NC ELSSP-VI Newsletter

July 2017

Each child will be honored, respected, and empowered to achieve success in school and life.

North Carolina Early Learning Sensory Support Program for Children with Visual Impairments

NC Department of Public Instruction

Office of Early Learning

July's Quote

Cheerfulness is a direct and immediate gain.

-Arthur Schopenhauer


Professional Development Submitted by Lin Causey

Opening Convocation Presenter

Edible Paint Recipe Submitted by Jennifer Simmons

Independent Movement Submitted by Nancy Kirby-Sauls

Early Learning Progressions Submitted by Bethany Mayo

Staff Birthdays for July

Photo/Video Credits

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Professional Development Opportunities

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NC Division of Child Development and Early Education

NC DCDEE’s Foundations: Early Childhood Infant Mental Health Modules available to your staff and network providers:

  • Module 1: Early Brain Development and Self-Regulation

(explores the development of the brain in the context of early childhood mental health, with an emphasis on the development of emotional and behavioral self-regulation)

  • Module 2: Toxic Stress and Early Brain Development

(explores the concept of STRESS – what it is and how it affects the brain and the body – with a particular focus on babies, toddlers, and young children)

  • Module 3: Building Resilience Through Early Relationships

(explores how to build a young child’s capacity to grow and thrive despite the difficulties and obstacles life presents)

To take the modules, you must have a NCID. If you do not have one, you can create one. Please click on the link for more information on accessing the modules through the Moodle platform:

Moodle/ (See section labeled NCID)

  • If you have technical difficulties email Allow 24-36 hours for a reply. (Krystal Davis will not be able to assist you)

This is a link to the modules: Early Childhood Mental Health


  • If you have technical difficulties email . Allow 24-36 hours for a reply. (Krystal Davis will not be able to assist you)

These modules can be used towards the maintenance of the ITF certificate. Shared by Krystal Davis.


August 24-25, 2017

Annual Children's Services State of the Art Conference

Don't miss this opportunity to learn evidence-based practices in serving children, adolescents, and families. You can obtain your required ethics hours plus attend cutting edge breakout sessions on grief and loss, diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorder, substance use disorders in adolescents, brief cognitive behavioral strategies, trauma and maltreatment, gender dysphoria, and much more! View Details


Summer Professional Development Opportunities

Looking for some professional development opportunities over the summer? NCDPI’s Educator Effectiveness division has released the following six new self-paced modules:

* North Carolina K-3 Formative Assessment Process for Teachers (1.0 CEU Literacy Credit)

* Instructional Strategies to Support K-3 Oral Language Development (1.0 CEU Literacy Credit)

* Digital Literacies 1: Reading, Writing, and Research (1.2 CEU General Credit)

* Digital Literacies 2: Visual Information Literacy (1.0 CEU General Credit)

* Administrator Guide to Effective School Counseling and Evaluation (0.5 CEU General Credit)

* North Carolina K-3 Formative Assessment Process for Administrators (0.3 CEU Literacy credit) Release date for this module is June 30

For a complete list of all available courses, course descriptions and information on instructor-led courses, please visit For specific questions, please email Educator Effectiveness’ module developer Dr. Geetanjali Soni.


Opening Convocation Presenter...Dr. Christine Roman-Lantzy

Christine Roman was raised in Michigan and received degrees in Elementary Education and Special Education/Visual Impairment at Michigan State University. She worked as an itinerant teacher of the visually impaired in the greater Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area for 17 years prior to becoming a Research Assistant in the Vision Studies Program at the University of Pittsburgh. While at Pitt, she completed studies in Orientation & Mobility and received a Master’s Degree in Medically Fragile/High Risk Infants.

Her doctoral studies were also completed at Pitt where she completed a Ph.D. in 1996; her dissertation, Validation of an Interview Instrument to Identify Behaviors Characteristic of Cortical Visual Impairment in Infants revealed that caregivers of infants can reliably report regarding the presence or absence of the characteristics of CVI.

Dr. Roman is the Director of The Pediatric View Program at The Western Pennsylvania Hospital in Pittsburgh, PA and a former Project Leader of the CVI Project at The American Printing House for the Blind in Louisville, KY.

She has lectured extensively regarding the CVI educational materials she has developed. These materials include: The CVI Range an assessment of functional vision, and The CVI Resolution Chart & CVI/O&M Resolution Chart used to plot and monitor progress both of which will be available in a book in press (working title, CVI: Identification, Assessment & Intervention) with The American Foundation for the Blind.

*Biography information obtained from Perkins eLearning.


Edible Paint


*Plain yogurt

*Flavored gelatin or pudding mix

In a bowl, add 2 tablespoons of yogurt and mix in 1 spoonful of desired flavor of gelatin or pudding mix (adjusting amount for desired color and taste). Mix well. Using gelatin creates a thinner consistency while the pudding creates a thicker consistency.

May pair edible yogurt with matching colored/flavored fruit and let your child explore and play.

Here is another easy edible sensory activity...

Edible Sand

*Add dry oatmeal to a food processor and chop (creates sand-like consistency).

Independent Movement in Unfamiliar Environments

Observation in unfamiliar environments is so important!! Even kids that look well at home in their familiar home environment sometimes look very different in an unfamiliar environment. Sometimes they are fine with their movement because of all of the assistance and cues that they are provided and that is why they seem to look so well.

It is important to meet the child and parent in an unfamiliar environment and observe the parent/child interactions and the independent movement skills of the child. After observing ask parents to let the child play as independently as possible and only provide assistance when the child’s safety is involved but continue to monitor and supervise the child within arms reach for any mishaps that may occur.

Assessment of the child’s skills through observation and intervening only when the child’s safety is at risk will give you so much information on the child’s independent movement, problem-solving, and skills that the child has mastered as well as the child’s needs.

As a parent and teacher it is challenging to not provide cues, assistance, and information because we are always in that teaching mode but if we just observe and intervene only when necessary, we get so much additional information on the child’s actual skills and needs.

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Early Learning Progressions

The North Carolina Early Learning and Development Progressions: Birth to Five are an expansion of the North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development (2013). Learning progressions were developed for each identified goal in four developmental domains, and show the steps through which children develop skills from birth to five years. During the first year of life, progressions are provided for skills achieved at two-month intervals; during the second year, three-month intervals; and from thirty-six to sixty months, skills are noted at six-month intervals. The comprehensive observation guidelines include age level, skill being observed, situation for observation of skills, strategies for eliciting the skill, if needed, what observed behavior indicates achievement of the skill, and routines-based intervention or embedded instruction. Instructions for navigating the NC Early Learning and Development Progressions: Birth to Five can be found here.

June Regional Meetings

Regional meetings are such a fun productive time for our staff. It gives us an opportunity to collaborate face to face with our peers on a quarterly basis. This is especially important for our team as each of us work remotely across the state and do not have the luxury of seeing peers on a daily basis in a traditional school setting. Some teachers may take this for granted but our staff appreciate the opportunity to learn and work in the same room as another fellow teachers.

The Central Region learned more about assessing young children with visual impairments by exploring Frank Porter Graham's Functional Vision Assessment modules. The Eastern Region learned how to adapt an ordinary battery operated toy to function with a switch. Marcia Rollings shared her knowledge and skills on how to make your very own battery interrupter. Finally, the Western Region learned about low vision testing and devices for young children with visual impairments.

July Staff Birthdays

July 3rd Bonnie Galarde

July 6th Becky Lowrey

July 25th Shonda Page

Photo/Video Credits


Perkins e-learning retrieved from