NC ELSSP-VI Newsletter

May 2017

Each child will be honored, respected, and empowered to achieve success in school and life.

North Carolina Early Learning Sensory Support Program for Children with Visual Impairments

NC Department of Public Instruction

Office of Early Learning

May's Quote

The goal of early childhood education should be to activate the child's own natural desire to learn.

-Maria Montessori


Student Pictures Submitted by NC ELSSP-VI Staff

Professional Development Submitted by Lin Causey

Teacher Talk 101 Submitted by Kim Sawyer

Early Learning Progressions Submitted by Bethany Mayo

O and M Quick Checklist Submitted by Nancy Kirby-Sauls

Welcome New Staff

Staff Birthdays for May

Photo/Video Credits

Professional Development Opportunities

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Shared by Krystal Davis, Early Intervention Branch

The Free Continuing Professional Development Opportunities document has been updatedJ The title has been linked to the document and it can also be located at on our Certification & Renewal webpage. The following trainings have been added:

1. Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) Toddler Initiative (University of NC-Chapel Hill)

2. Military Families Learning Network:

·Webinar One: March 9, 2017 (archived) "1-2-3 Play with Me! Recognizing and Valuing the Power of Play”

·Webinar Two: June 22, 2017 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. EST “Have A Seat! Learning What Children Know Through Play”

·Webinar Three: Oct. 19, 2017 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. EST “When Play is More than Just ‘Playing’: Delivering Intentional Instruction through Daily Interactions”

·Webinar Four: Dec. 7, 2017 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. EST “Beyond the Shape Sorter: Playful Interactions that Promote Strong Academic and Social-Emotional Skills”

3. “NEW Maryland Infants & Toddlers Program”

·Module 1: Social Emotional Development, Universal Practices, Family Partnerships

·Module 2: Targeted Social Strategies

·Module 3: Intensive Interventions

4. Technology Solutions for Early Childhood...The Future is NOW Symposium (Center on Technology and Disability & US Department of Education)

5. Getting to the Bottom Line of Family Engagement (Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute)


Supporting Participation for All Children: Essential Features of High Quality Inclusion

Webinar #2, ECDTL Series on High Quality Inclusion

National Center on Early Childhood Development, Teaching, and Learning; The Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center 2017

Watch it now.

Webinar #1 Partnerships for Inclusion: Ensuring Access to High Quality Evaluations and Services is available here.

About webinar #2: Research has long demonstrated that high-quality inclusion benefits children with and without disabilities, and that non-inclusive environments can impact learning negatively. Each of the three webinars in this series focus on one of the three essential features of high quality inclusion: access, participation, and support. This webinar focuses on supporting participation of children with disabilities in high quality inclusive environments through understanding: federal policies and laws, including IDEA and Head Start Performance Standards, related to providing services and support for young children with disabilities; evidence-based practices that promote active engagement, participation, and a sense of belonging, and each sector's (ED/HHS) role in ensuring young children with disabilities are fully participating and engaged with typically developing peers.

Accompanying resources: presentation powerpoint.

Related Project(s):

Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center
National Center on Early Childhood Development, Teaching, and Learning


Teacher Talk 101

National Teacher’s Day

Teacher Appreciation Week this year is May 7-13. This year’s theme is “Teachers Deliver”. National Teacher’s Day is Tuesday May 13th. This is a day to recognize and honor teachers.

Sometime around 1944, Mattye Whyte Woodridge, an Arkansas teacher began the campaign for a National Teachers Day by corresponding with political and educational leaders. Woodridge wrote to Eleanor Roosevelt, who, in 1953, persuaded the 81st Congress to proclaim a National Teacher Day. The NEA, with a few of its state and local affiliates, lobbied Congress to create a national day celebrating teachers. March 7, 1980 was declared as National Teacher Day for that year only. The day continued to be observed on the first Tuesday in March each year until 1985. It was then that the National PTA established Teacher Appreciation Week. The NEA Representative Assembly then voted to make each Tuesday of Teacher Appreciation Week, National Teacher Day.

As itinerant TVIs, we may not get the customary school breakfast or lunch sponsored by the PTA but we get so much more. Our unique job allows us to step into the lives of families and help in ways others cannot. Please know, you are valued and appreciated. So, hit that drive-thru and treat yourself to something good!

Happy Teachers’ Day!

Early Learning Progressions

The North Carolina Early Learning and Development Progressions: Birth to Five are an expansion of the North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development (2013). Learning progressions were developed for each identified goal in four developmental domains, and show the steps through which children develop skills from birth to five years. During the first year of life, progressions are provided for skills achieved at two-month intervals; during the second year, three-month intervals; and from thirty-six to sixty months, skills are noted at six-month intervals. The comprehensive observation guidelines include age level, skill being observed, situation for observation of skills, strategies for eliciting the skill, if needed, what observed behavior indicates achievement of the skill, and routines-based intervention or embedded instruction. Instructions for navigating the NC Early Learning and Development Progressions: Birth to Five can be found here.

O and M Checklist

Children who can benefit from Orientation & Mobility Referrals

- moderate to severe visual impairment – no vision or functions as a blind child

- limited midrange and distance vision (less than three to five feet viewing distance)

- dual sensory loss (vision and hearing)

- depth perception (misses surface level changes in familiar and unfamiliar environments) steps, curbs, changes in terrain, playground borders, etc.

- anticipated to be a future cane user

- bumps into furniture, objects, people

- needs assistance with movement

- safety concerns

- hesitation or insecurity in movement

- dependent on visual models or prefers to have hand held to move

- dependent of others to locate objects, landmarks, or plays in one certain area

- difficulty with contrast changes (cement to grass, playground surface to sidewalk, etc.

- vision reduced in either bright light or dim light

- need a protective device when moving (push toys)

- difference in movement in a familiar environment versus an unfamiliar environment

- parent concerns with child’s movement skills

Please call your O&M to discuss children that exhibit any or all of the above checklist indicators. Your O&M is happy to discuss children on a case-by-case basis with you and to coordinate and collaborate with you for an evaluation or if you need suggestions for movement activities for individual children. Your Lead Teacher could also assist with determining if child is an appropriate O&M referral.

Welcome Ambra!!!

Ambra Spry is from Statesville N.C. She is starting her 20th year teaching in the special education field. Ambra is originally from Taylorsville N.C. and she graduated from Appalachian State University in 1988. She has taught ID, LD and OCS in both resource and self-contained settings, in Alexander, Iredell and Wake county schools. Ambra is married to Jeff Spry and they have 4 children; Emma 22 @ ASU, Aaron 20 @ Southeastern College, Abby 18 @ Mitchell Community College and Joey 15 @ Statesville Christian. She is currently working on her masters degree in Visual Impairments at NCCU. So this past school year her family had 4 family members in college!!! Ambra says she "is very excited to begin working with the Early Learning Sensory Support Program / Visual Impairments". Welcome Ambra!

Administrative Assistant Appreciation Day

The staff of ELSSP/VI would like to say a big "THANK YOU" to Starla Wilson! Starla has been working for ELSSP/VI since the late 80's! Starla is an integral part of our team. She does her best to keep us all straight (which is not an easy job). We thank you Starla and appreciate everything you do on a daily basis to make this program run smoothly! Happy Belated Administrative Assistant Day!

May Staff Birthdays

May 9th Sue Caruso

Photo/Video Credits