A New Year Kicks off New Transition Opportunities!

“Adulting”.   That’s the answer you get when you ask students in Holly Huggins’ and Tara Bacon’s transition programs what they learn in class: preparing for life as an adult.   For every student on an IEP, it starts early at age 14 with an Individual Transition Plan.  Students and families develop future vocational and educational plans, and then the work begins for the student to make progress toward those outcomes.   
Student-driven is the best way to describe daily transition programming in the Post-High Transition Program, run by Emily Vincze.  Each student has an individual daily schedule to address their transition plans.   Some students choose to complete job applications and practice interview skills.  Others learn how to prepare their own meals and manage their living environment in preparation for living in a supported program.   Whatever the student’s outcome, that’s the focus.  
Transition programming is not isolated to the classroom or school program.  Connecting with community organizations is the essential link to move from transition to adulthood.  Lucky for us in Park City we have incredible local organizations who make this happen.  Check out upcoming opportunities for students and families to continue learning about “adulting”.  

ACT Accommodations and Advocacy

All PCHS juniors have an opportunity to take the ACT next March 2021.  Preparation begins early for students in Content Link 11.  This week, Susan Barbisan and Valerie Dyal presented the process for applying for accommodations.  Students reviewed their own IEP accommodations and how they align with the typical accommodations provided on the ACT.   This is an important self-advocacy practice, especially at the secondary level.   Students need to recognize and communicate accommodations to teachers, colleges, and even when applying for assessment supports.   

A student’s current IEP is the documentation that the ACT organization reviews in its approval process.  Families will receive information on the approved accommodations prior to the ACT date in March, with an opportunity for an appeal if certain accomodations are not recognized.   

This is such an important event in the lives of our Juniors as they journey towards college.  Thanks to our Special Education teachers for guiding our students through this process.  If you would like more information, please feel free to contact sbarbisan@pcschools.us. 

Thank you PC Reads x 7!

Suzanne Sheridan with her new document camera.

Seven SpEd teachers, elementary through Treasure Mountain, were the lucky recipients of document cameras last week that was recommended specifically for Wilson reading instruction.  Financial support was graciously provided by PC Reads through a literacy grant.
Infusing this great technology into their reading instruction allows students in the classroom and remote learners to simultaneously view materials needed to support the multi-sensory reading curriculum.  We are so fortunate to have community partners who support Special Education teachers in providing the very best reading instruction to our students!

Utah College Application Week

Almost finished with the college application!

The vision of UCAW is to provide every high school senior an opportunity to complete at least one Utah college or university application during the school day, with a particular focus on students who may be first in their families to attend or who may not have otherwise applied.  Many of the colleges waive their application fees to promote this opportunity.
Following up with this goal, students in Kendall Toland’s Senior classes have been busily preparing for UCAW.  Using strengths and interests inventories and career and college readiness surveys, students have identified Utah colleges and programs that match their post-high transition plans. 
Dara Smith, PCHS Counselor, the expert on college-readiness curriculum, presented the application process to this group of Seniors and during UCAW is working individually with students to complete their applications.  The next steps for these students as they eagerly await decision letters from the colleges is to draft accommodation plans to submit to the Disability Resource Center at their prospective colleges.   Thanks to Dara Smith and the PCHS Counseling Department for creating this opportunity for students to achieve their dreams of attending college. 

Farewell to Our Retirees

Mary Kay Becker
Mary Kay Becker

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Laurie Maggard

Laurie Maggard, PCSD Behavior Specialist, and Mary Kay Becker, Special Education teacher at Treasure Mountain Junior High, are retiring after many years of dedication and service to our department and students.

For 30+ years in the district, Mary Kay has shown us what it means to teach from the heart.  She is the epitome of a Special Education teacher. When you walk into Mary Kay’s classroom, she is always surrounded by students. Mary Kay really listens and for teenagers, this is such a gift.  The Special Education department is losing a one of a kind teacher that can never be replaced, but we know she will continue encouraging and mentoring her former students.

Over the past three years, Laurie has been our leader and mentor in all things tier 2 behavior. Laurie has mentored students, families, and teachers on best practices for students to find behavioral and social/emotional success in the general education classroom. Laurie comes to this practice from a personal passion for recognizing and celebrating the potential of students with disabilities.  We will miss her positive support and fun-loving spirit.

Paislee Schreiter, Post-High Transition Teacher, leaves us to pursue new career endeavors. Paislee has developed a thriving community-based program for our 18-22-year-old population. Every day they are out and about in our community, at work, engaged in independent living skill instruction, and recreational opportunities. We will miss Paislee’s creative programming and fun-loving presence.

We wish all three teachers the best in their new adventures!