Celebrate Your Counselors!

February 9th, 2022

Throughout the year we have the opportunity to pause, reflect, and celebrate the vast number of team members that support our schools. Today, we have the pleasure of honoring our dedicated team of school counselors. Every school in our district has a least one tremendous professional taking on this vital role in helping all students move toward unprecedented results. This incredible team of professionals supports each and every one of our students by holding core beliefs about our students potential and capacity. To bring forward the words of our Sunset Primary Counselor, Mollie Hyman, School counselors focus on making sure that kids' hearts and brains are working together. Our Athey Creek Cougar Counseling Team of Alisa Doll and Toni Snapp shared with students that they are life vest instructors, ready to support the capacity of our kind, empathetic and passionate students so that they can be the greatest thinkers and most thoughtful people for the the world. Thank you for honoring and celebrating this incredible group of professionals with me today.
This team's dedication to honing their practice to support student outcomes is unparalleled. Not only do our counselors hold these deep beliefs that guide their work, but they use these beliefs or mindsets to lean into designing, implementing and assessing the outcomes of this work. Recently they have spent two days with a national presenter from ASCA - American School Counseling Association to continue to align our program with evidence based practices by sharing and learning together and have an ASCA coach reflect alongside our team. We will continue this deep work through next year.

It is quite impressive to imagine all of the individuals who support the academic development of our students. Center our counselors in this discussion as well! They support our Section 504 Plans, Circles of Support process where we work to learn more about how a student accesses school and support through interventions to allow students to reach their promise. Our counselors also support the academic self-concept and growth mindset of our students. Here are a couple of thoughts from our team:

  • We help students reach their potential, even when they cannot see it themselves

  • We support students to realize the role of positive self-talk

  • We really listen and help students be seen and heard

In creating the most thoughtful people for the world, our team supports our students in building career development skills. Our counselors meet with individual students, groups and classes to learn, explore and set goals for the future. Whether using Naviance, supporting the development of school skills, our team holds the student’s connection and experience at the forefront. Last year Michael Garcia secured a virtual interview with a science engineer to share with our students at Boones Ferry, building this idea of exploration, potential and self-concept from a young age. At middle school and high school our students have gone on visits or benefited from guest speakers. This work helps students create a self-concept of themselves with potential, capacity and options.

This team exemplifies this last area of development in so many capacities. To become the greatest people and most thoughtful thinkers for the world, our team provides resources, connects students with additional supports, collaborates with families, teachers and the community, provides individual, small group and whole class instruction. Carmen Ryan, School Counselor at Lowrie, meets with families, including sharing and lifting the work at PTA sessions!

Our counselors use data from Panorama with school outcome data to drive supports and interventions. They attend to a student’s sense of belonging and take action. This team implements Second Steps, participates on Flight Team responses, supports Sources of Strength, and daily engages in meaningful restorative conversations.

Our team describes some of this work:

  • We hold each child to their highest potential with hope and love

  • We support teachers to utilize concepts of trauma informed care while supporting students with challenging behaviors

  • We take the thoughtful time to focus on care, connection and community. When student's (and teachers) feel safe, loved, and cared for they are able to bring their best selves with them to school.

Throughout this week, join me in celebrating the integral role that our school counselors provide to support our students reach their potential through academic, career and social emotional development. Thank you for supporting this team and lifting their work for students and our community.

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ECSE to K Transition Planning is Happening!

Can you believe it!? Our students, families and teams are planning for incoming kindergarten students for the fall of 22-23 . . .Announcing the class of 2035!

This past week, on February 1st with the great support of Lori Prater and Karina Archibald, we held a parent information night for our ECSE to Kindergarten families. It is so exciting to meet our families and hear about our students! This is a big and exciting transition.

Yesterday, our instructional coordinators met with our colleagues from Clackamas ESD to connect with service providers and begin planning next steps.

We will be holding IEP meetings across three weeks between April 25th- May 13th. Each primary building will have a designated day(s) depending on the number of students who will be transitioning into your building.

ECSE to K Transition Meetings | April 25th - May 13th

Upcoming Opportunities

Columbia Regional Inclusive Services has several upcoming workshops.

Culturally and Linguistically Affirming AAC Practices: A Three-Part Online Workshop

Featuring Dr. Gloria Soto from San Francisco State University
February 8th - February 22th - March 8th
Virtual via Zoom - each session runs 8:30 AM to 10:30 AM

Click, Click Away! Teaching Students with Significant Disabilities to Use Ability Switches Throughout the Day
Featuring Gretchen Hanser, PhD, MS, OTR/L
February 17, 2022
2:00 PM to 4:30 PM PST
Via Zoom

Updates to Oregon Accessibility Manual

There have been updates to the Oregon Accessibility manual for the 2021-2022 testing year. The accessibility supports have now been updated in ePEP. There have been a few notable changes:

  • the 100s number table is now available for grade 3
  • manipulatives have been added as a support for all grades; please look at the manual for guidelines (page 40 and page 113)
  • dictation (this is now an embedded accommodation and built in to the testing platform)

As a reminder, students need to be using these supports on a regular basis. It will also be helpful to try out some of the embedded supports (i.e.. dictation) on the sample test prior to going into a testing session.

The manual can be found here: https://www.oregon.gov/ode/educator-resources/assessment/Documents/accessibility_manual.pdf

Click Here for Student Services School Year Guidance

Templates for Sped Actions have been added. These are intended to be a support In drafting a teams' PWN and will benefit from being Individualized to the discussion, agreements, and disagreements of the team.

Supporting Recovery Services & Accessing Extra Hours

Thank you to those that have already expressed interest in supporting this great work for students!

We are planning for Recovery Services and we want to recruit you! We are recruiting paraedcuators for after school opportunities 1-2 times per week during the school year AND we are recruiting - Paraedcuators, learning specialists, Motor Team, SLPs, ICs - for a robust summer program. If you are potentially interested in supporting the summer program, let us know and we will keep you in the loop. Indicating yes is not a commitment, but a potential interest! Click on this link or the form below to express interest!

You represent the expertise, care, and compassion to create beautiful learning communities. Thank you for all that you do.

Upcoming Meetings

  • Wednesday February 9th: School Nurses in the Boardroom
  • Wednesday February 16th: School Counselors via zoom
  • Thursday February 17th: School Psychologists in the Boardroom
  • Thursday February 17th: Social Workers via zoom
  • Wednesday February 23rd: School Nurses in the Boardroom
  • Wednesday March 2nd: Motor Team via zoom