Navigating Excellence - Parent Center Assistance & Collaboration Team
Region A E-News
"Determination, energy, and courage appear spontaneously when we care deeply about something. We take risks that are unimaginable in any other context." -Margaret J. Wheatley
Message from Carolyn & Diana
We hope you all had a great week-end and, if you celebrate it, Thanksgiving holiday! This week we will be meeting with the US Department of Education Parent TA Center Project Officers to review the work and evaluation plans for the National Center for Parent Information and Resources (CPIR) and the four Regional Parent TA Centers, including NE-PACT/Region A PTAC. At that meeting, we expect to finalize our TA plans including plans for targeted and intensive TA regarding working with military-connected families and Native American families. We will let you know if there are any changes to our project as a result of that meeting. We will soon be making plans for our first NE-PACT Advisory meeting in December; site visits to the five centers who have joined our regional community of practice; in-person and virtual learning opportunities with EPICS (the former Native American Parent TA Center) and the LI Advocacy Center and Parent Network of WNY, and PAVE (the Military Parent TA Center that has a one-year no-cost extension); and our follow-up forum in the spring. Remember that we are here to support you in any way we can, so don't hesitate to contact us! (Emails are best). "Refusing to ask for help when you need it is refusing someone the change to be helpful." - Ric Ocasek - So please ask for help when you need it! And we'll be sure to do the same.
NE-PACT/Region A Parent Center Workspace!
You asked for a universal location to house all of our resource collections, materials, documents, and files, and we listened. Introducing the new
Region A Workspace!
Our Workspace on the Parent Center Hub is the place you will find:
- Transition Resource Repository
- Trauma Toolkit
- Drop-in Call Notes
- Webinar announcements and recordings
- Peer-to-Peer and CQI Applications
- TA Resources
- and more...
Check your inbox for your invite to join NE-PACT: A group for Region A Parent Centers. And if you are new to the Parent Center Workspaces, follow this link to learn more.
HUNE: HUNE, the Community Parent Resource Center in Philadelphia, was 1 of 10 organizations in the greater Philadelphia area that received a GSK Impact Award. The GSK Impact Awards honor the exceptional achievements, overall excellence and best practices of nonprofit organizations contributing to healthier communities in the Greater Philadelphia, PA and Triangle, NC regions. The winners each receive an award of $40,000. Hear from the Philly award winners.
SPAN's Executive Co-Director, Diana Autin, received the 2018 Reclaiming Children Award from the National Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health.
Reclaiming Children Award
recognizes "outstanding efforts at the local and state level on behalf of children experiencing
behavioral health challenges and their families," and is awarded to "an exceptional individual who has made significant contributions to enhancing the lives of children and their families."
Upcoming Events/Dates to Remember
Improving the Employment Outcomes of Youth Who Receive Public Entitlements through Benefits and Work Incentives Planning:
This three-part webinar series was designed to support capacity building at a macro, meso, and micro level within State Vocational Rehabilitation Agencies (SVRAs). The first webinar will explore systems approaches to building benefits and work incentives planning capacities through models employed across various SVRAs. The second webinar will provide an overview of an online just-in-time toolkit developed to support frontline VR practitioners in meeting the unique needs of youth receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Finally, the series culminates in a presentation of lessons learned from various state PROMISE programs.
Approaches to Building State Vocational Rehabilitation Agency Benefits and Work Incentives Planning Capacities:
November 27, 201: 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM EST.
Webinar Full Description & to register
Webinar: Defining and Unpacking the Social Determinants of Health and Health Equity:
The National Academy of Medicine's Culture of Health program will hold a one-hour webinar on defining and unpacking the social determinants of health and health equity. The webinar will focus on how public health officials conceptualize these terms in practice and what it means to apply these terms to enact change in the real world. Thursday, November 29, 4 pm ET.
National Inclusive Schools Week: A Kaleidoscope of Friends:
This year, National Inclusive Schools week is December 3-7 and the theme is, "A Kaleidoscope of Friends." How will you celebrate?
Get great ideas and resources
NE-PACT/Region A PTAC Drop-In Call, Tuesday, 12/4 at 10 am:
Please remember to join us each month on the first Tuesday of the month. Our next call is Tuesday, December 4, from 10-12 ET. Dial 877-713-0446 and use participant code 389-654-6677. Each month, we will share national and regional information of interest, facilitate conversation on issues raised by the centers in our region, and provide an opportunity for you to share updates on your work and developments in your community/territory/ state. Please let us (
) know if you have any agenda items you would like to include.
Addressing Challenging Behavior National Training Institute on Effective Practices, March 22-25, Clearwater Beach, Florida
: The format of this institute is designed to provide cutting-edge information on challenging behavior in an in-depth, intensive learning experience. Each workshop is 3 hours long and topics are chosen carefully to give you a variety of options. Participants have many opportunities to practice new strategies, interact with experts, and engage in lively discussions. More information about sessions, travel, and registration.
Non-Profit Management Resources
Practical Ideas to Improve Equity and Inclusion at Non-Profits
he nonprofit sector's focus on advancing social welfare means that we are responsible not only for implementing effective management practices, but also for holding ourselves accountable to the communities we serve. We know that board diversity
and inclusive teams
make better decisions
know the value
of including our communities and program participants in decision-making. Yet while references to equity, inclusion, and diversity (DEI) are seemingly everywhere, as a white executive director, I am acutely aware that nearly 90 percent of all nonprofit executive directors or presidents
. In my field, environmental conservation and outdoor recreation, people of color
hold just 12 percent
of staff positions, and participants in outdoor recreation programs overwhelmingly
identify as white
. Acknowledging intersectionality-the reality that we live within a system of overlapping and interdependent privileges and disadvantages-is a first step toward truly addressing DEI. But how can we make acknowledging intersectionality a practice, and not just a conversation? We can start by making relatively simple changes that center our work at the intersection of race, gender, sexual orientation, ableism, and implicit bias. Here are some practical ways to begin. Read more.
PDFs and Web Accessibility:
The recordings for Inclusive PDFs by Design and Is Your State, District, or School Website Accessible? are now available. Head over to the event pages of AEM (the National Center on Accessible Educational Materials) to watch the videos and access the resources and more.
|Family-Centered Services Resources
Engaging Diverse Families
: In the following report, Hanover Research examines literature and case studies on engaging diverse families in public, K12 settings. It focuses in particular on the experiences and needs of large, urban public school districts, and on the experiences and needs of African-American and Hispanic families. While the report is aimed at schools and districts, there are important lessons that can be used by parent centers to work with families from diverse backgrounds. Read the report.
|Youth-Centered Services Resources
The Developmental Relationships Framework:
The Search Institute has identified five elements (express care; challenge growth; provide support; share power; and expand possibilities) expressed in 20 specific actions that that make relationships powerful in young people's lives. For English click here. For Spanish click here.
Absences Add Up:
Check out these resources for schools/educators, community leaders, afterschool partners, and mentoring partners on addressing underlying causes of chronic absenteeism.
Preparing Teachers to Work with Dual Language Learners: Check out this study examining whether early educators are being adequately prepared to work with dual language learners.
How are States Using Title III Funds to Support ELLs? A new report from the Department of Education provides a high-level view of how states are using Title III funds to support their English Learner students.
The Parent Action Toolkit (to Address Bullying):
School should be a place where children feel safe and secure-a place where they can count on being treated with respect. The unfortunate reality is that many students are the targets of bullying, resulting in long-term academic, physical, and emotional consequences. Kids don't often go to adults when they are being bullied because they feel that most adults won't help. And when parents do realize that their child is the victim of bullying they don't know how to respond to it. They don't know how to effectively communicate with their child about bullying and they don't know how to effectively communicate with the school to end bullying. Parents often need tools to help. It is my hope that the information shared here will help parents recognize bullying, effectively communicate with children about bullying and effectively communicate with the school to hold it accountable to end bullying. Thousands of parents have already applied the steps offered here and have made a positive impact in the way their school treats bullying. Find this guide and other resources from The Bully Project.
Entangled Roots: The Role of Race in Policies that Separate Families:
By examining the roots of policies that separate families and their entanglement with racial prejudice and discrimination, this report makes the case that we must embrace an alternative path. Find out more.
|Choice/Charter Schools/Virtual Schools/Voucher Programs
Debate about School Choice:
Check out this exchange about school choice involving several national education theory and policy leaders, Linda Darling-Hammond vs. Diane Ravitch and Carol Burris.
Cultural Humility as a Tool for Change:
You can read about components that can support the development and sustainability of cultural humility in a Journal for Health Care for the Poor and Underserved article by authors Melanie Tervalon and Jann Murray-Garcia, who advocate that the work of individuals, and the support they receive from their institutions around issues of inclusion, equity and social justice, should support the development of cultural humility rather than cultural competence when working across differences. The authors define cultural humility as "a lifelong process and commitment to self-evaluation and critique, to redressing the power imbalances in the caretaker-patient dynamic, and to developing mutually beneficial and non-paternalistic relationships and partnerships with communities on behalf of individuals and underrepresented populations." Learn about these components.
Accessibility in Data Visualization:
Read this piece that discusses the need for increased accessibility measures in data visualization in in companies, governments, and non-governmental organizations. The article asks the question: Who might they be leaving behind? Read more.
|Discipline & Positive Behavior Supports
Comparison of State Policies on Discipline:
The Education Commission of the States released a 50-state comparison of state policies on school discipline.
Check it out
Resources from the National Center for PBIS:
Check out these resources
from the National Center for Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports.
Strategies for IEP Disputes and Conflict Resolution:
SpecialEducationGuide.com is an online resource for parents and educators who want to master the terminology, procedures and best practices in special education. Their expert writers cover everything from early intervention to ISFPs; IEPs and RTI, inclusion, classroom and behavior management; disability profiles for each category under IDEA and a Special Education Dictionary to master "SPED" jargon. Read this piece on
how to resolve disputes
Solutions to the Dropout Crisis:
Check out this webinar series on Solutions to the Dropout Crisis from the National Center for Dropout Prevention.
|Early Childhood/Early Intervention
What to Look for When Choosing a Pre-K:
Check out these
five essential elements
to look for when choosing a pre-K program.
Establishing Universal Access to Pre-K as a Constitutional Right:
The Center for Educational Equity (CEE) at Teachers College, Columbia University and the Center for Children's Initiatives (CCI) has published the report, "
Establishing Universal Access to Prekindergarten as a Constitutional Right
," supporting a rights-based initiative to establish universal access to preschool for all three and four-year-olds. This report summarizes the policy and legal precedents across the country making the case that preschool should be a fundamental part of the free public education system. This initiative aims to build public will and support for creating a system that realizes the full potential of universal preschool to benefit the individual children who are served and society at large. The case for establishing this as a legal right is offered in three parts. To ensure that financing is stable and sustained, the report also proposes that preschool funding should be integrated into the state's K-12 school funding formulas and should flow to school districts as part of their basic state aid, with allocations protected for preschool as a specific phase of public education. Read the report.
Principals See Distributed Leadership as Key to Managing their Evolving Role
Read this article about the importance of shared leadership for successfully fulfilling the growing list of school principal responsibilities.
How to Bring Equity and Inclusion to the Classroom:
Open-educational resources may help educators bring classroom resources in line with their students' diverse needs.
Check it out
Racial Equity Resources
: At the time they enter kindergarten, many young children face gaps that exist - by income, race/ethnicity, language, and culture - in child outcomes and opportunities, as well as in system capacity and response. Closing these gaps is fundamental to the success of each child and of the US as a nation. Check out these resources to help you build and expand your focus on equity in systems: Measuring Up: Equity Lessons from Australia's Early Childhood Development Census, and Resources on Culture, Diversity, and Equity from the Frank Porter Graham Development Institute categorized into four sections (early childhood evidence, print, audiovisual, and online resources).
|Every Student Succeeds Act
Federal Government Calls for Proactive Father Engagement:
In October the federal government sent an information memorandum (IM) to state- and tribal-level agencies and programs overseen by the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) that called for proactive father engagement.
The purpose of the IM was to: "...strongly encourage all human service agencies including child welfare agencies, courts, offices of child support enforcement, offices of public assistance, offices of child care, Head Start programs and family and youth services programs to work together across governments to jointly create and maintain an environment that prioritizes father engagement as a critical factor in strengthening families and adopt approaches to enhance paternal involvement in all family support and child welfare related programs." The IM included the benefits of engaging dads, such as the benefits of involved dads on child well-being; the importance of creating a service approach that is father-friendly; why it's important to engage dads in all ACF programs; the history of ACF programs' commitment to engage dads; and resources that can help ACF programs engage dads. Read more.
Confusing Poverty with Abuse/Neglect:
From the Talk Poverty website: A superb overview of the confusion of poverty with neglect - by a mother who had her children taken because her poverty was confused with neglect.
The same author also wrote this excellent story, about the misuse of so-called "safety plans".
|Grandparents as Caregivers
Grandparents Raising Grandchildren: Parenting the Next Generation:
This self-learning resources from the Montana State University Extension Program
looks at the background of grandparent-headed families, their challenges and benefits, and discusses resources and support to help make this family form successful. Check it out.
The Intersection of Health and Education to Address School Readiness of All Children: A review recently published in Pediatrics combines Education Resources Information Center (ERIC) resources with relevant literature in the PubMed database to encourage alignment in the fields of pediatrics and education to promote transdisciplinary work. Researchers report reviewing education literature to understand the current US achievement gap, providing an update on the impact of child health on school readiness and exploring emerging solutions in education and pediatrics. They also present next steps for transdiciplinary work between education and pediatrics that has the potential to improve the health and school readiness of young children. Read more.
Prospective Associations between Participation in Leisure-time Physical Activity at Age 6 and Academic Performance at Age 12: A new study in Preventive Medicine examines prospective associations between kindergarten participation in leisure-time physical activity and academic performance by the end of sixth grade. The research is based on the Quebec Longitudinal Study of Child Development, a 1997-1998 birth cohort from the province of Quebec, Canada with a sample of 2,837 children. Higher overall participation in leisure-time physical activity at age 6 was associated with better teacher-reported grades in language and math and self-reported grades in language, as well as with higher classroom engagement at age 12. Researchers suggest that promoting leisure-time physical activity may be an effective way to encourage children to be active and to help them improve their academic performance, both leading to long-term wider benefits. Find out more.
REACH: Connect Your Children with Education: This video from
explains the educational rights of children and youth experiencing homelessness, with special emphasis on educating incarcerated parents on how to advocate for their children's education during periods of incarceration.
Visit the REACH (Restore Educational Access for Children who are Homeless) webpage
and watch an 11 minute video that explains, in simple language, what the children's educational rights are and how the parent can help their children get into school
. While it's geared to inmates, it's an excellent McKinney-Vento homeless education intro for staff, volunteers, and educators.
IDEA Funding Primer:
The Congressional Research Service released a primer on the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) funding.
ICE Partnerships with Local Police Uproot Latinx Students:
A recent paper from researchers at Stanford University finds that schools saw a decline in Latinx enrollment in counties where local law enforcement officers partnered with ICE.
Inclusion Basics Course:
Check out this online course from the Inclusive Schools Network.
Inclusion Self-Assessment for Schools:
This instrument is designed to provide schools with a self-assessment instrument to guide a review of current practices regarding inclusive education. Stetson and Associates considers inclusive education to be synonymous with the requirements for the provision of education and related services in the least restrictive environment. Decisions about instructional setting are determined on an individual student basis and while there is a strong preference for instruction in the general education classroom, the IEP team makes the determination of the appropriate location(s) for services. It is our position that the emergence of the terms 'inclusive practices' and 'inclusive education' served to refocus national attention on this critical philosophy and practice for every student. The notion of inclusive practices is relevant for all students. Access the self-assessment.
|Juvenile Delinquency/Juvenile Justice
Age-Based Justice System Approach Overlooks That Adolescence Extends Beyond Age 18
In the U.S. when a person reaches 18 years old, they enjoy new rights such as voting. They also shoulder new burdens, especially in the legal system. Federal and state law can treat an offender on his or her 18th birthday very differently than they would have the day before. But does developmental science agree that an 18-year-old can reason as an adult? Contrary to the prevailing legal perspective, a person's brain and psychological abilities typically don't fully mature until around age 22, according to B.J. Casey, a psychologist at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, who presented her research probing the adolescent-adult transition at the Society for Neuroscience conference. Read more.
Just the Facts About Sexual Orientation and Youth:
The APA (American Psychological Association) and the other 12 organizations that comprise the Just the Facts Coalition have just published a new edition of "Just the Facts about Sexual Orientation and Youth: A Primer for Principals, Educators, and School Personnel". This group of national education, health, mental health and religious organizations believe that all students should have an opportunity to learn and develop in a safe and supportive environment. Just the Facts provides information and resources for principals, educators and school personnel who confront sensitive issues involving gay, lesbian and bisexual students.
Download the guide
What Can Principals Do to Make Mental Health a Priority:
Check out this
in Education Week on what principals can do to make student mental health a priority.
|Military Families & Youth
Trauma Faced by Children of Military Families: What Every Policymaker Should Know:
This resource from the National Center for Children in Poverty notes that military-connected parents
experience multiple deployments, and that a large body of research has accumulated on the behavioral health problems faced by military personnel as a result of these conflicts. A growing area of research shows the negative impact on children, youth and families of U.S. military personnel. Children of military families often experience multiple stressors before and during their parent's deployment and when they come home. Without appropriate mental health support systems, children of military personnel may be at a significant disadvantage compared with their peers in non-military families. Read more.
|Native American Families & Youth
Adverse Childhood Experiences:
Read this piece
on why American Indians and Alaska Natives must be included in research on adverse childhood experiences.
|Parent/Family Engagement (and Youth!)
Carnegie Challenge Paper: Next Generation Family Engagement:
The Carnegie Foundation of New York recently released a
examining the history, current practice, and potential of family and community engagement as a key element of ensuring lifelong success for all children. It suggests five high-leverage areas of investment: community initiatives, capacity building and professional development, data pathways, public policy change, and public communication and engagement strategies. It also questions what additional efforts are needed to build on a bold vision of effective family and community engagement strategies at the local, state, and national levels. Authors encourage readers to share ideas at email@example.com. Responses from education leaders are available on the same web page where this
can be found.
School-Community Network Foundations:
The School-Community Network's building blocks include shared leadership; setting clear goals and roles; promoting communication; providing education; and connecting people and groups. Find out more.
Every Student Succeeds Act Primer: Parent and Community Engagement:
To provide opportunities for meaningful parent engagement, ESSA requires schools that receive federal funding for underserved students, under Title I and other programs, to develop parent and family engagement policies. This fact sheet from the Alliance for Excellent Education & the NAACP has questions parents can ask education leaders (at the school, district, and state level) about ways families can be involved in developing plans and policies. Access the fact sheet.
Resources for Families Experiencing Poverty:
As parent centers, we often are contacted by families experiencing poverty. Find and share
resources for families experiencing poverty
, including 2-1-1, SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), and other resources.
Trauma Informed Resources for Families Experiencing Poverty:
This toolkit from the Administration for Children and Families includes information about resources specific to working with low-income families including those receiving Temporary Assistance to Needy Families including what do we mean by trauma-informed approaches and why are they important; how to start to become more trauma-informed; how to recognize the signs and symptoms of trauma; and additional or specialized resources.
Is There Racial Inequality at your School?
Based on civil rights data released by the U.S. Department of Education, ProPublica has built an
to examine racial disparities in educational opportunities and school discipline. Look up more than 96,000 individual public and charter schools and 17,000 districts to see how they compare with their counterparts.
What Do Test Scores Miss?
Teachers affect a variety of student outcomes through their influence on both cognitive and non-cognitive skills. Teacher effects on behaviors predict larger impacts on high
school completion and other longer-run outcomes than their effects on test scores. In fact, teacher impacts on behaviors like adaptability, motivation, and self-restraint, is ten times more predictive of long-term success than their impact on student test scores. Relative to using only test score measures, using effects on both test score and non-cognitive measures more than doubles the variance of predictable teacher impacts on longer-run outcomes. Read this interesting study.
Power of Two: The Impact of 2 Years of High-Quality Teacher Child Interactions:
A new paper released in Early Education and Development explores the cumulative amount of the quality of teacher-child interactions over multiple years during early childhood and its effect on children's early learning outcomes. Researchers compared academic outcomes of children who experienced consistently high-quality or consistently low-quality teacher-child interactions, as defined by the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) during prekindergarten and kindergarten. Children who experienced consistently high- and consistently low-quality instructional support differed in language and literacy skills after just one year. Researchers found gains were even greater for children who experienced high levels of instructional support over two years but note relatively few children have access to such opportunities. Find out more.
|Transition to Adult Life/Youth
What is Youth Apprenticeship? Definition and Guiding Principles for High-Quality Programs: Read about the
guiding principles for high-quality programs
. Building on national research and experience, PAYA's principles lay out a vision for designing effective and equitable programs- and for measuring their success. Find out more.
|Trauma & Toxic Stress
Creating a Trauma-Informed Care School:
Check out this
from the National Dropout Prevention Center on creating a trauma-informed care school.
Resources to help children in the aftermath of a hurricane:
This blog provides compelling research on how natural disasters impact young children, and offers tools and resources to support them during the recovery process. Check it out.
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.