Network News Feed

Statewide PDA Courses Opening Soon

FDLRS proudly announces the Online Professional Development Alternative (PDA) courses which will be available beginning in January. For a listing of available courses, and registration information, please see the PDA Flyer.

Suspensions Don’t Teach

Restorative practices—an alternative to punitive justice—keep kids in school, where they can learn how their behavior affects others.

The world of education is alive with buzzwords like innovation, inclusion, and mindfulness; another term gaining traction is restorative practices, also called restorative justice. Restorative practices are a burgeoning alternative to traditional punitive justice such as suspensions (both in school and out of school) and other exclusionary forms of discipline.… – See more
From Edutopia

National Disability History and Awareness

FDLRS Sunrise has created the following video in recognition and support of National Disability Awareness month. We invite you to view to learn more about how to better relate to individuals with disabilities in your lives.

How School Punishment is Being Replaced by Restorative Approaches

Many of us attended schools where, when you broke a rule, violated a policy or just made a poor decision, the discipline you received was often punitive in nature. This approach to discipline is what we characterize as a “catch and punish” model… – See more
From Community Matters

Para to Teacher Tuition Support Program

The Para-to-Teacher Program provides tuition support for paraprofessionals to earn a bachelor’s degree in exceptional student education, deaf education, or education of the visually impaired, from a Florida college or university. For more information, see the program flyer or visit the Florida ESE website.

BEESS Weekly Update

Keep up-to-date with the latest information from the Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services (BEESS) by following the BEESS Weekly Memo, a newsletter which will update online every Friday. Archived issues can be browsed as well, to be sure you don’t miss an update.

Lakeland Public Library Sensory Story Time

Beginning in January, the Lakeland Public Library will be offering Sensory Story Time for children ages 3-10 on the autism spectrum or with other sensory sensitivities.

For more information, view the flyer or the Sensory Story Time page.

Hardee County School District ESE Monitoring and On-Site visit with FDOE

img_1337-jpgFDLRS/FIN Sunrise and SEDNET participated in the Hardee County School District ESE Monitoring and On-Site visit with FDOE. The focus was on graduation, dropout and math achievement at the middle school level. Focus groups were conducted at the elementary, middle, and high school levels with teachers, parents, administrators, and students. Information gathered from these groups is being used to develop a plan of action to better meet the needs of all students in Hardee county.

See more photos on our Facebook!

2017 CASE/FOIL/FASSA Collaborative Meeting

Registration is now open for the 2017 Collaborative Meeting between the Florida Council of Administrators of Special Education (CASE), the Florida Organization of Instructional Leaders (FOIL), and the Florida Association of Student Services Administrators (FASSA), which will be held Feb. 16-17 in Altamonte Springs, FL. The theme of the collaborative meeting will be Reinventing Special Education with a Growth Mindset and features guest speakers Tawana Williams and Dr. Jacob Williams. For more information, or to register, see the event flyer.

FDLRS Sunrise at ZombieFest

Saturday, October 15th, the FDLRS Sunrise team went to Lakeland’s ZombieFest to pass out ghoulish treats to the little monsters, and, more importantly, beneficial program information to their parents.

See more photos on our Facebook

ESE Endorsements Tuition Support Program

The Exceptional Student Education (ESE) Endorsements Tuition Support Program provides financial assistance to ESE teachers who are teaching students identified as having Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Severe/Profound or PreKindergarten/ESE (PreK/ESE) in Florida public schools.

For more information, or to apply, visit the Florida ESE website.

2016-2017 School Information and Resources

The 2016-2017 school year is upon us, and with it, a listing of Supports for District and School Leaders, Teachers, and Students and Parents. Download the Information and Resources document.

Infant, Toddler, and Preschool Developmental Screenings Announced

To better serve our communities, professionals from the early childhood community are coming together to provide developmental screenings for children, from newborns to the age of 5. The screenings will begin the process to determine if your child is eligible for services that may be helpful in increasing their success upon entering school. Screenings for vision, hearing, speech, language, behavior, and overall development will be provided by appointment. Screenings locations and dates are provided below.

Date Location City
September 23, 2016 Bartow First Assembly of God Bartow
October 21, 2016 Medulla Baptist Church Lakeland
November 18, 2016 Oasis Community Church Lakeland
December 16, 2016 St. Ann Catholic Church Haines City
January 20, 2017 First Baptist Church of Lake Alfred Lake Alfred
February 24, 2017 Presbyterian Church in the Highlands Lakeland
Marh 17, 2017 First Presbyterian Church Lake Wales
April 21, 2017 First Baptist Church of Auburndale Auburndale
May 19, 2017 First Baptist Church of Winter Haven Winter Haven
June 23, 2017 Poinciana Community Center Poinciana

For further information, click here for the flyer, or to schedule an appointment, please call (863) 647-4258.

Social Skills Strategies for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Stephanie Brooks and Dr. Poinsetta Tillman presented at the 18th Annual Family Cafe and Summit on Disabilities, on the topic of Social Skills Strategies for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to over 120 participants.

Brooks1“Social Skills are essential for all individuals throughout their lifespan. Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) encounter unique social challenges in the school settings and communities. Children with ASD can develop the social skills they need with the appropriate supports, education, and practice. In this session, parents gained practical knowledge about strategies that help develop social skills, and discussed methods for teaching social interactions.”

University of Miami Master of Science in Education with Pre-K Disabilities Endorsement

University of Miami is accepting applications for it’s M.S.Ed. program, with concentration in Early Childhood Special Education. For more information, view the Program Brochure.

BPIE – Significant Impact for Administrators

School BPIEs due by the end of the school year.

For technical assistance and support, contact Poinsetta Tillman or Bonnie Dupuis.

Florida Department of Education Announces New Website

The Florida Department of Education has created a new website, entitled, which provides Florida Standards-aligned student tutorials and resources for grades K-12 in the areas of Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and Civics. Additional tutorials are being added.