Monday Message

August 19, 2019 WLWV Student Services We've Got This!

Kicking Off A Second Year of Leading For All

Thanks to the more than 150 educators who attended the Kickoff this morning to learn together, share their wisdom, and get inspired for the 2019 school year. We built community connecting with colleagues, laughing, and thinking together. Great appreciation to our SPED IC team for helping to plan and facilitate, as well as to our Admin Assistant Team for bringing it all together.

This year, we will focus deeper on Co-Planning/Co-Teaching in our CREATING INCLUSIVE CULTURES area, Universal Design for Learning as a way to make the 5 Dimensions of Teaching and Learning come alive in our IMPROVING INSTRUCTIONAL PRACTICES, and hoping to get to ALL students meaningfully involved in, and/or leading their IEP in INCREASING STUDENT VOICE. Folks engaged in some questions, primarily focused on these areas, in the Cafe format, where folks choose the question that interests them most, and wisdom is drawn from the experience of the team.

The other large chunk of the day was spent watching and then processing the powerful documentary, Intelligent Lives. There were so many important ideas, in the context of the lives of these 3 amazing young people--the importance of inclusion, the power of expectations, the need for self-determination, how parents need to understand and access the system, challenging our beliefs and systems to open up college as a real opportunity, accessing strengths, supporting the whole person. Building Principals have access to this documentary if any schools want to screen it to their staff or as a community event.

At the end of the morning, we formed a large circle around the entire ACMS cafeteria--what an impressive group! And a critical reminder that it takes all of us to make real change. We are committed to Leading for All!

Universal Design for Learning: Learn More Here

Seeing UDL in Action in the Classroom

Jump Starts

We care deeply about helping students transition as smoothly as possible through big times of change. This is why we have so many meetings, information sessions, parent nights, student tours around the transitions into Kindergarten, 6th grade, and 9th grade. Our ICs, School Counselors, Principals, Learning Specialists, Paraeducators, and Related Services Providers all play an important part in this work.

A special shout out to all of the folks supporting students in Jumpstarts last week and this week. We know this makes a big difference in students and families feeling ready for the start of school as well as staff knowing students better to help the year start well. Below is a picture of Emie Schaeffer and Susan England (TCPS Learning Specialists) working with a great group.

This year, Cedaroak Park approached Jump Start as a great professional learning opportunity for Paraeducators, and this model was a great success. Here is some feedback from Tandy Wolf that might inspire more schools to try this next year:

It was one of the most valuable things I have been able to do actually in my career. Not only was it a great experience for the students to meet so many of our staff. It gave our new paraeducators a true jumpstart too. By the end of yesterday, I could tell they had developed relationships with each other, with us, felt comfortable in the building and felt prepared to start the school year.

We talk so much about relationship with students, yet a key we forget is taking time to build relationships with our support staff. That is so important to our ability to work together as a team.

In addition, our team has been able to observe each para in action over several days, something that has never happened. Now we are feeling confident about being able to match skills with student need which is critical to our success. I am hoping having such a positive start will help us with retention too. If para educators start the school year feeling unprepared, it seems like we are never able to give enough training or support later to fill that void.

I know it was a financial and time commitment, but I think it will be one of those high leverage strategies that will propel everyone to success.

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Change and Opportunity

Our wonderful Admin Assistant, Lisa Marti, is moving on to a great new career opportunity. This was a tough decision for her as she loves the work and people of our district, but she needed to make the best decision for her and her family.

We now have an opening in our Student Services Office team, to work alongside our incredible professionals, Ruth Zollner and Brenda Hogan--and of course Karina Archibald down at the Early Childhood Center.

We are really hoping for candidates who have some background knowledge around special education processes and procedures, and of course are personable, flexible, organized, and quick learners. If you know of anyone who fits this bill and may be interested, please encourage them to apply through our district website right away.

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New Community Partner

Nina Juels is the new DHS Family Coach assigned to support families in Wilsonville and West Linn. Like her predecessor Monica, Nina's home base office will be at Meridian Creek Middle School but she can connect with families at multiple locations in our community. If you think a family may need some county or other public supports, please reach out to Nina.

503-449-9873 (Cell)

503-731-8615 (office)

New ParaEducator Orientation

Tuesday, Aug. 20th, 9-11pm

22210 Southwest Stafford Road

Tualatin, OR

Join us for an opportunity to learn more about the vision of special education in West Linn-Wilsonville and specific strategies for supporting students in inclusive classrooms

The SAME Orientation is offered at an alternate time (Choose 1):

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21, 1:00-3:00

RSVP to Ruth Zollner at or 503-673-7098

Questions? Ideas? Concerns? Thoughts?

Your input and perspective always matters! Please don't hesitate to reach out.