Special Services Report

To:  Michael Green

From:  Deb Kernen

Date:   January 4, 2014

Re:  December Special Services Monthly Update

Last month Monica Siegrist, Devon Fliss and I took 15 junior and senior special education students from Devon’s and Jody Flanagan’s classes to the Portland Art Institute to tour the campus and learn about the programs they offer to students.  Our students were most interested in Graphic Design, Gaming, Interior Design, Culinary Arts and Digital Photography.  They did a nice job of explaining how they make accommodations for students on IEP’s and offering all the necessary supports to ensure student success.  A highlight of the trip was lunch at the restaurant their culinary arts students run.  One of our students was quoted as saying “this is the best day of my life” after the meal!!

Joe Crawford our school psychologist that serves WIS and WMS shared the following when I asked for something snippets to include in the board report this month:  I continue to be thankful to have the privilege to work with our skilled educators and the wonderful Woodland community. In addition to my special education related duties and individual and group support of students, I continue to serve 4th-grade students and teachers through our weekly classroom meetings. I've been inspired this year hearing the students’ reflections on how our weekly routine of providing students the opportunity to each receive a compliment or appreciation from a classmate. Many shared how this helps them feel more included at school, safer, and how this weekly exercise in kindness discourages bullying by working to include students who otherwise may have chosen to bully others because of feeling left out. It's great when the students can elaborate on why a support is important and needed.

Devon Hillman our Life Skills teacher at WMS/WHS reported the following:   Due to diligent work last year, one of our students’ began Job Corp at Tongue Point Astoria this fall and is doing great!

Our Transitions Explorations class began working at a horse barn this year; it's the horse barn where our WHS Equestrian team practices.  They are having a wonderful time!

In the Basic Life Skills Classroom, students have been using the iPad for speech to text, rather than relying on a scribe.  Various students are also utilizing Kahn Academy, Acellus, and other online learning tools to enrich their learning.

Shelby Linnemeyer, our Speech Language Therapist from WPS, shared that her students have really been enjoying learning to use the iPad as a learning tool in speech/language therapy. It is always powerful to add new, successful tools to the tool bag, especially ones that hook some of our more difficult to engage students and motivate them to communicate, interact and participate!

Our Occupational Therapist, Felicity Ottis has also been incorporating the iPad into her fine motor therapy activities along with introducing them to a new piece of technology-the Smart Pen.  This tool assists students with the note taking process and increases a student’s ability to access information presented in the classroom. 

Last month the Partners in Transition students worked at the Christmas bazaar at the Woodland Care Center. They staffed a table selling Dog Treats and hand quilted hot pads. They used communication, money, problem solving and community access skills.