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Friday, October 8, 2010

ESU 4 Special Education - October 11, 2010

Monday Memo
October 11, 2010

Do all the good you can, and make as little fuss about it as possible.            -Charles Dickens
We've changed our Memo Page!... This is week 3 of our new format for our ESU 4 Special Education/Monday Memo page. Because the manila webpage was no longer going to be supported, we had to find another means of sharing information. So, we've adjusted and updated to this 'blog' as opposed to a traditional webpage. This will allow us more opportunities to communicate... you can join the blog and make responses, if you so desire. You can 'follow' the blog, which means you may get emails about updates to the blog. And, even though we've changed, there are some things which are still the same... my calendar is now available on the blog and I've started pages for each of the programs we host here at ESU 4. You'll notice that there are some blanks... I'd love to share content! I'm still trying to learn how to use the blog and get the maximum use out of this device for communication. So be patient and let me know what you think...I'm going to post this link on our ESU 4 Facebook page as well. By the way, are you a fan of "ESU 4 Special Education" on Facebook???

AdvancED...  We'll be talking with you about the External team's report at our December 10th Inservice. We're excited to get the report... we don't have it yet! And, we'll be working on ways to implement the recommendations of our team. It's nice to know that we are actually already implementing at least one of the recommendations! 

Now begins the challenge of maintaining that 'awesome-ness' and moving forward!
We'll be celebrating!

Speaking of AdvancED and our December Inservice... Mark your calendars for Friday, December 10th. I've met with the "Planning Committee" (Thanks to the Learning Center Staff for volunteering to be the SpEAC Committee this year!!!) and plans for an Ugly Holiday Sweater Contest are underway. I'm just telling you so that you can start preparing... remember, there will be prizes!!! Our focus for the 'program' will be three-fold... 1) AdvancED; 2) Evaluations; and 3) Technology with Gregg. 

Self Evaluations/Goals-action plans/Individual Development Plans... I am still missing self-evaluations and goals/development plans from Joel and Kathy N. 

It's time for LESSON REFLECTIONS... As part of our new evaluation process, I indicated that I'd be asking each of the certificated staff to complete a "Lesson Reflection" each semester. I think it's a good time to start thinking about this... I'd like you to complete a "Lesson Reflection" worksheet on a lesson, unit, or activity that you taught to a student or group of students. The worksheet is behind the "Lesson Reflection" tab and is page 84. You may want to make a copy of page 84 so you can repeat this activity next semester. You get to choose the lesson, unit or activity. Please include a description of the lesson, unit or activity upon which you are reflecting. I would ask that this reflection be submitted to me by Friday, November 19th. That gives you 7 weeks to complete this portion of the evaluation process. 
Walk-throughs... I'll be visiting districts during the month of October for the purpose of financial visits with superintendents, as well as IEP and student team meetings. I'm going to take the opportunities to complete walk-throughs. Make sure we have your schedule so that I can plan to visit your classrooms while I'm out and about! 

Timesheets and Mileage Reimbursement Requests... We absolutely need you to turn in your time sheets and mileage requests as soon after the 15th as possible. We have to process the paperwork in a short amount of time in order to get payroll done and your mileage checks processed prior to the board meeting. Please use the van mail to your advantage. 

Note: Don't confuse timesheets and mileage requests with your student attendance reports. We need the student information at the end of each month. 

Requests for Professional Development/Workshops... I am getting some requests for people wanting to attend workshops or staff development. As I mentioned at our meeting at NCEC, your requests need to match up with your Individual Development Plan (IDP). So, until I get your IDP, I am unable to okay requests. I would also recommend that you send in a leave request WITH your original request to attend the training; sometimes we get your registration information but I really need that leave sheet. (This might help us in being more accurate and timely with leave forms as well.  Also, be wise in making your requests as I am being asked to pay close attention to the costs associated with professional development among ESU 4 staff. If I can use grant funds, I will and your requests will most likely be approved. If I cannot use grant funds, it might be iffy! 

According to the New York Times, there is no scientific research that proves that life is serious.
So... Lighten up!!! 
TIME SHEETS AND EXPENSE REQUESTS... It's time to start thinking about completing and turning in your time sheets and expense requests for October... remember that they are due shortly after October 14th! Some of you submit your time sheets and expense requests electronically. We've been informed that we need to have you physically sign your time sheets and requests so you will NOT be able to submit them electronically, unless you sign the forms and make them into a PDF document. (However, a PDF of the time sheet form may not be legible for us.) The best bet would be to submit them via the van mail... you can drop them off at any ESU 4 school! We begin to process these forms as soon as we get them together but we are having to create a deadline. If you don't get your time sheets and leave requests in by the 20th of each month, we won't be able to process your request and your reimbursement for mileage and expenses will be delayed by at least a month.

LEAVE FORMS... Please, please, please submit leave forms as soon as you know about your leave! We are having trouble with getting all the forms we need, when we need. Also, if you are submitting a leave form so that you may attend a meeting/workshop, please attach a copy of the workshop flyer with the leave request. That will allow us to make sure we've got you registered! I don't want to be repetitive here (but I will!), your leave requests really need to match your professional goals. If I don't have your goals, I can't okay leave requests! Turn them in by the 15th of each month!!

GO Huskers!!!
Isn't it a great day to be a Husker fan????
The correct answer is... ALWAYS!!!

Wow... is there anything more that needs to be said? I think not!

Never stop playing the game!

Educational Service Unit #4, Auburn, Nebraska

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