Special Education Parent Connect

Lovejoy ISD

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February 2023

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Lovejoy ISD Special Olympics

They shoot... they SCORE!!! Roll PARDS!

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Texas Workforce

Texas Workforce has developed a quarterly newsletter to highlight services available through Vocational Rehabilitation. Please enjoy and let us know if you have any questions at all!

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Welcome Natalie Woodward, BCBA!!

Natalie will be joining Team Lovejoy as a BCBA! We are so excited to have her as a part of the team!

I was born in Pennsylvania but raised in Southern California, a Navy brat. I graduated in 2003 from Gannon University in Erie, PA where I earned a BA in Criminal Justice. I was also a Collegiate Water Polo Association All Conference Team selection in 2002 and 2003 as captain for Gannon's Women's Water Polo team. I moved to El Paso, Texas after graduation where I met my husband, Greg and had daughter, Madison in 2005. While in El Paso, I began my career in education as a substitute teacher K-12 in special education and general education. I continued my passion for teaching and working with students with disabilities by pursuing a Masters Degree from Mercyhurst University in Erie, PA along with a certificate in Elementary Education and Applied Behavior Analysis. Since then, I have served as a 3rd grade teacher, Autistic Support teacher, Learning Support teacher, and Life Skills teacher. I currently hold elementary education and special education certifications in both Pennsylvania and Texas. I also became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst in 2014 and have served as a BCBA in both school districts in Pennsylvania and Texas and in home/community programs for children with Autism in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. I completed the Educational Leadership program from Gannon University in 2020 and currently hold a Principal Certificate in Pennsylvania. I am also a part of Gannon University's Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2022 for Women's Water Polo. In addition to Madison, I am also the proud mom to Cole (15) and Cooper (11) along with 2 dogs and 1 cat. I love watching my children in all their activities - Madison will be playing soccer next year at the United States Military Academy at West Point - and cheering on the Philadelphia Eagles! We are so excited to have the opportunity to return to Texas and can't wait to be part of the Lovejoy family!

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Legislative Sessions

The legislature is now in session and there is a lot of talk about education in Texas, including special education. Here are a few highlights so far:

The Commissioner was able to get more specific with special education funding. He pointed to the data that shows that the gap between what schools are spending on special education services and what the state is providing for those services is $1.8 billion per year. A $3.6 billion funding increase for this purpose would close that gap.

Chairman Gary VanDeaver (R-New Boston) asked the Commissioner whether the Agency collects any data regarding the use of the $1,500 grants under the Supplemental Special Education Services (SSES) program. The Commissioner said detailed data exists, and that primarily the grants have been used to off-set expenditures parents would have otherwise paid for their children. LBB provided the information that 86,000 students have received SSES grants, but that the agency has received 102,000 applications (demand exceeded funding available).

HB 272 Relating to the terminology used to refer to an individualized education program team.

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Come Learn With Us!!

PACT Parent Training

We are so excited to welcome the PACT Project to Lovejoy for some parent training. The PACT Project is one of the four federally funded Parent Training and Information Centers (PTI) operated by Partners Resource Network. They serve Texas parents of children and youth with disabilities ages 0-26 living in certain parts of Texas.

Lovejoy has partnered with PACT for Parent Trainings:

March 28, 2023: Assertiveness and Communication

April 13, 2023: Transition

Dyslexia Parent Night

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Dyslexia Parent Newsletter

Please click here for the latest edition of Dyslexia Highlights!

Region Trainings

Region 10 offers Monthly, Family-Focused Webinars just for parents! Click on the picture and it will link you to registration.

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What's Happening on Campuses?

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Thank You, Hart Elementary!!!

Hart Teachers- Courtney Reid, Elizabeth Winger and Ellen Gintautas

Hart Paraprofessionals- Elizabeth Rose, Rena Gore, Sierra Collins and Megan Hodge

This team is full of flexibility! Thank you for knowing your students by name and need. We appreciate you!

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Lovejoy ISD- Special Education Advisory Committee

At the last Special Education Advisory Committee Meeting, the 2030 Strategic Target was discussed as well as the Special Education goals for the year. Members of the committee shared their input and narrowed down 2 focuses for the year.

Lovejoy 2030: Strategic Target

Lovejoy ISD will prioritize program reviews that evaluate program efficiency and program experience.


Utilize the district and campus improvement planning teams and district committees/teams to provide feedback, identify strengths, gaps and needs of programs to assist with evaluation and recommendations for improving the student experience.

Special Education Goals for the year:

  • Increase home-school communication

  • Enrichment opportunities

  • Investigate resources to empower parents and community

Focus for goals:

1. ARD Training for Parents

2. Student Support Process/Pathways- MTSS/RTI, 504, SPED, Dyslexia

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Texas A&M Parent Project

The Center on Disability and Development at Texas A&M University would like to offer training at no cost to Texas parents and caregivers of children up to age 22 with core features of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Parents and caregivers will learn how to improve their child's communication skills. This service is provided by a grant project entitled Coach to Communicate (C2C), sponsored by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

The training includes a 1-hour self-paced webinar that teaches behavioral strategies to increase communication use in children with ASD. Once complete, parents can choose to be paired with a coach for a more intensive 12-week training specific to their child’s communication needs (again, at no cost to parents). Shorter options of 2-5 coaching sessions are also available for parents, if better suited to their needs. Coaching is offered in English and Spanish.

To see training modules available, enroll at https://prep.catalog.instructure.com.

What is Special Education?

Special education instruction that is specially designed to meet the unique needs of a student with a disability. It includes any related services needed for the student to benefit from his or her special education services. Special education is not a place, but a set of services and supports that can be provided in many ways and in many different settings. What special education looks like for an individual student is outlined in his or her IEP. The IEP is developed by a team referred to in Texas as the admission, review, and dismissal (ARD) committee. The parent is a member of the ARD committee.

SPEDTex.org is a wonderful resource for parents that are new to Special Education even parents with some experience . They provide resources and answers to many frequently asked questions. Check it out!

What is Special Education?

Special and Gifted Education

What is SAGE?

A thriving partnership between parents, teachers and administration to enhance the education of every student while aiding them to achieve their highest potential.

What is the Purpose?

Create Awareness, Promote Connection and Provide Education= ACE

What are the Goals?

SAGE representatives will communicate regularly with the campus principal, celebrate calendar awareness days and hold events for connection and collaboration.

Click below to view the presentation recently shared at each campus SAGE meeting.

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