Circle of Friends Lesha s Twist

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					Circle of Friends
CHMS & Lesha’s Twist


 Lesha Gates – Special Educator/ Autism
  Consultant at Camels Hump Middle
  School & Chittenden East Supervisory
 Mark Carbone – Principal at Camels
  Hump Middle School

 1- 20 ( debrief)
 123 Look (debrief)
Where did COF comes from?

 Netwon, Colin & Derek Wilson. Creating
  Circle of Friends

 Tonight you will hear CHMS & Lesha’s

 It is a need that should be met in the
  school community.

 CHMS COF: To provide access to
  natural friendships across peers that are
History of COF at CHMS

We have been running and supporting
 Circle of Friends group at Camels Hump
 successfully for 5 years. We have built
 and supported 4 different groups in that
 time. Currently we have one group in
 their second year and are in the process
 of forming 2 new groups. Lesha
 continues to support two groups that
 have transitioned to the high school
MEET COF Groups:

 Madeline’s Group
 Picture #1 5th grade year
 Pictures #2 & #3
 Video Clip # 1 ( 15 minutes)
Group Formation:

 Facilitators Commitment
 Parent Commitment
 Teacher Commitment
 Administrative Commitment
 Student Commitment
Student Commitment

 Age group
 Group #
 Boys vs girls
 Time commitment varies
 Each group is different a varies on need
How are students chosen?

 Teacher and administrators select
 Volunteer
Pre - activities

 New classes/New Peers: Introduction to
  classmates in groups of two around a
  reinforcing activity
 If class has been together for a while
  (popcorn & skittle activity) to whole class
  and then ask for volunteers
Popcorn and skittle activity

 Outside row ( family)
 Next: Community ( church, gas station
 People paid to be in your life( teacher,
 Friends/Acquaintances ( hi, how are you)
 Close Friends( you call on the phone, do
  things outside of school)
 Attached sheets
Key Concept:

 You are building natural supports not
  teacher helpers
Cycle of Meetings

 Joint Connections: On-going learning
  about each other and what they have in
 Community Services
 Celebration
Joint Connection Examples:

 Reading Ian’s Walk
 Risk Zone and Safety Zone
 Planning to Include
 Laughing at yourself and Laughing at
 Sensory Activities ( clip # 2 – 30 sec.)
Community Involvement

 ( after group is established ) we found
  that the best way to solidify natural
  friendships is to have students
  participate in volunteer activity outside of
 i.e. Ronald McDonald House, baking
  Dog Biscuits, school assemblies

 Recognition for what they have done so
  far is a regular occurrence whether it
  involves displaying posters, notes home,
  quarterly specials
Other Activities Supported by
 Unified Sports ( power point )
 after school sports programs supported initially through
   Special Olympics and then supported by the school and
   private donations. Involves recruiting students with
   disabilities and their peers without disabilities to partner
   as they participate in sports activities such as soccer,
   floor hockey, snowshoeing, bowling, and skiing
Other Activities Cont.

Summer program - the summer program is
  designed to focus on retention of IEP goals
  including self-care, academics and the primary
  focus, social relationship development and
  maintenance. CHMS – CAMP NO NAME
Group involvement in the curriculum (theme
  projects with one of the CoF who is in his class,
  support when IA is absent and no sub)
Teachers and Advocates
Successes - Testimonials

 M- – 1st year the girls ran to her dad’s car grabbed her stuff and
    said bye to her dad – his reaction
   2nd year - Mad went on the camping trip without her 1:1 a
    request of her CoF and supported them ( required them to
    rephrase directions, use visuals, help with fine and gross motor
    tasks, take care of her hearing aids and FM system), skiing at
    Sugar Bush and then Bolton – Skiing birthday party
   J – learning to communicate with hand signals treky, high five,
    knuckles, E.T., wicked
   A – boys taught him when to swear, what to wear, and why not
    to tell girls that you love them
   A – help picking out a dress for 8th grade graduation, help with
    being laughed out and laughing with
   R- support at school dances, independence in the community
   Clip # 3 Ms. Zagursky - Teacher
   Clip # 4 Carol Bennett – Madeline’s Mom

 It is very adult heavy in the beginning. It
  is a big commitment and time needs to
  be allotted for planning and
 Inclusion vs. Exclusion
 Not building teacher helpers
Josh’s Story

 Clip # 4
 Clip # 5

 Att: notes from first year meetings (quick
  jots excuse GUM and typos) and parent

 Thank You Josh (and Hilary) for letting
  us share your story

 Thank You

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