SPED Speak

Issue 1, November 2015


Welcome to our very first edition of SPED SPEAK, our department newsletter to help keep us informed!

Laura Frey, Katie Gonzales, Paula Harper, Amy Lozano, Melinda Rayman, Jenn Schneider, Jeannie Song & Sheri Block, Chair


Congratulations to Karissa and Kevin Partin who will be celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary on December 1.

Congratulations to Fran Duncan on the birth of her new grandbaby born November 10 – Welcome to the world Clark Jameson Duncan who weighed 9 lb. 6 oz. and was 22 ¾ in long.

In Case You Missed It

A special thank you goes to Paula Harper and Jeannie Song for the birthday spotlight decorations!

In case you missed it, these staff members had another birthday this month:

Shannon Lefebvre 11/1

Margaret Krueger 11/3

Sarah Valazquez 11/3

Beth Fields 11/5

Sheri Block 11/10

Genie Moore 11/11

Chanda McGhee 11/13

Jenny McLellan 11/13

Aubrey Selbo 11/14

Rachel Reynolds 11/16

Susan Senn 11/21

Autumn Reid 11/23

Amy Smith 11/24

Staff Information

The week of November 9-13 was Licensed Specialist in School Psychology week. We appreciate our LSSPs all the time, not just this week! Hope you all had a great week!

Submitted by April Stutzman & Catherine Parker, Licensed Specialists in School Psychology

Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) is a proactive approach to establishing the behavioral supports and social culture and needed for all students in a school to achieve social, emotional and academic success. Attention is focused on creating and sustaining primary (school-wide), secondary (classroom), and tertiary (individual) systems of support that improve lifestyle results (personal, health, social, family, work, recreation) for all youth by making targeted misbehavior less effective, efficient, and relevant, and desired behavior more functional.

The following diagram illustrates the multi-level approach offered to all students in the school. These group depictions represent systems of support not children:

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In order to highlight schools incorporating PBIS principles, a shout-out goes to Elliott Elementary. Elliott teaches school expectations utilizing the 4 R’s: Ready to Learn, Respectful, Responsible, and Resourceful. School-wide “Grit Grams” are awarded to students embodying the essence of “Grit”. These positive reinforcers are on display in the front hallway (as pictured). Moreover, fifth grade students are being reinforced for positive behavior while learning personal financial management through the “Bank Your Bucks” initiative in which students are taught to deposit their earned “Character Bucks” into a grade-wide bank. They receive personal bank statements and can spend their earned money towards rewards. Way to go Elliott! For more information, see https://www.pbis.org/

Cynthia Walker submitted - Congratulations to all who made the Special Olympics successful, and Independence High School for recognizing the students’ hard work. They made their weekly newsletter:

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Paula Harper submitted: I have a new grandbaby. Her name is Joslynn Grace Butenschoen. She was 21 inches long and 8.6 lbs.
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Submitted by Sheri Block:

Sheri's 1st great niece was born 11/17/2015

Lexi Ray Crump weighed 7.1 and is 19" long

From the History Channel

Though many competing claims exist, the most familiar story of the firstThanksgiving took place in Plymouth Colony, in present-day Massachusetts, in 1621. More than 200 years later, President Abraham Lincoln declared the final Thursday in November as a national day of thanksgiving. Congress finally made Thanksgiving Day an official national holiday in 1941.

Sarah Josepha Hale, the enormously influential magazine editor and author who waged a tireless campaign to make Thanksgiving a national holiday in the mid-19th century, was also the author of the classic nursery rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb.”

In 2001, the U.S. Postal Service issued a commemorative Thanksgiving stamp. Designed by the artist Margaret Cusack in a style resembling traditional folk-art needlework, it depicted a cornucopia overflowing with fruits and vegetables, under the phrase “We Give Thanks.”

Three towns in the U.S. take their name from the traditional Thanksgiving bird, including Turkey, Texas (pop. 465); Turkey Creek, Louisiana (pop. 363); and Turkey, North Carolina (pop. 270).

Please send your celebrations, sorrows, and/or information to Sheri Block: blocks@friscoisd.org