To: Michael GreenFrom: Deb KernenDate: February 1, 2012
Re: February Special Services Monthly Update
This last month I have been working closely with the middle and high school special ed resource and life skills teachers on researching some additional curriculum resources that we will be purchasing soon. This has come as a result of so many more high need/severe learning disabilities students that we have in our district.
The specialized reading curriculum that we have been using with our middle and high school students is one that we also have used at the intermediate level. We are finding students "plateauing" in their skills at the middle and high school levels. In response we have been looking at what other intervention programs we can add to our "tool boxes" to help students continue to grow in this area. There are a couple of very promising programs that other local schools have implemented with success and the research is supporting.
The Life Skills and PIT staff have been researching curriculum specially designed to address the extremely diverse instructional levels of our students. We have found "Unique Learning Systems" has standards based lessons that have 3 differentiated levels in order for students to be able to work in a group and have the same materials/information presented at different levels. This curriculum will be of great value for our teachers in completing the Washington Alternative Assessment System (WAAS) portfolios which require them to identify a standard at the grade level the student is in and then adapt it to their level. Amazing stuff!!!
On other item worth mentioning is that Jody Flanagan has been working very hard on creating a new class we are calling "Transitional Exploration". The class is designed for our high school special education students that need additional support in gearing up for life after graduation. This class also supports their IEP Transition Plans. The class will have 8 Units of Study. They include:
Unit 1-Attitude/work ethic on the job
Unit 2-Career Paths
Unit 3-Resume Writing
Unit 4-Newspaper and online job search
Unit 5-Application process
Unit 6-Interview process
Unit 7-Forms once you get a job
Unit 8-Budget your income
These students will be going out into our community to job sites to gain the necessary skills to acquire a job once they leave school. We are working with the PIT program in order to coordinate efforts. Lots of great things happening in the wonderful (and challenging) world of special education!!!!!