December 2006 - ESU _1 by zhouwenjuan


									                    First Things First
                                       Educational Service Unit #1
                    Serving Cedar, Dakota, Dixon, Knox, Thurston and Wayne Counties
                            Vol. 16, No. 2 Wakefield, NE       November 2006

 From The Top                                                                                          What’s Inside

                                                                                      Psychology ............................. pages 2-3
Facing the Future
By: Dr. Bob Uhing, Administrator

                                                                                      ILCD ........................................... page 4
     s we begin quarter number two, I realize that a great
     deal has already occurred this school year for schools
in the ESU #1 district. Some of the positive highlights                               Speech ..................................... page 5
include: a Blue Ribbon School, a finalist for Nebraska
Teacher of the year, a Dropout Prevention award, and a                                Transition .............................. page 6
host of schools that have increased scores on their state
report card and that are excelling in school activities.                              Staff Development ............. page 7
ESU #1 has also been busy in a number of areas. Our focus continues to be
supporting schools as they address student achievement and technology issues.         This and That ....................... page 8
Legislation also continues to be an issue for all of us. Recently, Senator Raikes,
chair of the Education Committee, sent a survey to schools and ESUs. According        ESU #1 Happenings ............. page 9
to the Senator’s aid, the school survey was similar to one that was sent to schools
ten years ago – what a reminder of all the changes schools and ESUs have              Contact Information........ page 10
experienced in the last decade.
The ESU survey contained a couple of interesting questions. The first asked for new programs/services that have been
provided in the past three years. I was very surprised at the number of services in just three years that have been added here
at ESU #1. We actually counted twelve new services and programs. Since the Unit adds services based on school requests,
each of the services we listed has had a direct impact on our school districts.
The second question of interest that was asked was what future trends in services we might foresee. While I will not profess
to be a psychic, I do believe this is a question that will determine the direction our Unit takes in the types of services we
provide and possibly even within the delivery model. For example, five years from now will we still have a media delivery
van? With the changes in technology, will video streaming replace VHS tapes and CDs? What and how will technology be
used in classrooms? These and other questions are endless.
How we respond to the future involves how we work in partnership with our schools. Nebraska schools will work with
ESUs to prepare for quality assessment reviews, on-going curriculum alignment, data retreats and school improvement.
Essential education will include career fields, personal learning plans and early childhood programs. I expect the blending
of special education into general education, thus generating more support and consultation for regular educators attempting
to make accommodations for, and meeting the needs of, students with disabilities. Job coaching for teachers will include
demonstrating instructional strategies in the classroom. Finally, high schools will include online classes, alternative high
schools and virtual high schools.
One of my favorite quotes by Will Rogers is, “Even if you are on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.”
Change is not a one-time is constant. We all need to realize that how we perform does make a difference. To keep
progressing and moving forward, we need the help of our school districts. We ask our schools to please continue to provide
feedback so that we can effectively keep our focus on serving schools.

                  ESU #1 - Providing innovation, leadership and service
Ten Things Every Child With Autism Wishes You Knew
                                        By: Ellen Notbohm
                              A book summary by Nicole Degen
1. I am first and foremost a child. I have Autism. I am not primarily “autistic.”
       Autism is only one aspect of a child’s character. It does not define them as a person. Are you fat
(overweight), myopic (wear glasses) or klutzy (uncoordinated, not good at sports)? Those may be things a person
sees when they first meet you, but they are not necessarily what you are all about!

2. My sensory perceptions are disordered.
       This means that the ordinary sights, sounds, smells, tastes and touches of every day that you may not
even notice can be downright painful for a child with autism. The very environments in which we live can
seem hostile. Children with autism may appear withdrawn or belligerent but they are really just trying to defend

3. Please remember to distinguish between won’t (I choose not to) and can’t (I am not able to).
        It is not that children with autism don’t listen to instructions. It’s that they can’t understand you. When
you call their name from across the room, they hear “#$%^*&^%$&&*, Billy. #$%^*&^%$&&*.” Instead,
approach the student and speak directly to them in plain words: “Please put your book in your desk, Billy. It’s
time to go to lunch.”

4. I am a concrete thinker. This means I interpret language very literally.
        It is very confusing for a child with autism when you say, “Hold your horses, cowboy!” when what you
really mean is, “Please stop running.” Don’t tell them something is a “piece of cake” when there is no dessert in
sight. Idioms, puns, nuances, double entendres, inference, metaphors, illusions and sarcasm are usually lost on
children with autism.

5. Please be patient with my limited vocabulary.
        It is hard for a child with autism to tell you what they need when they don’t know the words to describe
their feelings. Be alert for body language, withdrawal, agitation or other signs that something is wrong.
        Or, there’s a flipside to this: Children with autism may sound like a little professor or movie star, rattling
off words or whole scripts well beyond their developmental age. These are messages the child has memorized
from the world around them to compensate for their language deficits because they know they are expected to
respond to when spoken to.

6. Because language is so difficult for me, I am very visually oriented.
        Show children with autism how to do something rather than just telling them. And please be prepared to
show them many times. Lots of consistent repetition helps any child learn. A visual schedule is extremely helpful
as these students move through the day. It relieves them of the stress of having to remember what comes next,
makes for smooth transition between activities, and helps manage time and meet your expectations.
                                                                                            Continued on page 3

November 2006                                                                                      Page 2
Ten Things Every Child With Autism Wishes You Knew, cont.
7. Please focus and build on what I can do rather than what I can’t do.
         Like any other human, children with autism can’t learn in an environment when they are constantly made
to feel that they are not good enough and that they need “fixing.”

8. Help me with social interactions.
        Children with autism may look like they don’t want to play with the other kids on the playground, but
sometimes its just that they simply do not know how to start a conversation or enter a play situation. They do best
in structured play activities that have a beginning and end.

9. Try to identify what triggers my meltdowns.
         Meltdowns, blow-ups, tantrums or whatever you want to call them are even more horrid for a child with
autism than they are for you. They occur because one or more of their senses has gone into overload. If you
can figure out why the meltdowns occur, they can be prevented. Keep a log noting times, settings, people and
activities. A pattern may emerge.

10. If you are a family member, please love me unconditionally.
        Banish thoughts like, “if he would just --,” and “Why can’t she--.” You did not fulfill every last expectation
your parents had for you and you wouldn’t like being constantly reminded of it. Children with autism did not
choose to have autism. But remember that it is happening to them, not you.

And finally, three words: PATIENCE, PATIENCE, PATIENCE.
        Work to view autism as a different ability rather than a disability. Look past what you may see as limitations
and see the gifts autism brings. With their attention to fine detail and capacity for extraordinary focus, they might
be the next Einstein. Or Mozart. Or Van Gogh. They had autism, too.

         A Special Thank You From Military Wife Leah Moritz
    ESU #1 is such a wonderful place to work! I had so much support from my coworkers and school
    districts served through the ser vice unit over the past year and 1/2 that Ryan was gone.......I won’t
    say the time flew by, but work definitely sustained me! With Ryan’s homecoming, the well wishes
    and gifts from co-workers were over whelming. Ryan and I want to thank you all for the kind
    emails, phone calls, help with making and hanging ribbons, gift certificates, and cheering Ryan off
    the plane when it arrived on Sunday, November 5th at 6:36 p.m. Our school districts have been so
    understanding and supportive of our family as well. Please know that we are very appreciative for
    everything you have all done to make the deployment easier on our family. I feel very blessed to get
    to work with such an outstanding group of people!! THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH!!

                             Leah, Ryan, Sam, Ben and Maggie Moritz

November 2006                                                                                      Page 3
        Improving Learning for Children with Disabilities
       Improving Learning for Children with Disabilities

                                        ILCD NEWS
                                  By: Leah Moritz, School Psychologist

B    y now, you may have
     received emails regarding
Part B Parent Surveys and are
                                   reporting. The survey data can
                                   be used for ILCD, but it doesn’t
                                   change where you are at in your
                                                                         to NDE. NDE will then mail
                                                                         them to ESU #1 to be scanned.
                                                                         You can upload the results
wondering what is up. The          ILCD cycle. In other words,           onto your ILCD website at that
short and sweet of it is that      this surveying cycle may or           point, if you choose to use the
you MUST survey the parents        may not fit in nicely with             data.
of children involved in special    where you are currently at in
education during the year you      your ILCD cycle. Please check         In the meantime, please don’t
are listed in the cycle. So        the list carefully for what year      hesitate to contact me with any
that means Allen, Bloomfield,       your district is involved in the      questions or concerns you have!
Emerson-Hubbard,        Ponca,     cycle and look for information        I am willing to come to your
Umo Ho Nation and Wayne
     N    N
                                   mailed by NDE during that             district and train staff as well.
will be surveying all of their     year.                                 Again, two additional ESU #1
school-aged special education                                            staff have been assigned to help
parents this year - even if it     NDE will mail the surveys             with the ILCD process (Bobbi
was just done last year or it      directly to your school district.     Hightree and Billie Hightree
was planned for next year.         They will include addressed/          Sitzmann). We look forward
This is a requirement by the       stamped envelopes so that the         working with all of you.
state department for federal       surveys are sent directly back

                             MARK YOUR CALENDARS:
   December 5th: File Review for those schools ready to collect file review data (or those who
   would like to do it again to check progress on action planning or corrective action plans).
   February 28th: ILCD Training to provide comprehensive information and updates to your
   teams and help train new staff. The ILCD training is HIGHLY recommended!!!!

   Please be on the lookout for flyers with additional information about these upcoming events
   related to ILCD. Please also be sure to checkout the ILCD link on our newly designed ESU #1
   website! There is a lot of information and helpful links to help with the process.

November 2006                                                                             Page 4
                          A Few Things Done Well
                                     By: Peg Roush, Speech Pathologist

R     ecently I attended the
      Nebraska Speech-Language
and Hearing Convention in
                                     achievement. Those lists were
                                     compared and condensed into
                                     the “Top 40.” After a teacher
                                                                          and procedures for struggling
                                                                          students, the use of Secord’s
                                                                          checklist could provide valuable
Kearney where Wayne            A.    rates his/her observations in each   information and provide a
Secord, Ph.D, University of          of these areas, s/he is then asked   framework from which to begin
Central Florida, Orlando, spoke at   to circle the top ten difficulties    to address a student’s most
both the morning and afternoon       the     student     demonstrates.    significant performance deficits.
sessions.     His presentation,      This rating scale can be much
entitled “Classroom Performance      more descriptive of a student’s      The “Classroom Communication
Assessment - A Few Things            academic performance than            & Learning Checklist” has been
Done Well,” reminded me how          a standardized measure. Dr.          given to all ESU #1 speech-
critical the speech-language         Secord’s research has shown          language staff. It is available
pathologist’s impact can be on       the validity of the checklist to     for their use and yours. Use of
a student’s academic and social      be 87% as compared to 84%            this checklist could help set the
success. Also, I was reminded        for the standardized measure he      groundwork to begin focusing
of the tremendous importance         authored, The Clinical Evaluation    on a “few things done well.”
of collaboration of all those        of Language Fundamentals-            As Dr. Secord said, “We need
involved (teachers, parents,         3. The completed checklist is        to ask ourselves, ‘What is the
administrators, SPED staff and       shared with the parents, relevant    smallest change this child could
students) in a student’s academic    staff, and, if appropriate, the      make, that everyone helps occur,
experiences and success.             student, who can team together       that would make a difference if it
                                     to begin addressing reduction        happened everyday?’”
To facilitate such collaboration,    of some of the difficulties. Dr.
Dr. Secord has developed a           Secord said that if everyone on
“Classroom Communication &           the student’s team could agree
Learning Checklist” that allows      on just two or three difficulties
a teacher to rate the extent to      that they could all address every
which a student demonstrates         day in the same way, that some
difficulties in the areas of          significant improvements could
Listening, Speaking, Reading         result. These improvements
and Writing. The checklist was       could eventually generalize
developed by compiling 300           into other areas of the student’s
teacher interviews listing the top   academic performance. With
five difficulties of students who      the implementation of Response
were struggling with classroom       to Intervention (RtI) policies

November 2006                                                                              Page 5
                         What is Transition?
                                 By: Jim Gunsolley, Transition Specialist

W       hat is Transition? All of
        us tend to transition from
one thing to another. For some
                                     education, vocational training,
                                     adult services, independent liv-
                                     ing, and community participa-
                                                                          As a part of determining a stu-
                                                                          dent’s interest in careers of their
                                                                          choice, a non-paid job shadow
people, transition might simply      tion. Any planning should take       may be arranged so that a stu-
mean that they change from the       into account the student’s needs,    dent can visit a job site and ob-
role of employee as they leave       interests and preferences.           serve an employee on the job.
work to the role of parent as they                                        The student can then determine
walk into their home. However,       At ESU #1, transition services       if they are really interested in
for high school students with        are provided to our students         that type of vocational activity.
special needs, their educational     when they reach the age of           A job shadow might be for one
transition is the one that takes     sixteen. We contact the local        hour or it may last for several
them from the high school set-       schools and offer assistance to      weeks.
ting to what waits for them as       teachers and to students so that a
they enter the world of work.        pathway to post high school can      The ultimate goal of all of this
                                     take place. We also involve adult    is to assist each student during
The definition of this kind of        agencies, such as Vocational Re-     their transition so that they can
transition may include the fol-      habilitation in the process of as-   become employed in a position
lowing: a coordinated set of         sisting our students with their      that they truly enjoy. Since most
activities for a student with        planning.                            adults work for up to 40 years,
a disability, which promotes                                              it is extremely important for our
movement from high school to The Transition Specialist can                students to be in positions that
post-school activities. Activi- also assist the student with vis-         they really value. A quote from
ties may include post-secondary its to vocational schools, con-           a transition brochure states: “If
                                duct interest testing, and provide        you don’t know where you’re
                                transportation to events that the         going, you’ll end up someplace
                                student may wish to attend, such          but it may not be where you want
                                as the Keys to Success Day held           to be.” We want our students to
                                in South Sioux City each No-              know where they wish to go and
                                vember.                                   how they can get there.

         If you have questions about ESU #1’s Transition Program, please
         be sure to contact Jim Gunsolley, Transition Specialist, either by
        email at or at the Central Office (402) 287-2061.

November 2006                                                                               Page 6
                              Staff Development
                     CFI: Career Fields Integration
                            By: Rhonda Jindra, ESU #1 Professional Development

W      ho says Fridays aren’t as pro-
       ductive as they could be? On
Friday, October 27th, both K-12
                                                                              grade-level. These lesson plans will
                                                                              be made available to each district at
                                                                              a later time.
Wausa and Laurel-Concord staff
were busy examining Career Fields/                                          In addition, all participants had an
Clusters and their implementation at                                        opportunity to learn more about Ne-
the district level. To encourage col-                                       braska Career Connections (a free
laboration, the in-service was held                                         website available to all Nebraskans),
conjointly at Laurel’s facility.                                            as well as the instructional strategies
                                       Dawn Friedrich, Wausa Career available through Nebraska Career
                                       Fields/Clusters coordinator, facil- Information Systems (NCIS), fund-
                                       itates a large-group discussion.     ed through the ESU #1 Carl Perkins
                                                                            consortium. Both online products
                                      Throughout the day, Dawn and provide career resources to their us-
                                      Shelley and professional learning ers.
                                      community members from each of
                                      their districts, created opportuni-
                                      ties for teachers to collaborate. One
                                      such activity found the teachers
 Gregg Christensen, NDE, shares brainstorming what they are cur-
 the state vision for Career Fields/ rently teaching and their support for
 Clusters implementation              Career Fields/Clusters. On another
                                      occasion, teachers began design-
                                      ing a Career Fields/Clusters lesson
With the direction of the Career plan appropriate to their content and Small group discussion + Collab-
Fields/Clusters coordinator for each                                         oration = Enthusiasm for Career
district, Dawn Friedrich (Wausa)                                             Fields/Clusters implementation
and Shelley Groene (Laurel-Con-
cord), facilitated a great day. To
begin the morning’s activities,                                             Additional professional develop-
Gregg Christensen, Nebraska De-                                             ment opportunities will be provided
partment of Education, began with                                           for Laurel-Concord and Wausa dur-
an overview of the Career Fields/                                           ing the second semester to support
Clusters process in the state of Ne-                                        the integration of Career Fields/
braska. Additional insight related to                                       Clusters, programs of study and
Personal Learning Plans, programs Greg Conn, Wausa Guidance Personal Learning Plans. Funding
of study and Essential Education Counselor, highlighting the Ne- for this process is provided by a col-
were shared through his presenta- braska Career Connections web- laborative Carl Perkins Innovation
tion to the group.                     site capabilities.                   grant through ESU #1, 10 and 17.

November 2006                                                                                    Page 7
                This and That

November 2006                   Page 8
                               ESU #1 Happenings
         Here are photos from the Rethinking the High School Experience Conference on
       October 18th and 19th. Be sure to check out the Innovations Labs - Rethinking the
         High School website at
              for more information on the conference and to download a summary.

  Innovation Labs assists a              Frances and Diane, Innovation      Nebraska City works to create
district secondary principal as           Labs, capture documentation       a do-able plan under Michael
   he works with Wikipedia.                   for the live website.            Kaufmann’s guidance.

 Micheal Kaufmann, Innovation            South Sioux City’s team delves   Pender’s team is hard at work creating
 Labs, and Rich Katt, Nebraska            into a powerful discussion.     their district implementation plan and
Career Education (NCE) director,                                              adding it to the Wikipedia site.
 facilitate one of the conference
        planning sessions.                            UPCOMING WORKSHOPS
                                         Workshops are continuously being added to the
                                         calendar. Because cancellations and reschedulings
                                         occur from time to time, a complete listing has not
                                         been included. However, you can keep up to date on
                                         the latest workshop information by going to our
                                         website at Click on Calendars or
  Rich Katt, NCE director, provides
                                         visit the Registration and Staff Development pages.
insight to the Wakefield district team.   Make sure to check back frequently for updates.

November 2006                                                                                Page 9
                      Contact Information
 The Educational Service Unit #1 staff welcomes your questions, ideas, and concerns. We look forward to
 hearing from you. Below is a listing of our central staff and their email addresses.

 Dr. Bob Uhing, Administrator                                       
 Stuart Clark, Special Education Director                           
 Lisa Salmon, Business Manager                                      

                                    Central Office Support Staff
 Wendy Ellis, Secretary/Media Assistant                             
 Sarah Elton, Secretary/Receptionist                                
 Joleen Gustafson, Special Education Secretary                      
 Diane Keim, Accounting                                             

                                     Professional Development
 Amy Hill, Staff Development Coordinator                            
 Rhonda Jindra, Staff Development Coordinator                       
 Shannon Collin, Staff Development Coordinator                      
 Susan Strahm, Early Childhood Professional Development Coordinator 


 Jim Hopkins, Technology Coordinator                                
 Jenny Heimann, Media                                               
 Lanita Recob, Technology/Media                                     

                                       Program Coordinators
 Cheri Matthews, Early Childhood Special Education                  
 Ron Lorenzen, School Psychologist                                  
 Leah Moritz, ILCD                                                  
 Peg Roush, Speech Language Pathologist Coordinator                 
 Jim Gunsolley, School Transition Specialist                        

November 2006                                                                             Page 10

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