Dear Students, Parents, Staff and Community Members,
Cannon Valley Special Education Cooperative, formerly CREC, has a long and rich history in our community strongly supported by the dedicated students, parents, staff and community members in the Faribault and Northfield communities. During the 2015-16 school year, Faribault and Northfield collaborated, along with Medford and Owatonna schools, to create a new special education cooperative named Cannon Valley Special Education Cooperative (CVSEC). Moving forward, starting this school year, Cannon Valley Special Education Cooperative will provide leadership to all off-site programs including the SUN Program at Laura Baker, STEP 18-21 program and Alexander Learning Academy, ALEX (formerly Reflections and Focus programs). These programs provide highly individualized learning experiences for students in kindergarten through age 21 identified as needing more structure, support and modifications than can be accommodated in the traditional academic setting.
At the Cannon Valley Special Education Cooperative, we seek a learning environment where parents, as primary educators of their children, actively participate alongside teachers to develop the unique gifts and talents of each individual child. Further, we create a safe, welcoming learning environment where students have high academic expectations and are provided with daily opportunities and support to develop and deepen their own social, emotional and mental health growth.
Parents, teachers, staff, students and a strong community partnership with Faribault Public Schools, Medford Public Schools, Northfield Public Schools and Owatonna Public Schools work in partnership to achieve Cannon Valley Special Education Cooperative’s mission to provide all students with opportunities necessary to be successful in their home, school and community in a safe and nurturing environment. As we start the new school year, we hope that you get a sense of who we are as a school community—one that is committed to a high quality, comprehensive academic program centered around recognizing each student’s individual gifts and talents, fostering a love of lifelong learning, the desire to develop social emotional skills and learning to serve our community.
As we transition to new leadership at Cannon Valley Special Education Cooperative for the 2016-2017 school year, we would like to formally introduce ourselves and affirm our commitment to maintain the educational excellence known to the Faribault and Northfield communities, as we welcome Medford and Owatonna communities and children. The leadership team consists of the following people:
Cheryl Hall will continue in her role as Director of Special Services in Northfield Public Schools and will be the Director of Cannon Valley Special Education Cooperative. Ms. Hall has over 30 years of experience in teaching and special education leadership, working with multiple districts in our cooperative. Phone: 507-645-3410/Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Robert Dehnert will continue in his role as Director of Special Services in Faribault Public Schools and will be the Associate Director of Cannon Valley Special Education Cooperative this year. Mr. Dehnert has over 18 years of experience in special education leadership and was the director over the former CREC programs. Phone: 507-333-6004/Email: email@example.com
Tom White will be the Coordinator of the SUN at Laura Baker in Northfield and the STEP 18-21 program in Faribault. Mr. White has over 20 years of experience working with children and families. Phone: 507-366-1326/Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
News and Notes:
Cannon Valley Special Education Cooperative:
Programs: SUN Program at Laura Baker in Northfield, grades K-12, STEP 18-21 program in Faribault and Alexander Learning Academy in Faribault, grades K-12.
Membership districts: Faribault Public Schools, Medford Public Schools, Northfield Public Schools and Owatonna Public Schools.
CVSEC Board Meetings: On the fourth Tuesday of every month at 4:30 p.m., board meetings are held at the Faribault District office, located at 710 17th Street SW, Faribault, MN 55021. The board consists of Superintendents and one board member from each member district. The public is welcome to attend.
SUN Program at Laura Baker: Located at 211 Oak St. Northfield, MN. Phone: 507-366-1326. This is a highly structured and individualized program for students who have significant needs in the areas of: behavior, communication, self-regulation, mental health and academic assistance. The SUN Program at Laura Baker specializes in working with students who fall on the autism spectrum. The curriculum supports each student’s academic, social and emotional development, emphasizing the importance of working both independently and collaboratively with other students.
STEP 18-21: Located at Town Square, 201 Lyndale Ave. S, Faribault, MN. This is a new location and phone: (Will be announced soon). The focus of the STEP Program is to prepare students to live as independently as possible after their high school experience. This individualized program is designed for students ages 18-21 who have a current Individualized Education Plan (IEP) which demonstrates significant transition needs. There are four key components to the program: (1) Classroom Instruction, which offers courses that are designed to meet the unique needs of each student and help them obtain their high school diploma; (2) Practical Assessment Exploration System Lab, which helps students explore their work interests and skills and provides hands-on simulated work exploration and work behavior development; (3) Work Experience Opportunities, which matches students with work opportunities to help them further explore their interests and meet their educational needs; and (4) a Learning Lab, which provides students with access to a kitchen, laundry facilities and a living space to develop transition skills.
Alexander Learning Academy: Located at 128 8th Ave. NW Faribault, MN. Phone: 507-209-2223. This program serves students with significant social, emotional and behavioral needs. Students who qualify for mental health services are provided therapeutic support during their school day. Fernbrook Family Services staff work collaboratively within the school program.
Open House/Meet the Teacher:
All programs invite you and your family to an open house on Thursday, September 1, 2016 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. You will have an opportunity to see the buildings and meet the staff. There will be light refreshments served.
Calendar, School Hours and Wednesday Late Start:
The first day of school is Tuesday, September 6, 2016.
Included in this letter is our school calendar. Cannon Valley Special Education Cooperative programs (SUN Program at Laura Baker, STEP 18-21 and Alexander Learning Academy) will follow the Northfield Public Schools calendar. Please note: even if Faribault, Medford or Owatonna schools have school, but Northfield doesn’t, we will not have school at our program that day. We will always follow Northfield Public Schools calendar.
- Every Wednesday, school will have a late start and begin at 9 a.m. Please plan accordingly for student supervision. The buildings will open at 9 a.m.
- Transportation is arranged through your resident district. Please check with your local school district about bus pick-up and drop-off times.
- Transportation Contact Information
Northfield: Benjamin Bus: JoAnn Gilbert, Special Transportation - 507-645-5720
Faribault Transportation: Iliana Pinon, Transportation Specialist - 507-333-6001
Medford Transportation Company: Lorice Wilke - 507-456-6876.
Ow atonna Transportation Company: 507-451-5262
Fernbrook Mental Health Services:
School Supply List:
Your student is welcome to bring basic school supplies, such as:
- ALEX Elementary grades K-6: pencil box, 2 pens, 10 pencils, 4 folders, washable markers, glue stick, small scissors, kleenex box, 2 wide ruled notebooks, box of 24 crayons, pencil sharpener, ruler and a ream of copy paper.
- ALEX Secondary grades 7-12: folder for each class, notebook for each class, pencil, pen, calculator, kleenex box and a ream of copy paper.
- STEP 18-21: folder for each class, notebook for each class, pencil, pen, calculator, kleenex box and a ream of copy paper.
- SUN Program at Laura Baker grades K-6: pencil box, 2 pens, 10 pencils, 4 folders, washable markers, glue stick, small scissors, kleenex box, 2 wide ruled notebooks, box of 24 crayons, pencil sharpener, ruler and a ream of copy paper.
- SUN Program at Laura Baker grades 7-12: folder for each class, notebook for each class, pencil, pen, calculator, kleenex box and a ream of copy paper.
Students at the Alexander Learning Academy will have lockers in their homeroom classrooms to store their coat and belongings.
SUN Program and STEP 18-21 will have access to lockers in one location at each site.
Cell Phones and Other Electronics:
Cell phones and other electronics are not allowed on campus, unless given permission by their teacher. Students will store electronics in their locker, and they may be retrieved by the student at the end of the day, unless permission is granted by staff.
School Safe Zone:
The “locked door” policy for the safety of our children and the faculty will be in effect this year. The main entry will be in the front of the school, and entrance will be granted through a buzzer and intercom. All visitors are required to sign in at the office and receive a VISITORS PASS. Once again, we thank you for your cooperation as we continue this safety measure.
- School pictures will be scheduled to occur at the Alexander and SUN Programs this fall. More information will be available at the open house or the first week of school. Watch for details.
School Phone Numbers:
SUN Program at Laura Baker: 507-336-1326
STEP 18-21: Will be available soon!
Alexander Learning Academy: 507-209-2223
We are busy getting each site ready for the school year, and our new phone numbers will be operational very soon. Please contact us by email or call the Northfield or Faribault Special Services offices listed below.
Welcome to another wonderful year! Let’s make this the B.E.S.T. year yet. Cannon Valley Special Education Cooperative’s goal this year is Building Excellence and Success Together (B.E.S.T) with you!
Coordinator of SUN at Laura Baker and STEP 18-21 programs
Coordinator of Alexander Learning Academy