Navigating Excellence - Parent Center Assistance & Collaboration Team
Region A E-News
"Learn from the mistakes of others. You can't live long enough to make them all yourself." - Eleanor Roosevelt
Message from Carolyn & Diana
One of the aspects of our collaborative work together that we most appreciate is the generosity of the parent centers in our region who are so willing to share their experiences regarding what works - and what doesn't work! - in non-profit management, reaching and serving diverse families, and preparing and supporting our staff to do the work effectively. It is wonderful to be able to learn from the mistakes - and the successes - of others. NE-PACT is here to help you learn from the successes - and mistakes - of others in our region and across the network of parent centers, so don't hesitate to contact us! (Emails are best). It was great to see most of you in Rhode Island last month, and we look forward to seeing those of you who are coming to the Philadelphia convenings in just a week!
We want to welcome Iris Rose, Amanda Haught's daughter, born on April 26, 2019. We wish her, her mother, and her entire family, much love, joy, and happiness, and the hope for a better world!
Reminder about the NE-PACT/Region A Parent Center Workspace!
You've been invited to join NE-PACT: A group for Region A Parent Centers.
Check your email for this invitation to our
universal location to house all of our resource collections, materials, documents, and files, including the Transition Resource Repository, Trauma Toolkit, Drop-in call notes, webinar announcements and recordings, peer to peer and CQI applications, TA resources, and much more! Reach out to Rosslin Mensah-Boateng at
if you can't find your invitation or need other assistance accessing the new Region A parent center workspace.
Advocates for Children
: From their home page, you can access the
News and Media
section of AFC's website. This website section includes background information such as Leadership and Staff Bios, who they serve, Litigation and Policy Initiatives, their Newsletter Archive, and Success Stories, as well as information on AFC's press releases and AFC in the News. It's a great example of a web section that is set up for ease of use by journalists and others.
Federation for Children with Special Needs:
FCSN has welcomed a new Executive Director, Pam Nourse! According to FCSN, "Pam spent the last fifteen years as an executive at Germaine Lawrence/Youth Villages, a national organization devoted to child welfare where she worked to ensure positive outcomes for youth with emotional and behavioral challenges." Pam was able to join us for one day of the NE-PACT Follow-Up Forum in Rhode Island. On May 17th, they "Celebrated Every Child" at their annual gala at which they presented awards to, among others, Rich Robison, former Executive Director and now Director Emeritus of the Federation. Welcome, Pam, to our network!
Opportunity to Make an Impact
IDEA Implementation Study
: The US Department of Education is seeking comments on the upcoming IDEA Implementation Study to be implemented in Fall 2019. IES proposes to survey Part C and Part B state lead agencies, and schools, districts, and EI programs, and not parent centers, families, or students, about the status of IDEA implementation. Comments are due June 14. Click here for more information. Click here for the initial study. The National Center for Parent Leadership, Advocacy, and Community Empowerment (National PLACE) will be developing and circulating draft comments soon.
Disproportionality in Special Education: As you have probably heard, a federal court has told the US Department of Education that their attempt to delay the significant disproportionality rule was unlawful and that the regulation must be implemented immediately. US ED has done two things: it has filed a notice of intent to appeal, and it has informed state agencies that they must immediately begin to implement the regulation, leading to a letter from the National Association of State Directors of Special Education (NASDSE) complaining about the challenge to states that this poses. In addition, US ED has requested comments on a proposed Significant Disproportionality State Survey. According to information in the Federal Register, "This new collection will collect detailed information on the State's use of the standard methodology, or another methodology based upon risk ratios and risk ratio thresholds, to identify significant disproportionality in the LEAs of the State. The Department will use this information to support States and LEAs in their efforts to comply with the statutory requirement at section 618(d) of the IDEA. Specifically, the collection will include information about the extent to which each State has implemented the standard methodology, and steps necessary for States to be in compliance with the December 2016 regulation, including anticipated obstacles States will face and the extent to which States have considered safeguards to ensure compliance with federal law and the U.S. Constitution. This information will allow the Department to determine the appropriate time and manner for the States to report their standards required under 34 CFR § 300.647(b)(7), and to fulfill its role of monitoring and enforcement for reasonableness under 34 CFR § 300.647(b)(1)(iii)." Comments are due on July 12th. Read more.
Upcoming Events/Dates to Remember
Starting and Sustaining a Youth Advisory Board:
REACH for Transition, Family Voices, and Kids As Self-Advocates are sponsoring the third in a three-part series on youth advisory boards on May 30 at noon ET.
the first two webinars in the series.
Building Parent Center Capacity to Serve Military and Native American Families:
June 10-11, Philadelphia. This is an in-person 2-day training for Region A Parent Centers interested in enhancing outreach and services to military-connected and Native American families. This gathering will help build our Community of Practice to provide support and encourage innovative thinking through collaboration and information sharing. Additional web-based meetings and peer to peer TA will be available following this event to strengthen your center's capacity to serve these special populations. Parent Centers may choose to send 1 staff person to attend either strand or 2 staff to participate in both strands. Centers may submit an application for CQI (Continuous Quality Improvement) funds to cover travel and lodging costs for participants.
Access the application
. Applications must be submitted by 5/31/19!
Early Childhood Webinar Series for Parent Centers:
The ECTA Center will host a series of four short webinars that explore the Division for Early Childhood's Recommended Practices and some of the tools and resources developed to support the use of the practices. The fourth and final webinar will be the unveiling of an exciting and new family-level Ambassador for Recommended Practices initiative designed specifically for Parent Centers. All webinars will be held at 3 pm ET and last for 45 minutes. The dates and topics are: Tuesday, June 25: Introduction to DEC and the Recommended Practices; Tuesday, July 16: Resources and Materials that Support Family Use of the Recommended Practices; Wednesday, August 7: Resources and Supports for Parent Centers; Wednesday, September 11: aRPy Family Ambassador Initiative. In partnership with DEC and Parent to Parent of Georgia/Region B PTAC, ECTA will convene the first cohort of family-level aRPy Ambassadors. Applications will be available to participants at the end of the series. Up to 10 Ambassador will be selected for the first cohort. More information is available on the
ECTA Center website
Non-Profit Management Resources
Fundraising Guide for Non-Profit Organizations:
Check out these ten ways to jumpstart your fundraising in this on-line article
. You can also download their free eBook on the same topic on this site.
|Family-Centered and Youth-Centered Services Resources
Serving LGBTQ Families:
The Child Welfare Information Gateway hosts a page on Working with LGBTQ Youth and Families including an array of resources on working with parents who are LGBTQ as well as youth who are LGBTQ. Learn more.
|Staff Development Resources
Coaching Module Part 2: Measuring the Fidelity of Coaching:
Effective staff development includes ongoing coaching to support implementation of the knowledge and skills learned. The National Center for Systemic Improvement (NCSI)'s
Measuring the Fidelity of Coaching
is the second in a series of self-paced, professional development learning modules that NCIS has developed on coaching for teachers who work in the kindergarten-12th-grade setting. Although this module reviews the concept of fidelity and key components of fidelity, NCSI strongly recommends watching Module 1 to fully enhance the coaching of teachers.
focused on effective practices for coaches.
addresses how to measure the fidelity of coaching practices to increase their impact on teaching and learning. The module also features other resources:
Economic Benefits of Bilingualism:
A new study shows that students who retain and strengthen their home language not only have many cognitive, social, and health benefits but also can have many economic benefits, too.
Find out more
Translation Apps: Increasing Communication with Dual Language Learners:
Dual language learners (DLLs) represent one of the fastest growing populations in classrooms, and yet many teachers are monolingual and not trained in English as a Second Language, researchers report. The authors of a new paper in the Early Childhood Education Journal suggest that using translation apps can help teachers talk to their students, build relationships with children and families, and support bilingualism. They suggest further that once teachers and children can communicate successfully, DLLs can increase their understanding of content, engagement, motivation, communication, and sense of self-esteem. Three apps discussed by authors include Speak and Translate, Microsoft Translator, and Google Translate. The authors submit that these apps have been shown to be helpful in facilitating interactions with children in their home language. Additional information is provided on using these apps, as well as their potential benefits and drawbacks. Check it out.
|Child Welfare/Child Abuse and Neglect
Parent Education to Strengthen Families and Prevent Child Maltreatment
: This issue brief provides an overview of parent education programming, the evidence base behind its effectiveness, and the characteristics and practices that help make programs successful. The brief also highlights state and local examples of parent education initiatives that are helping to ensure the safety and well-being of children and families. An extensive set of national parent education resources is also provided.
Data Report Informs Early Childhood Interventions:
There is no one comprehensive indicator of child well-being. Instead, child well-being spans physical, social-emotional, and cognitive health and development. Since children do not grow up in a vacuum separate from parents or communities, a variety of factors influence overall well-being and long-term flourishing. How can teachers, administrators, researchers, and parents get a sense of how children are faring across such a range of domains?
Alternatives to the Zero Tolerance Discipline Paradigm
: The shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in February 2018 may be viewed as a watershed moment in our history, similar to Columbine in April 1999. Following both tragedies, the nation was at odds about how to prevent such shootings from happening again in the future. How do we solve America's gun problem in schools? Despite a surge of research supporting positive and prevention-focused school discipline alternatives following Columbine, many schools and districts nonetheless doubled down on zero tolerance discipline. The zero tolerance discipline paradigm, which took hold in the early 1990s, has been tied to an unprecedented spike in the use of exclusionary punishments (i.e., suspensions and expulsions). These harsh discipline measures were found to be ineffective by an American Psychological Association Task Force, which noted that out-of-school suspensions lead to lost instructional time and increased risk of school drop-out and involvement in the juvenile justice system - a destructive trajectory referred to as the "school-to-prison pipeline." Notably, racial disparities in schools' most draconian discipline practices have increased under zero tolerance, contributing to growing educational inequities experienced by Black youth. Want to learn more? Check out this Equity Alliance blog.
|Early Childhood/Early Intervention
Child Care Assistance Policies State by State:
Child care is crucial for the well-being of parents, children, and our nation. It makes it possible for parents to work and support their families. It gives children a safe, nurturing environment to learn and develop skills they need to succeed in school and in life. And, by strengthening the current and future workforce, it bolsters our nation's economy. Yet many families, particularly low-income families, struggle with the high cost of child care. Given the importance of child care assistance to families, it is essential for states to have strong child care assistance policies. Under the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), the major federal child care assistance program, states have flexibility to set policies within federal parameters. These 51 fact sheets summarize the state-specific information in
Overdue for Investment: State Child Care Assistance Policies 2018.
Family Capacity-Building Module Online
: ECTA's online module on
Family Capacity-Building in Early Childhood Intervention
addresses strategies to engage parents in activities to build their competence and confidence in providing learning opportunities for their child. The module is divided into 4 lessons ranging from 10-15 min. each, and includes short video demonstrations, checks a learner's understanding through a variety of interactive formats, and; includes a family capacity-building checklist for self-assessment or planning home visits. Read more
Family Practice Guides Now in Spanish
: ECTA's Practice Guides for Families are now available in Spanish
. The Practice Guides are intended for practitioners to share with families to illustrate implementation of the DEC Recommended Practices (which are also
available in Spanish
. Each practice guide includes a description, a brief video illustration with Spanish-language closed captions, a scenario, and changes to expect as a result of implementing the associated practices. Read more.
Tele-Practice in EI:
This study sought to determine the effectiveness of telepractice as a method of delivering early intervention services to families of infants and toddlers who are deaf or hard of hearing. A comparison group design was applied to ascertain the child, family, and provider outcomes via telepractice compared with traditional in-person home visits. The Family Outcomes Survey (The Early Childhood Outcomes Center, 2014) was used to assess important EI outcomes pertaining to supporting, educating, and increasing community inclusion of families. The results support the effectiveness of tele-practice in delivering early intervention services to families of children who are deaf or hard of hearing.
|Education Reform/Every Student Succeeds Act/School Improvement
Growth vs. Fixed Mindsets:
Researchers have found that students' mindsets-how they perceive their abilities-play a key role in their motivation and achievement, and that if we change students' mindsets, we can boost their achievement. More precisely, students who believe their intelligence can be developed (a growth mindset) outperform those who believe their intelligence is fixed (a fixed mindset). And when students learn through a structured program that they can "grow their brains" and increase their intellectual abilities, they do better. Finally, they found that having children focus on the process that leads to learning (like hard work or trying new strategies) could foster a growth mindset and its benefits. But like any new knowledge, it's possible to misuse this information to hide achievement gaps or oversimplify the theory and its application to student learning.
Title I Explained:
Nearly every district in the country receives at least some money through Title I, the $15.4 billion federal program to help education low-income students. Yet few completely understand the formulas used to provide those funds from year to year. Read the Education Week article.
Culturally Responsive Teaching:
Read this piece on why culturally responsive teaching matters and what states are doing to integrate this approach into their professional teaching standards.
Leveraging General Supervision Systems to Improve Student Outcomes: A Process Guide for IDEA Part B:
This process guide from the National Center for Systemic Improvement (NCSI) is intended to help states and stakeholders consider ways to leverage their general supervision systems to improve outcomes for students with disabilities and their families while ensuring compliance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). States have adopted systems of general supervision1 to oversee implementation of IDEA, which requires states to ensure that students with disabilities receive a free and appropriate public education (FAPE).
Our Children's Fears: Immigration Policy Effects on Young Children:
This report documents how young children in immigrant families, particularly the estimated 2 million children under the age of 5 who have at least one undocumented parent, have had their worlds turned upside down by current administration immigration policies. The report is based on interviews and focus groups with more than 150 early childhood educators in six states - California, Georgia, Illinois, New Mexico, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania. The anecdotal evidence suggest that the cognitive and emotional development of these children is being severely impaired. Young children have reduced access to early care and education programs, nutrition, and health care services. Some children, fearing that their parents will be taken away, have shown disturbing new behaviors, such as increased aggression and withdrawal from their environments. Young children's housing and economic stability are also being compromised. The report concludes with a series of recommendations for federal, state and local policymakers as well as the philanthropic community.
Read the report
National Inclusion Indicators Initiative:
This is a national initiative being led by ECTA with partners across early care and education working to develop indicators that address inclusive policies and practices at the state, local program leadership and classroom system level. The indicators will support state and local program leaders to examine and implement strategies that strengthen their capacity to provide high quality inclusive options in their communities. The goal of the initiative is to improve and increase inclusive opportunities for young children with disabilities and their families, through system and practice refinements. The page provides a list of partners in this work, the last draft of the state indicators and a flyer describing our work on the indicators. Local program leadership and classroom indicators are still in development and will be shared in the future. Link to
. Link to
one page flyer
about this initiative.
|Juvenile Delinquency/Juvenile Justice
"Collaborating for Successful Reentry: A Practical Guide to Support Justice-Involved Young People Returning to the Community:"
This guide from the
Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice
is a resource to help practitioners reform how youth reenter society and connect with their community. Traditionally, the justice system has used remedies that require youth to go to several classes, complete community service and have frequent meetings with different case managers. This system of reentry can be overwhelming when added on top of readjusting to school, social, and family life. The report stresses that there should be a more streamlined reporting system for youth when reentering their community. Having one point of contact instead of various individuals to report to helps build a bond between practitioner and youth. Along with reducing the number of people youth must report to, programs that youth are involved in should be community-based and culturally/gender responsive.
Serving LGBTQ Families:
The Child Welfare Information Gateway hosts a page on Working with LGBTQ Youth and Families including an array of resources on working with parents who are LGBTQ as well as youth who are LGBTQ. Learn more.
|Military Families & Youth
Resolve School Issues with the Interstate Compact - 2 Parent Handouts:
The Interstate Compact is an excellent tool for your work with military families. Use School Issues Covered by the Interstate Compact to learn about and help military parents learn the benefits of the Compact. Step by Step Checklist -Resolve Issues with the Interstate Compact
for military parents who want to know what specific steps to take to start resolving issues by using the Compact, and what their next steps are if their first efforts don't succeed. You can add your parent center's logo and contact information to these handouts!
|Native American Families & Youth
Everything in Nature Goes in Curves and Circles: Native American Concepts of Disability:
modern view of reality is based in straight lines and angles. When someone goes somewhere or gives directions, the method of orientation is based on 'straight ahead', 'turn left' and 'turn right'. But Nature doesn't work that way, and neither does the traditional person. Everything in Nature goes in curves and circles, and the same is true about our going about.
-Distant Eagle. Native American cultures have very different concepts of reality than dominant western culture as the Iroquois Elder explained in the above quote. Read this well-documented and footnoted paper by former Grinnell student Marisa Leib-Neri.
|Parent/Family Engagement (and Youth!)
Advancing Research and Measurement on Fathering and Children's Development:
From the Society for Research in Child Development: Fathers are more than social accidents. Research has demonstrated that fathers matter to children's development. Despite noted progress, challenges remain on how best to conceptualize and assess fathering and father-child relationships. The current monograph is the result of an SRCD-sponsored meeting of fatherhood scholars brought together to discuss these challenges and make recommendations for best practices for incorporating fathers in studies on parenting and children's development. The first aim of this monograph was to provide a brief update on the current state of research on fathering and to lay out a developmental ecological systems perspective as a conceptual framework for understanding the different spaces fathers inhabit in their children's lives. Because there is wide variability in fathers' roles, the ecological systems perspective situates fathers, mothers, children, and other caregivers within an evolving network of interrelated social relationships in which children and their parents change over time and space (e.g., residence). The second aim was to present examples of empirical studies conducted by members of the international working group that highlighted different methods, data collection, and statistical analyses used to capture the variability in father-child relationships. The monograph ends with a commentary that elaborates on the ecological systems framework with a discussion of the broader macrosystem and social-contextual influences that impinge on fathers and their children. The collection of articles contributes to research on father-child relationships by advancing theory and presenting varied methods and analysis strategies that assist in understanding the father-child relationship and its impact on child development. Check it out.
Government Spending During Childhood and Intergenerational Income Mobility in the US:
In a new study in Children and Youth Services Review, the effects of government spending during childhood and the association between income inequality and intergenerational income mobility were examined. The study was based on data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 data along with state-level measures of income inequality and per-capita total government spending. It was found that additional government spending contributes to promoting intergenerational income mobility, that government spending moderates the effects of income inequality on intergenerational income mobility, and that government spending prevents the decrease in intergenerational mobility by offsetting the consequences of inequality. The researcher concludes that this evidence indicates that government spending plays a role in preventing a decrease in intergenerational income mobility by offsetting the consequences of income inequality. Access the report.
Norming: A Social-Emotional Personal Competency Strategy:
Norms are agreements about how members of a group, such as a classroom or school, will treat one another. Read this topic brief by the Center for Innovations in Learning about the benefits of norming and the research that identifies it as one of the most important social-emotional practices to impact student achievement and well-being. Access the full topic
. Access a
with trainers' notes and a narrated
of the powerpoint.
Systems Change and Improvement
Leading by Convening On-Line Modules
You can now access Leading by Convening (LbC) webinars 24/7 at no charge. Home page for Leading by Convening.
Home page for the users guide and modules.
The modules can be used for individual professional development (refresher for people who went through the LbC in person training, or for new training for those who have not attended an LbC training in person), and also for training of groups of people (such as your staff, local health department staff, etc.) The modules are interactive and the activities are with the modules on line. The user guide is also very helpful. Individual modules:
- Module 1: Introduction to Leading by Convening (LbC)/Authentic Engagement (30-40 minutes): 3 lessons (Authentic Stakeholder Engagement; Approaches to Leadership; and the Leading by Convening Framework)
- Module 2: Coalescing Around Issues (40-45 minutes): 4 Lessons (Benefits of Coalescing around issues; Adaptive Elements; Technical Elements; Operational Elements):
- Module 3: Ensuring Relevant Participation (55-65 minutes): 4 Lessons (Ensuring Relevant Participation; Adaptive Elements; Technical Elements; Moving Forward Together):
- Module 4: Doing the Work Together: (35 minutes) 4 lessons (Importance of Working Together, Adaptive Elements, Technical Elements, Practical Application):
- Module 5: Reviewing and Reflecting on Engagement Over time: (25-35 minutes): 3 modules (Reflecting on Engagement Experiences, a review of depth of interaction, tools for generating interaction data):
|Transition to Adult Life/Youth
Effectively Employing Young Adult Peer Providers Toolkit:
The Learning and Working Center Transitions RTC has developed this toolkit for organizations that employ or want to employ young adult peer providers. It discusses the factors that promote the success of young adult peers.
Youth Disconnection Rate Down but Challenges Remain:
While the U.S. youth disconnection rate - the percentage of young adults between the ages of 16 and 24 who are neither working nor in school - fell for the seventh consecutive year in 2017, progress is slowing, a report from
Measure of America
, a project of the
Social Science Research Council
, finds. Based on employment and enrollment data from the U.S. Census Bureau's 2017
American Community Survey
, the report,
Making the Connection: Transportation and Youth Disconnection
found that while the national youth disconnection rate was 11.5 percent, down slightly from 11.7 percent in 2016 and significantly from the post-recession high of 14.7 percent in 2010, the pace of improvement is slowing. Funded by the
Schultz Family Foundation
, the report also found that after steady declines since 2010 across racial/ethnic groups, the African-American youth disconnection rate ticked up to 17.9 percent rate in 2017, from 17.1 percent in 2016, with particularly high rates in Nevada (26.6 percent), Wisconsin (26 percent), and Arkansas (24.5 percent). Find out more.
|Trauma, Toxic Stress, and Resilience
Better Together: A Trauma Informed Approach to Social-Emotional Learning: Although they are commonly thought of as two separate initiatives it is worthwhile to ask the question, "Can Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) and trauma informed practices support student growth more effectively when they are implemented together?" SEL and trauma informed practices have many conceptual and practical similarities. At the same time each has unique components that can help make the other more effective in helping students learn and grow. As educators look for ways to more effectively support student growth, we think there is logic in considering SEL and trauma informed practices not as separate or competing mechanisms, but practices that work better together. This guide provides examples of ways SEL and trauma informed practices, implemented together, offer a more powerful and comprehensive support for student growth than either can achieve alone. Click here to register for a free White Paper from 321 Insight and Education Week.
ABOUT THE REGION A PARENT TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE CENTER
The Navigating Excellence-Parent Assistance and Collaboration Team (NE-PACT), the Region A Technical Assistance Center, provides technical assistance to federally-funded parent centers -- Parent Training and Information Centers (PTIs) and Community Parent Resource Centers (CPRCs) - located in the states of
, DC-AJE, DE-PIC, MD-PPMD,
, NY-CIDA, NY-LIAC,
, PA-HUNE, PA- ME, PA-PEAL, PR-APNI,
, VI-DRVI and
. These Parent Centers are independent non-profit organizations. We also provide support to emerging parent centers and parent organizations serving families of children with or at risk of being identified as having disabilities. In addition, we work with early intervention and education agencies (local, state and federal level) seeking information regarding best practices in involving parents of children with disabilities in systems improvement.
The center activities are specifically designed to:
- Enhance the capacity of parent centers to provide effective services to families of children with special needs and to work effectively with their states to improve special education and early intervention systems; and,
- Facilitate their connections to the larger technical assistance network that supports research-based training, including educating parents about effective practices that improve results for children with disabilities. For more information click here.