Engaged parents are key to student success, particularly if a student has special education needs.
Parents of students with special needs had a chance to get to know members of the Frisco ISD Special Education team and to make friends with other parents who are on similar journeys at a meet and greet event held in September at the Early Childhood School.
Parent trainers in the Special Education Department, along with director Marcia Shannon and other members of the SPED team, hosted the event to provide information to families. Also on hand were representatives from a variety of groups such as Best Buddies, Frisco Public Library, PTA and other parent support organizations.
“We want to make sure we are doing all we can for all of our students,” Shannon told parents.
She introduced many of the people from her department, describing them as a “team of people who are incredibly passionate about their students.”
In addition to serving students in the classroom, special education teachers also help students build socialization and job skills and assist with programs such Special Olympics and SibShop, a sibling support program.
Parents were encouraged to visit the Parent Sanctuary and Lending Library, a room at the Early Childhood School that is available for FISD parents to check out books, games and video support materials. The room is supported by Grants for Great Ideas, a Frisco Education Foundation program, and many parent volunteers.
FISD parent trainers are available in the Parent Sanctuary on Fridays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. These staff members help parents navigate resources available in the community and offer one-on-one training.
The lending library and room is also open on Mondays and Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Some parents have been attending this event for several years, taking the opportunity to visit with the SPED team outside of a formal classroom setting and to look for new programs that may have come to the area since last year’s event.
Others were first-time visitors. One middle school family said they have a great relationship with their son’s teacher but wanted to learn more about how the District prepares SPED students for high school and for transitioning to adulthood. It was a good time for them to meet directors and learn about programs that prepare students for life after school.
“Our son goes to high school next year and we want to learn about what the District offers in the way of transition resources for independent living,” the dad said.
Luckily, the transition coordinators for FISD secondary education were on hand to talk to him about the District’s program, as well as to point him in the direction of other parent resources available in the community and state.
The FISD Special Education Department stresses to all parents that teachers are the first point of contact for most questions.
“They know your student the best,” Shannon said. “They are always a good place to start.”
For more information about FISD’s special education programs, please visit the Special Education website.