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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Wonderful Opportunity for Our Class!

Mrs. Papasodoro, Julia's mom, is hoping to offer our class a special opportunity to find out more about how we print and use handwriting in school. Please read her letter below to get more information about our unique opportunity next week!

Dear Parents/guardians of Room 211,

My name is Jen Papasodoro and my daughter Julia is a student in Miss Varrell's class this year along with your son/daughter. I am also an Occupational Therapist and work in a small elementary school in Melrose. In addition, I am a certified handwriting therapist through a program called Handwriting without Tears (
http://www.hwtears.com/) . This training/skill set allows me to help my students improve their handwriting skills so that they are more fluent with writing and even math skills for school, as well as consult with teachers and parents on handwriting strategies/issues.

Handwriting without Tears (HWT) is looking to pilot a handwriting screening tool they recently developed. This tool measures handwriting proficiency and would allow staff to identify students/classrooms that may need intervention in the area of handwriting. It was designed to be a quick informal screening (not a standardized assessment) that goes along with the Response to Intervention model in order to measure status and progress over time. HWT is asking their certified instructors to volunteer to pilot this program in a classroom not currently using the HWT model for instruction. Since the school that I work at uses the model already, I asked Mr. Lyons and Miss Varrell if I could trial the screening on Room 211 at Pine Glen. I am looking to come into the classroom next Wednesday, November 4th at 9:30, as I need to get the data to HWT before November 10th. I have a current CORI on file, and would be in the class for only 15 minutes. It would be done as a whole class activity. I would be doing this for the sole purpose of compiling data for HWT to see if the tool has set out to do what they intended. The individual student information would not be shared with anyone at Pine Glen. I would not be making recommendations or providing services for individual students, however the information could prove to be useful for Miss Varrell in knowing how the class is doing overall in the area of handwriting. Two years ago I voluntarily provided a workshop to Pine Glen's Kindergarten and 1st grade staff on strategies for improving handwriting skills, and the staff was quite receptive to the information, and felt it would serve the students well.

If anyone has any questions regarding this screening, please contact me at 781-272-8894 or
jmpap@verizon.net. I am looking for your permission to participate in piloting the screening in this classroom. If you are opposed to having your child participate, please let Miss Varrell know as soon as possible.

I encourage you to visit the HWT website for more information on this model. I appreciate your attention and cooperation.

Sincerely,

Jen Papasodoro

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