A broad continuum of programs and services are available for the students of the Royal Oak School District. Nearly 750 students benefit from these special services. Our program options are designed to meet the individual needs of eligible students from birth through 26. Emphasis is placed on educating all students in their neighborhood schools to the maximum extent appropriate. However, all decisions about programs and services for students must be based on each student’s individual needs and must be made by an Individualized Educational Planning Team. Parental involvement in the development as well as the implementation of the individualized program is critical.
Happy New Year! I hope you are well and have enjoyed some relaxing family time during our holiday break. I am excited to share that our Special Education Department is developing plans to return to in-person learning for our neediest students.
As promised in my November communication, we have closely monitored the number of documented COVID cases in the county and consulted with the Oakland County Health Department regarding a safe return to individual and small group instruction. We have excellent mitigation and safety measures in place for in-person learning and anticipate a successful return, similar to fall.We are planning to gradually return our students with IEPs to in-person instruction. Below is the anticipated timeline for our programs:
January 13th - High School Level lll and EI Programming & TRAILS Elementary ASD Self-Contained Programs January 19th - Elementary Level lll and EI Programming, Middle School Level lll, High School ASD Academic Support January 25th - Elementary Academic Support Programs, Middle School Academic Support and EI Programs Ancillary Services - Speech, OT, PT, and SW January 27th - Early Childhood Special Education
You can expect to hear from your child’s caseload manager regarding their schedule during the next few weeks. Remote learning will continue for those parents who have requested this model or until your child is in-person. As always, we appreciate your flexibility and support during this unprecedented time. Together we will continue to support your child in their learning and social-emotional well-being. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns. With you in mind, Jane
Jane Flarity-Gram, Ed.S. Director of Special Education (248) 435-8400 Ext. 1269
Relationships + Communication + Flexibility = Positive Outcomes November 4, 2020 Update Dear Royal Oak Families, As you may know, our Board of Education approved the recommendation for all students in Royal Oak Schools to be remote learners through January 29, 2021. This decision has been a difficult one as services for our special education students will now be remote, effective November 9, 2020. I am saddened by the loss of in-person learning but realize this decision is based on Oakland County moving from a rating of ‘C’ to an ‘E’ on the county risk determination chart. The health and safety of our students and staff must remain a priority. I have advocated for in-person learning for our SE students since last May, however you can see the situation has dramatically changed. I promise you our superintendent will closely monitor changes in the number of documented COVID cases and we will resume our in-person services for SE students prior to January 29th if the data supports a safe return. Our special education staff will continue to support your child’s learning to ensure they are progressing with their individual goals and objectives developed in their IEPs. Please reach out to me if I can answer additional questions or be of support to your child and family. email@example.com
With you in mind, Jane Flarity-Gram, Ed.S. Director of Special Education
Relationships + Communication + Flexibility = Positive Outcomes
October 30, 2020 SE Update Dear Royal Oak Families, There’s excitement in the air as we start this weekend. MSU versus U of M football, Halloween, and fall back means an extra hour of sleep! Next week will be a defining time for all of us with Election Day and our final preparations for November 9th, when we welcome our students back to school. Many of our special education students have been with us since September but our buildings have still felt empty. However, very soon our elementary buildings and middle school will be busy with staff and students implementing a hybrid model. We all long our typical school days pre-Covid, but for now this will be the closest situation for the next few months. With our excitement also comes apprehension of how everything will work. I can assure you that every building administrator has been working tirelessly with their staff and central office to make this transition a safe and productive experience. More than ever the phrase “one day at a time” will be most relevant. Together we will engage in this new journey and continue to make informed decisions in the best interest of our Royal Oak school community. Finally, all SE caseload managers including speech pathologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, social workers and teachers have been in communication with their families. If you have any questions regarding your child’s upcoming schedule, effective November 9, 2020, please reach out to them. As you know, specially designed instruction is intended to be individualized based on your child’s needs. Most importantly, our SE department always puts our students’ needs first realizing one size will not work for everyone.Therefore, if there is a consideration we are unaware of please let us know so we can work together to improve your child’s plan. Our Royal Oak Virtual PAC Meeting has been scheduled for Wednesday, November 18, 2020 from 6:30 - 8:00 pm. Please use this link to join us. meet.google.com/jzc-hznn-chk Relationships + Communication + Flexibility = Positive Outcomes With you in mind, Jane Flarity-Gram, Ed.S. Director of Special Education
Jason Zewatsky, Ed.S. ASD Program Supervisor September 11, 2020 SE Update Dear Royal Oak Families, I hope you are well and found time to enjoy the beautiful Michigan summer! We all deserve some relaxation as these past months have been most trying. That being said, our students with IEP’s have been challenged since March with the remote learning platforms. As parents, you know firsthand that our students require individualized, face to face instruction, from highly trained teachers and staff to be successful. I can only imagine the stress your family has endured during this pandemic. As we move forward, it has been my goal to provide smaller face to face sessions for starting the new school year. In preparation, our special education staff has reached out to you individually to gain feedback on your comfort level with opportunities for face to face individual/small group sessions, as well as Google Meet both group and/or individually, and to inform you of your child’s schedule for during the week. One size does not suit all, so our special education department is prepared to honor your requests. In the following paragraphs, you will find the important information for the start of the new school year. Location:
Instruction will take place in your child’s home school within the Royal Oak District.
Please enter the buildings from the main entrance unless your caseload manager has provided other details.
Your teacher/therapist will meet you at the door.
Your teacher/therapist will meet you at the assigned times by the designated doors.
Parents are required to complete a brief Symptom Check form regarding their family’s current health situation.
Afterward, the teacher/therapist will take your child’s temperature to ensure they are fever free.
When the above procedures are completed, your therapist/teacher will walk your child to the classroom for instruction and ancillary services.
Your teacher/therapist will return your child to the assigned doors when their session is completed.
If your child is transported by the district, the Symptom Check form and temperature check will be completed prior to boarding the bus by the paraprofessional assigned.
Parents are expected to walk their child out to the bus in order to complete the safety protocol. We are also requesting that parents wear a mask in order to maintain the health and safety of our paraprofessionals.
If your child has a fever they will not be permitted to board the bus or come to school.
When your child arrives at school, their teacher and paraprofessional will greet them at the bus.
Staff are required to take their temperature and complete the Google form in order to enter the building.
Every staff member will be wearing a mask. Face shields and gloves have also been provided. We have purchased face masks that are clear so all students will be able to see their teacher/therapists’ face.
Additionally, there will be Plexiglas table dividers in every classroom in order to provide another protective layer.
The classroom filtration system has been adjusted to provide an increased level of outdoor air circulated in the building.
All materials and equipment will be sanitized prior to and after meeting with your child.
Students are required to wear a face mask while in the school building unless there are medical concerns or other circumstances.
Finally, as a school community it is important that we continue to work together for the safety, well-being and education of our students. This will require all of us to adhere to guidelines, communicate frequently and practice patience. I remain hopeful that Michigan will continue to make progress toward reducing the number of COVID-19 incidents and we will once again join our friends, families and neighbors for a typical school day. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or I can be of further assistance. We are looking forward to working with our students! Relationships + Communication + Flexibility = Positive Outcomes With you in mind,
Jane Flarity-Gram, Ed.S Director of Special Education
Jason Zewartsky, Ed.S. Autism Program Supervisor
The Royal Oak High School LINKS Program has a dynamic group of students working together this school year. Their work and learning is is directed by three Royal Oak Staff members: Kelli Bracken-Special Education Teacher, Elizabeth Steinkampf-Social Worker and Kerry Sodonis-Speech Pathologist. Captured below is a snapshot of the Halloween fun enjoyed by all!