Rest, Recovery & Staying "Fit"

Week of December 14th -18th

This weekend I was able to listen to a new episode of Brene Brown’s podcast, Unlocking Us. It brought me back all the way to September 15th when the Weekly Message shared some of Brene Brown’s thinking around all of the “First Times” in the pandemic and living in uncertainty. She grounded us by acknowledging the impact of the pandemic is a lot of new experiences at one time and shared three steps to process these monumental changes and we have done them.


First, we have truly normalized this new context and our experiences by working together and connecting through new ways of educating our students. Second, we have put our new context into perspective by sharing that this is not our forever context and last third we reality checked our expectations. Notably, we worked together to decrease the spread of the virus and stay positive planning and looking forward to bringing our students back to school, while simultaneously continuing to learn how to make CDL a great experience for our students.


After considering neuroscience work and the prolonged shift of the pandemic, Brene Brown is adding two more aptly timed steps. I would like to invite us all to consider these next two actions as we approach the break.


4. Build in rest and recovery time


In the last several months, we have endured a lot of new. We have been adapting and evolving and thinking and processing. This is all so much work. Our brains have been taxed. Our bodies have been taxed and we have stayed in it navigating the new. Our bodies need rest. As you head into this break, remember to take care of yourself and your family. We are all in this and we all need to rest and recover. We hope you and your family are able to find ways to stay safe and rest your body and brain. Whether that means sleep, reading, writing, coloring, exercising or laughing for you, take the time to rest and recover.


5. Stay in fit “Terrible first times” condition.


Brene Brown describes this fit condition as your own personal journey. For her this includes meditation and exercise. Consider what you need to be “fit” for these ongoing taxing situations. I know I, personally, need to exercise, laugh with my family, and continue to take action through learning. What do you need?


As we look into the new year, we would like to extend this notion of “fit condition” in our educational context to a community of professional learners. As we learn, reflect and share experiences with each other, we increase our fitness for this complex work. In this weekly message you will find an invitation to think about learning and connecting with your colleagues through book studies. We would like to invite you to consider growing in your “fitness” for the new and unexpected current context by learning and growing with your colleagues.


You all are incredible educators and leaders who have truly done unimaginable work these past several months. Thank you for persevering in the new, creating access to learning for our students and for your courageous leadership. We are wishing you opportunities for rest, recovery and fitness during this break. Thank you for all you do.

Book Study!

This year has brought so much new. We have adapted and reimagined what school can look like! It is a truly incredible feat. With all of the changes and demands this year, we were not able to offer our typical Cycles of Inquiry. We would like to offer a different way to learn and reflect together this year though optional book studies.


We are going to start this book study process with the book Comprehensive Literacy for All: Teaching Students with Significant Disabilities to Read and Write by David Koppenhaver. Check out the button below to sign up for the Book Study opportunity and check out the dates for sharing and reflecting together through the book study.

Google Form: Sign up for Comprehensive Literacy for All

Click this button to sign up for the Comprehensive Literacy for All Book Study.

As we move through the remainder of the school year, we would like to offer additional book study opportunities. Please indicate the books in the google form at the button below that you would like to explore and incorporate into your practice.


Your preferences will help us prioritize these book study opportunities for this winter and spring. Thank you!

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Google Form For Sharing your Book Study Preferences

This box is the Google Form to share your preference for upcoming Book Studies!

Primary Schools | Progress Notes for Students Who are Home Schooled

Progress Notes for students who are participating in special education services in conjunction with home school are being sent out from the primary buildings. You may want to send a quick email to your families to let them know that they will be coming and they should expect them in the mail.

Creating Opportunities for Student Voice

In this new digital world, we are continuing to adapt and find ways to bring forward student voice and opportunities for self-advocacy. Julie Frazier, learning Specialist at Sunset Primary School, recently created an awesome slide deck where a student can tell their own story! A copy of this awesome resource is included in the Student Services Shared Materials Drive. Thank you Julie and all for continuing to find ways to create meaningful opportunities for student voice?

OSHA Training for Safe Personal Care Activities During a Pandemic

If you are a staff member who may providing personal care for a student when we return to hybrid instruction, please attend one of these mandatory trainings.


December 16th 2:00-3:00

December 16th 3:00-4:00


You can sign up for this training on the student services website on the PD Calendar.

ESY | Consider the Regression and also the Recoupment through Apples to Apples Comparison

Finding an apples to apples comparison can look a bit different in a global pandemic when the context of school shifted for all students. But we have winter break coming up and it is a great opportunity to collect some apples to apples data!


If you have students who have "to be determined" marked on their IEP, now is the time! Collect some data on their IEP goals prior to the winter break and then again after.


Remember, regression is normal. We all regress after a break. Some regression is expected, but it is how long it takes us to recoup those skills that can be variable. We expect students after a two week break to recoup their regressed skills within two weeks.


Check out the Student Services Handbook on Extended School Year. It includes more in depth information including our guiding principles and procedural guidance for ESY.


  • Use the ESY checklist for documentation in ePEP on the IEP tab.
  • Data must be taken until a team decision can be reached on regression and recoupment.
  • Data only needs to be collected for skills or behaviors where the IEP team is recommending or considering ESY. Data is not necessarily needed across all areas on the IEP. Data needs to be entered in ePEP.
  • Case manager should plan to meet with Student Services Instructional Coordinator to help interpret data before meeting with the IEP team.
  • If the student has "To Be Considered" selected on the IEP, a team meeting must be held to determine if the student does or does not qualify for ESY. The deadline to meet is April 15th.
  • All documentation is due to the Student Services office by the end of April