What services does STAR NET offer? STAR NET provides a variety of supports and professional learning opportunities for those who touch the lives of young children, birth through eight, with an emphasis on children ages 3-5 with special needs. The following professional learning opportunities are offered and/or can be requested: annual training calendar, TA and classroom visits, in-services, on-demand courses, APPLES Video Magazines, family supports and resource library.
How do I request services through STAR NET? Requests for services can be made by families and professionals by clicking on the corresponding “Make a Request” graphic on the website homepage.
What is TA? TA stands for “technical assistance” which basically means consultation. TA can be offered by STARNET Early Childhood Resource Specialists or Family Resource Specialists. TA can be provided on a variety of early childhood topics in a variety of formats (email, phone or onsite consultation) For a list of STARNET staff visit: https://www.starnet.org/home/about/staff.php
What is the difference between TA and in-services? In-services are trainings developed and tailored specifically for a district, program or regional need and are implemented like a training. TA tends to be information and can include classroom observation, consultation, and support in various formats. See question 2 and 4 for how to request TA or an in-service.
Can I receive Continuing Education hours for TA or in-services? Continuing Education (CE) hours are not provided for TA services. If an in-service is developed for your program, CE credit can be provided if request is made at least 90 days in advance.
What types of trainings does STAR NET offer and how do I register? A variety of trainings are offered annually including, but not limited to, webinars, book studies, face-to-face trainings, TedEd lessons, and hybrid webinar/face-to-face trainings.
Are meals provided at full day trainings? Meals are not provided at trainings. For a training of five hours or more, a one-hour lunch break will be provided. You are welcome and encouraged to bring your own lunch, snacks and drinks to trainings. During special events, meals might be provided. When this is the case, it will be indicated with the event information and/or your confirmation for attending the event.
What are APPLES Video Magazines? STAR NET has a YouTube channel where APPLES Video Magazines are posted. Each video includes handouts and supplemental resources to support professional learning. These videos can be used during staff meetings or in-service days for those programs wanting to facilitate professional learning in house. Visit our YouTube Channel at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0uU9EmQB2WSMLa4Y5uVwBg
What type of family support does STAR NET offer? STAR NET collaborates with a variety of organizations across the state to offer family conferences, Mom’s retreats, and a variety of other services. Families are welcome to attend any STAR NET training.
If I am a family member or parent and have questions, whom can I contact? If you are a family member of a child with special needs and need help in understanding your rights as a parent or just need a listening ear to talk through concerns or are looking for resources, our Family Resource Specialists are here to help. Find your local Family Resource Specialist by visiting: https://www.starnet.org/home/family/familyResourceSpecialists.php
Why do I not qualify for a certificate if I only miss a brief portion of a training? The Illinois State Board of Education requires participants to be present for the entire training. Exceptions to this rule cannot be made.
What is an IEIN number, why do I have to provide it, and where do I find mine? IEIN stands for Illinois Educator Identification number and is a unique number assigned to each individual when his/her Educator Licensure Information System (ELIS) account is created. Providing your IEIN number when registering for trainings is required to verify state requirements for ongoing professional development are met. If you do not know your number, you can find it by logging into your ELI S account at: https://www.isbe.net/Pages/Educator-LicensureInformation-System.aspx
Why was I put on a waitlist? On occasion, STAR NET has to use a waitlist due to each training and webinar having a maximum number of participants. Max number of registrants is dependent upon the site location, topic, and/or format of training. If registrations for an event exceed the max capacity, priority is given to family members of and professionals working with children ages 3-5. Priority is also given to persons residing in Regions I & III (unless the workshop is a collaboration).
Why does STAR NET not offer more Early Intervention (EI) training? STAR NET is operated through a grant awarded by the Illinois State Board of Education and grant stipulations prioritize providing professional development to Early Childhood Special Education, Blended, Preschool For All, and Preschool Expansion programs serving children with disabilities. Depending on the training topic, EI credit is offered when the content aligns with EI principles. EI has its own professional development program, the Early Intervention Training Program (EITP) that is funded by the Illinois Department of Human Services Bureau of Early Intervention. For trainings offered by EITP, please visit: http://eitp.education.illinois.edu