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May 2018

A Message from Paul Vine

Wishing everyone a smooth end to the school year, and hopefully you are finding time to enjoy the sunny weather we have had recently. This newsletter is a little longer than it has been in the past, as I wanted to be sure to update you on the Washington Integrated System of Monitoring (WISM) Summary Review Report, the five-year Strategic Work and remind you about some of the summer resources we have shared with you in our previous newsletter. Thank you all for your support of our district, we could not be as successful as we are without all your support and hard work. 

Paul Vine, Director, Special Services

Lake Washington School District Superintendent Search Focus Group for LWPTSA Council Special Needs Parent Group

We’d like to offer you an opportunity to take part in a focus group around the search for Lake Washington School District’s next superintendent. The School Board is working with Ray & Associates to conduct a nation-wide search. The feedback received at these focus groups will be shared with the School Board, as they will ultimately be selecting the next superintendent.You can visit the Superintendent Search page of the LWSD website for more information.

This focus group will take place prior to the LWPTSA Council Special Needs Parent Group Meeting on Tuesday, May 15 from 5:30-6:15 p.m. in the LWSD Resource Center Board Room (16250 NE 74th Street, Redmond, WA 98052). Student care will be available during this meeting. For student care, please RSVP by emailing with the name and age of your student. If you plan to arrive in time for the 5:30 p.m. focus group, please RSVP by/before May 11.

For more information,visit the Superintendent Search page of the LWSD website.

Update: Washington’s Integrated System of Monitoring Summary Review Report (WISM)
I would like to update you on our WISM Monitoring, which occurred in March. I would also like to send a thank you, and my sincere appreciation, for everyone who took time out of their busy schedule to meet with OSPI’s WISM Monitoring Team. The following is a brief overview of the OSPI on-site Summary Review Report: 

OSPI’s Washington Integrated System of Monitoring (WISM) Onsite Visit Summary Review Report

The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) conducts annual reviews of selected school districts in the state using Washington’s Integrated System of Monitoring (WISM). This year, we were selected for monitoring, which included an onsite review by OSPI monitors. As you know, the onsite portion of the monitoring process was conducted on March 28 and March 29. The onsite visit included meetings with members of our Central Leadership Team, focus groups that included district parents and staff, classroom observations, and interviews of teachers and Special Education Specialists. 

Overall, there were no major areas of concern noted in the Summary Review Report. Areas that were noted, including adjustments to our Preschool Least Restrictive Environment reporting process; providing a written description to department staff of our procedures in implementing dispute resolution findings; sharing post-school outcome data with high school Special Education Teachers for them to share with their students; and providing clarification on how Paraeducators are assigned, will help us to improve Special Education Services.

In addition, in the visit debrief and Summary Report, OSPI indicated that we had excellent data management and fiscal controls. They also highlighted the district’s efforts on the MTSS framework for evidenced-based interventions, a formalized pre-referral process and developing student/teacher problem-solving team processes. Other highlights included the expansion of our 18-21 services and the data collection tools, as well as strategies used at the transition academy to collect student data in the community setting.

A final report will be written after further analysis of the data and information gathered from the pre-review, student-level record reviews and other post-review activities. OSPI is expecting to send the final report to us by the end of May 2018. Again, thank you for all your support. We will share updated information when we receive the final report. Again, OSPI was very appreciative of all your time and expertise. 
Resources for Parents of Students with Disabilities:
If you haven’t already, please take a moment to look at the Special Needs Resource Flier, created by the Lake Washington PTSA (LWPTSA) Council Special Needs Group/Parent Advisory Committee (PAC) and the Special Services Department, available here. You can also pick up a hard copy at your child’s school, and/or from your child’s 504 or Special Education Case Manager at your annual review meeting.
Seattle Children’s Parent Support Program is offering a Support Caregiver:
Seattle Children’s Hospital is offering an opportunity for peer support caregiver training. Please click here to see the flyer and share with any families you believe may be interested.  
Special Services Program Review - 5 Year Action Plan
Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) Task Force met, again, this month. They continued their work on developing our knowledge and understanding of multi-tiered support systems and connecting MTSS to our systems currently in place, and starting to develop our MTSS school pilots work. See Multi-Tiered System of Supports Advisory link for updates. 

Co-teaching Strategic Work is progressing and we are in the process of selecting school teams to begin piloting co-teaching in the 2018-19 school year. We are looking for at least one secondary school from each learning community to participate. Each team will be provided professional learning sessions for teachers and principals over the summer and throughout the next school year. 

Dyslexia Strategic Work; our Special Education and Intervention Program Directors are co-leading a Dyslexia Advisory Team. The team includes Program Specialists, School Psychologists, Speech Language Pathologists, parents, Safety Net and Special and General Education Teachers. The purpose of the team is to build a system of supports to ensure that students with reading difficulties, including dyslexia, are identified early, and provided with accelerated and explicit instruction in foundational reading skills to mitigate long-term reading difficulties and/or qualification for Special Education. 

The team is ensuring that recommendations for our system of supports meet the requirements of recently passed, E2SSB 6162 Dyslexia, which takes effect in the 2021 school year. E2SSB 6162 requires that school districts must:
Use multi-tiered systems of support to provide evidence-based, multisensory, structured, literacy intervention to students in grades K-2 who display indications or areas of weakness associated with dyslexia
   - These interventions must be provided by an educator trained in instructional methods that target students’ areas of weakness
Use screening tools and resources that exemplify best practices
Begin providing supports in the General Education classroom wherever possible
Notify student's family when students show indications or areas of weakness associated with dyslexia 
   - Notification must include the plan for support and information relating to dyslexia resources
Recommend to the student's family that the student be evaluated for dyslexia or a specific learning disability if, after receiving interventions, further screening tools and resources indicate that a student continues to have indications of, or areas of weakness associated with, dyslexia

Our Dyslexia Advisory Team is currently identifying assessments for screening and progress monitoring to begin using in 2018-19. Our current screening and progress-monitoring tool, DIBELS Next, has been compared with essential components for identification of students with dyslexia. DIBELS Next contains the necessary components except for two areas: alliteration and rapid naming. The team will ensure the curriculum-based diagnostic and progressing monitoring tools include alliteration and rapid naming assessments.  

The team has identified evidence-based dyslexia best-practices and curriculum components to use when determining specific curriculum to pilot in schools, starting in the spring. The team reviewed curriculum and selected three evidence-based programs for further review. The team participated in vendor presentations for these programs. Special Education, General Education and Safety Net Teachers will pilot each curriculum in the months of April and May. The team will come together in May to share pilot experiences, decide on a curriculum and make a final recommendation to use with students at-risk for dyslexia. The recommendation is scheduled to be forwarded to our Instructional Materials Committee in May, and to the Board in June.

Professional development on dyslexia will begin in the spring of 2018. This will include an overview of dyslexia and new dyslexia legislation. The team will also collaborate with the selected curriculum vendor to provide professional development for Special Education Teachers, Safety Net Teachers, Administrators and Program Specialists. A dyslexia overview will be delivered to K-2 General Education Teachers, beginning in the fall of 2018.  Safety Net and Special Education Teachers will participate in ongoing support and professional development throughout the 2018-19 school year.
Disability Awareness:  
May is National Mental Health Awareness. You can read the proclamation from the President of the United States here
Summer Resources for Parents of Students with Disabilities
Seattle Children’s Center for Children with Special Needs

2018 Summer Camp Directory for children with special health care needs, now available!

- List of over 80 summer camps and programs for children, youth, and young adults with behavioral conditions, learning and developmental disabilities, medical conditions, and physical disabilities across Washington
- Now includes camps in northern Oregon and western Idaho to help serve families in southern and eastern Washington
- Search the online directory by camp type, specific condition, region, and more!
- Single print copies available by mail*

Resource Guide 

- Directory of statewide resources for advocacy, child care, dental, diagnosis, financial help, insurance, mental and behavioral health and more
- Tips and information on care for children with special health care needs
- Available in English and Spanish*
County Resource Lists 
- County-specific resources for families of children with special needs
- Download and print to use with families

County Resource Lists 

- County-specific resources for families of children with special needs
- Download and print to use with families

New Camps Added!

Since the Summer Camp Directory’s release on March 1, they have continued to add new summer camps. The directory now lists more than 95 camps for children, youth and young adults with behavioral conditions, learning and developmental disabilities, medical conditions and physical disabilities. Camps are located throughout Washington, north Oregon and west Idaho. Search for camps by camp type, diagnosis, location and more. To order a single copy of the print directory, contact Hanna Abrahamson (Project Coordinator | Center for Children with Special Needs Seattle Children's Hospital). 

PTSA SNG Meetings and Child Care Support
Our monthly PTSA SNG meeting (see schedule below) is a great time to network with other parents, learn more about resources in our community and learn more about strategies and supports for students with disabilities. We are now offering student care during these meetings to assist you in being able to access this wonderful opportunity to meet with parents. Please RSVP each month by emailing smcenroe@lwsd.orgFor our May meeting, please RSVP by/before May 10. In your email, please include the age of your child so we can ensure we have enough staff to cover all the students. The Special Services Director and Associate Directors participate in a meet and greet before each meeting at 6:30 p.m. We look forward to seeing you all there.
Upcoming LWPTSA Council Special Needs Group Meetings:
Date: May 15, 2018 (Last Meeting of the 2017-2018 School Year)
Time: 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Location: LWSD Resource Center – Board Room (1st Floor)
                 16250 NE 74th St
                 Redmond, WA 98052
Topic: Financial and legal planning for families with children with disabilities: Mendi Carroll, an attorney specializing in estate planning, and Sheldon Sweeney, a financial adviser, will walk through the foundations of financial and legal planning for families with children with disabilities. 
2017-2018 PTSA Special Needs Group Meetings:
- No meeting in June