To: Adams County School System Special Education Team From: Jane Doe, special education para-professional
Date: June 13, 2017
Subject: Mental Health in Special Education
Professional memos are formatted with these details stated before the body of the communication.
I write to share the problem of the stigmatization of mental health disorders in special education and its implications for our team. I offer some possible solutions as well.
Adams County School District has seen an increase in students who qualify for special education resources. However, we have not seen a corresponding increase in students who qualify due to mental health. Because of the increase in students seeking services, we assume that all needs are met. However, students and their families may not seek resources due to the stigma of mental health issues. Given our own increase in special education recipients in our own school system, we should see a similar increase in students’ mental health disorders. However, we do not. This is an anomaly that we should explore.
I suggest we address this problem by collecting better data on student diagnoses and reviewing our training program. By collecting data, we can see how our student population aligns with national data to determine whether stigma may prevent some of our students from requesting special education resources. Regarding training, our school system has an interest in better understanding our student population from a mental health standpoint. We have a solid special education training program, but no recent training addresses working with students who have mental health disorders. We may be reinforcing the stigma attached by not providing specialized training. We should review our training and consider planning at least one workshop on students with a mental health disorder diagnosis.
We will discuss this in more depth at our next quarterly meeting.
Right away, the reader knows this memo is about a single point: a possible solution to a problem that impacts the team.
This is called “bottom-lining.”
Here is a short closing to end the memo.
Note the use of a font that is easy to read without any decorative style. The memo text is single spaced with an extra line between each paragraph.
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