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

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

World Down Syndrome Day on March 21st - Resources and Information

Today March 21st is World Down Syndrome Day. Here are some resources to support our students, parents, and staff who teach those with Down Syndrome. 

Down Syndrome Resources for Educators and Parents

We currently have 5 students with Down Syndrome in the Medford Area Public School District. There will be an additional 2 students that will be transitioning in through the Taylor County Birth to Three program. This is more students with Down Syndrome then we have ever had.  Here are some resources to help with the education of these students: 

October was Down Syndrome Awareness Month. March 21st is considered World Down Syndrome Day. 

Listed are recommended resources on Down Syndrome:
If People with Down Syndrome Ruled the World

Down Syndrome Resources in Wisconsin

Tips for Teaching Students with Down Syndrome

Supporting the Student with Down Syndrome in Your Classroom

A Guide to Inclusive Education for Students with Down Syndrome

Facts about Down Syndrome

Skill Development Resources

Wikipedia extensive information
Teaching Students with Down Syndrome
National Association for Down Syndrome

I Love My Life video

Down Syndrome Sibling Resources

Education and Down Syndrome

42 Great Down Syndrome Resources

Down Syndrome Resources for Educators and Schools

World Down Syndrome Day Activities - March 21

Down Syndrome Association in Wisconsin

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Last Day of Winter in Medford Schools

On this last day of winter in Wisconsin the cold and snow can have a long hard impact on us personally and professionally especially when you are involved in education. With the official start of Spring tomorrow I took a look back to see if we made it through this school year so far okay and look ahead to the optimism of Spring.

Friends of Literacy Awards were handed out to those who promote literacy. Recognizing special education and other staff who have taught 30 years and others at the 5-10-15-20-25 years.

New school year with new staff coming in to work with our veteran teachers. New positions of school social worker, online SLP, and ELL teacher starting for the first time. Learning new College and Career Ready IEP Forms. The start of our Books on the Bus program for our special needs busses. Suicide Prevention QPR training for Suicide Awareness Month.

Our annual Child Development Day, Amazing Race to Employment where 126 businesses were visited, Ms Amber and Ms Sheryl recognized as the Collaborative Team of the Year at the WECA conference, our series of Town Hall meetings on Meth Prevention, the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown Book Night, the Lions Club Donation for the Eye Gaze Technology, Heroes to Hire Initiative through the Medford Chamber where HH was given an honorary badge by Chief Carey. Luanne telling me she was retiring, The Jeanne's Way Trail dedication with her family, and Big Red Bowling Extravaganza was held.

Our annual Words With Friends Tournament, Wilson Language featuring our story on our Wilson Little Free Library at MAES, Former Chief Coyer and his deputies Jaeden and Jacoby Reading to the students, the initial steps beginning of an Inclusive Playground in Medford, and the first Thanksgiving Luncheon by Mrs Q and her crew.

The Green Bay Packers Foundation Grant for our Packer Backer Backpack Program for Adapted PE students, Polar Express Book and Movie Event, Kiwanis iPad Donation, Rotary Service Above Self, and the annual trip for Santa and Mrs Claus to Medford.

Brought in the Special Needs Eye Care Open House at Healthview Eye Care, Mr Jack being administrator of the day, our Cares for Children Program, and READ Initiative.

The Take Your Legislator to Work Day, remembrance of Mikey, and Harry Potter Day.

Gave us our CARES Model presentation on school based mental health counseling to Aspirus Community Benefits, CATT team recognized with Outstanding Service Award, Shelly Elkin as Audiologist of the Year, Timer given as a gift by Jack, Captain America, Dr Suess Day, Transition Day for SOAR and MASH sped students, and informed our Employment First Initiative will be getting a Community Project Award by Medford Chamber In June.

While a lot has been accomplished and this written was just some. There is more to come with Adapted PE students photo op with the Packers in April, our first Taylor County Resource Night for Special Needs Families on May 9th, Week of the Young Child, Autism Awareness Activities in April, March Against Meth, new Head Start collaboration, continuing discussion on realigning our School Psychological Services Model, and the official retirement of the wonderful Luanne yet this year.

None of this would happen without our Village That It Takes to Raise a Child With a Disability, our special education staff giving their 150 percent on a personal and professional level, our supportive school environment, and our students and families worth advocating for each and every time.

So to everyone thank you for everything this winter and school year. May your Spring and soon to be Summer be enjoyable and continue to make differences in the lives of our students.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Taylor County Resource Night for Special Needs Families on May 9th

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

A Special Night for our Special Needs Families

This night will include:
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 Offices/Rooms
Learn about: Guardianship, Receive a DNA Safety Kit, Reading Rummage Sale by Literacy Council, Transition Planning to Work or College, Job Coaching, Supported Employment, Join Special Olympics, See the 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:
Aspirus Therapy and Fitness, Birth to Three, Black River Industries, Counseling Connection, Employment Bound, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, Frances Simek Public Library, 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