Be Remarkable: Local teacher praised for her work with students

Published: Apr. 27, 2020 at 4:15 PM CDT
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There's a teacher at Rock Prairie Elementary School in College Station whose heart is as big as her personality.

Andrea Benning is a teacher for the school's Preschool Programs for Children with Disabilities.

"I have the best job. I get to play with kids," said Benning.

She says the first time she ever stepped into one of the classes she was hooked.

"It was Special Education or bust for me. My classroom is full of very diverse learners, a lot of activity, a lot of noise and chaos, but I wouldn't have it any other way," Benning said.

Even with classes out due to the coronavirus she's using the internet to stay in touch with her students and their parents.

Benning was nominated by Marycruz Morales, a local mother who has had two children benefit from the program at the school.

"Ms. Benning and her PPCD (Preschool Programs for Children with Disabilities) team at Rock Prairie Elementary go above and beyond the call of an educator. They freely give their personal numbers to the families to reach out at any time of day or week. Having a student in the program for the last three years, I personally have received unconditional assistance and watched as they did the same for the many families that have gone through their program. They are the definition of selfless service," said Morales.

KBTX and the Daniel Stark Injury Law Firm are proud to present Andrea $500 for her remarkable service to our community and the kids at Rock Prairie Elementary School.

If you have someone you want to nominate for our Be Remarkable campaign

to be directed to the nomination page.

More about PPCD:

Preschool Programs for Children with Disabilities

This early childhood program is designed for children ages 3-5 who are eligible for special education services. PPCD services are provided along a continuum ranging from specific services such as speech therapy to daily intensive interventions in a special education or general education preschool setting. Initial recommendations for PPCD services are based upon the child's Full & Individual Evaluation (FIE) and determined by the ARD committee.

Students who participate in the PPCD special education classroom program demonstrate a need for intervention in one or more of the developmental areas (e.g. social, emotional, cognitive, communicative, and/or motor).

Student goals are aligned with Texas Preschool Guidelines and address academic, developmental and/or functional needs. Individualized Education Plans (IEP's) are chronologically age-appropriate, functional for the learner, and address the skills necessary to facilitate meaningful inclusion in the general education setting.

Speech therapy services are available for students with identified Speech Impairments and focus on the development of language, articulation, voice, or fluency. The frequency and duration of these services are determined by the student's ARD committee based upon individualized needs. Speech Therapy is considered an instructional service and may be provided as the only service or in conjunction with other PPCD services if needed.

SMILE (Stories, Music, Imagination, Language, and Enrichment) is a literacy-based Intensive Speech Therapy program designed for students ages 3-5 (not yet Kindergarten age eligible). Initial recommendations for the SMILE program are based upon the child's Full & Individual Evaluation (FIE) and determined by the ARD committee. Students are served through SMILE one or two days per week for one hour and 15 minutes (30 minutes of intensive speech therapy in a special ed setting and 45 minutes of inclusion services with a speech therapist in a general education preschool setting).

PPCD special education classes typically meet for 3 hours per day, 5 days per week with morning or afternoon sections available. A continuum of services based on the student's Present Levels of Academic and Functional Performance (PLAAFP) and IEP will be considered for students receiving PPCD classroom programming. Students may receive a combination of any general and special education services, as determined by their ARD committee.

Students with disabilities who are also eligible for College Station ISD's Head Start or PreKindergarten programs may receive a combination of inclusive and/or pull-out services, as determined by their ARD committee and based upon their individualized needs.

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