n2y Blog

Supporting Highly Mobile Students with Traveling Data

By Amanda Borer


The road map for highly mobile children can be difficult to manage, especially when it comes to ensuring a quality education to our students with disabilities. Highly mobile children include those students who experience frequent family moves into new school districts, such as military children, children in foster care and homeless children. The periodic educational changes present many challenges to our students learning abilities and can be a data tracking nightmare for the educational team.


The coordination involved in assessments and exchanging records for highly mobile students must be prompt, as it is critical to the student’s educational needs. This prompt exchange is supported under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which mandates that all children with disabilities receive required special education and related services in a timely manner.[1]



How can Unique Learning System support highly mobile students?

Unique Learning System’s data collection center, Unique GPS, provides an array of formative and summative assessments designed specifically to support students with significant disabilities. GPS stands for Goals, Preferences and Skills.  While each student’s goals, preferences and skills are unique and the most important factors contributing to educational success, the educational team must continually measure, monitor and adjust instruction to assure that the individual student is optimally participating and making progress within the educational program. The educational program must also have a common format for identifying, assessing and directing a student’s goals, preferences and skills.

The assessments in Unique GPS provide a platform of continuity for special education staff – common assessments, common language, common goals. With this commonality, the educational team can gather meaningful data to drive instruction and chart progress within the Unique Learning System curriculum framework.



What happens to data collected when my student moves?

The GPS is designed to capture data on students that will travel with them throughout their academic years. As students move from one grade level to the next, the data collected will remain in the same student profile, allowing teachers, parents and other members of the team to view progress over time and have one consolidated picture of the student’s academic history.

The data travels with the student as they advance through the grade level bands.


Additionally, the GPS allows student data to transfer from one district to another with the simple press of a button. If a student is transferring to another location that uses Unique Learning System, administrators can request n2y support to move all of the student’s data into the new account, which takes a matter of minutes.

With Unique GPS, there is no need to compile folders or records of information – everything is electronic and in one place. If you oversee a highly mobile student and use Unique Learning System, you can get ahead of the game by becoming familiar with the process for managing students in the GPS and the steps to transferring a student to a new location when ready.


1.    Managing Students & Data Fidelity

Teachers and administrators can learn more about managing students in the GPS with this quick video tutorial:


2.    GPS Records Release Form

Administrators can download a records release form for transfer of student to another district. The present school must complete the form, obtain parental consent and send to n2y support for student transfer.



3.    n2y Customer Support

Contact n2y’s customer support team to transfer a student or receive more information about this process.

Toll Free: (800) 697-6575

Email: support@n2y.com


[1] Highly mobile children with disabilities are also protected by two other Federal laws: Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504), which prohibits disability discrimination by entities, such as public schools, that receive Federal financial assistance (29 U.S.C. § 794, 34 CFR part 104); and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (Title II), which prohibits disability discrimination by public entities, including public schools, regardless of whether they receive Federal financial assistance (42 U.S.C. §§ 12131-12134, 28 CFR part



newsletter  december 2014
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NEW! Interactive Number Journal

The Virtual Companion for Unique's Math Lessons


The Number Journal is now available within Unique Learning System's January lessons. The interactive number journal activity is included in all Number Sense, Math Story and Algebra lessons, for grades Preschool through High School. It is an interactive companion to the Mathematics Guide designed to help students achieve their differentiated task expectations virtually, assist in working out problems or create additional practice problems on specific math skills.
The Mathematics Guide is located in the Teacher Reference Materials / Instructional Guides.
To access the interactive math journal, launch the interactive document for the monthly lesson by clicking on the orange icon next to the lesson number.

Click the Number Journal icon in the top-right to open. 

The number journal opens in a different tab, allowing your student to practice math skills simultaneously with a monthly math lesson. 




skill tracking tip


Skill Tracking Tip #6
Create Groups to Track Skills on Subsets of Students

Use the Group Skill Tracking area within the Unique GPS to view the progress of specific skills for identified groups of students. The Group Skill Tracking area can be used to track progress toward Student Learning Targets or to track progress in subsets of students for any grouping combination, such as morning and afternoon classes or by differentiated level.

To create a new group, select Settings under Group Skill Tracking.

Add a new group with the Add Group button. Enter the group name, then add students and skills to the group. You can add as many grouping combinations as needed in the GPS!

Assessments that track the selected skills on each of your students will display on the graphs in this group report.

Click HERE to Get All 10 Skill Tracking Tips




news-2-you spotlight


Happy December!

Please remember that News-2-You will only publish three newspapers in the first three weeks of  December. The first paper of 2015, "The Elephant Sanctuary", will be available one day early, on Wednesday, December 31, due to the New Year's Day holiday on Thursday, January 1.



Get Crafty with Current Events

Coming in January - NEW Craft Activity


A new craft activity will be included in the first newspaper of each month until the end of the school year. The craft will follow the same format as the recipes and science activities, including a list of items needed, a teacher note with additional information, and step-by-step instructions with symbol support.

Look for the craft activity in the January 5 paper, "The Elephant Sanctuary", which goes online December 31. The activity will be included at the end of the Worksheets, following the science activity.




the latest from symbolstix


Need some additional symbols to complement holiday lessons and activities?

Try searching SymbolStix ONLINE for all holidays.  Examples: holiday, sit on Santa's lap, letter to Santa, Nutcracker, dreidel, menorah and many more! Search for Christmas to get an entire Christmas collection of SymbolStix! 





Quick Therapy Ideas for a Busy Month 


Routines are difficult to keep at this time of year. There is excitement in the air. Many recitals, parties and events are happening. Time to plan for therapy is limited. Check out these quick and fun therapy ideas. Use visuals to improve attention to targets.


Falling Snow

Have students cut a circle into a spiral. Hold the spiral in the center to create the falling path of the snowflake. Download the snowflake symbols from SymbolStix ONLINE, print them out, and let students choose which snowflake they would like to attach to the end of the spiral path.

Add articulation words to the spiral and have students follow the falling snowflake and pronounce each target word as they go. To target language, have students come up with sentences about the snowflake and write them on the spiral. To target fluency, have students practice easy onset by having them slide their finger down the spiral as they speak.

Run, Run Rudolph

As we know from the News-2-You newspaper, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer TV Special is celebrating its 50th year. You can download and print out Rudolph from SymbolStix ONLINE! To allow Rudolph to stand, cut him out, leaving a two-inch long rectangle below his feet. Fold this rectangle piece backwards. 

Open and print the last page of the Phonemic Awareness Guide, located in the Unique Teacher Reference Materials / Instructional Tools. The visuals included in the Phonemic Awareness Guide can be used in a similar manner as the above. Allow students to move Rudolph to the next square once a target is reached. Phoneme blending and fluency can also be targeted using the purple visual. Have Rudolph slide as the target is produced. Check out the Vocabulary and Word Study guides in the same section for additional visuals.




Need Help with Your Subscription?


n2y has a variety of online training videos to assist you with Unique Learning System, News-2-You and SymbolStix ONLINE.

Click here to go to the n2y Training Site!



upcoming events...


Stop By and Visit

ATIA Orlando  -  January 28-31  - Orlando, FL

ATIA Presentation Schedule for n2y:

Providing Access to Standards Based Curriculum

Date: 1/29/15

8:00 to 9:00 AM

Curacao 7/8

Connecting to Educational Standards with Interactive Lessons and Data
Date: 1/30/15
9:20 - 10:20 am
Curacao 4



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PO Box 550
  Huron, OH 44839

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 Military Life and Children With Disabilities

n2y Guest Blog By: Olivia Newbold


When you think about someone who is in the military, you might think about all of the sacrifices that he or she makes to help keep our country safe.  What might not be as apparent are the sacrifices and struggles that the families deal with while supporting their service members.  

On top of the regular sacrifices that military families make, there are also families who have children with special needs.  Military life consists of frequent moves, long deployments, extended training periods and the need to be able to adapt easily.  A child who has special needs requires just the opposite.

Children with special needs must have consistency, routine, schedules and often many types of therapeutic services. A military family who has a child with special needs may have more obstacles in their day-to-day life than that of a non-military family.



Fortunately, there are some amazing services that are available to these military families.  Most bases have an 

Exceptional Family Members Program (EFMP).  EFMP works with military families with special needs.  The program offers trainings, support groups and frequent social gatherings.  I am privileged to be involved with two different organizations that offer support to our military families.  I currently serve on the Board of Directors for Autism Society of San Diego and volunteer with the Military Special Needs Network (MSNN).  

Through my work with the Autism Society of San Diego, I was able to create a resources blog (autismresources4you.blogspot.com).  This blog is in intended to highlight the support resources that are available to military families.



These resources touch on different “hot topics” of military life, such as deployments, a permanent change of duty station, military and family security and much more.  Although a few of the high-need areas have been addressed, there are many other components of military life that our children still need help understanding.  Gradually, we will work to help create the resources needed for these children.  


Some of the resources that will be created are helping children understand a hurt service member, death of a service member and different types of jobs our service members have to do.  All of these resources that are created are shared with local EFMP offices, put on the resources blog and also shared with the MSNN.  Additionally, the Military Special Needs Network (militaryspecialneedsnetwork.com) is an international organization that was started by military families who have EFMP members.  MSNN offers a variety of fantastic resources for families all over the world who are juggling day-to-day military life and have a child with special needs.  The MSNN was developed for all military families regardless of branch, duty status or diagnosis.   


Currently, with the holidays fast approaching, the MSNN is working diligently to put together a Holiday Guide to help ease some of the anxieties that our military families face during the holidays. Some of the areas of focus deal with deployed family members, being out of normal routines, social gatherings, modified recipes and more. 

It is my sincerest hope that these resources are able to reach as many military families as imaginable and offer as much help as possible.  SymbolStix™ has provided me with a tremendous opportunity by allowing their symbols to be used in military-specific resources.  Numerous families have already benefited from these much needed resources, and there are countless more who will continue to benefit from the generosity of SymbolStix and the use of their wonderful symbols.




Find n2y and SymbolStix on Facebook! @n2yinc on Twitter  and @n2yinc on Instagram. To chat with us by phone about Unique Learning System, News-2-You, SymbolStix or Training, 800.697.6575 or n2y.com



skill tracking tip 

Skill Tracking Tip #5

Related Materials

The Individual Tracked Skills area provides a Related Materials section which pulls all components of Unique Learning System, News-2-You and SymbolStix ONLINE that address and aid in the student’s acquisition of the designated tracked skill.

  • Standards that align to the skill are reported.
  • A list of Benchmark Assessments that address the skill are provided.  The tests can be launched for administration directly from this page.
  • Checkpoint results are provided in a graph if the designated skill is addressed in the Monthly Checkpoint assessments.
  • Unique Monthly Lessons area indicates which monthly lessons address the targeted skill. Lessons can be launched directly from this page as well.
  • Unique Supporting Activities area pulls each supporting activity, ULS guide, ULS tool and any additional ULS material that can help to either practice, teach or support a targeted skill.
  • News-2-You Lesson area indicates specific sections of the News-2-You newspaper and website that can be used to practice designated targeted skills.
  • The News-2-You Activities area highlights games and activities within News-2-You that can be used to practice designated targeted skills.
  • The SymbolStix Template area highlights specific templates that can be used to create custom activities to address and support targeted skills.

Click HERE to Get All 10 Skill Tracking Tips

uls spotlight
Data Check

It is hard to believe that for many, we are approaching the mid-school year mark.  December will be a blur and January will be here before we know it.  With the holidays approaching, now would be a good time to stop and do a data check. 
Review your students’ progress in the GPS assessments and determine what changes may need to be made.  Start by reviewing the student’s Benchmark performance on targeted skills.  This can be done by tracking and then reviewing the Tracked Skills area of the GPS.  The Student Summary Report is another great place to review Benchmark data.  The Student Summary Report provides access data on all assessments given.  It will also allow you to drill down into specific assessments.  Review the graphs and determine if the student is making adequate progress.  Don’t forget to use the new aim line feature.  Setting the target aim line will provide you with quick visual feedback and make data interpretation a snap.  Now is also the time to start planning for mid-year benchmarking to capture the next data point that will help determine if the student is on target to achieving the skill.
Next, quickly review student progress on Checkpoints.  Review the detailed analysis graph to determine specific areas of improvement or needs.  Review the History Graphs and look for trends.  Is a particular student achieving scores of 10 -12 consistently in a checkpoint area?  If so, they may be ready for the next level of differentiation support in that educational area. Consider providing the student material from the next level of differentiation.  Review the analysis graph and look for specific trends.  Identify areas of need and make plans to address the skill areas indicated.  Not sure where to begin when addressing areas of need indicated in the Checkpoint analysis?  Add the area of need as a skill tracked for that student in the Skills Tracking area.  Skills Tracking will pull the student’s current performance data on the area of need and suggest supporting materials (outlined in the article above) to begin the road to improvement.
Do you like these recommendations?  If you are thinking that there is not enough time to review data, then remember these quick and helpful tools.  The “i” information buttons are located in the list of Students.  Clicking the “i” allows you to quickly look at test results for your students.  The Tracked Skills area also provides fast data interpretation for specific skills.  Also remember, because of the holiday schedule, checkpoints are not assessed in December so this would be a great time for a quick data check.   

news-2-you spotlight
Holiday Schedule for Upcoming Articles

News-2-You wants to help you plan ahead for the holidays. We've adapted our schedule to give you more planning time for the weekly papers.

Changes in Release Dates over the Holidays: Due to the Thanksgiving holiday falling on Thursday, November 27, in the U.S., the "Rudolph TV Special" newspaper will be available a day early, on Wednesday, November 26.  Also, please remember that News-2-You only publishes three newspapers during the month of December, available in the first three weeks.  The first paper of 2015, "The Elephant Sanctuary,"  will also be available one day early, on Wednesday, December 31, due to the New Year's Day holiday on Thursday, January 1


Weekly Extension Activity

The weekly extension activity has extended information about the news with recall questions and video links.

Enhance the weekly content from News-2-You with this online activity. The extension activity serves as a wonderful class participation tool. 
  • Open the extension activity on an interactive whiteboard or projector for the whole class to view.
  • Selecting View Fullscreen will remove the noise of your browser at the top of the display.
  • Use the Settings menu to move the navigation toolbar to the bottom of the page so that your students can easily reach the page turning buttons on screen. 
  • Read the supporting text together or use the text-to-speech feature online to gain deeper understanding of the weekly topic.
  • Answer comprehension questions as a group.  Answers are supported by red or green answer highlights and sound incentives.  Additionally, you can turn off the incentives within the Settings menu.
  • Watch supporting instructional videos by clicking the links at the end of the activity.

the latest from symbolstix

Occupational Therapy
with SymbolStix ONLINE

Occupational therapists use all sorts of tools and methods to help students with fine motor skills.  Lacing, tracing, drawing, writing, zipping, and gripping are all made easier and more fun with help from our OT friends.  SymbolStix ONLINE has all sorts of images to represent OT tools and activities. Try searching for them individually or search for Occupational Therapy to find a collection of images like: t-stool, fidgets, tie shoes and more. Don't see what you want? Click on the words Can't Find Something next to the search box? Drop us a line and make the suggestion.
check out this cool idea
Take advantage of the writing lessons and material in News-2-You and Unique for therapy activity topics. 

In weekly newspapers, News-2-You has fantastic think questions in differentiated levels.  These questions can be used to address any number of therapy targets.  Also make sure to check out weekly worksheets in the writing category. 

Unique Learning System
Unique offers many monthly differentiated writing activities.  One activity of particular interest is Lesson 30, Journal Writing.  It provides a great platform in which to address many language skills.  This month’s journal includes topics such as weather related activities and identifying things to be thankful for. 

SymbolStix ONLINE
Need additional symbol support for any of the writing topics? Find the symbols you need and create templates on SymbolStix ONLINE. 

Enjoy these wonderful resources! 

n2y Blog
Another avenue to keep up with the latest from n2y.
n2y celebrated October's Bullying Prevention Month by raising awareness of bullying, positive behaviors, and how both affect students with disabilities.  We think anti-bullying efforts are a year round endeavor!

Check out our blog post and two free SymbolStix-supported activities• so that you and your students may start or continue the conversation about bullying.  Kindness is key.  Prevention is necessary.  Recognizing bullying can be difficult.  Here are some materials to help from n2y.

upcoming events...

Stop By and Visit

ASHA  -  November 20-22  - Orlando, FL
Click here for more information

OCALICON 2014  -  November 19-21  - Columbus, OH
Click here for more information

Access is more than physical adaptations to the environment. n2y provides access to the curriculum through Unique Learning System's various levels and types of age-repectful and engaging content. Readers at all levels, including emerging readers, have unprecendented access to content standards and materials. n2y facilitates authentic access to current events knowledge and literacy with users' choice of four support levels and comprehension activities. SymbolStix supports authentic access to ever-changing pop culture vocabulary and concepts as well as personal care and communication needs.

Session Times
Thursday, November 20 - 12:45 - 2:00 pm

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PO Box 550
  Huron, OH 44839
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 About Me in Unique GPS

By Anne Johnson-Oliss



             In Unique Learning System's GPS, the section in which you may change the demographic information for the student, or change the photo for each student is called, About Me.


To change the photo, while in About Me, click on the photo and choose a photo to upload. It's that easy!


To change any of the demographic information either for a new child or for a mid-year update, click on About Me, and then click the Edit Info & Sharing button. From there, simply type in the corrected information and click Update Info & Sharing at the bottom of the page.


Sharing students with other teachers? Great! Share a student’s information by going to the About Me page, then clicking the Edit Info & Sharing button. Scroll down until you see the other teachers’ names. Check all that apply, and click Update Info & Sharing at the bottom of the page.


Update students’ GPS (goals, preferences and skills) with their own preferences and information! Click on About Me and then choose, Introducing Me, and Edit Introducing Me. Assist students with supports necessary for the completion of questions.

When finished, print a copy for the student, the student’s family, a substitute teacher folder, and/or a transition binder!


Find n2y and SymbolStix on Facebook! @n2yinc on Twitter  and @n2yinc on Instagram. To learn more about Unique Learning System, News-2-You, SymbolStix or Training, call 800.697.6575 or visit n2y.com