December 2017


Molly's Memo

Season's Greetings!  I assume most of you are busy preparing for the upcoming holidays getting ready for time with family and friends.  I wanted to take a little time to share what the Eanes Special Education Department has been busy working on this semester.


First of all, our Special Education Parent Working Group is now on Facebook, and we are posting community events that will be of interest to a variety of our families.  Please like us and follow us to stay current on offerings both in Eanes and around the Central Texas area. @EISDSPWG


We have also been updating the Eanes ISD Special Education page on the district website. https://www.eanesisd.net/dept/sped´╗┐


Our hope is that parents can utilize the website as a resource.  Please note that all the Meet and Greet presentations as well as Symposium information is available there.  If there is additional information you would like to see on the website, we are certainly open to suggestions.  Feel free to email me at mmay@eanesisd.net


In addition to hosting our Facebook page, The Special Education Parent Working Group (SPWG) has also undertaken a few projects for the year.  We are discussing a series of short videos around various special education topics that parents could easily access from the website.  We are also developing a document about considerations for students with special needs when campuses or organizations are hosting events.  


We have also been working on all the initiatives outlined in the Special Education Department Action Plan. https://www.eanesisd.net/dept/sped/parents  When you go online you will see updated progress from the fall.  We will continue to update the action steps as they are accomplished.  Our main focus areas are curriculum, Present Levels of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance (PLAAFP) and goal writing, fidelity of implementation of IEPs, and program evaluation and resource development in transition.


We have had a few exciting developments in our Adult Transition Services (ATS) program.  We have partnered with the Texas Workforce Commission on a class they are teaching at ATS titled "Soft Skills to Pay the Bills."  We are also involved with the SAFE organization who received a five-year grant to develop curriculum in the areas of healthy and safe relationships, leadership and advocacy skills, and access to community life.   Lastly, we entered into an agreement with a local farm to table company that is providing some "in-house" vocational opportunities for students to complete between community activities. 


As always, we encourage the Westlake community to provide leads to ATS staff regarding potential community vocational partners.  We are always seeking paid employment, but volunteer opportunities provide great learning experiences, too.  Please reach out to Caroline Nelson if you have any leads.  cnelson@eanesisd.net.


These are just a few of the happenings in the world of Eanes Special Education.  Please take a minute to look through the other highlights mentioned in the newsletter.


Wishing your family a happy and joyous holiday season,


Important Dates

Progression Meetings

What are progression meetings and why should I attend?

Every year, the Special Education Department hosts dedicated events to help parents gain more information as their special education student "progresses" from one school to another.  The meetings are held for parents of students going from PPCD to K, 5th to 6th, and 8th to 9th.   We intentionally refer to these level changes as "progressions" so as to avoid confusion with "transition," which refers to the transition from high school to post-secondary life.


At progression meetings, we begin by introducing new faces from your student's next school while connecting them with familiar people and roles from your student's current special education team.  We present answers to the most frequently asked questions and we build in time to allow for your questions and answers.


At times, the general sessions held at the new schools for families of children rising to the next level do not always answer those specific questions special education parents have. This forum is meant to help you gather information about the special education elements of your child's program to supplement the general information.  Our goal is that this makes that progression for students and parents easier.


Please mark your calendar if this is a progression year for your student!


WRMS Progression – January 17, 2018 6:00 pm @ WRMS

       For current 5th grade parents at BCE, FTE, and VVE


HCMS Progression – Wednesday, January 24, 2018 6:00 pm @HCMS 

       For current 5th grade parents at BPE, CCE, and EE


PPCD Progression – January 31, 2018 8:30 am @ Eanes Elementary

       For all current PPCD parents whose student will be entering K next year


WHS Progression – Wednesday, January 31 2018 6:00 pm @ WHS

       For current 8th grade parents at HCMS and WRMS

Special Olympics


Congratulations to our outstanding Eanes ISD Special Olympics bowlers. They competed in the area tournament in October.

Zain Ali – Silver

Christopher Ardi - Gold
Mimi Baughman – 4th

Levon Epsteen – Gold

Augie Fagelman – Silver

Adam Gerstein - Gold

Miguel Gonzalez - Bronze

Jackson Henderson – Bronze

Maris Henry - Gold

Crawford Humble – 4th

Ayana Jalal – Silver

Jack Jones - Gold

Brady Kennedy – 4th

Penn McKelvey – Gold

Lola Morales - Gold

Quinn Reich - Bronze

Ryan Robinette – Silver

Hudson Sharpe: Gold

Carter Singleton: Silver

Hayden Street - Gold
Will Schuetze – Silver

Ryan Trammel - Gold

Basketball Season

Basketball season starts on Wednesday, December 13 at WHS 9th grade center from 4:15 – 5:15.  The tournament is February 24th in San Marcos.  Please contact Pegi Pickett if you are interested in participating. More Information...´╗┐

New Children's Book

One of our Bridge Point parents, Bob Feiner, is the author of a children's book based on his own children, one of which has Down Syndrome.  The book, The Tree That Ate Everything, is available at Amazon and proceeds benefit Down Syndrome charities. 




As has become a practice in Eanes ISD, when one of our families is involved with a children's book about children with disabilities, the Special Education Department makes a donation to each elementary campus library. The Tree That Ate Everything will be donated in January.


Previously donated books include A Manual for Marco and My Friend Suhana by Shaila Abdullah.

Barton Creek Elementary Baristas


Barton Creek Baristas Coffee Cart Service is up and running!


Barton Creek staff members are being treated some mornings to either coffee, tea, or hot cocoa.  Students in Ms. Spaits' class are practicing their social and functional skills by greeting staff, recording teacher orders, assisting in preparing beverages, delivering them and collecting Barton Creek Bucks as a form of payment.


Special thanks to The Savino Family, The Suter Family and the BCE Booster club for making this happen with their generosity and support. We are so lucky to have such wonderful people in our lives to support our students.


Students pictured above:  William Suter, Ellie Brown, and Adam Gerstein.



Hill County Middle School's Fierce Fencer

How many middle-schoolers are athletes?  Quite a few, but few are fencers, looking toward an Olympic career at the age of twelve.  Maximo Murray-Llamas, a Hill Country Middle School Cougar, is doing just that, traveling across the country and across the world to compete in fencing tournaments. 


This kind of achievement doesn't surprise his teachers, who often see students with learning differences achieving in athletics, music, the arts, etc. 


Maximo remembers being in special education to help with his reading skills since first grade.  As reading becomes easier through lots of instruction and practice, Maximo's dyslexia still makes spelling difficult; however, that didn't stop him from challenging himself with French as an elective this year!


Maximo has been fencing for 4 years, practicing 4 days a week for more than 10 hours.  In September 2017, Maximo placed 2nd in foil in a Y12 tournament against about thirty-five other kids.


For this new season which started in September, Maximo is ranked nationally at 100 and hoping to improve. He has won multiple medals and trophies, but one day he is looking forward to winning a sword! As expected, while other students might idolize actors or singers, Maximo's idols are fencers, Alexander Massialas and Miles Chamley Watson.


Hill Country Middle School couldn't be prouder of Maximo.  He is taking that fighting Cougar spirit all around the world.


Eanes ISD Special Education
601 Camp Craft Rd, Austin, Texas 78746


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