Special Education Department

Proud to Teach Amazing Kids

May 6, 2016 Volume 3 Issue 31

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Mark your Calendar


Better Speech and Hearing Month

Mental Health Month

Teacher/Staff Appreciation Week- May 2-May 6

Special Education Week- May 16-May 20

5/3 National Teacher Appreciation Day

5/4 Special Education Parent Advisory Group Meeting

5/9 Hess Special Education Meeting

5/10 Shaner Special Education Meeting

5/18 Davies Special Education Meeting

Special Education Week

May 16th – May 20th is Special Education Week in New Jersey

Making Dreams Happen

Special Education Week in New Jersey is commemorated by Proclamation of the New Jersey State Legislature, and is a chance for students, families, school administrators and decision-makers to celebrate special education services, special education programs, and most importantly, the special education teachers who make it possible for children with disabilities to learn effectively and to reach their full potential in their families and communities.

Special Education Week in New Jersey is co-sponsored by ASAH and the New Jersey School Boards Association. This year’s theme, “Making Dreams Happen,” celebrates the student efforts and educational strategies that make extraordinary positive outcomes possible for so many special education students in New Jersey.


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May is Mental Health Month 2016

This year’s theme for Mental Health Month is - Life with a Mental Illness - and will call on individuals to share what life with a mental illness feels like for them in words, pictures and video by tagging their social media posts with #mentalillnessfeelslike (or submitting to MHA anonymously). Posts will be collected and displayed at mentalhealthamerica.net/feelslike.

Posting with the hashtag will allow people to speak up about their own experiences, to share their point of view with individuals who may be struggling to explain what they are going through—and help others figure out if they too are showing signs of a mental illness. Sharing is the key to breaking down negative attitudes and misperceptions surrounding mental illnesses, and to show others that they are not alone in their feelings and their symptoms.


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Mental Health First Aid Tip of the Week

How to Communicate Effectively with Young People (cont.)

5. Do not compare the young person's life with your own experiences from that age.

Adults often fall into the trap of thinking that young people today have a much easier life. Remember that your parents' generation thought the same thing about you. Saying, "If I had the opportunities at your age, that you have today, I would..." is not helpful. The world changes constantly, and new opportunities mean new challenges.

6. Do not trivialize the young person's feelings.

Mental illness can occur at any age. Wondering what a young person has to be depressed or anxious about implies that their life experiences are less valid just because of their age.

-Youth Mental Health First Aid

To be continued...


Check out PBIS World for information on many types of behaviors and strategies to address them.

News and Important Information

Sad News

Elen Manalang recently lost her father. She and her family are in our thoughts at this most difficult time.


Budget sheets are due to your special education chairperson by May 20. In order for your items to be processed, you MUST check the prices and shipping costs.


Teachers: Please do your best to have your sections of the IEP completed a week in advance of the annual review/IEP meeting.

Straight from the Code

In an effort to provide both general and special education teachers with more knowledge of special education, there will be an excerpt from the code each week to help clarify our processes. If you would like to access the entire code, go to http://www.state.nj.us/education/code/current/title6a/chap14.pdf

14 Disabilities defined in the code:

1. Auditorily Impaired

2. Autistic

6A:14-3.5(c)2 "Autistic" means a pervasive developmental disability which significantly impacts verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction that adversely affects a student's educational performance. Onset is generally evident before age three. Other characteristics often associated with autism are engagement in repetitive activities and stereotyped movements, resistance to environmental change or change in daily routine, unusual responses to sensory experiences and lack of responsiveness to others. The term does not apply if the student's adverse educational performance is due to emotional disturbance as defined in (c)5 below. A child who manifests the characteristics of autism after age three may be classified as autistic if the criteria in this paragraph are met. An assessment by a certified speech-language specialist and an assessment by a physician trained in neurodevelopmental assessment are required.

3. Intellectually Disabled

4. Communication Impaired

5. Emotionally Disturbed

6. Multiply Disabled

7. Deaf/blindness

8. Orthopedically Disabled

9. Other Health Impaired

10. Preschool Child with a Disability

11. Social Maladjustment

12. Specific Learning Disability

13. Traumatic Brain Injury

14. Visually Impaired

Over the next few weeks, each of these terms will be described.

Grants and Contests

From the Department of Education

Student Services Snippets

Critical Information for ALL staff is contained in these short screencasts. They run from 4.5 to 8 minutes. Please refer to them as needed. Two new screencasts have been added.

Accessing IEPs and 504 Plans


Learning Ally

Working with Paraprofessionals NEW!

Critical Information for Paraprofessionals NEW!

If there is other information you feel it would be helpful for us to share via screencast, please let us know.

Learning Ally

Learning Ally provides audiobooks for students with a print disability, visual impairment or medical issue. All three of our schools have received a FREE subscription to Learning Ally this year. If you have a student who might benefit from access to audiobooks and textbooks, click on the link for a brief screencast (7 minutes) about Learning Ally. https://youtu.be/6nyj0ZL_xRs