Monday, January 31, 2011

Taylor County Adult Literacy Council

We held our first Taylor County Adult Literacy Council tonight. Great to see the collaboration among stakeholders and passion to improve reading for all ages.

Our next meeting will be held on Monday February 28 at 7:00 pm at NTC in Medford. For more information contact Cindy Gibson at 715-748-4620.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Do not delay in referring a student for special education due to RTI

OSEP has learned, through monitoring and input from stakeholders, that some schools require a student to complete the RtI process before an evaluation to determine eligibility for special education will be conducted, even when there is reason to suspect a disability. Please review the OSEP memo related to RTI at (from DPI)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Medford Adult Diploma Academy featured on WSAU Radio

Medford Adult Diploma Academy was recently featured in an interview on WSAU radio out of Wausau.  Here is the link to the interview that Randy Oaklief from NTC - Medford and I participated in.

We are also very excited to have our first graduate of the program who finished their requirements this week.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Awesome Pre-Kindergarten Teacher Blogs!

These are blogs that our Pre-Kindergarten teachers have been working on in the Medford Area Public School District.  They have done an excellent job on these!

IEP - P1 Permission to Place

Staff should have the IEP P1 Permission to Place Form at initial IEP meetings.  Parents can then sign permission at the IEP meeting for special education services to start. Staff will then have better knowledge of when services can legally begin.  If parents do not wish to sign consent until receive a finalized written copy of the IEP, this is their right

Birth to 6 Early Childhood Indicators

There are important changes to Birth to 6 Early Childhood Indicators pertaining to Child Outcomes, Transitions, and Environments.  School District and Taylor County Birth to Three Staff will be attending an upcoming training in 10-11. Here are the main points:

1. Early Childhood Outcomes-Used to be started during the self
assessment year.  Now all districts will follow and report on all
children every year.

2. Early Childhood Transitions from b-3- This indicator requires
100% compliance with having services for eligible children implemented
on or before the 3rd birthday.  There are some timeline and PPS changes.

3. Early Childhood Environments-All children are to be educated to
the maximum extent possible with non-disabled age peers.  The reporting
changes that began last fall will be review

Special Education Staff teaching Regular Education Students

Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction still does not allow for special education staff with special education only license to teach regular education students until parents sign consent for placement.

Families Being Involved Workshops for Pre-Kindergarten Families

Feb. 11th - Bowling
Mar. 11th - Fitness Fun (doing rock climbing, Wii active games, etc. here at MAES)
April 14th - Thursday evening - Potluck Dinner and Dance (Week of Young Child)
May 20th - Petting Zoo

Taylor County Resource Directory of Services

Taylor County Resource Directory of Services booklet is available at:

Monday, January 24, 2011

Sibshops for Siblings of Students with Medical Needs on Feb 5

Sibshop for Siblings of Students with Medical Needs on February 5
Marshfield Clinic is having a Sibshop on February 5 for siblings of children who have chronic or ongoing medical needs, including spina bifida, epilepsy, cystic fibrosis, etc. For more information contact:

Sibshop for Siblings of Students with Special Needs on March 19
I have attached a copy of our SPECIAL NEEDS (autism, down syndrome, chromosomal disorders, developmental delay) Sibshop flier which will be on March 19.

For more information on these sibshops please contact:
Kari Bluhm, MS, CCLS
Outpatient Child Life Specialist
Marshfield Clinic Children's
Saint Joseph's Children's Hospital
Ph (715) 221-8824

Duties of the County or State Agency for Children in RCCs

A county or state agency placing a child in a Residential Care Center (RCC) must:
  • notify the responsible LEA when it anticipates or recommends to a court placing a child in an RCC.
  • consider a child's educational needs when selecting an RCC for the child.
  • participate in the IEP team evaluation of a child and the development of an IEP.
  • notify the responsible LEA when it anticipates removing the child from the RCC.
  • develop a reintegration plan in cooperation with the responsible LEA and the RCC for a child leaving an RCC.
  • pay all of the RCC-related costs of educating a child while the child resides in the RCC.

Duties of the Responsible LEA for Children in RCC

Duties of the Responsible Local Educational Agency for Children in Residential Care Centers
  • conduct an individualized education program (IEP) team meeting, as soon as possible, to revise the child's IEP to describe the appropriate special education services the child will receive while residing in the RCC and to develop an educational placement.
  • appoint an IEP team to conduct a reevaluation, as needed.
  • for a child who is not a child with a disability, review education records, develop a status report, and send a copy to the county or state agency within 30 days after the LEA is informed that the child will be placed in an RCC. If the LEA has reasonable cause to believe the child is a child with a disability, the LEA must appoint an IEP team to evaluate the child. The IEP team may include appropriately licensed staff of the RCC, if that staff is available. If the child is found to be a child with a disability, the LEA must develop an IEP and educational placement in consultation with the county or state agency.
  • ensure each child with a disability receives a free appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment. The county or state agency funding the child's RCC placement is responsible to pay for the RCC-related education costs.
  • include RCC residents in its special education student data (child count) report to the DPI. The responsible LEA may not include RCC residents in its membership count for equalization aid, unless they attend school in the responsible LEA.
  • ensure that a child's treatment and security needs are considered when the child's IEP team determines the least restrictive environment.
  • contact another LEA to arrange for an educational placement, if a child's IEP team determines the child may be appropriately served off the grounds of the RCC. The other LEA must assign staff to determine whether the child can appropriately receive required special education services in its schools. If they determine the child can appropriately receive special education services in the LEA, the LEA must provide the services and is eligible for state tuition categorical aid. If the assigned staff determine the child cannot appropriately receive special education services in the LEA, the LEA must keep a written record of the reasons. A dispute between LEAs about the educational placement of a child will be resolved by the DPI.
  • assign staff or an IEP team to develop a reintegration plan for a child in cooperation with the county and RCC staff, if the child is leaving the RCC.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Wisconsin Model Early Learning Standards alignment with Wisconsin Common Core Standards

Wisconsin Model Early Learning Standards alignment with Wisconsin Common Core Standards in English Language Arts and Mathematics.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Transition Action Guide for Post School Planning

Speech and Language Development in Young Children

Our Speech and Language Pathologist Sheryl Balciar recently did a presentation at our Head Start for staff and parents.  The presentation was on Speech and Language Development in Young Children.  A link to her powerpoint presentation can be found at:

Rural Tech Net - Distance Learning Network

Rural TechNet is our distance learning network. Medford is the lead district in this consortium of area school districts.  Here's a link to the story on Channel 7 out of Wausau.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Educator's PLN

The Educator's PLN - Personal Learning Network
A vast collection of educational professionals from around the world sharing ideas, collaboration, knowledge, resources, and discussion.

RTI for LD workshops

John Humphries from the Department of Public Instruction will present two free workshops on using Response to Intervention (RTI) with the new rule on identifying specific learning disabilities (SLD Rule). Mr. Humphries was one of two main authors of the SLD Rule, and is currently RTI consultant for DPI. The workshop format will be mostly lecture, with some time allotted for questions.

You will need to download your handouts ahead of time at and bring them along.You may also want to look at the complete Power Point at that website, as well as DPI's publication, "RTI, A Guiding Document," which can be found at .

Both workshops run from 9:30 AM to 2:30 PM with an hour-long break for lunch on your own.

Friday January 21, 2011
Sun Prairie High School Performing Arts Center
888 Grove Street, Sun Prairie, WI
You DO NOT NEED TO REGISTER for this event.
If weather is questionable, and Madison Metro Schools are closed that day, this event will be canceled.
Wednesday February 23, 2011
Holiday Inn
1000 Imperial Avenue, Rothschild, WI
To register for this event, please contact Cheryl Adams at Marathon County Special Education (715) 261-1980, or They will cap registration at 500, so please let them know how many seats you will need if registering for a group.

VSA Call for Art

VSA Wisconsin, an organization that celebrates the artistic achievements of individuals with disabilities, is issuing its annual statewide Call for Art. Artists ages five and older with disabilities are encouraged to explore their creative abilities and submit their original works of art.
All artists will have at least one artwork publicly displayed at VSA Wisconsin’s gallery at 1709 Aberg Avenue, Suite 1, Madison, Wisconsin, 53704 from March 26 – April 16, 2011 and will receive certificates of participation. There will be a public reception April 16, 3-5 pm. The deadline for submission is February 23, 2011. For more information or for entry forms, please visit, email, or call 608-241-2131.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Letter to Parents of Children with Autism

January 18, 2010

Dear Parents,
I would like to update you on information related to Autism Spectrum Disorder here in the Medford Area Public School District. 

Autism Alert
I am in contact with the Autism Alert organization about doing a training here in Taylor County.  This would include a half day Local Emergency Responder Training for first responders such as police, fire, EMS, and health care professionals.  An additional half day Autism Safety Training for Caregivers will be held on that same date for caregivers such as parents, family, friends, community, social workers, and educators.

We are tentatively looking at a April or May date to be held in the Red and White Theatre.  I will send you the date once it is finalized.  Included is a handout with further information on this type of training.

Autism Training Handouts
Medford has held autism spectrum disorder trainings over the past five years.  Handouts and links to resources are now available online for use and reference.

Autism Directory of Resources  
The Wisconsin Autism Directory of Resources has a listing compiled by the Autism Society of Wisconsin and local chapters in Wisconsin.  Here is the link:

Family Support Program
We have regular consultation and collaboration with Taylor County Human Services.  This keeps us updated on in-home autism therapy, family support, respite care, and other programs.  Included is a Family Support Program brochure which lists services.  Developmental Disabilities Coordinator Amber Fallos has information at 715-748-3332.    

Autism Consultant
We contract with CESA 10 to provide our students and staff with Autism Consultation services.  Jan Vajgrt is our Autism Consultant and she is available for student observations and consultations. 

Social Media
To help better educate and inform our parents, staff, and community members, we are starting to use Social Media.  You are encouraged to “Like Us” on our Facebook page dedicated to Medford Area Public School District Special Education and Student Services, check out my Blog at:, follow me on Twitter: @Joseph_Greget, or click on the Special Education and Students Services link off the school district website:  

Board of Education
In 2010-11, the Board of Education approved the additional hiring of a special education teacher while maintaining existing certified and support staff. This further supports our students with autism and all those with disabilities even in times of challenging budgetary decisions. 

Wisconsin Statewide Autism Training
We have sent multiple certified and support staff to these Wisconsin Statewide Autism Trainings to continue our professional development and skill building in the area of autism.

Apple iPads
We are starting to use Apple iPads in our special education program.  We were able to purchase these through the use of Federal Stimulus Funds.  Here is a link that talks about how children with autism benefit: iPads: Near-Miracles for Kids With Autism

The district maintains a subscription to the Autism Pro website for training and resources.  Parents can have access to this information as well if you are interested.

I hope you will find this information beneficial for your child and family.  If you have further questions, please contact me at your convenience.


Joseph A. Greget
Director of Student Services/Special Education


Spelling and Vocabulary City

Great website to help improve spelling and now vocabulary for your students.

Information Processing as part of LD evaluations

Information Processing is no longer part of our state rule for SLD identification. You do not need to collect information on SOAREM or any form of information processing assessment even if you are still using discrepancy

PBIS Tier I Certification

We will be completing our MAES and SES certification as a Positive Behavioral Intervention Support (PBIS) Tier I recognized school in the 10-11 school year.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Treasure Chest - 100's of Resources, Ideas, and Videos for Edtech

Treasure Chest -100's of Resources, Ideas, and Videos for Edtech.

Early Education = Pre-Kindergarten and Early Childhood Special Education

Early Education

The Medford Area Public School District offers four year old kindergarten and early childhood special education programming for students.  Students must be at least 4 years of age by September 1st of a given year to enroll in our program.  We are in our 11th year of offering full day pre-kindergarten programming.  Starting in 10-11 we transitioned to a full day two day a week model for our pre-kindergarten program.  We offer six sections at Medford Area Elementary School and two sections at Stetsonville Elementary School.  Our classrooms each have 1 full time teacher and 1 paraprofessional for approximately 18 to 20 students.  There are student computers in each classroom.  New this year is the addition of Lofts which is an exciting addition for our students.  Students receive a healthy breakfast and lunch as part of the program.
Our early childhood special education program offers half day programming for three and four year old students with identified disabilities. Preschool Options is also offered for students with disabilities so they have maximum participation in the least restrictive environment while still receiving individualized or small group instruction extra support. 
Director of Student Services/Special Education and Early Education: Joseph Greget
Pre-Kindergarten Teachers: Sheila Hollatz, Ashlee Quilling, and Kirsten Miller (MAES) and Amanda Langdon (SES)
Early Childhood Special Education Teacher: Amber Fettes
Early Education Secretary: Luanne Olson
Speech Language Pathologist: Sheryl Balciar
For more information contact the District Office at 715-748-4620 or MAES or SES

PreK-3rd:Raising the Educational Performance of English Language Learners

This link is to a 16 page report from the Foundation for Child
Development.  The title is PreK-3rd: Raising the Educational Performance 

Wisconsin is addressing the needs of young children who are Dual
Language Learners (DLL)  We acknowledge that all young children are
English Language Learners.  The link has resources we have identified or
developed in Wisconsin.

CESA 10 Mary Joslin

iPad Resources for Administrators

Extensive list of resources for administrators looking to add iPads into their school.  Good resource links for teachers and parents to use as well.  Here are two links to access the information:

Pre-Kindergarten Students Can Attend CLC

Pre-Kindergarten students are eligible to participate in Community Learning Center before and after-school programming.  This is the first year that these students are eligible to participate in CLC.  Please contact MAES or SES for registration purposes or ask for Lisa Porten or Don Everhard for more information.

Adult Education through CLC

We are looking for instructors to teach Adult Education classes through our Community Learning Center program.  You can choose the timeline to teach the class(es)and the topic which parents, staff, or community members might be interested in.  Contact Don Everhard at SES or myself for more information.

Read Write and Gold Webinar

This will take place Thursday January 20th from 3:30 to 4:30 in the District Office.  This is a webinar to highlight features of this assistive technology that could replace or be in addition to Kurzweil.  Staff who are familiar with this program or would like more information are invited to attend.

Students with Disabilities Exiting High School

From DPI: We continue to receive requests for clarification about the status of students who take longer than four or six years to graduate or exit from high school and who are still enrolled.  Such students are NOT considered dropouts.  While students who continue in school until age 20 or 21 will not be counted as "on-time" graduates in the four-year rate, students who are "known to be continuing" should not be counted as dropouts whether educated to age 19, 20, 21, or for more than 13 years of public education.
For more information, go to

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Parents Guide to Facebook

iPads in the Classroom

Ipads were featured in our Curriculum Connection at Jan Board of Education. Through stimulus funds, technology grant, PEP grant, and flow through dollars ipads are being used in special education classrooms, fifth grade room, early education classroom, speech language, High school science class, alternative high school,administration, and by physical education teachers. Medford holds monthly iPad trainings for staff on using ipads in education with individual students and in classrooms.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Special Education Enrollment in January 2011

We have 284 students age 3 up through age 21 receiving special education services as of January 14, 2011. This includes:
73 students with speech language only impairment
95 students with learning disabilities
15 students with cognitive disabilities
32 students with emotional behavioral disabilities
19 students with autism spectrum disorders
39 students with other health impairments
11 students with other impairments: significant developmental delay, hearing impaired, orthopedic impairments, traumatic brain injuries, and vision impairments.

Related Services
125 students receive speech language services
23 students receive physical therapy services
50 students receive occupational therapy services

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Autism through a Friend's Eyes Essay Contest

Autism through a Friend's Eyes"

ASW 2011 Autism Awareness Essay Contest
For students, Kindergarten through 12th Grade

Information was sent to every public and private school building principal in Wisconsin last week, and is now available on the ASW website,

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Autism Training for First Responders and Community

We are looking into a training on autism for first responders and community stakeholders.  I am in contact with Autism Alert who did a similar presentation in Mosinee.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

End of First Semester Review for Special Education, Student Services, Reading, and Early Education

During first semester of the 10-11 school year we have accomplished the following:
Read 180 at MAMS
Expert 21 at MASH
Saxon Math at MAMS and MASH
Wilson Reading Level II Certification
Full Day Pre-Kindergarten
Universal Screening of Pre-Kindergarten Students in area of Speech Language
Autism Resource Classroom at MAES
Apple iPad implementation
Wilson Reading at MASH
Cross-Categorical Programming at MAES
Positive Behavioral Intervention Strategies Model
SLATE Conference attendance
Certified Occupational Therapist Assistant hiring
Wilson Fundations at Universal Level
Wilson Fundations Coaching/Facilitations Model
Wilson Fundations training
Wilson Reading training
Wilson Just Words training
Successful transition of students with Autism from MAES to MAMS
Successful transition of significant students with disabilities from MAMS to MASH
Medford Adult Diploma Academy
Taylor County Adult Literacy Council
Student Blogging
Social Media for Special Education and Student Services - Facebook, Twitter, Website, Blog
Very Special Arts at Camp Randall Stadium for students with moderate to severe disabilities
Wilson Just Words at Alternative High School
Adaptive Physical Education at MAMS and MASH
Building of Wireless Infrastructure in school buildings
RTI for LD trainings
iPad overview monthly trainings
iPad in Education Graduate Class through Marian University
Early Childhood Special Education-Speech Language Combined Model

In addition individual staff members have worked on their:
Professional Development Plan
National Board Teacher Certification
Reading Teacher Certification
Literacy Coaching Certification
Masters Degree in Educational Technology
Special Education Teacher Certification
Certified Nursing Assistant Certification

I would like to thank the staff for their extra hard work in implementing these new initiatives and programs along with furthering their professional development all to help further the education of our students who are at risk and those with disabilities.

Special Education Funding

Today at the Medford Board of Education School Finance Committee I shared information on how special education has helped create revenue for Medford in 10-11. Here are some ways:
Flow Through Grant
Preschool Entitlement Grant
ARRA Recovery Flow Through Grant
ARRA Recovery Preschool Grant
School Based Services Medicaid Billing
Attendant Care Services Billing
Transfer of Service Exemption
High Cost Special Education Aid
07-08 SBS Medicaid Billing extra funding
State Categorical Aid
State Special Education Categorical Aid Exemptions for select positions
Ann Marie Grant
Weather shield LITE Foundation
Lions Club
Coordinated Early Intervening Services

Friday, January 7, 2011

Snoball Dance

Ladysmith is holding their 9th annual Snoball Dance for students with moderate and severe disabilities on February 2nd from 10:00 to 1:00.  Music, games, door prizes, meal, and beverages are provided.  Middle and High School Students from Medford School District will be attending for the fourth consecutive year.

ACCESS for ELL Testing Window

December 1 to February 11
Barb Krenz will be testing at MASH
Lucia Albrecht will be testing at MAES and SES
Jessica Martin will be testing at MAMS

New Eligibility Checklist for Orthopedic Impairment

Visit to see the new Eligibility Checklist for Orthopedic Impairment and the new list of OI Resources. 

Thursday, January 6, 2011

OT and PT Resource and Planning Guide

The Department of Public Instruction is pleased to announce the publication of the "OT and PT Resource and Planning Guide", developed to help school staff and parents better understand the key roles occupational therapists and physical therapists play in the lives of children who need their services to benefit from their education. Their work supports Superintendent Evers' goal that every child will graduate with the knowledge and skills needed to be successful in the workforce and/or higher education.  You may access this guide at

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

AIMS Web Winter Benchmark Testing Window

AIMS Web Winter Benchmark Testing Window is open from January 1 to February 1. AIMS Web is a benchmark and progress monitoring tool that is used to measure the progress of our students with disabilities and at risk students in K to 8. Reading and Mathematical areas are measured.

85 + Resources for Educators Guide to Social Media

85 plus resources for Educators Guide to Social Media contains excellent resources and links.

Special Education and Student Services Website

Medford Area Public School District Special Education and Student Services website is now available off the school primary website at Click on Special Education and Student Services link on the left hand side of the page.

You can still access it through as well.

You will find many handouts, links, and resources related to many special education and student services topics.

iPad Training

Our next iPad training overview will be held on Monday January 31 from
3:30 to 5:00 in the District Office. This is an enrichment opportunity
for those interested.  As part of this overview you will learn more

1. Secrets to the iPad review
2. Evernote application demonstration - recommended way to take notes
3. Ipodsibilities - One teacher's thoughts on using ipods and ipads in
the classroom
4. iPad Wiki -
5. SLP Application List and Recommendations
6. Educator's Guide to Social Media
7. Student Blogs
8. Delete your smurf village application
9. Share your favorite application!
10. Questions and answers