Parent Involvement Plan
Alpena-Montmorency-Alcona Educational Service District
Parent Involvement is a core belief of the Alpena-Montmorency-Alcona Educational Service District (AMA ESD). Our mission statement declares our goal “to promote and enhance life-long learning opportunities for area residents”. Parent education and training are important components of accomplishing that mission and one of the related services considered during each student’s Individualized Educational Program team meeting. It is our stated philosophy that parental involvement is a necessary ingredient in successful special education programs.
The Board of Education for AMA ESD also believes that the best interests of the child are served when parents participate in the education of their children and have directed administration and staff to implement activities to encourage parent-school cooperation.
Activities available for all families of special education students served by AMA ESD:
IEPs - At least once each year parents are invited to attend their student’s Individualized Education Program team meeting. This is an opportunity for parents to provide input on the annual goals and short-term instructional objectives that will be the focus of their student’s instruction and related services for the school year. Parent training is one of the related services that the district can provide individually to parents if the team feels it is necessary to accomplish the goals for the student. Parent involvement is a key to the development of a quality IEP.
Progress Reports- All students in programs or receiving services from AMA ESD special education receive regular progress reports so that the parent may be informed of how the student is progressing toward accomplishing their special education annual goals and short term instructional objectives. The frequency of these reports is determined at the IEP team meetings.
Student Individual Evaluations – All student evaluations (other than classroom) are planned by multidisciplinary teams. Parents are always invited to participate in planning these evaluations and we do not proceed without informed written parental consent. Following each evaluation the parent is given the opportunity to have the results shared with them by a team member prior to the results being shared at an IEP team meeting.AMA ESD Parent Advisory Council (PAC) – Participation in the AMA PAC is another opportunity for parents to learn about special education programs and services available in the ESD and to provide input to District administration. Information on State and Federal laws, rules, and regulations relating to special education is also shared with members of the PAC.
AMA Web Site – The AMA ESD provides a web address (www.amaesd.org) with district information to support parent involvement:
|•||Staff email addresses|
|•||Information on District Programs and Services|
|•||Copies of District forms used at IEPs etc.|
|•||Information on workshops and conferences of interest|
|•||A list of upcoming local educational events|
|•||Links to other internet sites of interest|
|•||Agenda of upcoming board meetings|
|•||Synopsis of ESD board meetings|
|•||An online copy of our media catalog for the Instructional Materials Center|
Instructional Media Center – The AMA ESD provides an instructional media center with supplementary, non-consumable materials that are available to assist our local district to meeting diverse needs in the classroom. These materials are also available to any parent in the district to assist with tutoring, home school instruction, or any other supplemental instruction needs.
Activities for Parents from the Pied Piper Opportunity Center:School-Wide Events – Every year Pied Piper School holds special school-wide events to which parents are invited and encouraged to attend. These events include our Fall Festival, Christmas Program, Winter Carnival, and Graduation Ceremonies. Parents are also frequently invited to attend class field trips as chaperones or participants.
Special Olympics – Parents of Pied Piper students are actively involved in supporting student-athletes participating in Special Olympics. Pied Piper employs three teachers who are the head coaches of Special Olympics Basketball, Volleyball, and Soccer teams. These teachers have encouraged and retained the assistance of parents as assistant coaches, chaperones, and as supporters of Special Olympics fundraisers. Pied Piper Parents have also been very enthusiastic supporters of our Special Olympic teams as fans.
Piper Pipeline Newsletter – Published monthly from September through June, the Piper Pipeline provides parents with news about special events, classroom activities and important reminders, throughout the school year. The “Pipeline” has proven to be a great tool for communicating with parents.Developmentally Challenged Advocacy Council (DCAC) – The DCAC is comprised of a group of current and former parents of Pied Piper Students. This group’s mission is to advocate for developmentally challenged members of the community. One way the group supports people with disabilities is by sponsoring several events each year for Pied Piper students, alumni and others with disabilities. The DCAC sponsors the Pied Piper Prom held each May, and an Easter egg hunt held at the school each spring.
SPECIFIC PROGRAM PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT ACTIVITIES
Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) Parent Education Component – Pied Piper’s (ECSE) classroom program uses multiple strategies to involve, educate and communicate with parents. The annual plan for the Parent Education Component includes: Social Activities involving parents and extended family members, Home Visits, Parent-Teacher Conferences, Sharing of information on parenting, and providing parents with a variety of materials and activity ideas to use with their child.
|•||Beginning of the Year Ice Cream Social---an “ice breaker” on the first day back|
|•||Combined Graduation & Family Picnic---at the end of the school year|
|•||Graduating Students (at least 2x)|
|•||Students staying in the program (at least 1x)|
Parent-Teacher Conferences: --- at school
|•||First Progress Report— late October/early November|
|•||Last Progress Report— late May/early June|
|•||Monthly Activities sheets---from “The Parent Institute”|
|•||“Parents Make the Difference”---weekly “Parent Tips”---from The Parent Institute|
|•||“Parent and Child” Magazine---6x a year---from Scholastic Books“|
|•||Healthy Beginnings”---Fall & Spring Newsletters---from Bridge Communications|
At certain times of the year:
|•||“Off to a Good Start”---from The Parent Institute|
|•||“Transition Activities”---adapted from the Early Childhood Interagency Coordinating Council|
|•||“Preparing for Preschool”---adapted from the National Ass. Of Elementary Principals|
|•||“Helping Your Child Get Ready for School”---from US Dept of Ed.|
|•||“25 Ways Parents Can Read to Their Children”---from The Parent Institute|
I Will Prepare the Following for My Parents:
|•||Monthly Calendars---my own---includes important dates & parenting tips|
|•||Newsletters---my own—4-5x a year---includes specific parenting information|
|•||Information Notebook Binders---house written materials sent home throughout year|
|•||“Fun At Home” Totes---contain materials for parent to work on IEP goals at home|
|•||Annual Yearbook---documents students’ activities throughout the year Memory Book|
|•||Summer Activities & Materials---for the parents to work on with their children|
|•||Language Stimulation Activities---encourages parent participation in their child’s language development|
|•||Information Packets & Newsletter for Parents of Students Entering the Program & Potential Students|
Primary SCI Classroom Project Impact – The Primary SCI classroom at Pied Piper involves parents through “Project Impact”. Activities which encourage parent participation include: Today at School Notebooks, Home Visits, Parent/Child Activities, Make it/Take it Workshops, Parent Education Classes, Try-It Cards, Family Fun Nights, “T.A.L.K.” Literacy Kits, Family Friendly Evaluation Team meetings, and a Lending Library.
Project Impact Parental Involvement Activities:
|•||“Today At School” Notebooks – Write On/Wipe off home-school notebooks designed to support daily contact with parents. The notebooks use picture symbols to allow students an opportunity to “read” their notebooks with their parents. Some kids even help “write” the notes, by providing the answers to the questions and circling activities in the book.|
|•||Home Visits By the Classroom Teacher and Paraprofessionals – Children act differently outside of school! In fact, skills that appear to be lacking at school may be happening consistently at home or visa versa! Home visits help staff by providing an opportunity to observe children in another environment. Home visits made by the teacher are usually more “issue specific”. The teacher uses the time to problem solve issues together with the parents, answer questions, help with decision-making and assist parents with any problems they are experiencing. New techniques being tried at school may be modeled and this time can be used to train parents to use the technique at home. These teacher visits are a good way for parents and staff to “keep in touch” and talk about issues that might otherwise not be discussed. Home visits made by paraprofessionals are typically more “play oriented”. Classroom paraprofessionals bring activiti and materials used at school and play together with the parent and their child. This helps to keep families up to date on what we are doing at school.|
|•||Parent/Child Activities in the Classroom – Parents come to the classroom to work with their child. Methods of instruction and differences in the way parents and classroom staff are handling issues are easily discussed. Parents gain ideas about specific activities and ways that they can play at home with their child that will be beneficial. They also share with staff what works for them at home. Parents are sometimes given an opportunity to meet with and interact with their child’s therapists during these activities as well. An added benefit is that the parents meet and interact with each other.|
|•||Make It/Take It Workshops – Parents get a chance to see some of the materials made and adapted for use in the classroom and then get to make the same materials to use at home with their child.|
|•||Parent Education Classes – Workshop sessions are held to share information on topics that are important to parents. Some of the past topics have included communication, assistive technology, sensory integration, guided play, feeding issues, and visual strategies.|
|•||Try-It Cards – A “homework” program that provides students with ideas for experiences and projects related to the classroom theme. Families are asked to choose 5 of the ideas and provide the opportunities for their child to participate. The Try-It Card program encourages children to participate in activities they might not otherwise engage in, while providing some ideas for family interaction & fun.|
|•||Family Fun Nights – Evening or weekend activities are planned several times a year to bring families together for a chance to talk and have some fun. Moms, dads, siblings, grandparents and other family members are invited. These get-togethers help parents see their “problems” are shared. Amidst the fun going on, parents often share their daily challenges with each other and find support and fresh ideas too.|
|•||Technologically Aided Language Kits (T.A.L.K. Kits) - Ten literacy kits, each developed around one story, are available for families to check out and use at home. Each kit includes one book and a detailed description of 20-30 activities that relate to the book in at least seven curriculum areas. All of the materials, manipulatives, picture symbol communication boards and augmentative communication/assistive technology devices needed to carry out the activities are included in the kit when it comes home.|
|•||Family Friendly MET’S - Developmentally appropriate Multidisciplinary Evaluation Team Reports (MET) begin with a home visit by the teacher to gather parent input and culminate with a report that starts with a collage of photos and a paragraph that describes their child. The report covers all areas of development in one report, written in easily understood terms and includes suggested strategies for home and school.|
|•||Lending Library – A small lending library of adaptive equipment that classroom parents can use at home with their child. The library gives them access to some of the specialized equipment used every day at school and allows them to extend school learning experiences into the home using activities the whole family can share in. It also allows them a chance to see if their child would benefit from the purchase of such equipment for the home, before a purchase is made.|
Primary Moderately Impaired Classroom Program
In addition to these classroom specific components, parents are asked to assist on field trips and are invited to join in with their child during all-school events such as field & fun day, fall festival, winter carnival and art days.
Senior Moderately Impaired Classroom Program
In addition to the school wide events, parents are involved in class field trips within the community and regular parent teacher conferences. Also the class annually plans and serves a Thanksgiving holiday meal for parents.
Vocational Moderately Cognitively Impaired Classroom Program
In addition to the school wide events, parents are involved with class field trips, regular parent teacher conferences, assisting in the sales from the greenhouse operated by the class and assisting with the annual Christmas Program.
Senior SCI Programs
In addition to the school wide events, parents are involved in regular parent teacher conferences, the daily exchange of a home and school notebook, assisting on community field trips, assisting the program with the invitations to the Christmas program. The programs also have an annual Christmas Tea that includes the parents.
Secondary Hearing Impaired Programs
In addition to participation at their student’s IEP team meetings, personal contact is made with each parent at the end of each marking period to discuss the student’s progress and work habits. parents are invited to be part of all class field trips. Annually the program invites representatives from post secondary programs for hearing impaired students to present to the juniors and seniors and parents are encouraged to participate in these presentations. The AMA program also assists parents by coordinating services and contacts with community agencies which may support these families.
Elementary Hearing Impaired Program
In addition to annual IEP team meetings parents are regularly updated by a “newsbook” that travels back and forth between home and school. There are also parent teacher conferences held at the same time the local district (Alpena) schedules these conferences for all elementary students. Parents are always invited to help chaperone field trips. The ESD encourages parents of HI student to participate in “sign” courses offered by Alpena Community College and on occasion have supported parents attending as a related service for parent training purposes. The staff also make parents aware of conferences in the state that would be beneficial to parents of hearing impaired students.
Extended family sign sessions are also offered by staff when requested by the student’s family. Students in the Infant-Toddler Home program are provided services in the home using the SKI*HI curriculum. Our philosophy is that the parents make the best first teachers of our youngest children so our staff teach the parents how to present the curriculum to their child. When student reach approximately 2 ½ to 3 the program sometimes shifts to the HI classroom and the parents have the option of bringing their child to the program so that they can continue to participate in the sessions.
Infant Home Program
Parental involvement is an essential ingredient to successful programming for preschool aged youngsters. Parents are involved in every phase of the program. They are interviewed as part of the evaluation process. They are consulted as the team puts together final recommendations following our evaluations. They assist in the goal setting process at individual planning times. They are active and engaged in the home teaching process and carry through with objectives from visit to visit. If parents are unable to attend a session a written log of activities performed is provided to the parent. The ESD assist the parents in their contacts with the medical community and provides access to materials that help explain the child’s disability and challenges to development. Our philosophy is that the parent is the child’s best early teacher and our goal is to engage the entire family in the child’s program.