Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Thank You for Your Patience

Dear Families,

I want to thank you all for your patience as we work through these last few days. It's certainly been interesting given how fast things are changing daily. We know that is is stressful for everyone as we wait for things to unfold. I certainly didn't think things would be changing as quickly as they are.

We want to assure you that Darlene and I are working diligently to develop a plan for our special education teachers and related service providers to continue to provide support for our students who have special education services while they are not in school. While we realize that there is no substitution for sitting in a classroom with a teacher, we are trying to plan activities that will allow your children to continue to learn and practice skills.

Please watch for communication from your child's special education teacher and related service providers as to what activities they will share and how they will be able to provide to support to your children. There will be opportunities for them to have weekly contact with their students through Google Classroom, Zoom, or other online means. Thank goodness for technology!

All this being said, we realize that this is going to be a stressful few weeks for everyone. We are hoping that having contact with their teachers will allow our students to still feel connected to school.

Please feel free to contact either Darlene or I at any time. I have included our emails below.

Hope everyone stays healthy and safe ~Sue

Sue Murray- Director of Special Education - smurray@westgensee.org
Darlene Chapin- Assistant Director of Special Education - dchapin@westgenesee.org

Monday, March 9, 2020

Reminder....WG SEPTSA Event Wednesday

The WG SEPTSA Early Childhood Intervention event will be held this Wednesday, March 11. The speakers will be Dr George Starr, Marylou Milane, Laurie Black and Speech Language Pathologists from West Genesee who will all discuss early intervention for young children.  

There will also be vendors who will share information. This event will be at the West Genesee High School LGI Room from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. There will be free childcare and door prizes. Click here for details.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Happy February Break!

I dont usually post a blog over a break, but there were a couple of time sensitive items that I want to get out.

Mid-State School Age-Family and Community Engagement Survey
I received an email asking that we pass on information to  our community regarding family engagement. Family engagement is one of the most powerful predictors of a child’s development and academic success.This is a short timeframe; however, don’t miss your chance to let your voice be heard.

The Mid-State School Age-Family and Community Engagement (SA-FACE) Center needs your help in completing the New York State Education Department’s (NYSED) Office of Special Education (OSE) Family Engagement Survey. Please complete this quick survey by Friday, February 28, 2020 to help improve academic, behavioral and social-emotional supports for all students!

To get to the survey go here: https://forms.gle/nhFEQyBxvMYCqNEB7   Please feel free to share this survey with anyone that has a school-aged child in New York State.The Mid-State SA FACE Center's role is to serve families, communities and schools to improve outcomes for students with disabilities.  If you have questions about this survey or the supports that the SA-FACE Center can offer, please email safacecenter@syr.edu or call 315-443-4195.

Save the Date for a WG SEPTSA Event
The WG SEPTSA is going to be holding an event on March 11 on the topic of Early Intervention.  There will be presenters as well as vendors who will share information. This event will be at the West Genesee High School LGI Room from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. There will be free childcare and door prizes. Click here for details.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Winter and the Holidays are Approaching Quickly

Well, the winter season and all the holidays it brings is approaching quickly! I was not ready for the snow yet, but it certainly looks pretty.

Sensory Friendly Holiday Celebrations

Santa has arrived at Destiny USA. I came across a notification that Destiny USA will be hosting a sensory friendly day with Santa on Sunday, December 8 from 9:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m. that is being held in sponsorship with Autism Speaks and here is the link to the  webpage, and if you scroll down to "Santa Cares" you will see the link to register for this event.

The Syracuse City Ballet will be hosting a sensory friendly performance of the Nutcracker again this year. The performance will be Tuesday, November 26th at noon. Here is more information and a link to purchase tickets.

As I hear of other events that will be happening I will try to keep you updated.

Stay Warm
~ Sue

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Fall is Here!

Well, I cannot believe how quickly fall has come upon us; we're already seven weeks into the school year. The days are getting shorter, the weather is getting cooler, and Halloween is almost here.

International Stuttering Awareness Day

Today I was so lucky to see a class presentation by one of our students. Bennett is a 2nd grader in Mrs. Prosser's class at Stonehedge. 

He created a graphic novel with an ipad app, that he shared with his classmates to teach them about stuttering; why it happens, what it looks like and what they can do to help him when he stutters.  

He had the help of his speech teacher Mrs. Dunham to create the book. What a courageous young man to share this with all of his classmates; and he had quite a few adults watching him too! Well done Bennett!!


The West Genesee Special Education PTSA (SEPTSA) held its first meeting of the year last week. They will be meeting in the West Genesee High School Library from 6:30-8:00 p.m. on the following dates: December 3, January 30, March 11, May 11 and will conclude the year with their picnic at Shove Park on June 24.  This group would like to have more members participate, you can join online by clicking here to sign up.

Enjoy the sunny fall days while they are here!

~ Sue

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Sensory Ideas to Help get Through the Summer

I was reading through my email this morning and came across this list of great ideas to help address sensory needs at home.  With many of our students not seeing their regular teachers and therapists for the summer, I thought it may help parents make things at home a little easier.

If you have someone at home who would potentially benefit from some sensory input or needs some sensory-soothing options, you might be interested in checking out these sites for ideas. 

Tip sheet from Rochester Regional Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders Strong Center for Developmental Disabilities on making your own kit:http://libguides.urmc.rochester.edu/ld.php?content_id=42929685 (BTW, while this is aimed at people with ASD, the tips could be use by anyone.)

Have a wonderful summer!   

Monday, April 15, 2019

What are our Students Doing?

Seems Spring teased us a bit with a few nice days recently. I am hoping it's going to be making another appearance soon; I'm certainly ready for some warmer weather!

What are our Students Doing?
Our middle and high school students have been involved in some fun activities to keep away the winter blahs.

Our high school students went on a trip to the bowling alley as part of their APE class. This group of students is working on many skills to promote social skills and life skills and is part of the community skills they work on to help prepare them for life after high school. They truly have a good time together and the opportunity to put what they learn in school into practice is an important part of their transition.

Students at Camillus Middle School have been busy in the classroom. They have done a research project called "Images are Powerful" after watching CNN10 all year about the refugee crisis around the world. They also read the book Dear World: A Syrian Girl's Story and Plea for Peace. This book is written about the  first hand experience of  a young girl and her mother.

They have also done an animal research project and participated in an "archaeological dig" after studying about Ancient Civilizations. They discovered how challenging it is to dig for artifacts or fossils.

Community Connections Information Night
Fayetteville-Manlius is hosting an informational night on April 22 from 4:15-8:30 p.m. at their high school. It will include representatives from community organizations and college representatives focusing on the transition from high school school.

As we approach the nice weather, I hope to share information of upcoming events people may be interested in. Please feel free to let me know of any upcoming events or activities you think I could share with others.

Happy Spring!
- Sue