Special Programs & Services News

October, 2020

Message from the team:

Hello LISD families! The Special Programs Department (Special Education, 504 and Intervention) is excited to launch our first Special Programs & Services News! Each month our team will send a newsletter including program highlights, ways to support at home, links to resources, upcoming parent education meetings and more! We hope that you find the information meaningful as we partner with you to best serve each and every student.

I couldn't send the first newsletter without giving a shout-out to our amazing teachers, instructional assistants, and related service staff! Their dedication, creativity and love for learning is evident and much appreciated as we are navigating these challenging times. As I visit classrooms, I continue to be impressed by the individualized instructional strategies utilized! Seeing happy and engaged students as they learn, is truly the best! Thank you for your support of our staff and for sharing your students with us each and every day!

Happy October!

Kimberly Waltmon

Executive Director, Special Programs and Services

*CPHS ICAP Staff (pictured right)

Special Education Updates

The Special Education Department adopted the 7 recommendations outlined in the COPIA Consulting report last Spring.

  1. forging relationships with parents,

  2. improving communication,

  3. training general education teachers on special education services,

  4. creating materials for parents and teachers to inform about special education services,

  5. establishing a pre-ARD meeting process to aid parents before the Admission, Review and Dismissal (ARD) meeting between parents and school staff,

  6. redesigning the ARD process, and

  7. creating a PTA exclusively for special education parents.

We are partnering with our Special Education PTA and have developed action teams to unpack each recommendation in order for us to improve how we serve our students, parents and staff. We look forward to hearing the recommendations outlined by each team as we continuously improve.

Oct. Parent Education Nights:

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

October 13th 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. SPED PTA Meeting: Learning about IEPs, 504s, RtI

October 15th 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m Assistive Technology Family Support Meeting

October 21st 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m Transition to Adulthood

October 27th 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m SPED PTA Meeting: LISD Dyslexia Services

October 28th 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m Autism Parent Education Q&A

Tips for Movement!

Need some ideas to exercise those fine and gross motor skills? With such nice weather lately, our Lead Occupational/Physical Therapist Leslie Micus has some great ideas to get students up and moving:

Fine & Gross Motor Skill Activities

Tech Tools for support at home:

LISD installed the Read&Write extension for Google Chrome for all teachers and students (must be logged in your LISD account). Read&Write works on the Web - Google Chrome, PDFs, and Screenshots.

Read&Write provides tools that support students with:

● Spelling Assistance ● Oral Administration ● Content and Language Supports ● Translation

Additional features include:

  • Play, Pause, Stop
  • Word Prediction
  • Talk and Type/Speech to Text
  • Highlighting
  • Vocabulary Builder
  • Dictionary/Picture Dictionary
  • Screen Masking
  • Voice Note
  • Practice Reading Aloud

Parents can view this quick video of how the Read&Write extension/toolbar is a great resource for students when learning virtually or working on assignments from home.

Program Highlight:

Our dyslexia specialists do a phenomenal job supporting students with Dyslexia. The dyslexia specialists and students have done a fabulous job adjusting to new face-to-face protocols and adapting to virtual instruction. The team is working hard to ensure that students are receiving quality instruction and are truly impressed with the progress of their students. They have expressed that parent partnerships and continued support has been a highlight of their year and is greatly appreciated.

The dyslexia curriculum is designed to be systematic, explicit, and intentional in its delivery. Our lessons are delivered using a multisensory approach. Multisensory instruction focuses on all learning pathways in the brain (visual, auditory, kinesthetic, and tactile) which results in enhanced memory and learning for students. As students progress through the schedule of each lesson, they utilize multiple modalities to practice the skill.

  • Students participate in handwriting activities using their whole bodies to skywrite letters while verbalizing the strokes.

  • Students manipulate letter tiles to break down or stretch words into phonemes and isolate letters and sounds.

  • Students break down multisyllabic words into word parts by writing on Syllaboards. They are instructed to see, hear and write the individual parts of the word on each board. This leads to better decoding skills.

  • New concepts are introduced through the Discovery Method. Students hear words and have to identify the sound or word part that is the same. They use mirrors for the early part of the program to identify if their mouth is open or blocked, if the sound is voiced or unvoiced to help decide if the sound is a vowel or a consonant. Then they have a riddle which identifies the key word and the letter/ letters that make that sound. They identify which syllable type or part of the IRD Deck that the sound/ letter will go into. Then they learn to write the letter/ letters in cursive.

If you have any questions about dyslexia services or need additional information about dyslexia in LISD, please visit our district Dyslexia Services website. Specifically, the Additional Resources and Support tab has resources for supporting your child at home.

Special Programs Site:

In order to provide resources and information at your fingertips, we have a new and improved website for Special Programs! Take a look!

LISD Special Programs