Transition Plus February 3rd

If there is no struggle; there is no progress.

Trouble Viewing your Memo?

If you are having trouble viewing your Memo- try using Chrome Browser. Throughout the memo there will be multiple places you can click a link to link you to other documents. It's important to check those out or you will miss information that may be important!

If you are having trouble with a link - make sure you are using your MPS Google Account

Student Library Opening Next Week!

Regular circulation hours for the new student library will begin the week of February 10. The library will be open for circulation during 1st and 4th hours to begin, and we will add additional circulation hours in upcoming weeks. Students will be able to check out two books at a time. We had to delay the beginning of circulation hours due to some wall repair work going on in the library space.

Please, until we open for circulation, do not take books to your rooms or allow students to browse or take books. Thank you for your patience!


ILT discussed Chapter 6 from Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain. Chapter 6 was about establishing alliances in a learning partnership. We discussed the importance of giving "wise feedback". We used the Think Pair Share Strategy to discuss how we can build alliances with students as learning partners. We looked at our SIP data and determined that we are still working to increase our student participation in the IEP conference and to increase the number of student led IEP's. Data will be shared out at our upcoming staff meeting. Please remember to update your CBI description for the next round which starts next week. Please check out the agenda for more information.

Wellness Week is from Feb 3rd to Feb 7th. Those that participate in the Power of Vitality program have opportunities to earn Vitality points. If you walk to work any day during the week sign in at the table by Colleen's office. Also, if you walk AT work you can also sign in as well. If you are biking to or at school, you can sign in as well. Let's get people walking or biking during the week!

Check out THE WHOLE CARROT for more Wellness Week info!

ASL Classes at Metro Deaf School

I think this is an amazing opportunity.

I’ve found that using ASL with visual learners can make a big breakthrough in the communication.

Even if the student doesn’t know ASL, the visual stimulation (along with simultaneous withdrawal of auditory instruction) really brings their attention back to me.

I have even discovered a few students who understand ASL, even though their IEP team doesn’t know this about them.

Have you ever received any feedback from staff who may want to learn ASL?

If so, maybe you’d like to pass this along to them?

Register Here!


This course introduces the basics of American Sign Language (ASL). This course is designed for students with no or minimal sign language skills to develop basic skills in the use of ASL and knowledge of Deaf culture. Emphasis is upon acquisition of comprehension, production and interactional skills using basic grammatical features. ASL will be taught within contexts and related to general surroundings and everyday life experiences.

A self-placement assessment tool is available here. If you understand more than 80% of this video, you may be ready for the intermediate course. If you scored below 80%, you may benefit from this beginner course.


This course is designed to continue development of American Sign Language (ASL) skills with a primary focus on refining the use of basic ASL sentence types. Classifiers, spatial referencing, pluralization, and temporal and distributional aspects are introduced. Students will learn routine communicative functions of the language: asking, requesting, providing clarification, giving and asking for directions. Information about the Deaf Community and Deaf Culture will be included.

A self-placement assessment tool is available here. If you understand more than 80% of this video, you may be ready for the advanced course. If you scored between 60%-80% you may benefit from this intermediate course. If you scored below 60%, you may benefit from the beginner course.


This course builds on the skills learned in Intermediate American Sign Language (ASL), adding more complex ASL grammatical features and vocabulary, short stories, narratives, and dialogues. This course has strong student participation, with many opportunities for application and discussion. Students should be able to hold conversations for long periods of time. Information about the Deaf Community and Deaf Culture will be included. Students should be able to hold conversations for long periods of time.

A self-placement assessment tool is available here. If you understand 80%-90% of this video, you may be ready for the advanced course. If you scored between 60-80%, you may benefit from the intermediate course. If you scored below 60%, you may benefit from the beginner course. If you scored above 90%, you may want to consider taking college-level classes.

Quality of Life for People with Developmental Disabilities

Do you, or does anyone in your household or immediate family have a developmental disability? If so, we invite you to participate in a Quality of Life survey conducted on behalf of the Minnesota Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD). Your opinions are very important and results of this survey could inform government policy decisions that affect the lives of people with developmental disabilities in Minnesota.

Answers to the questions throughout this survey should be provided by the person with developmental disabilities to the extent they are able. Guardians/Advocates should assist as needed or complete this survey on their behalf.

Please keep in mind there are no right or wrong answers, it is your opinions that count. All of the information you share by participating in this survey will be kept confidential, and your participation will not directly impact any government or private services or support you may be receiving.

Thank you in advance for including your voice in this important quality of life study for people with developmental disabilities in Minnesota!

Please click here to begin taking the survey.

Hi Transition Plus!

  • Do you have students who need work experience to put on their resumes?

  • Do you have students who need to improve their employability skills?

  • Do you have a student who enjoys using the computer, scanner, laminator, and copier, as well as performing other clerical duties such as data entry, cutting, binding, hole-punching and more?

Then your student should sign up for The Scan Lab! The Scan Lab is a perfect place for students on Team 1, 2, and 3 to build resumes and employability skills in school!

Scan Lab still has openings for 2nd and 5th hour Monday/Wednesday and 2nd hour Tuesday! Get your student signed up before classes fill up!

If you have students who would be interested in this opportunity, please sign them up with Rachel Prince!

Transition Plus is going to the Guthrie!!!

Thursday, March 12, Transition Plus has been invited to bring the whole school (250 tickets) to the Guthrie to watch "The Twelfth Night". We will be jumping on buses by 10:00 that morning, and will be returning by 1:00. Most worksites (except Cookie Cart) will be cancelled that day (look for more specific information in the near future).

Colleen needs to know which students and staff will be participating in the great opportunity. Please email her a list of your caseload stating which students will go, including all staff in your room.

Start Thinking Prom!!!

Prom Attire Event details:

When: March 12, 13, 14, 15 & 20

Where: An empty store at The Shoppes at Arbor Lakes in Maple Grove (The girls will truly feel like they have a traditional prom dress shopping experience!)

Who: Any young woman who’s attending prom is welcome! This is also an LGBTQ+ friendly event.

Students who want to pick out dresses through school MUST SIGN UP WITH COLLEEN or DAPHNE BY FEBRUARY 7. The sign up will be closed after February 7.

Students who want to go on their own, please contact Jeni Asaba at or 646.354.0219. You can also visit the website for more information at

Staff, please do what you can to get the word out to all students. Thank you

Big picture

Food Service News

This week the Food Service class will be rolling out our new cookie recipe… Maple Bacon Chocolate Chip! That’s right! Bacon! In the cookie!

Breakfast sandwiches:

Wednesday mornings $2.50

Staff lunch meal deal:

Thursdays $5.50

Bakery Orders:

Whatever your needs- we can bake it!

The Food Service students will be helping to support Winter Wellness Week by providing infused water during lunch times. The district will provide the water and we will cut up fruits or veggies for the infusion. Please encourage your Advisory students to try the water and stress the importance of staying hydrated for health living. This is a nice connection that can be made to SEL self-care.

T Plus Website

Don't forget to see the For Staff section on our webpage. The password is Tplus4100.

Let Traci know if there is more you would like to see listed that would be beneficial.

Graduation Update

Graduation will be here soon and the graduation committee has started planning. This year our graduation date is May 29 at 11:30. We need to start collecting names of students who will be graduating, have graduated this year and/or aging out. Please give names to your social worker. We would like to get the first draft of names by March 1st.

Visit TPlus

Our first Visit Transition Plus event will be Monday February 10 at 5pm. This is an opportunity for families and students to learn more about T Plus in preparation for next year. There is a presentation, tour and student panel. We would love for a few teachers from each team to have their classrooms open and available, and for others staff to stay and participate.

As an incentive, if you are able to stay and participate, you can leave at 2 on February 18th (conference day). Please let one of the social workers know if you can help out.

Staff Reminders

Engagement notes

  • If a student is in need of clothing items, backpacks, food, or any other basic need item, please refer them to their case manager or social worker in order to access them.

  • When taking a class on an outing, please bring a list of all students and destination to the engagement desk and the front office desk.


  • Be sure you are printing to the MPS - DCLOUD-WIN

  • The admin office on the AE side has been getting print jobs on their non MPS printer. They will not bring any of the jobs that are sent to their printer to us.

Meeting Notifications

  • Please be sure to notify the office when you have meetings scheduled. When people show up for meetings, it is nice to know that there is a meeting, to have the knowledge of when/where/time, etc. so we can offer that information to attendees. Melissa and Traci do not wish to interrupt classes, meetings, conversations, etc., to get information on a meeting that has been scheduled.

  • If you want to have a meeting in either of the conference rooms in the office, or the one on the AE side, remember to reserve it.

Printer Info

  • All of the print jobs are set to 2 sided, as directed by the district to save money. Please be sure to check your printer preferences prior to sending a job to the printer.

  • Faxes can be sent, but incoming faxes will be sent to Melissa and myself. We will forward them to the recipient, who will need to print it. If you are expecting a fax and have not received it, check with us. Long Distance faxes that are not 1-800 can be sent using the same method/code you would for a phone call. 1-800 numbers do not need the code. Basically using the fax is the same way you call on school phones.

  • Scanning has been set up to send to yourself. You would need to forward it to whomever you want it to go to. We no longer have the ability to scan to a different department or person. Using this method ensures that the recipient gets the email.

  • Jobs are set up to be stored for 8 hours. They will not extend that because it 'bogs down' the server. If you forget to print your job out, it will not be there the following morning.

  • If there are issues with the printer in 305, please let Traci know right away. Put a note on it so everyone else knows that a request for repairs is in the process.

  • Toshiba will get an automatic update when toner or staples need to be delivered.

  • As always, if you have a single job that is 75 or more pages, it should be sent to the Document Center. Please plan ahead as it could take a few days. Send print jobs to Traci with explicit instructions.

Gradebook Information

We have had IEP's returned in the mail due to incorrect addresses being used. A couple of teachers have said they took the address from the IEP. Please be sure you are going into Gradebook to get the most current address. Also, be sure you are letting us know if you get demographic updates for students.

The SOURCE is a great learning tool to learn about all of the features that exist on Gradebook. I found this -

Learn More About Your Students
Viewing Student Information

You can easily learn more about a student by selecting the student's name (from the attendance or gradebook screen). When a students name is selected a pop-up window displays the following:

  • 1. Student Name, ID Number & Grade.
  • 2. Student Picture.
  • 3. Student Personal information including: DOB, address, email & phone.
  • 4. Parent/Guardian contact information: Name, phone (if different than student), & email (if on file).
  • 5. Health information will show here if a student takes medications or has other health conditions you should be aware of.

Learn more at:

Gradebook: A Guide for Teachers — The Source

Can't find what you're looking for? Submit an eTicket with your training request. In the category dropdown menu, select "Training," and the eTicket will come straight to the Design & Training team.

MicroGrants up to $2000 from Arc MN available to our students through Spring 2021!!

Here is a link to the Minnesota Microgrant Partnership. webinar

You can find more information on our website here.

Link to the application here.

The flier highlighting students who have received grants to improve their job prospects or get settled into independent housing is attached for you to see how previous grants have been used.

You might also be interested in Arc's new podcast, Focus on the Future.

Finally, Arc has a Free online interest mapping tool called Get Set! It’s also available for students to do some future planning.

Need support at school? SEA Arnee Martin is happy to help.

Need more information? Contact

Susan Sochacki

Marketing Specialist, Minnesota Microgrant Partnership

The Arc Minnesota


Toll-free: 833.450.1494

CBI Round 4

East African Cultural Celebration planning Module Facilitator Needed for Round 4 (Feb 7-March 6)!! The whole module is available for planning. The celebration is on March 13th afternoon. There are so many community experts in the building and we should be able to get a great group of students to plan it. check out the CBI Module Overview

Let Colleen know if you would like to facilitate.

Coming Up at TPlus


Tuesday---------------- Lic Staff Mtg ---------------- 8:30-9:30



Friday-------------------- PSWE/SEL ------------------- 8:30-9:15

Third Friday of the Month-------Newsletter Submissions for Families

Black Inventors of the 20th and 21st Century