August 2017 |
Check us out on Facebook and Twitter Facebook Twitter

Catch some rays. Recharge!

School's out! We want to wish all our teachers, aides, administrators, parents, and staff a great summer! Thank you for your efforts to provide an effective yet enjoyable learning experience throughout the year. Whether you're relaxing on vacation, or even if you're working at summer school or camp, take some time to really recharge this summer before the next school year.  Let's continue to see the potential in our students and endeavor to bring out the best in our classrooms.
NJDOE Update
New Jersey Tiered System
of Supports (NJTSS):
Early Reading Grant Initiative

Given New Jersey's need to better identify and provide early reading intervention to students with disabilities and/or significant reading difficulties, NJDOE has prioritized the implementation of a multi-tiered system of reading supports.  The purpose of this project is to build capacity to implement the New Jersey Tiered System of Support for Early Reading (NJTSS-ER) via strategic personnel development. The project will result in (a) increased state-, district-, and school- level leadership and high-quality professional development in NJTSS-ER; (b) increased fidelity of NJTSS-ER implementation; and (c) improved reading skills for students with disabilities and/or those requiring intervention.

Training in NJTSS-ER components will initially be provided to state-level personnel, who, with coaching, will in turn train and coach district and school teams with district-level coaches responsible for ongoing and sustainable school support in NJTSS-ER. Training will be provided to district and school teams representing 60 schools. The evaluation will investigate (a) the extent to which leadership and PD are provided at state, district, and school levels; (b) the fidelity of NJTSS-ER implementation in schools; (c) early reading performance for students; and (d) the allocation of funds to ongoing technical assistance.

The participating districts in Cohort #1 are as follows:

Atlantic County                          Middlesex County                         Somerset County
Pleasantville                             New Brunswick                           Manville

Burlington County                    Ocean County                              Sussex County
City of Burlington                     Brick Township                             Hopatcong
Woodland Township                Stafford Township
Gloucester County                   Passaic County
West Deptford                         Wanaque                   
For more information, please visit
Golden Apple Contest

We need your help! Remember your first day? Think back to when you just started. Wish you had known then what you know now? Please send your suggestions for teachers on their first day. Be the change you want to see in the world and share it with others. Please send your ideas in an email titled 'Golden Apple Contest' to by August 28th. Winners will win an Amazon gift card and have their suggestions featured in our Back-to-School newsletter.

Good luck!
Best of luck to all those starting their first day in the fall! 
Assistive Technology
Tips and Tricks for
First-Time Eye-Gaze Users
provided by Vanessa Lombardo
When families and professionals consider an eye-gaze system for an individual in their care, they are unaware that there is a vast array of device settings and preparation strategies for both the individual using the device and the environment. These helpful steps should increase the user's success.
1) Light - Be aware that some clients are light sensitive. Light can also cause glare, decreased accuracy, and increased difficulty calibrating the device.
2) Position - Position the device lower than the client's eye level to reduce client fatigue and increase accuracy. The user should be looking down to use the device.
3) Eyes - Make sure that the client's eyes can work together. It may be necessary to utilize an eyepatch or calibrate using one eye. If the client has dry eye, utilize drops to increase accuracy and facilitate calibration.
4) Dwell time - Change the time spent looking at items. Less dwell time before a target is selected will increase accuracy but will also increase user training. Make sure to find a time that works just right.
5) Targets - Change the number and size of targets required during calibration. Having fewer targets reduces accuracy but also reduces client fatigue and improves calibration. Make sure the client can see the targets well enough (i.e. not too big, not too small).
For more information on eye-gaze systems, please visit

Voting starts next month! The voting period for CEC elections is September 16th through October 16th.
Please visit to check out the candidates. Biographies coming out this month.

Attend a webinar! Check out the CEC webinars available August to December. Click here!

Workshops and events offered by the Statewide Parent Advocacy Network (SPAN).
Click here for more information. 
Federal Register Notice
U.S. Department of Education
Evaluation of Existing Regulations
Request for Comments
Docket ID: ED-2017-05-0074

In accordance with Executive Order 13777, "Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda," the U.S. Department of Education is seeking input on regulations that may be appropriate for repeal, replacement, or modification. Through the Federal Register notice, the Department is soliciting input from the public to inform its task force's evaluation of existing regulations and guidance that have a policy impact. Comments must be received by the U.S. Department of Education no later than August 21st.
If your state unit or division does not agree with CEC's position on opposing deregulation please contact Deb Ziegler, Director of Policy and Advocacy at by
noon on Monday, August 14th . In this email correspondence, please inform CEC regarding your state unit's or division's rationale for supporting deregulation.

Fall Conference & Resource Expo
Navigate the Maze: Learning Disabilities & Attention Issues
Saturday, October 21 | Middlesex Community College 
CE C 2018: Special Education Convention & Expo
February 7-10 | Tampa, FL
NJCEC Spring Conference next March! 
*NJCEC does not endorse events and products affiliated with other organizations   
nor guarantee the accuracy of the information provided.

E-Blast Editor: Amanda Jans
NJCEC Editor: Dr. Anne DeGroot