By Nancy Hoyle
Director of Special Services
Happy fall y’all! Once again fall has rolled around with crisp and rainy weather. And it’s hard to believe that the first nine weeks of this school year are already over.
Let me start out by saying the time has flown for everyone in the special services arena. This arena is comprised of 12 special education teachers and 17 paraprofessionals/assistants who are meeting the challenges of educating our special needs children in grades PK-12.
We also have on staff, or through contracted services, a visual impairment specialist, an orientation/mobility specialist, two speech pathologists, a physical therapist with a PT assistant and an occupational therapist with a COTA.
All of these people work very hard with the regular educational staff to educate and meet the needs of our student population.
The fall also signals a time when our Special Olympic athletes start gearing up for competitions. They start practicing turbo throw, pitching horseshoes, weightlifting, bocce and bowling.
So far this year, they have participated in two competitions, bowling and horseshoes with every athlete bringing home a ribbon. The rest of the year will be spent improving their skills to advance to the state track meet held at OSU in May. They also prepare for the regional and state art contests.
The state Department of Education for Oklahoma uses a computer program, OK Edplan, for all the paperwork associated with special education.
Communication is a key factor in the education of our students, and SDE-SE and Edplan are launching a new program “Edplan Connect.”
This is a parent portal which will allow a student’s parent or guardian to virtually access their child’s IEP or 504 Plan documents, service information and teacher of record information.
We have been busy trying to get information to parents/guardians on setting up and utilizing EDPlan Connect. It requires that the school have active and up to date email addresses for each parent/guardian.
We have a process set up with Edplan Parent Portal Request on the Pauls Valley Schools website to provide us with this information.
We are also sending letters to parents with this information and a guide on how to access the form.
If you have a child on an IEP/504 document and have not received any information on the Edplan Parent Portal by November 8, please make contact with your child’s teacher.
And I would like to give a big “Thank You” to Travis Thompson and Brett Knight for all their help in the matter.
Lastly, I would like to acknowledge the junior high football boys for an act of kindness.
They have made one of our kiddos feel to very special about a subject he loves to talk about: being a Pauls Valley Panther! The team gave him a football jersey and he got to stand on the sidelines during one of their recent ballgames.
On the whole, the student body of Pauls Valley reaches out on a daily basis, in some form or another, to make our kiddos feel special and accepted. So, as Mr. Martin says, “Pauls Valley is the place to be!”