The Power of Connection

Week of November 16-20

Have you Done a Home Visit Lately?

In the time of COVID and distance learning, we are finding ourselves partnering with families in new ways. We are “in” their homes, families are “in” our homes, and we are adapting our ways of communicating and connecting together. And still, there are times when we know we need a new way of connecting.

Julie Westerman, a learning specialist at the mid-level for our online program, had just the moment. After growing in her need for connecting with a student, Julie reached out to the student’s team to consider how to support the family. . . . a Home Visit!

Julie visited the student’s home, wearing a mask, staying outside and maintaining social distancing. This simple act of care and compassion of going to the student's home was so significant. She chatted with the student and family and offered some immediate ways that she could support him. You know what, it was huge! Later that day, she received this email from the family:

“[H]e is living the dream to have teachers who care enough to bring cake to his door! I think it made a big difference for him to actually see someone. Thank you so much!”

Similarly, Nurse Mary Groh and Chris Jones, Physical Therapist, did a home visit for a different student recently, as well. Again, this simple connection opened up a new level of understanding of the barriers and areas for connection for the student. The team was immediately able to step in and provide some quick access points and mitigate those barriers.

In these new times, working together as a team to wrap around families is critical and calls for innovation. We are so thankful for all our incredible professionals who are leading forward, finding new ways of teaching and wrapping around students and families in meaningful ways.

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TIES | Effective SDI Within Distance Learning Environment

"While the federal government, lawyers, and advocacy organizations debate whether or not the rights and responsibilities detailed in IDEA should be fully in place during a pandemic, those of us working with school teams are trying to meet the needs of students and staff to the best of our ability. This brings up a lot of questions:

  1. What does Specially Designed Instruction (SDI) for students with disabilities, especially for students with significant cognitive disabilities, look like over distance learning?
  2. Data collection? Are people kidding here!? How would you collect data with students who require extensive support?
  3. Does this mean general and special educators should return to their respective corners and work alone again rather than collaborating and supporting inclusion?

Although TIES Center is working through these same questions and is eager to hear how others are addressing these issues, this post is the beginning of delving into this topic. Let’s start the discussion with the last question."

Check out the rest of the article on SDI in Distance Learning from the TIES Center

Workshop Wednesday

November 18 | Lexia Lexia has been a great tool so far this year for supporting growth in reading for students served by special education as well as some of our students in Circles of Support. We are excited that more staff are using this tool, and want to make sure that you have the support you need moving forward. This session will focus on the following ideas:

  • So we added a student to Lexia for SDI or Circles of Support - now what?
  • Data analysis (what trends might tell us)
  • Using Lexia as a progress monitoring tool
  • Q & A

Please join us for one of these sessions if it is applicable to you and your work. This invitation is also extended to our Circles of Support teams!

  • 2:00-3:00 Lexia Core 5 (k-5)
  • 3:00-4:00 Lexia Power Up (6-8)

December 2 | Transition Training
This will be a follow-up session from our recent phenomenal training with Kris Rita.

December 9 | Procedural Guidance Academy We will be focusing on organization and IEP through lines.