GREAT opportunity for families, school staff, and community members of PSD to provide input and participate in discussions around Special Education in our District.

PSD is currently accepting applications for membership on the Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC).  SEAC is families, school staff, and community members supporting the education of all students.  SEAC advises on PSD topics representing students with disabilities.  

SEAC’s vision is to facilitate partnerships between parents, general education, special education, and the community.  SEAC members focus on children and youth with disabilities and decisions made on their behalf, keeping at the forefront quality educational services.

Representatives will be asked to serve on the committee for two years and attend all SEAC meetings.

SEAC meetings will take place in the evenings from 5:30-7:30 pm in person at the JSSC with the option of joining over a virtual format, Microsoft Teams.

Meeting dates this school year are: November 18, January 20, March 14, and May 19. 

Committee members will advise the Integrated Services (Special Education) Leadership Team on topics relevant to PSD special education and will work with the Integrated Services Department on various special education and parent focused projects. 

Please consider applying for this opportunity for collaboration! 

Follow this link to apply: Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) 2021-22 Application

For more information, please contact:
Heidi Graber
Integrated Services
Parent Liaison
970-490-3225

Congratulations to our staff who were nominated by their colleagues in recognition of the amazing work they do on behalf of students with disabilities in PSD!

The following staff members were recognized at the Integrated Services Quarterly Meeting on Tuesday, September 21, 2021.  Their nominations were filled with praise from colleagues; read on for just a few excerpts.

Dani Bassett, IS Teacher, Werner Elementary School
Dani leads the IS program at Werner. She welcomed me as a new teacher into the building, helped with scheduling and filled in gaps to better support the students at Werner. She goes above and beyond to advocate for her students’ needs and provides clear plans of how to engage students actively and using specific strategies. Dani uses research-based practices to meet her students’ learning goals and adapts them to meet the needs of each student. She always comes in with a smile and is eager to work with all students.  Thank you, Dani!!

Brad Reimers, School Psychologist, Bauder Elementary School
Brad has been so helpful in supporting new staff at Bauder.  He patiently answers questions and helps in any way needed.  Thank you, Brad!!

Katrina Gough, IS Teacher, Bamford Elementary School
Katrina has been a team player since day 1! Before I even started as an official PSD employee, she stepped in to introduce herself and support students and parents who needed IEP questions answered or held a meeting that needed to be held. She has been crushing it at coordinating her new role at Bamford!  Thank you, Katrina!!

Danielle Miller, IS Teacher, Wellington Middle School
Danielle jumped into WMS during the 2019-2020 and while it now feels like she has worked here for 10 years instead of starting her 3rd year, Danielle has been a tremendous addition to the WMS team. She is always caring and helpful to both students and staff. I have seen students with significant behavior difficulties make huge gains while working with Danielle. We are always bouncing ideas off of each other and making each other better teachers. She is the first to offer help if you need an extra hand or coverage for something. She engages students and gives them life skills that they will carry with them forever. Danielle has already made a huge difference for the students in our community. I hope she sticks around WMS for many years to come!  Thank you, Danielle!!

Ale McGee, IS Teacher, Fort Collins High School
Ale comes to work everyday with a smile. She works so hard to meet the varying needs of all her students. Even when things get difficult she is ready to follow through and is always a team player.  Thank you, Ale!!

Tara Gross, IS Teacher, Rocky Mountain High School
Tara has been a selfless leader for our department. She has taken on the challenge of scheduling all of our transfers and new students that came at the beginning of the school year. Tara is a selfless leader who always puts others before herself and the needs of her students above all else. Tara is an amazing educator and member of our team.  Thank you, Tara!!

Brian Farkas, IS Teacher, Rice Elementary School
Brian has jumped into Rice with both feet forward! He is always responsive to student and staff needs and communicates directly and effectively with the team. An example is a student this year who has big emotions and big behaviors. Brian created a plan and a very detailed data collection sheet to track behaviors. Without this data, we would be two weeks behind in the MTSS process for getting this student more support at school. Brian is a joy to work with and his commitment to all students keeps me going on especially tough days.  Thank you, Brian!!

Makenzi Semadeni, IS Teacher, Bennett Elementary School
Makenzi is a FANTASTIC team member and collaborator; this shows up in her ability to reach students because she creates such a unified team with all of the stakeholders in each student’s education (parents, general education teachers, administration, paraprofessionals, etc). This year she entered a new school and had a new caseload, and she has taken it on like a champ!  She has been dedicated, hard-working, open-minded, relationship oriented, respectful, responsible, and caring.  Thank you, Makenzi!!

Megan Kramer, BCBA & Madeleine Carter, Autism Coach, Poudre School District
Megan and Madeleine are both new to their position this school year. I am extremely impressed with the manner in which they support schools and work tirelessly to support students in extremely difficult situations. They also understand the importance of building supportive relationships with staff. They always keep the students needs first and foremost and are committed to their success. Thank you, Megan and Madeleine!!

Jenni Thomason, School Psychologist, Blevins Middle School
Jenni goes above in beyond in every aspect of her job. In my short time here at Blevins she has become the person I can go to when I have questions. Jenni is so supportive of all of us on the IS team and truly cares about the students and the school as a whole.  Thank you, Jenni!!

Thank you all for your service and dedication to EACH and EVERY student in PSD!

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Poudre School District
Integrated Services
Sarah Belleau, Director

Welcome back – and welcome aboard!

We’re thrilled to welcome back our veteran Integrated Services team members, as well as our new recruits! Our new licensed staff has just completed two very full and productive days of orientation. We thank you all for your participation and engagement – you’ve built a strong foundation for a successful new school year!

Looking Back on this Year…Congratulations Graduates!!

It is our pleasure to celebrate all of the graduates from our PSD Transition Programs! Congratulations to each of you as you embrace your next adventures!

Project Search Grads (left to right):
Lauren Tharp, David Knuckey, Fermin Romero Lopez, Lauren Schaub, Rafat Islam
Community Connections Grads (left to right):
Noah Ridley, Keith McCauley Jr., Cassandra Hoard, Tristen Lopez

Looking Back on this Year…Game On!!

It’s not whether you win or lose…! Rich Feller, a past CSU faculty member in the School of Education, and an author, speaker, and counselor with Rich Feller and Associates, co-authored a game called “Who You Are MATTERS”. Mr. Feller was a guest presenter for PSD’s Project SEARCH, where he shared his game with students. “Who You are MATTERS” ‘sparks meaningful conversations and helps participants connect the dots in their professional and personal lives’. (Description from website richfeller.com.) Project SEARCH Program Specialist, Emilie Ring, used the game as a transition assessment, and will work with Mr. Feller to create a modified version for students on IEPs for transition planning.

Also visit https://onelifetools.com/pages/who-you-are-matters for more information.

Looking Back on this Year…Temple Grandin!!

In November, Temple Grandin Zoomed in to Kaitlin Patterson’s Agricultural Science class at Rocky Mountain High School. Students had the opportunity for open dialogue with Ms. Grandin. It was a wonderful experience for learning and motivation!

Looking Back on this Year…Unified Sports!!

Students were out having fun, spirited competition again this year with Unified Sports! In addition, our own Fort Collins High School has been nationally recognized as a Special Olympics National Unified Champion School! Congrats to FCHS, and to all of our schools in PSD who participate in Unified Sports throughout the year!

This week is National Teacher Appreciation Week, and today is National Teacher Appreciation Day! Today, this week, and always, we appreciate our Integrated Services staff!

With the utmost sincerity and respect from PSD Integrated Services Director Sarah Belleau and the Integrated Services Leadership Team, we recognize and send our gratitude to all of our staff!  Although this past year had been incredibly challenging, you’ve been there for our students. YOU did it! Integrated Services staff – you have adjusted, created, persevered, and stood strong, continuing your drive to assure that all our students received the best education possible, no matter the circumstances. Thank you! You have been the light in what was for so many a dark time. You were the encouragement for many to keep going.  You shined bright so that others could find their way. You have inspired with your commitment, passion, and ability to carry on. We are incredibly moved by all of you who continue to work tirelessly to provide the best programming and services for students with disabilities. We celebrate you this week (and always!) for being outstanding, motivating others, and becoming the beacon of hope to assure that the needs of students with disabilities in Poudre School District have been met. 

Enjoy this week as we celebrate you!  Happy Appreciation Week 😊

Congratulations to our staff who were nominated by their colleagues in recognition of the amazing work they do on behalf of students with disabilities in PSD!

The following staff members were recognized at the Integrated Services Quarterly Meeting on Monday, April 12, 2021.  Their nominations were filled with praise from several co-workers; read on for just a few excerpts.

Michelle Bullock, Para II – Werner Elementary
“Thank you to Michelle Bullock for trying out a new math program this spring for students who needed an educator to think out of the box to meet their needs.  Michelle knew her students needed something different to support their mathematical thinking and progress and worked hard to learn something new to increase the success of her students with disabilities.  Michelle is differentiating for each students’ needs and implementing best practices every day.  Thank you Michelle!!”

Patty Heyse, School Psychologist – Preston Middle School
“Patty is so supportive of the IS team at Preston. During Covid-19, Patty understood how busy the IS teachers were with trying to meet the needs of their students that Patty offered to complete different pieces of paperwork to help out. ” “Patty’s current intern said ‘I can say that Patty is very knowledgeable, helpful, and willing to lend a hand at any time. She is a positive and bright presence even during the most stressful of times. I’ve learned so much from her and I know that her consistent supervision and coaching have prepared me to enter my first year as an official school psychologist.” “We wish Patty all the best in her retirement and thank her for all of her years of service, dedication and most of all friendship.”

Garry Keller, Multi-categorical Teacher – Poudre Community Academy
The students, staff, and entire community of PCA are incredibly lucky to have a teacher like Garry.  He is always willing to think “outside the box” to make sure that our students get their needs met.  Garry is beyond creative when it comes to meeting students where they are, while guiding them in meeting their individual goals as well.  All of us at PCA are proud to work with you Garry, and are grateful for you, even the butter braid thief and constituents.  Thank you for working so hard everyday and making all of us around you better.  You truly make our world a better place. ”

Kaitlin Patterson, Multi-categorical Teacher – Rocky Mountain High School
“Kaitlin goes above and beyond to improve our Integrated Services team at Rocky. She constantly strives to streamline systems and processes within IS. Kaitlin has shown initiative and leadership. She has been the liaison between the science department and our team. The fostering of this partnership has allowed so many students to flourish in challenging, yet supportive general education classes. While doing so, Kailtin has also helped general education teachers learn how to best accommodate and modify for students with disabilities. Her honest, direct, and humorous approach to working with students and parents has increased student achievement, independence, and self-advocacy skills. Kaitlin’s willingness to seek areas of improvement and then act has catapulted our team to the next level of awesomeness.”

Erin Ruffner, Multi-categorical Teacher – Rocky Mountain High School
“This semester (Erin) has taken on our school restaurant which is not an easy task during a pandemic. She has gone above and beyond to make the class accessible to all students and has started to grow the business in new and innovative ways.” “Students are learning to grocery shop, meal plan, measure, use customer service skills and more. The students in her class are thriving.” “She always problem solves every roadblock that is in the way for either students or for the restaurant and has made the opportunity for students one of the best parts of their school day.” “Erin has skill when it comes to helping students navigate their social/ emotional/ high school drama needs. Often, we have students who get involved in high school drama but do not yet have the skills necessary to maturely navigate the situations. Erin does an amazing job teaching students’ the skills they need to solve their problems. Thank you for all you do, Erin!”

Karyn Schrom, Multi-categorical Teacher – Cache La Poudre Elementary School
“Karyn has been an impactful and important leader for our team and for our students this year. She is always striving to find unique, individual tools, interventions, and solutions for every student that she works with. She leads our IS team with a calm, caring and inclusive manner. She listens and is always positive and proactive with each team member. Students love working with Mrs. Schrom and are excited to be in a group with her. Karyn is always going above and beyond for our team and for the students!”

Jamie Straw, Speech-Language Pathologist – ECH Assessment Team
“What is there to say about Jamie other than that she is a wonderful teammate who has children’s best interest in all that she does. She is easy going, knowledgeable and professional which allows her to quickly establish rapport with children and their families. Her way of communicating is direct yet empathetic. Jamie is compassionate, helping families recognize the strengths of their child, while educating them on their child’s needs. She has difficult conversations with grace and earnestly listens and incorporates perspectives and contributions of others.  She is an exceptional practitioner who makes personal connections with her students and beams with pride when talking about their growth throughout the year. She is a teammate who is quick to volunteer and help others out when needed and provides direction in a non-threatening, non-judgmental and helpful manner. ”

Jennifer Thomason, School Psychologist – Blevins Middle School
“Jenni is so much more than our school psychologist: she is a continual source of insight, wisdom, and professionalism. She is flexible and willing to fill in where she is needed, and always with a positive attitude.” “During my time at Blevins Middle School, I have been fortunate to learn from the guidance and direction of Jenni. Jenni is a bright light in our building, always willing to answer a text in a moments notice to help a student in need. She displays a calm demeanor and truly makes relationships with students where they feel trusted & cared for. ” “Jenni has been instrumental to making my first year a success. She is always open to discuss questions that I have.” “She is a wealth of knowledge and always open to collaborate and consult. Students’ wellbeing is her top priority – kids are put first. I am honored to work with her and call her my friend. Thanks for all you do Jenni!”

Andrea Wallace, Multi-categorical Teacher – Webber Middle School
“Andrea is an amazing paraprofessional because of her big heart, patience, understanding, reliability, and organization.  She has worked with these current 8th graders since 6th grade and knows them well.  She has developed positive relationships with each student to allow them to feel safe, comfortable, and valued.  The relationships she has built has allow these students to grow emotionally and academically.  Andrea’s organization skills are top notch which allows her to accommodate each student so that they can access work at their level.  Andrea is willing to step in and help in any situation.  She has great ideas and is a great person to collaborate with. Andrea is moving on next year to pursue her school counseling degree and license and will be greatly missed at Webber.”

Shannon Wick, Multi-categorical Teacher – Rocky Mountain High School
“During the last two years I have had the opportunity to work with Shannon as a multicatigorical teacher. During this time, I have seen Shannon, advocate for students, coworkers and the greater wellbeing for all those at Rocky. Shannon works alongside one of our coworkers and is able to piece together a complicated para schedule to meet not only students here at school, but also to support PSDV and students who are remote learning due to various circumstances. Next year, Shannon will be spearheading the center based SED program here at Rocky and is taking it on with excitement and enthusiasm. Thank you for all you do, Shannon!”

Thank you all for your service and dedication to EACH and EVERY student in PSD!

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Poudre School District
Integrated Services
Sarah Belleau, Director

Happy National Social Work Month and School Social Work Week!

Dear PSD Community,

This month is the National Social Work Month and this week is National School Social Work Week!   We are proud of the work that our many School Social Workers do each day to support students with mental health needs throughout the district.  The national theme is “Social Workers are Essential” and we certainly agree with this theme!  Our School Social Workers provide essential services to our students each day through the school year.

School social workers bring unique knowledge and skills to the school system. School Social Workers are trained mental health professionals who can assist with mental health concerns, behavioral concerns, positive behavioral support, academic, and classroom support, consultation with teachers, parents, and administrators as well as provide individual and group counseling/therapy.  School social workers are instrumental in furthering the mission of the schools which is to provide a setting for teaching, learning, and for the attainment of competence and confidence. School social workers are hired by school districts to enhance the district’s ability to meet its academic mission, especially where home, school and community collaboration is the key to achieving student success.

School Social Workers… thank you for your tireless effort to ensure students’ emotional, social and educational needs are met.

Take a moment to thank and celebrate your School Social Worker!

Sincerely,

Sarah

Sarah Belleau
Director
Integrated Services
Poudre School District

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