Partnership for Extraordinary Minds

Partnership for Extraordinary Minds Improving the educational experiences and outcomes of students in grades K-12 on the autism spectrum.
Parent support and grassroots organizing in Montgomery County, Maryland
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What has your child's experience been like? Share in the comments."Many special education services — such as hands-on oc...
09/22/2020
Closed Schools Have To Serve Some Special Ed Students In Person, Experts Say

What has your child's experience been like? Share in the comments.

"Many special education services — such as hands-on occupational therapy or a one-on-one aide — can’t be replicated well online, parents say. Some are reporting that their children simply aren’t learning and that Zoom is too distracting and impersonal."

A recent special education ruling suggests that schools, in certain cases, have an obligation to serve students with disabilities in person — even if the schools are barred from reopening.

"The Autism Alliance of Michigan is setting an ambitious goal to address the employment needs of state residents on the ...
09/22/2020
Nonprofit Wants To Create 101,000 Jobs For People With Autism

"The Autism Alliance of Michigan is setting an ambitious goal to address the employment needs of state residents on the autism spectrum — to create 101,000 jobs across the state within 10 years."

An autism nonprofit in one state is setting an ambitious goal to address the employment needs of residents on the spectrum — to create 101,000 jobs within 10 years.

Is your special education student getting the support with distance learning that he or she needs?  Join us for a Q&A on...
09/19/2020

Is your special education student getting the support with distance learning that he or she needs? Join us for a Q&A on Sat., 9/26/20 to get answers to your questions from Education Attorney Kimberly Glassman! Register and submit your questions: https://xminds.org/event-3976880

The recordings of the MCPS Autism Unit’s parent webinars for students who are diploma-bound are now available. This site...
09/19/2020
Partnership for Extraordinary Minds - MCPS Autism Unit Webinars

The recordings of the MCPS Autism Unit’s parent webinars for students who are diploma-bound are now available. This site is not available to the general public, so the link will not work if you don’t have a child enrolled in MCPS. You must be signed into your child's MCPS Google Account to access. Find links to all Autism Unit webinars (including those for ALO students, too) at https://xminds.org/MCPS-Distance-Learning-Webinars

The MCPS Autism Spectrum Disorder Services unit is providing a series of webinars to train parents and guardians who are supporting students during distance learning.

09/17/2020
www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org

The first SEAC meeting of the 2020-2021 school year will be next Thursday, September 24 at 7 pm. Topics include: public testimony, introduction to special education area supervisors, and an update on special education during distance learning.

"Parents point to Virginia’s Loudoun County as an example of a district that has prioritized kids with disabilities.Over...
09/08/2020
Children With Disabilites Are Falling Behind In School | WAMU

"Parents point to Virginia’s Loudoun County as an example of a district that has prioritized kids with disabilities.

Over the summer, county schools held classes for approximately 700 children with special needs, from early childhood through third grade, so they would keep learning. About 65 students chose in-person classes, while the rest did a mix of virtual and in-person. This fall, while most children will learn virtually, school leaders say those with special needs can choose the approach that works for them."

Schools in the Washington region have started the academic year virtually, a reality that is weighing heavily on children with disabilities who often need dedicated help in the classroom.

Topics covered in this article include: Know Your Rights; Adjust Expectations; Your Kid Needs Friends; More parental inv...
09/08/2020
How To Adapt Special Education To The Remote-Learning Reality

Topics covered in this article include: Know Your Rights; Adjust Expectations; Your Kid Needs Friends; More parental involvement might be needed; Keep a schedule

But the bottom line is: You and your kids can do it

As another period of distance learning dawns for many students across the nation, parents, educators and service providers are offering recommendations and advice for special education.

Join xMinds on Saturday, September 12 at 11 am to 12:30 pm on Zoom for 'Navigating Online Instruction:  Q & A with Educa...
09/05/2020

Join xMinds on Saturday, September 12 at 11 am to 12:30 pm on Zoom for 'Navigating Online Instruction: Q & A with Educators'. Special educators will answer questions from students on the autism spectrum and their parents about issues they are having with online learning. You must register at https://www.xminds.org/event-3968444 to attend this event.

MCPS Autism Spectrum Disorder Services Unit is holding a series of webinars to help parents support their autistic stude...
09/02/2020
Partnership for Extraordinary Minds - MCPS Autism Unit Webinars

MCPS Autism Spectrum Disorder Services Unit is holding a series of webinars to help parents support their autistic students during distance learning. We have a complete list of all topics, dates, and links to the sessions at our website: https://xminds.org/MCPS-Distance-Learning-Webinars/
We will be updating this page once recordings of the webinars are posted.

The MCPS Autism Spectrum Disorder Services unit will be providing a series of webinars to help support parents and children during distance learning.

"The board of education is also voting on recommendations which ... calls for planning on incorporating in-person teachi...
09/01/2020
Md. State Board of Education set to vote on plans for incorporating in-person learning

"The board of education is also voting on recommendations which ... calls for planning on incorporating in-person teaching by the end of the first quarter, or after the first nine weeks."

As Governor Larry Hogan continues to push for Maryland schools to reopen, the State Board of Education is getting ready to vote on a new set of requirements for public schools that could mandate supervised distance learning and a plan to eventually incorporate in-person learning. The new requirement...

08/18/2020
Disability Rights Maryland

Free Q & A about Special Ed during COVID with Disability Rights Maryland TOMORROW, 8/19 at 6:30.

Disability Right's Maryland's (DRM) Education Team is looking forward to speaking to you and answering some of your questions about your child's special education needs and the coming school year. Based on your responses to the poll, our first Facebook Live Q&A will be tomorrow, Wednesday, August 19th at 6:30 PM. If you can't watch the video live, it will be saved here on the DRM page for you to watch later.

Thank you to everyone who voted in the poll and left us questions in the comments! We look forward to seeing you here tomorrow at 6:30 PM. 😊

“'I think that’s where people get lost is they think that COVID changes things and under the law, it does not,' accordin...
08/18/2020
What The Coronavirus Means For IEPs This Year

“'I think that’s where people get lost is they think that COVID changes things and under the law, it does not,' according to Denise Marshall, CEO of the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates, or COPAA, a nonprofit that works to advocate for the rights of students with disabilities and their families."

As a school year like no other gets underway, the laws surrounding individualized education programs remain unchanged and experts say parents should fight for the services their kids need.

Partnership for Extraordinary Minds's cover photo
08/18/2020

Partnership for Extraordinary Minds's cover photo

Check out our new resource to find tutoring services for students on the autism spectrum! All of these tutoring services...
08/18/2020
Partnership for Extraordinary Minds - Tutoring Services

Check out our new resource to find tutoring services for students on the autism spectrum! All of these tutoring services or individual tutors have training in special education and experience with special education students, and each listing on this page has been recommended by a parent.

Description:  Bass Educational Services, LLC provides an array of educational services for students with learning differences, ADHD, ASD, and other special needs. Our educational consultants offer guidance and structure throughout the college and postsecondary planning process, provide assistance i...

MCPS has released an updated "MCPS Fall 2020: Reimagine, Reopen, Recover Guide" that provides an overview of the virtual...
08/05/2020
Fall 2020 Draft Recovery of Education Guide

MCPS has released an updated "MCPS Fall 2020: Reimagine, Reopen, Recover Guide" that provides an overview of the virtual-only learning model for the first semester. Don't forget to tune into the live Board of Education session on this topic on Thursday, Aug. 6 at 3:30 pm.

Today, I am writing to share our updated considerations and planning for the fall. As you know, based on current health conditions stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, MCPS will remain in a virtual-only instructional model through the first semester—January 29, 2021; or until state and local healt...

The pandemic is affecting MCPS families differently across this diverse county. Please consider donating so that we can ...
08/05/2020
Provide School Supplies for Students in Need

The pandemic is affecting MCPS families differently across this diverse county. Please consider donating so that we can improve equity in distance learning.

More than 61,000 MCPS students receive free & reduced-price meals and many families struggle to afford basic necessities like school supplies. Now more than ever, more students are going to need help accessing school supplies.

The American Bar Association (ABA) House of Delegates has passed a resolution that urges governmental bodies to adopt an...
08/05/2020
Annual Meeting 2020 House of Delegates Resolution

The American Bar Association (ABA) House of Delegates has passed a resolution that urges governmental bodies to adopt and enforce legislation and educational policies that prohibit school personnel from using seclusion and mechanical or chemical restraints on students in preschool through 12th grade.

ABA policy resolution considered at the 2020 ABA virtual Annual Meeting July 29 - August 4.

Thank you for participating in Camp Read-a-Lot! We had so much fun getting to know you at our Friday campfires, and we h...
07/31/2020
Partnership for Extraordinary Minds - Donate

Thank you for participating in Camp Read-a-Lot! We had so much fun getting to know you at our Friday campfires, and we hope you had fun, too! Camp Read-a-Lot may be over, but reading doesn't have to stop--keep reading and keep learning!

We look forward to receiving your tally sheets and donations so we can award prizes to the top three fundraisers and the top three readers in each of the following groups:

Grades K-1
Grades 2-4
Grades 5-8
Grades 9-12

IMPORTANT DATES:
Monday, August 3: Reading Tally Sheets due. Send to [email protected]
Friday, August 7: Donations due to xMinds. Donations can be made via PayPal online at xminds.org/donate or checks can be sent to xMinds, PO Box 231, Kensington, MD. 20895
Sunday, August 9: Announcement of winners via email!

Thank you so much for participating in Camp Read-a-Lot!

We are also happy to take donations by check. Please make your check payable to Partnership for Extraordinary Minds, and mail it to:

Great professional development opportunity for special education teachers! The webinar sessions are about inclusive teac...
07/30/2020
What’s Good in the Classroom is Good Remotely: Planning for Teaching and Learning for an Uncertain Future - Tash.org

Great professional development opportunity for special education teachers! The webinar sessions are about inclusive teaching with distance learning, and it’s only $10 per session ($25 for all three). It starts today (July 30), but the second and third sessions on Aug. 6 and 13 look the best anyway. People who register can also watch the recording of the first session.

Remote learning during lockdown was abrupt, unplanned, and incredibly challenging for all, especially those with unique learning needs and their families. Despite this, creative solutions have emerged, building on inclusive practices from their in-person classrooms. As we move toward an uncertain re...

We are all wondering how to make up for lost time and how to prevent losing anymore time in the Fall ... Please let us k...
07/28/2020
Special Educators Consider How To Make Up For Lost Time

We are all wondering how to make up for lost time and how to prevent losing anymore time in the Fall ... Please let us know if your child's team has come up with any creative solutions!

Whether classes are in person or at a distance this fall, school officials say they are working on ways to better help special education students learn.

On Thursday July 23, xMinds invites parents, educators, and other stakeholders to participate in our online panel discus...
07/19/2020

On Thursday July 23, xMinds invites parents, educators, and other stakeholders to participate in our online panel discussion about the experience of special education students of color in schools. Register today!
https://xminds.org/event-3903156

Don't forget to tune into today's live, virtual conversation about the MCPS reopening plan! The meeting starts at 6:30 p...
07/15/2020
Reimagine, Reopen, Recover--A Virtual Conversation

Don't forget to tune into today's live, virtual conversation about the MCPS reopening plan! The meeting starts at 6:30 pm.

On Wednesday, July 15, MCPS will host a live virtual conversation on the district’s draft recovery plan. Members of the community will learn more about the initial recommendations for reopening from MCPS leaders and will have an opportunity to ask questions. The virtual conversation will begin at ...

Tune in to the Montgomery County Board of Education's business meeting TODAY, July 14, at 12:30 pm to hear a discussion ...
07/14/2020

Tune in to the Montgomery County Board of Education's business meeting TODAY, July 14, at 12:30 pm to hear a discussion on MCPS reopening efforts. The meeting will be broadcast on MCPS-TV and stream online at www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org. See the meeting agenda: http://ow.ly/UJcP50AvnLd

Tune in to the Montgomery County Board of Education's business meeting tomorrow, July 14, to hear a discussion on MCPS reopening efforts. The meeting will be broadcast on MCPS-TV and stream online at www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org. See the meeting agenda: http://ow.ly/UJcP50AvnLd

“The level of bias we found here could have significant adverse effects on children in classrooms. We already know that ...
07/13/2020
Future Teachers More Likely to View Black Children as Angry, Even When They Are Not

“The level of bias we found here could have significant adverse effects on children in classrooms. We already know that Black students experience many more suspensions, expulsions and disciplinary actions than white students, often for the same behavior. And this study suggests that misperceiving anger – even at an unconscious level – could play a significant role in that disparity.”

A study of prospective teachers finds they are more likely to think Black children are angry, even when they are not.

07/13/2020
Fall 2020: Reimagine, Reopen, Recover

On Wednesday, July 15, MCPS will host a live virtual conversation on the district’s draft recovery plan. Members of the community will learn more about the initial recommendations for reopening from MCPS leaders and will have an opportunity to ask questions. The virtual conversation will begin at 6:30 p.m. and will be streamed live on the MCPS website, MCPS TV and on YouTube. Submit questions in advance by visiting www.mcpssubmitfeedback.org. A Spanish version will be made available on Thursday, July 16. It will be posted on the MCPS website and on the MCPS YouTube channel.

A live virtual conversation about the MCPS recovery plan. Questions will be taken via chat.

MCPS has published the "MCPS Fall 2020: Reimagine, Reopen, Recover Guide," which outlines two proposals for how instruct...
07/11/2020
Community Update

MCPS has published the "MCPS Fall 2020: Reimagine, Reopen, Recover Guide," which outlines two proposals for how instruction will take place starting on August 31. Please read thoroughly, provide your feedback through the MCPS survey and tune into the Board of Education Meeting at 12:30 this Tuesday, July 14. All details can be found here: https://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/departments/publicinfo/community/school-year-2019-2020/community-update-20200711.html

Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) has been actively planning and preparing for the start of the 2020-2021 school year since Governor Larry Hogan and State Superintendent of Schools Karen Salmon announced on May 6 that they would be closing all Maryland school buildings for the remainder of the...

"When children with autism share what they think, or they melt down, or they run away from school, or they can’t stop ta...
07/05/2020
Dear Parents: Your Child With Autism Is Perfect

"When children with autism share what they think, or they melt down, or they run away from school, or they can’t stop talking about what they’re obsessed with, it is awkward and overwhelming. They express themselves with such rawness that the foundations of society shake. You’re not dealing with a person whose social instinct is to lie, conform, manipulate or intimidate. You’re dealing with someone whose instincts are the opposite, and this person’s experience of the world is a lot more challenging because of this."

Children with autism express themselves truthfully regardless of the social consequences. I know, because I am autistic.

Partnership for Extraordinary Minds's cover photo
07/03/2020

Partnership for Extraordinary Minds's cover photo

Join Ms. Frizzle as xMinds explores the Ocean Floor in tomorrow's (7/3/20) Camp Fire read-a-thon story time at 10 am. Ge...
07/02/2020

Join Ms. Frizzle as xMinds explores the Ocean Floor in tomorrow's (7/3/20) Camp Fire read-a-thon story time at 10 am. Get all the details here: https://xminds.org/event-3862537

06/26/2020
marylandpublicschools.org

The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) has issued a Supplement to Technical Assistance Bulletin #20-10 to provide guidance to Nonpublic Special Education Schools regarding reopening for in person instruction.

Make sure your concerns about returning to school in the fall are heard! Complete the MCPS survey today.
06/26/2020
Take the Fall 2020 Survey

Make sure your concerns about returning to school in the fall are heard! Complete the MCPS survey today.

MCPS has launched a survey designed to gather community input around key elements that will need to be included in our recovery plan for the fall. When completing this survey, please keep in mind that we are considering a number of scenarios, including continuing with remote learning; engaging in a....

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