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Individualized School Portfolio

Getting Starting: How to Use an Individualized School Portfolio for your child

One of the best ways to advocate for your child in the school systems is to develop a school portfolio.  Many teachers already use different kinds of portfolios for their own professional development as well as to track their studentís development.  A school portfolio is very individualized and personal.  It will give the teacher valuable information on how to work with the student with PWS.   Each student is different and what works best for one student may not work as well for another.  A school portfolio documents and reflects these changes as your child transitions to different schools or teachers.  The portfolio should follow your child from school year to school year, especially when transitioning to a new school. 

Making a school portfolio is very easy.  You can use a small 3-ring binder or any kind of notebook that suites your needs.  The best school portfolios are ones that are personalized.   You could include pictures of your child throughout their lifespan as well as share pictures of your child doing their favorite activities.  This will give a teacher a sense of your child as a person and the various activities your child likes.  You may also include some of your childís best work samples from various projects they completed independently. 

In the portfolio, you could include some of our education resources at www.pwsausa.org/support/links.htm and in our members only section.  We have several articles, handouts, and a School DVD that you can put in the portfolio.  To make your childís portfolio more effective and individualized, we have developed two different questionnaires.  The first questionnaire is for your childís current teacher to fill out.  Your childís teacher should fill it out towards the end of the school year.  The questionnaire will reflect your childís progress and highlights the best strategies that work for your child.  If possible, try to get the teacher fill out the questionnaire before any IEP meeting with will help the teacher write an effective IEP with PWS strategies in mind. 

We have also created a parent questionnaire where the parent writes out their concerns and documents the best strategies they see that works for their child.  This tool and can be used to document your concerns and is an extremely effective advocacy tool.  We encourage you to update it and write out a new questionnaire for every school year to document any changes in your child. 

These questionnaires should be done every year so that there is a running record of any new changes as well as any new effective strategies that are successful for your child.  This will help you as a parent see the progress made by your child as well as encourage the school to think about the best ways to help and support your child.   

The school portfolio is a very simple tool.  We encourage all parents to use and develop a school portfolio for your child.  If you have any questions on starting and developing a school portfolio, please call one of our crisis counselors at (800) 926-4797 or email at kbeaver@pwsausa.org.

 

Items you may want to include in the school portfolio:

         Pictures of your child at different ages as well as a current picture.

         Pictures of your child doing some of their favorite activities and doing essential educational activities.

          School handouts from our website under the links and resources and handouts found in this School Portfolio Packet.

o   Information to School Staff

o   Tips for Success for a child with PWS in a School Setting.

o   Positive Behavior Tips for Educators

o   Behavior Manifestations

o   Homework, A Lesson in Frustration

o   School Diet Plan

o   Food in the Classroom is Never OK

o   Snacks in the Classroom

o   Working with Students with PWS*

o   School Transportation/Bus*

o   Donít Stop Speech Therapy*

o   Information for Related Services Professionals*

o   Positional Asphyxia*

o   Food Behavior in School*

o   Helping with Diet Management*

*These resources are only found in this School Portfolio packet.

         School DVD: Strategies for Success

         Teacher and School Questionnaires.

         Parent Questionnaire.

         Letter to the school and teachers about the school portfolio and giving them any support.  

         Important samples of your child work that was done independently.

         Our School Diet form that is filled out by your childís doctor.

         Copies of medical information from your childís doctors that school staff and teachers need to know. You may want to include our medical alert pamphlet or other PWS medical resources from our website when necessary.

         Reports and notes from any therapist (Physical Therapy, Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy, etc.)

 

edited: 02/09/2012

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