Transition Plus

Distance Learning! ----September 14, 2020

To the Best staff at MPS-

Thank you for all you do! If you haven't seen this video from last week - check it out! You are appreciated.

Seeing our students smiling this week was incredible. Thank you to each of you who helps our students find the joy in learning.

As we enter into week 2 if there are students disengaged in learning reach out to Daphne or myself and let's brainstorm on how to get them re-engaged in learning.

If you have not uploaded your schedule to the TPlus website please do so. I have had senior leadership asking to be sure all teachers have their schedules uploaded.

You are awesome! I care about you! I love you! Have a great week!

This Week in BIPOC History

Here it is for you to share with your students so we start changing history by sharing multiple perspectives of history.

School Counseling Updates

Here we go! I know that I am not alone in the anxiety and anticipation I am feeling about the beginning of this school year. You all have been working so hard this week and it is such a privilege to work with such a committed group of educators and friends. Thank you for your positivity, thoughtfulness, and innovation!

  • In addition to email, I will also be available by Google Meets during the first week of school for anyone (student or teacher) to log on and alter schedules, schedule new students, or problem-solve in any other way. The code for this ongoing meet will be TPlus Counselor. I will have the link available between the hours of 9:00am-12:00pm, 1:00pm-3:00pm.

  • Here is the link for the SY21 Distance Learning Schedule for Quarter 1. .

  • Here is the link for the Course Selection sheet to share with students and families.

  • Here is the link for the scheduling request Google form. Please complete this form if you have new or unscheduled students. If you have schedule changes, please email me directly at

  • Here is the link for the SY21 Course Guide. This document contains course descriptions for all of our TPlus courses, including many that are not currently offered during distance learning.

  • If you have questions or issues regarding Gradebook, please contact me before you submit an e-ticket to IT. Typically they are issues I can resolve myself.

A Note from the TPlus Social Work Team:

Please check out our new TPlus Virtual Calm Room for students, staff, and families.

It is a designated supportive environment to assist in proactive self-regulation by offering opportunities for coping and relaxation. Participants can experience calming visual, auditory, and tactile stimuli, as well as both mindfulness and de-stressing activities.

T-Plus Calming Room - Link it in your Google Classroom or Seasaw Room

Work Based Learning for Fall, 2020

Hi everyone,

We want to provide some information about what to expect regarding Work Based Learning at Transition Plus as we start the year on a virtual basis. Please keep in mind that we are short handed but will doing our best to serve students.

Team 1 –Ben is working to set up Work Experience Sites to open when we move to phase 3. He will be talking to students and case managers to determine who has a resume and who has (or who needs) work experience. He will also be attending IEP meetings and sharing information about DT & H options. In addition, Ben will be co-teaching Career Awareness with Molly.

Team 2, Team 3 and Team 4. Dana will be serving Team 2, Trish will be serving Team 3 and Team 4. Both will be meeting with students to help develop resumes and assist with job search efforts. We will prioritize students who are in their last year with Transition Plus. Please let us know about any students on your caseload that you would like us to support. We will also be attending IEP meetings and working to get students connected with VRS. In addition, we will be working to set up Work Experience Sites to open when we move to phase 3.

Michele and Olivia will be working with Dana and Trish to assist students on Team 2, 3 & 4 with Career Interest Inventories, interview practice and practice job applications. Let us know what would be helpful for your students. Please note: team assignments have been updated and corrected.

ECBC –New this year, our Employment Capacity Building Cohort will focus our efforts on students from multiple disability areas, not just DCD. We are working toward integrated competitive employment for these students.

Teacher schedules must be set to “Anyone with link”

Thank you to all teachers and other staff who have responded to the District’s request to update your contact information to make it easier for students and families to connect to staff during distance learning.

While many teachers have already responded to the form and provided links to their schedules, some of those schedules built in Google docs/sheets cannot be viewed by students and their families as the document’s default viewing restrictions need to be changed to “Anyone with link.” To do this, click on the blue Share button in the upper-right hand corner of the document and when the drop down menu pops up, select “Anyone with link”; see screenshots below.

As we shared in the previous email, schools and teachers may determine on their own the format of these daily schedules and what platform the schedules are published on as long as the schedules are publicly accessible; however, it is strongly recommended that schedules be published using Google Docs.

Also, please ensure the following:

  • That schedules are ADA compliant in that they are posted in a text-based format and not hand written or posted as an image.
  • That schedules are publicly accessible by being uploaded to the internet and thus live and accessible to students/families (if a Google doc, make sure it is Shared via “Anyone with a link can view.”)

Please speak to your school principal for more information on expectations around daily schedules and for a schedule template which has been provided through the Distance Learning Principals Handbook.

Note: If other non-teaching staff want to provide students/families with their daily schedules, they are also welcome to do so; simply provide the link to your schedule in the designated field on the form.

Again, thank you for helping create systems that make things easier for our students and families!

Big picture

Voice Mail

With Distance Learning, we would like to ensure that families are connected with teachers when they call T-Plus.

For those of you who have Voice Mail set up, here are the directions to access your Voice Mail remotely.

The directions also let you know how you can set up your voice mail. For teachers new to T-Plus, if you know your VM number let Traci know what it is. If not, she can find out, or can have one set up for you. For returning teachers, if you need to know what your VM number is, let Traci know.

We would like to publish these numbers on the website as an easy reference to families.

Phones — The Source

In the summer of 2018, MPS IT Services upgraded our district phone system to maintain reliable supported phone service. With the new system, you may notice minor changes to the way your desk phone functions.

Trans Students + Google Meet

Students can request to have their name changed in Google Meet if we request it through an eTicket to IT. This will change their name in Google Meet but not their other documents. Google Meet is not a legal document and not having the correct name for the student may prohibit them from joining our classes so a name change form is not required.


Hello All,

Hope you’ve had a chance to breathe a bit over the weekend. Self-care will be critical to our success as we embark on this new journey.

There is a Google classroom set up for SEL resources. It’s titled SEL Resources for Teachers. I believe I’ve invited all teachers and related service people. If you want me to add an SEA let me know. I will be continuing to add resources as I find them. If you find a great resource please share it with the rest of us.

I intend to start doing circle groups after we get going a bit. If you know of a student who would benefit from participating in a circle, let me know.

In the meantime, please let me know if I can be of any assistance.


Attendance and Absences

During Distance Learning, the top priority is that students are engaged in learning every day. As such, the definition of an absence is when a student, or parent/guardian for elementary students, does not have contact with the teacher (or designee) on an instructional day.

Click here to review the attendance process.


As we start the 2020-21 school year, please see the attached updates for reserve teaching and student teaching


Reserve Teaching

● Long term absences: MPS will continue to provide long call subs as needed.

● Daily absences: MPS will not provide short-call reserve teachers given the challenges of filling daily

absences (access to technology, access to the virtual classrooms, privacy concerns, limited relationships

in a virtual environment etc.) Teachers need to change the box from substitute needed, to substitute not needed.

● The attached document contains additional details about the process for determining coverage for daily


Latest Updates from ILT

School Improvement Plan:

  1. All students (full time) will complete a Self-Awareness project at students individual level. Projects will be shared at the IEP conference/Team meeting by May, 2021.

  2. Student participation in the IEP (planning/meeting) will increase from 76% to 90% by the end of the school year.

    1. OBJECTIVE: To Increase Student Led/Directed participation from 26% (2019-20)

  3. 100% of graduating students will be employed, continuing education or connected to supports by May, 2020.

As we are planning for IEP Conferences, the expectation is that students will participate at their current level, with the ultimate goal being Student-Led IEP Conferences.

Remember to invite Work Coordinators and relevant related service folks to IEP Conferences.

T-Plus Assignments

We will continue to have weekly brainstorming check-ins on Thursdays at 3:30pm. This is an optional meeting opportunity for us to problem-solve, discuss resources, and share ideas.

Important Staff Info

THE SOURCE - Teachers

The SOURCE is your 'go to' to find tutorials on many of MPS platforms that are used. Gradebook, Google Classroom, SeeSaw, Distance Learning Resources, AESOP, etc.

Please bookmark for future reference.- Teacher Resources — The Source

Great! Check out the New Teacher Resources page to make sure that all of your technology and systems are ready to go for your first day in the classroom.

ESP Staff Reporting Absences -

Please contact Traci if you are unable to be 'at work'. 612-668-4100

Please let me know the reason, sick, personal, etc. I have had several reports that staff are unable to 'be on their computer today'. This statement makes me think there are technical difficulties.

If you are experiencing technical difficulties, you have the option to be on-site. You will need to complete the online building access form.

If you have a planned absence - please fill out the form in the Google Doc ESP share drive.

HOLIDAY PAY - Remember, you must use the drop down box to add Holiday on paid Holidays.

You will not get paid for holidays if you don't do this.

Please bookmark- Employee Self Service (ESS)

Let Traci know if you need assistance with time entry

Time Off Requests - An email was sent to licensed and non-licensed staff for the online Time Off Request form that is on Microsoft Forms. Please bookmark.

Here's the link to the form "Non Licensed Staff Absence Request Form":

Here's the link to the form "Diploma Request Form":

Hola! TPlus New Spanish Interpreter

My name is Aida Azzazi and I am the new Spanish interpreter/translator assigned to TPlus this year. My caseload of 20 schools also include Roosevelt and South High.

Since it is a very busy time of year I want to check in and let you know how best to connect with me. I would normally stop by the building at the start of the school year to say hello but that is not an option this year.

Staff can connect with me via the interpreter request system. This documents my time. Please submit an interpreter request for all IEP meetings and PWN translation requests. Please do not CC me on any of your email communications with families. I need to work with staff to communicate with families. When you email me let me know when is the best time to connect with you.

My email:

Families can connect with me via voicemail message. My voicemail is redirected to my email. I will respond within 24 hours- most often sooner. I use Google Meet to call families and make conference calls with staff.

My District Phone: 612-668-0916

I understand that today (Friday 9/11) staff will have office hours at the end of the day. I am available from 3-4pm today to join a zoom meeting with any interested staff to say hello, answer questions or make phone caIls to families. If this works for your schedule please send me a Google Meet invite.

I look forward to working with you to support families at TPlus.

To help you be more comfortable with Distance Learning,

and this may be helpful for students as well.

See the graphic below

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Blue Filter

This may help with the eye strain from increased screen time.

f.lux makes your computer screen look like the room you're in, all the time. When the sun sets, it makes your computer look like your indoor lights.

Calling all talented staff!

I will be hosting a live open mic style CBI for the whole first quarter. The plan is to invite community experts (yourselves included) to share talents and skills!

Do you have a special talent? Music, poetry, dance, theater arts, any arts, tricks, trade skills, more? Friday mornings 10:05-11:25am is your chance to shine and share! As we begin to engage and increase more student involvement, the “stage” will be an open invitation to all. So come and share your talent, your story, and your skills! This does not mean you need to attend one or all of the Friday mornings, or even stick around for the whole session if you have other responsibilities or tasks. Come for your mic spot, come for them all, and let’s celebrate each other and encourage our students to do the same!

Contact Christina for a specific Friday date or time if you are interested!

Who Can Help?

If you need help in understanding technology or need support in figuring out certain programs - here are some staff you can reach out to . I've always gone by the thought, if it takes me more than 10 minutes to figure something out, reach out to someone fro help. Here are staff who have agreed to help out.

Teachers to support technology
  • Molly
  • Greg
  • Brad
  • Adam

ESPs to support Technology

  • Aria
  • Bryan
  • Karl
  • Mina

This Week At TPlus

Monday------------Non-tenured licensed Staff meeting------------8:30

Tuesday-----------Licensed Staff PD-----------------------------------------8:30



Friday-------------- PSWE -----------------------------------------------------------8:30

------------------------ CBI Starting - Link for sign up

------------------------ESP PD----------------------------------------------------------12:00

Modern Day Lynching: Target Practice Short Film