FSSD Special Education News

Doing what's right for our students - one child at a time

May, 2016

Empty desks...Bittersweet.

As we wind down the 2015-16 school year, I hope you all know how much I appreciate all you do for our students with disabilities. The compassion and dedication you show to our students and parents makes me feel proud and humbled. As much as I hate it, we are losing some positions for this next year due to a decrease in numbers of students. We will also shift some teachers and paraprofessionals to other schools as the numbers of students change from school to school. We are also losing some people to other districts, home or other personal reasons. Whatever the reason for change, please know that you are valued and appreciated. Thank you so much for your hard work this school year. Use the time away to renew! August 1 will be here before we know it!

One day at a time...one student at a time...

Beth Herren


615.794.6624 - FSSD Central Office

615.472.3722 - Direct office line

615.238.1867 - work cell phone

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Important Upcoming Events

  • District-Wide SPED Advisory meeting - Tuesday, May 17 @ 3:30 PM
  • Parent meeting with Trisha Clark and Katie Menanno - Tuesday, May 17 @ 6:00 PM
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Best Buddies

A huge shout out to Genny Nash, Renny Henry, Monica Faulkner, Angela Kennedy, Liz Trent, Josephine Getz, Megan Shuping, Kaci Pantall, and Debbie Shirley for the hard work this year with the CSI classes at Poplar Grove Middle. They have made the Best Buddies program a resounding success! See the information below on the Best Buddies Program and the video these classes recently released. Have your tissues ready! This is why we do what we do!

District-Wide Advisory Group Meeting

Due to a district conflict, I have changed the date of the District-Wide Special Education Advisory Group meeting to May 17th at 3:30 at Central Office. That is the same date as the Parent Support Meeting.
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Childcare needed for May 17th - 6:00 PM - Special Education Parent Meeting

Please let me know if you can help with childcare for the Tuesday, May 17th parent meeting at Franklin Elementary School - our last of the year. The meeting starts at 6:00 and should last approximately an hour. Many of you have already volunteered, but some may still want to take advantage of this opportunity. Thank you for your willingness to give our parents an hour of stress-free time to learn while knowing their children are safe and happy! Please email Beth Herren at herreneli@fssd.org if you are willing to provide this service to our families.
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IEA (Individualized Eduction Account) training for schools - June 22 9:00-11:00 AM or 1:00-3:00PM

The TDOE will be providing a series of regional trainings for school district staff a on the IEA Program in eight locations across the state. As described in previous newsletters, the IEA is the Individualized Education Account - an option for parents and students to choose alternate means of education through the use of public funds.

More information on the IEA may be found at this link: http://www.tn.gov/education/section/iea

Two district trainings will be held in each CORE region.

  • The district trainings will last two hours, with one session offered in the morning and one offered in the afternoon at each training site.
  • Districts will be able to send up to five representatives to the trainings offered in their CORE region. Registration will be monitored to ensure each district does not exceed this number.
  • Districts have flexibility in choosing which district and school level staff attend the training. Examples of staff positions that might benefit from the training include: directors of schools, special education supervisors, finance officers, legal staff, attendance supervisors, assessment supervisors, school counselors, and school psychologists.

Training Content

The trainings are an optional opportunity available to all districts and will be designed to provide information to educators on the implementation of the IEA Program, including:

  • an overview of what the IEA Program is, which students are eligible, how students enroll in the program, and what types of expenses IEA funds can be used for;
  • district responsibilities, including how districts should report students enrolled in the IEA Program to the department; and
  • details about how IEA funding will be calculated, distributed, and monitored.

If you are interested in attending this training, please email Beth Herren (herreneli@fssd.org) no later than May 25th. We have room for four more participants. Celby Glass is attending as the Attendance Supervisor, but I would love to see at least one school psychologist attend this training. Any other interested parties are welcome if we have open spots for this training.

Click on the link below for information on Parent trainings for the IEA.

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STATE Offered Summer PD

Summer 2016: Instructionally Appropriate IEPs

The TDOE will offer a repeat session of Instructionally Appropriate Individual Education Plan (IAIEP) training this summer. We will briefly discuss the Special Education Framework and then work in small groups to develop IAIEPs as a means to drive instruction and intervention. Utilizing an “I do, we do, you do” teaching model, participants will be exploring narratives, PLEPs, MAGs, accommodations and modifications, special education intervention, as well as progress monitoring data. We recommend school teams to attend this session so that teams can redeliver the content in their districts. Participants will work on follow-up plans for implementation of the workshop content.

Recommended Participants:
General education teachers, special education teachers, ESL teachers, school psychologists, related service providers, all support staff making instructional decisions, and administrators.

Click here to register. Please contact Kristi.Harris@tn.gov if you have any questions.

Date June 27

Region Middle

Location MTSU

McWherter Learning Resources Building
Room 101
1558 Military Memorial Drive
Murfreesboro, TN 37130
8:30 a.m.– 4 p.m. CDT

District Offered Professional Development

We are still working on finalizing the Special Ed Summer PD opportunities. A Special Education PD newsletter will go out as soon as all the dates are finalized. Below is a list of planned dates or opportunities for PD.

Wednesday, July 20 - 8:00-11:00AM - Instructionally Appropriate IEPs - A REFRESHER! - FMS Media Center - Facilitator: Diane Miller

Autism Strategies - Katie Menanno and Trisha Clark

NCI recertifications - Betsy Bagsby

Trauma Informed Care - Betsy Bagsby

IEP Note-Taking - Beth Herren

Please send me suggestions for other Professional Development needs.

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The Treatment and Research Institute for Autism Spectrum Disorders (TRIAD)

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  • Before you leave for the school year, make sure all documents are uploaded to EasyIEP. Refer to the checklist in the manual to make sure you know what needs uploading
  • Read your manual!
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