Special Programs & Services News

January 2022

Message from the Team:

Happy New Year LISD families! As we kick off 2022, I would like to focus on our Special Programs vision. This vision guides our work as a team to ensure we are supporting our families and students in the best way possible. I encourage you to learn about our vision by watching this video. We are excited to partner with you to make this vision come alive in LISD! Have a fantastic start to the new year and I look forward to seeing the many accomplishments of our students in 2022!

Kimberly Waltmon

Executive Director of Special Programs and Services

In This Issue

The January Newsletter contains information about Parent Education Events, Dyslexia Screeners, Self-Determination, ARD Parent Survey, Math Interventions, and Important Notes.

Mark Your Calendars!

Be sure to save the dates for our upcoming meetings! We will send out weekly reminders in our Special Programs Remind classes.
  • Wednesday, Jan. 19th - Student Involvement in ARD & 504 Meetings
  • Thursday, Jan. 20th - Pursuing Higher Education
  • Tuesday, Jan. 25th - Medically Fragile Family Support Group
  • Wednesday, Jan. 26th - Autism Parent Training: Verbal Behavior for Early Learners
  • Wednesday, Feb. 2nd - AAC Family Chat : To Customize or Not to Customize?
  • Friday, Feb. 4th - Coffee Chat

Parent Event Feedback Survey

We are looking for ways to improve your experiences with our parent events. Our goal is to collaboratively produce events that support the needs of your family. Please take a few minutes to complete this survey and share your thoughts with us by 5:00 p.m. Friday, January 21st.

Self-Determination Skill of the Month

Self-Advocacy is January's Self-Determination skill of the month. Self-Advocacy is a person’s ability to effectively communicate their own desires, needs, and rights. As a parent you can help your child become a Self Advocate by allowing them to do activities on their own. Instead of taking the initiative to assist them, allow them to work their way through the activity and signal for assistance as they need it. You can also help your student learn this skill through role modeling. An active way to model self advocacy is having your student participate in their meetings with you. Your student will learn how to discuss what they need in order to be successful. They’ll learn about their various accommodations or modifications and when they need to use them. We’ll be discussing the variety of ways that students can participate in their meetings during the Jan. 19th parent education night from 6:30 - 7:30pm. You can RSVP here.

ARD Parent Survey

After every annual and revision Admission, Review, & Dismissal Committee (ARD) meeting, families are sent the ARD Parent Survey to complete. When you receive this survey, we are requesting your help in filling them out as it will show us areas in which we can celebrate as well as improve our practices. The results are reviewed by the Special Education Administration team and remain anonymous to campus staff. If you do not receive the link after your child’s ARD, please reach out to your ARD specialist. Thank you for providing your feedback.

Dyslexia Screeners

Students in kindergarten through second grade are administered a brief screener of the foundational reading skills three times per year in accordance with the Texas Education Code (TEC) §28.006. Additionally, this screener is utilized with Kindergarten (at the end of year) and first-grade students (at the end of January) in accordance with TEC §38.003 to identify children who may be at risk for dyslexia and/or a related disorder. This screening is not a formal dyslexia evaluation, but is designed to give valuable information to help school staff develop and implement targeted instruction.

Information on your student’s overall standing regarding the early reading instrument screener is posted on the report card at the first, third, and fourth nine-week periods as “district reading screener.” Additional information about your child’s ISIP scores can be obtained from your child’s classroom teacher or at www.istation.com using your student’s login information. If your child is identified as at risk for dyslexia or a related disorder through this process, you will receive additional information from your child’s campus.

Math Interventions

This month we are spotlighting ways that families can engage in and support math learning for students of all ages. Building a positive mindset around math can be a very powerful way to help children feel empowered and build confidence. Therefore, the resources below provide ideas for improving math skills along with mindset.

For students at the elementary level, consider checking out these resources:

For our older students, we recommend looking into the following:

SELF Tours

Do you want to learn more about Skills for Enhancing Lifelong Fulfillment (SELF) and 18+ Transition Services? We still have a few more dates available for you to take a tour of our SELF locations. Parents, students, and staff are all welcome to join. View the flyer for more information.

Please reach out to denise.geiger@leanderisd.org with any questions.

Student Highlight

Tristan DeLeon is not only an LISD student served in our 18+ program, but also a published author! Tristan recently released the book An Anthogs Christmas. We asked Tristan and his family about the inspiration behind Tristian writing his first book. They shared that Tristan has always enjoyed making up his own stories. He is always talking about Anthog adventures. Anthogs are characters that Tristan created himself. He wanted these characters to represent the different colors of the rainbow, as he believes rainbows bring joy and happiness to people. While creating An Anthogs Christmas, Tristian wanted to ensure that his story contained all of his favorite story elements: adventure, joy, happiness, Anthogs and Christmas. Ta Da An Anthogs Chrsitmas was born! We are proud of Tristan's hard work and accomplishment as an author!

Important Notes

Legislative Updates

We have had an active year with legislative updates! Texas Education Agency (TEA) has a webpage dedicated to keeping staff and families up to date with educational legislative reports. For more information, visit this link.