Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Some Summer Reading for Parents - Websites, Info and Some Cool Resources

Hi all,

I hope everyone is enjoying the summer break and having some fun.  Don't forget to try and read a little everyday and maybe even practice those math facts a couple times a week :-)

I attended a 2 day training on the Massachusetts Standards for Preschool and Kindergarten and wanted to share some valuable resources and links for parents.  The training was on Social Emotional Learning and Approaches to Play and Learning.  It was a great training and very informative.  Many of these standards have already been being implemented by our awesome Swansea teaching staff, but many families and parents are not aware of them, so, I figured I would share the resources.

The PDF booklet that explains all the standards is available at this link:

http://www.collaborative.org/sites/default/files/SEL.APL-StandardsBooklet.pdf

Some other resources for parents, families and guardians of young children are:

CDC Essentials for Parenting   www.cdc.gov/parents/essentials

Head Start for Families  https://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/tta-system/family/for-families

Mind in the Making  www.mindinthemaking.org

NAEYC for Families  www.families.naeyc.org

NBC parent toolkit  www.parenttoolkit.com

PBS.org  www.pbs.org/parents

Raising a Reader  www.raisingareader.org

Resources for Early Learning  www.resourcesforearlylearning.org

Vroom  www.joinvroom.org

Washington Learning Systems  www.walearning.com

Zero to Three  www.zerotothree.org

I hope you find it interesting.  Feel free to start a conversation with friends or your school staff if you have any questions or concerns.


Mrs. Garell and I also subscribe to the "Monday Message" from CAR - Community Autism Resources here in Swansea and they posted a GREAT idea that we wanted to also share. Please visit their website for great resources and information. http://www.community-autism-resources.com/

This little tip can be for any child or person and for any medical or other need - not just Autism - such a great idea!!
Take a tri-fold Velcro wallet and keep important information about your child inside of it. Place it around the seat belt shoulder strap.

In case of an accident or other emergency which leaves you unable to speak for your child, the information inside will be VERY beneficial to emergency responders.
This was first found on
https://www.facebook.com/autismsignlanguage/


 Enjoy the rest of the summer break! Be safe, especially those of you out hunting Pokemon :-)

 



Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Student Services Updates and Information

Hi all,

I hope everyone had a great spring vacation.  I was in Florida with my family and we had great weather and a wonderful time.  I wanted to pass along some information from our speech staff and some other quick updates. 

Updates and Happenings:

My first session at the Neurodevelopmental Disorders in School Aged Children  seminar run by Bridgewater University was very informative. I had the pleasure of meeting two sisters with Autism (age 20 and 21) that spoke about their school experience and what they plan to do at age 22.  It was amazing and very moving.

I was also able to attend a training on Trauma in Young Children in Taunton this past Tuesday.  It was very informative and gave me some good information to pass along to our staff when dealing with students who have had or witnessed trauma.  On a little side note - should you feel that your child has witnessed or been involved in a trauma it is important to speak with someone you trust at your child's school so we can help you and the child continue to be successful in school.  We are also able to often times provide you with some resources of where you can get assistance for your home and family.   

Our speech staff would like everyone to know that May is Better Speech and Hearing Month.  Below is some links for information and a letter they will be sending home to parents.

here is the link for the articles  : http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2015/05/08/technology-babies-speech-development-toddler-column/70940608/

ww.asha.org/About/news/Press-Releases/2015/New-ASHA-Survey-of-US-Parents-Significant-Percentages-Report-That-Very-Young-Children-Are-Using-Technology/




Dear Parents:

Are you concerned that your kids spend too much time on tablets, smartphones, or other devices? Do you have fewer conversations with your kids than you’d like because of technology distractions? Do you find yourself constantly asking your kids to lower the volume on devices because you can hear the music blaring through their earbuds or headphones?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are a typical parent in the digital age. These are struggles for most of us as technology increasingly becomes central to our lives and our children’s lives.

During May, my professional association—the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)—celebrates Better Hearing & Speech Month. Given that, I want to take this opportunity to remind you of the important roles that verbal communication and personal interaction—free from technology distractions—play in children’s academic and social development.

Kids today are using devices for hours every day—time that once was reserved for talking and reading, interactive and imaginative play, outdoor experiences, and other activities. Yet, the primary way young children develop their speech and language abilities is through verbal exchange—talking and reading with parents. This is a precursor for their own reading abilities and overall academic success. Children also learn from hands-on experiences. Educational apps can play a part, but they are in no way a replacement for what is learned through person-to-person communication. As we head into the summer months, when children no doubt will have more time to use devices, consider carving out some device-free time each day. You may be surprised by how little they (and you) miss it!

Another pressing issue related to technology use is hearing damage. Unfortunately, there has been a significant spike in hearing loss in young people in recent years. This coincides with the rise in popularity of mp3 players, tablets, and other devices. Even mild hearing loss can lead to reduced academic achievement (particularly in reading and math), poor self-concept, and feelings of social isolation, among other consequences—so, encourage your kids to keep the volume on their devices to half level and to take listening breaks. Hearing loss due to unsafe listening habits can be prevented, but once it occurs, it is irreversible. Teach (and model yourself) these good habits early.

Finally, this is an opportunity for me to remind you about my availability should you have any concerns about your child’s communication development. Speech, language, and hearing disorders are among the most common disorders in school-aged children. Communication disorders are also treatable and some can even be prevented if identified early.

Sincerely,

Courtney Finnerty, MA CCC-SLP
Jennifer Carvalho, BS SLP-A
  I hope to post one last blog before the end of the school year with how these conferences went but please feel free to check my Twitter page as I often try to post articles and information there as well. 

 

 Remember: 

The Maurin Family Madness: My Beautiful Garden



** I do try to share good articles and news on Twitter @vie_lisa and @SwanseaSped so please consider following us.
 
Resources:

Community Autism Resources - Swansea, MA
http://www.community-autism-resources.com/events/

Sesame Street is starting an outreach initiative for children with Autism - see here
http://www.sesameworkshop.org/what-we-do/our-initiatives/autism/

Parent's Guide to Special Education:
http://www.doe.mass.edu/sped/parents.html

Wrightslaw Special Education & Advocacy:
http://wrightslaw.com/

Disability Scoop - Online news and information:
https://www.disabilityscoop.com/2015/11/20/welcome-new-disability-scoop/21407/

Positive Synergy - ABA Services in Swansea, MA
http://www.positivesynergyasd.org/index.html

WiggleKids - Swansea mall - Swansea, MA
http://www.wigglekids.org/#!

Office of the Child Advocate
http://www.mass.gov/childadvocate/




Thursday, April 7, 2016

Spring Updates from Student Services

Hi all,

So April showers bring May flowers but I'm wondering what April snowstorms bring....besides grumpy adults LOL

I hope everyone is doing well and hopefully we will see some warm sunny weather soon.

Some reminders:

National Autism Awareness Month

NAAM_Banner_NAAM2015_white_background


Check this website for some great links to information.
 http://www.autism-society.org/get-involved/national-autism-awareness-month/


Our Swansea Special Needs Parent Advisory Council will have an open meeting on Thursday April 28th from 6- 8 pm at the Swansea Public Library - all are welcome to attend.  Email: swanseasepac@gmail.com with any questions.

Updates and Happenings:

I had the pleasure of attending three very informative conferences since I last posted a blog.  The first was the ASE conference at Holy Cross which focused on updates from the Child Advocacy Office and school safety issues.  It was very informative and had great information to take back and share with staff.  I also attended two workshops through the Early Childhood Office that focused on Special Education students and Early Intervention practices.  Both were again very informative and I look forward to attending another session later this month.

I will also be attending a two day series on Neurodevelopmental Disorders in School Aged Children run by the Bridgewater University.  I am excited to bring back intervention strategies to use within our district and in our classrooms.

 I hope to post one last blog before the end of the school year with how these conferences went but please feel free to check my Twitter page as I often try to post articles and information there as well. 
 

I hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable April vacation. 


Happy Spring Vacation Royalty Free Stock Photos - Image: 29334308




 Remember: 

The Maurin Family Madness: My Beautiful Garden



** I do try to share good articles and news on Twitter @vie_lisa and @SwanseaSped so please consider following us.
 
Resources:

Community Autism Resources - Swansea, MA
http://www.community-autism-resources.com/events/

Sesame Street is starting an outreach initiative for children with Autism - see here
http://www.sesameworkshop.org/what-we-do/our-initiatives/autism/

Parent's Guide to Special Education:
http://www.doe.mass.edu/sped/parents.html

Wrightslaw Special Education & Advocacy:
http://wrightslaw.com/

Disability Scoop - Online news and information:
https://www.disabilityscoop.com/2015/11/20/welcome-new-disability-scoop/21407/

Positive Synergy - ABA Services in Swansea, MA
http://www.positivesynergyasd.org/index.html

WiggleKids - Swansea mall - Swansea, MA
http://www.wigglekids.org/#!

Office of the Child Advocate
http://www.mass.gov/childadvocate/

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Student Services Updates and Information

Hi Everyone,

I hope everyone had a great holiday and vacation.  As I sit and write this it is actually 50 degrees outside, maybe, spring is on the way.  Hey - I am all about positive thinking!


 


Just a reminder that we do have a Parent Advisory Council this year.  If you would like to reach out to our officers or have questions for them they can be reached at:

President: Sonya Barbosa email: sbarbosa625@gmail.com

Vice President: Ralph Younger  email: ralphyounger@gmail.com
Secretary: Tracy Blake  email: Tracyblake@gmail.com
If you are interested in being included as a member in the SEPAC or getting their information, please be sure to contact one of the officers.
Student Service Updates:
Mrs. Garell and I will be attending a 3-part series on Early Childhood Development which looks at transition from Pre-K and other early childhood learning areas for students with disabilities.  

We will also be attending the second meeting of the ASE conference - this is the Massachusetts Administrators of Special Education members annual conferences.  The ASE holds three conferences for its members and we do attend all three.  The program of the March Conference can be found here: http://www.asepage.org/MAR2016PROG.pdf    We are very excited as these conferences always prove to be great learning opportunities for us.

We will also be attending the MAAPS annual conference this year.  MAAPS is the Massachusetts Association for Approved Private Schools for children with disabilities.  This conference has speakers, school representatives and many vendors that offer great networking and learning opportunities for us. The MAAPS website is: http://maaps.org/about/

** I do try to share good articles and news on Twitter @vie_lisa and @SwanseaSped so please consider following us.





Remember:

The Maurin Family Madness: My Beautiful Garden


Resources:

Community Autism Resources - Swansea, MA
http://www.community-autism-resources.com/events/

Sesame Street is starting an outreach initiative for children with Autism - see here
http://www.sesameworkshop.org/what-we-do/our-initiatives/autism/

Parent's Guide to Special Education:
http://www.doe.mass.edu/sped/parents.html

Wrightslaw Special Education & Advocacy:
http://wrightslaw.com/

Disability Scoop - Online news and information:
https://www.disabilityscoop.com/2015/11/20/welcome-new-disability-scoop/21407/

Positive Synergy - ABA Services in Swansea, MA
http://www.positivesynergyasd.org/index.html

WiggleKids - Swansea mall - Swansea, MA
http://www.wigglekids.org/#!

Friday, December 11, 2015

Swansea Student Services News:

* We are proud to announce that our Parent Advisory Council is up and running and to announce the 2015-2016 SEPAC officers who were elected.

President: Sonya Barbosa email: sbarbosa625@gmail.com
Vice President: Ralph Younger  email: ralphyounger@gmail.com
Secretary: Tracy Blake  email: Tracyblake@gmail.com
If you are interested in being included as a member in the SEPAC or getting their information, please be sure to contact one of the officers.

* I was very lucky to attend the MDSC 11th Annual Educators Forum for Supporting Students with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities on November 18th.  I was sponsored by a local parent and am very grateful as it was a great day and I learned and took away some great information.  If you would like to learn more about this organization the website is: http://mdsc.org/  and they have Educational Resources on the following connections:
Twitter - #mdscedresources
YouTube - www.youtube.com/user/mdscrocks/playlists

*The ARCH program will be opening the winter holiday concert at the high school on December 17th.  The students will be performing two songs with the high school chorus.

*Ms. Monteiro one of our Speech Therapists would like to remind parents of some important tips, especially for our younger students:
1. Limit technology use especially for the younger children
2. Read to your child everyday and ask them questions about what you read
3. Talk to your child and not at them....ask them about anything - start conversations
4. Play with them and have them create things for and with you
5. Set routines, bedtime routines are especially important - it is so important for learning

                          *Happy Holidays from all of us at the Student Support Center



Great Articles & Information:

https://www.disabilityscoop.com/2015/12/04/therapeutic-riding-play/21640/ - Therapeutic Horse Riding Benefits

http://equinesite.com/therapyride.htm#Massachusetts  - Local Riding Centers near us

 https://www.disabilityscoop.com/2015/12/07/pbs-to-air-autism-documentary/21645/  -
A documentary focusing on how people with autism experience love and manage romantic relationships is set to appear on PBS.
“Autism in Love” will air on the network’s “Independent Lens” series in January.
 

Resources:

Community Autism Resources - Swansea, MA
http://www.community-autism-resources.com/events/

Sesame Street is starting an outreach initiative for children with Autism - see here
http://www.sesameworkshop.org/what-we-do/our-initiatives/autism/

Parent's Guide to Special Education:
http://www.doe.mass.edu/sped/parents.html

Wrightslaw Special Education & Advocacy:
http://wrightslaw.com/

Disability Scoop - Online news and information:
https://www.disabilityscoop.com/2015/11/20/welcome-new-disability-scoop/21407/

Positive Synergy - ABA Services in Swansea, MA
http://www.positivesynergyasd.org/index.html

WiggleKids - Swansea mall - Swansea, MA
http://www.wigglekids.org/#!

Friday, November 6, 2015

TEST BLOG for Student Services - Hi Everyone!

Hi all,

I am so excited to be back online and ready to post my special education focused blog as the Assistant Director of Student Services.  My goal will be to try and post relevant happenings, news, trends and topics surrounding special education and education in the Swansea district.  You will be able to view the blog on our Student Services website as well as following on twitter @vie_lisa and @SwanseaSped . I will be using this first blog as a test run for the Remind app as well for those who signed up. 

I will use this as the test blog and plan to add more information as we go forward.




 Happenings:

Sensitive Santa is Coming to Town - please visit the web site for details:
http://www.mayinstitute.org/events/calendar.html?id=1044 

Cotting School Conference - Making Things Possible - All Things Tech - there conference is free on Saturday Nov. 14th and a light lunch is provided - see the link for details
http://www.cotting.org/site/PageServer?pagename=Making_Things_Possible


Resources:

Community Autism Resources - Swansea, MA
http://www.community-autism-resources.com/events/

Sesame Street is starting an outreach initiative for children with Autism - see here
http://www.sesameworkshop.org/what-we-do/our-initiatives/autism/

Parent's Guide to Special Education:
http://www.doe.mass.edu/sped/parents.html

Wrightslaw Special Education & Advocacy:
http://wrightslaw.com/

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

FAREWELL & HAPPY SUMMER Case Jr. High

Well summer is here and so is the end of another GREAT year at Case Jr. High.  I am ending the blog with some great end of the year #funandlearning, from field trips to classroom fun it is all here...enjoy!!


8th grade DC pictures 












Francis Farm: Gifts for Mrs. Rose & Mr. Monteiro - they work hard to make the DC trip awesome!!


Francis Farm 8th grade fun












Mrs. Asklar's class on an awesome end of the year field trip









I got to be the "Mystery Guest" and read to Mrs. Asklar's class...soooo fun!!





Our Case Jr. High Stars of the Year...they are AWESOME!!!!!!







Fun with bubbles & science with Mrs. Asklar's class








Some awesome Alien projects/posters on Ms. Martin's display board



Butterfly release day




Mrs. Ellis' & Mr. Proulx's students making some cool social studies themed games












Mrs. Ellis' homeroom won the PTO orange leaf fundraiser party....LUCKY



Our 2014-15 Teacher of the Year is Mr. T. Whalen - 8th grade ELA teacher.  He was quite surprised we announced this today as we usually do it at the promotion ceremony but he will be in SPAIN....yep SPAIN...I might still get inside one of the suitcases :-)  Congrats!!! Mr. T - you deserve it...we love you!!!!!




The PTO was so creative and put cute ribbons around all the other nominees who had letters for Teacher of the Year.  They are in teacher's mailboxes for them to enjoy! It is so great how our teachers truly inspire our students everyday - awesome job everyone!!



That about sums it up...a great month and great ways to end the school year.  Enjoy your time off and have some fun! -Peace out - Mrs. Le Vie