Monday, March 27, 2017

Another Upcoming Event

Another  Upcoming Event
Well, there certainly is not a shortage of things going on in the Syracuse area! I received an email from a student at Nazareth College with information for an event being held in April for middle and high school students. She is part of an organization know as Best Buddies which  is a nationally known organization that promotes inclusion through building friendships with those who have an intellectual or developmental disability. 

A Friendship Ball is being held at the Sheraton Hotel this April 21. This is an all inclusive dance for those who do and do not have a disability; to dress up, meet people from all over the area, and make some lasting friendships. The middle schoolers will be separated from the high schoolers and college kids for more age appropriate peer engagement. No one is required to have a date or formally dress up, we want everyone to come feeling comfortable and to have a good time with their friends and getting to know more people.

If your student would like to attend this event you must register online, the deadline it register is April 14.  For a flyer with more information please click here.  If you'd like more information about Best Buddies, visit their website at http://bestbuddies.org

~Sue

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Great Special Education Events

Last Friday morning I gave myself a little time to watch Good Morning America with a cup off coffee, a rare treat for me. I was intrigued to see that they were covering the Special Olympics World Games in Austria with none other than one of my favorite reporters, Robin Roberts! It topped off my week to see national coverage with a well known reporter at this event. The interviews she did with athletes and families were top notch. The coverage has continued through the weekend and early week. I've seen ice skating and snowshoe races; very exciting! To see more information on this amazing event click here.

Upcoming Resource Fair at West Genesee
Here are the details I promised in my last blog for the Resource Fair that will be held by the West Genesee Special Education PTSA. It will be held on Wednesday, March 29 from 6:30-8:00 p.m. at the West Genesee High School. There will be a variety of agencies represented and a wealth of information on various topics. For the flyer to this event click here.

Stay warm, and here's hoping spring will appear soon!  
Sue

Thursday, March 9, 2017

As We "spring" Towards Spring!

There is still a lot going on as we move through the year! Here are a few more things going on in and around our District as we "spring" towards Spring!

Our Bus Drivers and Attendants as Part of Our Team 
I recently had the opportunity to join Kara Lux as she did a presentation for our bus drivers and attendants. Kara is a speech/language pathologist at Stonehedge Elementary School who is doing her Administrative Internship this year. She created a presentation for our drivers to share strategies for helping some of our students with special transportation needs have a safer, and hopefully more enjoyable, ride on the bus. 

It was obvious from the conversations we had that so many of them care about our students and helping them be successful as they start and end the school day. The drivers were wonderful to share information with, they asked questions and shared their own experiences. Both Kara and I were glad to have had the time to  talk with them. They truly have a uniquely challenging job. We appreciate their willingness to work with us and their commitment to our students!

Transition Conference Day at OCC

On March 13 there will be a Transition Conference Day at OCC presented by SUPAC and supported by the CNY Special Education Task Force. This day will include presentations as well as the opportunity to talk with professionals regarding transition planning. This workshop is for families and students. Click here for more information.

Resource Fair
Our West Genesee Special Education PTSA will be hosting a resource fair  March 29. This event includes agencies and groups from around the area who help support students with with disabilities and their families. Stay tuned for details; I will send them out as soon as I have them!

Stay warm this weekend, sounds like it's going to be a cold one!  
Sue

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

So Many Events in Our Community

Well, CNY certainly doesn't rest just because its winter! I have been receiving emails with a number of things going on in our area that would be of interest to many of our families, so I want to share them with you. Please feel free to go to any of the websites associated with these groups to receive emails directly from them. There are some really great activities and workshops for students and families that happen right in our area.

Syracuse University Parent Assistance Center (SUPAC)                     
SUPAC will be holding two events in the upcoming days for families nearing high school and graduation. To view the SUPAC website use this link http://supac.org/

They will have a session called Understanding Diploma and Credential Options for Students with Disabilities. This workshop will explain the different diploma and credential options for students with disabilities. It will be held February 14 from 12:00-2:00 p.m. at Advocates Inc., 636 Old Liverpool Road, Liverpool. There is also a session in Oneida on February 28. Here is the link to register.

They are also holding an Information Session on Inclusive U. Inclusive U is a program that allows students with intellectual and developmental disabilities to attend and experience college. For more information click here. This information session will be February 15 from 2:30- 3:30 p.m. Register here.

Central New York Autism Society of America (CNY ASA)

CNY ASA puts out a monthly newsletter that has quite a bit of information. This month's addition is attached here. Please look it over as there are some great winter activities for students and families like snowmobiling and tubing, sensory friendly showings of movies (A Dog's Purpose is this weekend!) as well as information about the Autism Awareness Walk in April. Please feel free to look at their website and sign up to receive their newsletter with this link http://www.cnyasa.org/.

Hope you all are able to enjoy some of these events.

Take Care,
Sue


Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Winter is Still Here




It looks like winter is making another appearance with bits of snow, and I must admit the view out of our office is beautiful. Hopefully everyone is managing to stay healthy, the flu is here with a vengeance from what I am hearing!

There are a few things coming up that I wanted to share.

On February 9 at 6:30 p.m. in the WGHS library the West Genesee Special Education PTSA presents Dr Nicole DeRosa for a talk on Autism: Strategies for Families. Dr DeRosa, PsyD, BCBA-D, LBA is the Director of Behavior Disorders Clinic and Family Behaviors Analysis Program at Upstate Golisano Children's Hospital. She will be discussing effective strategies for increasing appropriate, functional skills and preventing challenging behavior in children with developmental disabilities and autism.

I have recently been made aware of an opportunity to join a research study for students with Autism here in Syracuse. Leanne Morphet, a parent in our District, has written a letter to Darlene and I explaining the research that is being done. Please click here to read the letter if you are interested in finding out more about this project.

Hope everyone stays healthy and warm!

Sue


Wednesday, January 18, 2017

January is Speeding By

Well, January seems to speeding by - its hard to believe we are almost half way through the school year. Every year seems to go by even faster to me- some may say that means you're getting older; I refuse to believe that!

Just a few notes and reminders:

Students Getting Ready forKindergarten:
Kindergarten registration has begun early this year. For those of you with preschool students who will be coming to Kindergarten in September, you do need to register so we know you plan to have your child attend Kindergarten. If you are opting to have your child stay in preschool an extra year or will be sending them to a school other than our District elementary schools, please contact our office to let us know so we can help you plan accordingly. You can contact our CPSE chairperson, Christina Smith, at 315-487-4662 if you have questions.

Annual Reviews:
We have started our spring annual reviews. All students will be having their annual reviews between now and May. The IEPs being written at these meetings will be for the 2017-18 school year as we plan ahead. If you have questions about your child's program for next year, especially if they are moving to middle or high school, please give me a call. It's never too soon to ask questions.


Sensory Friendly Pack at the Dome:
I also want to share with you a wonderful offer for students with sensory needs. One of our Physical Therapists found that the Jim & Juli Boeheim Foundation and Life is Washable, Inc., are teaming up to bring Friendly Access Sensory Safety Kits™ to the Carrier Dome. 

These are items in an orange drawstring bag that will be available at the Carrier Dome. These will help student swith sensory needs enjoy events at the Dome beginning January 14.  Click here for the link to more information.


Have a good January
- Sue

Thursday, December 1, 2016

The Holiday Season

Hopefully everyone enjoyed Thanksgiving with family and friends. My family and I were lucky enough to be able to fly out of Syracuse during the snow to spend the holiday with my parents; in
sunny Florida! I must say it was wonderful to leave the snow and enjoy the sunshine one last time before winter. I love the way the snow looks, but really could do without the cold temperatures it brings. And now its December and on to the holiday season; this year is flying right by!!

Special Education PSTA Speaker
On December 8, Dean Tzivanis will be at the West Genesee Special Education PTSA meeting presenting information about a couple of programs Onondaga Community College (OCC) offers for students with disabilities who are planning to attend college. The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. and is held in the high school library. In my first blog this year I described them so please feel free to look back for details but here is a quick synopsis:

The Onondaga Pathways to Careers program at OCC aims to provide support and remove barriers for students with disabilities interested in specific technology majors at OCC. The goal is to assist students with disabilities gain the necessary academic and non-academic credentials/skills to obtain a living wage job in the CNY region.


In addition, OCC has begun the OPC Scholars Program, which provides high school seniors with disabilities an opportunity to engage in post-secondary education planning, career exploration, and learning about the different resources available to college students with disabilities.  

Both programs are relatively new at OCC, and there is optimism that this program has all the elements needed to help students with disabilities succeed in college, and in the workforce.

These are opportunities for every student who is not on track to receive a regents Diploma 
and interested in pursuing a higher education after leaving West Genesee High School.

Sports Opportunity
I had a parent share with me a wonderful sounding opportunity for students who may be interested in tennis. ACEing Autism is an organization that was founded in 2008 in Boston, MA. They have expanded to a number of cities and offer services and programs for students with autism across the country. To learn more about  ACEing Autism, click here. 

They will be holding a tennis program at Drumlins that runs January through February. Here is the link for more information on this program: Tennis at Drumlins.

~Sue