Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Taylor County Transition Night on March 20 in Medford

Taylor County Transition Night
Tuesday March 20
4:00 pm to 7:00 pm 
Taylor County Education Center 

* RSVP to Joseph Greget at or 715-748-2316 ext 324 or dinner ordering purposes and planning preparations

  • To help support students on their Road to Success for post-secondary school planning, vocational opportunities, and independent living
  • To support parents in their understanding of what resources are available now, what is their in the future, and how to get there. 
  • Highlight our many local resources agencies and their services
  • Promote our quality transition and special education services while in high school and in our SOAR 18-21 year old program. 
  • Learn about financial options and planning for the future through Thrivent and Kelz Law Office
Recommended participants:
  • Students with an IEP age 14 and older
  • Parents of Special Needs Students
  • Special Education Staff of Students with Post-Secondary Transition Planning Needs or those who want to learn more
  • Area Transition Providers
  • Open to all school districts in Taylor County 
Transition Night Highlights:
  • Free Dinner for those in attendance
  • Raffle Prizes including free ticket to "An Evening of Illusions" at MAMS that evening starting at 7:00 pm. 
  • Learn about our SOAR 18-21 year old, Colby Schools, and Black River Industries new opportunities for students to spend overnight hours M-Th. 
  • Exhibits from local agencies set up throughout the building from 4-7 pm
  • Small group sectional presentations every 20 minutes between 5:00 pm and 6:00 pm
  • Sectional topics - DVR Services, Long-Term Care Provider Supports, Special Needs Trust Planning, Financial Planning, Guardianship, Children's Support Waiver, and more 
Agencies in Attendance include, but not limited to: 
  • SOAR 18-21 year old program
  • Thrivent Financial
  • Kelz Law Office
  • Black River Industries
  • Northcentral Technical College
  • Aging and Disability Resource Center
  • Taylor County Human Services
  • Division of Vocational Rehabilitation
  • Northwest CEP
  • Counseling Connection
  • Care Wisconsin
  • Opportunity Development Center
  • Midstate Independent Living Choices
  • Inclusa
  • Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • Northern Regional Center for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs
  • Medford Schools Job Coaching and Mentorship
  • and more! 

Friday, February 23, 2018

Taylor County Cultural Fair on March 3rd

It is with great recognition for Cultural Unity, Appreciation, and History of our local individuals, communities, and around the world that we present and invite you and your students to attend our Taylor County Cultural Fair. 

Taylor County Cultural Fair
Saturday March 3, 2018
10:00 am to 3:00 pm 
Medford Area Senior High School 

Taylor County Cultural Fair will include: 
+ Free Family Event
+ Many individuals representing multiple cultures and countries in our area
+ Free Food Samples Representing Multiple Countries
+ Children's Cultural Activities - Aboriginal Stones, Dreamcatchers, pinatas, and more
+ Native American Pow Wow Dance by Lac Du Flambeau Tribe
+ Mexican Salsa del Soul Band
+ 10:30 am Yoga and Meditation Class with Dr. Shailly Rishi 
+ Irish Dancing
+ Tonantzin Company - Crafts, Activities, Music, Dance, and Celebration of India
+ International Music all day long in the Red and White Theatre
+ Learn from local experts on the history of Medford and Lublin
+ Find out your own Ancestry by the Taylor County Genealogical Society
+ 10:30 am - Early African-American History here in Taylor County by the Kuse Sisters
+ Art Gallery of Children's Artwork from Medford Schools
+ Foreign Doll Collection
+ Cultural Face Painting
+ Performances of Significant Historical Figures by 4th grade students from MAES
+ Books from Around the World
+ Global Education Achievement Certificate and Seal of Biliteracy for HS students
+ Taylor County Historical Society will have a special exhibit
+ Educational Exhibits   

Countries represented through individuals and special exhibits will include: 
Mexico, Namibia, India, Thailand, France, Norway, Poland, Germany, France, Brazil, Hmong, Costa Rica, Nigeria, Turkey, Japan, Chili, Figi, Hmong, Belarus, Spain, and more
Table displays by: 
Taylor County Historical Society, Taylor County Genealogical Society, Medford Morning Rotary Club, Gilman Public Library, Frances Simek Public Library, Taylor County Literacy Council, and more

Special thank you and appreciation to everyone who is helping make this event possible: 
* Sponsors (Nestle, Hotel/Motel, Medford County Market, Enerquip, and Medford Schools),
* Individual initiative and collaborative efforts from many people in our community and schools,
* Scott Woller Productions and Donley Niskanen,
* Medford Schools ELL Department (Kelsie Drake and Nicole Hoppman),
* MASH International Club
* MASH Foreign Language Department
* MASH Rotary Interact Club,
* Art Teachers from Medford Schools,
* MAES 4th Grade Teachers, 
* Aviands Inc,
* Medford Chamber of Commerce, 
* Extraordinary efforts from ELL translator Michelle Mejia and MASH Assistant Principal Suann Schroeder.
* and many other volunteer individuals and organizations

We hope to see you on March 3rd!

Joseph A. Greget
Director of Student Services/Special Education
Medford Area Public School District
715-748-2316 ext 324

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

School Shooting Resources for Caregivers/Educators and Students

Another school shooting in the United States occurred today at a high school in Florida leaving multiple students killed.  Here are resources that may help in talking with students and providing care for families and yourselves as educators. 

National Association of School Psychologists Resources (Attached to Email): 
  • Care for the Caregiver - Tips for Families and Educators -
  • Talking to Children About Violence - Tips for Parents and Teachers -
American Psychological Association Resources: 
American School Counselor Association Resources: 
Child Care and Aware:
Thank you for all your efforts in caring about and keeping our students, families, and yourselves safe and well. 

Joseph A. Greget
Director of Special Education/Student Services
Medford Area Public School District

Friday, June 2, 2017

Thank you for 16-17

As the school year comes to a close - I would like to thank each and all of you. It was a year filled with many memorable moments where you each made both small and large differences in the lives of your students, families, own professional growth, school, profession, and/or community. 

On behalf of our special education and student services department we will be forever grateful for the contributions of our department staff as they will be on new adventures in 17-18 whether it is through retirement, new position in Medford Schools, working in another school district, or pursuing a new career opportunity. 
  • Lucia Albrecht - ELL Teacher
  • Kathy Alexander - MAMS/MASH School Psychologist
  • Kristine Bunkelman - MAES Special Education Paraprofessional 
  • Amber Fettes - Early Childhood Special Education Teacher
  • Anne Fleegel - MAMS Special Education Assistant 
  • Nancy Higgins - MAES Pre-Kindergarten/Early Childhood Special Needs Para 
  • Jill Koenig - School Nurse
  • Jessica Martin - RVA Director of Special Education/School Psychologist
  • Brenda Ann McNary - MAES Special Education Teacher
  • Kim Mrocenzki - MASH Special Education Teacher 
  • Luanne Olson - Special Education Administrative Assistant
  • Nikki Todd - SES Special Education Assistant
  • Melissa Wavrunek - SES Special Education Teacher 
  • Department close friends of Jill Dixon, Jayne Haenel, Carol Schaefer, and Dave Sova
Whenever one of our staff has these opportunities - I always see it not as them leaving us, but rather our special education/student services family continuing to grow larger as they might be moving away or to different roles, but they will always be with us.

We also wish our best to all of our past and present students with an IEP who graduated from MASH or SOAR like Kody, Mikey, Michael, Paige, Ryan, Ashley, and all the rest. 

Certainly our lives have been better for having known one of our SOAR graduates in particular for having her all of her age eligible and school years with us: 
  • Alyssa Willner - our very own "angel" syndrome superstar
We would also be remiss if we didn't recognize the following students: 
  • Mikey Sherwood - who tragically passed away 6 years ago and was fondly remembered by his friend Zech L this school year 
  • Chase Reid - who would have been a graduate of our SOAR program this year if he hadn't wanted to swim with the dolphins up above in Heaven. 
In the same token of appreciation - our returning special education/student services family continues to be strong and through them our programs and services have never been better:  
  • Individuals like Carol Wieman and Sue Laher who have chosen to spend their 30+ year career teaching our special needs students.
  • A mixture of some of the finest individuals in our profession who are in their 1st, 5th, 10th, 15th, 20th, 25th, 30th year or somewhere in-between of dedicating their careers to special education  
  • Teachers who teach both special needs and at-risk students, 
  • Staff who give their all for our students with intellectual, autism, or medically fragile needs through teaching, advocating, and supporting them. 
  • Teachers newer to the field of education who display much promise and growth.
  • Individuals who take on programs like SOAR, MADA, PBIS, VSA, Raider Cafe, EC-SL team teaching that are examples of excellence. 
  • Staff who take the initiative with Home Resource Programs, Mini-Business World, Career Fairs, Recycling, Thanksgiving Meals, ACT testing, ACP planning, and more. 
  • Staff who volunteer time on community-wide councils like literacy, autism, meth, mental health, and early childhood.
  • Teaching our dyslexic students so they gain the confidence of being able to say "I can read" 
  • Students with behavioral challenges like Andrew who have turned the corner with no one being able to pinpoint why, but in my opinion it is because of the extraordinary efforts of his teacher Mrs. Faude and para Mrs. Breeze over years of caring for and teaching him, 
  • Educating our special needs students through the RVA in an online setting, 
  • Staff and students who participated on our Employment First Initiative that will be recognized with a Community Project Award by the Medford Chamber of Commerce, 
  • Formation of a DAILE Living Skills Group at MAMS, 
  • Meth Prevention through Town Hall Meetings on Meth, Marches Against Meth, Campaigns,
  • Autism Awareness Activities in April and taking students out to Prom, 
  • The Taylor County Education Center which has our Medford Alternative High School, SOAR, MADA, RVA, and councils, 
  • Staff like Kellie Keene who cry when students from the Medford Alternative High School graduate,  
  • Past staff like Mr. Boettcher who come to visit, 
  • Autism Consultation Model with Mandy Reinke
  • MASH Special Ed Powering up Paraprofessional Model under Shari Gajewski,
  • Staff like Mrs. Farmer and Mrs. Woller who use their special education and guidance counseling licenses to help at-risk and special needs students with social/emotional/mental health/behavioral challenges,
  • Staff who have general education teaching licenses, but have ventured into our world of special education through Norda Inc or other programs to obtain special education teaching licenses
  • Implementing online SLP, SLP Assistant Role, and providing SL therapy to hundreds of students,
  • Building our Adapted PE program for students,
  • Families Being Involved Workshops and Week of the Young Child Activities,
  • Staff helping Gavin enter the gym for the first time,  
  • Individuals who come to work everyday and are that one person who makes a difference in the life of their student(s)
  • Welcome our new fish (past and present) in Ms. Wieman's room, 
  • Congratulate our Wilson Reading graduates, 
  • Recognize our 8 new adult student graduates of our Medford Adult Diploma Academy, 
  • Professionals that understand how mental health, trauma, reactive attachment, anxiety, and depression can impact student learning in and out of the classroom
  • Our new school psychological services delivery model in partnership with Diagnostic Special Education Program Support Teachers in 17-18
  • New collaborative model between our Pre-Kindergarten and Head Start programs which is being undertaken by our PK teachers
  • OT teamwork model of OT and COTA,
  • Teaching summer school or ESY services,  
  • CARES Model and School Based Mental Health Counseling, 
  • Suicide Prevention QPR trainings and upcoming Walk for Suicide Awareness, 
  • New technology like Eye Gaze, Spot Vision, and Chromebooks, 
  • The building of our current strong ELL program thanks to Lucia Albrecht and working towards a newer model for 17-18 with collaboration between Nicole, Michelle, and Kelsie, 
  • Ms. Kylie and the new School Social Worker position that has become invaluable, 
  • Staff being recognized by WSHA and WECA organizations for being examples of excellence in the fields of collaborative teaching, audiology, and assistive technology.
  • Saying thank you to our long-term substitutes who came in during the year to help us like Teresa Gardner, Chuck Prihoda, and Michelle Arndt
  • We welcome Anne Fleegel to our Special Education Administrative Assistant position, 
  • We welcome back "home" to special education - Ms. Tasha
As we appreciate and recognize the staff who are moving to a new adventure and those who are staying in our crazy, but rewarding field - we welcome with warm greetings and thank those coming to join us: 
  • Alicia Guden - SLP/PST at SES, 
  • Hannah Langfoss - Sped Teacher at SES, 
  • Tabetha Otten - Early Childhood Special Education Teacher, 
  • Jessa Quick - School Psychologist for MAMS/SES, 
  • Samantha DeBroux - Special Education Teacher at MAMS, 
  • Mindy Schwarz - School Nurse, 
  • Michelle Mejia - ELL assistant, and 
  • Kelsie Drake - ELL teacher     
As we start our new adventure path to 17-18 there are multiple teachers and paraprofessionals who will be in new roles, teaching new students, teaching new classes, and/or working in new buildings. Our other staff will continue on their own journey of doing whatever is needed of them on behalf of our students with special needs as they have in the past. 

These challenges, changes, uncertainty, and/or consistency can be exciting and/or scary as we look ahead, but move forward we will in the best interest of making a difference, providing our students with college and career ready skills, and giving opportunities to leave our students, families, school, and community a better place then where we left it. 

It will be a special year in 17-18 as our special class of Jack M, Mike B, Hunter H, Colten R, and all our others will be walking across the graduation stage at MASH. With them being my first Pre-Kindergarten/Early Childhood class - it will have even more special meaning. I hope the parents will feel we have made a difference for each and all of them during their school career. 

To be an educator let alone one in our special education and student services fields - it takes a special person to be able to manage all of the responsibilities at home, in school, and taking care of yourself whether it is for one year or 30+ plus years. To say it simply - I thank you on behalf of our students, families, special education department, and school district. You have each and all made a difference. Keep living your dreams. 

Mr. Joe

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Structured Work Systems Resources

Structured Work Systems

Structured Work Systems expert - Amanda Reinke 

What are they?

10 Commandments of Structured Work Systems

Steps for Implementation - Structured Work Systems

Special Ed Structured Work Systems on Pinterest

Structured Work Systems - Waisman Center Presentation

Work Systems and Visual Structure - CESA 7

Autism Internet Modules - Structured Work Systems

Structured Work Systems in the Home and School - Kentucky Center for Autism

Structured Work Systems - Lincoln Public Schools

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Taylor County Resource Night for Special Needs Families Age 3-21 on May 9th

Taylor County Resource Night for Special Needs Families Age 3-21
Tuesday May 9th
5:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Taylor County Education Center - 624 College Street in Medford

We currently have 400 families with special needs in the Medford Area Public School District. This Resource Night will help provide education, resources, information, and advocacy for all of our families in Medford and throughout Taylor County.  Our Resource Night is one week away from today. Please share the flyer with your families. We hope to see you there.  

·         Speak with: multiple agencies designed to support special needs children and families.
·         Tour the Taylor County Education Center – see the SOAR 18-21 year old, Medford Adult Diploma Academy, Medford Alternative High School, DVR, Head Start, Food Pantry, and Rural Virtual Academy
·         Learn about: Guardianship, Therapy Services, Receive a DNA Safety Kit, Reading Rummage Sale by Literacy Council, Transition Planning to Work or College, Job Coaching, Supported Employment, Special Olympics, Dave Hemke Memorial Little Free Library, 1:1 Tutoring for Adults, Project Lifesaver, Post-Secondary Accommodations, and more  
·         Education and Resources on: Dyslexia, Autism, Mental Health, Literacy, Vocational, Speech Language, Occupational/Physical Therapy, Social-Emotional, Special Education   
·         Appetizers for those people in attendance.

Agencies represented:
ADRC, Aspirus Therapy and Fitness, Birth to Three, Black River Industries, Counseling Connection, Employment Bound, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, Frances Simek Public Library, IBA Resources, Indianhead Community Action Agency – Head Start and Food Pantry, Medford Area Public School District Special Education Department, Medford Adult Diploma Academy, Medford Alternative High School, Northcentral Technical College, Opportunity Development Center Inc, Progressive Travel for Special Needs, Rotary Interact Club, Rural Virtual Academy, SOAR 18-21 year old, Special Education Advisory Council, Stepping Stones Domestic Violence, Taylor County Autism Support Group, Taylor County Drug Opposition Partners, Taylor County Golden Eagles – Special Olympics, Taylor County Health Department, Taylor County Human Services, Taylor County Literacy Council, Taylor County Project Lifesaver, Taylor County Transition Advisory Council, and more

This is evening is brought to you through the Special Education Advisory Council of the Medford Area Public School District

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Supreme Court Ruling on Endrew vs. Douglas County School District

Supreme Court Ruling on Endrew vs. Douglas County School District

Supreme Court Ruling:

National Association for Directors of Special Education

National Public Radio Article