Monthly Archives: March 2014

Meeting Minutes: March 20, 2014

Highlights from the meeting:

Our meeting today included a presentation by Dr. Heller regarding her recent research on how teachers can more effectively manage situations where a student has a terminal illness and/or when a student death occurs. Her presentation highlighted information about the grieving process, and how many people grieve differently, as well as the stages of grief that many experience.

She also discussed how teachers can manage communication with their terminally ill students, and their peers within the school setting. We learned that there are various ways of going about this while maintaining a positive and encouraging environment for the student while they are school. We also discussed how other family members, especially siblings may need support if their sibling is experiencing a terminal illness. These siblings will need a support system as well in the school setting.

Dr. Heller’s research determined that while teachers are feeling much more supported regarding students’ terminal illnesses and death than they were more than twenty years ago, there is room to grow. It is Dr. Heller’s wish that teachers, students, and school staff are well supported in order to deal with these sensitive topics in the school setting, well before and after a student has died from a terminal illness. The presentation was very informative and prompted an engaging conversation among the group.

Announcements:

We are pleased to announce that Renee Dawson, itinerant OI teacher in Cherokee County, is going to join the consortium leadership team. She brings a great deal of knowledge to the table as well as a great deal of experience in professional development.

Here is a link to access the Medicaid Fair flyer that is being held on April 2nd in Fulton County, please share this information with your students and their parents.

Resource Fair 2014 P2P flyer

The consortium also discussed the possibility of hosting an OI symposium next year. This would allow OI teachers and other related professionals the opportunity to meet other OI teachers, and to share information and resources related to out field. If you are interested in assisting with the planning of this event, please contact Judy Bytheway at: bytheway@fultonschools.org.

Other announcements included the possibility that we are going to gain permission to receive Professional Learning Units for our meetings, as well as any other activities that we organize, such as a symposium. I will keep you posted on any developments regarding our PLU status.

Available OI Positions:

There are currently 1-2 OI positions available in the Gwinnett County School System. Please contact Eva Parks at: eva_parks@gwinnett.k12.ga.us if you are interested if you are seeking an OI position. There are also 1-2 OI positions open in the Columbia County School System in Evans, Georgia, located near Augusta. Please contact go to this web address to view and apply for the positions:

http://www.ccboe.net/pages/Columbia_County/Departments/Human_Resources

Lastly, the blog has been recently updated to include a list of helpful apps for our students and teachers. Please take a look at these apps under the “Useful Apps” tab at the top of the blog. Please feel free to share the blog with other teachers so that they can access this resource. Also, please share additional apps that you find helpful.

We are so appreciative that so many people were able to attend the meeting yesterday. We had 19 members attend from several counties in the metro area. Thank you!

The next meeting on May 15th, 2014 will be held at the Tools for Life Facility at Georgia Tech University. I will provide more information regarding directions and parking in the next few days.

If you have any questions, please contact me at bytheway@fultonschools.org, or use the “Contact Us” tab at the top of the blog.

Thank you,

Judy Bytheway

March 20th Meeting in Cherokee County

About the meeting:

Dr. Kathryn Heller will be presenting her findings from her recent research regarding issues surrounding students with terminal illnesses. We were able to complete surveys for her for the purpose of her research, as well as many other OI teachers and related service providers around the country. The article has valuable information regarding issues related to students with terminal illnesses and how we can effectively handle these situations. This is such a huge part of our roles as OI teachers, so the information will be really helpful. If you have a chance to read the article before the meeting, that would be great!

Here is the link to the article:

http://scholarworks.iu.edu/journals/index.php/pders/article/view/4248

You can download the article if you scroll to the bottom of the screen.

A couple of notes:

If you would like for me to add an OI teacher to this e-mail list that may benefit from our meetings, please send me their e-mail address. I am trying to keep the e-mail list as updated as possible.

The meeting will be held from 1:00-3:45 p.m.

There is another meeting that is going to be held in that room at 4:00, so we just need to make sure we exit the room by 3:45.

I hope that as many as people as possible can make the meeting!

I am working on finding a more central location for everyone for next year’s meetings. Our next meeting is at the Tools for Life Facility at Georgia Tech. We will be touring the facility so that we can become more familiar with the services that are offered there.

Thanks!