KSD Special Services ~ Nov 2015

Pursuing Excellence Today for Tomorrow

Special Olympics ~ Bowling

Dyslexia and January 4th PD

Dyslexia is the new "hot topic" in special and general education. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is encouraging school districts to review how students with Dyslexia or other reading delays are providing instruction to students. Often times, students with Dyslexia need a specialized way of learning how to read and write.

The Orton-Gillingham (OG) method is a multi-sensory method of teaching reading. There are different programs available to purchase that are tied to the OG method. This year, we are researching how we can use this method to provide reading instruction for students who are demonstrating significant delays and not making adequate progress using our "typical" methods of instruction in the special education setting.

Lorrie Wolf, CEO and Executive Director of the Educational Therapy Center out of Parkville, MO, will be speaking about Dyslexia on our January 4th professional development half day - what it is, what it isn't, and the myths associated. This will be an introductory session for all special education staff from 8:00-11:30 a.m.

During our Summer Institute 2016, we will bring Lorrie in for an intensive training with all special education certified staff and potentially general education staff to provide a 4 day training on the OG method. My goal is to have one teacher in every building K-12 trained in this method.


During second semester, we will be conducting a pilot study working with an elementary student to identify the strengths, needs, and planning needed to launch this district-wide next fall.

At this time, we are looking to the OG approach for reading instruction for students who are not making adequate progress with other methods. This is not to replace what we are currently doing (LI kits, etc.), but to supplement for those needing something different.

More information will be coming this spring!

For additional information on the research surrounding the OG method, go to: https://www.orton-gillingham.com/ .

Welcome, Meeghan Masters!

Mrs. Masters has joined us as the new social worker for Kearney and Hawthorne elementary schools. She will be assisting with connecting families with resources, truancies, and more!

Standards-Based Report Cards: Paving the way for Special Education

K-12 Special Education Report Card

The special education team for our students in the functional programs met to discuss current trends and topics in special education this week. We will be working on a Standards-Based report card for K-12 students who are receiving the MAP-A Assessment to start next school year. As the district looks to implementing a standards-based report card in the future, this will be launched to ensure students with significant developmental delays have a reporting system that meets their needs.

Early Childhood Standards-Based Report Cards

The Kearney ECSE staff have started conversations about a Standards-Based report card at the early childhood level. January 4th will be dedicated to reviewing report cards from across the state and developing a draft report card for students participating in KSD early childhood programs.



An outstanding job by all for our recent file review.

Areas of strength:

  • Notification of Meetings - 10 day waiver or sent 10 days in advance
  • Meeting evaluation timelines
  • Present level related to IEP goals, accommodations and modifications
  • Transition goals and plans

Opportunities for Growth

  • Students who receive transportation as a related service need to have the rationale included in the present level
  • Accommodations/modifications used for testing must be on the list of daily accommodations/modifications, and vice versa

Overall, we are doing an AMAZING job related to special education compliance. Keep up the great work!

Miles of Smiles ~ Resources for our Families!

Miles of Smiles treated 72 students for a grand total of $12, 361.79 worth of FREE dental care to our students! Kudos to Amy Latz for organizing the program!