We have received some information about Eastside High School’s upcoming Spirit Week, and I hope you will check out the website, www.eastsidespiritweek.com, to see if there is something you can do to support the efforts of the students there. Since we have been chosen --- or at least our nature trail has been chosen--- to receive the money generated by Eastside’s Spirit Week, we want to do all we can to show our appreciation for their work.

This week students at Washington Center have enjoyed various instructional activities which have included science experiments, cooking projects and a Tour de France adapted bike-a-thon. One class learned about the Great Barrier Reef and another baked French pastries. Also, a number of our students are working in the TeachTown program which provides computerized instruction based on many of the principles associated with Applied Behavior Analysis. The goal is to improve receptive language by introducing vocabulary, complex language skills, questions and verbal directions, while teaching basic reading and math skills. There is lots of repetition and students choose their own reinforcers when they are successful. 

We have a couple of opportunities to let you know about. First, one of our new teachers, Linda Kemp, has offered to conduct a few sign language classes for interested parents or staff members. If you would like to learn some basic signs to use with your student, let us know. We want to see how much interest there may be before we try to actually schedule something. The second event you may want to know about is a workshop for parents being sponsored by Children’s Hospital called “A Survival Guide for Parenting a Child with Healthcare Needs” and it will be offered Tuesdays, September 13 and October 11, from 6 to 8 pm in Support Tower 61 at Greenville Memorial Hospital. Topics covered will include communicating with the medical team, learning basic medical terms, organizing medical information and navigating helpful technology. The deadline to register is Tuesday, September 6, so coming right up. If interested, you will need to call Emily Durham at 864-455-3639. 

Please be reminded that any visitor or volunteer coming into our school – and we do welcome visitors and volunteers--- must sign in with a state recognized photo ID. This is necessary so that everyone who has access to students is scanned through the “Sex Offender” lists. We at Washington Center, as well as the folks at the district level, are totally committed to keeping everyone at school as safe as possible, and the extra caution related to visitors and volunteers is totally related to that goal. Also in the safety domain, we had a “First Responder Drill” today in order to practice emergency procedures that might have to be employed in case of a medical emergency. Everyone did great. 

PTA met this week and discussed plans for Family Night which will be held on November 3 at 6:30 PM. As in the past, PTA will serve dinner for staff and families and Sharon Russo is hard at work lining up representatives from various agencies to be here to talk about services they provide for individuals with disabilities. On September 23, PTA will begin their annual fund raiser through Cherrydale Farms, and throughout the fall PTA will be sponsoring a “brick sale” to raise money for our new nature trail. Also, next month, on October 5, the PTA meeting will be held on the Hollis campus, and we hope some of the parents of Washington Center at Hollis students will join us for the 1 pm meeting. While at Hollis take a few minutes to walk down the hall to see the beautiful photography and paintings which were created by and donated to us by students at the district’s Fine Arts Center. They are on display in our hall and we think the work the Fine Arts folks did is amazing. Also, speaking of halls, you may have noticed that in the halls at both locations, outside classroom doors, there are pictures of teachers followed by information regarding their credentials. This was a suggestion from SIC last year, and we can thank Colleen Salling and Denise Wilkerson for getting these ready and making certain each teacher has one on her door.

Hearing screenings will take place at Hollis next week on Tuesday and will be done on main campus on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Also next week, Kim Poole’s class will be going to Furman for their aquatics instruction, and on Friday, teacher cadets from Wade Hampton High School will be visiting us. 

No school Monday for Labor Day; pictures at Hollis on September 20 and on the main campus on the 21st; and, Challenge Day at Bob Jones on September 30.