Special Education Report
To: Michael Green
Re: December Monthly Special Services Report
From: Deb Kernen
Date: November 19, 2009
As I mentioned last month, our Special Ed department has made some positive new program additions that have been supported by the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Special services monthly updates will feature some of these new programs/activities that are designed to improve student learning and engagement.
- We have added a .2 to Kelly Sloniker's (WMS counselor) position this year in order to provide counseling services for middle and high school students that have social/behavioral goals on their IEP's. This is an area that in the past has been nearly impossible to do a good job implementing via our resource rooms and staff. This new program currently serves 14 Middle School and High School students. In the past these students have received services in the LEAP program as well as many students that have Autism Spectrum Disorders. They now receive services through group or individual sessions with the goal of increasing their positive social interactions. Students work on areas like understanding group dynamics and social communication. They also practice specific social skills such as problem solving skills and recognizing and coping with feelings. The hope for students in this program is decrease social related anxiety and increase social confidence so they can concentrate on their academics.
- We are also implementing a new level of Instructional Assistant support for general education science and social studies at WHS. We have hired Garren Greenleaf to fill this important position. He has already proven to have developed positive relationships with the students on the list of "target" students and is helping them keep up with their content classes. He currently has 18 students on his target list. Daily activities with these students range from emphasizing staying on task, aiding students in completion of classroom assignments, reading to the students, taking notes to compare with students and administering tests to the students. He has also implemented a weekly grade check for the students. Every Monday he distributes a classroom grade check sheet and has each student fill it out and turn it on Tuesday. He assesses the sheet and if any grades are below a C and then sits down and talks to the students about the class and what if anything are they missing in the class, how difficult do they find the class and how can they achieve a better grade in the class. Besides these weekly and daily encounters he also works with some of these students on the athletic field and after school in the weight room which gives him another venue to emphasize the importance of their school work.
- Woodland Middle School Resource room is implementing APEX learning this year, which is new and exciting! They have aligned their assignments with the Level 1 Math curriculum so that kids can be exposed to the general education curriculum. In addition to that, we have started using the Level 1 math portfolio system. By aligning to the general education curriculum, students will be able to rotate out into general education classes easier.
- Our Life Skills Program is operating print shop services that is being operated by Marlania Krouse (Sp Ed IA hired this year) and 3 life skills students during 5th and & 6th period. They have been learning to run the machine and make deliveries independently. This is being run as an on-site, job training experience. Students fill requests and make deliveries. They are starting to branch out into doing small office jobs upon request. We have received many compliments on the students' efficiency and great attitudes. This has also proven to be a great addition to creating an authentic job skills training program that supports IEP transition planning.