Santa Monica Malibu PTA Council Special Education Committee

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					Santa Monica Malibu PTA Council
Special Education Committee
        Organizational meeting
        Community workshop
            June 16, 2008

         Rebecca Kennerly
        PTA Council President
          pta@smmpta.org
            310.453.6305
                                  1
Committee History
 PTA Council voted to form committee on May
  20, 2008
 Since then, meetings with Special Education
  District Advisory Committee, SMMUSD
  Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent,
  Chief Academic Officer, Special Education
  leadership, Classroom Teachers Association
  to receive input
 Tonight’s community input gathering session
  and organizational meeting
                                            2
A little help from our friends
 Nancy Vandell and Todd Gary from San Ramon
  Valley Unified School District presented to a special
  joint meeting of PTA Council, the Special Education
  District Advisory Committee and the Board of
  Education
 San Ramon Valley’s PTA Council received National
  PTA’s 2007 Advocacy Award, in part for their
  leadership in a collaborative approach in Special
  Education
 Ms. Vandell & Mr. Gary have agreed to a help mentor
  us on our journey!

                                                      3
 Achieving Success in Special Education
     -- A Collaborative Approach --
Todd B. Gary
Special Needs Liaison
San Ramon Valley Unified School District


                                           4
            Success Through Collaboration

               Collaboration and Negotiation

               Dynamics of Negotiation

               Succeeding Through Collaboration
                – Empowering partners
                – Finding real solutions




                                                                                               5
2/15/2008              Achieving Success in Special Education - A Collaborative Approach   5
Success Through Collaboration


   Requires partnership

   Demands mutuality

   Applies to Families and Staff




                                    6
            Success: How Do We Get There?




                                                                                          7
2/15/2008         Achieving Success in Special Education - A Collaborative Approach   7
            Collaboration vs. Negotiation

               Collaboration
               Negotiation

               Compatibility

                 – Collaboration is “Win-Win” negotiation




                                                                                                8
2/15/2008               Achieving Success in Special Education - A Collaborative Approach   8
            Win-Win Negotiation

               Collaborative toward a common goal

               Most important needs or desires met

               Respectful and supportive

               Relationships preserved

               Creative and productive




                                                                                               9
2/15/2008              Achieving Success in Special Education - A Collaborative Approach   9
            Dynamics of Negotiation
               Negotiation




                              Adversarial




                                                                                               10
2/15/2008             Achieving Success in Special Education - A Collaborative Approach   10
            Dynamics of Negotiation
               Partnerships

                – Positive
                – Creative
                – Productive
                – Negotiated




                                                                                               11
2/15/2008             Achieving Success in Special Education - A Collaborative Approach   11
            Succeeding Through Collaboration
            Finding Real Solutions
               A Very Important Side-Note to Collaboration
                – Staff retention
                – Special Ed v. General Ed.
                – Competitive markets and staff shortages
                – Without staff there are no programs
                – When appropriate, help make it personally rewarding: this is
                  truly a “Win-Win!”




                                                                                                12
2/15/2008              Achieving Success in Special Education - A Collaborative Approach   12
            Success Through Collaboration

               Philosophy of Collaboration

                – Collaboration is people working together in a
                  cooperative manner toward a common goal or
                  vision. It requires the interaction of viewpoints,
                  resources, and services from different individuals,
                  each representing a distinct area of experience or
                  expertise. Collaboration requires use of effective
                  communication skills, creative problem solving, and
                  mutuality of respect. When people share together,
                  learn together, appreciate different perspectives,
                  and are committed to working together for solutions
                  that best meet the needs of all involved partners, we
                  can truly succeed.

                                                                                                13
2/15/2008              Achieving Success in Special Education - A Collaborative Approach   13
San Ramon Valley
 Council of PTAs



   Serving Every Child: Organizing a
   PTA Special Needs Committee



           California State PTA Convention Workshop
                          May 5, 2007

                         Rachel Hurd
                         Rob Kessler
                        Nancy Vandell
                      www.srvcouncilpta.org
    Presenters
Rachel Hurd     San Ramon Valley Council of PTAs
                  Special Needs Comm. Chair: 2005-present      rmshurd@sbcglobal.net
                  President: 2003-3005
                  Founding Member, Special Needs Committee

                San Ramon Valley Unified School District
                  Trustee: 12/2006 - present


Nancy Vandell   San Ramon Valley Council of PTAs
                  President: 2005 - present                    nmvandell@comcast.net
                  Founding Special Needs Chairman: 2002-05
                  Special Needs Comm. Member: 2005 - present

                San Ramon Valley Unified School District
                  IEP System Project Manager: 2005 - present


Rob Kessler     San Ramon Valley Unified School District
                   Superintendent of Schools: 1995 - present   rkessler@srvusd.net

                San Ramon Valley Council of PTAs
                  Board Member: 1995 - present




                                                                                       15
Workshop Objectives

     Communicate benefits of a Special Needs
      Committee

     Provide tools and methodologies to develop
      successful Special Needs Committees in
      other PTA districts, councils and units




                                                   16
History

   Special Needs Committee formed by one of the
    PTA units in our Council in 2000
    – Provided support to parents of special needs children
    – Held programs and support group meetings
    – Learned lessons
        • Chairman selection critical
        • Partnership with school staff (including principal) imperative
        • Committee beneficial to community




                                                                           17
History

    Much interest from parents in other schools
      – Thirst for knowledge to help their children
      – Feelings of isolation and stigmatism
      – Anger at school district by some vocal parents
          • Pending litigation
          • Compliance issues




                                                         18
    History
   Council Committee formed in Fall of 2002
    – Used lessons learned from unit committee
    – Established goals and organization early
    – Emphasized collaboration with district
       • Met with Superintendent to establish district-level support
       • Included school board member and assistant special
         education director on the committee
       • Spent significant effort to address school district
         concerns with committee intentions
    – Fully supported by Council Board



                                                                       19
 History

– Held a series of 4 Evening Programs in Spring, 2003
   • Help - My Child is Struggling Series


– Held first Special Needs Conference December, 2003
   • Full-day
   • Keynote, three break-out timeslots, breakfast & lunch


– Encouraged PTA units to appoint Special Needs
  chairman



                                                             20
History
 – Within first year,
     • Programs drew large audiences (75 - 250 people)
     • Appreciation from parents and district staff
     • Voluntary attendance by teachers/staff
     • School District became supportive and appreciative
         – Trust built through collaborative partnership
         – Staff strongly encouraged to attend
         – Provided facilities and support




                                                            21
    History

   Over past five years, our committee has
    – Continued to offer evening and day-long programs
    – Expanded unit involvement and representation on Council
      committee
    – Represented PTA and parents on school district special education
      steering committee and other District committees responsible for
      issues resolution
    – Provided support for parents with questions
    – Partnered with school district to restart Resource-parent program
      with SELPA-trained resource parents
    – Received recognition from parents and staff
    – Worked on legislative issues affecting Special Education


                                                                          22
                                     Mission

In addition to the general purposes of the PTA, the
mission of the Special Needs Committee is:
    • To provide information and support to parents of children with special needs, so that
      they can help their children maximize their potential.

    • To work as a team with the school district to assist staff in most effectively helping
      children with special needs.
    • To provide information to all parents and community members about children with
      special needs, so that they can understand and support all children.
    • To help all children understand and appreciate challenges faced by children with
      special needs.
    • To work legislatively to secure and retain adequate laws (and funding for them) for
      children with special needs.


 Tagline: “Fostering collaboration between parents, teachers, the schools,
        and the community to support children with special needs”
                                                                                               23
Definition of Special Needs

     Children with
       – Learning or processing disabilities
       – Physical challenges
       – Speech & language difficulties
       – Social/emotional issues
       – Mental retardation
       – Autism
       – Gifted learners


                                               24
Committee Structure
   Special Needs Committee within Council PTA
    – Leads Council-wide activities
    – Coordinates with other Council committees
        •   Legislative Advocacy
        •   Parent and Community Education
        •   Membership
        •   Communications
        •   Health & Safety
    – Provides support to Special Needs Committees/Support
      Groups within Units




                                                             25
Council-level Committee members

  Parents
  School Board Trustees
  School District Staff
     – Special Programs directors
     – School psychologist
  Unit Committee Chairmen
  SELPA CAC Chairman (new this year)

                                        26
                        San Ramon Valley Council of PTAs
         Roles of the Special Needs Committee

       Parent/Teacher                                                                                       Legislative
                                              Communication                     Resources
          Education                                                                                          Advocacy

•   PTA Parent/Teacher Programs         •   PTA Lyris Email lists        • Handbook for parents &      • State
•   PTA Special Needs Conference        •   PTA Newsletter articles        teachers (planned)          • Federal
•   PTA Parenting 200X Conference       •   PTA & District Websites      • Website                     • Work through SRV Council
•   Other                               •   PTA Unit committee chairs    • Library materials             Legislation Committee
                                        •   Other                        • Other                       • Other




                                               Specialty
       Unit Committees                                                        Fundraising              Liaisons/Partnerships
                                            Subcommittees*

    • 20 of 29 PTA units            •   Gifted & Talented (GATE)        • Most of funding from      • SRVUSD Special Education
    • Liaison to Council Special    •   Severely Impaired                 council membership dues     Steering Committee (and
      Needs Committee               •   Autism/Aspergers                • Minimal charge for          other committees)
    • Report at PTA meetings        •   Other                             conference                • District Gifted & Talented
    • Support-group meetings                                            • Grants                      Education (GATE) staff
    • Other                                                                                         • Special Education Local Plan
                                                                                                      Area (SELPA)
                                                                                                    • East Bay Learning Disabilities
                                                                                                      Assn.
                                                                                                    • International Dyslexia
                                                                                                      Association
                                                                                                    • Other                            27
Unit Special Needs Committee
Chairman Job Description


    Communicate information from the Council Committee to school community
     via PTA meetings, newsletters, email, on bulletin boards, etc.
    Organize support group meetings or “coffees” for interested parents at your
     school site:
      •   Involve parents, special education or GATE staff, general education teachers,
          and administrators
      •   Select a topic (or topics) to be discussed. A good one to start with is a “get to
          know you” coffee including a briefing by the staff/administration on the special
          education program at your school. Make sure the discussion is facilitated –
          ground rules set up front, discussion is kept constructive, and all participants
          have opportunity to speak.
      •   Make notes of any suggestions or issues. Communicate these to PTA president,
          principal, and council special needs chairman

    Attend Council Special Needs Committee meetings if possible. If not able
     to attend, maintain contact with council chairman.


                                                                                              28
    How to Establish a Unit Special Needs Committee

• Discuss idea with PTA Executive Board and principal
     Council committee member available to speak at board meetings
•   Find a committee chairman, someone who:
     • is knowledgeable about and sensitive to special needs children
     • works in a constructive way with teachers, principal, other parents
     • Can keep personal issues separate from committee
     • Is a PTA member
•   Executive Board establishes the committee
•   President appoints committee chair; Board ratifies



                                                                             29
Superintendent’s Perspective




                               30
Committee Impacts
   Support provided to parents and teachers
     – More knowledge helps them better support children
     – Reduced stigma, sense of isolation

   Trust built with school district
     – Committee leaders influential members of problem-solving teams; asked for
       input
     – Resource parent program embraced by District
     – Quality programs with expert speakers attract staff as well as parents
     – True partnership among parents and staff




                                                                              31
Committee Impacts
   Legislative advocacy raised awareness of issues at
    local, state and national levels
    – Partnered with Council Legislative Advocacy Committee, as
      well as California State PTA and National PTA advocates
   Established reputation for excellence with other
    organizations
    –   SchwabLearning Foundation
    –   East Bay Learning Disabilities Association
    –   Special Education Local Plan Areas
    –   Other PTA councils and units



                                                              32
Requirements for Success

   Sincere desire to help all children
   Collaboration among parents, district
   Special Needs Committee on par with other unit or council-level
    committees
   While special education has inherent challenges, focus needs to be
    constructive education and problem-solving
   All committee members involved in developing programs,
    participating, helping
   Committee members representing various stakeholders




                                                                     33
Requirements for Success
   Communication of programs, issues,
    resources
   Training of facilitators
   Expert speakers
     – Strict vetting for research-based, proven
       topics
   Commitment of time
   Ability to listen
   A healthy sense of humor and a thick skin


                                                   34
Challenges to Success
   Committee chairman and/or members with personal agendas
   Members who wish to force change in school district
    – Change can be influenced, but only after trust is established
   Members or speakers who wish to endorse controversial
    diagnosis/treatment methods not supported by research




                                                                      35
Evening Programs Held
   Help - My Child Struggles! Series (January - May, 2003)
     – My child is struggling – where do I start?
     – Understanding Special Needs Assessments
     – Writing Effective Individual Education Plans (IEPs)
     – Implementing IEPs
   Put Yourself in the Shoes of a Dyslexic (Sept. 2003)
   Helping Your Child Develop Friendship Skills (Oct. 2003)
   Parenting the Anxious Child (Jan. 2004)
   ADHD Medication Update (Mar 2004)
   Helping Children Learn to Read – Diagnosing & Treating Dyslexia (Apr 2004)
   Learning Disabilities Matter; Strategies to Help My Struggling Child (Sept. 2004)
   Diagnosing & Assessing Disabilities (Oct. 2004)
   Ways to Win the Homework Battle (Mar. 2005)




                                                                                        36
         Evening Programs Held,

         cont’d.
    Forum for Collaboration (April, 2005)
     –   Parent-input gathering
     –   Facilitated by Special Needs Committee members
     –   Observed by District administrators, school-board members
     –   Input given to district for resolution; report presented to school board
   Special Education Back-to-School Night (September, 2005)
     –   How to work with your child’s teacher/school
   Dyslexia – Symptoms and Solutions (October, 2005)
   Parenting the Anxious Child – Helping Children and Teens Cope with Fear, Worry, and
    Shyness (February, 2006)
   An Introduction to SRVUSD web-based IEP System, GENESEA (March, 2006)
   Social Thinking and Related Skills (April, 2006)
   Help - My Child Struggles in School Series (September - November, 2006)
     – Where do I Start: Asking for Help, Student Study Teams, and Assessment
     – 504 Plans and Individual Education Plans
     – Placement Considerations
   Put Yourself in the Shoes of a Person with a Learning Disability (January 2007)

                                                                                          37
Sample Evening Programs
                                        Del Valle Council of PTAs
                                            Special Needs Committee

                Presents a series of parent and teacher programs to provide support
                                   for children with special needs:

                                 Help-- My Child is Strug gling!

               January 28 – My Child is Struggling – Where Do I Start?
                      Special Education Consultant Linda Wurzbach will discuss how to ask for testing
               and support within the schools and outside, and how to work effectively with school and
               medical personnel to provide support for your child.

               March 25 – Understanding Special Needs Ass essments
                     A school psychologist, a special education program manager and Cal State
               Hayward professor of Special Education will discuss common tests used to determine
               whether a child has a learning difference and whether a child qualifies for special services.

               April 22 – Writing Effective Individualized Education Plans (IEPs)
                      Linda Wurzbach returns to describe how to write clear goals and objectives for
                          s
               your childÕ IEP or 504 plan. She discussesthe IEP process, and how parents can work
               most effectively as a team with school personnel to establish an education plan that meets
                          s
               your childÕ needs.

               May 20 – Implemen ting Special Education Plans
                       A principal, a resource specialist, a general education teacher and a parent share
               their ideas for working as a team with your school personnel to ensure that goals are met
               through effective implementation of the IEP or 504 plan.

                 a)      Note: All classes will be held at 7:00-9:00 p.m. at Iron Horse Middle
                                                    School


                            The following classes will be offered at the Del Valle Council of PTAs
                           Parenting 2003 Conference on February 22 (requires pre-registration):

               How Difficult Can this Be? (A5 & B5) ~ We show the excellent F.A.T. City video, and
               follow with a discussion session. In this powerful video (F.A.T. stands for Frustration, Anxiety
               and Tension), Ed ucator Rick LaVoie puts adults in an environment that simulates everyda y
               classroom and home situations for children with special needs , and shows how alternativ e teaching
               and parenting methods can be less stressful and more effective.



                                                                                                                     38
                   Del Valle Council of PTAs
                       Special Needs Committee
                                          Presents


      SRVUSD Special Education:
       A Forum for Collaboration
                            Wednesday, April 27, 2005
                                7:00 - 9:00 p.m.
              Iron Horse Middle School Multipurpose Room
    12601 Alcosta Blvd (between Bolli nger Canyon Road & Norris Canyon Road), San Ramon

 Del Valle Council of PTAs, in partnership with the San Ramon Valley
 Unified School District (SRVUSD), invites parents and guardians of
 students with special needs to provide feedback about special education
 services provided by the District.

 Attendees will select one of six breakout groups in which to participate. Each breakout group
 will be facili tated by a PTA Special Needs Committee member, and attended by a District staff
 member. Comments will be summarized and presented to school district staff and to the school
 board, and will be examined by the Special Education steering Committee as it tackles special
 education issues.

 This is not a forum in which to discuss individual issues, but an opportunity to translate any
 issues one might have into constructive suggestions about how the District might improve its
 service delivery. Attendees will be asked to provide comments in the following areas:

1. What you think your school or the district is doing well
2. Suggestions for improving services
3. Ways in which parents can help our educators support children with special needs

Please RSVP by phone to (925) 829-2355, or by e-mail to nmvandell@comcast.net.

           ~ No fee; your PTA membership dues and donations support this program. ~

                                                                                                  39
     Full-Day Conferences
   1st Annual Special Needs Conference - 12/03
     – Keynote: Child Development and How Parents and Teachers can
        Affect any Child’s Potential, Dr. Brad Berman, developmental
        pediatrician in our area
     – 3 breakout sessions (75 min.) – choice of offerings

   ADHD Conference - 1/05
     – Helping Children and Teens with ADHD Succeed at Home and at School,
       Dr. Stephen P. Hinshaw, PhD., UC Berkeley.

   2nd Annual Special Needs Conference - 4/05
     – Keynote: Reflections from A Different Journey – What people with
        Disabilities Want All Parents and Teachers to Know, Stanley D.
        Klein, PhD, psychologist and author.
     – 3 breakout sessions (75 min.) – choice of offerings

                                                                             40
Full-Day Conferences (continued)

   3rd Annual Special Needs Conference – 2/06
     – Keynote: Redefining Success in School and Success in Life, Rob
       Langston, author and corporate consultant
     – 2 breakout sessions (105 min.) – choice of offerings

   2007 combined the conference with our Council’s annual general
    parenting conference.
     – Keynote: A Child’s Journey into Adolescence – Neurodevelopment
       from age 5 to 16, Dr. Brad Berman.
     – 2 breakout sessions – 5 special needs topics offered each session




                                                                           41
Other Activities
   Coordinated SchwabLearning “Show Your Spark” Assemblies for
    3rd - 5th grade classes at all schools at least once over three years
     –   Addresses Mission: To help all children understand and appreciate challenges faced by children with
         special needs.


   Guest experts for SchwabLearning Website Message Board
    Forum on “Organizing a Special Needs Committee in your PTA”
   Recognized SchwabLearning with Council HSA




                                                                                                               42
Other Activities

   Resource Library for Parents and Staff
    –   Centralized at a school site
    –   Online catalog
    –   Any parent or teacher can check out remotely
    –   Council PTA purchases books, videos, etc. for
        library and advertises on website, newsletters



                                                         43
       Program Considerations
   Make sure that speaker meets requirements
     – Research-based, proven material
     – Balance school-district standard practices with newer (although) research-
       based methods
     – Communicate collaborative focus with speakers
   Include balance of programs for types of disabilities
     – Reading disabilities, ADHD, Autism spectrum, Anxiety, behavior, social
       issues, etc.
     – Learning disabilities/ADHD draws larger audiences
     – Offer programs for less prevalent disabilities in conference or
       subcommittee/support group




                                                                                    44
      Del Va lle Council of PTAs Special Needs Committee
                                     Presents its 2nd annual


      Special Needs Conference
        Saturday, April 9, 2005                                    Conference Schedule
          9:00 a.m. Š 4:15 p.m.                                8:00    Check-in & Continental Breakfast
                                                               9:0 0   Welcome & Introductions
    Monte Vista High School,                                   9:1 5   Keynote Address
 3131 Stone Valley Road, Danville                             10:45    Breakout Session A
                                                              12:00                       o
                                                                       Box Lunch/Discussi n Groups
   Cost: $30 if registration is received by                    1:0 0   Breakout Session B
   April 5; $40 if received later;                             2:3 0   Breakout Session C
   Discounted fee for school employees:                        4:0 0   Wrap-up with Dr. Klein
   $20 for registrations received b y April 5                  4:15    Conference Ends


  Keynote speaker: Stanley D. Klein, Ph.D., Psychologist and Author
    Keynote Topic: Reflections from a Different Journey: What
                          s
   Adults with Disabilitie Want all Parents and Teachers to Know
                   This presentation discusses inspiring, yet realistic, messages from successful
                   adults with disabilities about characteristics of their parents and teachers that
                   helped them become successful.
                   Stanley D. Klein, Ph.D., clinical psychologist and educator, co-founded Exceptional Parent
                   magazine in 1971 and served as its editor -in-chief until 1997. Dr. Klein has authored or
                   co-authored over 200 articles, and he is co-editor of five books, including Reflections fr om
                   a Different Journe y: What Adults with Disabilities Wish All Parents Knew, and You Will
                   Dream new Dreams: Inspiring Personal Stories by Parents of Children with Disabilities .
In addition to the keynote address, w e offer three breakout sessions featuring a choice of four classes per time
slot, plus continental breakfast and a box lunch. Plea se see the reverse for a description o f the breakout s.


         Note: Del Vall e Council of PTAs will soon be named San Ramon Valley Council of PTAs

                                                                                                                    45
                                         Breakout S essions
                                                       Session A
A.1 ~ You Will Dream New Dreams: Inspiring Personal Stories by Pare nts of Children with Disabilities ~ Presenter:
      Stanley D. Klein, Ph.D., Psychologist and Author
A.2 ~ Strategies to Promote Academic and Life Success for Students with Nonverb Learning Disability or AspergerÕ s
                                                                                   al
      Syndrome ~ Presenter: Kathy Allen, MA, educational therapist and author of Star Shaped Pegs, Square Holes
A.3 ~ College Admissions 101: An O verview of the College Admissions Process for Students with Special Needs ~
      Presenter: Renˇe Boone, College Advisor
                  ted
A.4 ~ Differentia Instruction for All! Find out how teachers can make a difference for ALL students by differentiating
      instruction. ~ Presenter: Amy Rettberg, Sycamore Valley Elementary School 5th -grade teacher, currently pursuing
      her masterÕsdegree in Gifted Education

                                                       SessionB
B.1 ~ Children with Learning and Attention Differences/Disabilities: Th e Impact on the Family ~ Presenter: Glenn
      Gelfenbein, M.A, Marriage & Family T herapist; and Vice President, East Bay Learning Disabilities Asso ciation.
B.2 ~ IEP Process O verview ~ Special Education laws and procedures from the Individuals wi th Disabilities Educ ation
      Act (IDEA) will be discussed. Presenters: Malisa Cochran and Linda Rowley Thom; C.C. SELPA Coordinators
B.3 ~ Accommodations and Survival Strategies for College Students with Disa bilities ~ Assessments for College 504
      Plans are included. Presenter: Jacqueline Cheong; Ph.D., Psychologist
B.4 ~ Tips for Pare nts and Teachers with Mainst reamed or Fully-included Childre n: How to Make Mainst     reaming
      or Reverse Mains                     ul
                        treaming Successf ~ Presenters: Angela Connor, M.Ed. and Jill Gershune, M.S.W., SRVUSD
      Behavior Analysts; Lucille Smart, Sarah Hodge, Ann Clark & Caroline Kris, John Baldwin Elementary teachers

                                                       Session C
                       ,
C.1 ~ Step In, Step O ut Step Toge ther: Programs for Teens and Young adults Who Havea Variety of Physical &
      Develo pmental Disabilities ~ Presenter: Katherine Sefton, Mastered Developmental T herapist, Down Syndrome Conn.
C.2 ~ For Parents: Tips for Collab                                                         s
                                        orating with Educators to Maximize your ChildÕ Success ~ T opics include
      listening skills, assertiveness techniques and alternative dispute resolution. Presenters: Malisa Cochran and Linda
      Rowley T hom; Contra Costa SELPA Coordinators
C.3 ~ For Ed ucators and O ther Professionals: Communicating and Collaborating with Par                   h
                                                                                       ents of Children wit
      Special Needs ~ Presenter: Stanley D. Klein, Ph.D., Psychologist and Author
             ies                                                                          vior ~ Presenters:
C.4 ~ Strateg for Pare nts and Teachers to Manage Autistic or ADHD Children's Aberrant Beha
      Angela Connor, M.Ed. and Jill Gershune, M.S.W., SRVUS D Behavior analysts

Sho uld you have questions, please contact Nancy Vandell, PTA Special Needs Committee
Chair, by pho ne at (925) 829-2355, or via e-mail at nmvan dell@comcast.net.
Note: teachers can earn profession al growth credits. Please contact Karin Alexander at ( 925)
837-3817, or via e-mail at courses4teachers@yahoo.com for information.

                                                                                                                            46
47
          Santa Monica Malibu
            Council of PTAs
   PTA organization
    – Representation from the entire district
    – Elected Executive board
    – General membership consists of PTA Presidents
      from each school
    – Liaisons; including Board of Education, Teacher’s
      Association, SEIU, City representatives, Chamber
      of Commerce, League of Women Voters, SMC,
      Education Foundation, Personnel Commission,
      etc.
                                                      48
SMMPTA Committees
   Legislation - Coordinates legislative advocacy on a
  district-wide basis. PTA Council’s Legislative
  Committee has been critical in the passage of local
  funding measures, as well as statewide political
  advocacy on school funding and issues concerning
  children.
 Communication - in an unprecedented
  collaboration between PTA, District leadership, CTA
  and SEIU, the Communications Committee managed
  the aggressive World Class Public Schools
  campaign, including the “Your Schools World”
  publication, Public Schools Week, monthly e-mail
  newsletters from Superintendent, etc.               49
SMMPTA Committees
 Operate under PTA Council’s umbrella.
 Chair appointed by PTA Council President.
 Chair(s) drawn from or become members of
  PTA Council Executive Board; make regular
  reports to PTA Council, raises issues of
  concern and works with PTA Council to
  resolve issues.
 Committees
    –   Regular meetings
    –   Their own membership
    –   Can have subcommittees
    –   Not governed by Brown Act             50
SMM PTA Council
Special Education Committee
 PTA Council voted to form committee
  May 20, 2008.
 Will be PTA Council’s third independent
  committee, along with Communication
  and Legislation.



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SMM PTA Council
Special Education Committee
   Needs
    – Chair
    – Mission Statement
    – Members
    – Priority list of objectives
    – Timeline



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SMM PTA Council
Special Education Committee
   Configuration
    – PTA Council President
    – Chair(s)
    – Board of Education Liaison(s)
    – District representation (Superintendent and/or
      Director of Special Education, Chief Academic
      Officer)
    – Teachers
    – Parent/community members


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SMM PTA Council
Special Education Committee
   Is not
    – SMMUSD Special Education Department
        • Led by Special Education Director, Ruth Valadez and overseen
          by Chief Academic Officer Sally Chou, the Special Education
          Department actually provides all Special Education Services to
          students in the Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District
    – Special Education District Advisory Committee
        • Appointed by the district, SEDAC advises the Board of
          Education on issues related to Special Education Design Team
    – Design Team
        • Recently approved by the Board of Education, the Design
          Team will be a new ad hoc committee to be formed soon to
          engage in a facilitated process of analyzing designing Special
          Education in Santa Monica Malibu Schools

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Committee Chair Requirements
   Knowledgeable about and sensitive to special
    needs children
   Works in a constructive way with teachers,
    principal, staff, other parents
   Can keep personal issues separate from
    committee
   PTA member
   Can volunteer time


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Mission

   Working from PTA’s mission statement,
    the committee must quickly establish its
    own mission statement.




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Members
   Members from across our communities
    should be recruited; parents from both special
    ed & general ed, teachers, staff, community
    members. All are welcome with specific areas
    of expertise needed in:
    –   Special Education
    –   Events
    –   Communication
    –   Research
    –   Leadership
    –   Legislation
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    –   ELL Community and translation
Priority Objectives

   Parent/Teacher Education
    – Collaborating with staff and teachers to
      design and oversee a Fall Education
      Forum
    – Researching and vetting types of
      presentations needed, and available
      presenters
    – Partnership with local university to provide
      continuing education credits for teachers

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Priority Objectives
   Parent To Parent Support network
    – “A network of trained resource parent volunteers to provide support
      and information to parents of students with special education
      needs. Parent Support Network parents are committed to
      supporting parents and staff as collaborative participants in the
      process of their child's education programs.” San Ramon Valley
    – Parent Support Volunteer at each school site to work with principal
      and parents
    – Training in Special Education law, finance and mediation
      techniques for volunteers and committee members
    – Regular meetings with school staff, and attendance at PTA Council
      Special Education Committee meetings
    – http://www.srvusd.net/apps/pages/index.jsp?uREC_ID=40402&type
      =d&termREC_ID=&id=3&rn=5888790

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Priority Objectives

   Support Group
    – Establish ongoing, facilitated support
      groups in various geographic areas in our
      communities




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Timeline
   Summer 08
    – Establish Chair(s)
    – Mission statement
    – Settle on Priority Objectives
    – Set committee members
    – Possible subcommittees? (i.e., Fall Forum Parent
      Support Network, etc.)
    – Begin work
    – Prepare report for September 23, 2008 PTA
      Council General Meeting

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Timeline

   Fall 08
    – Establish first general meeting
    – Fall Forum
    – Begin work on Parent Resource Network
       • Find training program
    – Begin work on Support Group
       • Locations & facilitators


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Timeline

   08 - 09 School Year
    – Continue regular meetings with district staff
      and teachers
    – Parent Support Network and Support
      Groups slowly established at school sites
    – Evaluate progress at end of year and refine
      for following school year


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Priority Objectives

 Focus on students
 Improve communication and
  collaboration between all stakeholder
  groups
 Lower tension level
 Work toward real partnership



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By truly embracing collaboration we
can build a culture that nurtures and
supports every member.


 Every member needed
 And every person welcome…
 Thank You for helping!