Federal Court Instructs Ohio Districts to Post Information for Parents Concerning Data Release

A U.S. District Court has ordered that 2013-2014 school year records from the Ohio Department of Education’s Educational Management Information System be turned over to Disability Rights Ohio as part of an ongoing lawsuit.

Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, families of students whose data will be released must be notified and given the opportunity to object. The court is instructing all local education agencies to post notice about this opportunity to object on their district websites and in a central location, accessible to the public, in each building that is open to the public.

A copy of the notice – which includes instructions on how parents may object to the data release – can be found here. The court must receive objections no later than Sept. 12.

Students’ names, addresses and social security numbers are not part of the information to be released. Ohio is one of only three states that do not allow their departments of education to collect this data, to protect student privacy.

Data to be released for each student include student ID number, school name, grade, gender, race, age and disability category. The records also reveal student performance on the state’s Ohio Achievement Assessments and Ohio Graduation Tests, as well as tests related to Ohio’s Third Grade Reading Guarantee. Student suspensions and expulsions also are listed.

The data is subject to a protective order, which means Disability Rights Ohio cannot publicize it.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter. Please contact the Ohio Department of Education’s legal office at (614) 466-4705 if you have questions.

Job Posting: Intermittent Job Trainers

Train workers with disabilities job skills, evaluate job performance and assist businesses in the employment process.  Provide quality assurance/supervision to ensure contract compliance.  Other duties include worker observation, completing performance evaluations and job training.  Experience working with youth and/or persons with disabilities a plus.  Send resumes to khynes@athenscbdd.org.  Applications are available at PersonnelPlus, 8 Harper Street, The Plains, Ohio, 45780.  Resumes must be submitted by August 13, 2014.  EOE/Provider of Services.

Health and Wellness Newsletter February/March 2014

Newsletter 14Feb20

 February 1 – 28
Is American Heart Month

Did you know that Coronary Heart Disease is America’s #1 Killer!?!?

That’s why it is so important to reduce your risk factors, know warning signs, and know how to respond quickly to warning signs.

Heart Attack Signs:

  • Chest discomfort
  • Discomfort in areas of the upper body
  • Shortness of breath
  • Cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness

How to Respond:

  • Fast Action saves lives.
  • Call 9-1-1 or your local EMS number


About High Blood Pressure:

The only way to tell if you have high blood pressure is to have your blood pressure checked:


Blood Pressure


(bottom Number)

Normal Less than 20 Less than 80
Prehypertension 120-139 80-89
High blood pressure  
Stage 1 140-159 90-99
Stage 2 150 or higher 100 or higher


March 1 – 31 is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

Cancer of the colon or rectum is also called colorectal cancer.  In the United States, it is the fourth most common cancer in men and women.  Caught early, it is often curable.

Symptoms can include blood in stool, change in bowel habits, and general stomach discomfort.

Regular colon cancer screenings should begin at age 50 and include:

  • Annual fecal occult blood testing
  • Sigmoideoscopy / Colonoscopy
  • Contrast barium enemas

For Heart and Bowel Health:

  • Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
  • Limit alcohol consumption.
  • If you smoke, talk to your doctor about ways to quit.
  • Stay physically active and maintain a healthy body weight.

Congratulations to the Athens Special Olympics Bowling team!

Our athletes earned 3 gold medals, 4 silver medals, 2 bronze medals and 1 ribbon at the State Summer Games June 28th-30th in Columbus, OH!

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Featured Program – Beacon School


Hello from the Beacon students and staff! We are pleased to be sharing our spring activities with you. This Spring, many of our classes will be enjoying nature walks on the bike path to increase their physical activity. The Early Intervention Specialists are continuing their project to get certification to P.L.A.Y. (Play and Language for Autistic Youngsters Project). The Preschool students have been busy learning about the butterfly life cycle while they are feeding and watching their butterflies grow. They are looking forward to several interesting and fun Spring fieldtrips. The Primary I students are having a fun year working hard on functional academics and enjoying music therapy class, Creative Expressions learning activities, and Dance Class. Primary II students have been busy learning about a good bug-the praying mantis! They are observing its life cycle while they are feeding and watching their praying mantis grow. In April, the Primary I and Primary 2 classrooms were invited by their VSA Ohio Dance Instructor to attend Ohio University’s Spring Dance Concert at The Shirley Wimmer Dance Theater. All the students and staff enjoyed the experience of attending the wonderful performance. The Intermediate I students have enjoyed weekly classroom learning themes including dinosaurs, oceans life, and outerspace. The Intermediate II students are planning their annual picnic outing to Strouds Run and will be tie-dying their shirts for the Awards Ceremony. The Young Adult Class has been busy in the greenhouse, planting and selling different vegetables and flowers to our community friends. On Friday, April 26th, the Beacon student athletes were delighted to compete in the Area 8 Special Olympics Track and Field Meet held at the Alexander School fields. The weather was great and a good time was had by all!


Monday, May 6th is Teacher Appreciation Week and we will be celebrating all our great Teachers, Teacher Assistants, Student Teachers, Therapists and Educational Aides. Wednesday, May 29th will be Preschool Graduation and Thursday, May 30th will be the School Age Graduation and Awards Ceremony. As we are nearing the end of the school year, I would like to thank the students and staff for another great year. Dust off those bells, drums, and horns and get ready to celebrate; the last day of school will be here soon!

Picture1 Picture2



Being positive or negative are habits of thoughts that have a very strong influence on everyone’s life.

April 2013 is National Autism Awareness Month


What is autism?
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a range of complex neurodevelopment disorders, characterized by social impairments, communication difficulties, and restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behavior. Autistic disorder, sometimes called autism or classical ASD, is the most severe form of ASD, while other conditions along the spectrum include a milder form known as Asperger syndrome, and childhood disintegrative disorder and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (usually referred to as PDD-NOS). Although ASD varies significantly in character and severity, it occurs in all ethnic and socioeconomic groups and affects every age group. Experts estimate that 1 out of 88 children age 8 will have an ASD (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, March 30, 2012). Males are four times more likely to have an ASD than females.

What are some common signs of autism?

The hallmark feature of ASD is impaired social interaction. As early as infancy, a baby with ASD may be unresponsive to people or focus intently on one item to the exclusion of others for long periods of time. A child with ASD may appear to develop normally and then withdraw and become indifferent to social engagement.

Children with an ASD may fail to respond to their names and often avoid eye contact with other people. They have difficulty interpreting what others are thinking or feeling because they can’t understand social cues, such as tone of voice or facial expressions, and don’t watch other people’s faces for clues about appropriate behavior. They lack empathy.

Many children with an ASD engage in repetitive movements such as rocking and twirling, or in self-abusive behavior such as biting or head-banging. They also tend to start speaking later than other children and may refer to themselves by name instead of “I” or “me.” Children with an ASD don’t know how to play interactively with other children. Some speak in a sing-song voice about a narrow range of favorite topics, with little regard for the interests of the person to whom they are speaking.

Children with characteristics of an ASD may have co-occurring conditions, including Fragile X syndrome (which causes mental retardation), tuberous sclerosis, epileptic seizures, Tourette syndrome, learning disabilities, and attention deficit disorder. About 20 to 30 percent of children with an ASD develop epilepsy by the time they reach adulthood. .

How is autism diagnosed?

ASD varies widely in severity and symptoms and may go unrecognized, especially in mildly affected children or when it is masked by more debilitating handicaps. Very early indicators that require evaluation by an expert include:

  • no babbling or pointing by age 1
  • no single words by 16 months or two-word phrases by age 2
  • no response to name
  • loss of language or social skills
  • poor eye contact
  • excessive lining up of toys or objects
  • no smiling or social responsiveness.

Later indicators include:

  • impaired ability to make friends with peers
  • impaired ability to initiate or sustain a conversation with others
  • Absence or impairment of imaginative and social play