Together We Can

February 28, 2022

Big picture

Where did February go? It is hard to believe that March 1 is tomorrow and spring is just 20 days away!

Now is the time that we begin planning for the next school year and students start to get excited about moving up to the elementary, middle, or high school level. To support this transition, or "bridging," the Office of Special Education & Student Supports has started to hold meetings for families to share information about the process. Last week, there was a presentation for preschoolers moving into kindergarten and this week, there will be two presentations about moving from fifth to sixth grade and eighth to ninth grade. The links to the upcoming meetings as well as the recording for the preschool presentation are below in the resources section. I look forward to working together and supporting you as we begin this process.


Stacey Heiligenthaler, Ph.D.

Interim Chief Officer of Special Education and Student Supports

What We Are Seeing đź‘€ Around the Schools

Speech & Language at Old Greenwich

Speech and Language Specialist Tonia Lackran, M.S CCC-SLP, and her students work on retelling a story using the Story Grammar Marker. Students listen to the story, Catching the Moon and then answer questions using their visual graphic organizers. The activity was highly successful. Students were provided multiple means of representation, action, and engagement.

Winter Wonder Mobiles at North Street Preschool

Ms. Weiss’s preschool class created winter wonder mobiles. The students' creations built their own understanding of the STEM concept of the states of matter. Exploring ice offered a way to explore the five senses. Ice play also naturally surfaced chances to add words for vocabulary building like freezing and melting to descriptors like slippery, cool and slick. The students collected sticks, leaves, acorns, and string to place in trays with water to freeze for window decorations outside. Unlike so many experiences in the digital age, this one requires waiting, helping kids develop patience.

Spanish Class at Parkway

Students in Spanish class test their knowledge of Spanish words and phrases using an interactive game on tablets, which connects to the smart board.

Movement Break Time!

Students in second grade work diligently on the LinkIt assessment during testing week and then take a dance break to get the wiggles out

New Lebanon Preschool Dramatic Play

For the last month, the dramatic play center has been a variation from Ms. Katie Jarvi’s classroom at New Lebanon.

This center has proved quite popular and has also allowed for a lot of social emotional practice. Students have used five-minute sand timers and turn-taking in the center, and the Second Step Listening Skills used in whole group meetings appear in the center as well.

Welcome Ms. Gizzo

Ms. Gabriella Gizzo is our new speech and language pathologist working at Old Greenwich School Preschool. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Speech Language Pathology/Audiology from Loyola University Maryland and Masters of Science in Speech Language Pathology from Adelphi University. She has a passion for working with our youngest learners.

Welcome Gabriella!

Learning to Read at ISD

First-graders at International School at Dundee are learning that words have endings called suffixes. Mr. Matejek checks in with students during their Fundations lesson on word endings. The student shares his independent book and where he sees suffixes in words.

Workshops and Resources

Attention Grade 5 and Grade 8 Parents

The Office of Special Education and Student Supports will be hosting a parent evening to discuss the process for students transitioning from fifth to sixth grade and eighth to ninth grade. Special Education staff and parents will share information about the transition process and steps that parents can do to assist their child.

Eighth-Ninth Grade Transition

March 3 at 6:30 PM

Fifth-Sixth Grade Transition

March 1 at 6:30 PM

Incoming Kindergarten Parents

A recording of the meeting about the “bridging” process for children requiring individual educational plans who will be of age to transition to kindergarten in the Fall of 2022 can be viewed online. The purpose of the meeting was to inform parents of the process and procedures that both the preschool and elementary school staff have in place to support this transition.

Big picture
Big picture
Big picture
Big picture

The Office of Special Education and Student Supports

Please share our newsletter with your friends and families. Anyone can easily subscribe by opening the newsletter through its link and hitting the "Follow" on the right.