Together We Can
October 11, 2021
Autumn is definitely here. Not only are the leaves changing colors, but students are in the full swing of learning and sharing what they know. It has been wonderful and exciting to see the learning that the students are doing in the classroom. I have really enjoyed getting out into the schools to meet with students and staff to experience some of the learning opportunities firsthand.
Below, I would like to continue our introductions of our staff, this time with the Program Associates for Psychologists, Social Workers, and Speech and Language Pathologists. The Program Associates are the leads in each department and assist in coordinating professional development activities. They serve a key role within the Office of Special Education and Students Supports in ensuring that our related service providers are up to date on the most current practices to service our students.
Stacey Heiligenthaler, Ph.D.
Meet Our Program Associates
Taylor Bonano, M.S., NCSP
Ms. Bonano is a school psychologist on the secondary district evaluation team and the Program Associate for the School Psychologists. She conducts initial psychological evaluations in order to determine eligibility for special education. This is Taylor's eighth year in Greenwich and was previously a school psychologist at North Street and Riverside Schools. Taylor is a Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP) and holds a Master's degree and a Sixth Year Professional Degree in School Psychology.
Stefanie Powers, LCSW
Ms. Powers is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and in her ninth year at Western Middle School. She graduated from Ithaca College with a Bachelor of Science in Community Health Education, with a concentration in women's health issues and a minor in Health Communication. Ms. Powers received her Master of Social Work from Columbia University, with a clinical concentration. She really enjoys working with students, parents, and staff in the Western community and collaborating with the strong team of social workers across the District.
Meg Presley, CC-SLP
Mrs. Presley is a Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) who earned a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Disorders from the University of New Hampshire and a Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Gallaudet University in Washington, DC. Mrs. Presley is lucky to have been a part of the Glenville School staff for 20 years. She holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology.
What We Are Seeing 👀 Around the Schools
Social Thinking at Glenville
Psychologist Annmarie Gronowski and her psychology intern Kelly, plan for student groups. Their planning focused on Superflex, a social thinking curriculum, and the Zones of Regulation for self-regulation strategies, to help support students as they grow in awareness and identification of their emotional needs.
Social Emotional Learning in Preschool
Preschool has begun social emotional topics in our second step curriculum. Look out for your children coming home with ideas about the listening rules, problem solving with self talk, learning to follow directions and asking for what you want or need. You can learn more about the Second Step Curriculum on their website.
Hamilton Avenue has grown their very own pumpkin patch!
Cantor House at GHS
Mr. Richard Kahn and Ms. Amanda Jagel are in their Block 4 Academic Labs. Students worked on their goals and objectives, utilized time management and executive functioning skills to tackle the tasks of the day. The room has been designed to support our learners with features such as special lighting around the whiteboard instead of overhead lights, symphonic music in the background, and flexible seating options. Our learners did a wonderful job following expectations, increasing independence, advocating for assistance when needed, and utilizing previously learned skills to tackle challenging curriculum and plan for upcoming projects. Thank you Mr. Kahn and Ms. Jagel!
Workshops and Resources
Greetings from the Greenwich Special Education Advisory Council
Dear Special Education Community,
We hope everyone is well and enjoying the Fall weather!
The Greenwich Special Education Advisory Council (Greenwich SEAC) is thrilled to be continuing into its second year. For those unfamiliar with the Greenwich SEAC, our purpose is to build equitable partnerships between families, the school District and community partners, and also give advisory opinions to the Board of Education on matters pertaining to the education and safety of students with disabilities.
The Greenwich SEAC has 21 Voting Members that were chosen during a random lottery process. Each Voting Member was also randomly chosen to serve a one or two year term.
The Greenwich SEAC also has a General Membership that is open to any interested GPS parent or guardian of a child with a disability, previously known to have a disability, or suspected of having a disability, under the IDEA or Section 504, or who is currently eligible to receive Special Education or 504 accommodations and services, from ages 3-21, and who are both residents of the Town of Greenwich.
Last year, the Greenwich SEAC agreed on four areas of focus and established subcommittees. The subcommittees are open to anyone who qualifies for General Membership. If you'd like to be involved in any of our four subcommittees, please click on the link and add your name and email to the respective Google Document: IEP/504 Implementation, Eligibility Process, Nominating and Enrichment. If you have any questions, please reach out to SEAC at email@example.com.
Greenwich SEAC Chair and Co-Chairs
Understanding Bullying & Bullying Prevention - A Guide for Parents
On October 1, GPS District Behavioral Support team Drs. Alina Boie and Fabian Agiurgioaei Boie, made a parent presentation on Understanding Bullying and Bulling Prevention. The presentation was facilitated through PTAC and the recorded presentation can be accessed from Zoom. The access passcode is bullyingprevention.
Just Ask. Be Brave. Be Different. Be You.
Join along as staff from Boone County Family Resources read about differently abled kids who use their strengths to work together and learn about each other in this warm and inclusive story written by Sonia Sotomayor and illustrated by Rafael Lopez. We hope by seeing yourself or your friends in this story, you will understand that we’re all different – and that we all have things in common.
A Parents Guide to Special Education
The Connecticut State Department of Education, Bureau of Special Education, has recently updated the Parent Guide to Special Education for 2021.
This document provides information for parents, guardians and other family members about laws, regulations, and policies affecting special education programs and services. These protections, rights and opportunities will best help students with disabilities reach their full potential when parents, families and schools work collaboratively. Setting high expectations for students and high standards for programs will provide the greatest opportunities for a successful adult life.
The Office of Special Education and Student Supports
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