Sau44 Literacy Committee Outline
The SAU #44 Joint School Board (serving the communities of Northwood, Nottingham & Strafford) has appointed
Dr. Michael Ludwell as the Interim Superintendent of Schools, and Allan Demko, as the Interim Business
Administrator. Dr. Ludwell and Mr. Demko were unanimously approved by the Joint School Board at their
SAU #44 has received a grant from the NH Department of Education in the amount of $28,986 to provide professional development for special education teachers in Northwood and Nottingham. The purpose of the grant is to ensure that special education teachers are highly qualified in both special education and the core subject areas (math, reading/language arts, science and social studies) where they provide direct instruction to students with disabilities. We anticipate that this will lead to improved outcomes for special education students. Professional development is one piece of the school and district improvement plans to improve education and help students to make adequate progress.
Throughout the year, the SAU #44 Curriculum Committee, under the direction of Dr. Robert Koenig, met to discuss issues related to curriculum in the district’s schools. In July, a dedicated group of educators and administrators from Northwood, Nottingham and Strafford schools met for a week to design a grade K through 8 reading curriculum for the schools within SAU #44. This work reflects the NH Grade Level Expectations http://www.ed.state.nh.us/education/doe/organization/curriculum/NECAP/GLEs.htm and Grade Span Expectations Grade Span Expecations (GSEs). The group intends to complete a grade K through 8 writing curriculum in early fall of 2007.
SAU 44 applies for grants under the No Child Left Behind Act on behalf of Northwood, Nottingham and Strafford Schools, and Coe-Brown Northwood Academy. These include grants for Title I, Part A, Helping Disadvantaged Children Meet High Standards; Title II-A, Preparing, Training and Recruiting High Quality Teachers and Principals; Title III, Language Instruction for Limited English Proficient Students; Title IV-A, Safe and Drug Free Schools and Communities; and Title V, Innovative Programs. We welcome input or questions from parents, students, educators, and the general public concerning these programs. The documents are available for review at the SAU 44 office at 569 First NH Turnpike, Northwood, NH. Anyone who would like to review these grants may call 942-1290.to make an appointment with the SAU office to view them.
One of the most popular online resources supported by the U.S. Department of Education recently received an extreme makeover that has put hundreds of teaching and learning resources easily at the public's disposal. The redesign of the FREE (Federal Resources for Educational Excellence) website, available at http://free.ed.gov , helps users to better navigate more than 1,500 resources from more than 35 federal agencies that range from an interactive program picturing phases of the moon from the National Science Foundation to video narratives by Holocaust survivors from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. It organizes these resources according to academic subjects, using an appealing display of photos and illustrations for easy identification.
In addition, the new design adds a subject map on the home page that organizes the online collection according to eight categories: language arts; math; science; U.S. history; U.S. time periods; world studies; arts and music; and health and physical education. Each category follows with a subgroup that helps to fine-tune the search for resources. For instance, U.S. history covers ethnic groups, famous people, movements and wars. The science category explores applied, earth, life, physical and space sciences, while the math group looks at algebra, data analysis, geometry, measurement, and numbers and operations. And, for observances celebrated in the classroom, the site—which is updated weekly—includes resources for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Sept. 11 as part of its special collections.
Source: U.S. Department of Education, The Achiever, January 2007, Vol. 6, #l.
|SAU 44 SCHOOLS RECEIVE GRANTS FROM
Northwood, Nottingham and Strafford Schools all received grants from the Healthy NH foundation (HNHfoundation) for recreational programs for their students. In an effort to increase physical activity and promote healthy eating among New Hampshire children up to age eight (8), the HNHfoundation has provided funding to schools and other nonprofit programs for:
Northwood School is in its second year of funding from the HNHfoundation. Last year, Northwood School received funds to purchase snowshoes and equipment for a Snowshoe Club. Although there was not a great deal of snow, students were able to enjoy several outdoor treks. The Snowshoe Club will continue this year, with assistance from parent volunteers and teachers. In addition, a Walking Club was established to provide physical activity for students. This year, the school will purchase additional exercise equipment appropriate for students at various levels. This equipment will be used in the K-2 classrooms and gym to provide opportunities for exercise, and during inclement weather when the students cannot go outside.
Another activity begun last year that will be continued is Family Fun Night. These are hosted several times throughout the school year, and provide parents and their children with ideas for activities they can do at home to increase physical exercise. Information on good nutrition is provided to parents and students.
Nottingham School received a new HNHfoundation grant to purchase snowshoes and start a Snowshoe Club, to provide supervised outdoor exercise for students in grades 1 and 2. The school will collaborate with the Nottingham Recreation Department to coordinate an after school snowshoeing activity. Students in small groups led by volunteers will take turns using the outdoor trail located at the school.
Strafford School received a new HNHfoundation grant to purchase snowshoes, and may establish a school Snowshoe Club. In addition, the PTO has pledged $1,000 to purchase equipment for some of the other grades. The only thing needed now is snow!
Parents who would like more information about healthy nutritional choices or exercise can contact the schools. There are also many excellent resources on nutrition and exercise for children available on the web. One such resource is Team Nutrition, which is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture at www.teamnutrition.usda.gov.
|School Nurses Work Hard to Optimize Student Health, and Parents Can Help
School nurses are health experts in the schools who work toward supporting students' personal, social, physical, and academic growth by promoting health, as well as preventing disease and injuries. To effectively provide this support, schools and school nurses require a partnership with parents to ensure that children maintain optimal health at school, because healthy children come to school more ready to learn and better able to achieve their academic potential.
This fall, responding to some new health threats, many school nurses will be emphasizing flu prevention measures, as well as finding ways to protect children from mosquito and tick bites. Most schools now have plans in place to prepare for the possibility of pandemic flu sometime in the future and have followed the guidance the state has issued.
School nurses take a leadership role in decreasing the spread of illnesses like influenza by reinforcing cough etiquette (covering coughs and sneezes), promoting hand washing and ensuring that sick children and staff stay home when ill. The NH Department of Health and Human Services website ( http://www.dhhs.state.nh.us ) contains valuable information about preventing diseases that are transmitted from mosquito and tick bites. In many schools, there may be special policies about bug repellents that you will need to follow.
As usual, at the beginning of every school year, schools request that parents update health information about their children. School nurses are usually responsible for collecting such information. New Hampshire laws mandate the need for schools to record current information about student immunizations, physicals, and medications to be given at school.
All schools need to document that children are properly immunized unless parents have signed a form indicating that their children are not immunized based on medical or religious grounds. Students without proper immunization documentation can be excluded from school. For more information about state immunization requirements, please contact the Department of Health and Human Services at 1-800-852-3345, extension 4482, or your child's school nurse. Additionally, state law requires that when students first enter the public school system they have documentation of a recent physical examination on file at school.
State laws are also very strict about medication administration at school. Parents should request that medication be given at school only if it is absolutely necessary. In order for any prescription medications to be given at school, parents or guardians must bring the medication in original pharmacy-labeled containers and include very specific information from the health care provider. Finally, it is wise for parents to let school nurses know if their children are receiving any medications at home, so that any reactions to medications may be more easily recognized.
In addition to health and immunization information, schools need accurate information on how to contact parents or other responsible adults in case of medical or other emergencies. Parents should consider providing permission ahead of time for the school nurse to contact the child's health care provider. They should also keep school nurses up-to-date on any new or ongoing health problems. School nurses use private health data to promote health and safety, to intervene when potential problems arise, and to help students reach their educational potential. They take precaution to ensure that information parents share remains confidential. Ask your school nurse about this if it is a concern. School nurses look forward to working with parents to provide a safe and healthy learning environment for children.
School nurses are also very interested in assisting children in obtaining health insurance, if needed. The Healthy Kids Program provides low cost and free health insurance for uninsured children, but many families are unaware that they may be eligible. Please consider contacting your school nurse to find out more about this program. The current application process is much easier than in previous years.
Article reprinted with permission from the N.H. Department of Education.
Understanding the changes to the New Hampshire Rules
for the Education of Children with Disabilities
A complete copy of the N.H. Rules can be found on the New Hampshire Department of Education Web site: www.ed.state.nh.us/sped. Copies will be available, upon request, and in alternate formats.
The Bureau of Special Education will be providing technical assistance for understanding the changes to the N.H. Rules for the Education of Children with Disabilities.
For further information, contact: Santina Thibedeau, 271-6693, firstname.lastname@example.org
|New Hampshire FAMILY VOICES has just published Maneuvering Through The Maze - A Family Resource Guide, which lists New Hampshire services for families of children with disabilities and special health care needs ages birth through adulthood. A copy of Maneuvering Through The Maze - A Family Resource Guide may be downloaded from their website at www.nhfv.org. New Hampshire FAMILY VOICES has a newsletter, Pass It On, as well as a host of other publications, which can also be accessed from their website.|
Last year, we reported on the outcomes of the Autism Task Force, the development of a protocol of services, the establishment of resources at each of the three schools, the professional development that has taken place, and the formation of Autism Family Night for the district.
This year, we continue to support our students with autism by working in social groups, consulting with the IEP teams, talking with parents, and facilitating the Autism Family Night. The Autism Family Night is beginning its second year. This group meets at the Nottingham Community Center. Families share a potluck dinner, then the kids separate to play in the gym with our expert (and dedicated) OT's. The OT's provide activities, facilitate collaborative games, and then help calm and prepare them for the transition back to their homes, by doing Tai Chi. The parents meet and discuss a variety of issues from parenting, transitions, holidays, and whatever is important to them at the time. We show videos such as: 9-1-1 Safety and Carol Gray's How to Write Social Stories. We had Barbara Lowrey, from the May Institute, as a guest speaker.
While writing the grant, it was necessary to count the number of children with autism served by the district. While the national average is 1 in 150 students, SAU #44 is closer to double that number. Currently, most of our students with autism are performing to their potential. This is a credit to our dedicated special education staff, paraprofessionals, classroom teachers, administration, and parents. It is a team effort, and our teams are dedicated, involved, and energetic!
John H. Hager, Assistant Secretary of the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS), U.S. Department of Education, has just announced the release of a CD version of the Tool Kit on Teaching and Assessing Students with Disabilities: Parents'
Materials, which is designed to assist parents and school districts in working together to raise the achievement of all students with disabilities.
The new Parents' Tool Kit augments the previously released CD, Tool Kit on Teaching and Assessing Students with Disabilities, and offers a collection of resources on the same substantive areas addressed in the first Tool Kit, including assessment, instructional practices, behavior and accommodations. These new documents were written specifically for parents and include information they need as they work with schools to ensure that their children are receiving a quality education. Materials included in the new Parent Tool Kit provide information that will help parents become active and informed participants in IEP meetings and discussions, as well as other decision-making meetings that support students with disabilities and their families.
To encourage broad dissemination of these materials, OSERS has launched a new website, http://www.osepideasthatwork.org/index.asp that includes the materials in the Parent Tool Kit. The website will continue to be updated with additional materials as they become available.
This Parent Tool Kit is an example of the Department of Education's ongoing commitment to ensuring that states, local school districts, schools and families have the most current and relevant information about practices that will improve and enhance educational opportunities for children with disabilities throughout the nation.
On Aug. 3, 2006, Education Secretary Margaret Spellings announced the release of the final Part B regulations implementing the 2004 reauthorization of Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). These regulations were published in the Federal Register on Aug. 14, 2006.
The Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) has developed a dedicated web site to provide a "one-stop shop" for resources related to IDEA and its implementing regulations. The site provides searchable versions of the statute and regulations, as well as, access to cross-referenced content from other laws, such as the No Child Left Behind Act and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. The site also includes topic briefs, links to OSEP's Technical Assistance and Dissemination (TA and D) Network; and a variety of other information sources. The site also has a "Q-and-A Corner" for questions to be submitted.
Alexa Posny, Director of OSERS Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), officially launched the new Web site: http://idea.ed.gov at OSEP's annual Leadership Conference in Washington in August.
Source: NH Department of Education