(Special Education Parent Advisory Committee)
- A warm, enthusiastic welcome to STACEY THEOPHELIS - the new Executive Director of Student Support Services! Check out the introduction in the section below.
- Link for Oakland County Health Emergency Order for Control of Pandemic: https://www.oakgov.com/covid/healthorders/Health%20Order%208.24.21%20face%20covering%202021-01.pdf
- Link for the most recent return to school update from Superintendent Ryan: https://www.clarkston.k12.mi.us/news/news-details/~board/district/post/from-the-superintendent-updated-return-to-school-guidance
- 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.
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:
Quick link to the public Google Drive from Oakland Schools, Students with Disabilities:
If you need further support or guidance beyond what is offered in this newsletter and links, please contact us anytime at mailto:email@example.com
TRANSITION TO ADULTHOOD
This powerful and forward thinking 10 minute video encourages supported decision making.
CLICK here to watch the webinar from MI Alliance for Families featuring Dohn Hoyle.
CLICK here to watch the webinar from MI Alliance for Families featuring Dohn Hoyle.
CLICK button for links to all the handouts from the MI Alliance for Families workshop: Rethinking Guardianship with Dohn Hoyle.
CLICK HERE to view the training schedule webpages for Oakland Community Health Network that is shown in the photo below.
ON MY OWN MICHIGAN (from photo above)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com>
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:
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
Great resources for each area of need. These resources may include: Google Extensions, Google Apps, Apple iPad/Android Apps, or websites.
This is a resource from our Clarkston Community Schools secondary level social workers.
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)
Virtual Workshops from MI Alliance for Families
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.
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 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."
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!
Information Line: 1-888-320-8384 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
"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 MI (DRM) is the federally mandated protection and advocacy system for Michigan."
"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."
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
"Educationally Speaking is an Oakland Schools Intermediate School District broadcast which focuses on important topics related to education in Oakland County, MI."
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.
"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
"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."
"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."
UNITED STATES OFFICE OF SPECIAL EDUCATION SERVICES
CLARKSTON PAC IS ON FACEBOOK
Oakland Special Education Parent Resource Network Group in Facebook
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".
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/