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!
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.
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!
Dr. Jaimee Kidder saw an opportunity in the COVID-19 crisis. Dr. Kidder put together a plan to capitalize on a crisis by putting together an intensive behavior training course that was run live during the school dismissal. Park City School District staff, including all special education paraprofessionals, and all after-school personnel participated in a comprehensive, 40-hour formal course covering all of the material to certify Registered Behavior Technicians.
During the six weeks of class, over 120 participants learned a wide variety of skills and concepts, such as how to provide effective reinforcement, how to select and teach replacement behaviors, and how to collect data to monitor progress and make better decisions. Participants expressed that the class was enjoyable and highly relevant to their needs, and that they were thankful to have the opportunity for extensive training and practice in behavioral strategies. Once school resumes, additional coaching and mentoring will be provided to Park City School District participants who support students with challenging behavior to help them apply what they’ve learned in a hands-on context.
Critical components included the principles, interventions, and problem-solving strategies to address the needs of students with challenging behaviors. Dr. Kidder generously opened up the course to Tooele, Salt Lake, Canyons, and Provo school districts’ special education departments and another 30 participants were able to join at no cost.
Lexy Levy, a junior at Park City High who is active in our Transition Program, has landed her first job at the Park City School District Child Care Center.
The Transition Program, under the leadership of instructor Holly Huggins, provides a comprehensive program that assists students with special needs to transition into the workplace. The Transition curriculum is focused on job readiness, independent living skills, and functional academic high school classes.
The program is possible in part through a career and college readiness grant from the Park City Education Foundation.