OSS Newsletter: February 2020
Published on Feb 11, 2020 13:32

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February 2020

Shoutout to OSS Staff for Their Efforts Around Inclusive Practices!

  • Isabell Kramer, Integrated Special Start Teacher at the Kennedy Longfellow
  • May Petrov, Inclusion Specialist at King Open
  • Kaitlin Souza, King Open math coach, and Jaenine Cortazer, literacy coach at the King Open
  • Katherine Cross Sussman, general educator at the King Open
  • Nadege Sterling, classroom teacher of the Basic Academics Program at the Morse School
  • Doug Delaney and the Structured Academic Team at the Baldwin and Rindge Avenue
  • Cameron Smith and Robin Lewis, OSS Assistive Technology Specialists
  • Kory Boglarkski and Elizabeth Birmingham, Special Educators at the Tobin Montessori School
  • Manuel Fernandez, Head of School, Cambridge Street Upper School
>> If you would like OSS to shout out someone in your school who is demonstrating a commitment to inclusive practices for students with disabilities/exceptionalities, please email Desiree Campbell at [email protected].

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High Level Instructional Practices for Special Educators

HLP 7 
Establish a Consistent, Organized, and Respectful Learning Environment

"To build and foster positive relationships, teachers should establish age appropriate and culturally responsive expectations, routines, and procedures within their classrooms that are positively stated and explicitly taught and practiced across the school year. When students demonstrate mastery and follow established rules and routines, teachers should provide age-appropriate specific performance feedback in meaningful and caring ways. By establishing, following, and reinforcing expectations of all students within the classroom, teachers will reduce the potential for challenging behavior and increase student engagement. When establishing learning environments, teachers should build mutually respectful relationships with students and engage them in setting the classroom climate (e.g., rules and routines); be respectful; and value ethnic, cultural, contextual, and linguistic diversity to foster student engagement across learning environments" (Council for Exceptional Children & CEEDAR Center, 2017, https://highleveragepractices.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/SEBfinal.pdf)

More Resources for Establishing a Consistent, Organized, and Respectful Learning Environment
HLP #7 Video 
Creating a Self-Organized Classroom
Supporting Students Affected by Trauma 
Proactive Classroom Management Tips 
60-Second Strategy, Appreciation, Apology, Aha! 
60-Second Strategy, Snowball Toss!  

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Procedures Manual Quiz #2 Winner!

We would like to congratulate Kevin Mundt, School Psychologist at the Haggerty School, who was the first person to answer all 10 questions correctly in last month’s quiz!

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Procedures Manual Quiz #3

*Previous winners cannot win more than once in a school calendar year* 

*Please include page numbers with your answers*

  1. Cambridge Public School’s Office of Student Services is responsible for locating, identifying, assessing, and evaluating (with parental consent) students from age ___ to ___?
  2. While the Cambridge Public Schools is responsible for evaluating students and determining eligibility and/or disability classifications for students who reside within our district, we do not write ____ for schools which do not utilize federal funds. 
  3. How many hours does the Office of Student Services recommend that classroom observations last?
  4. What does PBIS stand for? What is one example of PBIS?
  5. “Immediately following” has been interpreted as within __ to __ days?
  6. Per Massachusetts and federal regulations, the progress reports must answer what questions?
  7. Classroom observations not be scheduled during what times?
  8. What does CD stand for? Please include a brief description as to what this is.
  9. Students may be removed from their programs for up to ___ cumulative school days per year? Identify 2 reasons why a child might be removed from their program.
  10. A recent ruling by the BSEA has effectively extended the definition of the student record to include what type of communication?

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IEP Reminders

When Sending IEP or Progress Reports to OSS
–When sending a copy to OSS, please do not staple any documents. All documents should be paper clipped.
–All documents should be in the original copy or printed on light paper.
–Use only blue and black ink to scan the documents.
–Remove all flags and sticky notes. If you need to write a note, please use 8 ½ x 11 paper. This is a scanning requirement.
–Do not submit more than one copy of the progress report. Submit only the most recent quarter progress report.
–When turning in signature pages for an annual review that was already submitted, do not resend the entire IEP. Just the signature pages with a note that the packet was already turned in to the OSS central office.

Rejected IEPs
–Rejected IEPs and refused placements must immediately be faxed or scanned into the office.

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Online Professional Learning

From Landmark (beginning January 14)

NEW! Understanding Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, and Dysgraphia (15-hour) 
Executive Function: Impact on Academic Proficiency (15-hour) 
Instructing English Language Learners with Learning Disabilities (15-hour)
Supporting Students’ Reading: Phonemic Awareness to Comprehension (15-hour) 

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–When a student is being considered for SLD, an Observation Assessment is required to be completed. This assessment needs to be on the Consent. If for some reason this assessment is not listed on the consent, please refer to your Psychologist/ Team Chairperson.

Specific Learning Disabilities
–SLD considerations (yes or no) must be checked off by the chairperson.
–SLD Team Determination. Include titles with their names.
–If you attend the SLD determination meeting, but your name is not on the attendance sheet, please do not sign the SLD Team Determination.

LEA Representatives
–Please check that your meeting invitation date and attendance sheet date and team summary meeting date matches.
–LEA representative must sign before sending in an unsigned IEP.
All packets should have chairperson checklists. Sometimes they do not come on extended or independent evaluations. Related service providers tend not to complete the chairperson checklist.
–For students going out of districts, please make sure the dates are correct on the Specific Program Location and the dates on the PL1.
–Please submit packets in order.

–Sign all assessments. DO NOT use electronic signatures.
–When dating an assessment, the month and year is not a complete date, (ex 11/2016). It should read 11/4/2016.
–Home Assessments. Please submit the original form. The dark boxes on the home assessments do not scan and they have important information printed on them. When a document is scanned with dark boxes or dark spots, it only scans it as a completely black area. You are not able to read anything in the dark areas.

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Upcoming Events & More

Upcoming Events

February 17-21
No School: February Vacation


February 13 | 6-8PM
OSS/SEPAC Community Budget Meeting
CSUS Multipurpose Room 

February 27 | 6-8PM
Transition Workshop
Presenter from Federation
CRLS Media Cafe

March 18 | 6-8PM
Basic Rights Workshop
CRLS Media Cafe


February 13 | 
All day
Inclusion Specialists/Lead Teachers Monthly Meeting
Location TBD

Noteworthy Cambridge Events  

February 13 | 4:30-6PM 
Harvard Graduate School of Education Library Talk, “Natural Allies” 
Info >> 

February 18 | 6-7:45PM 
Nikole Hannah-Jones of the New York Times 1619 Project
Info >>
Stay Tuned!
In March, Faith Fisher and Cathy Saxon will resume their support for the Reading Mastery/Corrective Reading Program.

Math Corner
OSS would like to thank all of our sub-separate teachers for administering the placement tests for Connecting Math Concepts!

Council for Exceptional Children Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. February 5th - February 8th. To learn more, visit cec.sped.org.

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Office of Student Services
135 Berkshire Street, Cambridge, MA 02141
www.cpsd.us  •  617.349.6500
CPS Mobile App >>
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