Together We Can

Novemeber13, 2023

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Are you ready for a very busy week?

  • Tomorrow, November 14 is the Special Education Advisory Committee meeting. The focus is on student centered planning.
  • On Wednesday, November 15, I will be providing an Action Plan update at the Board of Education Business Meeting at Central Middle School.
  • Thursday, November 16 is the College and University Services Support Virtual Panel.

Information for all three presentations is provided below.

With Thanksgiving just more than a week away, I want to take a moment to wish everyone a happy and thankful Thanksgiving Season. Thank you for all of your collaboration to make this the best experience for our students.


Stacey Heiligenthaler, Ph.D.

Chief Officer of Special Education and Student Supports

Special Education & Student Supports on Halloween

What We Are Seeing đź‘€ Around the Schools

Veterans Day Celebration at New Lebanon

There was a huge Veterans Day celebration at New Lebanon School for students PreK through fifth grade.

American Sign Language in Social Studies

Speech and Language Pathologist Ms. Luzzi and Teacher of the Deaf Ms. Sampel help students integrate American Sign Language skills into a fifth grade PowerPoint Social Studies presentation.

Using Multi-Sensory Instruction in Reading

Ms. Schmid's class at Eastern Middle School incorporates multi-sensory instruction and strategies into reading instruction. Students are isolating sounds, identifying sounds, and blending sounds to spell and read multisyllabic words. Students then apply strategies to their independent work.

The Power of Kindness

Dr. Alina Boie teaches students at Parkway School about the power of kindness and ways to stand up for themselves and others when people are mean or bullying them

Reading at North Mianus

Second grade students in Ms. Lazarev reading class at North Mianus School are working on reading comprehension skills.

Professional Learning at GHS

Each Wednesday, teachers across the district join together for a variety of topics. A team of SPED teachers met with their PLC (Professional Learning Committee).

Co-Teaching in Algebra

Special Education Teacher Ms. Lauren Edwards works 1:1 with a student during her co-taught Algebra class! The beauty of having two teachers in the room is having more individualized support!

Supporting Students in American History

Special Education Teacher Ms. Nicole Kumar works with a group of students in American History class.

Workshops and Resources

Special Education Advisory Council (SEAC) meeting

The Special Education Advisory Council’s next virtual public meeting is scheduled for tomorrow, November 14 at 6:30 PM, with the spotlight on “Person Centered Planning” with GPS' Transition Counselor, Chris Loverme.

Log into Zoom

Meeting ID: 865 1272 9771

Passcode: 405258.

BOE Business Meeting with SESS Action Plan Updates

The Board is scheduled to meet on Wednesday, November 15 at 7:00 PM for its regularly scheduled business meeting at Central Middle School. This session, SESS will be providing an Action Plan Update. The Board’s schedule for the entire school year can be found on the District’s webpage.

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Inclusion Corner

with Rachel Rubin

In her latest blog post, inclusion guru, Dr. Shelley Moore makes the comparison of Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) to a seed packet.

At first, you may think (like I did), "That is an odd comparison to make."

A seed packet tells all about a plant and why it would be a great addition to your garden. It communicates a particular plant’s strengths and needs and tells the gardener what they need to do to make it grow without expecting the plant to turn into something it is not. A snap pea will never turn into a cucumber, no matter how much you water it.

When you think about it, a strength-based IEP does the exact same thing! A strength-based IEP celebrates what the student can do. It does not aim to “fix” or "remediate,” but rather provide the student with the supports that work to help them grow.

At their cores, both a seed packet and an IEP have the same purpose: to provide guidance on how to make something grow and thrive.

On her blog page, Dr. Moore provides some templates to help students, families, and teachers create their own “Seed Packet I.E.Peas” that focus on student individuality and identity. These could be a great activity to do with your child at the beginning of the school year when starting a new extra-curricular program or when preparing for a PPT meeting. Older students can even share their own “I.E.Pea” with their team at their PPT meetings.

Check out the templates and some other resources:

Resource Links:

Written I.E.Peas Template

Visual I.E.Peas Template

I.E.Peas Original Video

Dr. Moore’s Instagram- @fivemooreminutes

MTSS Handbook Available Online

In order to create a student-centered approach addressing the needs of diverse learners, Greenwich Public Schools provides a Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS). GPS’ MTSS Handbook was created with a K-12 collaborative team including a parent representative. You can now view the Handbook on our K-8 Curriculum Webpage and our GHS Academics Webpage. If you have any questions about MTSS in your child’s school, please contact your child’s Principal (K-8) or House Administrator (9-12).

The Office of Special Education and Student Supports

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