Services Provided by PANDA

PANDA staff and consultants provide support, resources, assistive technology for loan, instructional strategies, and much more for ABE staff throughout Minnesota.

Minnesota ABE Disabilities Website

In 2007 the Minnesota Department of Education and PANDA teamed to create the Minnesota ABE Disabilities website. Disability categories are listed on the right.  Each category includes an overview, instructional strategies for teachers and community resources for students.  Important forms can be found in the website header.

Learner Intervention

Do you have a student who has not made a level gain, is easily distracted, forgetful or acts out in class? The purpose of the intervention is to assist US born and ELL students with learning challenges to:

  • Determine the root of learning difficulties
  • Improve student academic progress in the classroom
  • Provide instructional strategies, resources and assistive technology
  • Empower students to understand their learning strengths and challenges

Click here for detailed information and forms for the intake process.

Disability Consultative Services

Staff provide information, resources and teaching strategies and much more for ABE programs statewide. Contact PANDA when you suspect a student may have a disability, when a student has disclosed a disability, are concerned about a students learning challenges, such as memory issues, mental health, learning disability or attention difficulties, or if you need special equipment for a student.

Assistive Techology/ Loan Program

Magnifiers, speaking calculators, personal amplifiers, adaptive keyboards and mice, multi-sensory items, printed materials, videos, and much more are available for loan to teachers for student use.  

Professional Development Workshops

PANDA staff present professional development workshops on disability topics at local, regional and state-wide events.

Advisory Committee

State-wide volunteer members include ABE teachers, program managers, program directors, and the education policy and program specialist with the Minnesota Department of Education.  Via webinar, members bring disability related concerns to PANDA and in turn educate their peers about PANDA services.

PANDA Staff

Crystal Learning Center
Robbinsdale Area Schools
305 Willow Bend
Crystal, MN 55428
Email: panda@rdale.org
Main: (763) 504-4095
Fax: (763) 504-4096

Wendy Sweeney
MA, Licensed Psychologist,
PANDA Manager
(763) 504-4095
Email Wendy Sweeney
Wendy Sweeney became the PANDA manager in July 2015. Wendy has worked in the ABE field since 2007. Her expertise is mental health, learning disabilities and ADHD. She oversees PANDA’s Learner Intervention and provides workshops on mental health, learning disabilities, and ADHD. She also works in a private practice at Innovative Psychological Consultants providing counseling services and formal testing for LD/ADHD. Contact Wendy with any disability related questions or concerns.

Laureen (Lori) Yurick
PANDA Administrator
(763) 504-4094
Email Lori Yurick
Lori Yurick joined PANDA in 2006. Since 1996, she has held various positions in the Robbinsdale Area Schools K-12 system. She is responsible for the editing of this website, budget management, researching and purchasing assistive technology and office administration.

Colleen Crossley
ABE Teacher and PANDA Consultant
Colleen joined PANDA as a consultant in September 2015. Colleen teaches EL Transitions Literacy at the Robbinsdale Area Schools Adult Academic Program, District 281. She has been with the program since 2008. She is a graduate of St. Olaf College and Hamline University, where she completed an MAEd in 2007. Colleen has completed STAR, MNI, and UDL training, and has a strong interest in the use of multi-sensory/multi-modal strategies and technology tools to meet the needs of adult students. In August 2017, Colleen was awarded the ABE Advocacy Award at Minnesota Adult Basic Education Summer Institute conference. In January 2018, Colleen was nominated for the Minnesota Teacher of the Year Award and the Robbinsdale Area Schools Teacher of the Year Award.

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