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Posts tagged ‘Florida Department of Education’

To the School Districts: Kudos to You!

Blue Speech Bubble World Health Day Facebook Post(2)

CARD-USF’s catchment area covers 14 counties here in Florida. We work closely with all 14 counties’ school districts and district personnel. As a professional at CARD, I see the great work that CARD-USF and all of our districts put in each and every day through out the year for  constituents and teachers to be successful. However today, I am writing as an appreciative mom.

As a mom of two children who are currently in public schools (1 in Hillsborough, 1 in Pasco who has an IEP for Autism) I had a moment today where I stopped and took a moment to reflect on just how great the school districts (not just the 14 we cover; across the state) have been trying to navigate this crazy time.

What would have been a leisurely Spring Break quickly turned into a mad dash to get set up for distance learning. The districts quickly went to work and were timely setting up the meal program which allowed them to distribute meals to children. I’ve seen many parents report how simple it has been pulling up in the car line at their local school, picking up the bag lunch and carrying on with their day.

Additionally, the districts have been hard at work preparing laptops and other devices to hand out to students for remote learning. Again, another enormous task that has transpired quickly and effectively. School districts, in my case, Hillsborough & Pasco, have been emailing, robocalling, and using social media to get information out as much as possible. It can be a bit of information overload but a necessary evil as they are trying to do so much, in so little time and trying to reach every parent they can.

For me, I am fortunate enough to work remotely during this crisis and while that is taking place, I’m also working to get the kids set up for their new online education. My son’s teachers in Hillsborough County have been absolutely amazing. Through emails, Classtag App and even phone calls (yes, just got off the phone with one as I’m writing this) they have been so helpful and positive during this time.

Schools and teachers have been doing parades through their local neighborhoods just to see the kids and provide some fun. My neighborhood’s parade was today and teachers were honking their horns, waving and the kids in the neighborhood absolutely loved it as they waved and displayed their signs they made for their teachers.

During this crisis, I know much emphasis is on the medical professionals fighting the virus head on in our hospitals. As well they should be! I can’t even imagine the chaos in hospitals right now. However, I just wanted to give praise and kudos to the teachers and district personnel who are working hard as well in order to help our children adjust, stay positive and be successful.

So to ALL the school districts, the leaders seeing these plans through and to the teachers… THANK YOU!

 

Adrian Ruiz

CARD-USF, Communications & Marketing Specialist

 

Transition Planning: It’s Never Too Early To Start

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This is the third in a series of articles about transition planning. This article focuses on students in middle school. It is never too early to plan for transition to adult life. Preparing a young person for transition to adulthood is a gradual process stretching over several years. You may find the “transition roadmap” for middle school helpful in starting the journey: http://flfcic.fmhi.usf.edu/docs/FCIC_Employment_Roadmap.pdf

Involve your child in activities that foster self-respect and self-esteem, and enable gradually increasing independence. This may include participating in extracurricular activities that build on your child’s strengths and interests, such as playing an instrument in the band, auditioning for a play, or getting involved in 4-H. Assign specific tasks at home, and require that the tasks are done thoroughly and on time. Have your child join you in community activities that help others, such as cutting coupons for an elderly neighbor, cheering on friends competing in a marathon, or reading to a young child.

Take your child into the community, and point out occupations and the tasks and responsibilities of the persons doing those jobs. Encourage your child to talk about the occupation he/she might like to do as an adult. Highlight your child’s strengths and gifts. Expose your child to experts with similar strengths and gifts, such as attending a symphony concert for a budding musician.

In middle school, your child should become more involved in developing the goals on his/her IEP, and in self-assessing progress over time. Creating personal ownership of the IEP is a foundational base in developing your child’s self-determination skills. By the time your child is a 9th grader, he/she should be attending his/her IEP meeting, and possibly even chairing the meeting by grade 11 or 12. Did you know that a diploma option must be chosen in 9th grade (as per the new state statute)? Your child should be an active participant in making this important decision. More about that in the next article about transition…..

Transition Planning Series #2

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This is the second in a series of articles about transition planning at the secondary level for your child with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
On or before your child’s 16th birthday, transition services becomes an integral component of the Individual Educational Plan (IEP), better known as the Transition Individual Educational Plan (TIEP) at high school.
The TIEP must include a statement of the needed transition services, including (if appropriate) a statement of the school’s and each participating adult agency’s responsibilities or linkages before the student leaves school. “Transition services” means a coordinated set of activities for the student which are outcome-based to promote movement from school to post-school activities. Post-school activities may include post-secondary education, vocational training, integrated employment, continuing and adult education, and/or adult services focused on independent living and community participation.
The coordinated set of activities are based on the student’s needs, and take into account the student’s preferences and interests.The activities shall include the areas of instruction, community experiences, the development of employment, and other post-school adult living objectives; and, if appropriate, daily living skills and functional vocational evaluation.
The TIEP is a dynamic document that may be revised at the IEP annual review, as the student moves closer and closer to graduation. It is important that you and your child are actively involved in developing and implementing the transition plan. The TIEP is the pathway to your child’s future.

– Sue Thomas, CARD Consultant – Adult Services

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CARD’S 22nd Annual Conference

Save the Date

Registration opens August 25th! See you in January.

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