Navigating Excellence - Parent Center Assistance & Collaboration Team
Region A E-News
Inspirational Quote
“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.” ~ Anne Lamott
Message From Diana & Michele
We often recognize when others need to take a break before realizing it for ourselves. Your health and well-being is so important to your Parent Center and the children, youth/young adults, families and professionals you serve, so try to make time for breaks - walks, movies, dancing, reading, spa day, whatever tickles your fancy and rejuvenates your spirits! And remember that we are here to help!
African Caribbean American Parents of Children with Disabilities (AFCAMP): Check out AFCAMP’s updated website which provides resources in areas such as: Special Education, Disability, Health Equity and Juvenile Justice. See more.

Starbridge: Are you looking for workshops and community events ideas? Click here to see some of Starbridge’s events. Also, their YouTube channel features topics such as: Intersectionality, Anxiety and School Performance, and more. Subscribe here
Upcoming Events/Dates to Remember
Region A Drop-In Call: The next Region A Drop In Call will take place on Tuesday, March 1st, 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. ET. The NE-PACT Drop-In calls are on the first Tuesday of every month. Check your calendar invite for additional details. Please let us know if you have any agenda items. Join here.
COVID-19 Drop-In Calls: The next call will be on Tuesday, March 15, 10:00 a.m. - 11:15 a.m. ET. On these calls we will discuss how COVID is affecting your state/territory/community, address any new developments, and identify any help you need that we can provide. Join here.

Language access self-assessment and planning tool webinar: NE-PACT will present a webinar for guidance in completing this tool on March 15th, 11:30 a.m. - 12:45 p.m. ETJoin here

Continuation Report webinar: NE-PACT will present a webinar for guidance on completing your Continuation Report on March 29th, 10:00 a.m. - 11:15 a.m. ETJoin here.

Other Events: Don’t forget to check out the CPIR Calendar of Events.
Non-Profit Management Resources
Seven Time Management Tips for Small Non-Profits: Check out these time management tips.
Family-Centered Services Resources
Identifying and Building on Parent and Family Strengths and Resources: This brief resource provides information and things that can be done to assist families in identifying and building their strengths and resources.
Youth-Centered Services Resources
Good News: Building Supportive Classrooms with Youth Voice: Curricula centered around youth experiences are effective for supportive classrooms with the ongoing effects of the pandemic. Experience 67 Youth Communication teen writers to bring to life best teaching practices around race, gender, trauma, student engagement, and more. Find it here.
Staff Development Resources
Three Things to Remember When Building Capacity in Staff: Whether you are working with a small number of staff that report to you or a larger group that you supervise, building capacity is an important skill. You may need to work on building capacity in a particular staff member due to a changing job environment. Or, building capacity may need to be done because your department is receiving additional work but without the addition of positions to take on the additional work. Here are three things to keep in mind when trying to build capacity in your staff.
CT School districts face a rise in chronic absenteeism during the pandemic: State data shows a significant rise in chronic absenteeism during the pandemic, which is students missing at least 10% of school. Read more.
Building Better Bridges Into Higher Education for English Learners: Here are three common myths about ELs that shape educational policy and practice at both secondary and postsecondary levels. View it here.
Digital Awareness for Parents: The digital world is constantly evolving with new social media platforms, apps, and devices, and children and teens are often the first to use them. Some negative things that may occur include cyberbullying, sexting, posting hateful messages or content, and participating in negative group conversations. Learn more about things you can do to to prevent cyberbullying.
Child Welfare
Parental Substance Use: A Primer for Child Welfare Professionals: This factsheet discusses how child welfare professionals can support parents and families in identifying possible substance use disorders (SUDs). And how child welfare professionals and treatment providers can collaborate to serve families. Read more.
Community Schools
Community schools can reinvigorate learning after Covid — if done right: Community organizations have a crucial role in helping youth and young adult students achieve their academic potential. New challenges arise from the ongoing effects of the pandemic; community school is a promising strategy to address these challenges and equitable access to school systems. Read more.
Cultural Competence
ABC or 123? How Reading Can Get in the Way of Math Achievement and What to Do About It: A student's identity as a mathematician should not be dictated by their reading ability or confidence. We must create a culture of access and equity in classrooms by improving the readability and accessibility of text without in any way sacrificing grade-level rigor. Learn more.
The Art and Science of Telling a Story with Data: The tendency to narrate stories and the ability to appreciate them is one of the things that sets humans apart from other beings. Stories are one of the easiest ways for humans to transfer ideas. So it’s no wonder organizations heavily use storytelling to convey ideas to their clients, partners, and other stakeholders to bring them to the same level of understanding of the data at hand. Data storytelling is the process of telling a story with data and conveying the ideas they contain so they can be easily understood and interpreted by the target audience. The four components are data, context, visualization, and narrative. Learn more.
Discipline & Positive Behavioral Supports
Lawmakers differ on federal role in exclusionary discipline practices: While Democrats said Congress has a responsibility to help schools limit or abolish restraint, seclusion and corporal punishment, Republicans said federal interference is not needed in local discipline practices. Read more.
Dispute Resolution
The Essential Role of Cultural Brokering: Engaging Diverse Communities and Stakeholders in Special Education & Early Intervention Dispute Resolution: Programs and professionals in the field of Special Education and Early Intervention Dispute Resolution often struggle with effective ways to engage the racially, ethnically, culturally, and linguistically diverse communities in their states. This webinar is designed to highlight the role of cultural brokering to engage diverse communities and stakeholders in a meaningful manner in special education and early intervention dispute resolution. Register here.
Dropout Prevention
COVID Related Dropout Prevention Framework: Educators are working hard to connect students with schools across Colorado. The following information has been shared by schools and districts across Colorado who have identified strategies and promising practices as related to student engagement and dropout prevention. Check it out.
Early Childhood/Early Intervention
Using Child Outcomes to Shift the Focus from Problems to Possibilities: Learn how using the three child outcomes can change meaningful conversations about children, from domain-based delays to functional possibilities. With insight from parents and practitioners, this powerpoint examines the breadth of outcomes for describing and measuring children’s functioning and building family capacity to communicate their child’s functioning. Click here for the powerpoint.
Education Reform|ESSA
How Mentoring Supports Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at AIR: Mentoring can help people navigate structural challenges within career development and organizations that are often barriers to success. Mentoring also can contribute to honing the skills of people involved in mentoring relationships. Learn more.
Good Trouble: Understanding and Supporting Youth Activism for Equity and Justice: In this webinar, Mid-Atlantic Equity Cortisum (MAEC) engages in a dialogue on the intersections of civic engagement, activism, youth development, and public schooling. This webinar sought to build the capacity of educators and education leaders to respond and teach about youth activism. Learn more.
Foster Care
INSIGHTS #1: A Guide to Partnering with Parents to Break the Cycle of Intergenerational Foster Care Placement: More than 40 parents who grew up in foster care share their stories to offer their insights to child welfare professionals and policymakers. Their experiences can help guide professionals to work more closely with young parents and create equitable systems. Read more.
Grandparents as Caregivers
Duet Launches New Bilingual Services To Grandparents Raising Grandchildren: Duet announces a new bilingual kinship case management services to grandparents raising grandchildren. The new service provides free, one-on-one support to help grandfamilies overcome obstacles as well as achieve self-sufficiency and stability in their homes after placement of children. Learn more.
Healthcare Transition Tips and Tricks for Youth: Check out this video made by The National Alliance to Advance Adolescent Health/Got Transition about healthcare transition to help youth step into adulthood. The video provides tips and tricks on how to navigate the transition and feel more empowered to make decisions about their own health. Take a look and share with other young people who are making the transition, too!
Homeless youth and children are wildly undercounted say advocates: "Their narrowness of the definition and eligibility requirements really excludes a lot of children, youth and families who are experiencing homelessness” Read more.
IDEA/Special Education
Using Humor as a Tool for Effective Learning of Children with Disabilities: In the past, using lessons to make students laugh would not have been considered as something official or necessary, but today researchers and educators are being open with the idea. Research states that humor is effective in making sure that children with disabilities achieve success in their life and learning. Learn more.
Immigrant Issues
Immigrants could help the US labor shortage — if the government would let them: A massive work permit backlog is threatening to put immigrants out of work. Read more.
Preschool Inclusion Series: The videos and training sessions explore several aspects of including preschool-age children who have disabilities in programs and settings with their typically developing peers such as: benefits and rationale for inclusion, stories about the successful inclusion of a child, what it took for families and service providers to ensure appropriate supports and more. View the video series in English and Spanish.
Juvenile Delinquency/Juvenile Justice
Lawmakers, federal investigators investigate target teen facilities billed as therapeutic but accused of abuse: Residential program has been under investigation by federal agencies broadly probing teen facilities whose regimens critics argue are damaging and scientifically unproven to change adolescent behavior. Read more.
State-Sponsored Homophobia Report: The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Intersex Association, IGLA’s state-sponsored homophobia report (2020), is a resource to find legislation affecting people based on sexual orientation. Available in English and Spanish. Read more.
Mental Health
Living Well with Serious Mental Illness: With early and consistent treatment, people with serious mental illnesses can manage their conditions, overcome challenges, and lead meaningful, productive lives. View and share videos and fact sheets about SMI.
Military Families & Youth
Letter From the Secretary: Secretary Cardona’s February letter referenced military-connected students. Read the full letter.
Native American
National Museum of the American Indian: Join members of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe and the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) as they share their culture and history in a virtual celebration of food, art, traditional stories and film, hosted by the National Museum of the American Indian. View the celebration.
Parent/Family Engagement (and Youth!)
Family Engagement: A Guide to Tools, Strategies, and Resources: Check out this guide from TASC’s ExpandED Schools chock full of great resources around family engagement.
The Expanded Child Tax Credit Briefly Slashed Child Poverty. Here’s What Else It Did. Check out this NPR report on the positive impact of the expanded child tax credit. 
Remote Learning/School Reopening
NJ Kids who lost special ed services due to COVID can get more help, but deadline is looming: New Jersey students may be eligible for additional special education services from their school districts to make up for the learning they lost during the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about the new law being considered.
Restraint & Seclusion
FCPS costs related to DOJ settlement likely to exceed $4M: Costs related to the U.S. The Department of Justice settlement with Frederick County Public Schools over the use of seclusion and restraint against students with disabilities will likely total more than $4 million. Read the details.
Social-Emotional Learning
10 Social and Emotional Learning Strategies for Responding to COVID-19: The past year has been an unprecedented time for education and the world. All of us are living history, and our children and youth will be defined in part by their experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. The well-being of students and the social justice issues that have been raised in the past year are key concerns among educators. Learn more.
Report: 77% of employees living with disabilities say their workplace has improved accessibility: The pandemic reshaped how we work, increasing our reliance on digital technology. The way companies think about accessible and inclusive design is moving up on the list of priorities. Read more.
Transition to Adult Life/Youth
Sexual Health Education for Young People with Disabilities - Research and Resources for Educators: In recent years, important changes in public policies and attitudes have resulted in improved opportunities for people with physical and intellectual disabilities. Unfortunately, societal attitudes have changed less in regard to sexuality and disability. Learn more.
Trauma & Toxic Stress
Child Trauma Toolkit for Educators: This guide from the National Child Traumatic Stress Network is useful for educators as well as others who work directly with children and youth. Read more.
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) - NEPACT Logolocated in the states of CT-AFCAMP, CT-CPAC, DC-AJE, DE-PIC, MD-PPMD, ME-MPF, MA-FCSN, NH-PIC, NJ-SPAN, NJ-ASCF, NY-AFC, NY-CIDA, NY-LIAC, NY-UWS, NY-Starbridge, NY-INCLUDEnyc, NY-Sinergia, NY-PNWNY, PA-HUNE, PA- ME, PA-PEAL, PR-APNI, RI-RIPIN, VI-DRVI and VT-VFN. 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.