ACSA Region 8 Newsletter - June 2022

A Message from our Outgoing President - Ramis Ahrary

It has been an honor, a privilege, and a heap of fun serving as the President for our region. I am grateful for the opportunity to lead in this capacity and am forever indebted to our Executive Board's support and encouragement. Leaders connecting with each other and learning from each other has always been the 'added value' of being an ACSA member. Given the variable circumstances during the pandemic, I set to keep our spirits high and keep our membership connected virtually and in person; in spite of the challenges this year, I am proud to say that together we were able to network, learn, and encourage each other in the best way possible.

I am excited for Sheila Walters who will step in as the President for Region 8 starting July 1. I know she will do a fantastic job in leading us. Sheila will need the same collective support and encouragement to represent us as a region. Let's make sure she thrives in this endeavor.

Again, with all heart and sincerity, I am truly appreciative of being part of ACSA's leadership and being able to serve the Region 8's membership. I wish everyone a restful and fantastic summer break. May you find your peace and rejuvenate.

And from our Incoming President - Sheila Walters

I am looking forward to the year ahead as your ASCA Region 8 President! If you would like to be more active in ACSA, please contact me at sheila.walters3@gmail.com. There are just a few positions open and I welcome candidates to serve! Charters- if you have a new Charter President, please contact me so they can be invited to our Retreat.

Executive Board Members, Council and Committee Representatives and Charter Presidents- Please reserve Friday, July 29th from about 8:00am - 3:00pm for our Region 8 Retreat. A RSVP and more details will follow in the next two weeks.

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Awards Committee - Co-Chairs Alyssa Lynch and Lena Bundtzen

Thank you to everyone that attended the R8 Awards celebration for our talented and outstanding awardees and ESS students. The event was filled with recognition, celebration, music, laughter and dancing. We hope it was a night that will be remembered for many years. We look forward to honoring Trudy Gross and Lena Bundtzen our state awardees at the ACSA Leadership Summit in San Diego in November.

Enjoy the pictures in the photo gallery below and download to purchase your favorite pictures!

2022 Region 8 ACSA Awards Recognition Dinner photo gallery It is never too early to think of colleagues to nominate for their outstanding leadership in the Fall. The nomination platform opens in August. Thank you to the army of people that made the event successful. -- Alyssa and Lena, ACSA Awards-Co-chairs

Student Services and Special Education Council - Trudy Gross

The April 22 meeting began with researchers from WestEd collecting feedback from attendees on the most challenging aspects of implementing inclusion programs for children with disabilities. The feedback centered on all students being seen as part of the general education environment and then determining how best to support the students as well as how to meet the professional development needs for both special and general education teachers.

Legislative updates from ACSA: The focus of advocacy in this budget cycle is on having the Governor/legislature support existing programs, not propose new programs. The Governor has stated that he does not plan for Independent Study parameters to return to the pre-pandemic structure. Concerns remain particularly in connection to students with disabilities. ACSA and other state-wide organizations are advocating for further flexibility. A member from Government Relations spoke with the group about and solicited feedback on Assembly Bill 1797 CAIR 2 (CA Immunization Registry). It grants school districts, in cases of a public health emergency, the ability to look up vaccination records, including the individuals’ ethnicity, and require healthcare providers to provide information to CAIR. A number of council members shared input in support of this bill based on current use of CAIR for all vaccination records, in particular that knowing COVID-19 vaccination status dramatically decreases steps in the contact tracing process.

In the 2022-23 school year the council will meet on Friday, September 16 and Friday, April 21 at the ACSA office in Sacramento from 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. and on Tuesday, January 10 in Palm Desert, prior to the Every Child Counts Symposium.

I am ending my three-year term on this council. I am very thankful for the opportunity and am happy to pass the baton to Shelly Ota, Director of the South East Consortium Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA).

Ivan Montes, President of the Alum Rock Charter shares how they finished the year with a bang.

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Closing thought courtesy of Ralph Waldo Emerson:

Finish each day and be done with it.

You have done what you could.

Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in;

Forget them as soon as you can.

Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well, with serenity,

And with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.