Distance Learning Continues


Transition Plus isn't just a building it's a Caring Community

With the announcement this week that we will continue with distance learning through the end of the year this brings some strong feelings for us, our students and their families. For some this comes as a sense of relief for others this is a sense of loss. For many of us it is both at the same time.

We need to consider how we can continue to be that sense of community for our students and families. Think of ways we can add and strengthen to our offerings to students as we are much closer to them having devices in their hands.

In talking with a couple of staff members this week I brought up the possibility of offering virtual bus rides. So many of our students love bus rides, wouldn't it be great to have your family help film a bus route? Just a thought.

Another piece to the announcement from Governor Walz (which I found out about Sunday night) is that May 1st and May 4th are non- student contact days. This may cause a shift in some currently scheduled meetings. I hope to have more details by the time we have our staff meeting on Tuesday morning.

I continue to appreciate each and every one of you doing what you are able to make this work for our students.

Meet & Greet considerations

Team 1 teachers host live video Meet & Greets from 10:00am-10:30am Mondays-Thursdays, which will be on the schedule Jason is compiling.

Generally 2 or 3 Team 1 teachers host each meeting and include the ESPs from their rooms only. We use them to connect to our students and for students to connect students outside of their own advisories.

After hosting these for a few weeks, we’ve found they are most effective when we follow a simple agenda and have a minimal number of staff interacting with the students. Students have left the meetings when there are too many people and too much going on in them at once.

In the interest of sensory needs and quality of service, we ask that staff including, ESPs and licensed service providers, who are not directly part of the meeting, if you would like to join, please do so without video and sound. Team 1 teachers are happy to help set up meetings for students who need additional services, so please reach out to us as needed.

Thank you!

Big picture

Counselor's Corner

Quarter 4 Courses & Attendance

All case managers will have an Advisory class for attendance purposes (1st-6th hours) and a Post-Secondary Strategies class (0 hour, grade-only). iDLP's will need to be updated to reflect this information.

All of your previously scheduled courses for Q4 remain (minus the students) in the event that we return to school this year. In order to "hide" these extraneous classes, in your Gradebook go to Settings -> Gradebook Setup -> Uncheck "Show Course in Gradebook Application" box for each individual course with the exception of Advisory (07729Q4 Periods 1-6 MTWRF) and Post-Secondary Strategies (07121Q4 Period 0 MTWRF).

Accuplacer & PSEO

If you have students who need to take the Accuplacer yet this year, and/or are wanting to apply for PSEO, please let me know ASAP! If a student has the appropriate technological set-up (i.e. laptop), I should be able to remotely administer the Accuplacer. PSEO application and forms can be submitted digitally.

Conversation with the Counselor

I am launching new daily Google Meets times for students who want to check in with me for post-secondary, academic, or social/emotional reasons. The times will be Monday/Wednesday 11:00am-12:00pm and Tuesday/Thursday 1:00pm-2:00pm. Links will be forthcoming in case manager's emails.

Whether virtual or real… our graduation slide show will have pictures of our 2020 graduates, as well as other great pictures of T+ activities and students.

Send your best shots to mary.bock@mpls.k12.mn.us or you can text them to 612-845-4849.

Very short video clips could work too. Also, I was planning to host online CBI to work on this, starting Friday 4/24. Interested students will work on invite and program design, music selection and editing, picture editing, and video editing for the slide show. I will keep with 11 am mtg. time, if that works. Open to feedback on time, etc.

-Mary Bock

Google Classroom

If you have not added the Student Safety Tips to your Google Classroom yet please do so ASAP. Here is how to do it- Student Safety Tips

Many of you have done this already. If you have not, please add the naming convention to your Google Classroom so it easier for everyone to be able to find it - e.g. TPlus.Backes.Art

Make Some Music

Let’s make some music! Come join us for Garage Band Live online and Student Talent Show video submissions! All are welcome. You do not have to be registered in the class to join us. You get to choose your learning:

1. how to create music from your computer or phone using “Soundtrap” app

2. Get individual support in creating and uploading your music video for a virtual student talent show!

Join us here by following the link, and enter in your class code!


class code: r2awuhr

Have questions or need help? Contact Christina Brantner (christina.brantner@mpls.k12.mn.us)

Christina Brantner

Tyler McCracken

Music Therapy cultural unit

Greetings! The music therapists are planning a cultural unit for our students and we would love to feature the songs you grew up with in your childhood. Is there a song from your childhood that you learned from your family or that was part of your community?

Video record yourself sharing that song, and email (christina.brantner@mpls.k12.mn.us) or message it to Christina Music therapy Facebook by Friday May 4th. You can video on your phone and text it too: 218-831-3215

Thanks so much for your help to enrich the “Songs of our childhood” lesson in our cultural unit for May!


Upstream Arts Resources

From our home to yours, we're here for you. We at Upstream Arts are creating new ways to breathe, move, and connect with our disability community through new studio ACCESS videos and live stream classes.

Click here to watch studio ACCESS: short, playful exercises that you can do at home.

When you invest in us, you invest in our disability community and 30+ teaching artists. Thank you for making it possible for us to be a source of support across distance - now, and for years to come.

Distance Learning Packets

Good Afternoon

We will continue to make and distribute packets for students whose families have expressed need for paper packets. In order to have the most up-to-date information in regards to packet distribution, I am requesting that each school enters student information on THIS Sharepoint spreadsheet. I understand that you may have sent this information in through Qualtrics or email, so I apologize if this is asking you to submit again. The information that we have is not accurate as some families who have requested packets in absence of a device, now have device, so the packet is not needed. This information will also inform us on how many and which packets we need to continue making each week. We plan to take these lists and route for ongoing weekly drop off.

Please consider the following before entering in student’s information for needing a paper packet:

  1. The packet will allow the student to have more accessible learning opportunities other than what they have with the device/online access.
  2. The packet request is NOT due to lack of device and internet.
  3. The packet is NOT being used to replace online opportunities to learn/engage online with the teacher.
  4. The packet will be on an ongoing delivery route meaning once it’s assigned to the family, it will continue to be delivered.

Again, please do not enter in families who want a packet because they are waiting for a device/hotspot. Please do your best to have this filled out by end-of-day Friday.

Thank you

Aimee Fearing and Jenn Rose

Spreadsheet Link: https://minneapolispublicschools-my.sharepoint.com/:x:/g/personal/jennifer_rose_mpls_k12_mn_us/EWt3rs_FmyxKg_Qo5txvkIUB_aMG6CTGxBrHglqkH4AGPA?e=9siTaF

April 24, 2020

Today, Commissioner Ricker announced that the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) will be working to help teachers better connect with students by partnering with experts and launching webinars to support educators during distance learning.

Starting on Monday, April 24, 2020, MDE will be launching a series of distance learning webinars touching on topics ranging from best practices for effectively using technology in your teaching to how to better meet the needs of students receiving special education during distance learning. The full schedule of webinars and instructions on how to register is available here.

Note: You must register for each webinar. Sessions are limited to 1000, but the system will create a wait list. If you are waitlisted, MDE will provide the same webinar at a later date and time.

This Week at Virtual TPlus

Monday------------- Java with Jay----------- 8:30

Tuesday ----------- Licensed Staff Mtg---- 8:30-9:30

Wednesday------ ESP Shout Out--------- 12:00


Friday --------------- PSWE --------------------- 8:30-9:15

------------------------- Graduation Mtg ------ 9:30-10:00

------------------------- Dance Party------------- 1:30

------------------------- Bingo----------------------- 3:00

Lizzo performs "A Change Is Gonna Come" | One World: Together At Home