Monday Message

September 23, 2019. WLWV Student Services. We Got This!

Leading for All: Improvement Goals for 2019-20

Our district’s Inclusive Schools Leadership Team kicked off the 2019-20 school year reconnecting with the why of our work. Our team includes new and returning members and stakeholder representatives from different roles and perspectives throughout the district. Hearing the inspirational work of colleagues around the district helps us all develop a true sense of coherence as well as sharing ideas to bring back to one’s own building or team. This group helps us reflect on practices and data as a district, providing leadership and feedback for next steps in our work together.

This year, in alignment with the format and process each school building has used for goals and work plan, we developed goals in the following areas:

  • All students leading their own learning, with all students served by special education or meaningfully involved in their IEP meeting
  • All educators in the district develop an understanding of how Universal Design for Learning (UDL) can help bring the 5 Dimensions of Teaching and Learning accessible for all students
  • All co-teaching and co-planning partnerships use UDL as a structure for collaboration
  • Advance implementation of the WWEA/WLWV Partnership North Star Recommendations around positive school culture and behavior support.

One highlight was thinking together about the importance of reaching our goal of 100% of students having meaning involvement in their IEPs. In the film “Intelligent Lives”, we clearly saw the importance of students’ self-determination in their education and the importance of student involvement tin the IEP process. This has been our goal for 8 years...and this could be the year we REACH this goal! Check out the “I’m Determined” website link below to find important resources to help us reach this goal.

Understanding Anxiety: School Counselors & Social Workers Collaborate on this Topic

Anxiety is a part of the emotional range that all people experience. It helps alert our bodies to dangerous or important situation. Yet difficulties with and diagnosed disorders of anxiety are on the rise with young people. Anxiety may be problematic when:

  • It is occurring a lot and particularly with situations that don’t seem to warrant it
  • Feels very intense
  • Is upsetting or causing distress
  • Is keeping someone from doing things they want to do

Social workers Sarah Hiatt and Brittany Bucholz shared an overview of the parent education nights they provide, including Anxiety 101, Anxiety 102, and Creating Calm, Connection and Resilience for Our Children. These nights have been an important way of partnering with parents to better support children. (Note: Stafford Primary is hosting Creating Calm, Connection and Resilience for Our Children on Thursday, Sept. 26th from 6:00-7:30.)

School Counselors used a World Cafe to then dig into scenarios, case studies, and specific questions about best ways to support students who are struggling with anxiety. On exit tickets, counselors really valued this time to dig into this topic in differentiated learning groups.

Looking for some resources on the subject? Check with your School Counselor or Social Worker, or check out this website:

Quote of the week: “How we talk about kids is a reflection of how we think about kids and how we think about kids determines how we work with kids.” —Zach Deets

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Resources to Learn More About Supporting Student Behavior

All staff in West Linn-Wilsonville School District have access to powerful professional learning tools from 321insight. These include ParaSharp and Trauma-Informed Practices. In 321insight, you will find short 4-7 minute videos on topics like de-escalating behavior, thinking functionally, helping students regulate, and avoiding power struggles. In addition to the videos, there are discussion guides, infographics, and some other great tools. This is a great tool to help grow your skills in supporting all students, so please use it as often as you like.

The link is listed below. To log in, your user name is the school name--one word, all lowercase. The password is 321insight. Please DO NOT share this information with folks who do not work in our district, as that would be a violation of our licensing agreement. Here are the list of user names:

















ParaEducator Professional Development Workshops

We are excited to offer professional learning opportunities for Paraeducators on Professional Growth Wednesdays again this year.

As with previous years, these workshops are intended to supplement the professional learning that principals and teacher teams are leading in schools. Paraeducators (PE's) should check with their principals and SPED teams to determine the best plan for their time on Professional Growth Wednesdays. Sometimes it may be best for PE's to stay in their school for building-level professional learning. Other times it may makes sense for them to come to the District Office for broader professional learning opportunities.

This month's workshop will focus on:

  • The role of a paraeducator in an inclusive classroom
  • Introduction to the Paraeducator Handbook
  • Promoting Independence
  • Levels of Prompting
  • Peer Supports
  • (Much of the content will be similar to the New Paraeducator Orientation from August)

This month's workshop will be from 12:30-2:30, so it will be geared toward Primary School.

See the schedule below for Paraeducator Workshops for Primary, Middle and High levels. Many of the topics we discuss will be similar across all levels. So it would be fine for a paraeducator to come to a session that is aimed at another level. In particular, Art Tech/Adult Transition PE's are welcome to come to the 2:00-4:00 sessions because that would work better for their schedule.

September 25 - 12:30-2:30 - Primary focus

October 23 - 1:30-3:30 - HS focus

December 4 - 2:00-4:00 - MS focus

January 15 - 12:30-2:30 - Primary focus

February 5 - 1:30-3:30 - HS focus

March 18 - 12:30-2:30 - Primary focus

April 22 - 2:00-4:00 - MS focus

May 13 - 1:30-3:30 - HS focus

All of these workshops are scheduled for the District Office Board Room

These workshops are open to all paraeducators, not just those funded through student services. I don't have an email group for PE's who are not funded by student services. Principals, can you please pass this information on to your general ed funded paraeducators.

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Comments? Ideas? Questions? Deep Thoughts? REACH OUT

The work we are doing to build Inclusive, Equitable, and Excellent schools is evolving, its iterative, its reflective. This work requires engaging in cycles of inquiry around what really makes a difference for students. This work requires looking into best practices research. This work requires look at the data in quantitative check points, trends over time, and in listening to the stories and experiences of students, of parents, of staff. Help us continue to learn by communicating your successes, your learning, your questions. It takes ALL of us to LEAD for ALL!