May 29, 2002
Editor : Steve Czech

MnACTE/SNP Home Page: http://www.mnactesnp.org

President's Message

It's been a pleasure to work with such a wonderful group of people throughout my tenure as president. I have met many high quality professionals and am pleased with the status of our board for next year. We have experienced and well qualified officers who will continue our efforts. Bob Lindgren will serve as an excellent president, and I am pleased he will have the support of LuAnne Tauer as President Elect.

When reviewing our goals for this year, we've made some gains, but there is still progress to be made. Here are my thoughts on the attainment of this year's goals:

  1. Plan our next conference: Our conference planning committee is busy with preparing for next year, and as usual, you can expect an excellent experience in professional development.
  2. Work to reinstate funding for C & TE: We've secured another year of C & TE funding at the state level. We'll be fighting again next year for something permanent.
  3. Create an interactive electronic system of information sharing: We were hoping to establish a system of communication that is more interactive and less one of dissemination. I'm not sure why it hasn't taken off and would appreciate feedback on the present system and how it could be improved.
  4. Expanding our website: Our website has not been expanded to include a history page, year-end balance sheet, and job postings.
  5. While not one of our identified goals this year, we hosted guest speakers at board meetings instead of holding a mini conference.

I have done my best to serve our membership throughout the past two years, and hope you have found value in being a member of MnACTE/SNP. It is a great organization. I look forward to seeing you next year. Have a great summer.

Steve Czech
MnACTE/SNP President
Transition Plus
403 Jackson St., Suite 206
Anoka, MN 55303

(763) 506-7621
czech@anoka.k12.mn.us

 

Upcoming Events & Housekeeping Items

  • ACTE Region III Leadership Conference June 19-21, 2002
    Doubletree Hotel
    Minneapolis Airport at the Mall
    Bloomington, Minnesota
    Register for the conference and a hotel at the website below: http://www.avaonline.org/about/region3-conf.html
    .
  • MnACTE/SNP Annual Meeting
    When: October 10, 2002
    Where: Hennepin Technical College, Brooklyn Park (Room H117)
    Time: 12:30-2:30
    Lunch: 11:00 am at HTC's Gourmet Dining Room (provided by MnACTE/SNP)
    Please RSVP to Bonnie Holt by October 4th. (763) 506-7626 Bonnie.Holt@anoka.k12.mn.us
    .
  • 2002-2003 Board Meetings, Locations, and Dates:
    Brooklyn Park, Hennepin Technical College - H117: October 10, November 21, 2002, January 9, February 13, and April 10, 2003
    Brainerd, building to be determined: May 8
    .
  • MnACTE/SNP Statewide Conference: Making Connections
    March 6 & 7, 2003: Earl Brown Center, Brooklyn Center

  • Membership: Please renew your memberships. Beverly Rath, our membership director, has been sending out up to three notices of renewal to overdue members. It would be more cost effective and less time consuming if you would renew after the first notice. Getting some of you to renew memberships is like having a second caseload :-)
    .

Psychologists Provide Effective Services in Transition Program

Being a young adult in today's world is challenging enough, but having a disability can compound the problems that block success for our students. We often stress that the main focus for students at Transition Plus is to get a job and keep it. This has proven to be a difficult task for most of our students. Increasing stresses in family life, temptations of drugs, a general purposelessness, and significant mental health difficulties play an increasing role in these employment issues. We have found directly engaging these problems helps students create more realistic career plans and in following through with those plans.

Referrals to Transition Plus have evolved over the program's ten years of existence. Past referrals included students with single diagnosis such as EBD or OHI. More recently, referrals include a large number of students with two and sometimes three diagnostic labels including borderline personality disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, schizophrenia, Tourrettes, Aspergers, bipolarity, major depression, etc.

Included in our program staff are two psychologists who have provided Transition Plus with a variety of services. The numerous support groups they administer include topics on life stresses, men's/women issues, concerns surrounding being a new mother, and anger management. All of our vocational seminars have a life/work issues group during part of their classroom instruction. These groups give students an outlet to discuss the very real and often intense stresses in their lives. Perhaps more importantly, they provide a supportive milieu to clarify healthier and more productive choices in coping with these stresses. This collaborative effort allows work coordinators to see additional areas that might be sabotaging student success. As a result, we have noticed deeper relationships between peers and staff. The psychologists also link our students to community mental health agencies, county social workers and other community supports. If a student is in crisis on the job, the psychologist often teams with the work coordinator to get at solutions to specific work related problems. Occasionally, the psychologists may meet with the student on the job and provide support.

Collectively, all of these services exist to address real and growing needs in our young people and to aid them in participating more fully in successful adult ventures. We have found that taking the time to see students as they are, engaging their real struggles and concerns, helps facilitate their ability to constructively problem solve for a better future. We continue to evolve our program, but overall are pleased with the steps we have taken to address these complex stresses facing our students.

Submitted by:
Jim Nelson
Clinical Psychologist
Transition Plus
Anoka-Hennepin District #11

 

 

 

MnACTE/SNP Board of Directors Election Results for 2002-03

President:

Bob Lindgren

Past President:

Steve Czech

President Elect:

LuAnne Tauer

Secretary:

Sue Sorenson

Treasurer:

Ron Dittmer

Membership:

Beverly Rath

ECHO Editor:

Open

Webmaster:

Steve Czech

WEH/ Work Based Learning Coordinator - Special Needs

Barb JoliCouer
Winston Kindem
Pat Ujifusa
Deb Davis

WED/Work Based Learning Coordinator

Bonnie Holt
Mick Seme

WECEP

Open

Transition Coordinator:

Ann Hicks
Beth Quest

Administrative Affiliates:

Paula Krippner
Nancy Recibe

Post Secondary Rep:

Eric Sime

Paraprofessional Rep:

Open

Ad Hoc Members

Diane Berk
Kris Gerard
Susan Hoch
Lezlie Ingvalson
Darla Jackson
Dean Shawbold
Karin Tomervik

Ad hoc members are not on the ballot. There is no limit on ad hoc members.

A Dream Job Come True!

Ben has been infatuated with semi-trucks and diesel engines since his childhood. He loves talking about trucks and enjoys watching them.

An opportunity came up through a tip from Ben's mom for Ben to interview for a job at Travel Centers of America in Rogers, MN. Ben and his work coordinator pursued this tip and with cooperation from on open-minded employer and staff, Ben was hired for maintenance duties at the "truckstop".

What began as a part time job has evolved into full time employment for Ben. He is excited about the prospect of working occasional weekends. Ben absolutely loves his job and mentions this to almost anyone he meets. Truck drivers from all over the the U.S. frequent the truckstop and compliment him on his work. Truckers who return often greet Ben and appreciate his enthusiasm. A year and half later, Ben feels he is living his dream.

Submitted by:
Ann Hicks & Ellen Surbrook
Transition Plus
Anoka-Hennepin District #11

 

 

 

Service Learning Plays Significant Role in Transition Program

Service Learning provides educational experiences in environments where students interact with other adults and have an opportunity to give directions, problem solve, and use leadership skills. Opportunities are abundant to test and develop new skills and learn how to function as a team. Students also develop new and more effective ways to relate to their peers and adults in a "real world" setting. Service Learning activities have proven to provide students with a skill set that is transferable to the work setting.

Transition Plus students volunteer their time on a variety of Service Learning projects. Some of these include:

  • Preparing mailings for a local theater, a county organization, and a preschool program
  • Raking for local residents who are unable to do the work themselves
  • Participating in food, clothing, and toy collections
  • Popping 2000 boxes of popcorn for the Anoka Halloween Parade
  • Landscaping a garden area at the Minneapolis K-9 Training Facility.

This school year, 78 Transition Plus students have completed over 700 hours of volunteer work through the Service Learning Program. Way to go!!!

Submitted by:
Ellen Surbrook
Transition Plus
Anoka-Hennepin District #11

 

Information on Statewide Initiative for Strengthening Work Experience Programs for Students with Special Needs

The following information was previously sent to membership through email.

May 7, 2002

TO: Directors of Special Education

FROM: Norena A. Hale, Ph.D., Manager Division of Special Education

SUBJECT:Work Experience (Transition) Training Opportunity

INTRODUCTION

As the Division of Special Education implements the MN State Plan for Transition Services to Youth with Disabilities, a training opportunity has been created in collaboration with the Division of Lifework Development to increase the outcomes for youth with disabilities in the transition area of work experience.

In October 2001, the work experience/handicapped license was replaced with the Teacher Coordinator of Work-Based Learning License. A candidate for this license must hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university, hold a valid teaching license in grades 9 through 12, and complete the preparation program for teacher coordinator of work-based learning. Beginning with the 2002-2003 school year, applications for Transition Program-Disabled revenue (MS 124D.454) for services to youth with disabilities will require a Special Education Teacher License and a Teacher Coordinator of Work-Based Learning License.

ON-LINE TRAINING OPPORTUNITY

The Division of Special Education (DSE) is offering a distance-learning training opportunity to agencies interested in committing staff and resources to complete a Teacher Coordinator of Work-Based Learning license. This training includes 10 credits (5 two-credit courses) that will be completed on-line through Bemidji State University. The first two courses (4 credits) will be offered this summer from June 3rd through August 9th. They include IT 5930 Student Organizations in Industrial/Career and Technical Education and IT 5930 Career Development Theory and Practice. During the 2002-2003 school year, Bemidji will offer the remaining 3 courses (2 credits each). They include IT 5850 Foundations/Philosophy of Career and Technical Education, IT 5888 Work/Occupational Assessment of Learning and IT 5889 Coordination Techniques of Occupational Education.

Descriptions of each course include:

IT 5930 Student Organizations in Industrial/Career and Technical Education

Designed to acquaint the student with the issues of planning and implementation of student organizations. Additional topics include student organization at the secondary and post-secondary level and their relationship to state and federal policy and legislation.

IT 5850 Foundations/Philosophy of Career and Technical Education

This course is a study of the history, philosophy, and practices of career and technical education. It includes a survey of curriculum characteristics, certification requirements, professional organizations, and career options.

IT 5930 Career Development Theory and Practice

This course is designed to acquaint professionals with the various phases of career development and to develop an understanding of the principles, methods and procedures that can enhance the occupational assessment with school systems.

IT 5889 Coordination Techniques of Occupational Education

This course involves the role of the teacher-coordinators in the design and implementation of internships and other cooperative experimental learning methods.

IT 5888 Work/Occupational Assessment of Learning

This course involves an investigation into the use of informal and formal techniques used in the design and implementation of occupational assessment with school systems.

APPLICATION AND REGISTRATION

There are 25 available slots. Priority will be given to one applicant per district and to districts with no or few work coordinators. The cost of tuition for the 10-credit licensure program is $1,894. The DSE will contribute 75% of tuition costs or $1,421 per participant. The employing agency will support the participant with the remaining 25% or $474. Bemidji State University will bill the district each semester for 25% of the tuition plus any costs for books.

Interested applicants must complete and return the application form to Deb Johnson by May 15th. Applicants must agree to complete the entire Teacher Coordinator of Work Based Learning License.

We encourage your district to consider participating in this exciting training opportunity, which will provide many, opportunities for work experiences for youth with disabilities as they transition from school to work.

REGISTRATION FORM

Teacher Coordinator of Work-Based Learning

June 3 &endash; August 9, 2002

Bemidji State University

Name: _____________________________ Title: _________________

School District: _________Teacher File Folder Number: ___________

City: _________________ State: _________ Zip: ________________

Work Phone: ______________Home Phone: ____________________

Fax: ____________________ Email: _________________________

My School District will commit $474.00 plus cost for required books for the applicant's participation in the training.

Special Education Director's Signature_______________Date_______

This training opportunity is offered to special education teachers interested in completing the licensure program Teacher Coordinator of Work Based Learning. Participants must hold a special education teaching license as issued through MR 8710.5000-5400 or 8710.5600-5800 and commit to completing the entire licensure program. Priority for this training opportunity will be given to the first 25 registrations from districts with no or few work experience coordinators.

The first two courses offered on-line beginning June 3, 2002, are IT 5930 Student Organization in Industrial/Career and Technical Education and IT 5887 Career Development Theory and Practice. A manual is required for IT 5930 and the cost will be billed to the district.

Please complete and return the registration form no later than May 15, 2002, to:

Deb Johnson, Transition Consultant
Metro ECSU
4001 Stinson Blvd., Suite 402
Minneapolis, MN 55421
Phone: (612) 638-1541
Email: deborah.johnson@state.mn.us

WORK EXPERIENCE INITIATIVES AND ACTIVITIES

I. Strengthen Work Experience Program Approval, Approval for Contracted Services, and Equipment Application and Claim for Funding Forms.

  • Add IDEA assurances to application.
  • Require special education director's signature on program approval, contracted services, and equipment approval forms.
  • Add language on program approval form to include a special education instructor with teacher coordinator of work-based learning license will teach the program.

M.S. 124D.454 Subd.3 (1)(2)(7) Access to Minnesota's transition system for children with a disability. Base Revenue. (a) The transition program-disabled base revenue equals the sum of the following amounts computed using base year data:

(1) 68 percent of the salary of each essential licensed person who provides direct instructional services to students employed during that fiscal year for services rendered in that district's transition program for children with disability;

(2) 47 percent of the costs of necessary equipment for transition programs for children with a disability;

(7) for a contract approved by the commissioner with another Minnesota school district or cooperative center for vocational evaluation services for children with a disability for children that are not yet enrolled in grade 12, 52 percent of the amount of the contract.

II. Create Training Opportunities for Special Education Instructors to complete the Teacher Coordinator of Work-Based Learning License

  • Develop summer institute in collaboration with Bemidji State University for 25 special education teachers to complete 4 credits (2 courses) towards completing a 10 credit work-based learning license through distance learning. Continue training through next fall.
  • Provide districts with financial incentives to encourage participation in training opportunity. DSE will pay 75% ($1,421) of total cost of 10 credits of training ($1,894).

34CFR §300.380 (a) Each State shall develop and implement a comprehensive system of personnel development (CSPD) that &endash; (2) is designed to ensure an adequate supply of qualified special education, regular education, and related services personnel.

III. Create Training Opportunities for paraprofessionals who work as job coaches or technical tutors.

  • Developed a work coordinators work group to identify knowledge and skills needed for paraprofessionals to work as job coaches and technical tutors.
  • In collaboration with University of Minnesota, create training materials for paras employed as job coaches and technical tutors.
  • Training materials will be incorporated into paraprofessional training manual.

M.R. 3525.1310(H)(1)(2) State Aid for Special Education Personnel

Salaries for essential personnel who are teachers and related services and support services staff members are reimbursable for the following activities:

H. paraprofessional services provided under the direction of a regular or special education teacher or a related services provider that: (1) enhance the instruction provided by the teacher or related services staff; and (2) supplement instructional activities or provide extended practice in instances in which the paraprofessional has had training and ongoing support from a special education teacher or related services staff.

MnACTE/SNP Grant Award Winners

The MnACTE/SNP grant awards of $250.00 were given to 4 recipients. The award information was posted on the MnACTE/SNP website and nominations were made by it's members. The students nominated must be in their final year of school, have a current IEP or be identified as "at risk", be involved in a vocational program or classes or have post-secondary plans including training and / or employment.

This Year's Award Winners Are:

Terra Danielson, a student enrolled in St. Paul Schools' Transition program, has a primary goal of earning a post-secondary degree in the area of child development. She has worked full-time as a childcare/dietary aide while also attending St. Paul Technical College. Terra's future plans include living independently in an apartment while having a job that allows her to pay her own expenses.

Brenda Darnell has learned many tough lessons in life in the 3 years she attended Career & Life Transition Program through Mounds View Public Schools. She spent 1 1/2 years working 40 hour weeks with benefits in a medical assembly plant but was permanently laid-off in September. It took about 5 months for Brenda to find the right fit for a new job in the health care field. Brenda is now actively advocating for herself and her personal needs with very realistic goals. She will use the grant money to start her future.

Patrick Moran is a student enrolled in Anoka-Hennepin's Transition Program and has met many personal goals over the past three years. He obtained a drivers license, purchased a vehicle and home, and secured full-time employment at Sign Center in Minneapolis. He has also researched post secondary opportunities and decided to wait with furthering his education. Patrick has a fantastic sense sense of humor that will continue to carry him through life with a positive attitude. He plans to use the grant award for car repairs.

Joshua Wimmergren is a student enrolled in the VECTOR North Transition Program. Josh Is currently enrolled at Hennepin Technical College and plans to complete an AA Degree in Mechanical Drafting. Josh has learned the difficult skill of asking for help instead of simply guessing and getting the job done. He wants to do it right which is a quality of a good student. Josh plans to use the money toward his college completion.

Congratulations to these four winners and to all who were nominated. These applicants are on the way to transitioning into healthy, success filled futures.

Submitted By:
Susan Hoch
Transition Coordinator
Mounds View Public Schools
Roseville, MN

 

 

 

Anoka County WorkForce Center Pleased to Announce New School-to-Work Transition Program for Area Students

The U. S. Department of Labor (DOL) funded a $3.096 million, five-year grant in October to help meet the job placement needs of students with significant disabilities in Anoka County.  The Transition to Customized Employment (TCE) Program will work with 750 young adults (150 students each year for five years) to find and retain jobs.  Of the seven grants awarded nationwide, this was the only one given out in Minnesota.

Priority students will be those ages 18-21 with emotional behavior disorders, severe emotional disturbances, significant cognitive and developmental disabilities, physical disabilities and those with learning disabilities.  New staff have been hired for this interagency initiative.

Anoka-Hennepin Independent School District #11 will be the principal education partner for the first two years of the program before it expands to six other districts in Anoka County for the third through fifth years of the grant period.

The purpose of this DOL grant initiative is to fund model programs throughout the country which are designed to increase the One-Stop Career Centers' capacities to provide seamless and quality employment services for people with significant disabilities.  The Anoka County Job Training Center serves as the fiscal agent for the program and Rise administers the services and supervises the project staff members.  A Minnesota Rehabilitation Services Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor is also available to students enrolled in the project.

Ultimately, the goal is to not only decrease the unemployment rate for people with significant disabilities, but to promote quality jobs at all levels in all industries that pay above minimum wage and provide career advancement.  Key services include:

• Vocational Assessment
• Career and Transition Planning
• Job Placement
• Job Coaching
• Follow-up Services 

The TCE Program has an office located in downtown Anoka at 403 Jackson Street NE.  For more information contact the Program Manager, Laurie Ely, at 763-712-0068.

Submitted by:
Sandy Froiland
WorkForce Center
Anoka County

Anoka-Hennepin District #11 Hosts Career Camp

Plans are underway for the third annual Career Camp on June 25, 26 and 27. This is a joint venture of AHTC and the Secondary Technical Education Program (STEP) for at-risk middle school students in Anoka-Hennepin District #11. Two years ago, middle school instructors and staff at STEP collaborated to provide an experience for students in career and technical education. They wanted students to see the connection between how they do in school now and what opportunities will be available to them in high school and college.

The first year consisted of a pilot program for students from Fred Moore Middle School. Six hands-on mini sessions were offered and included 120 students, (60 different students each morning for two days). It was such a success that last year students from all seven middle schools were involved. Ten different career areas were represented in the mini sessions and served nearly 300 students. The feedback from both students and staff was very positive. Several students commented that they liked the hands-on learning and friendly teachers. Many also indicated that they would like to enroll in STEP and then go to school at AHTC after graduation.

STEP is hoping to offer new career sessions this year, and grant money is available to add a component to involve parents.

Submitted by:
Pam Durand
STEP
Anoka-Hennepin District #11

 

 

 

Vocational Seminar for Students With Developmental Cognitive Delays (DCD) - An Eclectic Approach

Vocational Seminar offered for students with DCD at Transition Plus in the Anoka-Hennepin School District offers a variety of components to help address individual needs and learning styles of it's participants. It is currently set up to meet two days a week for about 1 1/2 hours per session. On the first meeting day of the week, students rotate through three "stations" each focusing on a different subject.

One station's focus includes job exploration through learning about various duties and skills needed to successfully work in a career area. As a follow-up to this type of knowledge gained, community tours are coordinated to observe people actually performing these jobs.

A second station focuses on the "soft skills" required to be successful at work. In this station, a lot of discussion takes place with the intent of developing appropriate social skills as well as problem solving current issues that students may be experiencing on the job.

The third station focuses on utilizing technology available to students in our computer lab. Students are required to maintain a work history sheet, document feedback on various Vocational Seminar experiences, and learn to navigate the internet for current needs and future reference.

On the second meeting day, students participate in a group discussion where a safe environment is provided to discuss joys, concerns, and life as well as work issues. The group becomes cohesive which enables the participants to give feedback to one another in a non-threatening way. Also on this day, various activities can include: operating a building wide recycling program, Service Learning projects that have an impact on their community or non-profit organizations, and work topic discussions.

Vocational Seminar for students with DCD is an environment for students to feel safe: sharing, exploring various aspects of work, and developing the social skills that one needs to be a contributing person to the workforce.

Submitted by:
Deb Olsen
Transition Plus
Anoka-Hennepin District #11

 

 

 

Structure of Anoka-Hennepin District #11's Work Experience Special Needs Programs

Anoka-Hennepin District #11 provides various career and technical education opportunities for high school students with special needs. The referral process begins at the IEP meeting where work experience coordinators meet with students who have needs in jobs and training or post secondary education and training. The coordinator communicates with students, parents and case managers to determine appropriate placements. Once it has been determined how student needs will best be met, referral information is required from the case manager and submitted to the coordinator.

Qualified candidates have a variety of options for career exploration. The decision as to which program best serves the student is based on ability, vocational assessment results (CAPS/COPS), and current interest in a career pathway.

Junior Achievement is available for those students with no work experience and are by nature more challenging because of higher needs. Basic vocational skills are addressed along with demonstrations and discussions concerning soft skill attainment. Students may be enrolled for single or multiple terms depending on need.

An option for on the job training occurs at community sites with the supervision of job coaches. Their position is to act as a liaison between employers and students. These sites offer students a real experience in the world of work while being monitored and coached to exhibit work standards that are expected by employers in any industry. The ratio is generally 2:1 which allows more focus on attainment, remediation and retention of desired skills.

Unpaid district sites are available for students who are at the beginning level of skill development but have some knowledge of job requirements. A job coach is present on a daily basis to serve these students in performing their duties and in furthering work skill knowledge.

Lastly, paid community employment is an option which serves the majority of our students. Each student has a job that they brought with them to the program or one that was found with the help of the coordinator. While they work independently, coordinators make site visits and conference with the student's supervisors as to how each is functioning on the site. Students in this program are released early after attending a required career seminar in their home high schools. The seminar has four standards embedded within this two-year program, and grades are given by the coordinator. The actual job site is evaluated by the site supervisor for the student's grade on their report card. Seventeen areas are evaluated in the areas of personal skills, people skills and performance skills.

Academically, introductory classes in a variety of career areas are available at Anoka-Hennepin Technical College. Class size is limited to 10 and the model is basic in format and slower in delivery for added retention. A few examples of the career fields offered are health, auto mechanics, auto detailing, restaurant and bakery, medial technology and horticulture. Students receive elective credit for completion but there are no graduation standards offered.

Submitted by:
Pat Dowdell
Anoka High School
Anoka-Hennepin District #11

Ann Monson
Blaine High School
Anoka-Hennepin District #11

 

 

 

Transition Plus Program Anoka Hennepin District #11 Program Information

Transition Plus is a highly individualized secondary special education program for students who are 18 to 21 years old, have a disability, and a current IEP. Students must also have significant transition needs and have not received their high school diploma. Students enrolled at Transition Plus may or may not have enough high school credits to earn a diploma prior to enrolling. This program is not credit based and focuses only on IEP goals and objectives. A high school diploma will not be given out any faster than a student could complete missing credits.

The five areas of transition instruction as defined at the state level include Jobs and Job Training, Post-Secondary Learning, Home Living, Community Participation, and Recreation and Leisure. Additional instruction in skill improvement, self-advocacy, social skills and communication are emphasized. There is a strong emphasis on reducing the barriers to employment and training which are unique to each student.

Students are generally referred by their high school case managers, parents, county social workers, RS counselors, probation officers or themselves.

Students may utilize Post Secondary Enrollment (PSEO) funding while at Transition Plus if they meet eligibility criteria defined by the Department of Education. The individual educational planning team must agree that the post-secondary education plan is appropriate for the student prior to enrollment at a post-secondary school.

Student's graduate from Transition Plus by successful completion of the goals and objectives from their individual educational plans (IEP). The IEP is developed by a team consisting of the student, teacher, work-experience coordinator, administrator, and at the student's request; parents, adult service providers such as RS Counselor, county social worker, mental health professional, and other friends, advocates or individuals.

The diploma is issued by the student's home high school the year the student leaves Transition Plus, not the year the student leaves the high school, as Transition Plus is a secondary school program in the Anoka-Hennepin School District.

Submitted by:
Bonnie Holt & Barb Weldon
Transition Plus
Anoka-Hennepin District #11

 

 

   

Incorporate Activities in Your Vocational Seminar

Tradition holds that in order to be a true Minnesotan, one has to enjoy our great out-of-doors. That includes our fickle weather (blizzard Saturday, no jacket needed by Tuesday), the Fishing Opener (why can't we switch Mother's Day and Father's Day?), and Deer Season (when did blaze orange become a fashion statement?). Well, not being one to mess with state tradition, the students and staff at Bridges decided to do their part to help wood ducks returning to Minnesota from their winter haunts find a new home. When Rich Staffon, Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Specialist, was looking for people to build wood duck houses, the folks at Bridges were quick to answer the call.

Rich dropped off plenty of one inch rough cut pine lumber and the necessary nails, screws and other hardware to complete the job. We quickly set up job stations where students at each table had specific duties. One table measured out the entrance hole using a template. The next group used a jigsaw to cut out the hole. Two students used a wire cutter to cut hardware cloth to size and then others stapled it to the inside of the house, so the baby ducks would be better able to crawl out. A couple of students used a hammer and nails to attach one of the sides forming a hinged door, thus allowing access for easy cleaning. Other students worked at taking off the rough edges while using sandpaper and a lot of elbow grease. One table worked at drilling pilot holes, before passing the houses on to the last group, which actually fastened all the pieces together using galvanized screws and a battery operated drill. Each step of the process was photographed and pictures were sent to the Outdoor News for publication.

This was a unique learning experience for many of the students, as almost none had ever used power tools before. They learned about workshop safety, "measuring twice, cutting once", working together as a team, having fun, seeing a project through to completion and the pride one gets when doing something to make the world a little bit better place in which to live.

Soon, Rich will be coming to pick up the wood duck houses and installing them on a wildlife management area near Cloquet. We sure hope our feathered friends enjoy their new accommodations.

 

Submitted by:
Mike Bisping
Bridges
Anoka-Hennepin District #11

 

 

 

 

MnACTE/SNP Addresses Licensure & Current Statewide Policies with CFL and Board of Teaching

The following letter was sent in late April to:
Norena Hale, Manager, Division of Special Education, CFL
Michael Tillman, Executive Director of the Board of Teaching (recently replaced by Dr. George Maurer)

I am writing to express concern regarding the status of work experience programs for students with special needs in the state of Minnesota. As a representative of the Minnesota Association for Career and Technical Education/Special Needs Personnel (MnACTE/SNP), I am voicing this concern based on what we perceive as the degradation of such programs throughout our state.

Many work experience coordinators have contacted our organization expressing the following concerns:

1. Increased caseloads.

2. Decreased coordination time.

3. Under qualified staff facilitating unapproved programs.

We believe that a combination of the lack of funding for education coupled with the elimination of licensure for work coordinators of students with special needs has played a key role in this degradation.

It is our request that The Board of Teaching establish a licensure in the area of Work Based Learning for individuals who work with students with special needs. Also, we request that the Department of Children Families and Learning implement policies that will strengthen work experience programs for students with special needs.

These issues must be addressed, and I ask that you seriously consider taking action on them. I am available for discussion on the matter, and members of MnACTE/SNP are eager to provide consultation or recommendations. Please contact me with your thoughts. If I do not hear from you, I will be in touch within the next two weeks.

Sincerely,

Steve Czech
President
MnACTE/SNP
403 Jackson St, Suite 206
Anoka, MN 55303

Phone: (763) 506-7621
email: czech@anoka.k12.mn.us

Steve Czech
Date Last Modified: 5/29/02