GCISD Special Notes

February 2016 Vol. 2 Issue 2

In District Training Opportunities

(Date -TBD) Goal and Objective Writing for Students in Life

Skills Setting 4:00-5:00 p.m., PDEC, Celebration Room

(Date - TBD) Data Collection for the Special Educator

4:00-5:00 p.m., PDEC, Celebration Room

Feb. 24 STAAR ALT2 CTC and Teacher/Para Training 4:00-5:30 PDEC/Mustang - Amy Dill

Feb. 25 Para Training 4:00-5:00 Bronco Bowl

March 1 CPI Refresher Training 4:00-7:00 p.m., PDEC, Mustang Corral

Registration for all trainings listed above is now open in Eduphoria,

Special Reminder for Related Services

This is just a reminder that next Tuesday during our Related Services meeting/luncheon, Amy Dill will be conducting STAAR Security training for our group. Amy is going to join us for lunch then begin the training. Our meeting agenda will follow the training. If you are unable to attend, you will need to participate in the training on a campus.

Have a great day!


Volunteers Needed for SHOOTOUT

Monday, February 22nd GHS

If you are able to help in either admissions or concession stand please Contact Gabi Kanterman. Times are available from 5:45 through approx. 9:00 p.m.

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Sign Language Class Offered


Thursday evenings beginning February 25 for 8 weeks

1 evening per week

6:30 to 8:00 pm

Porter Elementary School Library

2750 Prestondale Drive

Hurst 76054

COST: $25 Per Person or $40 Per Family

**Parents in Deaf Ed Free

(cash/checks to Birdville Special Education -due at first class)

$30 for optional sign language book available in class

To register: email Marysue.blackwell@birdvilleschools.net

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Thanks for the FOCUS!

(reprinted from a Feb 11. email)

Just want to give you guys a big 'ol electronic hug! Thank you for volunteering at our FOCUS night on Tuesday. We had another great turn out and I'm hearing from parents how much their kids are enjoying themselves! (Not to mention the parents get some good info as well!) In case you are interested in the impact we are making here are the numbers:

Parents: 22

Game Night: 13 kids

SPARKLE/Childcare: 7 kids

Sibshop: 12 kids

The numbers went down a bit but I'm convinced it's due to sickness (I had a least 3 families cancel that day b/c of sick kiddos).

Again....we absolutely could not pull this off with you all! Your heart for these kiddos is evident and your time is well spent! Thank you!

Amy Bryan

Region 11 Workshops of Note

Differentiated Instruction - Technology - 010688

Effective integration of technology is crucial for 21st Century Learning. In this session, participants will focus on planning for learning and not technology. Presenters will model how to use data to make decisions about technology integration and differentiating with technology to meet the needs of a diverse student population.

01930303/08/2016 09:00am - 04:00pmESC Region 11


NTACT Webinar Series

NTACT’s Webinar Series in 2016 will continue to address five areas: (a) rigorous academic preparation; (b) career-related curricula; (c) quality secondary transition planning and services; (d) strategies to reduce dropout and increase graduation for students with disabilities; and (e) data-driven decision making. Each one will be hosted by NTACT on a Thursday (once each month) from 2:00 – 3:00 PM (Eastern). Additionally, an “Ask the Expert” webinar on a specific aspect of the topic presented in the monthly webinar will be presented one week later(usually), followed by two weeks of facilitated online discussion with the Ask the Expert webinar presenter. See below for a sample of scheduled topics through August, 2016:

Go to http://www.transitionta.org/ for more opportunities

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Miss Sweetheart Pageant to be held in April

The North Texas 2016 Miss Sweetheart Special Needs Pageant is set for April 16 at Hillside Community Church in Keller, TX. Request an entry form at rhonda.mssnpageant@yahoo.com . They are only taking the first 50 applicants.

Augmentative and Alternative Communication and the Autism Spectrum/FA1122637

Autism 10: Top Ten Pieces to the Puzzle/FA1019638

Autism for the General Education Teacher/FA1019900

Classroom Organization: The Power of Structure for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders/FA1019640

Communication: The Power of Communication for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders/FA1019641

Futures Planning for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders/FA1020214

Navigating the Social Maze: Supports & Interventions for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders/FA1019642

Solving the Behavior Puzzle: Making Connections for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders/FA1019644

Solving the Behavior Puzzle: Making Connections for Individuals with AutismSpectrum Disorders/FA917423

Region 20 Offers Many Online Training Opportunities (You will need to create an account then search online courses/Special Education)

What’s going on for special needs families... below is a copy of the calendar previously sent from Amy Bryan via email on

FREE Activities

 A Night To Shine: Special Needs Prom Night 2/12/16
Friday, February 12 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Sponsored by the Tim Tebow Foundation

Alsbury Baptist Church

500 NE Alsbury Blvd, Burleson, TX 76028G

Guests will be given the true VIP treatment including a red carpet entrance complete with paparazzi, photography, hair and makeup, flowers, food, dancing, games and more. Designed foranyone ages 16 and older with developmental and/or physical impairments. Each participant will bepaired with a buddy. If a participant has severe medical and/or aggressive behavioral issues, we askthat a chaperone or caregiver remain onsite during the event.

Registration: http://bit.ly/1OOrfna

Parents Supporting Parents Support Group 2/23/16

Fourth Tuesday of each month 7:00 -8:00 pm

Compass Church, Colleyville Compass Center Conference Room B

Meet parents in your community that share the same interest in raising children with special needs.

Questions and RSVP to Brandi Gilbreath at brandigilbreath@att.net or 817-896-3378

We Have A Voice 2016

1300 Gendy Street Fort Worth, TX 76107

We Have A Voice is looking for young adults with IDD to participate in speaking for themselves through theatrical performance. Previously advocates have produced original work through a series of questions speaking directly to the community about their hopes, dreams and concerns. Through music and spoken word ,non-professional actors create change in individuals and society by “holding up a mirror” to real life concerns. Weekly classes will be held.

Blake Jung 817-773-4300 advocacytheater@gmail.com

Miracle League of Southlake

Opening Day March 26.

To register go to www.miracleleagueofsouthlake.com

Or if you have questions contact craig@miracleleagueofsouthlake.com

For informational purposes only. GCISD does not endorse any of these programs.

Activities with a FEE:

 FEAT: Social Tween Group

Saturday, February 6 6:30 – 8:30 pm

FEAT-NT Resource Center 7286 Glenview Drive Richland Hills, TX 76180

Grades 3rd– 8

Social group for children with Asperger’s or Moderate to High functioning Autism. This group will provide an opportunity for children/tweens on the spectrum to come together for a social opportunity in a safe autism

friendly environment to practice their social skills.

Please RSVP at Featnt.org/upcoming events

A Year With Frog and Toad

Saturday, February 20 1:30 pm

Rosewood Center

5938 Skillman Dallas, TX 75231

Sensory Friendly performance where Frog and Toad as they weather the seasons and celebrate the differences that make them special. General info: 214-978-0110 Box Office: 214-740-0051

FREE Workshops

A Look Ahead Conference

Saturday, February 13, 2016 9:00 am – 2:30 pm

First United Methodist Church Arlington

Topics: Addressing Mental Health Needs of Individuals with IDD, Financial Planning, Housing, Life After 22, Person-Centered Planning, Self-Determination, Supporting Employment for Youth with Disabilities, Transition Planning.

Registration: Eventbrite.com and search “A Look Ahead”.

Texas Autism Supplement

Thursday, February 25 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm

Bedford Public Library

2424 Forest Ridge Dr.

Bedford, TX 76021

This workshop will introduce the eleven strategies that must be considered for educational programming for students with autism in Texas public schools. Participants will be provided with tools & tables for individualized development of these eleven strategies.

RSVP required: shannon@partnerstx.org or 817-988-7717

For informational purposes only. GCISD does not endorse any of these programs.

Mindset The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck

This is an outstanding book and has been the subject of several district book studies. These ideas can be especially meaningful to those of us who works with special needs populations. If you would like to join a book study sponsored by the GCISD Special Education Dept. please email your interest to sarah.hodge@gcisd.net. The study will be centered around the applications of Dweck's theories in the classroom. Meetings will be held at the PDEC and are open to any GCISD employee. (Please note: the first 5 people to register by contacting Sarah will receive a free copy of the book.)
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Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new. - Albert Einstein