Special Education Department Update

January 2023

Happy New Year

Happy 2023 families! On behalf of the Special Education Department, we would like to wish you all a wonderful new year and we look forward to another great year!
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January 12th 6:30-8:00pm

The Ohio Coalition for the Education of Children with Disabilities is collaborating with the Ohio Department of Education, Office for Exceptional Children to revise The Guide to Parents Rights: (parent notice).We are looking for parent participation; we would like to invite any families who have children with disabilities to participate in an open forum discussion to give feedback on the revisions to the parent notice. The forum will take place via Zoom. If you are not a parent of a child with a disability, Forum feedback opportunities will be available to professionals throughout Ohio soon.

Click the link below to register,


Kindergarten Registration Day 2023-2024

Kindergarten registration is here, please attend our information day on Saturday, January 21st at 12:00pm. See flyer below for more information.
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Inside Ms Dillon's Classroom

Hello AEA Families! My name is Jennifer Dillon and I am the Intervention Specialist at the Lakewood Campus. This is my first year here at Albert Einstein Academy and year twenty-something as a teacher. I will admit that I was nervous to start this new school year but it has been one of my favorite adventures! The Lakewood parents gave me a warm welcome, immediately making me feel at home. Being a part of a smaller learning environment and working intimately with this team of teachers makes coming to work feel more like an opportunity than anything else. The best part of my job is being able to really get to know all of our students and their unique qualities. After school, my new favorite Friday pastime is trying all of the little restaurants in the area and exploring the privately owned shops around town with my daughter.

As we all know, this has been an incredible year of change here in Lakewood. I am amazed by how much our students have grown! They are learning how to work together as a school family which teaches the importance of love, respect, kindness, and compassion. They understand that it is their job to recognize and respect that we all think and learn differently. It is my job as their teacher to help them grow as a learner and a person of good character.

Next month, we will begin reading the curious incident of the dog in the night-time by Mark Haddon. The presentation of this book speaks to the Autistic brain by the way the title is not capitalized and how the chapters start in the middle of the pages, only using prime numbers. I am looking forward to exploring the various themes throughout the book and of course, hearing their perspective. They always manage to exceed expectations!

Want to know a little about me? I grew up in Lorain and attended Lorain Catholic High School before it merged with Elyria Catholic. As a child, I loved living on the lake and walking to Lakeview Beach. I even met my husband while working as a waitress on the lake at a restaurant called The Jackalope. After graduation, I attended Bowling Green State University. From a young age, it was clear to me that I was going to become a teacher. After receiving my degree in Special Education, I moved back home, built a house in North Ridgeville and started teaching for Elyria City Schools. In between raising my two daughters, coaching volleyball and leading the Girl Scouts, I received my Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Cleveland State University. Raising student achievement and building relationships have always been my focus throughout the course of my studies. In 2017, I took some time off work to focus on my daughters after my husband passed away. Keira is now a freshman at Ohio University and Katherine is finishing up her senior year of high school at St. Joseph Academy. When I’m not at school, I enjoy listening to podcasts while organizing my house with the latest TiK Tok trends. I just finished The Office Ladies and started Be the Exception. Every so often, I attempt to use the Peloton without hurting myself but I prefer just to go on walks with my dog, Penelope.

A few great memories so far:

Special Olympics - 7th Grade in North Olmsted

This Friday will be North Olmsted's 7th grade class first event, we wish them luck and can not wait to share photos next month. Huge shout out to all the parents who are volunteering to make this possible, we really appreciate all of you!

Families of Students with Disabilities - Resources

Charting the LifeCourse Ambassador training Opportunity

The Office for Exceptional Children is now accepting applications from Parent Mentors, State Support Team consultants and Ohio educators to participate in a training series and community of practice on Charting the LifeCourse (known as CtLC). The attached application information details the requirements and expectations for participation. Interested individuals should carefully consider the application materials, which include a required letter of support that must be received for the application to be reviewed by the team. Applications are due by January 31, 2023. Any questions may be directed to Sarah.Brooks@education.ohio.gov or Lyndsay.Havey@education.ohio.gov.

Charting the LifeCourse Ambassador Initiative Application

OCALI Family and Community Outreach Center

The Family and Community Outreach Center equips and empowers families with knowledge, information, and resources. We believe that families are an important asset in the equation of ensuring people with disabilities have the opportunity to live their best lives. We strive to build families’ confidence and encourage a vision for the possibilities and opportunities for their whole family. To do this, we offer online tools, connect families to information and resources, and raise awareness and acceptance within the community.