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December 2017
A Message from Paul Vine - Happy Winter Break!
Paul Vine

I want to thank you for all your continued support this year. I sincerely hope you have a wonderful and happy winter break with your family and friends. We are looking forward to the New Year and all the wonderful achievements your children will accomplish this school year. Thank you so much for entrusting us with your children, we are so honored to have you as parents, partners, and supporters of your student’s education. Wishing you all the best over winter break and Happy New Year!

Sincerely,
Paul Vine     
           

Special Services Program Review - 5 Year Action Plan
Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) Advisory Update:
The Lake Washington School District’s MTSS Advisory has met twice since the beginning of this school year. We wanted to share a short overview of the work of the MTSS Advisory, and reason why we have developed this advisory to assist us with this important work.

Our district has existing academic, behavioral, and social emotional
supports for students. In some cases, these vary by school, area, grade level, or program.

While these supports are making a difference for many students, we are aware that there are persistent achievement and opportunity gaps for:
  • Students receiving special education services
  • Students who are not yet proficient in English
  • Students from low-income households
  • Black/African American, and Hispanic/Latino students

We also have students entering schools or grade levels already at, or above, standard.

In addition, programs and services that provide supports sometimes operate in silos. This partly contributes to academic and behavioral supports that are applied independently, even when students might benefit from an integrated approach to support and intervention.

For these reasons, a multi-disciplinary leadership team of district teachers, parents/community members, counselors, specialists, and administrators is developing a Multi-Tiered Systems of Supports Framework that will provide guidance for district-wide supports and structures that address academics, behavior and social-emotional skills.

"Multi-Tiered Support System (MTSS) is a generalized term describing a school-based academic or behavioral support framework in which students requiring supplemental attention move   through successive levels of interventions, with the intensity and individualization of instruction increasing with each subsequent level." (Hanover Research, 2014)

The leadership team will:

  • Review evidence-based practices and systems that support students academically, behaviorally and socially.
  • Learn about the supports that exist in our system and community and supports that are needed.
  • Make recommendations for adjustments to core curriculum, instruction, interventions, and assessments to support students academically, behaviorally and socially.
  • Make recommendations for leadership, structures, resources, and professional learning necessary for a Multi-Tiered System of Supports.

Parent & Family Advisory Opportunity:
We are looking to launch our Parent & Family Advisory to focus on our Special Services Strategic Planning work, regarding Parent and Family Engagement this spring. (See Parent and Family Engagement Strategic Plan Below).  We are looking for parent volunteers for our new advisory.  We expect to meet once a month, with our agenda being based on the Strategic Planning Goals, as well as parent input on emerging topics or interests. If you are interested in participating in this advisory, please email Mary Geil at: mgeil@lwsd.org.

Special Services Strategic Plan:
Parent and Family Engagement:

  • Publish communication resources and tools for students, families, and staff.
  • Increase Parent engagement at the district level.
  • Survey and provide venues for feedback regarding Special Education and Section 504 program and Services for parents and families annually.
  • Parent education resources and opportunities on an ongoing basis.
  • Increase Community Partnerships.
PTSA SNG Meetings and Child Care Support
I wanted to also remind you, again, about our monthly PTSA SNG meeting (see schedule below). This 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.org. In your email, please include the age of your child, so we can ensure we have enough staff to cover all the students. Our Associate Directors, and myself, participate in a meet and greet before each meeting at 6:30 p.m. We look forward to seeing you all there. - Paul Vine.        
Community Services Highlight:
Community Services for people with disabilities
The Arc of King County serves all people with intellectual and developmental disabilities across the lifespan: from prenatal diagnosis through end of life care. The Arc of King County was formed in 1936 when a group of parents raising children with intellectual and developmental disabilities came together to advocate for their children’s rights to live, learn, work and play in the community. Also, to further the civil rights movement for all persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities to thrive as equal, valued, and active members of the community. In King County, there are approximately 33,000 people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, many of whom are underserved or unserved by community resources. Please check out the Arc’s community calendar, available here:http://arcofkingcounty.org/community-calendar.html          
Resources for Parents of Students with Disabilities
The Lake Washington PTSA (LWPTSA) Council Special Needs Group/Parent Advisory Committee (PAC) and the Special Services Department have updated the Special Needs Resource Flyer, 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.
Upcoming LWPTSA Council Special Needs Group Meeting
Please note: No meeting in December

Date:
January 16, 2018
Time: 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Location:
LWSD Resource Center – Board Room (1st Floor)
16250 NE 74th St
Redmond, WA 98052

Guest speaker:
Dr. Ilene Schwartz of the Haring Center, UW will discuss full and meaningful inclusion: strategies, value and implementation.
Save the Date: PTSA Special Needs Group Meetings

Mark your calendar for the 2017-18 PTSA Special Needs Group Meetings:

  • February 20, 2018 – (Resource Center, Board Room)
  • March 20, 2018 – (Resource Center, Board Room)
  • April 17, 2018 – (Resource Center, Board Room)
  • May 15, 2018 – (Resource Center, Board Room) – Last Meeting of 2017-18 School Year!
  • No Meeting in June!