Classroom Letter

  • January 31, 2010


    Dear Parents/Guardians:


    The Communication and Sensory Enrichment Program (CSEP) is a self-contained special education classroom.  Although it is self-contained, we will include students into their grade level classrooms as much as possible, according to each individual student’s needs.  As the name indicates, our number one priority is communication and sensory issues our students may have.  However, academics will be included in small groups or through one on one instruction.  All students will be attending specials, lunch, and lunch recess with their grade level classes.  If it is stated in your child’s IEP, they will also have speech and language therapy, OT, and/or PT.  


    The classroom environment is arranged so that we are focusing on independence, language comprehension, expressive communication, and sensory integration.  Providing structure, organization, appropriate sensory input, and individualized teaching strategies within the classroom and other learning environments, enables each child to be successful.  Individual interests, learning styles, strengths, and needs become part of the planning process.

     Our current roster is 9 students, ranging from kindergarten through 6th grade.  We will continue to work on reading skills in the morning and math skills in the afternoon.  We will also be including adapted music, library, PE, and art in our classroom program this year.  


    Communication between home and school is very important.  Therefore, each day your child will bring home a Daily Note.  This note will tell you what your child has done for that day and how they behaved during that activity.  If you would like to make a comment regarding something your child did at home (which we would love to know about) or have a question, there will be room at the bottom of the note.  I will answer your question or comment the next day.  I ask that you sign the note and send it back home in their folder each day so I know that you have read it.  I will keep these notes in your child’s cumulative folder.


    Homework is an important part of your child’s education.  The more practice he or she gets, the quicker they will be able to understand concepts.  Therefore, some of the students who are in first grade and older, will be bringing home some type of homework most evenings.  Friday will be the exception as I will not assign homework that day.  It is best to set a specific time each evening to complete the homework.  Please give your child the opportunity to complete the homework independently before offering your assistance.  It is important that they learn to work independently and they just may surprise you with what they know.  Homework for all the students will be reading or being read to each day.  If your child can read, then he or she should read at least 15 minutes each day.  If your child is not yet able to read, then an adult or an older sibling should read to them at least 15 minutes each day.  There will be an area on the homework sheet for you to initial that your child has read or been read to each day.  This is an important step in opening the world to your child so please take the time to sit with them during this time each and every day! 


    We look forward to becoming involved with all of you in creating a safe and nurturing environment where your child is accepted, feels safe, and is challenged to learn.


    As usual, please feel free to call with any questions or concerns but please understand that I will not always be able to take your call because I am working with the students when they are there.  The best time to contact me will be between 7:30 and 8:30 in the morning or 3:00 to 3:30 in the afternoon.  However, if you leave a message on the phone, I will get back to you if I have the opportunity during the day.  Otherwise you can expect to hear from me during the times mentioned above.  The best way to contact me is through email as I am usually able to check my email quickly throughout the day.  My email address is and phone number is 480-982-1110 ext. 6222.



    Terri Rhinesmith, Teacher of CSEP