Special Education with Care

Inspire Special Education Department Newsletter

Welcome to the first issue of Inspire Special Education Department Newsletter! We are excited to share this new project with you and hope that you find the information presented in our newsletter meaningful and applicable to your needs. We always welcome your feedback and suggestions on topics to cover.

Have a great start to the 2018-19 school year!


  • Hot off the Press: InspireCares Website Launch, iReady Success in Action; Transition Services;
  • Did you know: The Interim IEP Process: What to Expect when Your Student with an IEP Enrolls with Inspire Charter;
  • Reading Help: Word-Attack Strategies;
  • Organization Tips and Tricks: The Workbook System;
  • Caught on the Net: Free academic and behavior websites.


InspireCares Website is Live!

We are excited to announce the launch of our brand new website - InspireCares! Our goal with this new website is to provide our current and prospective parents an easy and convenient way to connect with Inspire's Special Education department as well as share various resources for academic and behavior support with our families. The resource library will be continuously updated throughout the year, with this newsletter providing you with monthly updates on the new additions. Your feedback, via a feedback survey on the website, is always welcomed and encouraged.

iReady Success in Action

We are excited to share that Inspire Charter Special Education Department is going to continue offering a Math & Reading intervention program called i-Ready in the 2018-19 school year. This program will be offered to all students whos IEPs indicate Specialized Academic Instruction as a special education service.

What is iReady?

iReady is an interactive online learning program that helps students build essential skills in reading and mathematics. i-Ready starts with an online diagnostic test that identifies the specific skills each student needs to develop and measure academic growth through the school year. It also provides students with personalized online instruction and gives teachers and parents guidance on how they can best support the needs of each and every student.

i-Ready encourages students to take ownership of their learning. Students get real-time feedback, see motivating messages, and earn credits after completing lessons that they can use to get rewards, such as games. i-Ready’s engaging environment draws students in right away and gets students of all ages excited about learning.

Please look for an email from your special education case manager with the instructions on how to get started in iReady.

Introduction to Transition Services

Transition planning is a formal process for helping student's with IEP's determine their goals and dreams, including what they want to do after high school and the support they will need to get there.

The purpose of transition planning is to help your student prepare to:

  • be an independent young adult
  • attend college/career training program
  • make wise financial choices
  • be competitively employed
  • develop interview skills
  • develop a resume and sample job application
  • take driver's license exam
  • and so much more!

While services are always individualized and based on goals, much of the transition time will be spent covering college/career awareness, independent living skills, self-awareness and last but not least, SELF ADVOCACY! No one has a greater stake in the outcome of transition planning than the student with a disability. We believe that the student should be an active, participating member of the transition team, as well as the focus of all activities. With support and guidance from their transition teacher, your student will be encouraged to attend their IEP meetings and play an active role in sharing their individualized transition plan (ITP).

Transition planning is the key to making school relevant to your child’s future life as an adult. Together, the IEP team and your child will set post-secondary goals, choose activities, and connect with the necessary resources and services.

We have transition teachers in each region with local resources and community connections. Our goal is to prepare students for success and help them achieve their dream.

Inspire Transition is also excited to offer an Adult Transition Program developed for students ages 18-22 that have received their certificate of completion (non-diploma) which focuses on Community based instruction and independent living skills.

If you have any questions please feel free to reach out to us at any time! transition@inspireschools.org


The Interim IEP Process: What to Expect when Your Student with an IEP Enrolls with Inspire Charter

As you are entering into your first weeks of this school year, there are likely many questions that you have regarding your child’s IEP and what their educational plan will look like at Inspire. Many of our students come into Inspire having previously received all of their special education supports and services at a brick and mortar school, or another setting that is very different than Inspire. You might be wondering how their IEP will “translate” now that they are attending an independent study public charter school. The answer to this, while not the same for any two students, will begin to unfold within your child’s first 30 days with Inspire, in what we call the interim IEP process.

While your child is receiving an interim IEP services offer and within the first 30 days of enrollment, you will be invited to attend an interim IEP meeting. This meeting will include you, your child’s special education teacher, general education teacher, an administrative designee, and other related service providers as needed. During this meeting, the IEP team (which always includes the parent) will develop, adopt, and implement a new IEP that is appropriate to your child’s specific needs and their new educational environment at Inspire. This will include reviewing your child IEP’s present levels, goals, accommodations/supports, and services as well as updating anything that is new or changed from your child’s previous IEP.

As the parent and your child’s primary learning coach, your input at this interim IEP meeting is highly valued and will be documented in the interim IEP. You can expect the team to ask you questions about how your child is doing now that they are attending school at home (or for some students enrichment academies, specialty programs, etc.), including academically, socially, behaviorally, and in other areas. The more information you can share with the team, the better as this helps the IEP team develop an appropriate plan to meet your child’s needs.

At Inspire, we are committed to providing an individualized educational plan to meet the needs of each child, which we cannot do without the input and support of our parents.

Your input is so valued and your questions are important and welcomed through this transition process.


“Why can my child speak so well, but struggles with learning to read?” That’s a question many parents of kids with reading issues ask. Hear from reading specialist Margie Gillis on how the brain changes when we learn to read—and why learning to read is more difficult for some kids than others.


Word-attack strategies are what readers use to help read unfamiliar words. Here is a list of word attack strategies you can teach your child to use when they come across a tricky word.


Workboxes were first popularized by Sue Patrick. Sue Patrick’s system grew out of her desire to help her own special needs child and her wish to find a way to teach him. After her own initial success, she shared the method with other parents of special needs children and had the opportunity to improve on her techniques. This system has been modified in many ways in different settings, but basically, the system involves boxes in which a complete short structured activity is kept. The child can open the box, complete the activity and close it. The workbox activity system is effective for children with attention, organization, and retention for many reasons. It helps children to visually attend to the activity, establish a routine, and learn comfortably with structure.

Check out these websites for more information on how to set up your Workbox System:




Here is a short video of how one homeschooling parent set her Workboxes system.

We hope you give it a try!



With so many educational resources available online it is at times challenging to decide which ones to try. Each Newsletter will highlight three free educational websites or apps that support the core academic subjects as well as behavior and come from reputable organizations. We hope you will find them helpful!

Questions? Suggestions? Feedback?

If you have questions or feedback on how we can help to support you, please let us know!