• Department of Exceptional Student Services

Department of Exceptional Student Services

The Department of Exceptional Student Services (DESS) is working in collaboration with the NPSB Curriculum Team on instructional materials. If you have specific

questions regarding your child’s IEP or special education services, contact Danna LaCaze at dtlacaze@nat.k12.la.us or Shelia McDonald at smcdonald@nat.k12.la.us.

Parents: This is not meant to increase pressure or stress for you or your child. The resources listed are simply options to explore during this time of unprecedented disruption in our education system. Do what is best for your family. If you need assistance, please reach out to your child’s teacher or email questions/concerns to closurequestions@nat.k12.la.us.

Accessibility/Accommodations/Modifications

*If you need access to paper-based or printed material, email dtlacaze@nat.k12.la.us or leave a voicemail at (318) 357-7180 letting us know how to reach you.

  • Accessibyte - Makes fun, interactive, fully accessible apps for users who are visually impaired, hearing impaired, have dyslexia, or other reading difficulties.

  • Google Tools for Struggling Students – Chrome extensions for struggling students and those with special needs

  • Learning Without Tears - Providing free access to award-winning online programs supporting handwriting instruction, keyboarding, and early learning skills.

  • Special Needs for Special Kids - This site is uploading bi-weekly lessons in an online learning environment for students with moderate and/or significant disabilities.

  • Widgit - Offering a free 21-day trial that would be great for creating visual schedules for kids to use at home to help provide some structure and predictability.

  • There are several instructional opportunities listed under K-8 that offers text-to-speech features and that are tailored to meet various learning abilities:

    • Zearn, Epic, Scholastic Reading, LPB

  • Read&Write Resources: Natchitoches Parish Schools provide a digital equitable literacy support called Read&Write for Google Chrome, a toolbar with over 20 tools that helps students read, write, and study independently.
  • Daily Schedule by Khan Academy– Developing a routine for home learning will help everyone stay on track and minimize meltdowns due to unexpected happenings. If you don’t know where to start, check out this sample schedule developed by Khan Academy. Please adapt it to fit your own needs.

Parent Resources

  • Exceptional Lives - A personalized disability information platform for families, caregivers, and professionals. It's not easy to be home-bound with children with special needs during this COVID-19 Pandemic! The Exceptional Lives team is here to help.
  • LASARD - Does your child have a hard time letting you know their wants and needs? Check out this short video with tips to work on communication at home. LASARD has lots of great parent friendly resources linked to their Facebook page!
  • Indiana Resources Center for Autism – New social narratives to address COVID awareness and related information to help students better understand what is happening within the community.  The resource center also provides an array of many other narratives/schedule formats that might be helpful to parents.
  • Families Helping Families Region 7 - For more information about Families Helping Families Region 7 services please feel free to contact us at (318) 226-4541 or 1-877-226-4541.

Academic Enrichment

Reading and conversing with your child is recommended. Limit the amount of time spent on each academic task to 20-30 minutes. Take breaks. Have fun! Learning should not be stressful. Lots of learning can happen at home without worksheets and screens. Play outside when the weather is nice, make crafts from simple items at home, and spend time together!

  • Age of Learning is providing schools with free home access to the following programs with code SCHOOL3673:

    • ABCmouse.com Early Learning Academy - Comprehensive, research-validated curriculum for preschool through second grade.

    • Adventure Academy - Educational multiplayer online game for elementary and middle school students with thousands of learning activities.

    • ReadingIQ - Digital library and literacy platform for students 12 and under designed by reading experts to improve literacy skills.

  • At Home - Launched by Louisiana Public Broadcasting in partnership with the Louisiana Department of Education.

  • Brain Pop and Brain Pop Jr - Teacher-approved content, games, and tools.

  • Drawing Prompts – Quick and easy printable templates for your kiddos who like to draw and create masterpieces

  • eSpark Learning – Free at home access to differentiated math and reading platforms for students in grades K-5.

  • NASA– The entire collection of images, sounds, and video are available and publicly searchable online.

  • n2y Solutions–  Free home access to programs, including Unique Learning System, News-2-You, Positivity, L3 Skills, and SymbolStix Prime. Begin by checking with your child’s special education teacher to see if they are providing instructional support through n2y solutions. Your child may already have an account for Unique.
  • Storyline Online - Books read out loud by authors / famous people

  • Wilbooks – Offering free reading resources for Pre-K through 3rd grade. Over 1,000 online books (English and Spanish), over 100 educational videos, poetry, and more.

  • XtraMath® - Helps students transition from counting or calculating the basic math facts to recalling them.

  • VocabularySpellingCity is offering free access for the rest of the school year to every school affected. To take advantage of this offer, enter the code: VSCFree90upon registration.

Explaining COVID-19 to Children

There's so much talk about the virus on the media and no reason for our students to feel nervous or scared. Here are some social stories about COVID-19 and how to stay healthy:

“Let's Talk About The Coronavirus” Social Narrative Video (UM-NSU):https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xkZ23tDzN4c&feature=youtu.be

Flu/Illness Social Story (Autism Speaks):https://www.autismspeaks.org/sites/default/files/flu_teaching_story_final%20%281%29.pdf