March 13, 2020
Dear Families of Students with Special Needs;
The continued information received regarding COVID-19 changes daily, as a district we have been in a constant state of planning and preparing. The District has an approved Preparedness Plan that provides for equitable access to instruction for all students in the event of a closure. This letter is to focus on the instructional contingency plan for special education students. During this process, support staff, administration, and teachers have met to discuss the needs of individual learners. Each individual plan is reflective of thoughtful consideration and deep discussions with staff invested in both the education and well being of our students.
Instructional staff that provides services to our students with disabilities will provide students with instruction through different modalities designed in consideration of the student’s needs. The teachers and therapists will provide students and parents with information about each child’s plan. Related service providers (if applicable) will provide you with a plan of action based on individual needs. The plan will include activities that can support their educational program and IEP goals and objectives.
For students in specialized programs, you will receive information about the programs that your child is working on at school. They have been adapted to include ideas that will assist you in working with your child from home. Please complete the attached document to track activities completed until school reopens. While we are closed, the assigned teacher will be available daily via email and will be in contact with the parent to check in about progress. This will help any revisions needed to the plan to continue to meet your child’s needs. The teachers will check emails three times a day and will also email you. If you would like to schedule a conference call at anytime, please email your child’s case manager who will coordinate that ‘meeting’.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns, and I will get back to you as soon as possible.
Dr. Jenine Kastner
Fundation Reading Resources
Fun Resources for HOME:
Wilson Reading Resources:
Clinton Public School Paying it Forward
Autism Awareness: Bridge to the Community
Because of the Hunterdon Central High School student, Mateo Hollain, April 28th is now known as Pay it Forward Day in New Jersey.
What do these words “pay it forward” mean to Clinton Public School? Members of the Clinton Public School community are excited to begin a new tradition of events and activities which help pay it forward. For this PreK-8 school, pay it forward means doing something nice for someone else, with no expectations of them returning the favor to you and no strings attached. Instead, the only expectation is that others pay it forward to someone else. These acts of kindness involve doing something kind for someone else rather than simply accepting or repaying the original good deed.
There are many, many ways to pay it forward and Clinton Public School is focused on helping the communities and business meet the needs and develop greater understanding and awareness about students with special needs. Specifically, helping students with Autism, their families, and the community come together to create a safe and enriching environment. These initiatives are to increase the opportunities for all people with special needs to be a part of a community, which is an integral component of their learning and future. There are many different aspects of being part of a community that pose challenges for individuals with diverse needs and their families. Through this initiative, it is the hope of the Clinton Public School that the students’ experiences and opportunities will be enhanced and the community will have an increased understanding of any barriers that may exist. These initiatives will help lay a path and build bridges to make this connection for our students with the community.
According to Director Dr. Jenine Kastner, Clinton Public School, although small in size, is robust in programs and offerings for students with diverse needs. The school houses 3 specialized programs based on the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis, a scientific approach to learning and behaviors. The students are provided with many different experiences within the school and community. Clinton Public School provides two monthly community learning opportunities for the students. Through the fundraising initiatives, the goal is to increase these experiences within the community. According to Kastner, many of the daily activities or experiences within the community are challenging for families with students who have special needs. These are things we may take for granted. CPS wants to open all doors for our learners and enhance these experiences for their families and the community.
During the month of April, the school district will partner with the Rotary Club of Clinton to create a 3 tiered system of support focusing on bringing businesses a better understanding about patrons with Autism. The goals of these tiers will help increase understanding and awareness about how people with different needs react to different stimuli in the community. Then, businesses will receive information about how to create a more inclusive setting, whether through daily adjustments or through different events designed to welcome people with all different needs.
These tiers will be supported by our students and staff as we connect with the community. Students from our specialized programs will take walking trips to the town to distribute information to the business as well as tie blue ribbons to help spread acceptance and awareness about Autism. Tier One business will display a sign in the window/store front stating how they support CPS PAY IT FORWARD: AUTISM AWARENESS: BRIDGE TO COMMUNITY. These businesses will be given Autism awareness brochures, pins, and bookmarks which will be created by the students. Tier Two businesses will support this initiative by adding to Tier One by allowing students from CPS to decorate their window or storefront for the month of April. Tier Three business will open and advertise different events for the public which are Sensory Friendly by creating an inclusive environment for students of different abilities. These initiatives are being supported by Mayor Kovach in Clinton by lighting up the community blue to spread awareness and acceptance.
CPS will also host a sensory friendly spring egg hunt and pancake breakfast for students with special needs and their families. Sponsors for this event include Holiday Inn of Clinton, Walmart of Clinton, TSS Photography of Hunterdon, and Shoprite of Clinton. As a culminating event, families are invited to attend the Somerset Patriots game on May 3, 2020 which is Autism Awareness Day at the ballpark. Community members may also purchase tickets or tee shirts to help support fundraising initiatives.
Become a Teacher Assistant at Clinton Public School!
The Hunterdon County ESC Paraprofessional program is growing and expanding! We currently have openings for Teaching Assistants/ Paraprofessionals at Clinton Public School in Hunterdon and Somerset Counties. The successful candidate should possess knowledge of appropriate classroom practice and ability to assist with instructional activities. Criminal history background check, proof of US citizenship or legal resident alien status and substitute certificate, NJ teaching certificate, or successful completion of the ParaPro Assessment required. Potential options include half day or school hours.
Email letter of interest & resume to Dr. Jenine Kastner at Jkastner@cpsnj.org
Tuesday, OCTOBER 29, 2019-UNIFIED SOCCER GAME
CLINTON PUBLIC SCHOOL VS. LEBANON TOWNSHIP SCHOOL DISTRICT
We are so excited for our first unified soccer game! Playing our friends from Lebanon Township School District.
Come cheer this amazing group of athletes on.
Tuesday 10/29 at 4:15 pm at Hunts Mill Park
September 23, 2019
NOTIFICATION FROM HIGH SCHOOL- REVISED DATE!
REVISED DATE for 8th Grade Special Services Parent Information Night
Please note new date for our Special Services Parent Information Night - Thursday, October 24, 2019
Dear Parents of Eighth Grade Students,
On Thursday, October 24, 2019, the North Hunterdon-Voorhees Regional High School District Department of Special Services will be hosting an evening for parents of students eligible for special education who will be entering ninth grade in August 2020. The evening will focus on providing you with information about special education programs and services available at our high schools and will assist you in becoming familiar with the secondary school model of instruction. Staff and assistant principals will be available to answer questions and share some of the exciting opportunities that will be available to your child. We hope you will be able to join us.
Location: North Hunterdon High School Cafeteria B
1445 Route 31 South, Annandale, NJ 08801
Time: 6:00- 7:00 p.m.
If you have any questions about this evening, please contact Zulejka Baharev at 908-735-2846 x 5120 or email@example.com.
August 22, 2019
Dear Parents and Guardians;
The goal of Clinton Glen Gardner School District is to provide appropriate support and educational services to children with special needs in an effort to prepare each individual for future experiences. Annually, each child's IEP Team develops objectives aligned with the district goals and common core standards to ensure that all children are given opportunities to maximize their potential for academic success. These goals do not just focus on academics, but focus on developing the whole child, by inspiring our students to become contributing members of society who are independent, innovative, lifelong learners equipped with the necessary skills to meet the demands of our ever-changing world.
We utilize a multidisciplinary approach that encourages the parent(s), students, teachers, paraprofessionals, related services personnel, administrators and any other essential IEP Team members to fully participate in the educational experience and process. Through open communication and collaboration, we are able to establish positive, successful, and productive academic experiences for our students.
When a child needs special education services, the student may be exposed to various interventions, new teaching methods, various services, and meetings. While these approaches and offerings are exciting and open up many opportunities, this process may also be overwhelming at times. To assist in the process of learning about special education programs and process, I have created a special education webpage for parents, teachers, and community members. It will provide you with a deeper understanding of the special education process and resources within our school and community.
Child Study Team: 2019-2020
LDTC – Dr. Jenine Kastner, Jkasnter@cpsnj.org, 908-735-8512 ext. 403
School Psychologist –Dawn Eberhard, Deberhard@cpsnj.org, 908-735-8512 ext. 402
School Social Worker – Brandon Rauchbach, Brauchbach@cpsnj.org, 908-735-8512 ext. 401
Teacher Assignments 2019-2020:
Grade 8 Resource Center- Judy Liptak
Grade 7 Resource Center- Denise Rella
Grade 6 Resource Center- Debra Nolan
Grade 5 Resource Center- Lisa Rizzi
Grade 4 Resource Center - Maria Buniva
Grade 3 Resource Center- Alex Jordan
Grade K/1/2 Resource Center- Karen Brownell
LEAPS- Carolyn Schorr
Preschool Program- Kristin Pignio
Occupational Therapist- Karen Sinagra
Physical Therapist- Debbie Best
Speech and Language Therapists- Nicole Vazquez and Amanda Thomas
Please do not hesitate to contact me at any time. I look forward to a wonderful 2019 - 2020 school year full of many success stories and achievements for our students.
Dr. Jenine Kastner
Director of Special Services
Learning Disability Teacher Consultant
908-735-8512 ext. 400
July 24, 2019
Dear Parents and Guardians,
I am very excited to share with you some additional programs we will be offering at CPS for the 2019-2020 school year. As students enter our amazing school and needs of our students change, we strive to offer the most innovative and effective approaches in our programs. This year, we will offer 3 specialized programs for students ranging in grades K-8.
CPS SPECIALIZED PROGRAMS
Programs where students continue to grow and engage in learning in a supportive, community atmosphere with innovation and proven methods of instruction
Clinton Public School’s Specialized programs are a student centered learning environment which fosters creativity and integration. Through an individualized program, these programs will focus on individual needs and interests to foster skills that will benefit the learner as they progress through different stages of their life. The student will integrate into the school and community to continue to enhance necessary life and adaptive skills. The program utilizes scientifically sound methodology of applied behavior analysis. Through onogoing behavioral consultation with a Board Certified Behavior Analysis, we develop intensive programs to focus on the needs of each individual learner.
In addition to the intensive academic focus of the program, students are instructed with an innovative approach to develop life and functional living skills. This includes community based instruction and community activities to provide the students with exciting opportunities to expand their interests and skills.
LEAPS PROGRAM- Taught by Carolyn Schorr
HORIZONS PROGRAM- Taughy by Allyson Kubik
SOAR PROGRAM- Taught by Jillian Hoolihan
I am looking forward to a wonderful 2019-2020 school year!
Jenine Kastner, Director of Special Services
Great Book for Parents to Read: Smart But Scattered
Smart But Scattered by Peg Dawson and Richard Guare
Most students struggle with getting organized and completing necessary tasks related to school and home. This book will review the necessary executive functioning skills to develop the foundation for success in both academic and social life. This book offers a lot of great suggestions parents can do to help your child get organized, stay focused, and control and process emotions.
SEPAC SPONSORED TRAININGS/MEETINGS for 2018-2019 School Year:
Repeated Readings Improve Fluency
Repeated reading is a strategic approach designed to increase reading fluency and comprehension. Several methods have been found to be essential to the success of repeated reading. First, adult-led repeated reading leads to significantly greater gains than do interventions led by peers. Adults leading the repeated reading of text allows for corrective feedback and opportunities for the student to reread the passage until goal is reached. When parents cue the reader to focus on either speed or comprehension, before they begin reading, their rates in both areas increase. The greatest improvements are seen when the reader is reminded to focus on comprehension alone or on both fluency and comprehension together before they begin to read.
Some helpful hints:
Look through text with you child, skimming for any challenging words. Pull out the challenging words and write on separate piece of paper. Work with your child to mark parts of the words and highlight sounds such as sh, am, ing. For multi-syllabic words, your child may scoop the syllables.
Have your child read a passage silently. After they read, ask if they need help with any words. Review any words the child may have difficulty with.
Have your child read the passage again to you.
Repeat the same passage again the next night after reviewing challenging words.
Some children are motivated by using a timer. Set the timer and chart their progress as they practice the text.
Helpful Hint for Parents:
When your child is selecting a book or text to read, help your child to select a book at his/her independent reading level. Encourage them to use the five finger rule. This means that a child should not struggle with more than five words on a page.
DYSLEXIA AWARENESS MONTH- OCTOBER
October is National Dyslexia Awareness Month. The goal of this initiative is to increase understanding and awareness of parents and teachers.Approximately 10% of the population suffers from some symptoms of dyslexia. These symptoms may include the lack of fluency in reading, difficulty writing, confusing similar words, difficulty with spelling, difficulty sequencing information, inability to blend and segment sounds within words and more. Dyslexia is not related to an intellectual disability and is often misconceived as "reading backwards.”
Some signs of dyslexia can include: delayed speech and language milestones; difficulty organizing oral and written language; difficulty learning the alphabet and letter-sound correspondence; difficulty with pronouncing words, and with recognizing which words begin or end with the same sounds; difficulty learning to spell; and difficulty with reading comprehension.
Due to,the collaborative efforts of parents and organizations, legislation passed that will help students with dyslexia in public schools get the help they need has resulted in the passage of nj state laws requiring dyslexia screening, professional training, and addition of Dyslexia in the New Jersey Administrative Code.
Clinton Public School began the training process during the 2013-14 school year. Jenine Kastner, Supervisor of Special Services will be providing an in service training on October 13,2014. Additional training and support will be provided for staff to implement dyslexia screening procedures. Several staff members have formed Professional Learning Committees to learn more about Dyslexia. Parents have been provided in the October Dear Parents newsletter with information about parent training series sponsored by Decoding Dyslexia in Princeton, New Jersey. At CPS, we aim to increase dyslexia awareness, provide parents with resources and information to support their children, and provide appropriate interventions to meet the needs of our struggling learners.