Special Programs & Services News

November, 2020

Happy November!

The Special Programs team is excited to introduce Ashley Anderson as our new Parent Liaison! Ashley is coming to us from the State of Texas Health & Human Specialty Services where she has been serving as a Human Rights Officer and a Social Worker. With her extensive knowledge in social work, community resources and mental health counseling, we know that she is going to be a tremendous addition to our team and to our community. Ashley brings a desire to build positive relationships, collaborate with staff and partner with families in order to best serve our students.

The role of the parent liaison is to help families in navigating the ARD committee process, connect families with community resources, facilitate parent education nights, support in planning for transition and positive post-secondary outcomes and to foster a culture of open communication with our community and special programs teams.

We are proud to continue to grow our team so we can provide the best support for our students, staff and families.

Happy November!

Kimberly Waltmon

Ex. Director, Special Programs & Services

Nov. Parent Education Nights

Special Programs & Services have upcoming parent Education Nights for the month of November! Come learn with us! Please check your Remind Accounts for invitations and RSVPs.

November 5th 6:30 to 7:30: Autism Parent Support Meeting

November 10th 6:30 to 7:30: SPED PTA Meeting: Low Incidence Disabilities

November 18th 6:30 to 7:30: Transition to Adulthood

November 18th 6:30 to 7:30: Autism Parent Education Q & A

November 19th 6:30 to 7:30: Assistive Technology Family Support

Supporting Your Young Reader

Families play a critical role in helping a child develop a love of reading. Our Supplemental Reading Program (SRP) teachers have worked to create fun and engaging activities to assist caregivers as they spend time reading with their children. Click on the grade specific link to view our November newsletters.

Kindergarten, 1st Grade, 2nd Grade and 3rd Grade.

Happy reading!

School Psychology Week: Nov. 9-13

Across the country, school psychologists, or LSSPs, will be celebrated November 9-13, 2020. LSSPs are members of school staff who support students’ ability to learn and teachers’ ability to teach. They apply expertise in mental health, learning, and behavior to help children and youth succeed academically, socially, behaviorally, and emotionally by providing direct support to students.

This year’s National School Psychology Week theme is “Power of Possibility.” The word “possibility” implies hope, growth, resilience and renewal. When we focus on what is possible, we have hope that students will grow, thrive and bloom and will be empowered to take the action steps necessary to do so.

Please join us in thanking your campus LSSP for their support for our students!

Parent & Caregiver Tips for Supporting their Children & their Own Self-Care

This has been a challenging year for families as we make ongoing adjustments to our daily routines in response to the pandemic. It is important for us all to consider how to support one another during these challenging times. Children and adolescents who experience feelings of anxiety and depression may be at an increased risk for more challenges during school breaks or closures. Additionally, adults need to be mindful of how to address their own stress and grief related to disruptions in our regular routines.

Parents and teachers are encouraged to take time to take care of themselves and model self-care strategies for children. The following strategies can be effective in managing some of the challenges associated with the pandemic and feelings of uncertainty during stressful times. Consider revisiting some of these practices during upcoming school breaks to support yourselves and your own children.

White Cane Day

In October we celebrated White Cane Day! White Cane Day is an annual event that celebrates the independence that a long, white cane signifies and facilitates for blind and visually impaired persons. While we were not able to celebrate in person this year, we celebrated virtually!

In lieu of our typical celebration due to COVID-19, the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired held a live streamed event sponsored by TSBVI and Criss Cole. Guest appearances included Governor Abbbot, and many other leaders that work with the blind and visually impaired population in Texas along with student appearances. Some of our students in LISD wanted to participate by sharing about White Cane Day.

Take a look at what Kalea Taylor, an LISD 5th grader has to share.

For more information about how we support students that are blind or visually impaired, visit their website here.

Special Olympics Talent Show

On October 22, the Leander Lazers held their first annual talent show. Athletes showcased their talents by playing the piano, singing and dancing, doing magic tricks, climbing, and folding and putting away their clothes. Everyone who attended the show had so much fun cheering and celebrating all of the athletes and their talents!

Way to go Lazers!

Zoom Update!

Zoom now offers Closed Captioning/Live Transcription and creates automatic and precise captioning (only in English) to anyone who may benefit from this feature: school personnel, students, and parents and families.

Special Programs Site:

In order to provide resources and information at your fingertips, we have a new and improved website for Special Programs! Take a look!

LISD Special Programs