~ There will be a training on Rethink Autism at Montana City on November 9, 4:00 - 7:00. This is an interactive workshop and you will need your laptop. Let me know if you are interested in attending.

~Rethink Awards: Most Student Activity, Most Lessons Printed/Lessons Videos Watched, Most Training Videos Watched - There is an advanced training video section that was added.

~Just a reminder, when texting/emailing, concerning students remember to use initials.

~YAY TRACY FROM WSS for enrolling in the Special Education course on OPI's Learning Hub with your paras. I have heard it is a great course. This course is for paras only, but if a teacher wants to take it with their paras you can call Annette Young at OPI and she will let you in.

~www.MyStudentInNeed.org This is a website that is set up to help students that are in need in your district. You can contact then through their website they will set you up on the site and people anonymously fulfill those needs for students. Cool site!

~Attended a Special Education Directors' Meeting yesterday. The PLUK representative spoke to our group. She urges us to contact her for support if there are any issues with parents that need to be resolved. She works cooperatively with the schools and most often can diffuse a situation before it escalates. Diana is great and I have found her very easy to work with.

~Also mentioned, when giving out the Procedural Safeguards, point out to parents the information about PLUK for them if they feel at any time they need support.

~If a student is receiving modified grades based on a modified curriculum, be sure to note that somewhere in the IEP.

~Review the 20 brain-based strategies for student engagement from Marcia Tate often. The strategies are critical in student learning.

~Montana Youth in Transition Conference November 14 - 16 in Helena. This is a great conference for middle school teachers to attend also.

~Wayne Callender will be back in Montana the last week in October to consult with several of our coop schools. If you would like a consult from Wayne next spring, let me know and we will get you on the schedule. Wayne is helping schools to improve their MTSS (RTI/MBI) process.

~I attended a workshop called "Sustaining Empathy/Why Do They Do What They Do?" One of the best workshops I've attended. I learned that Brain development in the first three years of life is the basis for ALL subsequent functioning. The brain is wired based on the patterned repetitive stimulation that occurs in our life. If that stimulation is trauma/stress - Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE), it affects brain development and creates emotional problems in a child's life. Support for those children will require looking through a developmental lens to see the need beneath the behavior and building relationships, relationships, relationships. There is a reason our students behave the way they do. We need to have a positive, supportive relationship with every student.

Shelley Dempsey

"The single most important thing in a child's performance is the quality of the teacher. Making sure a child spends the maximum amount of time with inspirational teachers is the most important thing." Michael Gove