Article supplied by the West Point News
Schools in the area aren’t the only ones adapting to new modes of educating children and their families during this time when buildings have been closed because of the cornonavirus.
The Early Development Network at Educational Service Unit #2 based in Fremont also continues to provide services to children from birth to age 3 who have developmental delays and/or health care needs.
Jenna Koperski-Bohn, ESU #2’s Services Coordinator for Cuming and Burt counties, said this week that she wants families to know that services continue year-round.
“We’re still providing services for our area,” she said. “We are working with families through Zoom meetings and phone calls and are providing them with resources. We’re doing everything we can to help. We want them to know we are still here for them.”
Families in need of the Early Development Network’s services, which are provided free, can call 402-727-4130 for more information.
There is also a Facebook page (Early Development Network-ESU#2) that families can visit to find activities to do with their children each day.
Five services coordinators currently cover the four-county area that ESU 2 serves. Those counties are Cuming, Burt, Dodge and Saunders.
Koperski-Bohn said her job is to follow up on referrals to the Early Development Network and connect the families to the services their children need. Those include physical therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy and more.
A child is eligible for services if he or she is not developing typically, or has been diagnosed with a health condition that will affect his or her development.
Referrals can come from doctors, parents who have used the services before, schools and other sources. The family must give permission for the referral to be made.
Prior to the coronavirus, services coordinators visited the families in their homes and were sometimes accompanied by a therapist. In other cases, arrangements are made to connect the families with therapists in the school district or local hospital.
Koperski-Bohn said a lot of the services are moving to a “coaching model” based on the premise that the parents know their children best.
“We find out what the child needs, what they are doing and what the child is having difficulty doing,” she said.
For example, she said if a young child is having trouble walking the services coordinator and therapist will show them something to try. The parent then is encouraged to work with the child and come up with more strategies on their own.
The developmental delays children have vary, KoperskiBohn said, as is each child’s rate of development. One child may be able to walk earlier than another, and others might talk later than others their age.
“We don’t know the exact reason for the delay, but we work to help them overcome it,” Koperski-Bohn said. “We see a variety of developmental delays. A lot of time they don’t need the services anymore by the time they reach preschool.”
That’s why early intervention is important, she added. “Kids grow and change so much at that age,” she said. “Our goal is to address what is going on early in their life. A lot of time, by the time they go to school the child – and their parents – feel comfortable with that new setting.” Koperski-Bohn has been involved with early child development for 10 years and says “it’s the best program ever.”
“It’s cool to see children develop over the years,” she said. “I’ve met children when they were babies and to see them develop and grow and head off to preschool is rewarding.”
After age 3, the child’s needs are provided by the school district in which they live. Special education services are required for children from birth (or date of diagnosis) to age 21.
All credit for this article goes to the North Bend Eagle
Reporter | Mary Le Arneal
North Bend Eagle
All children in Nebraska are entitled to educational benefits from birth to age 21. Nicole Bose work with the youngest ones as a services coordinator with the Early Development Network out of Educational Service Unit 2 in Fremont. She works with children age birth to 3 years old who have developmental delays or a medical diagnosis that would benefit from outside services.
Bose, a 2009 graduate of North Bend Central, graduated from Wayne State College with a degree in human services counseling. She worked at the Department of Health and Human Services before coming to EDN in August 2018.
“The Early Development Network services are voluntary and free,” Bose said. “We support parents and other caregivers of children on ways to help their child learn during everyday activities.”
Research shows that the first three years are the most important time for learning in a child’s life. Early intervention, providing developmental supports and services early improves a child’s ability to develop and learn. The help may prevent or decrease the need for special help later. The goal of early intervention in Nebraska is to “open a window of opportunity” for families to help their children with special needs develop to their full potential.
“As a services coordinator, I provide families with support and resources,” Bose said. “Typically when I go into homes I am checking in with families to see how services are going and to see if they need any other supports. I work with a team of early intervention providers that support families in meeting their child's goals. The role of the provider is to coach parents in working with their child to best meet the goals they have set.”
EDN services are designed “to meet the developmental needs of an infant or toddler with a disability and the needs of the family to assist appropriately in the infant’s or toddler’s development” as outlined in state law.
The EDN provides services coordination, occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech-language therapy, vision services, audiology services, and early childhood teacher. For children age birth-3 years, all services are provided at the home year around. If services are still needed once the child turns 3, they would be eligible to receive services through an Individualized Education Plan.
Parents, school or medical personnel may refer a child to EDN. To see if a child is eligible for services, call 402-727-4130 or by make an online referral at ESU2.org.
ESU2 Early Development Network provides services to families that reside in North Bend school district and 15 other school districts from Wisner-Pilger to Ashland-Greenwood. Bose covers the North Bend, Cedar Bluffs, Wahoo, Mead, Yutan and Oakland-Craig school districts.
Bose says the personal aspect of the job is what she likes most.
“I love seeing the progress that each child has from the time we begin services to the time that they transition to an Individualized Education Plan or no longer need services,” she said. “I also love getting to know the families and being there to support them in any way that they need.”
Bose said that the EDN is still accepting new referrals during the COVID-19 pandemic
“Services will look different during this time as we are not able to go into family homes,” Bose said. “Currently we are meeting with families virtually with tele-conferencing or over the phone.”
K-3 Regular Education OR
Special Education Teacher
Independent Behavior Program
ESU 2 is accepting applications for a full-time, K-3 Regular Education or Special Education Teacher for our Independent Behavior program. This program serves students from multiple school districts in the ESU 2 area as well as outside the service area. The Independent Program is located in Fremont, NE.
Excellent Team atmosphere !
Competitive salary & benefits package offered.
Email resume & letter of application to Dr. Ted DeTurk at email@example.com
Application deadline: Until filled
E O E / Veteran Preference applies.
Educational Service Unit 2 is accepting applications for the 20-21 school year for the following adjunct faculty position at Pathways 2 Tomorrow (P2T) in West Point, NE. P2T delivers career education pathways to 6 consortium school districts in northeast Nebraska.
• Computer Science Applications, Computer Science Principles, and Cybersecurity
To apply, please send your letter of application and resume to Mr. Joe Peitzmeier, P2T Executive Director at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Educational Service Unit 2
Joe Peitzmeier, P2T Executive Director
PO Box 649
Fremont, NE 68026
On behalf of the U.S. Census Bureau:
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Flyers to share:
We also have a web site that you can share with districts - https://www.census.gov/schools/. It has lesson plans that teachers can use with students that focus on the census.
Tips for filling out the 2020 Census
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