East San Gabriel Valley SELPA News
Volume 2, May 2023
A MESSAGE FROM DR. SCOTT TURNER, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
As the 2022-2023 school year winds to a close, the SELPA wishes to acknowledge the dedication of our parents, students, community members, support staff, administrators, and educators in a successful year. This time of year is also extremely busy in planning for the upcoming Extended School Year and the 2023-2024 school year. The SELPA is committed to supporting our families, students, and member Local Educational Agencies and will be available throughout the summer at 626-966-1679 or in-person at 1400 Ranger Drive in Covina, CA. Please be on the lookout for our August Edition of the ESGV SELPA News for important updates about the start of the 2023-2024 school year!
The SELPA wishes everyone a relaxing summer break. For questions or assistance, please contact Dr. Turner at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The SELPA would like to extend a huge thank you to the Open Access Regional Leads: Yvette Valencia-Azusa USD, Crystal Lee-Azusa USD, Marilyn Schweizer-Baldwin Park USD, Taylor Smith-Bonita USD, Erin Leyva-Charter Oak USD, Purvi Shah-Charter Oak USD, Sarah Estrada-Claremont USD, and Heidi Torres-SELPA ASD Program for facilitating the 5-day Open Access Accessible Curriculum for All series. A total of 22 participants attended the professional learning, which is the culmination of the SELPA receiving a grant from the Placer County Office of Education under the Statewide System of Support.
The Accessible Curriculum for All training is designed to empower teachers and other service providers to leverage digital tools and assistive technology (AT) as they support students in more universally designed environments. In the Accessible Curriculum for All project, we focus on developing “site-based” AT Implementers who can support the IEP team in making decisions about the majority of their student’s AT needs.
In an effort to provide fiscal support to our member Local Educational Agencies (LEAs), a SELPA Funding Overview Training was held in January 2023. The training gave member LEA staff an overview of the various revenue sources, allocation methods, and reporting requirements.
While the Adopted Budget is in the works, year-end closing is just around the corner and so is Maintenance of Effort (MOE) reporting. LEAs are to maintain the same level, if not more, of special education expenditures as in the prior (base) year. LEA staff should consider checking MOE using SACS forms SEMAI of the Second Interim report. An internal review of the budgeted special education expenditures in the new year can also be completed.
We continue to work closely with our member LEAs to ensure the AB 130 funding for Dispute Prevention/Resolution and Learning Recovery will be fully expended by the grant closing date of September 30, 2023. Additionally, the 2021-22 one-time American Rescue Plan (ARP) IDEA funds are set to close at the same time. LEA staff should ensure that these ARP funds are spent first before spending down on the current year’s grants.
Fiscal workshops are available in a virtual format to provide LEA staff added tools in understanding Special Education funding as well as to prepare for the year-end closing:
- May 26, Insider Training on Budgeting and Fiscal Reporting for SELPA & LEA by Eddie Davidson, Director of Fiscal Student Services at Fresno County SELPA
- June 16 and June 23, Financial Year-End Closing by Eide Bailly, a CPA and consulting firm
Please contact the SELPA Financial Operations Analyst, Michelle Dela Cruz at email@example.com for any fiscal-related questions.
The 2022−23 California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS) End-of-Year (EOY) submission window opened on May 8, 2023. The initial certification deadline for Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) is July 28, 2023. Certified EOY data are used to calculate the accountability indicators on the California School Dashboard (Dashboard) and to determine LEAs and schools eligible for support. The EOY data are also used by recognition programs such as the California Distinguished Schools programs, to identify schools for recognition.
LEAs and SELPAs must approve all EOY submissions by the final amendment deadline of August 25, 2023.
For technical support or assistance with CALPADS, please contact Lucky Do at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SELPA AUTISM PROGRAM NEWS
Our AuMAZING SELPA Autism Program teachers, students, and hosting Local Educational Agencies (Bonita USD, Charter Oak USD, Covina-Valley USD, Glendora USD, and Walnut Valley USD) have been busy planning activities and celebrating April as Autism Acceptance & Awareness month. While we celebrate our students and families year-round, it is great to have a whole month when we can embrace the opportunity to share more about how neurodiverse minds can bring a whole new perspective to our world. Some highlights of April activities across our SELPA Autism programs include:
Ms. Saucedo & Ms. Loyd from Evergreen Elementary hosted their very first “Sensory Day” for all students to enjoy. Our students created a video to share with their peers about how individuals with Autism may see the world differently. Our teachers and students created sensory experience rotations for all students to engage in to demonstrate how some people may use different strategies to help regulate their minds and bodies throughout the day. Special thanks to our principal Dr. Gabriel Cardenas, for supporting this fun day on campus!
Autism Acceptance & Awareness Week
Ms. Balmelli at Suzanne Middle School facilitated “Autism Acceptance & Awareness Week” on site by having students participate in various activities throughout the school week. Activities included opportunities for students to create chalk art with our class and to match clothes with other students to represent different perspectives. Thank you or our principal, Dr. Amy Smith, for supporting the celebration of our Autism community!
Mr. Andrecht and Ms. Koutousis at Glendora High School (GHS) teamed our students up with the ASB students on campus to implement the 3rd annual “Action 2.0”. “Action” is GHS’s rally that is filled with fun, exciting, and sometimes loud activities & competitions for students to show their pride for their respective grade level. ASB and our SELPA Autism program teamed up to create a more sensory-friendly experience for students who still want to show their school spirit but may need a different environment to really enjoy themselves. A great time was had by all! Thanks to all of the GHS admin and counseling staff for supporting this event!
Our Bonita Unified’s Gladstone Elementary School PTA and Specialized Services staff collaborated to sponsor their first “Be You” night! This fun-filled evening involved families coming together to celebrate the uniqueness of being neurodiverse. The night involved different activities for families to participate in. Families rotated through stations that were hosted by our SELPA Autism program teachers and site Special Education teachers. Stations included: opportunities to use AAC devices and functional communication boards to express wants & needs; creating family crests that highlighted their unique family characteristics; making handmade rain sticks, stress balls, and sensory bottles; and visiting a sensory-friendly petting zoo, including therapy dogs to interact with! A book center that included topics to read related to celebrating neurodiversity was also provided. Our Occupational Therapist and Adapted PE teacher created an obstacle course for families to participate in! It was an amazing experience for all!
Special thanks to Gladstone’s Specialized Services team: Principal of Gladstone Elementary Mrs. Allison Daniels, School Psychologist Dr. Angela Davis, SELPA Autism Program Specialist KC Balino, Occupational Therapist Jeff Verner, Adapted PE Teacher Greg Saris, Speech and Language Pathologists Chelsea Gladue and Sydney Preston, and our Gladstone Education Specialists Ms. Cardeno, Ms. Guerrero, Ms. Lujano, Ms. Mason, Ms. Madera, and Ms. Gamboa.
At Sellers Elementary School, our AuSOME teachers, speech/language pathologist, and program specialist have teamed up to provide “Parent Nights.” These collaborative evenings take place each trimester. Mr. Rivard, Ms. Ybarra, Ms. Preston, and Ms. Fuentes provide an opportunity for parents to get together and discuss strategies and evidence-based practices that can be implemented at home to support their children. Topics have included: understanding the functions of behavior; peer/sibling mediated instruction & intervention; neurodiversity; understanding the size of a problem and fostering home/school communication.
6TH Annual EBP Conference
On March 23, our 27-member CAPTAIN Local Interagency Collaborative (CLIC) Cadre hosted a 1-day conference focusing on sharing information and building capacity related to evidence-based practices for individuals with Autism and other developmental disabilities. Our Cadre, with representatives from around our region, provided training and discussion opportunities for over 180 parents, educators, regional center clients, and college students. Topics included Social Skills, Antecedent Based Interventions, Visual Supports, Task Analysis, and more. Ann England, CAPTAIN’s co-chair, presented as our keynote speaker & discussed the trajectory of CAPTAIN’s involvement in supporting individuals on the Autism spectrum. Jennifer Wolfe, SELPA Autism Coordinator & CAPTAIN Regional Implementation Lead spoke about the Neurodiversity movement. Jerry Rivard, SELPA Autism program teacher from Glendora USD, was honored with the CAPTAIN EBP Implementation Award which highlights those who implement EBPs with fidelity and excellence. It was a great day filled with collaboration, learning & fun! Special thanks to our SELPA Administrative Unit, Covina-Valley USD, for hosting such an amazing day!
COMMUNITY ADVISORY COMMITTEE HIGHLIGHTS
SELPA Administrators of California's Legislative Sharing Day
On May 3rd, 2023 four parent members of our Community Advisory Committee participated with Dr. Turner at the SELPA Administrators of California's Legislative Sharing Day in Sacramento, CA. Tavia Lawson (Azusa USD Rep), Marine Harper (Azusa USD Rep), Gloria Clark (Claremont USD Rep), and Judy Bishop (Covina-Valley USD Rep) attended the morning event which included the recognition of Senator Ochoa Bogh for her support of Inclusion and an exciting presentation by renowned speakers Katie Novak and Shelley Moore and later descended on the Capitol to meet with the SELPA's seven Senators and Assemblymembers. Among other priorities, this year's legislative platform included bills supporting inclusive practices and universal design for learning; increased SELPA governance, transparency, and technical assistance; removal of antiquated disability language found in government code; and the development of inclusive programs in the California State University and the University of California systems. The meetings were highly successful and led to great conversations about improved outcomes for students with disabilities. Nearly 300 people participated in the Legislative Sharing Day with many traveling from the event to the Capitol by way of yellow school busses provided at no cost by Durham School Services and organized by ESGV SELPA Transportation Director, Casiano Perez. An amazing day of advocacy!
3rd Annual Making A Difference Award
The SELPA is proud to announce the recipients of the ESGV SELPA Community Advisory Committee Making a Difference Awards. These recipients were selected in various categories to recognize the amazing contributions they have made across the SELPA. Recipients were honored on Friday, April 21st, in a Zoom Ceremony that allowed over 100 individuals from throughout the SELPA to attend. Each recipient received the official East San Gabriel Valley SELPA Making a Difference Award with numerous administrators and principals sharing about each individual.
Congratulations to our recipients!
Zayden Sandoval - Student, West Covina Unified School District
Katie Wheatley - Parent, Claremont Unified School District
Charles Tran - Teacher, Walnut Valley Unified School District
Erin Leyva - Occupational Therapist, Charter Oak Unified School District
Bus Driver Appreciation Day
The East San Gabriel Valley SELPA recognized School Bus Driver Appreciation Day on April 25, 2023. School bus drivers were treated to a celebration featuring pizza, candy apples, and refreshments. Through our partnership with Durham School Services, Durham employs over 130 bus drivers who cover approximately 8,500 miles daily, serving our 860 student riders. The role of school bus drivers is fundamental in guaranteeing the safety and welfare of our students when being transported to and from school. They play an essential role in our students' daily routine, being the first to greet them in the morning and the last to bid them goodbye in the afternoon.
The East San Gabrial Valley SELPA would like to express our gratitude to the school bus drivers of Durham School Services for their unwavering commitment to keeping our students safe. They are truly valuable members of the SELPA team.
Extended School Year
As summer approaches, the East San Gabriel Valley SELPA Transportation Office is collaborating closely with our member Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) to gather crucial details about students who will be attending the Extended School Year program. Our priority is the success of our students, and we are dedicated to providing them with secure and dependable transportation services.
For any questions regarding transportation, please contact the SELPA transportation office at 626-966-1670, and select option 2.
The East San Gabriel Valley SELPA is composed of 15 Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) with a combined average daily attendance of approximately 83,000 students. Member LEAs include Azusa USD, Baldwin Park USD, Bassett USD, Bonita USD, Charter Oak USD, Claremont USD, Covina-Valley USD, Glendora USD, Walnut Valley USD, West Covina USD, San Jose Charter Academy, California Virtual Academy @ Los Angeles, iQ Academy, Opportunities for Learning - Baldwin Park, and Options for Youth - San Bernardino.