Greer Gazette

October Issue 2015

Downs Syndrone Awareness Month

October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month, a chance to spread awareness. During the month of October, we celebrate people with Down syndrome and make people aware of our abilities and accomplishments.

It’s not about celebrating disabilities, it’s about celebrating abilities.

Remember that this is a very important month – we have to spread awareness about Down syndrome and learn more about ourselves.

Recognition and Awareness items (pins, Lanyards, assorted merchandise):

Café Express, has a wide range of Down Syndrome & Autism merchandise and will custom make t-shirts, mugs, etc: has some awesome t-shirts and merchandise (really cool & unique designs), also you can design your own. This company even has readymade designs for ADD, I just purchased a Down Syndrome shirt from them & can’t wait to get it!

Autism Speaks website, clothing, gifts, etc.:

National Down Syndrome Society:

Also Amazon carries t-shirts & merchandise for Down Syndrome & Autism Awareness.

OCTOBER 15th: White Cane Safety Day

White Cane Safety Day celebrates blind and visually impaired people’s achievements in the United States on October 15 every year. This celebration reminds people about how the white cane is an important tool in helping the blind and the visually impaired live with greater independence.


(AUSTIN) – Wednesday, October 15, Texans across the state will observe White Cane Day, a day devoted to celebrating independence and opportunities for people who are blind or visually impaired.

White Cane Day was first observed in 1964 after a proclamation by President Lyndon B. Johnson. The first “White Cane Safety Day” served as a safety reminder to promote courtesy and special consideration to people who are blind. Since this first observance, White Cane Day has taken on greater meaning as a time to celebrate the independence of people who are blind and their right to participate fully in society. The white cane is not only an effective mobility tool, but also a powerful symbol of independence for people who are blind.

All 50 states have their own White Cane Laws, which not only address pedestrian safety for the blind, but, more importantly, also guarantee civil rights protections. The Texas White Cane Law also ensures the rights of individuals traveling with a guide dog to have equal access to all public places.

According to the homepage for, the slogan for this year's celebration is:

“By Paw, or by Cane, my mobility I gain.”

Special Education Staff Asked to Speak to Alpha Students

Our MISD Alpha students have been given the opportunity from the McKinney Sunrise Rotary club in the design of the all-inclusive playground in McKinney.

They began their journey by introducing students to the difference between sympathy and empathy. Students explored influential children and adults that face daily struggles but have overcome due to a creative process and growth mindset.

MISD Special Education staff were asked to speak and answer questions to 4th and 5th grade Alpha classes regarding students and adults with special needs as well as the equipment knowledge to apply to their own designs. Students were also exposed to all-inclusive playgrounds worldwide by participating in an online scavenger hunt.

Plans are due to the Rotary Club the first of the school year.


Junior Leon

As an 8th grader at Faubion middle school, Junior entered the John F. Kennedy Center’s VSA Yo Soy Art Award Contest for students with disabilities. His artwork was chosen as a winner and it will be on display in the Department of Education Building in Washington D.C. Junior is currently a Freshman at McKinney High.


Jarred Duran

Jarred Duran, a junior at MNHS, has been volunteering at Greer as part of his transition plan to assist staff with the disposal of shred materials. Jarred has a visual impairment and uses a variety of materials to help him be 100% successful while he is “on the job.” For Jarred, and many other employees with a visual impairment, simple accommodations such as a modified building map with large print, a large print checklist of office numbers, and clearly labelled bins enable them to complete their jobs with independence and success.

Attached is a picture that shares how Jarred feels about the opportunity to provide this great service to the staff at Greer!

FAC Science: Solar oven S'mores today = yum & fun

McKinney North is studying our sun and solar systems unit by making a solar oven with aluminum foil and small pizza boxes. Lisa Sadosky reported 'from set up, to cooking, to eating and clean up, it only took 25 minutes. It was great for the students to realize just how hot the sun was because the chocolate and marshmallows melted in about 8 minutes.' The students used an app called StarTracker to look up at the sky. The app shows the constellations, moon, sun and planets.

Homecoming 2015

Big image

Cathy's Critters ECC

Students with a Visual Impairment who attended an ECC outing to Cathy’s Critters really got to get their “hands on” a variety of animals, both domestic, farm and exotic.


Felipe Arellano

The MISD Adult Literacy Program received the "inspired to Serve Award" at Volunteer McKinney's Spirit of McKinney Awards dinner. Our very own Felipe Arellano was part of the celebration. Congratulations Felipe your dedication to the students of MISD and the community is truly making a difference!

Tyler Boysen

Congratulations Tyler for being selected by your peers as the Dowell Teacher of the Month. Tyler's was selected by a general education teacher who recognized his hard work and dedication to his students. Way to Go!

Carla Atkinson - ARD SUPER WOMAN

The Boyd SPED staff had fun during homecoming week. They created a title for their fearless leader Carla: ARD Woman! The gave 'ARD Woman' endless affirmations and really shared how much they appreciate their leader!

More Than a File Folder: Making Independent Work Time More Meaningful

What is independent work time supposed to look like and how can we make it more meaningful for our students? The goal of independent work time is for students to learn and practice working independently. The skills a student uses during independent work time have previously been taught and mastered in a teaching situation. The student is now ready to practice using those skills independently. This will look different based on the level of the student. Just like we individualize instruction for each student, we also need to individualize what independent work looks like. An early leaner’s independent work time may consist of practicing sitting in a chair for 1-2 minutes in proximity to a peer without engaging in problem behaviors(ABLLS-R L1) and complete a simple puzzle(B1). A more advanced learner may be working on several tasks and skills simultaneously such as completing a math sheet independently (ABLLS-R N7), filling in missing words in a sentence (Q14) using notecards and sentence strips, and upon completion of the tasks, taking the finished work to the teacher and putting materials away (N9). Here are a few fun ideas that can potentially be individualized for your students for independent work. Enjoy!

ESPED Updates:

The Document Share application allows eSped documents to be shared with employees who normally do not have access to eSped. This process will be used to distribute accommodations to general education teachers. We will be piloting the document share process this year at a high school, middle school and elementary school. Next year we will roll out the process to the entire district.

Personal Care Services Supplement. In addition to the “traditional” use of the personal care services, this year, teachers must complete the PCS supplement for any student in sped that has behavioral concerns (for example: has a BIP, or Positive Behavior Supports, or has Social Skills, etc). In additional to completing this supplement at the Annual ARD, the teacher must document the service time within X-Logs (MSBConnect). Please see the Guide to Completing the Personal Care Services Supplement located on eStar Docs.

As we anticipate the move to Yellow Folder and going paperless, campuses need to be sure that they have some type of checks and balances system in place so that documents do not get lost once we no longer have the blue folders.

It's That Time of Year: PEIMS

Staff PEIMS starting Oct. 5 and will end Oct. 30. Lead Teachers, Regina Inge will be sending an email out on Friday Oct. 2nd. Please send to your SPED staff which also includes long term subs. At the end of the 4 weeks please collect from your staff and drop in school mail to Regina Inge. If you have any question please call Regina (2-6336) or email

Special Olympics

UPDATE: We had to change bowling practices due to conflicts with Allen bowl tournament schedule.


Practices at Allen Bowl:

10/13/15: Elementary School, 10/15/15: Middle School, 10/20/15: HighSchool

Competition at USA Bowl Dallas:

10/27/15: Elementary School, 10/29/15: Middle School, 10/30/15: HighSchool


Area competition for Individual Skills: 3/3/2016 at the Fieldhouse in Frisco


McKinney Local Meet at Ron Poe Stadium: 4/1/16

Our Children's Circle

Our Children's Circle Fall Forum: Safety in our Community and Safety in our Schools

Thursday October 15, 2015

Session 1: Safety in our Community

9:00 - 10:25

Session 2: Safety in our Schools

10:35 - Noon

McKinney Police Headquarters

Briefing Room

2200 Taylor-Burk Drive

McKinney, TX 75071

Hope you can join us! Please RSVP for one or both sessions to so we can make sure that we have adequate seating and space. Please make arrangements for your children so that you and the other parents may fully benefit from the presentation. No child care is available.

Save the date for the Winter Forum

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Hugs Cafe

Most parents want the same things for their children: a college degree, a well-paying job and, eventually, a spouse and kids of their own. A different kind of restaurant will open this month in the small, brick-lined streets of downtown McKinney. More than 70 percent of Hugs Café’s employees will be people with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Many of our MISD graduates will be employed. Supporters hope the restaurant will shed light on a hidden community of people who face tougher challenges and heightened stakes when searching for a job, a group that is often avoided and written off as incapable of working.

Through fundraisers, a crowdfunding campaign and word of mouth, Hugs has raised $116,000 of the $150,000 it needs to open in mid-October. The Hugs Café workers, called “teammates,” will earn at least the minimum wage. For many, that will amount to only about $40 a week because they’re physically or financially unable to work many hours.

But for these teammates, it’s not really about the paycheck. It’s about other people seeing that they can read, they can do math, they can cook, they can understand other adults when they talk to them.


Angela Williams for keeping great student records at RJE so the new teacher could pick up right where Angela left off

Martha Cornelius for using awesome classroom management for Reading Mastery

Great Job Janina Coiro for a stellar example of what the Red Binder is intended to look like. Your data was complete and made it easy for your coordinator to review the data for a request! AWESOME

A HUGE shout out to the staff at Caldwell. They have had several problem situations this year that continue, and their team is working together with continuous support to help each other through this time! Great job with SYNERGY

Thank you to the staff that sent in pictures, class projects, highlights, and input for the Greer Gazette!

Anyone is welcome to send in suggestions, pictures, articles, and ideas for the Greer Gazette. Please send to Sally Riche. Next month will highlight our PALS and volunteers. Please send in pictures and any appreciations.