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New status menu, bandwidth control for Google Drive for Mac/PC Posted: 14 Jan 2015 12:20 PM PST Google Drive for Mac/PC syncs any or all of your files to Google Drive on the web, making them available anywhere, at any time, on any device. It also provides secure cloud-based storage for your files. A new version of Google Drive for Mac/PC is rolling out this week, featuring a new, more visually rich status menu. The menu allows people using Google Drive for Mac/PC to more clearly follow their sync status, including guidance on already synced files, files currently syncing and files yet to be synced. When you hover over a recently synced file, you’ll see an icon that saves you steps by letting you share it right from the menu: You can also now choose to limit how much bandwidth Drive consumes while syncing your files for those times when you need extra bandwidth for something else. You can do that in theAdvanced section of the Preferences menu.
Posted by Guest  On Jan 15, 2015 at 7:45 AM 531 Comments
An update on the migration of older spreadsheets to the new Google Sheets Back in November 2014, we announced that older spreadsheets (those created prior to Dec 2013, including any subsequent copies) would start being gradually migrated to the new version of Google Sheets for Google Apps domains on the Rapid release track, with Scheduled domains to follow. While the migration started for consumer spreadsheets, we decided to delay the migration for the Rapid release track to ensure a more smooth process. Starting next week, we will formally start the migration for Rapid release domains, with Scheduled release domains to follow 2-3 weeks later (note: we have decided against displaying the migration notification in the Sheets interface for Google Apps customers to prevent unnecessary confusion).   The migrations will take several months to complete, but you'll be able to take advantage of the new features and capabilities in the new Sheets as older spreadsheets are migrated. Simpler spreadsheets will be upgraded first, while those that use Apps Script and more complex features will be migrated weeks to months later to ensure a seamless transition.
Posted by Guest  On Feb 02, 2015 at 7:37 AM 427 Comments

November 9th-13th is School Psychologist Awareness Week!  

This year’s theme is “Connect the Dots”!  We would like thank all of our School Psychologists for helping students “connect the dots” both academically and socially.  You are a vital part of our school community and truly make a difference in the lives of the students and families you serve! Click here for more information.

Special Education Transportation Forms

Reminder to use the Special Education Transportation Authorization Form when adding special transportation to students’ IEPs.  The reason for the authorization request must be indicated on the form.  The reasons may fall under the categories of accessibility, social behavior and/or a health/medical condition.  If the reason is social behavior, there is a section in which you indicate the number of bus referrals, the primary reason for the referrals and the interventions that were tried to assist the student in being successful during transportation.  This form must be signed by the Social Behavior Collaborative Planner and the Unique Learners’ Manager for the district. Once a student has been approved for special education transportation, the Transportation Information Form needs to be completed and sent to the Transportation Director, providing the driver and others responsible for transporting the student the information they need for safe transportation.


We know that the transition to edSpring this fall has been rocky and less than ideal.  We would like to sincerely thank you for your patience and support during the transition. Your commitment and dedication to having progress monitoring data for your students even with the challenges of the new system has been inspiring!

Posted by jnord  On Oct 29, 2015 at 11:42 PM
Sometimes emails are mistakenly marked as spam or put into Trash, and they can be difficult to discover via search. To help address this issue, Gmail will now search in both the Trash and Spam folders (only Trash was indexed previously). If a match is found, a footer at the bottom of search results will indicate the match and direct the user to view the messages. In addition, if a search query is too general to return useful search results, a different footer will now be shown guiding the user to try refining their query using Gmail advanced search.
Posted by Guest  On Nov 10, 2015 at 7:26 AM 1146 Comments
Google Drive allows you to upload files, images, and videos so you can work on them anywhere and anytime. With today’s update, if you’re using the latest versions of Chrome or Firefox on the web, you can now drag a file from your desktop directly into Drive folders or subfolders.
Posted by Guest  On Nov 23, 2015 at 8:15 AM 949 Comments

Save the Date(s)!

**ECSE Networking Group: Wednesday, January 13, 2016**
**CPI Initial Training: Thursday, January 14, 2016**
**CPI Key Point Refresher: Friday, January 15, 2016**
**AT Programming Party: Thursday, January 17, 2016**
**Paperwork Party: Thursday, January 28, 2016**

Remember to register HERE so we can have adequate food and materials prepared!! 

Important: Local Collaborative Time Study (LCTS) Random Moment Timeline Change

Per federal directive, the Department of Human Services (DHS) has decreased the number of days that time study participants are allowed to respond to random moments from seven business days to two business days. This change goes into effect January 4, 2016. If you receive a random moment, please respond as soon as possible within this timeline. Time study participants who have not responded within one business day of occurrence will receive one reminder email. District validators will receive a reminder email if participants haven't responded within two days. Please watch your email closely for Random Moment alerts and reminder emails! Participation in LCTS results in additional funded programs within our districts that directly benefit our students, so thank you in advance for your cooperation!! 

Due Process Trivia

We are adding a new feature to the Unique Updates Blog: Due Process Trivia!!! Each time the blog is posted, we will include two due process trivia questions. Individuals who respond correctly to one or both of the questions will be entered in a drawing for a prize! Two winners will be selected for each question - one from Chisago County school districts and one from Pine County school districts for a total of four winners! Winners and answers to trivia questions will be revealed on the via an special blog post! Thanks for participating and good luck!!

Question 1: True or False: When a team determines that a student who has transferred to a Minnesota school from a district out-of-state needs an evaluation (because there is not sufficient information in the student's current evaluation to address Minnesota eligibility criteria), the evaluation is considered an initial evaluation and signed parental consent must be obtained. 

Question 2: Two-Part Question: 
Part one: Within how many days must a special education evaluation for Part B services be completed (specify calendar or school days in response). 
Part two: If the district has two snow days, after parental consent has been obtained and the evaluation is in progress, does the due date for the evaluation change? In other words, do the snow days count as school days? 

Responses are due by 1/4/2106. Please email your answers directly to Nicole Woodward at [email protected] 

Interesting Read: The Qualities of a Good Teacher

In this Chronicle of Higher Education article, A.C. Grayling (New College of the Humanities, London) says there are two ways that ineffective teachers can harm students: putting them off a subject and undermining their confidence and self-belief. “Good teachers do exactly the opposite of these things,” says Grayling, “and as a result inspire, guide, and give their students a broader sense of life’s possibilities… the desire to know more, understand more, achieve greater insight.” He lists several qualities that the best teachers possess:

Enthusiasm – Students often catch this in their classrooms.

Charisma – Teachers can be Pied Pipers for their subject.

A capacity to clarify and make sense – This quality illuminates any subject.

Humor – It lightens the hard work students need to do.

Kindness – A teacher’s power is enhanced when there’s a human connection.

A genuine interest in students’ progress – This involves constantly checking for understanding and responding accordingly.

Good teachers have these qualities in varying proportions, and the net effect is that students begin to teach themselves. “And that, paradoxical as it may seem, is the best outcome of good teaching,” says Grayling. “Independence of endeavor, and soon therefore of mind, should be one of the fundamental aims of education.”

Some novice teachers worry that if they show humor, kindness, and interest, they’ll come across as weak. But Grayling says there’s “no inconsistency in being both kind and firm, humorous although not prepared to tolerate messing about, and interested without being partial. It is a matter of operational tact and good timing.”

“Good teachers are those who remember being a student,” he concludes. “They hear themselves as their students hear them. They know which aspects of their subject might present a difficulty, which require to be grasped before which, and what their best students will be keen to know, and why… Students’ questions and doubts compel one to think and rethink, often prompting one to see things that had not been noticed before. For this reason it is never boring to teach the same subject repeatedly.” 

“What Makes a Good Teacher?” by A.C. Grayling in The Chronicle of Higher Education, December 11, 2015 (Vol. LXII, #15, p. B4-B5)

A Note from your SpEd Admin Team: The holiday season is always a good time for reflection. As we reflect on our practice and what it means to be a good teacher, we are inspired by the qualities identified in this article. Extending beyond the latest and greatest research or evidence-based intervention, instructional strategy or material, this article reinforces the reasons we became educators in the first place - a genuine passion for the students we serve and for learning. Thank you all for the excellent work you do each day and for simply being the amazing, passionate educators that you are! It is rarely easy work, but it sure is the best work! Our students truly benefit from your creativity, commitment, and compassion. Enjoy a well deserved break! We'll see you in 2016!!

Have suggestions for topics you'd like to see on the Unique Updates blog? We'd love to hear your ideas! Send them directly to Nicole Woodward at 

Posted by nwoodward  On Dec 18, 2015 at 12:50 PM
We know that when you’re working in Google Docs, you’re often working in Google Sheets and Google Slides at the same time. With that in mind, we’re making it easier to find and switch between your documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. Starting today, when you search from the Docs, Sheets, and Slides home screens on the web, your results will contain files from all three Apps. At the top of the results screen, you’ll see Top results, which will contain a mix of files, if relevant. Just below that you’ll see Recent documents (or Recent spreadsheets, or Recent presentations, whichever is applicable), which will only contain files from the App you’re working in.
Posted by Guest  On Jan 12, 2016 at 7:47 AM 579 Comments
In September, we announced some changes to the default avatar that Google account owners with Google+ enabled see when logged into their accounts. We’re now making those same changes for Google account owners who don’t have Google+ enabled. Starting today, if a Google account owner has not added a photo to his or her account, we’ll show a custom avatar with that account owner’s given-name initial (two-character given names will be fully displayed). In some cases where initials are not available, a plain colored avatar will be used instead.
Posted by Guest  On Feb 09, 2016 at 7:34 AM 1043 Comments

February 2016 Unique Updates!


SCRED School Psychologists, Collaborative Planners and Unique Learners’ Managers gathered on January 20, 21 and 22 to participate in annual CIMP activities.  The process went smoothly this year with the use of the new CIMP database.  There was lots of positive feedback on improvements which were noted on files reviewed this year. The results from CIMP will be ready for principals to review with you by the end of February or beginning of March.  Thank you for all of your hard work!


Reminder: if you have you have indicated “more data needed” for ESY inSPED Forms, please make sure you check the “yes” or “no” box as soon as possible and complete amendments.  Unique Learners’ Managers will be sharing information at department meetings on how to complete amendments if you are unsure of how to complete that process.