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September 2011

Message from Ms. Elinore Dear Parents,

In This Issue

Message from Ms. Elinore

It’s a school new year with lots to do and amazing changes in store. I never cease to be amazed in your children. The power of positive reinforcement brings abilities to our students that we never dreamed could come true. Many parents have already expressed how well their children are reading, writing and doing math.

Class Letters

So much is going on at SNS. Although academics are the most important goals to meet, there are others – social, adaptive, music and art that help our students “shine”.

Upcoming Events & Important Dates

I am so happy with our staff this year and I look forward to watching what they bring to the table. From preschool to the adults, our classrooms are very busy. My office is beginning to fill up with pictures the students have drawn and colored for me. I love when your children visit my office because most always it is to show off and to be given awards for their efforts. On occasion we have to have a talk but that is seldom. It is time for me to begin testing and our first field trip is just around the corner. We are very busy at SNS and it shows in your faces, your child’s faces and in the staff. Your teacher loves to teach and watch your children grow. So let me just say “Welcome” to a new year. Let’s keep it positive!!! What will happen is the greatest gift of all…SUCCESS!! - Ms. Elinore

660 Davis Road Lawrenceville, GA 30046

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678.442.6262

Board Notes

Annoucements Fundraising Update Thank Yous Ways to Donate

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snsnewsletter@live.com

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specialneedsschools.org


A Note From the Board

Happy Fall everyone,

School has started, and at least this week, we’ve seen a glimpse into fall with some cooler weather! I want to thank all of you who were able to make it out for Curriculum Night. Hopefully you found the evening beneficial for you and your teachers. In this message, I just want to reaffirm my main message at curriculum night. Fundraising is critical for the success of our school. As a school, we have always sought to keep tuition as low as possible, and the only way we can do this is through fundraising efforts. As most of you know, we were forced to raise our tuition a good bit this year in order to appropriately balance our budget. Even with this increase, we will operate at a loss without additional non-tuition revenue (fundraising/donations). We have some new opportunities coming for everyone to be able to help in this area. As the Fundraising committee communicates these opportunities, please give thought as to how you can help so that we can keep our tuition costs down. Thank you for all you do for your children and our school! Wally Bryan Chairman, Board of Directors

All About Classes

“The Radio Flyers” - Preschool & Kindergarten

“Funky Frogs” – Primary Class

We have blasted off to a new year. Preschool & Kindergarten would like to welcome Steven & Que-Shawn and welcome back Gracie, Parker & Brayden!

Hello all y’all Funky Frogs out there! I cannot believe that we have started another year of school! Can you?? First I would like to give a BIG Funky Frog welcome to Janai and Connor.

In our class we have been learning ALL ABOUT ME and exploring different types of TRANSPORTATION – fire trucks, police cars, school buses, etc. We would like to thank Ms. Jennifer Chitwood and Ms. Kara Bryan for all you do for our class and our school.! We are looking forward to flying into the new school year! - Ms. Amanda, Ms. Kim & Ms. Tina

In class we are happily hopping along in Math with a little addition and subtraction and in Language Arts we are working with all new stories. I am so toad-ly excited about this year and the many adventures in store! So…Let’s HOP to it!! - Ms. Ashley & Ms. Brittany


All About Classes (cont.)

Our Exemplary Elementary Class

Incredible Braves – Intermediate Class

I would like to welcome everyone back! What a privilege it is to have such a wonderful group. Each and every student has their own unique qualities and skills. I am looking forward to working with different learning styles, communication wants and needs, learning improving self help skills, interaction with peers and most of all academics.

The year has begun with great expectations! We are called the Braves because we are strong, energetic, enthusiastic and most of all BRAVE!

For the first couple of weeks we have been getting to know one another. Our first theme was “All About Me”. Our next theme is different emotions and “My Body”. We will continue to focus on sensory input and how it helps each child improve their learning style. I hope to continue to have all parents involved in every aspect of their child’s education. I thank you for all the help and input with your child. I’m looking forward to an outstanding year.

We love this classroom of boys and of course my one girl! The boys are typical little braves, always into things, and with questions, questions, questions! They are so very courageous about everything and they want to LEARN all they can! Our girl, well she is all girl! She has her own opinion about things. She is always challenging her counterparts which keeps them on their toes. She is also constantly asking questions and wants to learn! This class is full of students that want to read! They enjoy reading to their classmates. I never have to call on them – they beg me to have them read. How awesome!

Thank you parents for all you do for the class! But most of all, thank you for letting us have this opportunity to work - Ms. Connie, Ms. Karly & Ms. Ashley and learn from your children. I know this is going to be the best year ever because of our BRAVES! - Ms. Barbara & Ms. Christy

Middle School “Rancher’s” Ol’ Ms. Rachel had a “ranch” SNS and SNS With a Mariam here and Sean everywhere a Cara, Hector and Quintavius… Ol’ Ms. Rachel had a “ranch” SNS and SNS And in this class she had a Quintavius SNS and SNS With a multiplication here and a multiplication there …everywhere a multiplication. Ol’ Ms. Rachel has a “ranch” SNS and SNS And in this class she had a Mariam SNS and SNS With a dragonfly here and a dragon fly there… everywhere a dragonfly.

Ol’ Ms. Rachel had a “ranch” SNS and SNS And in this class she had a Sean SNS and SNS With a dime here, a quarter there… everywhere a dime or quarter. Ol’ Ms. Rachel had a “ranch” SNS and SNS And in this class she had a Cara SNS and SNS With a sight word here and a sight word there… everywhere a sight word. Ol Ms. Rachel had a “ranch” SNS and SNS And in this class she had a Hector SNS and SNS With a double digit addition here and a double digit addition there…everywhere a double digit addition. Ol’ Ms. Rachel & Ms. Alyssa had a GREAT “ranch” SNS and SNS!


All About Classes (cont.)

High School World Explorers

The High School World Explorers are off to a great start on their classroom voyage this year! Ms. Evelyn, Ms. Carrie and Ms. Kara have enjoyed getting to know three new students who are new to the school, Willie, Aaron and Morgan. We are also excited to be getting to teach the students new to HS - Micah, Nick & Matthew B. as well as being delighted to see our returning HS students – Matthew H., Daniel, John and Joey. We have been studying lots of exciting Science lately. We studied scientific experimentation and performed some neat experiments. It seems like everyone’s favorite was “Magic Milk”, where we added food colors and detergent to milk and ended up with a wildly swirling rainbow-colored display that lasted for about thirty minutes. Then we moved on to life processes and looked at plant and animal cells. We are now working on plant life cycles and have planted bean seeds in a variety of conditions so that we can find out what it takes to make a seed grow successfully. In Social Studies we have begun mapping our communities and our country. We have been using the compass

Reaching Beyond in “Post High” Welcome to a great new year and a new kind of class called “Post High”. We have two young men – Chris & Skylar in our class right now and hope for more in the future. These young men are doing their share of academics but also working on helping and improving themselves. We have lots of plans for the upcoming year, but for now they also are helping me work with other students on their County Fair art projects which have to go to the Fair by Sept. 12th. So parents, family and friend make plans now to go to the Gwinnett County Fair to see all our Arts and Crafts on display from Sept. 15th – 25th. - Ms. Janice

rose to determine directions and have graphed grid coordinates to find out which community services are offered in which locations on the map. In Cooking we have made gluten free blondies, an edible “cell” (that’s right), and gluten free brownies. We have four Language Arts reading groups in the High School and are reading exciting new books in each group. In our different sections we have been studying new words, contractions, alphabetizing, elements of fiction, paragraph writing and much more! Math is individualized and we have students studying addition, subtraction, regrouping with addition and subtraction, pre-algebra and algebra. It wouldn’t be high school without social time and we have had fun playing lots of games during our afternoon socialization sessions. We have played UNO, Yahtzee, Boggle, Bananagrams, Dominoes and have even had group coloring sessions! Everyone looks forward to the end of the day for the fun of hanging out with friends before the day ends. - Ms. Evelyn, Ms. Carrie, Ms. Kara & Ms. Shana


All About Classes (cont.)

The YALLS Are Back In Town

Speech and Language Groups

This year we are concentrating very hard on being “Independent” and to be an “Adult with a Job” and not a “kid” at school. It is very hard for our adults to make the transition from being in school to having a job. Their whole lives they have been going to school and now they work at the same school they started out at when they were babies, so why would they automatically think they are “on the job” here.

I’d like to welcome all new and returning families to Special Needs Schools. For those of you I haven’t met, I am Dyanne Wallace, the speech language pathologist who provides consultation and group lessons to the classes here at SNS.

So far this year I have observed all the students and chosen the initial communication goals for each class. The preschool will focus on joint attention to peers and toys Some of the independent jobs they will be learning and using action words to talk about what is happening this year are rolling coins, shredding, stuffing envelopes, around them. Ms. Ashley’s Primary Class will work on counting box tops and being a “runner” (delivering answering “wh” questions and using complete sentences. messages or paper work) to other classes. A couple Ms. Connie’s Elementary Class will work on increasing people are working part time as Parapros in the classroom. functional expressive communications systems, while Ms. We will also be opening the “YALLS Pantry” and selling ice Barbara’s Intermediate Class focuses on categorization cream on Fridays. We have made great progress already and organization of thoughts to express themselves more and they are all eager to learn more every day. completely. The Middle and High School students will concentrate on improving conversation skills, incorporating It never ceases to amaze me how many people even an art project into the lesson. Some of the students today have the mindset that people with disabilities “can’t” will also work to improve their ability to infer information have a job and be contributing members of the community. and answer inference questions from orally presented When we are “on the job” here you will never hear “we material. The YALLS class is working on understanding can’t” only “YES WE CAN!” a job evaluation form, what a contract means, and is also working to complete another wonderful folk art flag - Ms. Kelley painted over found objects. We look forward to seeing our art in a store or gallery soon! - Ms. Dyanne

Upcoming Events & Important Dates September

9/15-25 Gwinnett County Fair (SNS Art Projects on Display) 9/20 Fundraising Meeting 3:15pm @ SNS 9/29 Chick-Fil-A Spirit Night 5-8pm – Pike St. Location

October

10/7 End of 1st Qtr 10/10 NO SCHOOL Staff Planning Day 10/27 Special Olympic Basketball (Pri/Elem/Inter) 10/29 Fall Festival & Touch a Truck @ SNS

November

11/1 Special Olympic Basketball (MS) 11/2 Special Olympic Basketball (HS) 11/17 Thanksgiving Feast & Awards @ CTL 6:30 – 8:30pm 11/21-25 NO SCHOOL Thanksgiving Break


Fundraising Committee News

First of all we would like to thank all the families and staff who have been out to support our fundraisers and school so far this year. Skylar’s Run was a great event and absolutely beautiful weather. Followed by Macy’s Shop for a Cause which was a success for us as we were allowed to set up a table inside the Macy’s at The Mall of Georgia and raise even more money for the school. Hooter’s Night this past Tuesday was so much fun and patrons were very giving when it came to our school. We will do a few more of those nights before the middle of October. The next thing that we will do is a Fundraiser Committee Meeting on Tuesday September 20th at 3:15. Childcare will be provided so if you are interested in helping out please meet at Trailer B. We will at that time go over some of the already scheduled fundraisers for the 20112012 school year. We will also touch on our opportunity through Proof of Pudding at the Gwinnett Arena. We look forward to seeing all of you there. Chick-Fil-A Spirit Night is Sept. 29th @ Pike Street in Lawrenceville from 5-8pm. Our next big fundraiser is October 29th which will be our Fall Festival/ Touch A Truck event here at SNS. We will are looking for Vendors who might be interested in setting up a booth/table at the event, the cost will be $10.00 if you or anyone you know might be interested please let us know. These are the already scheduled fundraisers: October 29th: Fall Festival/Touch A Truck @SNS Campus February 3rd: Sock Hop @CTL March 9th: Spaghetti Dinner/Silent Auction @CTL April 20th: Golf Classic at Chateau Elan

Thank you all so much for your support and we are looking forward to a wonderful school year.

Looking for Grants

SNS continues to apply and search for grants in order to obtain additional funds. If anyone knows of any or if you come across grants that SNS would be eligable to apply for please contact the Fundraising Committee via email at karabryan@rocketmail.com or by phone at 678-887-2402. Please do not submit grant information unless approved by the school.


A Special Thank You Dear Friends, I know this letter is long in coming to you but truly I have not had the words to explain what you all mean to me. Last year was a very hard year for me to say the least. The hardest issue for me is not being available when staff and students needed me. Special Needs Schools is not a job to me, it is my LIFE! And never was that more true than in March and April of last year. First in March my visit to Gwinnett Medical where I was laying intubated with a dark cloud over my husband and children. “Will she make it” and if so at “what cost to her body” were the big questions!! We had asked for your prayers time and time again – for 12 surgeries, high fevers and 26 hospital visits in a 5 year span. This time was different. This time my family was petrified and felt lost. You knew just what to do. The waiting room became full of loving, kind and confident friends. You could have renamed the Gwinnett Medical Neurological waiting room the “SNS Waiting Room”. You made sure my family ate, you made sure they slept and you were always there to tell them it will be alright – whether inside you were worried or not. When I could breath on my own and woke up you were there. When I was confused you reassured me that it was going to be OK. You helped Adrian take care of my needs without ever questioning if you should! After that visit it was decided to save my life the leg must be removed. And again the waiting room was packed and three hours later I was less one leg but had gained my life back. No fever, no nausea, no chills – it was the right thing to do. For a moment let’s talk about prayer. At night when I was laying in the hospital bed I could actually hear your voices whispering in my ear. And it was powerful!! The therapy began right away in April and then came the “you can do it” and I did. You took turns staying at the hospital because Adrian’s life had been put on hold enough. You never blinked an eye and continued to help us. To the family who built the ramp and mows my yard – THANK YOU. It is one less thing to be worried about! To the family who gave me a new lap top computer so I could stay in touch – THANK YOU!! It allowed me to feel like I was still a part of the gang! To the families who brought meals – THANK YOU!! They were yummy. To the families who visited – THANK YOU!! It made the days go by and kept them light! To the families who welcomed me home with signs, balloons and decorated door – THANK YOU!! It was awesome to be home and that just made it better. For the phone calls, cards and well wishes – THANK YOU!! Most of all THANK YOU for all your PRAYERS. Still to this day I hear you! We know there is more to come, learning to walk, therapy twice a week and making new prosthetics from time to time. The “worst is over” and I don’t have the words to truly express my love and admiration for you all! So I will simply say THANK YOU!! You are all my angels… Love, Ms. Elinore


Very Special Thanks to... • • • •

More Thank Yous

All those staff and families who took precious time from their summer break to help get our school ready (painting, cleaning, repairs, moving “stuff”, organizing, etc.). “Elizabeth Circle @ FUMC” for misc. school and office supplies “Clipping for a Cause” ladies for cleaning supplies, etc. Mr. Holt & Mr. Kelley for repairing “this and that” at the drop of a hat…er...hammer!

…you are GREAT!!!

Ways to Donate

1. Put SNS in your Last Will and Testament.

2. Donate through the SNS Website (www.specialneedsschools.org) via “Google Checkout” - It’s a great way for your neighbors and out-of- town friends and families to help. 3. Get Matching Funds for your personal donations from your employer. 4. Ask your employer if they have any Charitable Grants Programs and then provide the SNS office with a contact name. 5. Ask your employer for an Outright Donation of: a) money (preferable) b) goods* c) services* * Note: Call the SNS Office or refer to the website to make sure what our needs really are at the time. 6. Refer to our Wish List on the Website (or in this newsletter) to purchase items or ask local businesses to donate the items. Caution: Please call the SNS office before doing this as we may have already asked them. We don’t want to wear out our welcome by having too many people contacting the same business! 7. Make a pledge to donate a certain sum each month.

Do you have an announcement, important dates or photos you would like to share? Please send to

snsnewsletter@live.com

The deadline for the next newsletter is November 12, 2011.


SNS Chronicle - September 2011