Empower your April!

Newsletter at Home
April 17

Please read through the entire newsletter to get the most information!

Hello Arc NCR Families,
    We hope this Newsletter finds each of you and your families doing well and staying healthy. Over the past couple months we have all had to make both small and large adjustments to our daily lives as it relates to the coronavirus (COVID-19) health crisis. As with any crisis that we experience, it can stir up many different emotions and reactions, both in children and adults.
    Something that often helps in dealing with crisis is having good, helpful and accurate information in order to get through the extraordinary event. Our goal at The Arc NCR is to provide you with information that can assist you and your family members during this time. Our staff have identified the following resources in hopes that you will find them helpful.
   In each future newsletter, we will continue to identify both community based and online resources that can provide some level of knowledge and comfort to all whom we serve. If there are specific topics or issues that you would like more information on, please reach out to your Arc NCR contact/staff member. Thank you!
Agency websites for additional resource info:
In an effort to communicate with The Arc NCR community as best we can, we have developed a COVID-19 webpage on The Arc NCR’s website.
Virtual activities, resources and much more.
Click here to sign up for their newsletter 
The Parent Resource Center of Cecil County has a wonderful newsletter full of ideas, resources, and information.

The Arc United States Newsletter
Is Your Child’s IEP Still in Effect?
Unexpected times bring unexpected circumstances:

Remote Learning

No one could have anticipated that on March 13, when our students left school for the day, that they may not be returning. But here we are a month later, and we still do not know how long this situation may last. What we do know is that for now, students are expected to participate in distance or remote learning for the foreseeable future.

What that means is that for students with internet access, they should be receiving assignments from their teachers each Tuesday. They then have the rest of that week to complete the assignments independently and turn them back in on Monday. Students that do not have internet access will receive their homework assignments via US mail and have extended time to complete their assignments. When students have questions or concerns, they can reach out to their teachers. Some teachers can provide some web-based instruction. Teachers will be evaluating student performance with a pass-fail grading system during this extraordinary time.

What happens if a child/youth has an IEP and requires specialized instruction and/or related services? If your local school system and the parent can agree on services that your child will receive during the COVID-19 pandemic, then you can continue with that plan. It is likely that your child will not be able to receive all the services they previously received in the IEP, but they should receive as many as possible, including related services. If parents and the school system are unable to agree on which services should be provided, then an IEP meeting should be held virtually to resolve any concerns. In preparation for the meeting, parents should receive a draft of proposed changes. Parents can also agree that these changes are temporary, until the COVID-19 pandemic resolves and school resumes. Parents should still receive the prior written notice after the meeting, which documents those changes. 
If parents agree to make changes without an IEP meeting, follow up with an email to the principal or IEP chairperson, outlining your understanding of the IEP changes. Parents should consider documenting that you reserve the right to request compensatory services later. Either way, you may be able to request compensatory services for your child, if you can demonstrate that the child was harmed by not receiving services during the pandemic. To help you in this process, review your child’s IEP now, particularly the goals and objectives. Assess and document how your child is doing for each goal and objective. Keep a journal, video, notes or anything else that can demonstrate if your child is progressing or regressing for each goal and objective.

MSDE has issued a technical assistance bulletin (link below) which clearly states that the guidelines are to continue throughout the remote learning period, with some exceptions. It is important to partner with your school team during this difficult time and come up with a plan that works for both parties. If parents have questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact the Family Support Services program at The Arc NCR at FSS@arcncr.org .

This article is taken from Disability Rights Maryland. Click on the link for the full article.

Special Education During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Brief Guide for Parents: CLICK HERE

Serving Children with Disabilities Under IDEA During COVID-19 Closures: CLICK HERE

MSDE Education Survey- Due May 18, 2020

Parents were asked to complete the MSDE Special Education Parent Involvement Survey and return it in the prepaid envelope. If you have already done so – thank you so much! If not, please take the time to provide your input. 
To learn more and to fill out the survey online go to:

Supplemental Security Income Recipients Will Receive Automatic COVID-19 Economic Impact Payments

SSI Recipients with Dependent Children Should Still Go To IRS.gov to Provide Their Information

The Social Security Administration announced on April 16, 2020 that Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients will receive automatic Economic Impact Payments directly from the Treasury Department. Treasury anticipates these automatic payments no later than early May.

SSI recipients with no qualifying children do not need to take any action in order to receive their $1,200 economic impact payment. The payments will be automatic.

SSI recipients who have qualifying children under age 17, however, should not wait for their automatic $1,200 individual payment. They should now go to the IRS’s webpage at www.irs.gov/coronavirus/non-filers-enter-payment-info-here and visit the Non-Filers: Enter Your Payment Info section to provide their information. By taking proactive steps to enter information on the IRS website about them and their qualifying children, they will also receive the $500 per dependent child payment in addition to their $1,200 individual payment. If SSI beneficiaries in this group do not provide their information to the IRS soon, they will have to wait until later to receive their $500 per qualifying child.

“This is great news for SSI recipients, and I want to remind recipients with qualifying children to go to IRS.gov soon so that you will receive the full amount of the Economic Impact Payments you and your family are eligible for,” said Andrew Saul, Commissioner of Social Security. “I also want to thank the dedicated employees of the Treasury Department, the Social Security Administration, and the Internal Revenue Service for making this happen and working non-stop on this issue.”

Social Security retirement, survivors, and disability insurance beneficiaries (who don’t normally file taxes) will also qualify for automatic payments of $1,200 from Treasury.  These payments are anticipated to start arriving around the end of April.

The Treasury Department, not the Social Security Administration, will make these automatic payments to beneficiaries. Recipients will generally receive the automatic payments by direct deposit, Direct Express debit card, or by paper check, just as they would normally receive their SSI or Social Security benefits.
For those SSI and Social Security retirement, survivors, and disability insurance beneficiaries, with dependent children, who use Direct Express debit cards, additional information will be available soon regarding the steps to take on the IRS website when claiming children under 17.
Please note that the agency will not consider Economic Impact Payments as income for SSI recipients, and the payments are excluded from resources for 12 months.
For more information about Social Security retirement, survivors, and disability insurance beneficiaries, please see the agency’s April 10, 2020 press release:  New Guidance about COVID-19 Economic Impact Payments for Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Beneficiaries from Social Security Commissioner Andrew Saul

The eligibility requirements and other information about the Economic Impact Payments can be found here: www.irs.gov/coronavirus/economic-impact-payment-information-center . In addition, please continue to visit the IRS at www.irs.gov/coronavirus for the latest information.

The agency will continue to update Social Security’s COVID-19 web page at www.socialsecurity.gov/coronavirus/ as further details become available.
To get more Social Security news, follow the
Press Office on Twitter @SSAPress.
Dealing with COVID-19 and knowing how to discuss it with children and other families members adds another layer of stress to challenging times. How much do I tell them and should they listen to the news on TV? These are just some of questions parents need to manage on a daily basis. Below are some great resources to support you.

Talking to your kids about COVID-19 and a coloring book:

Coping with stress with the virus: CLICK HERE

Harford County

Healthy Harford WATCH Program and University of Maryland, Upper Chesapeake Health have put together the following information. Click each title to open info.
Below are a few links for online art lessons instructed by Nicki J, a Therapeutic Art Specialist with Harford County Parks and Recreation. This is a fun way to stay active and learn something new. Please pass this information along to family and friends so that they can have fun while safely staying at home.

Stone Stacking - https://youtu.be/E7FyS9D6lTg
Rubbing Transfers - https://youtu.be/_P4xuqpJ08U
Art History & Sidewalk Chalk - https://youtu.be/ftCcqhILQTg
Zentangle Relaxation Drawing - https://youtu.be/ZBtv8JgxmCM
The Beauty of the Beach at Rock Hall, MD - https://youtu.be/nNUbbfe9Xf I
Analogous Colors & a Puzzle as Inspiration - https://youtu.be/3uLxzyjiGQQ
Adults Only Chat Sessions
Need another adult to talk with? Beginning April 20, 2020, join us every week for Parent Chat sessions on Monday's at 2:00 p.m. and Thursday's at 8:00 p.m. You can use a phone, I-Pad, laptop, Smart TV, etc.
MONDAY 2:00 p.m.
Meeting ID: 725 5049 6123
Password: 010137
THURSDAY 8:00 p.m.
Meeting ID: 799 974 3099
Password: 0qkN0L
We will be starting ZOOM Dinner Club Wednesdays at 6:00 p.m.!
Please join in if you are able. Below is the information.
Join Phil, who will have his laptop on his kitchen table and be eating dinner. You can use a phone, I-Pad, laptop, Smart TV, etc.
If you have a friend that you would like to “have dinner with” feel free to send them the link. 

Topic: Dinner Club from your home
Time: Every week on Wednesday
    April 15, 2020 at 06:00 p.m.
    April 22, 2020 at 06:00 p.m.
    April 29, 2020 at 06:00 p.m.
    May 6, 2020 at 06:00 p.m.
    May 13, 2020 at 06:00 p.m.
    May 20, 2020 at 06:00 p.m.
    May 27, 2020 at 06:00 p.m.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 885 475 735
We will be starting ZOOM Yoga with Phil on Tuesday's at 2:00 p.m.!
Please join, if you are able. Below is all the information.
You can use a phone, I-Pad, laptop, Smart TV, etc. If you have a friend that you think would enjoy this feel free to send them the link. 

    Every week on Tuesday
    April 21, 2020 at 02:00 p.m.
    April 28, 2020 at 02:00 p.m.
    May 5, 2020 at 02:00 p.m.
    May 12, 2020 at 02:00 p.m.
    May 19, 2020 at 02:00 p.m.
    May 26, 2020 at 02:00 p.m.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 761 2318 5351
Virtual Tours

Here are three easy-to-navigate tours of inspirational UNESCO World Heritage sites around the world.

The glass-bottom skywalk spanning the Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon
The world’s highest and longest glass-bottom bridge was finished in 2016 and temporarily closed last fall for safety checks. Built 600 feet above the canyon, the structure is nearly 1,000 feet long with glass panels that are less than 2.5 centimeters thick. With a few clicks of your mouse, maneuver over and around this vertigo -inducing, man-made wonder as well as the canyon river it traverses.

Scale the Andes to see Machu Picchu
Speaking of heights, constructed in the mid-15th century by the Inca people and nestled 7,970 feet above sea level, these archaeological ruins are an engineering marvel. Machu Picchu was voted one of the new 7 wonders of the world in a recent Internet poll. Carved out of two peaks, Machu Picchu (which means “Old Mountain” in Quechua) is believed by archaeologists to be the estate of the Inca emperor Pachacuti. It represents the height of the Inca Empire’s power before it was abandoned following the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors.
Explore  the ruins here .

Roam the streets of Old Québec City
A cultural treasures, Canada’s historic Old Québec City. One of the oldest colonial settlements in North America since its founding in 1608. It’s an underappreciated gem. The historic district was designated a UNESCO-site in 1995.
Explore   Old Québec City here .
Ways You Can Help
Online Concerts

Use redemption code SCHOOL4276

ABC Mouse: geared towards kids 2-8 years old (Pre-K to 2nd grade) focuses on reading and math and comes with 8 bundled apps (included in the subscription) for interactive language arts, a virtual zoo, tracing their name, the alphabet, etc. Go to www.abcmouse.com/redeem  and enter the code. Once you verify the subscription and make an account you are able to open through an App on your device.

Adventure academy is like an interactive, fun, virtual school. You can learn about history, oceanography, reading, math, science and more. There are also fun multiplayer games. It is recommended for grades 3rd-8th. Go to  https://www.adventureacademy.com/redeem/  and enter the code. Once you verify the subscription and make an account you are able to open through an App on your device.

Reading IQ is a virtual library that tests a child's reading level and finds appropriate and interactive books for them. Such as Disney, Pixar, Marvel, National Geographic and Star Wars. This app is recommended for Pre-K-8th grade. Go to  www.readingiq.com/redeem  and enter the code. Once you verify the subscription and make an account you are able to open through an App on your device.

Use redemption code SCHOOL4276
The Arc Northern Chesapeake Region
4513 Philadelphia Road Aberdeen, MD 21001

Questions about anything you've read? Contact Family Supports,