Special Education and Student Services Newsletter for April 20, 2012
I. SPRING CONCERTS
I would like to thank all the staff for your extra help with the students and their Spring Concerts. You help prior to and during the concerts are appreciated and means so much to the families in the audience.
II. WEEK OF THE YOUNG CHILD
Thank you to the Early Childhood Sub-Committee for promoting Week of the Young Child in Taylor County. Highlighted features will include:
* Monday April 23 - Colleen and Uncle Squaty Live! at MAES with shows at 1:00 and 4:30
* Thursday April 26 - Beach Party Potluck Dinner (5:00) and Dance (6:00) at MAES
* Saturday April 28 - Pirates Band of Misfits! 11:00 am at Broadway Theatre with tickets only $5.00 and 50% off popcorn and soda
* Child Care Resource Placements in restaurants in Taylor County
* Dress up days each day
* Donated Tombstone pizzas for early education classrooms
III. EARLY RELEASE DAY
There is no scheduled activity for paraprofessionals on Early Release Day. You can contact your cooperating teachers for work they need help with, talk to your principals about some work, and/or may leave when the students are gone.
IV. SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGISTS UPDATE
We have posted for an elementary school psychologist position which closes at the end of the month. We would plan to do interviews early May with offering the position to someone prior to end of the school year.
The Board of Education voted last night to have the Director of Special Education/Student Services assume the primary school psychologist responsibilities at MAMS and MASH for 12-13. There will be additional part-time (10 hours per week on average) school psychologist support contracted through private people and/or CESA allowed. Some of the Director of Student Services responsibilities will be shared among other administrators in 12-13. This will save the school approximately $56,000 up to $96,500.
V. SPECIAL EDUCATION STAFFING ALIGNMENT
The Board of Education voted to hire a social studies licensed teacher to teach three sections in 12-13. This will allow us to not reduce three special education teacher sections.
VI. READ 180/SAM TRAINING
There will be a Read 180 SAM training on Monday April 23 at 3:30 at MASH. Thanks to Oralee Dittrich for training the staff.
VII. WILSON JUST WORDS TRAINING
July 30 and 31 in Medford at the D.O. Contact Luanne Olson for registration as space is limited. This is sponsored by the Taylor County Literacy Council thanks to a grant through NTC.
VIII. TAYLOR COUNTY LITERACY COUNCIL
Monday April 22 at 7:00 pm at NTC.
IX. SCHOOL BASED MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELING
There will be a meeting with the Coordinator of the Northwest Directions School Based Mental Health Counseling on Wednesday May 2 at 11:30 am at MAMS. We will be having discussion on whether to continue this program through the summer and in 12-13.
X. TAYLOR COUNTY EARLY CHILDHOOD SUBCOMMITTEE
Friday May 4 at 1:30 at the District Office.
XI. SUMMER SCHOOL SPECIAL EDUCATION
I will be meeting with staff and finalizing plans for our summer school special education course offerings by end of this coming week.
XII. SPECIAL EDUCATION and PRESCHOOL ENTITLEMENT BUDGETS
I will be finalizing the special education and preschool entitlement budgets for 12-13 this week. If you have not submitted the budget or new items have come up, please let me know.
XIII. IPADS AND ITUNES
Dennis H is working on setting up group special education staff iTunes username and passwords. You would then order applications through the Volume Purchasing Pricing. We would not order anymore through the district special education account. Your iPads would be cleared of all applications. We would then reinstall them and purchase applications individually.
XIV. IPAD/EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY TRAINING
Dennis H will be sharing more information with staff about this new process at our iPad/Educational Technology training on Tuesday April 24 at 4:00 pm.
XV. WILSON JUST WORDS ACADEMY ONLINE SUPPORT
Wilson Just Words Academy Online Support:
You will have access to:
InterActivities Whiteboard Application
Printable teaching aids
Fillable Lesson Plans
Measuring of Student Progress
XVI. DR. LAURA SHANK PRESENTATION
Our Special Education Advisory Council and Autism Resource Team are excited to announce that Laura Shank, Psy D. will be in Medford to present on "Current research providing new ideas for behavioral interventions in children with developmental disorders." All staff and parents are invited to attend.
Date: Wednesday May 2
Time: 4:00 pm to 5:30 pm
Location: Medford Area Elementary School Media Room
Laura Shank is a rehabilitation psychologist and neuropsychologist at the Achieve Center in Wausau. She completed her post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Michigan, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation where she provided assessment and treatment services to a variety of patients with developmental disabilities and neurocognitive conditions, including cerebral palsy, autism, downs syndrome, brain injuries, and spina bifida. Additionally, during her time at the University Michigan Health Systems, she published several journal articles on the use of adaptive neuropsychological measures for children with speech and motor impairments as well as a book chapter on the neuropsychological correlates of spina bifida.
Dr. Shank's clinical interests include developmental disabilities, congenital neurocognitive disorders, and adjustment to chronic illness and pain. Her research interests include creating accessible neuropsychological measures, evaluating primary care psychology models, and assessing factors influencing quality of life and compliance to medical care.
Dr. Laura Shank's expertise in assisting children faced with complex diagnosis and health issues is a valuable addition to the medical community and a welcome resource for families.
XVII. WISCONSIN ACT 165
Wisconsin Act 165 was recently signed into law allowing the use of law enforcement or juvenile court records to take disciplinary action against a student under a school district’s athletic code. https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/2011/related/acts/165
XVIII. FACEBOOK FOR SCHOOL COUNSELORS
Facebook has released a new resource: Facebook for School Counselors - which is intended to help counselors use the social-networking website and teach students how to use the site responsibly. The resource was released in collaboration with The Internet Keep Safe Coalition and The American School Counselor Association. The guide includes information about school policies, responding to online incidents and identifying risky online behavior. U.S. News & World Report (4/16). This was emailed out to all of the school counselors and school psychologists.
XIX. SCHOOL PERMISSIONS FOR FOSTER CARE
State Superintendent Tony Evers’ focus has been on increasing Wisconsin’s high school graduation rate. Wisconsin youth in foster care graduate at a much lower rate than their peers. Recognizing this, the Departments of Public Instruction (DPI) and Children and Families (DCF) are collaborating with the goal of improving educational outcomes for children living in foster care.
Students living in foster care are often excluded from participation in school activities outside the classroom because the school is unable to obtain consent from the parent. The Department of Children and Families recently issued a memorandum to counties that clarifies a foster parent or other individual with physical custody of a child under the child welfare system has the authority to give permission for school activities such as field trips, sports activities, and clubs. Decisions regarding educational placements (e.g., special education) continue to be the responsibility of the parent/guardian as delineated in state and federal law.
Many Wisconsin school districts have granted partial credit to students who had to transfer mid-semester, because a parent in military service was deployed overseas. This same strategy can be used to increase the educational success of students who enroll mid-semester because they are placed in foster homes.
Information on how schools and child welfare agencies can work together can be found in the joint DPI/DCF publication Educational Services for Children Living in Foster Care, This document explains the responsibilities of both schools and child welfare agencies in serving children living in foster care, including the federal Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoption Act of 2008.
Questions can be directed to the School Social Work Consultant Nic Dibble or at (608) 266-0963.