Special Programs & Services News

February 2022

Message from the Team:

In the Fall of 2020, our team received recommendations from our community outlined in the COPIA consulting report. As a continuous improvement district we got right to work on implementing all 7 recommendations outlined. In response we launched teams of parents, students and staff to provide actions for improvement. Improved and transparent communication was one of the top priorities from these teams. In last month’s newsletter I shared our department vision video that was a direct result of the work of these recommendation teams. We are proud to share 3 new documents with you as we continue to provide resources and clear communication to our community.

Special Programs Service Descriptions

SPED Roles and Responsibilities

Special Programs Commonly Asked Questions

We encourage you to bookmark these documents as a reference for you as we partner together to provide the best support possible for your child.

Kimberly Waltmon

Executive Director of Special Programs and Services

In This Issue

The February Newsletter contains information about Parent Education Events, Self- Determination, American Heart Month, At-Home Activities, Project Search and Important Notes.

Mark Your Calendars!

Be sure to save the dates for our upcoming meetings! We will send out weekly reminders in our Special Programs Remind classes.
  • Thursday, Feb. 10th -Transition to Adulthood
  • Wednesday, Feb. 16th - Navigating Special Programs
  • Tuesday, Feb. 22nd - Autism Family Support Group
  • Wednesday, Feb. 23rd - Autism Parent Training
  • Wednesday, Mar. 2nd - AAC Family Chat
  • Friday, Mar. 4th - Coffee Chat

Healthy Hearts

February is American Heart Month! An easy way to a healthy heart is getting up and moving around! Check out some simple exercises that our Adapted PE team has put together!

  • Work Your Heart - Roll a dice and complete the corresponding exercise

  • 1 2 3 Workout - This is an activity for the whole family! Everyone should pick one of the numbered hearts. After choosing your heart, click on it and it will take you to a corresponding exercise. Each exercise is 30 seconds. This is a fun way to shuffle your exercise routines.
  • 25 Ways to Get Moving - Fun dances, games, and exercises to get your family moving.

Valentine's Activities

Our Occupational and Physical Therapists have shared some at home activities that you can do with your child to improve their various motor skills! These activities help promote: fine motor strength, thumb opposition, pincer grasp, finger isolation, eye-hand coordination, hand arches, bilateral coordination, and in-hand manipulation. Downloadable versions of these worksheets are located at the bottom of this newsletter for you to print at home.

Self-Determination Skill of the Month

Choice making is defined as making a selection between two or more options. Choice making gives students an opportunity to share input and weigh their options. Practice in making simple choices such as between two activities, or food items can help promote student voice and provide feelings of purposefulness. View the poster of the month to learn how you can incorporate choice making in your home. You can also visit our Self-Determination page for more information.

Project SEARCH

Project SEARCH at Ascension Seton Northwest is a one year school-to-work internship which emphasizes vocational development, personal growth & independence for young adults with intellectual disabilities. Through a collaborative business model and best practice in workforce design, Project SEARCH at Ascension Seton Northwest offers participating interns from Leander ISD the opportunity to develop job skills in different areas of a hospital. Some examples of the rotations within the hospital are as follows: Materials Management, Surgical Services, Nutrition Services, Maternity, and Environmental support. At a critically pivotal time in their lives, interns acquire the essential skills necessary to bridge the gap from school into competitive employment. Since 2007, Project SEARCH at Ascension Seton has graduated over 300 young adults with an employment outcome of 91%. Applications for the 2022-2023 Project SEARCH internship will be open beginning February 1, 2022. For more information and details on applying, please contact Kimberly Greer at kimberly.greer@leanderisd.org.

Meet Our Homebound Team

Our homebound team serves students who are confined to the home or hospital. They work closely with families to ensure that students continue learning while dealing with challenging health issues. Our team has built strong partnerships with families and campuses to ensure student needs are met. They also assist students in transitioning from homebound services back to in person learning. Our team serves students from Kindergarten through Twelfth grade. To learn more about homebound services visit our webpage .

Important Notes

Leander Lazer's Spirit Night

Come out and support our Special Olympics Team The Leander Lazers, during Spirit Night on February 10th from 5-8pm! They will be at the Bush's Chicken located at 551 W Whitestone Blvd. Cedar Park, TX 78612.

Destination...Life Transition Fair & Conference

The Destination…Life Regional Transition Fair and Conference helps Central Texas families prepare and support their student(s) with disabilities for life beyond high school. Families can expect to gather information and gain access to experts on how to help their student(s) with disabilities ranging from early childhood through high school to successfully transition to adulthood. This year the event will be held virtually on Saturday March 5th, 2022 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Supplemental Special Education Services Grant

We wanted to let you and your family know of an exciting opportunity for you. The Texas Education Agency (TEA) has created a program called Supplemental Special Education Services (SSES). This program is designed to help families throughout the COVID pandemic. Students who are currently enrolled in a Texas public school and who are served by special education qualify. We have determined that your student/family will likely qualify for the SSES Program.

SSES provides $1,500 per eligible student. If awarded an account, families of eligible students can use these on-line accounts to obtain special educational materials and resources, such as: tutoring for all subjects , educationally related services (such as occupational therapy (OT), physical therapy (PT), speech services, applied behavior analysis (ABA)), textbooks, curriculum or other instructional materials, computer hardware, software, or other technological devices that are used for educational needs.

This is a first-come first-served one-time $1,500 grant and spaces are limited, apply today. If you have already applied or received an SSES grant, you will not be able to apply again.