Special Services Report

To:  Michael Green
From:  Deb Kernen
Date:   May 27, 2010
Re:  May Special Ed Monthly Update

This month our special services staff (including our school psychologist and SLP) have worked closely with general education teachers administering MSP testing.  As you may recall, one of the things we learned when interviewing other districts that had test scores above our students was that districts were really focusing on making sure all available accommodations be provided to our students.  We have spent a great deal of time determining and implementing these accommodations on a regular basis this year so that we can use them during the testing.  These can include:

Human readers for Writing, Math, and Science

Read aloud DVD's for Reading, Writing, Math and Science

Students in high school with a math disability can use a calculator

A scribe, spell, grammar, and word prediction software-electronic dictionary or thesaurus

Use of speech Recognition/Speech-to-Text software

Use of technology in lieu of a scribe

Use of headphones as noise buffer

More than one day for a test session

Very small groupings

And lots more!!

Other updates:

Our school psychologist from WPS has been running a 2nd/3rd social thinking group based on all the autism training staff has participated in this year which has proven to be very successful in addressing some unique issues for these students.  She has also been working with the school counselor running two groups with some of our high need kindergarten students based on the concerns shared from CAST.

At Woodland Intermediate School, the school psychologist has had the opportunity to partner with teachers and students to promote academic and social success. In addition to the five Why Try groups currently running each week, he also meets weekly with a group of 6th-grade students and a group of 4th-grade students to work on supporting and practicing appropriate classroom and social behaviors through examples and role-plays using the Skillstreaming curriculum. Through all of these groups, students are learning, not only from the curricula and the instructor, but also from each other, how to more successfully navigate the waters of appropriate and healthy social development and behavior.

At WHS our school psychologist is working with a very small group of students (3-4). Every Tuesday, the group comes to her office and they focus on study skills. Lesson plans have ranged from utilizing positive self talk...to goal setting....to organization and planning.   She then checks in with the students individually on a weekly basis and has them complete a plan of action sheet.(indicating specific assignments they'll work on and how she can help them accomplish that).  She frequently contacts their parents and teachers to increase communication and awareness.   She emails two of the parents on a weekly basis - letting them know exactly what their student needs to work on for the week.   Bi-monthly (right before Rewards Friday),  she emails the students' teachers and Mr. Shoup, letting them know where each student is at and what his/her goals are in their classes.