Sunday, February 28, 2016

The UPSD All-Stars Will Win Next Time!

Hereford Elementary School Monthly Blog
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February 2016

Coordinating a Comprehensive System of Support

Kate Harman works to connect students and families to our community resources.

Hello Hereford Families!

My name is Katrina Harman, but you will most likely hear me referred to as “Kate”. I am your district Social Worker! Many families are unaware of the benefits of having such a position within their district, or that such a position even exists. Since this is a new position for the Upper Perkiomen District, I thought it best to share a little bit about what I do.
My role is to function as a support to all students and staff within the district. I spend much of my time in the four buildings of the district providing both direct and indirect services to staff, students and their families. One of the major job responsibilities I have is to connect families with community supports in our area.
Coordination of Support:
Many of the referrals I make are to The Open Link, which has been a wonderful resource for our families. If you have not already done so, please take some time to look through their webpage  I also support families through the process of identifying and setting up mental health supports, such as counseling, wrap-around, family based, and crisis interventions. Navigating the mental health system can be overwhelming, and the process of applying for Medical Assistance can be daunting, which is why I make myself available to answer questions and provide directions on how to accomplish both as best I can.

Consultative Support:
As a means to be proactive in the identification of needs and make myself available as early as possible in the process of supporting those needs, I provide consultative services as a member of the Hereford Child Study Team. In this setting, I am able to provide feedback, offer suggestions, and connect others with supports as early as possible. In addition, I make myself available at Hereford for staff and administration on a weekly basis, offering suggestions on resources and interventions that may best fit the needs of any particular student.

Direct Support:
Though it may seem as though my time would be limited through the coordination and consultative support services I provide, I do find time to work directly with students when I can. This is done through counseling sessions, interviews, crisis intervention and student groups on occasion. I am a licensed counselor and I will not hesitate to let you know that this is by far the best part of my job! Direct services are part of a team approach once coordination and consultation have been in place.

All of these services are provided district wide, in addition to my participation with the Open Links Domestic Violence Task force, building level attendance committees, Student Assistance Programs at the secondary level and the development of district protocols and procedures to better meet the needs of all of our students. I am also the district’s homeless liaison, and support families within our district who are experiencing homelessness or are at risk of becoming homeless.

Please take a moment to learn more about what services are available in our area by viewing my web page hyperlinked here or you can find it on the district's main page under the special education tab. I’m listed as “social worker”.

In Our Classrooms

UPSD partners with the Montgomery County Intermediate Unit to enhance literacy instruction in our K-5 classrooms.

Hereford & Marlborough Teachers Continue
Their Commitment to Lifelong Learning
On Friday, February 12th, the Hereford Elementary teachers participated in continuing professional development on the Balanced Literacy model.  Mrs. Amber Molloy, Program Administrator for Literacy at the MCIU, planned and presented this session in conjunction with UPSD instructional coaches Dr. April Gaugler, Mrs. Amy Miller and Mrs. Robin Ewer.

In this session, Hereford and Marlborough teachers developed a common definition for the Guided Reading component of the Balanced Literacy model:

“Guided reading is a targeted instructional approach of flexible groupings based on observation and assessment of student need. Teachers coach individual student’s reading behaviors that are needed to comprehend text and become independent readers.”
You might remember from a previous blog, our teachers were focusing on the Shared Reading component of the Balanced Literacy model.  What’s the difference?  It is best be summed up here:

Shared Reading is a teaching element.  Students are taught what readers do through demonstrations and teacher think alouds.  Guided Reading is a practice element.  In small groups, students practice what they have previously learned in read aloud and Shared Reading at their instructional level

In Our Community

Hereford students “leap” into a variety of activities.

Science Explorers After School Program
Hereford Elementary is offering this innovative, hands-on program dedicated to providing an opportunity for children to become engaged in the wonders of science. Science Explorers tries to make science cool and exciting through an interactive, hands-on format. Ever dissect a shark? What about a squid? Have you ever mixed together two liquids to create a solid? Made glowing slime? Examined a real heart? Built and launched your own rocket? Lifted a person using nothing but air? Email our instructor, Mrs. Cathie Hill if you’re interested in participating.


Annual Fifth Grade Square Dance
Long time UPSD physical education teacher, Mr. Leamer (Hereford) and his Marlborough counterpart, Mr. Brittain, showcased the hard work and practice of our fifth grade students.  On Friday, February 19, the Hereford fifth grades traveled to Marlborough for this annual event.  The square dance is a long time community tradition that teaches many life skills such as directionality, listening, taking turns and the importance of being active.


Harlem Wizards Visit UPHS
On Friday, February 26, the Upper Perkiomen All-Stars took on the Harlem Wizards.  It was a great night for everyone involved.  Thank you to all of the Hereford family members that took part in this successful event as volunteers and spectators.  


Hereford Proud

Hereford Elementary School
1043 Gravel Pike
Hereford, PA 18056
Phone: 215-679-4151
Fax: 215-679-1591

Twitter: @HFDLeadLearner
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