Special Education Parent Newsletter
A Message From The Director
My name is Nadine Hogan and I am proud to serve as the Director of Special Services for Dripping Springs ISD. I have been serving as Director since February 2021 and I am so excited about what is happening in Dripping Springs. And I am looking forward to continuous improvement, especially for our students who have special needs. We are so thrilled to provide you with our first Special Education Parent Newsletter! These newsletters will be monthly, in order to provide you with timely and meaningful information, as a parent/guardian of a child with special needs.
I wanted to take this time to share the goals that we, as a department, have established in order to improve supports for our students and families. These goals were established after close inspection of our current practices and determining the needs across the district. We will continue to address these goals until we are successful in supporting these district needs.
- Increase professional development in the area of special education for all teachers, paraprofessionals, and staff members
- Ensure that special education teachers have appropriate resources to support students and that those resources are aligned across the district
- Analyze and monitor teacher caseloads to maintain reasonable workloads and ensure equitable supports on each campus
- Develop a Special Education Parent Leadership Committee to allow us to partner with parents to improve services & supports as well as provide outlets to increase parent information and knowledge about our special education services
As I said earlier, I am so excited about the opportunities for improvement and I can't wait to report back on all of our success in Dripping Springs.
Special Education Parent Leadership Council Updates
As you may be aware, this year we started our first Special Education Parent Leadership Council (SE PLC). This group was open to all parents/guardians of students in Dripping Springs ISD that receive special education services and supports who were interested in serving on the committee. We had approximately 24 parents express interest. Our first meeting was a great success, with 15 parents attending. We have selected some parents to serve as committee leaders and help us to move the work forward. While the meetings are for those that expressed an interest, we will have some open meetings in the future. Stay tuned for more information about future meetings.
The purpose of this group is to provide parents/guardians with a place to connect with other families, provide structured opportunities to provide information to parents/guardians by providing training and information nights, share ideas on how to bring awareness to the community, as well as discuss ways that we can better support our students and families.
This group has been meeting during the Fall semester and was able to develop the Mission and Vision Statements. We are still in the developmental stages of building this committee and we will share updates and information in our upcoming newsletters.
SE PLC Vision Statement
Create a community that maximizes outcomes for students who are in need of special services.
SE PLC Mission Statement
Through positive collaboration, our work will lead to knowledge, empowerment, and support which will create a more inclusive community for our students, parents, teachers, peers, and community.
PARENT INFORMATION AND RESOURCES
We all know that there is a plethora of information out there on the internet. Here you will find information and resources that have been vetted by our team to ensure you have the most accurate and up-to-date information.
Supplemental Special Education Services
Did you know that TEA has released and extended the timeframe for the Supplemental Special Education Services grant?
Supplemental Special Education Services (SSES) is a $1,500 one-time online grant for eligible parents/caregivers of eligible students served by special education that have been impacted by COVID-19 school closures.
Families of eligible students can use the online accounts to obtain educational materials and resources and/or services such as additional speech therapy or other specific services.
For more information, click the button below.
Assistive Technology Parent Resource
Assistive technology (AT) is any device, software, or equipment that helps people with disabilities learn, communicate, or function better. AT can be as high-tech as a computer. Or as low-tech as a walking stick.
Here are more examples of AT:
An app that reads text aloud
A keyboard for typing
Students who struggle with learning can use AT to help with subjects like reading, writing, and math. AT can also help kids and adults with the tasks of daily life. And many workers use these tools on the job.
DSISD is lucky to have an Assistive Technology Specialist, Kellie Martini, to support our teachers and students in making learning accessible. Kellie works hard to stay abreast of available technology specific to the needs of people with disabilities, as well as brainstorm and collaborate with the educational experience designers (aka--teachers) to construct accessible, engaging, empowering experiences for ALL students.
Below, you will find the DSISD AT Resources website for students and families. This is a great resource so be sure to check it out!
FREE Assistive Technology Training
The Inclusion in Texas Network is pleased to announce the partnership with the Assistive Technology Industry Association to offer UNLIMITED access to ATIA online courses for all education, support staff, and parents serving students across Texas.
These online education programs include live and recorded versions by national experts on a variety of topics across the spectrum of the assistive technology industry sectors. Online courses are 60 and 90 minutes in length. Complimentary CEUs are available for the completion of these programs.
Click HERE for more information.