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ESE Department News

“Guardianship: How to Best Protect Your Child When He or She Turns 18” on May 7th

Guardianship Presentation FlyerThe St. Johns County School District Exceptional Student Education Parent Advisory will welcome speaker

Stephen Furnari
Florida Attorney and Founder Of Guardianproject.Us

for a presentation titled:

How to best protect your child when he or she turns 18

Date / Time:
Tuesday, May 7, 2019, from 6:00 P.M. – 7:30 P.M.

Fullerwood Training Center
10 Hildreth Drive
St. Augustine, FL 32084

What You Will Learn:

  • Why you need to consider guardianship if your child has a developmental disability
  • 8 alternatives to guardianship  parents use in Florida
  • The benefits and risks of guardianship and its alternatives

Parents, educators, administrators and business representatives are invited and encouraged to attend.

“Behavior Management and Social Emotional Development” on April 2nd



David O. Childers, M.D.
Behavioral Pediatrician

for a discussion on:

Behavior Management and Social Emotional Development

Please register for this Parent Advisory Committee Meeting.

April 2, 2019 from 6:00pm – 7:30pm

Fullerwood Training Center
10 Hildreth Drive
St. Augustine, FL 32084

To provide parents of 504, Gifted, and ESE students an overview of typical language development and how it pertains to parenting and child behavior.

“Raising Struggling Learners to be Successful, Durable and Resilient” on March 5th


Edward C. Taylor, Ph.D., 
Child and Adolescent Psychologist, International Dyslexia Association Board of Directors 2011 -2017

for a discussion on:

Raising Struggling Learners to be Successful, Durable and Resilient

Date/Time:  03/05/19 from 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
Location:  Fullerwood Training Center, 10 Hildreth Drive St. Augustine, FL 32084

Goal: To provide interventions and strategies to parents that will assist students in developing resiliency skills and attitudes, which will enable them to persist in the face of adversity.

Learn about Brooks Rehabilitation’s Pediatric Recreation Program on February 12th

On February 12 from 6:00pm to 7:30pm, the ESE Parent Advisory of St. Johns County School District Exceptional Student Education will welcome Maggie Maurice, CTRS, and Megan Hyman M.S., OT/L of Brooks Rehabilitation to provide an overview of the free programs offered by Brooks Rehabilitation for kids from birth to 17 years old.

The Pediatric Recreation Program provides a supportive environment for youth with physical and/or developmental disabilities to engage recreation activities alongside their peers. All activities are FREE for participants.

The presentation will be given at the School Board Office located at 40 Orange Street in St. Augustine, FL.


Strategies to Assist Children to Cope with Anxiety on 1/8/19

ESE FlyerOn January 8, 2019, The ESE Parent Advisory Committee of St. Johns County School District will welcome Marlena Jenkins, Lead Clinician for the UF Jacksonville Diagnostic Learning and Resource Systems Multidisciplinary Center for a discussion on “Strategies to Assist Children to Cope with Anxiety.”

The discussion will take place at the Fullerwood Training Center located at 10 Hildreth Drive, St. Augustine, FL 32084 from 6:00pm until 7:30pm.

Annual Transition Planning Parent Advisory Meeting

As of 1997, federal law mandates that students with disabilities who have an IEP (Individual Education Plan) must begin a process called transition planning at age 14.  This program is designed to connect students with the proper transition planning services that give them the important skills and career planning tools to better prepare them for a successful life after high school, whether it be in a college setting or in the community.

As a method of ensuring parents and students are informed, on October 2, 2018 at Fullerwood Training Center, the Parent Advisory Committee brought together SJCSD ESE Transitions and community-based organizations to support students that are beginning or already involved in transition planning.

SJCSD Transitions Programs:  Life Work and Project Search, The ARC, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (VR), Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) and Project 10 all shared pertinent information for parents, students, teachers and administrators. Parents and students left with additional knowledge about transition planning services in SJCSD schools and community. If you missed this event and would like to know more, you can access the presentations on the ESE Advisory Council web page.

Donate Your Gently Used Hearing Aids

Did you know that there are almost 150 deaf or hard of hearing students in St. Johns County Schools? Many of these students wear hearing aids daily to help them hear and learn. Hearing aids are very expensive and often not covered by health insurance. This is why St. Johns County Schools is proud to have partnered with Lend An Ear, a local non-profit organization, that provides the gift of hearing by furnishing quality hearing aids to those with limited or no means in an atmosphere of dignity and compassion.

You can help our deaf and hard of hearing students by donating your gently used hearing aids today. You can drop off hearing aids at the St. Johns County School District Office at 40 Orange St., St. Augustine, Fl. 32084 or at a site near you.

Please check the Lend An Ear website for additional drop off locations near you. All donations are tax deductible! Thank you so much for supporting this wonderful organization & the deaf/hard of hearing students in St. Johns County.

Drop off locations are listed on the Lend An Ear website.

Phone: 904-241-HEAR or 904-241-4327
E-mail: [email protected]

October 25 was the Lend An Ear gala where the SJCSD was presented with another eight sets of hearing aids valued at $35,000 – $40,000! On September 28, they donated three sets of hearing aids and hundreds of hearing aid batteries valued at $20,000-$25,000. Thanks to Scott Hetzinger, Executive Director of Lend An Ear and Sonia Howley, ESE Program Specialist, for getting this program off the ground for the benefit of our deaf and hard-of-hearing students.

Disability Employment Awareness Awards

The World Golf Village Renaissance Resort, St. Augustine, home to the St. Johns County School District’s Project SEARCH site was honored as an exceptional employer for adults with disabilities by Florida Ability Works. Byron Pennington, Project SEARCH instructor, represented the hotel and school district at the ceremony on October 4 in Tallahassee, which was hosted by the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, and the Division of Blind Services. Florida was designated as an Employment First State with the intent to raise expectations that employment should be prioritized for individuals with disabilities and to change systems to better support integrated employment.

The St. Johns County School District Project SEARCH site had a 100 percent employment rate with the nine student-interns at the end of their first year and are starting strong into year two with eight student interns who are already making great progress and assimilating nicely into the hotel environment.

**Pictured here is Byron Pennington, Project SEARCH instructor


Project Search

Project SEARCH and the new 2018-2019 interns are back in action at the Renaissance World Golf Village Resort. Now in their second week of orientation, the interns have undergone numerous team building activities and hands on training in several different departments. They have also had intensive instruction that covers self-advocacy, communication, task analysis and the different department roles and responsibilities. Toward the end of this week and into next week the interns will be transferring what they’ve learned so far in their orientation weeks and begin shadowing different department employees, supervisors and managers. Soon after, everyone will be placed into their first of three internships. We could not be more proud of our group of interns this year and we can’t wait to celebrate all their future successes!

*Pictured here are the new 2018-2019 Project SEARCH Interns with The Renaissance World Golf Village Resort’s managers and supervisors.*

ESE Parent Advisory Committee Meeting

St. Johns County School District, Exceptional Student Education welcomes Nata Salvatori, PT, DPT, OCS, SCS, FAAOMPT and Sarah Lahey, PhD, for a discussion on “Concussion and the Impact on Learning: A Team Approach.” The meeting will be held on Tuesday, December 4, 2018, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Fullerwood Training Center located at 10 Hildreth Drive, St. Augustine, FL 30284. For more information, please view the flyer for the event.