JUNE 2021
newjerseycec@gmail.com | www.njcec.org
Happy summer! Congratulations on completing another school year. We hope you have a relaxing, fun, and safe season.
Upcoming Free NJCEC Webinars
For more information on our webinars...
Other Events
Special Education Legislative Summit 2021

Typically held in Washington, D.C., during July, the Special Education Legislative Summit (SELS) is an opportunity for educators from across the country to make a difference by advocating for change with Members of Congress. 

The COVID-19 pandemic will bring the Summit to new heights with a Virtual SELS being held the week of July 19-23, 2021. 

**There is no cost to attend the 2021 Virtual SELS, although membership in CEC and CASE are strongly encouraged**

Here’s what this entails:

  • Once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. Town Hall-style events where you can learn from and ask questions of policy experts and Capitol Hill veterans. You will experience first-hand what it’s like to be a decision-maker in Washington.

  • In-depth learning about key issues. SELS Team Leaders and experts from the field will provide updated news and information about the key issues impacting special educators across the country including legislation, appropriations, mental health, educator shortages, and more.

  • Opportunities to improve your advocacy skills with the experts. Learn from people who have done this work before about how to sharpen the message you bring to Members of Congress to advocate for infants, toddlers, children, and youth with exceptionalities. Virtual SELS will give you the support you need and many ways “to meet” with a Member to make a difference.

To read about the 2020 Special Education Legislative Summit, click here

Webinar Series
Critical Conversations: Revealing Educational Issues at the Intersections of Disability, Race, Language and Culture

Join the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) and the Division for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Exceptional Learners (DDEL) for a series of Critical Conversations with experts and practitioners in the field of special education. This program will feature 8 live webinars presenting research and practice from scholars of color and allies engaging in work to address the needs of diverse exceptional learners. Each month, you will be invited to join a live webinar featuring a panel of experts as they discuss a pertinent topic facing the field. Webinars will include a brief overview of their work followed by a facilitated panel discussion and Q&A. Come prepared to learn and engage!

Program costs are...
$59 for CEC members
$129 for non-members

Learn more here.
Education Resources

Inclusive SEL Resources

The National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) has released new social emotional learning (SEL) resources specifically focused on including students with disabilities. Learn more here.

How To Help Your Adolescent Think About The Last Year

Hint: It’s not a “lost year.” Also, the screen time with friends? It’s good for their mental health.

By Judith Warner for NJ Association of School Psychologists

They’re calling it a “lost year.”

On and offline, parents are trading stories — poignant and painful — about all of the ways that they fear their middle schoolers are losing ground.

“It’s really hard to put my finger on what happened exactly,” said Jorge Gallegos, whose son, Eyan, is in the seventh grade in Washington, D.C.
When Eyan was in fifth grade, he had a lot of friends, Mr. Gallegos said. He was home schooled for sixth grade, and he seemed to thrive.

But spending this year at home because of the pandemic has just been too much.

Eyan transferred to a new middle school for seventh grade, where nearly all of the other students had started in the sixth grade, prepandemic. He hasn’t met any of his classmates in person, and he hasn’t made a single friend.

Eyan has told his parents that he’s lonely. So lonely, in fact, that he has started posting on Discord and Reddit. Sometimes, when he’s bored, he even starts chatting with those strangers during class time.

His dad is sympathetic. “He wants to talk to people, and he doesn’t have anybody,” Mr. Gallegos said in a recent phone interview. But he’s also worried.

As a teenager, Mr. Gallegos went off the rails for a time. He was kicked out of high school, withdrew from community college twice and spent years fighting his way back, ultimately graduating from college and building a successful career with the federal government. There’s no way he’ll let the pandemic similarly spin his son’s life out of control.

“I’m going to make sure that we’re on top of this stuff,” he said. “I think as a parent, I have to do more.”

Virtually everyone has waded through hardships this past year — job losses, relationship struggles, chronic stress and, in the worst of all cases, the loss of loved ones to Covid-19. And parents with school-age children have battled the demands of combining their usual work and family responsibilities with at least some degree of home-schooling.

But mothers and fathers of middle schoolers — the parenting cohort long known to researchers as the most angst-ridden and unhappy — are connecting now in a specific sort of common misery: the pressing fear that their children, at a vital inflection point in their academic and social lives, have tripped over some key developmental milestones and may never quite find their footing again.

Call For Nominations

CEC is currently accepting nominations for the 2022 Yes I Can Award! This award, which is presented at the annual CEC Convention and Expo, recognizes youth with exceptionalities who in six different categories: Academics, Arts, School & Community Activities, Self-Advocacy, Technology, and Transition.

Learn more and submit a nomination here.
NJDOE Updates
Acting Education Commissioner Commends New Jersey's Schools of Character. Read more.

Advisory: Department of Education Currently Accepting Comments on Three Regulatory Proposals. Read more.

NJDOE Podcast Highlights Multilingualism in Schools. Read more.
In Case You Missed It: Education News
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"CEC Endorses Legislation to End Corporal Punishment in Schools"
"Secretary Cardona Testifies on Department of Education's 2022 Budget Request"
We are constantly keeping these pages updated with all of the events that are being offered amidst COVID-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 Contributors: Joan J. Vas, Saskia Brown
Newsletter Directors: Dr. Julie Norfus-Good, Benjamin Good