Jan/Feb 2021
newjerseycec@gmail.com | www.njcec.org
Virtual Events
Thank You... This Weeks NJCEC Webinar
Wednesday, February 3rd @ 8:00 pm
  • Self-care when you don’t have time for self-care: DBT skills for you and your with Julia Brillante, PsyD

Upcoming Free NJCEC Webinars

Wednesday, February 17th @ 8:00 pm
  • Understanding Learning Disorders with Dr. Priscilla Morrison
For more information on our webinars...
NJCEC and WWW Perfect Together
Written by: Joan J, Vas, NJCEC VP Marketing & Sponsorship

What is WWW? It is the NJCEC Weekly Wednesday Webinar! Do Not Disturb me on a Wednesday evening, because I am addicted to the WWW. Every Wednesday, I tune into a highly qualified presenter delivering an important, timely message that is valuable to me, especially as an educator struggling to learn effective teaching techniques in a totally new environment for both me and my students. The webinars are also valuable because they include means for parents to become effective partners in the education of their children. All this is offered by NJCEC for FREE!

Membership is not required. As I participate in each webinar, I say to myself, this message is something ALL educators would benefit from hearing. Our community of participants is now over 19,000 and growing. Please know that we can accommodate more. Having said that, please feel free to spread the word to your friends, colleagues and parents or PTA groups. Why not share this great opportunity for knowledge and guidance in improving the educational environment for all? Look for our announcements on www.njcec.org, on our social media (Facebook, Twitter or Instagram), and in this newsletter.

If you know of a company or organization whose products or services would benefit our community of participants, please send me a name and email address (joanvas@optonline.net).

NJCEC has affordable vendor opportunities not to be missed.
NJCEC 2020/2021 Scholarship
The New Jersey Council for Exceptional Children will award several scholarships annually, ranging from $250.00 to $1,000.00 to high school seniors who are disabled and who will be pursuing some form of post-secondary education or training. 

To be eligible, an individual must email a completed packet to: 
Mr. Barry Schwartz, Awards Chair NJCEC

All nominations MUST be sent by March 1, 2021. Click here for more information and for the application packet.             

Is Your Child Struggling At School?

If something good can be said of 2020, it’s that parents have had the opportunity to become more aware of their children’s academic progress than ever before. Remote learning has come with its share of challenges, and it has also given parents and families hands-on experience with their children’s day-to-day struggles at school.
Many parents have seen a difference in their child’s academic performance since the onset of COVID. In some ways, this pandemic has helped to highlight children who may fall between the cracks in the traditional academic setting.
Dr. Priscilla Morrison, a Pediatric Neuropsychologist, specializes in assessing children for learning disabilities and developmental disorders. In her article, she suggests looking for these five things to determine whether your child could benefit from a neuropsychological evaluation:
5 Signs Your Child Is Struggling

It’s not unusual for children to have trouble adjusting to the pacing of online education. Yet, it’s important that you’re mindful of your child’s performance. Here are some key indicators to be on the lookout for:

  1. Consistently has poor grades
  2. Variable grades, i.e. significant discrepancies between test scores and homework or projects. 
  3. Needs to spend an excessive amount of time and effort on schoolwork
  4. Has difficulty understanding and following instructions
  5. Avoids schoolwork

If your child meets the above criteria, it may be time to consider an evaluation. 

Diagnostic Lullabies
Written by: Sol B. Heckleman for NJASP
Turns out that “babies don’t much care what culture (lullabies) come from, what language they are sung in or even who sings them,”according to a study in Nature Human Behaviour.* When hearing lullabies sung a cappella by either men or women, “Their heart rates went down, their pupils became smaller, and their skin electrical activity decreased.” In short, the babies “relaxed.” Parents were also able to “predict which tunes would calm their babies.”

Who knows what new diagnostic capabilities this can open up for school psychologists? We can croon to a baby, measuring the latency and degree of responses. Different languages or cultures wouldn’t invalidate standardization. Maybe add smiling as another indicative behavior.

To the utter delight of those keeping score on special needs categories, research (subsidized, of course) could investigate correlations among physiological responses and specific categories. And whenever the labels are changed, an entire new research program would be necessary. Think of all the dissertations.We might be able to predict which children would succeed at MTSS -- oops, NJTSS -- Tiers 1, 2 or 3. Maybe there’d be an interaction between the favorite lullaby of the crooner and the croonee (an editor can make words up). Rather than invalidating the process, this would open up new paths for investigating tester bias. And maybe best -- or worst -- of all, some school psychologists might discover hidden talents, going off, so to
speak, into an entirely new career.

I’m sure only my narrow imagination limits considering other advances for school psychologists. Open to any additional creativity anyone wants to
share. *Reported in NY Times Science Section Nov 3, 2020
Additional Events
Virginia CEC February Free Webinar:

Supporting the Transition to Adult Life During a Pandemic
  • February 4th @ 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm
  • Register here.
Edcamp Access NJ

Join the Richard West Assistive Technology Advocacy Center (ATAC) in conjunction with the New Jersey Coalition for Advancement of Assistive and Rehabilitation Technology (NJCART) and NJCEC for our 2021 Virtual Edcamp on March 6th.

This day, focused on K -12 special education, is free to all! Click here to get tickets. For more information, follow the unconference on Twitter.
Annual CEC Convention

Join the CEC from March 8th to 13th for a week of events about education! The week features hundreds of virtual events, including workshops, interactive presentations, social hours, and even yoga.

Learn more here.
Register here.
NJDOE Unconference: A Pictorial
Social-Emotional Learning in Action
Written by: John Lestino for NJASP
In February 2020, The NJ Dept of Education (NJDOE) sponsored a most timely program on SEL in the schools. A call went out to school districts to share how districts were implementing the Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) framework throughout New Jersey.

(As a reminder, the NJ State Board of Education (NJSBOE)[https://www.state.nj.us/education/students/safety/sandp/sel/SELCompetencies.pdf] had voted in the summer of 2017 to make SEL practices and its five Core Competencies part of directed programs in New Jersey’s schools.)
For this UnConference, The Edgewater Park School District was chosen as one of the presenters, highlighting essential SEL practices which reflect the key initiative in New Jersey’s schools.

School psychologists are active in many SEL types of activities, including anti-bullying, PBIS, Character Education, Trauma Informed care, programming and support, and other types of SEL compatible contributions. In Edgewater Park, where there are now two school psychologists, there is much direct involvement in a myriad of SEL types of activities.

Who would have known at the time of the UnConference that the pandemic would have spread as deep and wide as it has? Yet the UnConference could not have been timelier. The current impact of the pandemic has made the relationship building that exists between students, staff and families ever more precious. It’s the all-for-one and one-for-all spirit that I see in Edgewater Park. This spirit comes from our school board, administrative team, and teachers and support staff. Remarkable! Relationships forged on long standing involvement before the pandemic have been tested, yet in Edgewater Park and, I believe, in most of New Jersey’s schools, that collaborative compact is even more prized.

To that end, I share a pictorial compendium of the Magowan Elementary school’s presentation, led by Mrs. Amanda Fry, Principle, and myself. Edgewater Park has been a practicing and long-standing leader in our county as a PBIS school in good standing.

A few other points before the picture tour. NJASP has for years sponsored many SEL programs for our members. It goes without saying that support from the NJDOE has been lasting. Special mention to Drs. Sharon Lohrman and Maurice Elias, who have helped make New Jersey a leader in social-emotional learning and practices. They have supported school psychologists as active participants in the proactive social fabric of the school community continuum.

Please note that this event occurred "pre-covid."
NJDOE Updates
Governor Murphy Announces $10 Million to Expand High-Quality Preschool Education. Read more.

Murphy Administration Announces the Return of Full Local Control to Paterson Public Schools. Read more.

Governor Murphy Signs Executive Order to Implement New Policies for the 2020-2021 School Year. Read more.
In Case You Missed It: Education News
"CEC President Statement on Secretary of Education Nominee"
"Pandemic’s Toll Shows Up On Students’ College Applications"
"New CDC Guidance for Reopening Schools Creates Color-Coded Risk Scale"
"Biden Proposes $175 Billion to Reopen Schools"
"Education Front and Center in First Days of Biden Administration"
We are constantly keeping these two pages updated with all of the events that are being offered amidst COIVD-19.
If you would like to be featured in the NJCEC newsletter or have any news you would like us to include, please forward applicable information to newjerseycec@gmail.com.
All information in this email and on our website (www.njcec.org) is provided as a courtesy by NJCEC. NJCEC does not take any responsibility for the accuracy of the information. NJCEC does not endorse any webinars, events, or products provided by a 3rd party other than NJCEC nor does NJCEC guarantee the accuracy of the information provided. NJCEC does not take any liability for inappropriate comments, remarks, or images presented during events.
Newsletter Editor: Renee Cantor
Newsletter Contributor: Joan Vas
Newsletter Directors: Dr. Julie Norfus-Good, Benjamin Good