The Echo

April 3, 2001

Home Membership 2001 Awards Banquet Echo

Presidents Report

Welcome to spring! After this long, cold, and snowy winter I welcome the warmer air and sunshine. I hope you are enjoying it as well.

Our winter conference, Capture the Future, was a great success. I was impressed by our keynote and breakout session speakers and by how tightly organized the event was. Thanks for everyone's efforts to make it a success, especially Paula Krippner and Barb JoliCoeuer, (official conference committee chairs), and Beverly Rath, (unofficial conference committee chair), who were the key organizers.

This spring is providing plenty of activity in the legislature regarding education. As all educators are frustrated by our governors position, career and technical education continues to search for a solution to the sunsetting of categorical aid. Several bills have been introduced to the house and senate and are being discussed in committee meetings. See the legislative section of the Echo for further information.

Our email group continues to grow and I'm getting closer to finalizing the online membership directory. For those of you who did not have your picture taken at the conference, feel free to email me a digital image of yourself. I will include it in the directory.

Enjoy spring and I wish you and your students success.

Steve Czech
Work Coordinator
Transition Plus
Anoka, MN

MnACTE/SNP Award Recipients 2000

A page is being developed which will include further information on our award recipients.

Indirect Provider of Major Support Services and Contributions to the Field of Special Career Needs Education

Award Winner: Gary Bennett

Direct Career Special Needs Support Person of the Year

Award Winner: Lezlie Ingvalson

Outstanding Student of the Year

Award Winner: Chris Becker

Outstanding Career Special Needs Teacher of the Year

Award Winner: Bonnie Jackson


Employer Rebate

Funding for the employer rebate has been exhausted.


E-mail Group

Please let Steve Czech know if you are not on the MnACTE/SNP email group. Membership feedback has been postive for those who already belong, so join the group and stay informed.

Employer Spotlight

On February 2, 2001, a new McDonald's opened at 7685 West Broadway in Brooklyn Park, MN. Prior to opening that week, the storeowner, Shahab Hyder and the manager Femi Ona, hired six students from the Osseo Area Learning Center WE/CEP program. The corporate trainer, Terri, came to the school to work with the students for an hour of required training, and then the students spent four days training at a similar McDonald's. They received individual training while they were learning the new job.

The students were ready and prepared for the Grand Opening on the 2nd. To date, there are still five students working over the busy lunch hour at McDonald's. They are developing positive work behaviors and positive relationships with the other employees, managers and customers. Not every day goes well but that is also part of the learning and growing process for the students. We want to thank the McDonald's and the owner, managers for the wonderful support and cooperation they are giving our students.

Submitted by:
Beverly Rath
Work Coordinator
Osseo Area Learning Center
Brooklyn Park, MN

Employer Recognition

White Bear Lake is so fortunate to have a business such as Kowalski's Market, that employs many of our special needs students. Kowalski's is a family business owned by Jim and Mary Ann Kowalski, one of their stores is located on White Bear Lake. This store is a full service, upscale supermarket that caters to anyone looking for a pleasurable shopping experience. They sell many gourmet items, knickknacks and have a super deli, along with many jobs for our students.

Let me say that over the years that I have worked for both St. Paul Schools and now White Bear Lake Schools, that they have always given our special needs students a chance to work. Kowalski's managers have been very understanding when it comes to hiring our students. They treat our students with a great deal of respect and always give them more than enough opportunities to prove themselves. Kowalski's in White Bear Lake has two stores, the other one being a Cub Foods Store, where they too have hired many of our students. The Cub managers have been open to natural supports in that they will use their staff to get our students started and to provide long-term support when needed.

Kowalski's Stores have always provided advancement opportunities so that the students have been able to seek better positions and move toward more hours once the students have transitioned to adult life. We have a student that works only one hour, three days a week with a job coach, to totally independent students that are cashiering.

In addition to the above, it should be noted that the managers at the Kowalski's stores always take an interest in our students as far as career development. They encourage the students to make their own decisions as to whether they will stay with the company after graduation or move on to other opportunities. All in all it sure is a pleasure to work with the Kowalski's family and their many employees.

Submitted by:
Dean Shawbold
Coordinator, Transition Plus Services
White Bear Lake Schools
White Bear Lake, Minnesota

ACTE National Conference Report

The December 2000 National ACTE Conference that was held in San Diego was the first one that I have been able to attend, and it was well worth the time and money. It was overwhelming to be able to attend this activity with about 5000 other vocational instructors and administrators from around the country. The days were spend attending sessions from all the different vocational divisions, I attended mainly the Special Needs sessions, but all the divisions had many interesting topics to choose from. Along with the sessions there were business meetings to attend, working the membership table, and visiting the more than 300 exhibitor booths during each day. Each of the four days included a very interesting opening session for all attendees, starting with Les Brown, "Live Your Dreams," on Thursday and finishing with Beck Weathers, "Miracle on Everest," on Sunday(I missed because of return flight time). The evenings were also filled with activities, on Thursday almost all the Minnesota representatives of MnACTE(about 30) went to The Fish Market for dinner and visiting, there were receptions and dances that I attended which provided excellent opportunities for meeting new people and networking. The days were filled from early morning until late evening with activities, so I was unable to take in the sites offered in the beautiful city. As a first timer, the experience was almost mindboggling, but I'm looking forward to attending next year's in New Orleans. For those of you that have not gone before, consider doing it, the information you receive and the networking done is well worth it. See you in New Orleans.

Submitted by:
Robert W. Lindgren
Work coordinator
Park Rapids High School
Park Rapids, MN

Introduction to College Course For Students with Disabilities

Due to considerable interest by transition age students, Anoka-Hennpin District # 11 has collaborated with Anoka Ramsey Community College (ARCC) to provide an opportunity for students with disabilities to enroll in a college preparation course.

Students learn the basics about being a college student including; how to access support, study skills, time and money management, career development, and more. The course is offered on the Anoka Ramsey campus and consists of two semester credits. Students meet three times a week over a 13 week time frame. Eric Sime, Director of Access Services at ARCC, serves as the instructor for the course with support from Anoka-Hennepin's transition program.

During a midterm conference students reflect on their progress and decide whether or not to continue their college experience. After two semesters of offering the the course, 36 students have enrolled with varying results. Some students continue in college, others postponed college plans, and many have decided to leave college and enter the workforce.

If you have questions please contact:

Eric Sime
Director of Access Services
Anoka Ramsey Community College
phone: (763) 422-3459
email: esime@an.cc.mn.us

Submitted by:
Steve Czech
Work Experience Coordinator
Transition Plus
Anoka, MN

Legislative Update

The supplemental funding bills for Secondary Career and Technical Education are making their way through the Senate and House Education Committees.

Senate File 1218 (Sams) initiated by the Minnesota Association of Agriculture Educators (MAAE) and Senate File 1417 (Sams) initiated by the Minnesota Association of Career and Technical Administrators (MACTA) had good hearings in the Senate K-12 Education Committee on Wednesday, March 14. We have reason to be optimistic that one or the other will reach the Senate floor.

In the House, four bills have been or will be considered. HF 1540, is the companion bill to SF 1218. A companion to SF 1417 is soon to be introduced. Also, HF 8 (Ruth) with companion SF 214 (Day) and HF 63 (Ness) are good categorical aid type bills. The Ruth and Day bills extend present funding. Representative Ness' bill increases categorical funding some.

Within the next couple weeks, House File 1540, and the MACTA bill will be heard by the House K-12 Education Finance Committee.

Below, find the links to bills mentioned above, their authors, and status:

SF214

SF1218

SF1417

HF8

HF63

HF1540


So supplemental funding for Career and Technical Education is making its way through the legislature. More updates will follow. In the meantime, here's what you can do.

Call to Action

While things seem to be going favorably, if you have NOT written or called your Senator or Representative, now is the time. In your correspondence reference any and probably all of the above bills for their support. They are all good bills with different twists on how to maintain funding for Career and Technical Education. If you have already contacted your Senator or Representative a follow up correspondence would be appropriate.

Although MnACTE/SNP is not directly involved in the K-12, U of M and MnSCU funding concerns, we all should be extending our support in those efforts with separate correspondence. We do not want to confuse Career and Technical Education targeted efforts with those bigger issues.

This is NO time to decrease our efforts. That time will be mid MAY, 2001.

So please do your part. It is very important to career and technical education.

NAVESNP Notes

Your NAVESNP Board meets twice yearly at the site of the annual ACTE convention. In addition to those meetings, the board participates in twice yearly conference calls to conduct business. During these meetings the board hears reports from the executive board, regional updates, and progress notes from NAVESNP committees. The board met in December in San Diego to review progress and initiate plans to strengthen the organization.

Based on reports from our five regions, activities center around

  • building and restoring state affiliate organizations;
  • increasing communication with the membership through newsletters;
  • awarding student scholarships and recognizing exemplary efforts;
  • conducting focus groups to explore needs and perceptions; and
  • sponsoring state and regional professional development conferences.

NAVESNP committees, frequently chaired by our national board members concentrate on

  • executing a quality awards process;
  • maintaining membership at 1000 members or above;
  • integrating recommendations from state and regional focus groups;
  • publishing a respected academic journal;
  • informing membership through NEWSNOTES and the NAVESNP website;
  • promoting a supportive legislative agenda; and
  • planning a satisfying and productive annual convention.

Our next board meeting will be conducted via conference call in April. Topics will include 2001 convention planning information gathered during meetings prior to the Policy Seminar Meeting held in Washington D.C., review of focus group findings, and plans for the summer board meeting in New Orleans.

The NAVESNP board is looking to you for guidance, support, and ideas. Please contact us with your issues and concerns. Visit our web site at www.navesnp.org and keep in touch.

Karin Tomervik
NVAESNP President
St Paul Public Schools
St Paul, MN

Home-Living Skills to be Real Hands-On Experience

Printed in Wednesday, December 13, 2000 White Bear Press/Vadnais Heights Press

Dean Shawbold is not an architect or builder but he's constructing an apartment, nonetheless. In, fact he's constructing it right in the middle of White Bear Lake High School's South Campus.

Shawbold, the coordinator of Transition Plus Services at White Bear Schools, is spearheading a project which will convert one of the schools, classrooms into a full-fledge apartment complete with a kitchen, living room, dinning room and bedroom/sitting room. Once completed, the apartment will be used to teach home living skills to the students of Special Education Department of the district.

The project will give the students a hands-on laboratory to learn skills for the many challenges of adult life. Participants will be students with Moderate to Sever Mentally Impaired (MSMI) and Mild to Moderate Mentally Impaired (MMI) disabilities. Hopefully the program will help students be more prepared to move into their community with the necessary social, functional and work skills they need to be successful.

However, a project like this doesn't come easily- or cheaply. In order to fund the project, Shawbold solicited donations of money, labor and time from area businesses and residents and he's still looking for more.

It started when Shawbold came to white Bear last year after a long career in the St. Paul schools. He saw areas in White Bears Special Ed program that could be changed or improved. When he toured a similar apartment at Sibley High School in Saint Paul, Shawbold was convinced it was a good idea for White Bear too. So he got the ball rolling. Last spring he won approval from school officials and construction on the apartment began in August, right before students returned to class.

For the construction Shawbold approached a personal friend and told him about the project. His friend works for a major construction firm and after checking into it, his company decided to take on the apartment as pro bono work. Since then all the pieces have been falling into place, but not without the typical snags possible in any construction project.

For starters, there was a whole lot of tearing. Not only did the old carpet need but plumbing had to be run into the room &endash; no easy task. Since there was a bathroom down the hall from the classroom, the decision was made to grind up the cement floor and tap into one of the water pipes. However, then the pipe had to be run through a hallway, a closet and into the apartment. More uprooted carpet and cement later, the kitchen of the apartment was ready for the fully-functional sink it will soon receive. In fact, it will also have a stove, refrigerator desktop, counter space, dining bar with stools, full cabinets, and microwave. Not to mention the dishes and small appliances- all donated by businesses.

Next to the kitchen, but separated by a knee-high wall, will be a furnished living room. A sectional sofa, an entertainment center and bookcase will frame the space. Adjacent to it is a window of sorts. A sunken area in the wall will be filled in with lighting

, a huge photo enlargement and eventually will appear to be a large, two-paned window overlooking White Bear Lake near Johnson's Boat Works. Next to the window is a sitting room that will also have a fold-down bed or futon for bed-making lessons. Wood and carpeted floors, a dining room and a entryway, complete with custom-made stained glass by one of the schools custodians, Greg Pitlick, finish the room off.

Shawbold says he hopes construction will be done in December but it admits it may take more time to get it fully furnished. He plans to begin classes in the apartment next semester. He's gracious to those who have helped the project come so far so fast, mainly the business, teachers and area residents who have doled out time and money to it.

Several individuals have contributed to the project. Among them are teachers from South Campus and Stan Hill of White Bear Lake. Businesses that have donated to the project include:

Albers Mechanic in St. Paul, Suburban Carpet, Nelson Sprinklers, M.A. Mortenson Construction, Prospect Drilling. White Bear Electric, Smarte Carte, Kowalski's., Mouldings Plus, Picture Place, White Bear Glass, Menards, Furniture Express, Facilities Furniture, Sam's Club, Central Bank, Bellaire Community Club, Bremer Foundation, White Bear Lions.

Anyone interested in donating to the apartment can call Dean Shawbold at 651-773-6415.

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Steve Czech
Date Last Modified: 4/3/2001