Together We Can
October 17, 2022
The school year is in full swing and I am enjoying being out in our school buildings watching all of the learning, teaching, and exploring that is going on. Our GPS students are amazing!
October is National Bullying Prevention Month. Thank you to the GPS PTAC for hosting the workshop, "Bullying: A Parent's Guide to Understanding and Preventing It." The link to the presentation is below. Dr. Boie also compiled a list of books for different ages that address bullying and can be used to start a conversation or build skills.
Stacey Heiligenthaler, Ph.D.
Chief Officer of Special Education and Student Supports
Meet Our Preschool Intake Team
Ms. Beth Forger has brought compassion, expertise, and a deep love of young learners to the preschool team for 31 of her 33 years working at Greenwich Public Schools. She holds a dual certification in general education and special education as well as a master's in early childhood special education. In her current role as a special education instructional coach, Ms. Forger provides ongoing support and collaborative planning to each classroom team. Using the Connecticut Early Learning Standards, positive behavioral supports, specialized instruction, IEP development, and differentiation for all students, she ensures that all learners are getting the supports they need to be successful. Ms. Forger also supports families throughout Greenwich as a parent educator in both public and private preschools. She hosts monthly parent chat workshops and discussions, offering resources and strategies to encourage peaceful parenting at home. Her expertise in early childhood is evident in her work with teachers, families, and especially our youngest learners.
Ms. Lori Costa, a speech language pathologist, has been a member of Greenwich Public Schools preschool community for the past 15 years. Ms. Costa is passionate about supporting the District’s youngest learners as she has dedicated her career to the birth-to-five population. She began her work in the preschool program, providing speech/language intervention for students, clinic based and within the integrated preschool classrooms. In her current capacity as intake and birth-to-three coordinator for the preschool intake team, Ms. Costa supports, collaborates, and consults with incoming families, birth-to-three team members, community preschools and GPS’s own classroom teachers and staff. Ms. Costa’s voice is the first a parent hears when referred to the school district and she prides herself on operating with grace and empathy for all students, parents, and staff. As such, Ms. Costa ensures that children remain the priority of the special education referral process. She holds a master's degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders and state licenses in New York and Connecticut.
Ms. Sabrina Motta joined the preschool team in September 2016. Ms. Motta holds a master's in Speech-Language Pathology and feels a great passion and love for the work she does with the students and families. Ms. Motta works to build capacity with the professional assistants within Greenwich Public Schools and with the community preschools in Greenwich. She also collaborates with the Family Centers classrooms. This work is guided by the Connecticut Early Learning and Development Standards, typical speech-language development, and Powerful Interactions. Ms. Motta also spearheaded the GPS Listening Community. The Listening Community was created for parents of children with special needs and is a place for parents to connect and support other parents.
What We Are Seeing 👀 Around the Schools
National Bullying Prevention Month
October is Bullying Prevention Month. Greenwich Public Schools is committed to teaching students how to be assertive and stand up against bullying. Through role play, Dr. Alina Boie is teaching first grade students at North Street School how to stand up for themselves and others if someone is being mean.
Reading at Glenville School
Workshops and Resources
PTAC Bullying Presentation
PTAC hosted a bullying presentation by Dr. Fabian Boie. You can access the recording and presentation slides on the GPS website.
Please Join Our Fall 2022 Listening Community
The Listening Community is a safe space where parents of children receiving special education support can come together, feel heard and connect with others. Staff will guide parents through the process of exploring mindfulness, self compassion and reflection, with relation to the many emotions associated with parenting.
Meetings will be held at Greenwich Town Hall in the Hayton Conference Room, 3rd floor.
Wednesday mornings 10:00 AM- 11:00 AM (Oct. 19, Oct. 26, Nov. 2).
For those parents that would prefer to participate virtually, below is the link for the 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM meeting:
Listening Community link
Google Meet joining info
Video call link: https://meet.google.com/bsc-jneo-tby
Or dial: (US) +1 570-415-1046 PIN: 950 110 805#
More phone numbers: https://tel.meet/bsc-jneo-tby?pin=9474928562361
Meetings will also be held at Julian Curtis school Wednesday afternoons 1:30 PM- 2:30 PM.
Given the limited number of evening participants, we will not host evening meetings at this time; however, if you are interested in being part of an evening session, please reach out to any of the Listening Community facilitators. We would be happy to coordinate our schedules to accommodate your request.
CT SEDS for IEP and 504's
IEP and 504 documents now have a different look. The new CT-SEDS system is now being used for all IEPs and 504s. The SESS Department has put together resources to families as we work in the new system. Please pay special attention to the Parent Portal as it is a new way IEP and 504 documents can be viewed and signed.