Special Education Connection

Community Learning Network #2 March 2016

Greetings Special Educators,

My name is Jalima Alicea for those I have not had the pleasure of meeting yet. I will be your support this year for instruction as it relates to students with special needs.

Starting this month, you will receive a monthly newsletter with reminders for case management responsibilities, upcoming professional development, and information regarding effective strategies for instruction.

As we progress throughout the year, we will also be sharing best practices within our community and highlights from many of our schools, classrooms, teachers and students. The goal is to support access and student achievement for students with special needs who are diploma track toward their grade level content.

This year, Daryll Wharton, Educational Specialist, will be providing support with all compliance related support and questions. IEP Chairs, please contact Ms. Wharton with any compliance related needs. dswharton@bcps.k12.md.us

I look forward to working with you all this year! Please feel free to contact me with any questions. jsmiley@bcps.k12.md.us

-Jalima Alicea, SEL

S.P.I.R.E. Intervention Training

S.P.I.R.E. is a research based Tier II/Tier III Literacy intervention program for struggling readers. They are offering a webinar to provide an overview of their products. If you are still making decisions about which programs might be appropriate for your students, use the link below to register for one of the dates offered.


Intervention Materials

If you have math or literacy intervention materials in your building and have the following questions:

  • Do we have all the necessary components?
  • Is this program appropriate for our students?
  • How can we get training for staff on how to implement this program?

Contact me and I will arrange to visit your school to assist with answering your questions. I would also be happy to assist you with training, organizing materials, and scheduling.

Monthly PLC

There will be no PLC for the month of March. We will resume the PLC sessions in April. April's PLC topic will be "Fractions Progression". More information to follow.

Special Education Case Management

  • Please be mindful of timelines when submitting your progress reports and completing the draft IEP in MD Online. MSDE requires that parents receive appropriate documentation prior to the IEP Meeting.
  • FBA/BIP clinics are available on a weekly basis. Schools can get one-on-one attention regarding a student with behavioral concerns. Dates, times, and locations are listed in PGS.

Instructional Strategies

Ms. Razon-Fernandez, Special Educator at Northwood Elementary, is working on area with her students. By providing students with concrete representations, you are helping them make connections to math ideas!

The concrete level of understanding is the most basic level of mathematical understanding. It is also the most crucial level for developing conceptual understanding of math concepts/skills. Concrete learning occurs when students have ample opportunities to manipulate concrete objects to problem-solve. For students who have math learning problems, explicit teacher modeling of the use of specific concrete objects to solve specific math problems is needed.

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EOY (Window 3) opened on February 29th, and will remain open until Thursday, March 24, 2016. This is the day before spring break.

Instructional Groups

All Special Education teachers should have created instructional groups in I-ready so that they can access their students. If you require assistance with setting up these groups please contact me at jsmiley@bcps.k12.md.us