Special Programs & Services News

March 2021

Message from the Team:

I continue to be proud of the heart our staff has in serving each of our students. To see students engaged in meaningful learning experiences, achieving goals and excited about learning...it’s why we are here! We are thankful for the continued support we receive from our families and community. To continue our efforts in supporting students, we value the partnership we have with the Leander Educational Excellence Foundation. This week LEEF awarded many Special Programs teams with grants to fund classroom supplies, resources and initiatives. To share a few, pictured left, the Danielson MS SCSS team received a grant to add sensory materials to their classrooms and below our SRP team at Parkside received a grant for new books. Also, our 18+ services received a grant for their culinary programming. Take a look at the highlight video to learn more! Thank you LEEF!


Happy March,

Kimberly Waltmon

Executive Director, Special Programs & Services

Parkside ES staff and their grant from LEEF

March Parent Education Nights

Special Programs & Services have upcoming Parent Education Nights for the month of March! Come learn with us! Please check your Remind accounts for invitations and RSVPs.


March 4th - Autism Parent Support Group

March 9th - Parent Education Night - ARD Process Part 3: Transition Planning

March 10th - Transition to Adulthood - Texas Workforce Solutions *Rescheduled date

March 11th - AAC Family Chat

March 24th - Autism Parent Education Course - Future’s Planning

March 30th - Parent Education Night - Coping with Changes *Rescheduled date


Destination Life Transition Fair

The Destination Life Regional Transition Fair and Conference is happening Saturday March 6th! This year it will be completely online from 9am to 1:30pm. Destination Life is made possible by special educators from Leander ISD and surrounding school districts. This event showcases multiple vendors, agencies, and programs that assists students with disabilities and their families with the transition from school into adulthood. These organizations will be available to talk about job training, living options, post-secondary education, and other resources for students with disabilities. There will be information that is beneficial from early childhood to life after high school. You can click here to learn more about the Destination Life Regional Transition Fair and Conference.

COPIA

A core team of Special Programs staff has been leading the exciting work of creating a professional learning series for both general and special education teachers focused on inclusive practices and effective co-teaching. Connections will be made throughout the course with our current staff book study, “Your Students, My Students, Our Students: Rethinking Equitable and Inclusive Classrooms”, as well as best practices in Co-Teaching and Universal Design for Learning (UDL). A standalone UDL introductory module will be launched with Special Programs staff in March with the full six-session series slated for May completion and inaugural cohort launch beginning in the 2021-22 school year.

Think College

Think College is a great resource that gathers information about all of the college experiences available across the United States for people with intellectual disabilities. Think College is dedicated to developing, expanding, and improving inclusive higher education options for people with intellectual disabilities. They have tons of resources to assist your family in planning and finding the right college for your student. Please visit the Think College website to browse their resource library, see upcoming events, and connect with other families on the path to college.

Self Determination

March’s Self Determination skill is Knowledge of Self. Knowledge of Self is a person knowing about him or herself and applying that awareness to make effective choices. Students can practice this skill by identifying accommodations needed to be successful, accepting their challenges, utilizing strengths, and identifying how their disability affects their life. To learn more about this month's Self Determination focus or to explore prior Self-Determination skills, visit the Special Programs website.

2021 Recreation Guide

The 2021 Recreation and Camp Guide for students with special needs has been released! You can view the complete listing here. Please contact programs directly with any questions you may have.

Important Notes

Texas Educational Diagnosticians Week is March 1st- 5th ! We send a big shout out to our team of diagnosticians! We appreciate all that you do to support our students and families.
March 21st marks Rock Your Socks Day! Rock Your Socks Day is better known as World Down Syndrome Day. March 21st was selected as World Down Syndrome Day to signify the uniqueness of the triplication of the 21st chromosome which leads to Down Syndrome. We wear socks on this day because the appearance of the triplicated 21st chromosome resembles a pair of mismatched socks. This March 21st, we encourage you and your families to join the world in wearing our wildest socks to support and help spread awareness of Down Syndrome.