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  • PALS

PALS October 2014 - Executive Functioning Tips


  • Tips for Homework, Organization and Time Management Skills.

  • How to approach a teacher when an organizational tool does not seem to be working.

  • Remember that you know your child best and present the topic to the teacher as one where you are both interested in the best interest of the child. Work together to come to a solution. Build a good rapport with your child’s teacher. Building a positive relationship with your child’s teacher is important in building a positive line of communication.

  • Getting organized:

  • Use one piece of paper with one line for each subject area where your student would write the homework assignment and one word to describe what went on in class/that subject that day. Writing down what happened indicates the student was connected during that class/subject and allows for a greater possibility of recall.

  • Many students with iPads have started snapping pictures of the assignments the teacher has written on the board.

  • Time Management:

  • Allowing for breaks during homework time is important. Remember that whatever age your child is, is how long their attention span is; 7 years old equals 7 minutes, etc… Even an adult’s attention span is only good for 20 minutes. Frequent breaks or switching activities can help lessen frustration.

  • Legislative Forum

  • Scheduled for December 4, 2014 7:00pm at the Fox Chapel High School LGI Room 611 Field Club Road Pittsburgh, PA 15238 (park in the back and use the Athletic Department Entrance)

  • List of all State of Pennsylvania Legislators in Allegheny County

  • List of Legislators who indicated they have put the Legislative Forum on their calendars.

  • Senator Randy Vulakovich

  • 40th District

  • Committee Assignments

  • Aging & Youth, Chair

  • Appropriations

  • Communications & Technology

  • Community, Economic & Recreational Development

  • Judiciary

  • Transportation

  • Senator Wayne Fontana

  • 42nd District

  • Committee Assignments

  • Community, Economic & Recreational Development, Minority Chair

  • Judiciary

  • Law & Justice

  • Urban Affairs & Housing

  • Representative Dom Costa

  • 21st District

  • Committee Assignments

  • Gaming Oversight, Democratic Vice Chair

  • Insurance, Democratic Vice Chair

  • Judiciary

  • Rules

  • Representative Ed Gainey

  • 24th District

  • Committee Assignments

  • Insurance

  • Transportation, Democratic Secretary

  • Urban Affairs

  • Representative Hal English

  • 30th District

  • Committee Assignments

  • Aging & Older Adult Services

  • Education

  • Game & Fisheries

  • Tourism & Recreational Development

  • Representative Tony Deluca

  • 32nd District

  • Committee Assignments

  • Insurance, Democratic Chair

  • Representative Frank Dermody

  • 33rd District

  • Committee Assignments

  • Rules, Democratic Chair

  • Possible Questions/Topics to Present to the Legislative Forum

  • Keystone testing and graduation requirements (Keystones & PSSAs are both Common Core)

  • Students must pass the state assessments in Biology, Algebra, and Reading Language Arts to graduate, including students with IEPs. An IEP Team can except a student from this graduation requirement. Although these students receive a regular/general education diploma, the student’s transcript will reflect the exception. Students who have taken the test and failed qualify to participate in a Project-Based Assessment. The student must complete these Project-Based Assessments physically in the building whether it is during regular school hours or after school. Find out more about the Project-Based Assessments.

  • Changes to Medical Assistance

  • Currently there is a loophole allowing anyone to qualify regardless of income. The Legislate is now looking at addressing income, and co-pays.

  • Sources of Current and Future Funding

  • Dr. Carey suggested a question about Special Education funding is appropriate, indicating the FCASD never received the state and federal funding. In the past, FCASD never reported on expenditures per child. The state is now requiring this information for the first time. Funding needs to be equitable across the broad. FCASD receives a flat fund per Special Education student regardless of their individual disability. FCASD receives minimal funding per student from the state.

  • Medical Marijuana

  • Research shows some people, including children are provided a better quality of life through the use of Medical Marijuana. The majority of children prescribed Medical Marijuana use it to minimize seizures caused by a wide variety of diagnosis, either reducing or eliminating the seizures. Children diagnosed with extreme forms of Autism have also found success in reducing outbursts and an increase in verbal communication skills.

  • Currently the Senate has passed the Bill 1182 in support of Medical Marijuana and sent it to the House. Unfortunately the likelihood of the House addressing the issue this session is slim as the session expires in eight (8) days. This means the House will not hear the issue until the new session next year. In addition, the current Governor Corbett has stated that he will veto any Medical Marijuana Bill presented to him.

Open Forum

  • There are few classrooms in FCASD with microphones and speakers. With a recommendation of the audiologist a student received headsets where the teacher wore a microphone and it transmitted into the headphones, or a speaker on the student’s desk, or in the classroom as a whole.

  • Debra Moncrieff University of Pittsburgh Audiology Program is currently involved in an auditory processing study.

  • The Neural Basis Underlying Auditory Processing and Auditory Processing Study

  • Research Director: Vincent Schmithorst, Ph.D., Children's Hospital of UPMC, 412.692.3212

  • Study Coordinator: Fern Wasco, RN, 412.692.7396

  • "We are interested in learning how the children's brains process sound and how this is different in children with Auditory Processing Disorder (APD). We are also interested in learning whether children who are hearing-impaired and whether children with auditory neuropathy process sound differently."

  • "We will ask approximately 250 children with and without APD, hearing loss, and auditory neuropathy to perform tasks designed to measure processing of sound in the brain....."

  • Currently there is no plan at FCASD to “mic” classrooms however; they are working with individual students. It was suggested that this might be a good PTO project.

  • Fidgeting: Research shows that fidgeting can help with student learning.

  • Additude Magazine recently reported on fidgeting and ADD.

  • Having a good relationship with your child’s teacher allows for conversations about how to best help your fidgety student.

  • Communication between the school and outside agencies. A parent can request a Release of Information Form from their school. A form will be filled out for each individual agency.

  • Do not be shy about requesting your child be evaluated for special education services. Your request must be in writing.

  • Dyslexia and how FCASD responds:

  • Dr. Carrey indicated FCASD tiers the difficulties of each individual student. The majority of students receive supplemental services. FCASD uses the Benchmark Curriculum so students receive materials on their individual level. Benchmark Curriculum is accessible online.

In Attendance

Abby Torres, Sarah Nickel, Stacy London, Dr. Lonnie Carey, Kate Sarra, Heather Hoover, Deb Gilman, Elizabeth Klamut, Melinda Bracken, Dana Rofey

Next Meeting

Wednesday, November 12, 2014 6:30pm Boyd Community Center 1220 Powers Run Road, PA 15238 We will be joined by Meghan Swick, Center Director of Brain Balance Achievement PGH

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