Institute for Small and
Rural Districts
Fall Newsletter
2015

Highlights from ISRD Summer Institutes

 
PRINCIPALS' SUMMER INSTITUTE

On the first day of the Summer Institute for Principals, we had the pleasure of hearing Melinda Jacobs, Esq. present on legal issues in Special Education.


 
The second day consisted of a BEESS Bureau update by Dr. Monica Verra-Tirado and two breakout groups with panelists, one for elementary and the other for secondary.  Participants always enjoy hearing all the good ideas from their peers.  ISRD would like to highlight some of the guest panelists below.


Early Childhood MTSS

Baker County Pre-K/K Center - Baker County
 
Bonnie Jones, Principal, bonnie.jones@bakerk12.org

 
Baker County Pre-K/K Center identified social emotional skills as an area needed to improve their MTSS process.  Once the need was identified, Principal, Bonnie Jones implemented a school-wide social emotional curriculum as well as provided professional development for the teachers as well as parents.  

Currently being developed is a Social Emotional checklist (pre, mid-year, and post) to use as part of their data collection for progress monitoring.   As soon as ISRD receives a copy of the Social Emotional checklist, you will be able to access it from our website at:  http://isrd.nefec.org/documents/

 
Focus on Inclusion

 

Yulee Primary School - Nassau County


 
Misty Mathis, Principal, misty.mathis@nassau.k12.fl.us

 

Brianna Johnson, Assistant Principal

brianna.johnson@nassau.k12.fl.us

 

Yulee Primary is a Title 1 school serving students in pre-kindergarten through second grade with a total of 945 students.  There are 50 general education classrooms with two support facilitation teachers serving each grade level.  In addition, there are four self-contained classrooms as well as a K-2 Access Points classroom.

 

The K-2 varying exceptionalities classroom and the K-2 Access Points classroom are district units, which mean the ESE Director places those students in the units to serve the needs of special students in the entire district.  

 

(continue to the full article)


Focus on Check & Connect as a Means to Increase Graduation Rate

 

LaBelle High School - Hendry County

 

David Kelley, Assistant Principal,

kellyed@hendry.k12.fl.us

 

LaBelle High School has had great success over the past two years with Check & Connect. 

 

After the first year of implementation of Check & Connect, the ESE Federal Graduation Rate for LaBelle High School went from 67% to 81% - Higher than the General Education Grad Rate! 

 

(read more about the great results)

 


  SUMMER INSTITUTE FOR 
ESE ADMINISTRATORS

The Institute followed the Florida CASE Summer Leadership Institute.  ISRD member ESE directors were joined by discretionary project staff and BEESS Bureau Chief Dr. Monica Verra-Tirado to discuss best practices.

Dr. Rosalind Hall, Director of ESE and Student Services presented Levy County's Check and Connect program at Williston High (see below.)

 


Check & Connect

 

Williston High School - Levy County

 

Eulin Gibbs, Principal, eulin.gibbs@levy.k12.fl.us

                                  (Also presented at Principals' Summer Institute)

  

"Levy County has one Check & Connect mentor at Williston High School who has positively impacted the targeted population in moving students toward the goal of graduating from high school.  The students have a 'go to person' and the mentor does her job to fidelity."  - Eulin Gibbs


 

(find out more about the mentor's duties)

 


QUICK LINKS



with a Directory and Profiles of Member Districts, resources,
and more

contains ESE forms, documents, and manuals currently in use in member districts

for the latest on current state legislative changes



SEEN AND NOTED


 Volume 31, Issue 2 of  LRP's   The Special Educator  featured an  article entitled 
 "What happens when a  decades-old concept  meets  online  schooling?"   Within  the article, LRE issues for  virtual schools are  addressed by LRP  contributor and school    attorney Jose Martin,  and  Nikki Callaghan,  ESE  Manager for  Florida Virtual  School  (FLVS).   

 Ms. Callaghan  addressed  multiple  factors including  self- motivation, parental  participation,  on-task  behaviors, and social  skills  as they apply to  the IEP of a  full-time FLVS student.  

 FLVS became a  member of  ISRD  during  the 2014-2015  school  year along with  Florida  School for the Deaf  and  Blind and the five  Florida university  laboratory  schools.   Ms.  Callaghan has  been an  active participant in  the  training and networking  opportunities provided  by the  ISRD project.
   
 

VSA NEWS
Very Special Arts Florida


  
 VSA Florida announced in  February the winners of their  8th Annual 2015 VSA Florida  Young Soloist Competition  who will be representing the  State of Florida in the VSA  International Competition in  Washington, D.C. later this  year.  Congratulations to 19  year old lyric soprano,  Lyudmilla Fuentes from Polk  County, 17 year old pianist  James Williams from Pasco  County and Outta Sight, the   musical performing group   from the Florida School for   the Deaf and Blind  The three  artists/groups were selected  through a strict adjudication  process and will now  represent Florida in their  quest for the international  title. 

 Additionally, through a  partnership with the Florida  Orchestra and Ashley  Furniture, each winner will  perform at Vinoy Park in St.  Petersburg in October 2015  at the orchestra's annual  Concert in the Park.

 Find out more about Outta  Sight  by clicking HERE
 and be sure to watch their  performance  video!  FSDB
 is now a member of ISRD.


Proposed ISRD Trainings and Meetings
August 2015 - December 2015

August 2015

      19 - Professional Learning Community for ESE Administrators, Adobe Connect

                (For member district ESE directors)              

      26 - Legal Issues in ESE for New Principals and Assistant Principals, Gainesville

                (For first or second year principals, assistant principals and their district ESE

                 administrators, not recommended for experienced school administrators or

                 other job descriptions

 

September 2015

        3 - Policies and Procedures Training for New ESE Specialists and New School Counselors

                (ESE basics for first year specialists and counselors, not recommended for experienced

                specialists or other job descriptions)

      22 - Professional Learning Community for ESE Specialists Book Study, Adobe Connect

                (For members of the Book 1 study group)

      24 - Community of Practice for ESE Specialists, North East Region, Gainesville

                (For staffing, program, transition, behavior and intervention specialists)

      24 - Community of Practice for School Psychologists, Adobe Connect

                 (For 2015-2016 CoP members)

      29 - Community of Practice for ESE Specialists, Panhandle Region, Chipley

                 (For staffing, program, transition, behavior and intervention specialists)

 

October 2015

        1 - Community of Practice for ESE Specialists, Heartland Region, Lake Placid

                (For staffing, program, transition, behavior and intervention specialists)

      28 - Secondary Inclusion for School Administrators, Gainesville

                (For middle and high school principals and assistant principals)

 

November 2015

        4 - Professional Learning Community for ESE Administrators, Adobe Connect

                 (For member district ESE directors)             

      12 - Community of Practice for ESE Specialists, North East Region, Gainesville

                 (For staffing, program, transition, behavior and intervention specialists)

      12 - Community of Practice for School Psychologists, Adobe Connect

                 (For 2015-2016 CoP members)

      16 - Community of Practice for ESE Specialists, Heartland Region, Lake Placid

             (For staffing, program, transition, behavior and intervention specialists)

      19 - Community of Practice for ESE Specialists, Panhandle Region, Chipley

             (For staffing, program, transition, behavior and intervention specialists)

 

December 2015

        8 - Improving Graduation Rates for Students with Disabilities, Gainesville

              (For school-based non-instructional teams)

      10 - School Law for School Psychologists, Gainesville

              (For member district school psychologists)

      16 - Professional Learning Community for ESE Specialists Book Study, Adobe Connect

              (For members of the Book 2 study group)

      16 - Community of Practice for School Psychologists, Adobe Connect

              (For 2015-2016 CoP members)

 

 

Click HERE to view the full 2015-2016 proposed calendar

 
About ISRD

 

ISRD provides training and technical assistance for district and school-based administrators to support positive outcomes for students with disabilities across a network of 41 small and rural Florida school districts.

 

Contact Information

Institute for Small and Rural Districts

Ft. Clarke Middle School

9301 NW 23 Avenue

Gainesville, FL 32606

352-333-2831

 

 

Renee Speisman, Director
speismrf@gm.sbac.edu