Special Education at ISD
Letter from Mr. Matejek 2022-2023
I hope the start of the school year has been smooth and successful for you and your family. I have had the pleasure of interacting with many of you and welcoming back all of the students at ISD! It has been so nice to see everyone again! I would like to take this opportunity to provide you with some information that may be helpful to you this school year.
We have a talented and caring team of professionals who consist of:
- Special Education Teachers: Mrs. Fernandez and Mrs. Babyak
- Speech and Language Pathologist: Ms. McElroy
- School Psychologist: Mr. Castiglia
- Occupational Therapist: Ms. Cobb
- Physical Therapist: Mr. Iway
- Professional Assistants: Ms. Thron, Mrs. Lamanna, and Mr. Santoro.
- Special Education Clerk: Mrs. Goggins
Top: Liz Goggins, Marsha Thron, Lindsey Babyak, Kenneth Santoro, Marlene Fernandez. Bottom: Mackenzie Cobb, Eugene Matejek, John Castiglia, Theresa McElroy
Hello! My name is Kimmia Lyon and I am excited to be a full-time School Psychology intern at ISD this school year. I am a third-year graduate student in the School Psychology program at Teachers College, Columbia University. I have a Master’s and Bachelor’s in Psychology and have spent the last few years writing early childhood development curricula. I look forward to partnering with the students and families at ISD!
Subcommittees of the PTA Council:
Special Education (SES)
Twice Exceptional Learners (2E)
The Special Education Subcommittee (SES) is a subcommittee of the PTA Council that focuses on the needs, issues and concerns of the families of students with disabilities. Another subcommittee of the PTA Council is Twice Exceptional Learners (2E), which focuses on the needs of students who are both advanced or "gifted" and have a learning difference / disability. Below are the District and ISD representatives for both the SES and the 2E subcommittees.
Your ISD Representatives this school year for SES & 2E can be reached at email@example.com. They are:
- Andi Cosby (SES)
- Ana Laborde (2E)
For the 2022-2023 school year, the District PTA SES subcommittee can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. The co-chairs are:
- Andi Cosby
- Audra O'Donovan
- Kathy Brady
For the 2022-2023 school year, the District PTA 2E subcommittee can be reached at email@example.com. The co-chairs are:
- Mabel Arteaga Balestra
- Cathy Goldstein
IEP (Individualized Education Program) & 504 Annual Review Meetings
PPT (Planning and Placement Team) and 504 meetings will be held on Thursdays this school year. In the weeks leading up to your child’s Annual Review, you will be contacted by Mrs. Goggins to schedule a date and time for the meeting. PPT and 504 meetings will occur remotely this school year via Google Meets. We are looking forward to interacting and collaborating with you within these meetings. Click on the image below or CLICK HERE for your procedural safeguards, which are also posted to the Greenwich Public Schools website.
Open communication between families and school staff is critical to the success of all children and particularly crucial for students with disabilities. We continue to promote communication strategies that are effective, but result in minimal impact on teachers’ instructional time with students. We ask that you use the following communication strategies with your child’s teachers.
The most effective way to communicate routine information with teachers (i.e., a sweater that was left in school, a note in a backpack) is by email. All such emails will be addressed typically within a school day. In some cases, additional time may be needed. In response to other types of communication (i.e., questions regarding your child’s program, etc.), the staff will offer to speak with you directly about your question. Email is NOT the best way to communicate serious questions or concerns about your child or your child’s program.
Questions About Your Child's IEP or 504
Questions about your child’s IEP or 504, including accommodations, services, etc., are best addressed directly with your child’s teacher and/or special education monitor. As a school district, we value personal connections and communication with students and families. For this reason, we encourage parents and teachers to communicate by telephone or within a Google Meet regarding questions or concerns about services, accommodations, etc. In some cases, a PPT or 504 meeting will be scheduled to discuss any changes to your child’s program. No decisions can or will be made outside of an PPT / 504 meeting unless the school has your written permission to do so.
Any issues with the school bus should be reported to the district transportation office through the use of their on-line system. Go to the district website (www.greenwichschools.org) and under the “Quicklinks” tab on the top, right hand side of the home page, click on the heading, “Report Bus Issues.”
General Issues and Concerns
Please follow the process of “chain of command” when dealing with issues and concerns. Your first contact should be the general or special education teacher, depending on the nature of the concern. If you are unable to reach a resolution through your contact with the teacher, you should contact Mrs. Firmender or Mr. Matejek. If you are still not satisfied with the solutions / response at the school level, you may contact the Special Education District Administrator for ISD, Karen Vitti. The next level of problem resolution would be Dr. Stacey Heiligenthaler, the Chief Officer of Special Education and Student Supports. Please follow this hierarchy in attempting to resolve any concerns or issues you may have with your child’s program. This will allow the staff, who are closest to the problem, the opportunity to resolve it before involving the administration.
We will be hosting a Parent Coffee on Friday, October 7th at 9:00. This is an opportunity to meet the staff and provides time to bring up topics that you would like to learn more about over the course of the school year. More details to come regarding this event.
Everyone at The International School at Dundee is thrilled to be welcoming our students back to school! We are looking forward to a wonderful 2022-2023 school year full of success and inspiration.
International School at Dundee