Special Services Report

To:  Michael Green
Re:  November Monthly Special Services Report
From:  Deb Kernen
Date:  October 21, 2009

Our Special Ed department has made some positive new program additions that have been supported by the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act (ARRA).  During the next couple months of special programs monthly updates I will feature some of these new programs/activities that are designed to improve student learning and engagement. 

This summer we sent two of our school psychologists to a "Why Try?" train-the-trainer workshop so that we have the capacity to train our own staff.  "Why Try?" is a program that has been shown to improve student performance and behavior in the areas of attendance/truancy, work completion/refusal, and academic performance/lack thereof. Our trained psychologists, counselors and special ed staff  meet with students weekly during the lunch period or other specified times to present and work through the dynamic, multimedia presentations of social and emotional principles.   The lessons are focused on helping the students discover strategies for personal success that they can implement in their daily lives.  Students participating have been recommended through the CAST and/or Student Assisted Teams (SAT) process in each of the buildings based on observed deficits in the areas of work completion, effort, attitude toward school, and class participation.   The groups of students are both general education and special education students.  Our school psychologists will conduct ongoing professional development trainings throughout the year for our Why Try instructors. We are really excited about this new project as the research is very strong and compelling!!! www.whytry.org for more info.