Pathfinder Journeys - The Pathfinder Newsletter
News & Resources for North Dakota Parents & Professionals | 
Pathfinder News
Kids running at school
Hurray for Back to School!

September can be a bumpy road when trying to juggle the new "normal" in a family's daily routine. Soon it will feel less hectic and you will have a moment to breathe (or so I keep telling myself). With the beginning of a new school year comes the first of many meetings; whether it's for initial testing, evaluation, or for creation or re-evaluation of student IEPs or 504s. We begin to focus and ensure that everything is on track for a successful school year for our children.

It never ceases to amaze me how anxious I become as a parent as I prepare for these meetings. As parents we are fully prepared to fight for the rights of our children, (My mama bear side seems to rear its head as I prepare to fight for my young cub). I suppose this is just a natural way for us to feel, but at times we find ourselves wishing that this process could be so much easier.

Think about this...  
What if we went in as a team, understanding that each individual will be heard?  
What if each person of the team felt that their contributions and thoughts were respected and valued? 
What if we left that meeting with a consensus on a "move forward" plan?  
What if there was follow-through and consistency amongst all team members? 
In all honesty, this is how it should go. These "what ifs" are completely obtainable if parents, along with the school team, come prepared and ready to focus on the needs of the child.

So how do we as parents prepare ourselves? 
1. Dig into the process a little bit more 
Understand what rights you have as a parent, and what is expected from the school pertaining to your child's rights.  
2. Connect with a support system  
Seek individuals who have an understanding of the process and who are there for you! (That's US!)  
3. Understand this is a process 
Knowing that these processes take some time is difficult, but it's important to realize that it won't all happen immediately. Certain things must be done within a certain time period.

How can Pathfinder Services of ND help you to be a successful parent in the planning process? Contact us for a copy of our Special Education Process Pocket Guide or visit our website to browse our resources on IEPs.

Wishing you all the best in the successful planning for the upcoming school year!

Jodi Webb
Exective Director
Youth boy with backpack
North Dakota Secondary Transition Project (NDSTP)

North Dakota Secondary Transition Project (NDSTP) is a transitional information and training project. The purpose of NDSTP is to provide resouorces and training to youth/young adults with disabilities and their families to help them understand the transition process and potential possibilities of life after high school. Overall the project provides resources, training, and support & guidance towards; workforce entry or post-secondary opportunities, how to plan for positive futures, and how to access supports and services after leaving school.

The project will be piloting this fall. Special Education Units, along with Regional Education Associations (REAs), will be receiving a letter in the mail in the upcoming weeks. For more information, reach out to
In This Issue
Quick Links
Experienced Parent Program logo
Experienced Parent

Would you like to help another parent through their child's Early Intervention Process? 

Become an Experienced Parent Support Provider!

 Library Focus
A Child_s Guide to Concentrating cover
A Child's Guide to Concentrating: For Kids with ADHD
by Bonita Blazer

Training children with ADHD to be aware of ways they can improve their concentration is key to successful student performance. The story of Craig is a true story about a real boy and a book he compiled for his teachers on ways they could help him improve his concentration, and feel more successful in school. The strategies offered are a combination of Craig's ideas, and the most cited accommodations suggested by teachers on "what works in the classroom for students with ADHD".
Office Closed for Labor Day

Pathfinder Services of ND will be closed on Monday, September 3rd, for Labor Day. We will reopen on Tuesday, September 4th. Have a great weekend!
News from the State
Improving Student Success through NDMTSS cover
Improving Student Success through NDMTSS

North Dakota's Multi-Tier System of Supports (NDMTSS) is a framework to provide all students with the best opportunities to succeed academically, socially, emotionally, and behaviorally in school. NDMTSS focuses on providing high-quality instruction and interventions matched to student need, monitoring progress frequently to make decisions about changes in instruction or goals.

This booklet from the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction describes North Dakota's Multi-Tier System of Supports and how it will benefit our North Dakota schools, teachers and students. NDDPI has worked with ND Regional Education Association (REAs) and stakeholders across North Dakota to develop this document.

Read it here:

Early Childhood
An infant gettign tested by a doctor
Connecting to Care and Services: Developmental Screening Q & A

Developmental screenings - starting as an infant - help you track your child's physical, mental, social, and emotional well-being. They give you a chance to learn what to expect in your child's development, how your child is developing, and how you can promote healthy development. The screenings can also help identify concerns for you to follow up on.  

Learn more from these questions and answers, including topics such as: What are developmental milestones? When should my child be screened? What's my role during a developmental screening? 

Read the full Q&A here:

 Elementary Students
Working Together screenshot
Working Together Online Learning Series

The Working Together Series includes five interactive self-directed courses. This foundational series for family members and educators includes the following courses:  

These courses provide families and educators with a number of strategies for working together and through conflict. Anyone supporting children or youth with disabilities may benefit from this series, however, the setting in which collaborative problem-solving and conflict resolution takes place within this series is typically the school or IEP meeting.

Learn more

  Youth & Young Adults
Teen boy with a football
Fostering Self-Determination Among Children and Youth with Disabilities

As a parent, you may be wondering what you can do to foster the skills, knowledge, and opportunities that can contribute to self-determination among children and youth with intellectual disabilities and autism. What steps might you take to encourage your child to begin to become more self-determining as they grow up? This guide provides a menu of ideas to draw upon as you consider how best to promote self-determination among your own children with disabilities.

Read the full manual here:

BIE seal
BIE Launches New Strategic Direction 2018-2023

The Bureau of Indian Education announced today the release of the BIE Strategic Direction for 2018-2023. The Direction is designed to improve the ability of the BIE to increase its services to Native students by organizing management activities, setting priorities, and ensuring efficient and effective utilization of staff and resources.

Read the full document here:

  Training Opportunities & Upcoming Events

Walk For Autism 2018
Sep 8
9:00 am to 12:30 pm
Elmwood Park
500 13th Ave W
West Fargo, ND
--More Info
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Awareness Day
Sep 9Everywhere
FreeMore Info
Wings for All
Sep 15Grand Forks International Airport
2301 Airport Dr
Grand Forks, ND
FreeMore Info
Bottom Dollars (Free Movie Screening)
Sep 18
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Oak Park Theater
1500 4th Ave NW
Minot, ND
FreeMore Info
Writing Strategies for the Reluctant Writer, Including Dysgraphia (CTD Webinar)
Sep 19
3:00 pm
FreeMore Info
2018 Power Up Health Conference
Sep 21
9:00 am to 4:30 pm
Bismarck Civic Center
315 S 5th St
Bismarck, ND
VariesMore Info
2018 Designer Genes Buddy Walk
Sep 22
10:00 am to 12:30 pm
ND State Capitol
600 E Boulevard Ave
Bismarck, ND
--More Info
Deaf Awareness Week Event
Sep 29Ramada Hotel
3333 13th Ave S
Fargo, ND
More Info
2018 North Dakota Walk for Apraxia
Sep 29
11:00 am to 1:00 pm
ND State Capitol
600 E Boulevard Ave
Bismarck, ND
VariesMore Info

All listed times are in Central Time.
Pathfinder Services of ND 
701-837-7500 | |
Town & Country Center, 1015 S. Broadway, Suite 42
Minot, ND 58701
Pathfinder Services of ND, 1015 S Broadway, Suite 42, Minot, ND 58701
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