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STATE OF CONNECTICUT

D EPARTMENT OF EDU CATION

October 20, 2009

Dear Members of the Connecticut Council of Language, Speech and Hearing Coordinators in Schools,

I am unable to be with you today, but wanted to personally and publicly recognize the work of your group and
thank you and the speech-language pathologists (SLPs) you represent for your dedication to Connecticut students.
The efforts of SLPs across the state are critically important to the success of many students in classrooms today.
Your training and your roles within schools bring an expertise that can and does have significant impact on the
learning of students in diverse ways. This wide-range of activities includes: participating in the early intervention
process, providing foundational language and literacy instruction and support, and designing and implementing
goals and objectives for students with disabilities.

The Bureau of Special Education (BSE) is particularly appreciative of and has valued the assistance of the
Connecticut Speech-Language-Hearing Association and the State Education Resource Center (SERC) in
responding to you and your colleagues’ questions and professional development needs over the past several years in
the absence of a SLP consultant at the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE). Given the current
budget situation, it appears there will continue to be a void in this area within the BSE. So, we continue our
appreciation for the efforts of CSHA’s leadership and the SERC to respond to this situation, along with your
patience. With these organizations, you all have continued to move forward in responding to the issues facing this
state and your profession.

The BSE though needs to become more actively engaged with all of you to assist in addressing the myriad of
concerns that confront your profession and your role in the educational process of students in our schools. To
accomplish this, a clear mechanism for on-going dialogue between professionals in the field and the CSDE is
necessary. An advisory group is being assembled to address the various issues facing SLPS in Connecticut schools.
Some critical issues that need further examination are the continued shortages of SLPs, caseload sizes and
expectations, the roles of SLPs in Scientific Research Based Interventions (SRBI), the supervision of Speech-
Language Pathology Assistants and the professional development needs of personnel. This advisory group’s work
is beginning during the 2009-10 year, with flexibility to continue as additional information is necessary in order for
the Bureau to take action on behalf of meeting the speech, language and hearing needs of students in schools.

In closing, I know that you will continue to adjust your practices to meet the needs of Connecticut students, using
proactive approaches to learning and closely monitoring student progress data. It is important that the specialized
skills you bring to the field are utilized to the fullest capacity to improve the achievement and learning processes of
all students, particularly students with disabilities. I look forward to continued communication and collaboration
with your group and thank you for your important contributions in educating Connecticut students.

Sincerely,

Anne Louise Thompson, Chief


Bureau of Special Education

ALT:psm
cc: Donna Merritt
Perri Murdica

Box 2219 • Hartford, Connecticut 06145


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