News for Unique Learners
“OWL” News from the Office of Student Services
Who is needed in a child’s life? We all are, that’s whooo….! Nurturing relationships are an most essential component for all children. Being part of a loving and nurturing relationship, especially in the early years, allows for the optimal development of intellectual and social skills. When there are secure, empathetic and nurturing relationships, children learn to be intimate and empathetic, and to communicate their feelings and develop healthy relationships of their own. Positive and nurturing relationships also enable children to learn to think creatively and abstractly. Morality and self-regulation are also positively impacted. If a child can quickly access a caring adult, they can negotiate their feelings and get feedback that will help them modulate their behaviors. It’s a big job to engage a child in a nurturing relationship. Time and effort must be expended daily. This job doesn’t just fall on parents; it also falls on neighbors, teachers, supervisors and bosses, administrators, and the overall community membership. It takes a village to raise a child is never more true today than when the expression was first used by Hillary Clinton for her book title. She took the expression from an African proverb.
Fourth Annual Five Town Special Olympics School Games is almost here!!! On April 1st in AHS’s gym, Special Olympic Athletes from Ashland, Holliston, Medfield, Medway and Millis will all gather together for a football themed skills event in which participants will showcase their talents throwing, catching, kicking and running through obstacles! We will have special guests you won’t want to miss as well! Most importantly, our community comes together to support our athletes, and we are most proud of the over 80 student volunteers, over 25 community volunteers, and staff from each town all working together to make this a special event for our athletes! The five town committee has been hard at work, and the building and district administration has been lending a tremendous amount of support. Fundraising has surpassed our hopes and we simply want you to come and enjoy a day of fun and celebration for the athlete in all of us!
Thought for the month... “Sail” Ella Wheeler Wilcox But to every mind there openeth, A way, and way, and away, A high soul climbs the highway, And the low soul gropes the low, And in between on the misty flats, The rest drift to and fro. But to every man there openeth, A high way and a low, And every mind decideth, The way his soul shall go. One ship sails East, And another West, By the self-same winds that blow, 'Tis the set of the sails And not the gales, That tells the way we go. Like the winds of the sea Are the waves of time, As we journey along through life, 'Tis the set of the soul, That determines the goal, And not the calm or the strife.
Summer Camp Opportunity!!! Be on the lookout for flyers inviting you to consider summer camp for your students. We will be holding two different camps this summer, one to support special education students and their “typical” peers, and another to support our English Language Learners. Our special education camp runs July 6th through August 11th, Mon-Thurs 912, and our ELL camp runs July 12th -28th, Tues-Thurs 9-12.
ASHPAC hosted Attorney Jeffrey Sankey on March 14. Attorney Sankey stressed the following traits of effective parents in special education: 1.
Effective parents are involved in their child’s education, they are equal partners with the school and trust (but not blindly) that staff want to do the best for their students
Effective parents are aware of their child’s disability and strengths and weaknesses…they educate themselves!
Effective parents have an understanding of special education rules and regulations…they look them up, and they don’t sign any document until they fully understand it
Effective parents maintain accurate and complete and organized records for their child
Effective parents cooperate and share information with their child’s team of teachers and staff
Effective parents maintain a cordial and professional relationship with school staff
Effective parents build a team of professionals to evaluate and advocate for their children
Effective parents recognize that change takes time, and will implement plans if needed
Effective parents think strategically
10. Effective parents keep their child’s educational experience positive! 11.
Ashland will be undergoing a Coordinated Program Review May 16th-20th. Every six years, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education visits districts to make sure of compliance with state and federal regulations concerning English Language Learners, Special Education and Civil Rights. DESE exams documents and student records, interviews staff and parents, sends out a survey to selected families and visits each school. They provide to us feedback on our compliance in these three areas, and where we have commendable practices and where we must improve.
ASHPAC news…ASHPAC News and Important Dates for April “One More Award” Recipients
Our Spring Fundraiser with Cristoline is underway. Thank you for your support! Monday, April 4th – final due date to turn in all order forms & payments to schools Wednesday, May 4th – Cristoline order pick-up from 2-7pm, AMS Activity Room
Congratulations to the following staff: Office Sali Diamond, Cheryl
Hatch, Erin Cameron, Sandy Vienneau, Jess Malone and Jill Gawlik
Meetings - Both are held from 7-9pm in the AMS Activity Room Tuesday, April 5th - Monthly Meeting – All are welcome! Monday, April 11th - Workshop: Transition Regarding Adult Services with Ellen Kilicarslan. Ellen Kilicarslan is the VP of Family Support Services at the Charles River Center and a social worker with over 30 years of experience working with families who have children and adult children living at home. She will provide an overview of the Department of Developmental Services, an overview of some Mass Health programs and will talk to families about transition, applying for adult services, an array of adult services and tips on how to navigate the system.