May 2018
View this email in your browser

                    2018 Pine County Work Skills Day

On April 26, 2018, secondary students from schools in Pine City, Pine County Transition Program (PCTP), Hinckley-Finlayson, VISION and East Central competed in the 8th annual Pine County Work Skills Day.  The event, hosted in Hinckley, is designed to afford students a fun and productive way to practice skills needed in the world of work. Volunteer judges assess student performance in a variety of events, including Interviewing, Problem-Solving, and Job Applications.  A highlight of the day was guest speaker, Aaron Cross, Motivation on Wheels.

A huge “Thank You” to area business persons and professionals who volunteered their time to act as judges for the competitions.  (Katie Hartl, Jeff Menigo, Katie Raverty, Jeannette Kester, Jodi Storlie, Traver Gahler, Cristy Thomas, Kala Roberts, and Joel Anderson). Without this support, the event would not be possible.
Work Skills Day is a bright spot in the year for many teachers, students, and administrators, as it provides students the opportunity to practice important life skills in a competitive, yet fun environment.  Sincere congratulations to all of the participants and award recipients!

Job Application Competition: 1st Place – Tom Baker, East Central High School; 2nd Place – Jaylynn Maurstad-Rock, Pine City High School; 3rd Place – Slater Bostrom, VISION



Interview Competition: 1st Place – Ryan Lane, Pine City High School; 2nd Place – Nate Erickson, East Central High School; 3rd Place – Jojo Bowen, Pine County Transition Program (PCTP)

Problem-Solving Competition - 1st Place – Ryan Lane, Pine City High School; 2nd Place – Slater Bostrom, VISION; 3rd Place – Karissa Williams, East Central High School                                         

Overall Team Winner: VISION

2018 DAPE Challenge

RUSH CITY - The annual track and field day is almost a right of passage taking place in May and June at elementary, middle and high schools across the country.  The developmentally challenged are no exception.

“The Developmental Adapted Physical Education (DAPE) teachers within the St. Croix River Education District (SCRED) felt that their kids often got lost at these track meets, and even if they did go, they were often not very active participants,” SCRED DAPE instructor Darla Beckmann explained. So the DAPE Challenge was created to provide a unique opportunity for students with special needs.  “We wanted to design an activity where all of our students could participate in everything,” she continued. "The idea was to have a non-competitive event and make it fun for the kids."

From the T-ball hit and the ramp roll to a target, to the soccer ball kick challenge, the Frisbee toss and the long jump, the kids had a chance to compete in nine events during their track and field day.

About 100 students from the schools at North Branch, Chisago Lakes, Rush City, Pine City, Hinckley/Finlayson, and East Central congregated at the track at Rush City Schools for this year's DAPE Challenge. If the smiles and laughter weren't enough of a clue, the kids love it.  "It's a lot of fun," Tanis, a student at Pine City High School, said of his five years of participating in this challenge. "We get a chance to see a lot of kids and get a chance to make friends."

Teachers and administrators alike can't say enough good things about the challenge.  "It's great to see all the schools come together and the kids support one another," Kim Erdman
DAPE instructor for Rush City Schools, said. "I love it - I can see why the kids look forward to this day."  Eric Ganske, DAPE instructor at East Central Schools, agreed.  "It's a great opportunity for the kids to meet other kids," he said.

"Seeing the schools interact is marvelous," Dave Ertl, Chisago Lakes High School Principal, noted.  Ertl's boss, Dean Jennissen, Chisago Lakes Superintendent, sees the value as well.  "It's a very special day for the kids," he said. "I love seeing the kids in their element - enjoying themselves."  SCRED Occupational Therapist Carol Houfer sees the kids having fun in a naturally occurring setting.  "Their personalities really come through and they get a chance to shine," she pointed out.

Beckmann said the social component of the event is huge. “It is an opportunity for them to interact with peers from different school districts,” she said. “We wanted to focus more on just having fun.”  Chisago Lakes parent Jenny Tyrrell agrees with that assessment.  "It's good for the kids to get out of the classroom setting," she observed. "They participate in these events and they gain so much confidence."  Houfer also said the gathering is an opportunity for the kids to see other kids doing the same things they are.  "It's good modeling," she reported. "The kids get to see how other kids handle situations - it's a fun day for them but they are learning good life lessons at the same time."

North Branch Area Public Schools hosted the first DAPE Challenge in 2011. “We thought at the start that it would be nice to move the DAPE Challenge each year from school district to school district within SCRED,” Beckmann concluded. "So far, it seems to be working well." 

The article was written by Todd Beckmann and Darla Beckmann.

Oh, the Places You Will Go!


Several “dynamic duo” teams are popping up over the districts that SCRED serves. These teacher teams, most often a general education and a special education teacher, are collaborating to provide the best instruction for their students. Over the past two years, students who are being serviced through the co-teaching model have been making significant growth according to their universal screening data and are beginning to close the gap. Up, up and away, goes their learning!!  Teachers are also reporting that students are excited to be in class with their peers and are benefiting socially.

“Collaborative teaching, or co-teaching, is a powerful way to support the learning of students with diverse learning needs. But how do you know when you're doing it right? And if you're not, what can you do about that? Authors Wendy W. Murawski and Wendy W. Lochner introduce the Collaborative Teaching Improvement Model of Excellence (CTIME), a continuous improvement model that embraces personalized professional learning to ensure that teachers meet the core competencies for co-teaching without burning out along the way. Incorporating a systematic application of collaborative groups, data analysis, microteaching, feedback, and collegial support, CTIME is the culmination of the best research in the field” (Murawski & Lochner, 2018).  

Support for co-teachers will continue in the next school year, 2018-19.

  • Anne Benninghof, who provided our initial training, will be coming back for a full day session on August 3rd, hosted by the Chisago Lakes School District. Anne is an engaging presenter with lots of practical examples and teaching strategies. If there are additional seats available for other staff within SCRED, registration information will be sent out via email to case managers and principals.  

  • At Unique Learners’ Conference on August 20th, there will be a two-part breakout session offered from 12:30 - 2:10 p.m. on the CTIME model.  Special education teachers and their general education teacher partners will have an opportunity to start planning their use of the CTIME model. Special educators will have the opportunity to select this breakout session once they register for the Unique Learners’ Conference; general educators can register by selecting the “Co-teaching CTIME Model Training” link in the 2018 SCRED August Course Catalog.

  • Co-teaching networking opportunities will be occurring to give teachers a chance to share successes and get some of their questions answered. CTIME Co-Teaching Networking is scheduled for November 6, 2018 and January 9th, 2019 from 4:00-6:00 p.m.. To register, please click on the following link for the 2018-19 School Year Professional Learning course catalog.

This month’s Spotlight on Breaking Down Instructional Barriers looks at: 

What’s New in the Closet?

The Assistive Technology (AT) closet at St. Croix River Education District continues to be expanded and enhanced! Here are a few items that you can look forward to trialing with students with assistive technology needs in the area of recreation/leisure/play; innovative seating options; and our newest sensory/self-regulation item.

These are just a few of the new items available. These items can be used to assist our students with ways to experience some recreation/leisure activities that may not be otherwise available to them.

Infinitec Newsletters:

**St. Croix River Education District continues to provide this UDL and AT resource to all member districts’ staff.  All new staff are encouraged to register at

AT Regional Newsletters
ATFYI Regional Newsletter April Issue:  Topic: OneNote app Digital Notebook Classroom Benefits

AT Network Nights for 2018-19
Register for our Assistive Technology Networking Nights in the new school year course catalog on the SCRED website.  Dates for next year are: October 4, 2018; January 29, 2019; April 11, 2019 from 4-8pm at the SCRED Training Center in Rush City.  Seating is limited.  






Copyright © 2018 St. Croix River Education District, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp