Special Programs & Services News

May 2021

Message from the Team:

What a year! I am amazed at how our students and staff continue to demonstrate resiliency, grit and perseverance during an unpredictable school year. We have many celebrations, successes and triumphs from this year and we could not have done it without the support of our parents and community. As we wrap up 2020-2021, I hope you take a few moments with your student(s) to reflect on goals they reached and areas of opportunity for growth for the upcoming year. We look forward to celebrating with our students as they graduate in a few weeks from high school, 18+ services and Project SEARCH. We are proud of all of the accomplishments of our students. Each and every day, our students show that nothing is out of reach and our students can and will achieve.

Kimberly Waltmon

Executive Director of Special Programs and Services

May Parent Education Nights

Special Programs & Services have upcoming Parent Education Nights for the month of May! Come learn with us! Please check your Remind accounts for invitations and RSVPs.

  • May 6th - Parent Support Group: Autism
  • May 11th - Parent Education Night - How to Keep Students Engaged During the Summer
  • May 13th - Parent Support Group: Medically Fragile
  • May 19th - Transition to Adulthood - Think College
  • May 20th- AAC Family Chat
  • May 26th - Autism Parent Training Course - Building Independence

Parent Programming Survey

We are looking for ways to improve your experience with our parent events. Our goal is to collaboratively produce events that support the needs of your family. Please take a few minutes to complete this survey and share your thoughts with us by May 21st.

Summer Camp Guides

Is your family in need of summer plans for kids with special needs? Take a look at the 2021 summer camp guide to browse programs in the surrounding areas. If you have any questions, please contact the program directly.

English l Spanish

Crisis Resources

There may be a situation that your family, or someone you know, is facing and you are not sure where to turn. Here is a handy community resource guide that can be used as a support in the event of crisis. This at a glance guide contains resources for mental health, medical, and financial support.

Supporting Young Readers (SRP)

Are you looking for ways to support your young readers as we enter the last month of school? Click below for some new ideas from your SRP team.


First Grade

Second and Third Grade

Free Resources

Texas Parent 2 Parent

Texas Parent 2 Parent is hosting a free 3 Part Series on Pathways to Adulthood this month! These workshops will help prepare families for their students’ transition to adulthood. All webinars are scheduled for 1:30-3pm CST. Click here to view their flyers and RSVP.

Student Highlights

LISD Student, Kalea, won first place in the Amplify Austin Inaugural Creek Monster Writing Competition contest! Click the link above to read her story! Way to go Kalea!
One of our teachers serving the Visually Impaired, Kallie Kirkland, and Orientation and Mobility Specialist Loni Girdler assisted students Kylie Schafers and Colby Norwat while out practicing community transportation skills. Application of skills learned in school to community life is an important component to student independence.

Department Highlights

Leander Independent Vocational Education (LIVE) Celebration

On Tuesday, April 27th LISD hosted our annual LIVE celebration. Our Live Celebration honors students with disabilities who are learning job skills for volunteer and paid work opportunities. We also honor our community partners, who so willingly provide a place for our students to practice these skills or to become a paid worker. You can view the celebration here.

Video Shortcuts:

  • 14 minutes - South Side Schools (VHS, VRHS, CPHS)

  • 1 hr 19 minutes - 18+ Community (Crompton, McCarthy, McCollum)

  • 2 hr 35 minutes - 18+ Independence (Gauna, Thomas, Gill)

  • 3 hr 50 minutes - North Side Schools (RHS, LHS, GHS)

Shout out: ARD and 504 Specialists

In effort to better support campuses, this year Special Programs redesigned the ARD and 504 Specialist position. Throughout the year, Elementary ARD facilitators have expanded their skill set in order to effectively facilitate 504 meetings and are using their expertise to assist campus staff, students and parents in both areas. This team embraced many additional trainings to ensure they had the knowledge needed to take on this role. Our specialists have done a wonderful job!

Winkley Parent Engagement Series Featuring SPED Parent Liaison

Laura Nasipak, Winkley PTA's VP of Communications, interviewed Ashley Anderson, LISD SPED Parent Liaison, and Kelly Fanning, Winkley PTA Inclusion Chair as a part of the Winkley parent engagement series. Their discussion focused on the role of the parent liaison and autism acceptance. You can watch the full interview here .

Important Notes

Student Registration and Verification

To provide accurate staffing and resources for our students, we are asking all returning students (current LISD students) to verify plans for next year. We also encourage new to LISD families to register as soon as possible. Registration and verification is now open for all new and returning students. It only takes a few minutes to complete, so please sign up your students today!

Summer Learning Opportunities

Please visit the Leander ISD website for more information on our summer learning opportunities such as summer school, camps, and Summer Reading For All (SR4A). Please contact amanda.toon@leanderisd.org or Amie.chase@leanderisd.org with any questions.

Parent Engagement Survey

Some of you have received an email from the Special Education Parent Liaison Ashley Anderson on behalf of the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and Gibson Consulting Group regarding a Parent Engagement Survey. TEA has randomly selected a sample of parents with students receiving Special Education services to be surveyed. This is an opportunity for families to share their voice and input. All responses are completely confidential. Our team will utilize the information gathered through this survey to continue to identify ways we can better serve our families. The survey will be open from now until May 28th. If you need assistance, have questions or need help with accessing your unique pin to login, please reach out to Ashley.Anderson@leanderisd.org.