PPS and Special Education Updates

March 1, 2021

Parent PPT Survey - REMINDER

After all Annual Review PPT meetings held during the remainder of the school year, parents will be invited to complete a survey about the preparation for the meeting, the way the meeting was conducted and the accuracy of recommendations/prior written notice. Please don't forget to complete the survey after your next Annual Review.

Lesson Highlight

We are experimenting with a new feature in the Newsletter - 'Lesson Highlight"


The Lesson Highlight will give you an example of a lesson from one or more of our different service providers. We hope to provide you with examples from our special education staff as well as our related service providers. Our first example comes from New Lebanon and their Social Worker, Sandra Corrente and Psychologist, Kaitlin Cyr. Please let me know if this is something you would like us to continue, by emailing Mary_forde@greenwich.k12.ct.us.

Thanks,

Mary


From Lindsey Eisenstein - New Lebanon Assistant Principal


Ms. Sandra Corrente, our New Lebanon social worker, is working with students about having a growth mindset. She met with her group to read, Bubble Gum Brain by Julia Cook to help students to see "Brick Brain" and "Bubblegum Brain" tackle various obstacles as they go throughout their day. Then students were given puzzle pieces to match a situation and a self talk phrase that could be used in a given situation.


Ms. Corrente also worked with Kaitlin Cyr, our school psychologist, to implement a girl's empowerment after school group, a part of a Tier II intervention, based on some data and observations we had noticed about our 5th grade girls. At this group, the girls talk about self esteem, middle school worries, and being a growing prepubescent girl and all the wonders that come along with that. I had a parent reach out to me to tell me how necessary this is for her daughter and how grateful she is that we are able to provide this resource.

Workshops on State Services for Those with Autism Spectrum Disorders

This workshop is a chance for families, community professionals and school personnel to educate themselves on what is and isn’t available for those with ASD!


This is a rare opportunity for those supporting our population to get solid “real” insight from those administering the services. With this information you can better prepare for now as well as your individual’s future.

A Webinar Series for Parents and Families on Supporting Children’s Well-Being and Learning during COVID-19


The Connecticut State Department of Education is hosting a series of virtual conversations for parents and caregivers who are managing children’s learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. This series is a follow-up to a December statewide town hall with families where over 400 attendees asked questions and offered comments and suggestions that were used to inform these new sessions. This conversation series is tailored for families; educators and community members are also welcome to attend. Interested individuals may register for any or all of the sessions. All sessions take place on Tuesdays from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. See attached flyer for more information and registration links.

Providing Services Remotely to Students in Other States or Countries

It has come to our attention that there are students who are accessing remote learning from other states and other countries. This raises concerns for our related service providers regarding their certification and licensure. Across the United States, different states have different requirements and different practice guidelines for speech therapy, occupational and physical therapies and psychological support.


At the current time, our guidance to school staff is that if students are accessing remote learning from a location other than CT, the providers are required to follow that state's/location's guidelines. If that state permits service provision from practitioners outside the state, they may do so.


However, if the state has additional requirements in order to serve students remotely, they would not be required to meet any additional requirements for providing services in those states. This could result in the services temporarily not being provided while the student is residing in a state other than CT, or in another country. Services will resume as soon as the student is residing in CT or a state that would permit our school personnel to provide the service.


Additional Resources:

CES TRANSITION RESOURCE EXPO

Please join us for a virtual informational session:

Transition Updates and Services in Fairfield County

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

6:00-8:00 PM


Presenters:

  • Department of Developmental Services (DDS)
    Presenter: Brian K. Smith, Catherine Ciardi
  • Bureau of Rehabilitation Services (BRS)
    Presentor: Sean Kennedy
  • Abilis, Inc.
    Presenter: Luis Velazquez
  • Corporation for Personal Management (CPM)
    Presenters: Melissa Lester and Trevor Somerville
  • Kennedy Center Inc.
    Presenters: Sara Purdy Schwatzer, Beatriz Melendez and Margaret Haffner


Registration Link


Please register by March 19th in order to receive the webinar link.

Join us for a Preschool Parent Chat!

We realize that raising a preschool child can provide you with many challenges. It is our hope to support you by providing regularly scheduled “Preschool Parent Chats” giving us all the opportunity to share successes and challenges we are experiencing at home. Preschool Teacher Mrs. Beth Forger (pictured right) and her team will provide parents with lots of resources and ideas that are easily used at home. Kristi Castellon, our school psychologist, will join us as well to provide her expertise especially in the area of social and emotional development.


Come listen to other parents who are dealing with many of the same challenges and find ways to make life easier at home! Topics can include, but are not limited to:

  • What can I do to support my child with Covid, mask wearing and social distancing?
  • Why won’t my child go to bed? *Why will my child only eat chicken nuggets and fries?
  • How can I get my children to stop fighting?
  • Why can’t we seem to get out of the house in the morning?
  • How can I support my child’s learning at home?


Please join us!


Please RSVP 203-698-7796 beth_forger@greenwich.k12.ct.us


Please let us know if a Spanish translator is required at the meeting.

Additional Dates: April 8, May 6, June 3

Glenville Parent Chat

Glenville School held a virtual Parent Gathering on Thursday, February 25, 2012.


Ms. Mary Forde, Chief Pupil Personnel Services Officer, Ms. Carrie Borcherding, Special Education Administrator, Dr. Fabian Agiurgioaei Boie, BCBA District Coach, Ms. Klara Monaco, Principal and the school-based PPS Team attended.


The focus of this session was on related services, and was determined by the general theme of questions that parents submitted prior to the meeting. PPS staff explained their roles; related service providers explained how they assist a student with a disability benefit from special education. Responses to questions raised during the meeting ranged from differences between accommodations and modifications, report cards, District-level support services and adaptive PE versus physical therapy support, to name a few.


It was an informative and interactive exchange, and a copy of the Q&A form with answers/comments will be provided to parents following the meeting.

PreSchool News

On Monday February 22, 2021 the preschool held an informative meeting on the Bridging Process for Preschool Students with Special Needs who will be entering Kindergarten in the Fall.


Included is the Google Meet recording of the event in case you were unable to attend. Please contact your preschool teacher or myself with any questions you may have regarding Kindergarten Transition.

Parent Support Live

During these challenging times, please join us for a virtual “Parent Video Chat” facilitated by one of our GPS psychologists. Connect virtually with other parents in our community and learn effective strategies to manage personal stress and discuss relevant topics (how to establish routines at home, manage challenging behaviors, build your kids resilience). You can join whenever and stay for as long as you can. We are here to answer questions and provide support. Please note that the session on March 2nd will include staff and a student from Folsom House at GHS.

Listening Community

Please join us in our Virtual Listening Community Series

We understand that the special education process can lead to many thoughts and feelings. Beginning in September 2019, the Listening Community was created to provide you with a place to feel heard and a place for you to support each other through the special education process, a place for parents of children with special needs. Below is a series of meeting opportunities centered on mindfulness and excerpts of text.


Link to join:


General Meeting Agendas

  • Greeting
  • Moment of Mindfulness
  • Article/Noticing Discussion
  • Other Points/Thoughts


Week 3 Article (Tuesday evening, 3/2/21) or (Friday morning, 3/5/21)

https://www.mindful.org/what-the-mirror-can-teach-you-about-yourself-advice-from-a-mirror-gazing-expert/


Week 4 Discussion (Tuesday evening, 3/9/21) or (Friday morning, 3/12/21)

Noticing:

We can choose to notice more of what we enjoy. Being mindful is a state of presence, of being attentive, watching, observing, reflecting, being acutely aware. When we pay attention to our current experience, we notice the details like thoughts, feelings, sensations like smells, what we are doing, where we are and what is happening in the world around us from one moment to the next. We are accepting of what we notice and let it be what it is. We can take a mindful moment to pause to spend it in uplifting appreciation and joy of what we become more aware of. We can also focus on paying attention to something specific, almost like we are seeing it or experiencing it for the first time. Every day we can try to notice and appreciate one thing that [would] usually go unnoticed. Noticing can improve our mental well-being and lets us feel good about life and about ourselves” (Gerber, p. 35).


From: Mindful Mind-shift: A workbook for mindfulness by Benjine Gerber. Benjine Gerber was identified as autistic in 2012. Her occupation is freelance graphic designer and user experience designer. She is quite a solitary person who loves creating, writing, working in the garden and taking a walk. Over the years she has been learning about mindfulness, meditation, emotional regulation and medical science, which are topics that she enjoys writing about.