Student Services/SELPA Update

News from the Student Services/SELPA Office

Director's Notebook

As we are all preparing for a return to in-person instruction, I wanted to use this space to highlight a few of the precautions we are all taking to make sure that school is as safe as possible for students and staff alike.

First of all, we’ve developed a comprehensive plan in conjunction with Plumas County Public Health, the details of which are encapsulated in the current Appendix B of the school year planning guide. If you find yourself wondering how best to address any COVID-19 related, return-to-school question, chances are the answer will be in this publicly shared document. Searching the document using the Find function on your browser will allow you to locate information quickly and easily. Once found, it’s also easy to cut and paste the answer into an email to parents or staff.

We’ve developed a robust screening and tracking system that allows staff to quickly report failed screenings to parents and our credentialed school nurses, fulfilling our duty to assist Public Health with contract tracing upon request. Our amazing custodial staff is ready to clean and sanitize between the AM and PM groups, and warehouse staff has ensured distribution of PPE and other essential supplies.

Meanwhile, the work of teaching, supporting, feeding, transporting, and taking care of the physical and mental health of our students goes on, thanks to all of you. Please remember to wear your mask to protect yourself and others, and to role model for students. Keep kids apart as much as possible. Wash your hands often, and remind students to do the same. Our positive attitude about these precautions will help students comply, and in turn will help them monitor each other.

Together, we can keep our schools safe and open for learning!

Don't Forget!

Attention all Case Managers: Help our Nurses to Help You! For tri's and initials, when you upload the signed AP in SEIS, you must email your school nurse to let them know. Emilee Pruitt, Jessica Logan, and Lauren Tasaki have sent a schedule of their school assignments to principals, so check in if you aren't sure who to email, or email all of them to make sure.

It's vital to compliance and ethics that the hearing and vision screen in completed prior to the meeting, and the health section is completed by the nurse. They need as much advance warning as possible to make sure the work can be completed, and they also need to be invited to the IEP.

Please don't forget this important step in the process. It's easy to lapse on compliance when things are tough, as they are now, but please remember the First Rule of Holes:

When you find yourself at the bottom of one, STOP DIGGING!

This means we need to keep up with new meetings while catching up on the backlog.

My thanks to you all for your efforts.

Coming UP!

SELPA Office Hour is on this week! Bring your questions, answers, frustrations, venting, and humor to share! Here is the zoom link! Hope to see you at this optional meeting if you have time.

Compliance Corner

We are still seeing some late IEPs: Thanks to all of you for looking at your SEIS home page everyday. Please remember, whenever possible to open meetings on time, and table them, to avoid being late. Refer to the First Rule of Holes, above!

Emergency Distance Learning: Do the plan at each upcoming IEP. Everyone appears to be doing well so far. This plan is still needed even though we are going to AM/PM

Affirmed IEPs: Thank you to those who have been emailing me notification. Case managers, if you've forgotten this step, please remember going forward to email when you affirm. On the subject line write: AFFIRMED XxYy 1-1-2021. This helps me keep track and ensure that I go through them all.

This is a tough topic. As educators, we are sometimes faced with hard truths about the prevalence of abuse and neglect in our communities. The data shows that the pandemic has exacerbated social issues related to potential abuse, and our duty to report will undoubtedly be tested children return to in-person instruction. Here is reference page published by the State that contains some handy links.

If you have any doubts about your mandated reporter status, please review the Keenan training on Mandated Reporting, or contact me by phone or email. Remember, our duty is not to investigate, but simply to report suspected abuse--it's a low bar, but for good reason.

Remember, when you report your reasonable suspicion, you could be saving a life.

Student Services/SELPA Department

Teresa Winchell, Administrative Assistant

Mark Atkinson, School Psychologist

Kevin Bean, Director