Parent-District Board Meeting Minutes

“DCSEAC is an advisory committee who believes in a positive, collaborative and troubleshooting relationship with the district to best support all families with children receiving special education programming.  Advisory board members should leave personal agendas at the door and advise in a manner that best supports all children with different abilities. In doing so we appreciate respectful discourse, the use of Person First language and discretion around confidential topics.” 

DCSEAC Parent Staff Board Agenda

Wednesday September 2, 2020

6:30 – 8:00 p.m.

Virtual Meeting

“DCSEAC is an advisory committee who believes in a positive, collaborative and troubleshooting relationship with the district to best support all families with children receiving special education programming.  Advisory board members should leave personal agendas at the door and advise in a manner that best supports all children with different abilities.  In doing so we appreciate respectful discourse, the use of Person First language and discretion around confidential topics.”    

CDE SEAC Guidebook – The Power of Partnerships

Introductions

  • District Board Members
    • Sarah Cannon, director special education
    • Nancy Ingalls, personalized learning officer 
    • Lisa Graham, director early childhood education
    • EDOS TBD
    • Linda Niemann, special education coordinator DCHS feeder
    • Marta McGovern, special education coordinator MVHS feeder
  • Board of Education Liaisons
    • David Ray, board of education president
    • Christina Ciancio Schor, director district D 
  • Community Member
    • Janis DeBaca, Developmental Pathways
  • Parent Board Members

Introductions of people in attendance:

Sarah Cannon

Lisa Graham

Janis DeBaca

Scott Sarver

Marta McGovern

Jeni Cassidy

Robin Evans

John Shukie

Nancy Ingalls

Corey Wise

Melina DePasse

Linda Niemann

Aleia Mastroiamni

Kerri Tomplkins

Brittany Zellmer

Caryn Becker

Shining Star Update:  (Kerriann)

Four schools received the School Inclusion Awards from Developmental Pathways.

Janis DeBaca from Developmental Pathways has partnered with Douglas County Schools to provide donations to schools for the Shining Star Inclusion Award. The parent /district board approved $250 to be given to one elementary (Cougar Run), one middle school (Rocky Heights), and high school (Chaparral), and one charter school (Stem K-12).

The checks will arrive in the mail. These awards were for the 2019-2020 school year and were delayed due to COVID.

The Shining Star baskets are ready to be delivered to the individual winners. The School Inclusion Awards still need to be printed. Nancy will print and deliver the School Inclusion Awards.

Kerri is going to get the baskets to Nancy. Nancy will coordinate how to deliver the baskets to the Shining Star winners in an effort to keep the buildings, staff, and students safe.

Treasurer Update:  (Jeni)

No change since last meetings.

There is $2,837.55 in DCSEAC account.

After next week, $1000 will leave account for School Inclusion Awards.

Pay voucher will be submitted for another charge. 

Both of these updates will be shared at the meeting next month.

Website: Update from Scott:

Updated:

The website has been updated with:

  • Parent Meeting and Parent/District Meeting dates for 20-21 school year
  • Support Group Contacts
  • Board Member List

Information that is still needed:

  • Virtual links for parent & parent/district meetings
  • Virtual Links for support group meeting
  • Information on how support groups will meet (Group leads will email Scott with information.)
  • It was proposed that groups would have a private link through an undecided platform but still open to all parents. The link will be private to protect parent privacy.
  • The website has over 1600 hits each month. There is increased traffic.
  • District will get an updated copy of the IEP Toolkit to Scott to upload to the website once it is complete.

Support Group Updates

Support Groups Update:  (Melina, Robin, Aleia, Caryn)

Mild/Moderate

  • It was agreed upon that support groups would be shared through a private link but open to all parents.  
  • The platform for support group meetings has not been decided. Google Meet and Zoom were discussed. Janice DeBaca offered to donate money to purchase a Zoom account for parent support groups.
  • Caryn has taken over as the lead for the Mild/moderate Support Group. She has been introduced to the group as well as organized contacts to provide further details on meetings and what platform will be used. She shared that she is using an app called “The Band” to organize the group members and facilitate communication.
  • The Mild/Moderate support group will be September 15.

SSN

  • Melina has canceled support group meetings at the library. The  dates are canceled at the library for the remainder of 2020. 
  • Melina shared that SSN leads have touched base monthly. SSN support group meeting is scheduled for this month. The date may change due to leads having children home in quarantine. 
  • The SSN support group shared there is a speaker lined up for the November meeting. Melina and Robin are looking to schedule other speakers as well to serve as resources to parents.
  • Sarah Cannon offered to attend the October meeting to discuss ESY options.

AN

  • Aleia has been working with Nancy Ingalls. Once an AN lead is hired Aleia will touch base with the district lead. Aleia shared a flyer with Scott and Nancy who will share with teachers, parents, etc. in hopes of building a support group. Aleia is plannning on having the first AN virtual Meeting on September 10. 

Nancy suggested once we have all support groups scheduled to get a list to hear so it could be shared with all parents who have students on IEPs.

Unified Sports:

  • CHSAA moved to 4 seasons for high school sports, middle school will follow suit
    • Basketball will be during season B (when boys and girls basketball will be)
    • Bowling will be during season C
    • Soccer will be during season D (when girls soccer will be)
    • There will be 4 seasons (ABCD). The first season is underway. It will pause and then pick up January and go through the remainder of the year.
    • Middle school sports will follow the high school calendar.
    • Unified track is on hold for now. 
    • Red Shirt Rookies has no update as of now. There was not much information about elementary school activities. Some are being held virtually and are limited.

John Shukie shared that Special Olympics will not be holding any competitions for the remainder of 2020. Special Olympics is doing many virtual trainings and has community based teams practicing. Additionally, there are trainings and brainstorming sessions taking place in classrooms. Basketball is planned to happen. There are discussions of how accommodations will be made to make bowling work.

Subcommittee Work (proposed in February 2020):

  • Revisit the Focus Areas – Autism, Communication, and Principals
  • Select one area for this year or postpone this work until school is in normal session?

Melina provided some background on the origin of these topics. These topics came from the Special Education Task Force in an effort to work as a team (parents and district) to provide what is best for students and families.

The district has a new Autism lead, Jennifer Tilly(spelling?). There is a team to help support this work. 

It was discussed how to move forward with focus groups. Should we focus on all three groups or just one?

Nancy suggested that district employees will work together to find a time for a work session and propose it to the group. This session will be proposed to the group to see how it fits into schedules and we will decide how to move forward at that time.

Parent Engagement:  

  • 4-6 parent events this school year, topics below
    • Progress monitoring, understanding data points that go into interpretation
    • Tips and Tools to support home instruction and school connection
    • Autism programming in the district
    • 1 transition event that has break outs for college night (mod needs, SSN, Bridge, etc)

Marta McGovern shared about parent engagement.

  •  The first parent engagement will be Sept. 29 (most likely lunch) The topic will likely cover progress monitoring, which was going to be discussed in the spring. This meeting will be virtual.
  • Peak has been contacted to see if they can do a parent engagement session. 
  • Wednesdays during lunch will be the typical time, done virtually. 

Marta asked the group about topics for parent engagement sessions. 

  • There were suggested topics around mental health to support our students and also how it relates to students with IEPs.
  • Discussion on IEP and how it is impacted through virtual and hybrid learning. 
  • Question and answer session for parents. 
  • Expose the parents to internal and external resources that are available to parents and families. 

Janice DeBaca from Developmental Pathways shared that The Ark has great classes available for parents. 

Other District Updates:

  • 20-21 flow of communication This chart is updated. Based on feedback, email addresses are added for the coordinator. 
  • Vacant director and AN lead, new AN program at PLE
  • There is a new AN program at an elementary school in Parker.

Additional Questions:

Q:How will the district monitor symptoms as we move into cold and flu sessions? (Currently there are students quarantined because other students are experiencing COVID symptoms, but communication from the district shared that it was symptoms not a positive test.) 

A:District works with Tri County health as well as the specific individual to make the best decision while also protecting the people involved. 

There are protocols used for isolation and quarantine that are guided by public health officials. 

Q:Are schools monitoring children who are absent or sick? Are schools asking for symptoms? 

A: If two or more COVID symptoms are reported, it can be shared with the school nurse who will reach out to parents. Many parents are taking children to the doctor to test as time progresses or just to check.

Q:Is there information on school based sites and what is available for parents?

A: District is working with communications to describe what programs and sites are available throughout the district. There will need to be a disclaimer to make parents aware that programs can shift with enrollment and location.

Upcoming Parent/Staff Board Meetings:

September 2th

November 4th

January 6th

March 3th

May 5th

Parent Only Board Meetings:

Our parent-only board meetings are currently set for the first Friday of the month (August, October, December, February and April) – subject to change.

March 4th, 2020 – Start of Meeting: 6:35pm

Overview of the purpose of a SEAC – Melina

Shared handout the purpose of SEAC and webinar recap – see additional handout (Highlights from the CDE)

Information on how to start and maintain a SEAC

General information – every state is mandated to have a state SEAC, but district is flexible/optional

SEAC is an advisory group that collaborates that focuses on solutions

WHY have a SEAC? – works collaboratively with all stakeholders to meet the needs of all learners

The mission and vision were written several years ago.

At our next parent meeting in April we will discuss updated bylaws – parent board will continue the work in April, and the bylaws will be presented in May to the board.

The Power of Partnership – a resource for local special education advisory committee in Colorado ; handout was given by Nancy, Melina shared with the board

Page 2 – focus on this page to understand what our role and discuss/agree with what our role is; role is to advise based on data and good judgement

How the Local SEAC functions – the key thing to focus on is to create a collaborative partnership

Nancy shared information from the Power of Partnership – advocacy is the focus, not advising ; DCSEAC has served our community through recognition activities, presentations, support groups

  • Recap of presentations – Scott
    • DCSEAC will not be organizing HOY or college presentations moving forward

SSN College Night  23 people – went smoothly – great speakers and great questions

Mild/Mod Night College Night 88 people -great questions, great speakers, common topic-question Do IEP/504 transition to college, the crowd was surprised and disappointed, however, many of the metro area colleges do provide support and accommodations 

Scott has the slides from both presentations from both nights that he can share to upload on the website.

Is there a way to share what colleges offer and guide students better than others? 

The guidance counselor is very savvy at knowing which colleges have strong programs to support our students who need some additional support. There is not a “list” available, however, high schools are aware of what colleges can provide more resources. 

Students are encouraged to support IEP/504 with admissions. – Scott shared this information.

Students and families are encouraged to look at all schools to see what resources are available in the form of resource/disability center. 

Discussion on testimonies from families,teachers, etc to share information about specific colleges for parents and students.

Scott will share the contact information for additional resources at colleges for future presentations.  Scott shared that parents really just wanted facts. It was nice to have the other presenters though.

DCSD – there currently is no college information

  • Support Groups – Melina for Tricia, Melina/Robin, Aleia
    • Lean on Me: February meeting was not held; Too many illnesses and disruptions. Next Meeting: Tuesday March 24th, Lone Tree Library, 6:30-8:00.
    • SSN: Tuesday, March 10th, LT Library, Event Hall, 10-11:30am
    • Stronger Together: Thursday, March 12th LT Library, Studio meeting room, 6:30-8:00

Support groups for February were low due to sickness and snow/delayed start days. 

  • Treasurer Update – Jeni 2,618.65 no new news
  • Unified Update – John
    • Tab on DCSEAC website – coming soon

We will have a new tab on the SEAC website. There will be more stories shared about the awesome work going on in Unified activities.

Nancy shared that there will be a speaker from Special Olympics to discuss unified sports at the Building Compassionate Leaners conference on March 28

Polar Plunge will continue through the next couple of weeks, through mid-March.

  • Email Update – Melina for Tricia 
    • Getting emails to moderate comments left on our blog, and that people are following our blog. May have been something set up by a previous parent board member. Marci looking into changing this.
    • Blast email sent with DCSEAC as sender for Shining Star nominations?

-moving forward, can we switch it to Douglas County Special Education Advisory Committee 

  • Shining Star – Kerri

This program has been around for several years. Last year there were just over 100 nominations, this year there are 288!

Most elementary schools were nominated;

71 schools represented – so many positions were represented from classroom teachers, EAs, case managers, bus drivers, lunch staff, etc.

School Nominations

43 school nominations – 25 were elementary schools – 5 charter schools 

3 high schools

1 middle school 

Janice offered additional prize money to support the preschool nominations if we wanted it as a support category in the future.

Discussion of charter schools and how they serve our students with special needs. Charter schools are held to the same responsibility with regards to IEPs. Currently, our district’s charter schools do not have center based programs, however there are resources for our students at all of our Douglas County Schools, including charter and neighborhood schools. SSN programs are clustered to ensure a full program and number of students.

Charter schools are also unequally distributed currently that make things more challenging. 

The board collectively decided to donate $250 for an additional basket to be given to a Charter School.  

*Winners were drawn for Shining Star – to be announced

Kerri will email Nancy the complete list of all Shining Star nominations to post on the DCSD website. 

Discussion about selecting more winners in the future, if we can get more donations from the community. 

Kerri will send certificates and Nancy will send them to the schools. Kerri will notify principals and baskets will be delivered to schools around the first week of April. 

  • District Updates

A season of transitions; there are lots of meetings to prepare for school transitions, geering up for state testing, graduation, etc. 

  • Subcommittee Group work 
    • Autism
    • Communication
    • Principals

Discussed adding a district employee to each group to ensure that we have direction and input. 

May is the last meeting of the school year – parents will work on the google docs during the April parent meeting and in May we will have a direction moving forward to address the challenges that were presented in the focus groups.

We would love district input before the April meeting. Nancy said that a district person should be able to share feedback. 

  • Next Meetings: Parent Board Meeting, Friday April 3rd, Lone Tree Library, 12:15-1:45.

Parent/District Meeting, Wednesday May 6th, Lone Tree Elem, 6:30-8:00.