NC ELSSP-VI Newsletter

September 2018

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

Touching Lives Through ELSSP

The Early Learning Sensory Support Program for Children with Visual Impairments and Hearing Impairments is a division of the Office of Early Learning through the Department of Public Instruction. Our team is unique to The Department of Public Instruction because it includes over 70 staff members that provide direct instruction to children and families. We have licensed teachers of the visually impaired and hearing impaired/deaf, occupational therapists, interpreters and Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialists all with one goal; to make sure each child will be honored, respected, and empowered to achieve success in school and life.

If you would like more information about our program, please visit our website at


Amazing Kids Submitted by Staff


Bonnie Galarde

Convocation Submitted by Heather Lister

Professional Development Submitted by Lin Causey

Retirement Celebration Submitted by Joy Fleming

Staff Birthdays for September

Photo/Video Credits

Enjoy Your Retirement Bonnie!!!

Bonnie Galarde began her teaching career in 1982 in Union County. She taught middle school for about six years before taking off a few years to care for her three daughters. Bonnie went back to teach middle school for 5 years then obtained her Masters Degree and moved on to teach at the high school level. Bonnie taught at a high school in Union County then left to join Governor Morehead Preschool (now ELSSP/VI) in 2004. Bonnie has been a part of our family ever since and has touched the lives of countless children and families in Union County, Gaston County and Mecklenburg County. Bonnie plans on relaxing and spending time with her family during her retirement. She also said that she plans on “continuing to learn something new”. She is not going to sit around “and be a couch potato”. Bonnie wanted to let everyone know how much she really appreciates getting to meet, work with and become friends with some really awesome people at ELSSP/VI. She appreciates everyone that has helped her along the way, she is just “very, very grateful”. We hope you enjoy your well deserved retirement Bonnie. We will miss you!!!

Early Learning Sensory Support Convocation August 2018

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On August 14th and 15th, ELSSP/HI and VI came together for our annual convocation in Raleigh, NC. Both HI and VI were treated to a wonderful keynote speech (Not By Chance, But By Choice) by Keisha Spivey. The two groups spent the rest of the day together learning and having a fun time playing Jeopardy and matching their co-workers to their middle school pictures. On Day 2 the groups split up to receive training more specific to their area. HI had a presentation on Autism in toddlers and young children with hearing impairments, Working with adult learners and the NC Teaching Rubric. The VI group enjoyed a day long training on CVI by Susan Sullivan, CVI Project Leader at the American Printing House for the Blind. The convocation proved to be a wonderful, educational and fun filled experience.

Playing Jeopardy at Convocation

Professional Development Opportunities

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The Parent Participation in Early Intervention by the Center for Parent Information and Resources (CPIR) is a great informational resource for parents and staff. Parent involvement is key for making the necessary decisions about early intervention services for children. This list of resources for parents and early intervention providers recently compiled by CIPR (December 2017) offers information and strategies for supporting parent participation in developmental screening, identifying appropriate services to best meet the child's needs, and staying informed about your (parents') rights. Please take a look!

edWeb: A Professional Online Community for Educators

edWeb: A professional online community for educators

edWeb is a free online community for professional educators, offering networking, resource sharing, collaboration, and professional development webinars.


Exceptional Children's Conference (NC Dept. of Public Instruction)

November 14th-16th, 2018

Greensboro, NC

Retirement Celebration

On August 24th, the WRITE group celebrated the retirement of three of our very special co-workers. Rhonda Coley (on right) retired September 1st, Joy Fleming (center) is retiring October 1st and Bonnie Galarde (on left) is retiring November 1st. They will all be missed so very much. Enjoy your well earned retirement ladies!!!

September Birthdays

Ambra Spry September 20th

Joy Fleming September 20th

Heather Bradford September 22nd

Photo/Video Credits