Institute for Small and
Rural Districts
Spring Newsletter

2016 ISRD Mid-Year Institute
for  ESE Administrators
This year's Mid-Year Institute was quite a success!  We had 51 ESE administrators in attendance.
On the first day, we had the pleasure of hearing Julie Weatherly, Esq. present on current legal issues in special education. 

The second day consisted of a presentation by Dr. Monica Verra-Tirado, BEESS Bureau Chief, on Revisiting SLD Eligibility in the MTSS System.  In addition, a Professional Learning Community meeting was held.  Participants discussed district concerns and shared innovative practices. 
A copy of the book, The Zones of Regulation - A Framework to Foster Self-Regulation and Emotional Control, is being purchased for each ESE Director.  Thank you to Lucinda Kelley, Hendry County, for sharing interesting information from this book with us.

Retiring ISRD Director, Renee Speisman, was serenaded by
ESE administrators at the MidYear Institute. 

Wakulla High School Principal, Mike Barwick continues to support ALL students by serving as referee annually at a Project Unify basketball game.  This division of Special Olympics pairs students with significant disabilities with typical peers on basketball, flag football and soccer teams.
The teams compete against other Project Unify teams from other districts.  Mr. Barwick also encourages the student body to support the events as spectators

ISRD Winter Institute for ESE Specialists and
New School Counselors

This year's Winter Institute will feature Julie Weatherly, Esq. on February 24 and BEESS Program Specialists on the following day.  Day 2 will begin with a special presentation by Drew Dees who competed in adaptive shot put on the Trenton High School track and field team in Gilchrist County. 

Drew, now 20, will be speaking about his life with cerebal palsey and how his determination led him to three championships in his sport and gave him a winning attitude that has continued to help him succeed in life.  Drew is currently a student at Santa Fe College majoring in Journalism.



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



Songs to Help Children Speak

Coast Music Therapy is a San Diego-based agency helping children with special needs grow through music. Their guide "Songs for Pre-Verbal and Emerging Verbal Learners" was designed to help teachers, therapists, and parents use song and rhythm as a powerful way to encourage speech. Click HERE to download the guide.

School Counselors:
Facilitating Transitions for Students with Disabilities from High School to Post-School Settings
This Module provides information for counselors and other education professionals to assist high school students with disabilities in the transition from the school environment to a post-school setting.

Click HERE

Does your school or district have a success  story to share?  Send us a few paragraphs about a student, school administrator or implementation of a program for students with disabilities for the next issue!

ISRD Trainings and Meetings
February 2016 - April 2016

February 2016
      18 - Community of Practice for School Psychologists, Adobe Connect
             (For 2015-2016 CoP members)
      24-25 - Winter Institute for ESE Specialists, Gainesville
             (For staffing, program, transition, behavior, and intervention specialists)

March 2016
        9 - Professional Learning Community for ESE Specialists Book Study, Adobe Connect
             (For members of the Book 3 study group)

April 2016
      13 - ISRD Advisory Committee Annual Meeting
      28 - Community of Practice for School Psychologists Conference Call

Click HERE to view the full 2015-2016 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.


ISRD's 41 Member Districts
Baker, Bradford, Calhoun, Columbia, DeSoto, Dixie, Flagler, Florida Virtual School, FAMU Lab School, FAU Lab School, Florida School for the Deaf and Blind, FSU Lab School, Franklin, Gadsden, Gilchrist, Glades, Gulf, Hamilton, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Lafayette, Lake Wales Charter Schools, Levy, Liberty, Madison, Monroe, Nassau, Okeechobee, Putnam, Sumter, Suwannee, Taylor, UF Lab School, Union, Wakulla, Walton, and Washington.
Contact Information

Institute for Small and Rural Districts

Ft. Clarke Middle School

9301 NW 23 Avenue

Gainesville, FL 32606




Renee Speisman, Director