Special Services Report

To:  Michael Green
Re:  February Monthly Special Services Report
From:  Deb Kernen
Date:  February 1, 2010

As I mentioned last fall, 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. 

Since September we have had 33 teachers, IA's and classified support staff participating in eight K-20 autism trainings provided by Northwest ESD 113 Autism Outreach Statewide Program.  According to the newest research data 1 out of 110 children are diagnosed with autism.  This has caused a huge impact on our classrooms as there are many students identified on the autism spectrum who don't require special education services and may be on 504 plans.  It's critical that our teachers/staff are prepared to provide the necessary accommodations in their classrooms to ensure these students access their education and are included to the fullest extent with their peers.  The trainings cover the important strategies that the staff can infuse immediately to their daily instruction and interactions with students who have been identified as having Autism, Asperger's Syndrome or Pervasive Development Disorder and students that may have autistic like behaviors that haven't been diagnosed.  By the end of the school year we will have had over 100 professional development opportunities for WSD staff to participate in the day long trainings.   The ARRA dollars pay for the registration fees, as well as the sub time for the staff.  We would never have been able to pull this off without these dollars and the commitment of so many staff!!