April 2018-Weekly Newsletter, Vol. 21

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Autism Awareness Month

How to Get Involved

World Autism Day was Monday, April 2, kicking off an entire month dedicated to spreading awareness about Autism Spectrum Disorder. Autism Society, the nation’s leading grassroots autism organization, launched the observance month to “promote autism awareness, inclusion and self-determination for all, and assure that each person with ASD is provided the opportunity to achieve the highest possible quality of life." Check out these ideas on how you can spread awareness and show your support.




ESSA: An Opportunity for American Education


One of the reasons NCLB became the law of the land was because so few states had a process for monitoring student learning or holding schools accountable for that learning. Many states relied on nationally normed tests that placed students along a continuum of achievement rather than criterion referenced tests designed to determine which students had met a designated level of proficiency. As of 2002, only nine states required all students in grades 3–8 to take a criterion-referenced test in English language arts, and only seven did so in math. Most states looked at student performance as a whole, rather than disaggregating data by particular groups of students. Only twenty-two states disaggregated high school graduation rates (Alderman 2015). Prior to the passage of NCLB, if someone were to bring charges against a school that student learning was taking place, in most instances the charges would be dismissed for a lack of evidence. NCLB hoped to hold schools more accountable by requiring testing of every student in reading and mathematics in grades 3 through 8 and once in high school. The law also required the schools to report achievement scores by various demographic subgroups. But since each state was able to establish its own standards and develop its own assessments, many states set a very low bar for proficiency and administered unchallenging assessments to make their student achievement scores look good. So there is no guarantee that states will use the greater flexibility they have been afforded to commit to high standards of learning and more promising strategies for achieving those standards.

-2016 Solution Tree Press, Compiled by Rick DuFour



Training will take place at the Evanston Roundhouse on May 3rd!

5 Free PD Webinars About Autism for You and Your Team

School districts across the country continue to clamor for more resources about autism and how to best serve students on the spectrum. Many in special education also look for ways to help educate their general education counterparts about ASD. Search no more! PresenceLearning offers five free webinars that are bound to stimulate conversation and generate new ideas across your district:

  • The Autistic Brain by Dr. Temple Grandin
  • Uniquely Human: A Different Way to See Autism and Create Pathways to Success by Dr. Barry Prizant
  • The New Science of Learning: Effective Approaches for Older Students with Autism and Attention Disorders by Dr. Marty Burns
  • Social Communication + Emotional Regulation: An Environment for School Success by Dr. Barry Prizant, Amy Laurent, and Emily Rubin
  • New Insights for Building Disability Pride and Empowering Students with Hidden Disabilities by Dr. Margo Izzo and LeDerick Horne


23rd-Glena O'Driscoll, Becky Symes

24th-Cathy Hansen, Patti Vandergrift, Lubia Olivas

25th-Debbie Sheets, Steven Neal, Katie Heckert

27th-Erika George

28th-Antonia Trejo, Cindy Titensor

29th-Colleen Bruce


UCSD#1 Administration

Ryan Thomas, Superintendent Ext.1020

Cheri Dunford, Supt., Board Exec. Assistant Ext. 1021

Dr. Joseph Ingalls, Assistant Superintendent K-5 Ext. 1026

Doug Rigby, Assistant Superintendent 6-12 Ext. 1025

Alicia Johnson, Instructional Services Admin. Asst. Ext. 1024

Kristine Hayduk, Human Resources Ext. 1023

Matt Williams, SPED Director Ext. 1040

Shannon Arellanes, SPED Admin. Asst. Ext. 1041

Bubba O'Neill, Activities Director Ext. 1060

Dauna Bruce, Activities Admin. Asst. Ext. 1061

John Williams, Business Director, Ext. 1030

Jaraun Dennis, Facilities Director, Ext. 1075