Clarkston PAC

(Special Education Parent Advisory Committee)

AUGUST NEWSLETTER


  • A warm, enthusiastic welcome to STACEY THEOPHELIS - the new Executive Director of Student Support Services! Check out the introduction in the section below.




  • We look forward to re-engaging with the PAC community this year with meetings, speakers, and a presentation from our partners at Michigan Alliance for Families.


  • All Michigan Alliance for Families workshops will be virtual through December 2021.


  • This month we have a dedicated in-depth section for Transition to Adulthood. If your student is at/near the age of 16, these topics and resources are for you.


Find the CAMPFIRE S'MORES - then you have read everything!

Message from the New Executive Director

Dear Parents, Guardians, and Community Members:


My name is Stacey Theophelis and I am honored and thrilled to be named the Executive Director of Clarkston Community Schools.


I am a graduate of Michigan State University with a B.A. in Audiology and Speech Sciences as well as graduate of Wayne State University with my M.A. in Speech-Language Pathology. Upon completion of my degrees, I also obtained my teaching certificate with the State of Michigan. I then began my career in 2001 with Birmingham Public Schools as a Speech-Language Pathologist at both elementary and secondary levels. After 11 years, I became the Child Find Coordinator and birth-3 SLP for the District. After completing my education through Grand Valley State University in Special Education Administration and obtaining my Principal Certification, I moved into the role of a Special Education Administrator with Birmingham Public Schools. Most recently, I was a Special Education Administrator with Novi Community School District.


Personally, I currently reside in Commerce Township with my husband, Peter, our two sons, George (12) and Nicholas (11), and our Golden Retriever named Bella.


I thank my predecessor, Ms. Kathy Christopher, for her career of dedication to the families and students in Clarkston. In the spirit of the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games, I am honored that the baton has now been passed as we continue to move forward together as a community of parents, educators, and staff in support of the learning and growth of all students.


Sincerely,

Stacey Theophelis

STANDARD MONTHLY REMINDERS

Each section has new additions as well as the standard "go-to" buttons that are helpful to have at your fingertips every month.


Quick link to Student Support Services Page on CCS Website:

https://www.clarkston.k12.mi.us/departments/student-support-services


Quick link to the public Google Drive from Oakland Schools, Students with Disabilities:

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1bYDH58wAasv6r1hljHtJ8BCuOdjWD5k3?usp=gmail


If you need further support or guidance beyond what is offered in this newsletter and links, please contact us anytime at mailto:clarkstonpac@gmail.com

TRANSITION TO ADULTHOOD

Building Your Best Life - YouTube

This powerful and forward thinking 10 minute video encourages supported decision making.

Big picture
Big picture
Rethinking Guardianship Part 1 of 2: YouTube

CLICK here to watch the webinar from MI Alliance for Families featuring Dohn Hoyle.

Rethinking Guardianship Part 2 of 2: YouTube

CLICK here to watch the webinar from MI Alliance for Families featuring Dohn Hoyle.

Rethinking Guardianship Workshop: Dohn Hoyle HANDOUTS

CLICK button for links to all the handouts from the MI Alliance for Families workshop: Rethinking Guardianship with Dohn Hoyle.

SUPPORTED DECISION MAKING

CLICK HERE to view the training schedule webpages for Oakland Community Health Network that is shown in the photo below.

Big picture
Big picture

ON MY OWN MICHIGAN (from photo above)

High school students with developmental disabilities in metro Detroit now have a chance to safely try out independent living during the school year.
After nearly two years of intensive planning and preparation, we're thrilled to launch Independence Prep, an overnight immersive independent living experience for high school students with developmental disabilities.

Our first session of Independence Prep will be held this Fall, with enrollment ending September 17th.

Each session consists of three parts:

* an orientation session for students and their families to help them get comfortable with and prepare for their weekend away
* an all-inclusive two-night independent living experience for students that includes:

* all meals + snacks
* comfortable bedrooms with private en-suite bathrooms
* group skill-building activities covering topics like healthy habits, meal planning, living with others and healthy relationships
* group social activities like s'mores by the campfire, movie + snacks in the pavilion and yard games
* free time for students to decompress and recharge
* assigned at-home exercises to reinforce the weekend's learning
* a gift bag full of self-care items to make the stay away from home easier
* COVID-19 mitigation measures, including required vaccination, wellness screenings and masking

* a recap session for students and their families to help them debrief their experience and meet young adults who have successfully made the transition to independent living

There are four easy ways to learn more about Independence Prep:

* visit our website<https://onmyownofmi.org/our-programs/independence-prep/>
* RSVP to attend an upcoming virtual open house<https://onmyownofmi.org/virtual-open-houses/>
* RSVP to attend our free summer picnic on Saturday, August 21st<https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=i9enuwf9oUaJiiUFi0pOmRwWzfhZY4pOjAUf1_Vo7aZUOFE3M1RIVU4xSlhFWExLT1ZGWVo2UzVTWC4u>
* contact our Independent Living Program Manager Rachel Newbill at rachel@onmyownofmi.org<mailto:rachel@onmyownofmi.org>

Finally, students who apply for Independence Prep by August 31st will receive an early-bird discount of $50 off their Independence Prep tuition. Applications can be submitted on our website.<https://onmyownofmi.org/independence-prep-application/>

VIRTUAL LEARNING & TECH SUPPORT RESOURCES

Tech Toolbox Ideas from Oakland Schools


Peer 2 Peer Resources:

https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0?ui=2&ik=4a97180c48&attid=0.1.2&permmsgid=msg-f:1694321349822208898&th=1783704a6f835b82&view=att&disp=inline


More tech tools and resources from Oakland Schools can be found in the all-access public Google Drive for Students with Disabilities: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1bYDH58wAasv6r1hljHtJ8BCuOdjWD5k3?usp=gmail

Assistive Tech Tools - CCS

Great resources for each area of need. These resources may include: Google Extensions, Google Apps, Apple iPad/Android Apps, or websites.

Social-Emotional Learning Hub

This is a resource from our Clarkston Community Schools secondary level social workers.

COMING SOON - WUNDER by Understood.org

The first community app for parents of children who learn and think differently. Wunder is the only place where parents can safely connect while being supported by a team of leading experts — all for free. (CLICK BUTTON for more information)

Big picture
Big picture

ONLINE WORKSHOPS

Virtual Workshops from MI Alliance for Families



September 2021


September 9 Foster Care Stakeholders Meeting: Agencies, Organizations, Professionals 10-11:30am or 3-4:30pm. Register at https://tinyurl.com/fcsp99

September 21 IEP: A Closer Look, 10-11:30am. Register at https://tinyurl.com/4ytzy6fa

September 27 Transition from School to Adulthood for Foster Care Families with Chesley Giertz 6:30-8:30pm. Register at https://tinyurl.com/jpjaez2a

September 30 Special Education Evaluation and Eligibility with Michelle Driscoll 10-11am. Register at https://tinyurl.com/rhjrhztc



October 2021


October 6 & 20, November 3 Strategies for Supporting Your Child’s Learning at Home- a three part series in partnership with MiMTSS. 6:30-8pm. Register at https://tinyurl.com/SupportStrategies



Sign up for our e-newsletter to receive event updates. We do have a large selection of previously recorded presentations available for viewing at www.michiganallianceforfamilies.org/webinar

Conflict Management in Special Education: 10/18/2021

This FREE and highly interactive workshop is designed to impart skills that help the IEP team be effective. The cost is FREE for this workshop. See PHOTO below for more details. Also, check out the information PDF in the download below the photo.

Big picture
MI Alliance Upcoming Events for Parent Learning

CLICK Button above for comprehensive webpage with flyers and registration links to all upcoming events. All workshop webinars are recorded and available for later review on the MAF YouTube channel.

GENERAL HELPFUL LINKS AND RESOURCES

Project Connect Helpline: 888-847-3209

"Project Connect is a telehealth line that is free and available anytime for people with disabilities, their families, caregivers and other members of their support teams across the nation."

Students with Disabilities - Public Google Drive

This is a public Google drive managed by Oakland Schools ISD. Click the button above to view folders on the following topics: government memos, transition, speech & language, school social work, school psychology, community programs, and MORE!

MI Dept of Educ - Office of Special Education

Information Line: 1-888-320-8384 or e-mail: mde-ose@michigan.gov

Oakland Schools ISD Plan (Updated from 2009 Version)

"It is with pleasure to share the updated Oakland Schools ISD Plan for the Delivery of Special Education Programs and Services (OS ISD Plan). Modifications to the OS ISD Plan have been approved by the Michigan Department of Education (MDE)."

Disability Rights Michigan

"Disability Rights MI (DRM) is the federally mandated protection and advocacy system for Michigan."

Take N.O.T.E. from Understood.org

"Figuring out what’s going on can feel overwhelming. That’s why we’re here to help. Introducing a simple step-by-step tool to help you figure out if the struggles you’re seeing might be signs of a learning and thinking difference."

Parent Engagement in School Conferences

This PACER Center Tip Sheet provides great guidance and information on how families and caregivers can prepare for and be more engaged in school conferences.

WEBINARS AND PODCASTS

Oakland Schools Podcast: "Educationally Speaking"

"Educationally Speaking is an Oakland Schools Intermediate School District broadcast which focuses on important topics related to education in Oakland County, MI."

THE ARC OF OAKLAND COUNTY - 2 WEBINARS AVAILABLE!

Click the button above to access: "Planning a More Secure Future" and "MI ABLE: Save Without Losing Benefits". Webinars are ideal for those planning a future for a student who may be a disabled adult and/or attending the post-high program.

Thrive with Your Family Web Series - Michigan Medicine

"Our nationally recognized panel held candid conversations about parenting, child behavior, mental health and relationships during the ever-changing environment of the global pandemic." CLICK BUTTON ABOVE

Michigan Alliance for Families YouTube Channel

"We have an archive of recorded webinars available for when you need access to learn, understand, and manage topics related to special education. Our webinars (like all of our learning opportunities) are free for parents, caregivers, and educators."

Understood.org YouTube Channel

"Shaping the world for difference.™ We’re dedicated to shaping a world where millions of people who learn and think differently can thrive at home, at school, and at work."

Understood.org "In It" podcast

"In It: A Podcast on Raising Kids Who Learn and Think Differently"

UNITED STATES OFFICE OF SPECIAL EDUCATION SERVICES

CLARKSTON PAC IS ON FACEBOOK

Clarkston PAC

Click to view our Facebook page and/or e-mail us! We want you to be a member of our community of parents! Share our posts with your FB friends and other FB groups - help us help other families with useful resources and upcoming events.

Oakland Special Education Parent Resource Network Group in Facebook

Click below for additional resources from your Oakland Schools PAC Executive Board

Action Calendar: Altruistic August 2021

"Altruism is vital for the human race to survive and thrive; and each of our lives is supported by countless kind acts from other people. Yet in our world today, so much is directing us to think only about ourselves - and we often forget the happiness that comes by caring for others. We want to change that. This August Action for Happiness asking everyone to take one kind act per day. Let's create a wave of kindness to spread around the world."


For more keys to happier living, head over to the http://www.actionforhappiness.org/ website. Look below the calendar to download their PDF guide "Ten Keys to Happier Living".

Big picture
Big picture
Intelligent Lives Documentary

Michigan's own Micah Fialka-Feldman is one of the young adults featured in the documentary "Intelligent Lives". Now available for free streaming with English or Spanish captions on WORLD Channel https://worldchannel.org/episode/arf-intelligent-lives/

Big picture