate assessment, how to administer the DLM assessment successfully, and where to find resources to help guide instruction throughout the year.


Tracy Gooley
Phone: (801) 538-7887 | E-mail

Speech Language

Speech Language Technician (SLT) Institute

The SLT Institute is for persons who have or are close to earning a Bachelor's Degree in Communicative Disorders and desire to work as an SLT in a Utah public school. Satisfactory completion of the Institute is required for SLTs employed in Utah Local Education Agencies (LEAs). Participants may or may not be enrolled in a Speech Language Pathology (SLP) graduate program.

SLT Institute
Course Number: 41623
Massively Integrated Data Analytics System (MIDAS) Education

Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) Supervision Institute

The SLP Supervision Institute is offered each fall. It is a required professional learning for new SLP coach/supervisors of SLTs. All SLT coaches and supervisors are invited. Relicensure credit is available for all participants who complete the professional licensing. Participants need to read the SLT/SLP handbook prior to the online professional development.

Speech-Language Pathologists Supervising Speech-Language Technicians Professional Learning
Course Number: 42898
MIDAS Education


Kathy Webb
Personnel Preparation/Licensing
Phone: (801) 538-7688 | E-mail