Navigating Excellence - Parent Center Assistance & Collaboration Team
Region A E-News
"All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence." - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Message from Carolyn & Diana
Happy New Year! 2020 is off to a busy start with many activities on the NEPACT calendar. We are looking forward to seeing you at our upcoming REACH Roundtable and NEPACT Follow-Up Forum in Philadelphia on March 31-April 1st. NE-PACT stands for "Navigating Excellence - Parent Center Assistance and Collaboration Team." All of our efforts are aimed at helping you undertake your important work on behalf of children, youth and families with "painstaking excellence." From our face-to-face convenings, to our monthly Drop-In Calls, to our Continuous Quality Improvement and Peer-to-Peer mini-grants, to our webinars and Communities of Practice, to our individual assistance, we are here to support you in any way we can, so don't hesitate to contact us!
: On December 17, 2019, INCLUDEnyc was awarded contracts by the New York State Education Department (NYSED) to serve as the comprehensive Family and Community Engagement Center (FACE) for all five boroughs of New York City. The award of approximately $2.8 million granted by the Office of Special Education is to improve outcomes for students with disabilities throughout the five boroughs. Read more.
Parent Network of Western New York: On February 12 PNWNY's "How to Protect My Child's Future Through Guardianship, Wills & Trusts Workshop" will provide parents or caregivers with an overview of things to think about: guardianship, wills, and trusts and help them understand their options as they begin to plan for their child with special needs. Read more.
The Puerto Rico PTI has identified the needs of children and young people with disabilities most affected by the numerous, ongoing earthquakes in the southwest area of Puerto Rico. Many families are living in tent cities due to the destruction of their homes and towns. APNI is asking for help so they can
provide items including but not limited to blankets, mosquito repellent and sunblock, toiletries and first aid supplies, pajamas, tents, sanitary items, food/snacks, and children's books and games. Thanks to anyone who can generously help APNI meet some of these needs. Your contributions will go directly to those children and youth that APNI works with in their PTI role. You can contribute via PayPal. Go to email@example.com. For more information, contact 787-763-4665 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Opportunity to Make an Impact
Developmentally Appropriate Practice: Your comments are needed! Please review and provide feedback on the final draft of the revised National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Position Statement on Developmentally Appropriate Practice through the survey or by emailing email@example.com. Comments are due by February 14, 2020.
Upcoming Events/Dates to Remember
Tuesday, January 28th, 1:30 pm: USING IMPLEMENTATION SCIENCE TO SPARK JOY:
A Step-by-Step Approach to Organize, Assess, and Achieve Your Parent Center's Goals
- Thursday, February 27th, 11:00 am: NUTS AND BOLTS OF AN EVALUATION PLAN: An Overview of Evaluation Plans with Useful Tips & Tricks. Join the webinar.
Monthly Drop-In Call
: The next Region A Drop In Call will take place on Tuesday, February 4th, 10:00 am -
12:00 pm. Our calls take place on the first Tuesday of every month. The next call will feature a
presentation by Youth MOVE. Check your calendar invite for additional details. Join the call.
Program Performance Measures Webinar: Thursday, 2/13, 3-4:30 pm ET:
Selected centers will be
notified in advance of the webinar. NEPACT is available to provide TA in identifying three services to
submit, and to review your draft submission. If you submitted last year you probably won't have to
submit this year. Whether or not you are selected, it is helpful to join the webinar.
NEPACT Follow-Up Forum/REACH Roundtable:
March 31 - April 1, Philadelphia, PA.
Building Parent Center Capacity to Serve Military and Native American Families:
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. Priority will be given to Centers who did not participate in the 2019 convening.
National Parent Center Capacity Building Conference & REACH for Transition
: Save the date! The National Parent Center Capacity Building Co
nference will be held in Denver, Colorado on September 16-17; the REACH for Transition forum will be held on September 15. More info to come soon!
Save the date! Planting Seeds: Growing an Inclusive and Informed Community, October 28-30, Denver, CO. National Symposium on Dispute Resolution in Special Education: Planting Seeds for Growing Inclusive and Informed Community. Request for Proposals.
Non-Profit Management Resources
Ten Ways to Kill Your Non-Profit
: Read this article from Nonprofit Quarterly to avoid ten things that can kill your nonprofit, from overloading it with liabilities to thinking that good is enough. Read more.
Report on the Non-Profit Community
: The National Council on Non-profits has created this report with downloadable charts and figures about the value and contributions of nonprofits. Use it in your efforts.
|Family-Centered Services Resources
Relationship-Based Competencies to Support Family Engagement:
The Office of Head Start of the US Department of Health and Human Service Administration on Children and Families for child and family-serving professionals in a multitude of fields, including family services professionals like staff of parent centers. Family services professionals can explore a guide targeted to them to help them learn what knowledge, skills, and practices are necessary to successfully engage with parents and families. They can also use the self-assessment tools to review their progress in each competency and find areas for professional growth. Find out more.
|Youth-Centered Services Resources
Competencies in Youth Work:
What does it take to be a good youth worker? To address this question we first need to clarify: what is a youth worker? In the U.S. there is no clearly defined youth work profession or degree. Instead there are many professional titles and education tracks for those who work with young people, such as teachers, child care workers, counselors, and advocates. No matter what the title, degree, or setting, we define youth workers as professionals or volunteers who work with youth to facilitate young people's growth and development.
Positive youth development
is the unifying language they speak. Check out these competencies from Act for Youth.
How school climate relates to chronic absence: A multi-level latent profile analysis:
Chronic absence is a significant problem in schools. School climate may play an important role in influencing chronic absence rates among schools, yet little research has evaluated how school climate constructs relate to chronic absence. Read more.
Math and English Language Development for English Language Learners: (Project MELD):
Mastering math and the academic language of math is essential for all students, but especially for
English learners (ELs) who are acquiring content knowledge and English proficiency concurrently. The three-year Mathematics and English Language Development (MELD) study is a project focused on improving the math knowledge and skills and academic English of middle-grades ELs and their English-proficient classmates. Learn more.
Engaging Parents and Youth: School staff can do a great deal to prevent bullying and protect students, but they can't do it alone. Parents and youth also have a role to play in preventing bullying at school. One mechanism for engaging parents and youth, a school safety committee, can bring the community together to keep bullying prevention at school active and focused. Learn more.
Prevent Bullying: Quick Tips for Parents:
Healthfinder.gov has resources to help parents prevent bullying. Check out these quick tips.
Understanding CAPTA (the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act):
National Advocates for Pregnant Women has a fact sheet that explains the provisions of CAPTA and addresses common misconceptions about what states are required to do to comply with the law with regard to newborn infants' prenatal drug exposure. Many states and local child welfare agencies have incorrectly assumed that CAPTA requires them to report all substance-exposed newborns to child welfare agencies as being abused or neglected. When addressing the topic of child protection, it is particularly important to note that drug use is not the same as a substance use disorder (SUD) and that SUD is a medical condition - not a form of child neglect or abuse. Pregnant women do not experience drug dependencies because they don't care about their children. Like other medical and behavioral health conditions, substance use disorder is best addressed through treatment. Medical knowledge about dependency and treatment demonstrates that patients do not, and cannot, simply stop their drug use as a result of threats of legal charges or other negative consequences. In fact, threat-based approaches do not protect children but instead frighten pregnant and parenting women away from seeking healthcare. Read the fact sheet.
|Choice/Charter Schools/Virtual Schools/Voucher Programs
When Your Charter School Rejects Your Child Based on their IEP Needs:
Read this January 2020 post from A Day in our Shoes about charter schools and students with disabilities.
Conversations about Culture: Video and Lesson Plan:
This module introduces the concept of cultural humility as a guiding principle for effective cross-cultural communication and collaboration. It can be used as a resource for educators, students, faculty, human service practitioners, educators, and others. It was produced in association with the University of Buffalo School of Social Work's Institute on Sustainability Global Engagement.
10 Things to Know About How to Influence Policy with Research:
Check out these ten tips about how to influence policy with data and research, from knowing who and what you want to influence, when, to building relationships and networks; from understanding that policy development is not linear and is inherently political, to planning your engagement and focusing on ideas; and from sticking at it, to monitoring, learning, and adjusting along the way.
States Have Seized the Opportunity to Build Better Report Cards, but the Work Is Not Done:
State report cards should provide parents and the public with information about student and school outcomes in their state. But if information that helps paint the full picture of student success and school quality is missing, hard to find, or impossible to understand, families are left in the dark. This is the third year the Data Quality Campaign (DQC) has looked at report cards for all 50 states and DC. This is also the first year that states should report the information required by the Every Student Succeeds Act. Prompted by policy change and national attention, states have invested in updating their report cards and many have made progress. But even with investments in better report cards, every state must improve. Read more.
|Discipline & Positive Behavior Supports
Individualized Positive Behavioral Supports:
This free interactive tutorial provides an overview of individualized positive behavior support through three case studies. Check it out.
Tips for Responding to Challenging Behavior in Young Children
: The Pyramid Equity Project has a wonderful article with 11 response strategies for challenging behavior. These strategies are intended to reduce the likelihood of challenging behavior while teaching social and emotional skills. Learn more.
The 2016 election left many in America afraid - of intolerance and the violence it can inspire. The need for accurate facts on the details and frequency of hate crimes and other incidents born of prejudice has never been more urgent. There is simply no reliable national data on hate crimes. And no government agency documents lower-level incidents of harassment and intimidation, such as online or real-life bullying. Understanding and documenting incidents like these - from hate-inspired murders to anti-Semitic graffiti to racist online trolling - requires new approaches. That's why Pro Publica has marshaled a national coalition of news organizations intent on reporting the nature and scope of hate crimes and bias incidents in the United States. Learn more about this important project.
Guide to IEP Facilitation:
Whether you are just getting started or want to improve your facilitated IEP system, CADRE has done the legwork of finding best practices and examples. You'll find example forms, guiding documents, suggestions for system design and improvement, voices from the field, and much more! Check it out.
Teach Kids Conflict Resolution:
These tips to teach kids conflict resolution are also useful in resolving adult conflict! Understanding feelings, using calming strategies, scaling the event (is it a small, medium,
or big problem?), expressing feelings and needs, actively listening and reflecting, brainstorming solutions, choosing solutions, and moving on, are tips that can work for everyone! Read more.
The Merits of Staying in School:
Take a look around social media sites, blogs, microblogs, discussion boards, etc. and you will see numerous discussions on the merits of staying in school.
|Early Childhood/Early Intervention
Early Childhood Technical Assistance and Dissemination Centers: The Region B PTAC put together a list of Early Childhood TA&D Centers with a short synopsis of each. Access the list.
Equity and Equality are NOT the Same: There is a common misconception that equity and equality mean the same thing - and that they can be used interchangeably, especially when talking about education. But the truth is they do not - and cannot. Yes, the two words are similar, but the difference between them is crucial. So please, don't talk about equality when you really mean equity. Read more from the Education Trust.
|Foster Care/Grandparents as Caregivers
Study Documents the Benefits of Authentic Young Engagement:
Does engaging young people emerging from foster care to help shape practice and policy work? A team of researchers from Washington State University set out to answer this question. Their review spotlights the benefits of authentic youth engagement.
Children's Health Policy Update:
The National Institute for Improving Children's Health Quality (NICHQ) has issued its Fall 2019/Winter 2020 Children's Health Policy Update covering topics such as home visiting, uninsured children, and funding for maternal and child health.
The Real Truth on Homelessness: The Pitfalls of HUD's Point-in-Time Count:
On January 7, 2020, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released its
2019 Annual Homeless Assessment Report Part I (AHAR)
, boasting decreases in both family and youth homelessness. This assertion was challenged by providers who work directly with families and youth, including early childhood programs and educators in our nation's public schools who confront a very different reality - as do the children, youth, and families who are rendered uncounted and invisible by HUD's data. This article explains why HUD's data are flawed and misleading, and why other federal data sources provide a more accurate picture of children, youth, and family homelessness. This topic is important because Congress and local communities use these data to set critical priorities for funding, services, and action. It is also important because until children, youth, and families are accurately reflected in all federal data, they will be under-served, which perpetuates adult homelessness. As this analysis shows, policymakers and the public should view HUD's homelessness data with extreme skepticism, particularly with respect to children, youth, and families. Communities should look to a variety of other data sources - especially public schools, early childhood programs, and youth-serving programs - to get a fuller and more accurate picture of the prevalence of homelessness and the needs of those who experience it. Finally, Congress should act to remove barriers to HUD Homeless Assistance for children, youth, and families by enacting the bipartisan Homeless Children and Youth Act (HR 2001). Read more from The Schoolhouse Connection.
Gupta to Congress: 2020 Census Undercount Could Erase Marginalized Communities:
Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, testified on the miltitude of risks that could keep people of color, immigrants, LGBTQ people, young children, and low-income households from being counted in the upcoming 2020 Census - leading to loss of public funds and political representation for already vulnerable communities for the next 10 years. The hearing, "Reaching Hard-to-Count Communities in the 2020 Census," was held by the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Reform.
Regardless of immigrant status, everyone in the US has guaranteed rights under the Constitution.
about the rights of immigrants and how to express them.
Inclusion of Children with Special Needs: Use this resource from the Early Childhood Training and TA System to help communicate the importance of inclusion of infants and toddlers with disabilities and other special needs. It will help promote essential program practices to ensure quality in family child care and center-based programs that serve infants and toddlers. When programs provide appropriate accommodation and support to meet the needs of all children, everyone benefits. Despite several protection laws, many children with special needs and their families continue to face challenges accessing inclusive high-quality early childhood programs. Building a "national culture of inclusion" of children with special needs will take intentional planning and the involvement of all early childhood programs and services. Read more.
|Juvenile Delinquency/Juvenile Justice
Roles of Family and School in Preventing Juvenile Delinquency:
Preventing juvenile delinquency can help improve the quality of life for kids, make communities safer, and even boost the economy. Before you can work to prevent juvenile delinquency, you'll need to identify which kids are most at risk. As a parent, teacher, or friend, you can review the risk factors that might cause delinquency later on. Social workers and teachers can set up interventions with at-risk kids' families, their schools, and their communities.
White House HIV Panel Calls on Trump to Drop License to Discriminate HHS Measure: The Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS writes to Roger Severino, the HHS Director for the Office of Civil Rights, "HHS and other parts of the Administration must avoid actions that repel LGBT+ individuals from seeking proper health care... Civil rights protections are critically important for ensuring that LGBT+ persons can access health care and for creating stigma-free environments where all LGBT+ persons can receive quality health care services." Read more.
31st Annual GLAAD Media Awards
: The 31st Annual GLAAD Media Awards recognize and honor media for their fair, accurate and inclusive representations of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community and the issues that affect their lives. Read more.
|Military Families & Youth
Compensatory Education & Relocating Families: On October 23, 2019, OSEP published a letter to "Anonymous"
about the provision of compensatory education, as part of a complaint resolution, after a family relocates to a new state. This informal guidance can be useful to highly mobile military families.
Note that the informal guidance in the letter isn't legally binding; it's an "interpretation by the U.S. Department of Education of the requirements of IDEA in the context of specific facts provided." The letter states that "if an SEA's complaint resolution decision has ordered relief (e.g., compensatory education) that can reasonably be implemented in a new State and the parent does not reject the remaining compensatory services, the SEA must ensure the decision is implemented in the new State." The end notes give references for how that might be done based on two lawsuits regarding out-of-district moves and claims for compensatory education. Read the letter.
Preserving Culture, Rights and Sovereignty of American Indians and Alaska Natives:
On December 27, 2019, President Trump signed three bills that help advance the preservation of culture, rights, and sovereignty for American Indians and Alaska Natives. Most notable of the three bills is the passage and signing of the National Defense Authorization Act that granted federal recognition to the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians of Montana, making the Tribe the 574th federally recognized tribal nation in the United States. "Signing these bills into law, the President affirmatively acknowledges the existing government-to-government relationship between the United States and the tribal nations, and the responsibility of Congress and the Administration both have in ensuring the lives of American Indians and Alaska Natives across the country are improved," said NCAI's CEO Kevin Allis. "We only ask for what has been promised to us in Indian Country, through treaties and past legislation, and the President's actions recognize the debt owed to the first people of this country," Allis states.
|Parent/Family Engagement (and Youth)
How Parent Involvement Leads to Student Success:
What's the most accurate predictor of
? It's not socioeconomic status, nor how prestigious the school is that a child attends. The best predictor of student success is the extent to which families encourage learning at home and involve themselves in their child's education. When parents are
in their children's school lives, students have the home support and knowledge they need to not only finish their assignments, but also develop a lifelong love of learning. Teachers who focus on parent engagement often see a profound change in their classrooms. The more parents involved in their children's education, the better their entire class's motivation, behavior, and grades become. Encouraging parent engagement is more than common courtesy. It's one of the best ways to create a positive learning environment for every student. To create a community built on
in your school, find out what parent engagement is and how to nurture it.
Impact of a community-delivered parenting curriculum on perceived parenting stress and parent-reported outcomes in a low-income diverse population:
Read this article from Families, Systems, and Health.
Faces of Poverty: What Racial, Social Groups Are More Likely to Experience It?
The U.S. Census estimates that 13.4 percent of Americans, about 42 million, lived below the poverty line in 2017. Of course, poverty is far from evenly distributed across the United States, and depending on a person's race, gender, occupation, and social status, Americans are far less, or far more, likely to live in poverty. Some groups are more than twice as likely to experience poverty as the average American. Both personal responsibility and structural pressures can lead to poverty, and experts often argue which affects poverty more. But some factors outside of the control of the individual - including being a woman, black, Hispanic, a child, or a disabled person - are an indicator that one is more likely to live in poverty. This article explains the complexity of poverty, and why certain groups are more likely to experience poverty. Read more.
The ABC's of ESSA, ESEA, and NCLB:
Read this post from educationpost.org with 10 questions and answers about the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, now called the Every Student Succeeds Act and formerly called No Child Left Behind.
Stories of change: Educators Shift Practices to Reach all Learners:
Read these stories of educators changing practice to more effectively reach and serve all students.
Tech topics and trends in K-12:
Read this blog on Big Ed-Tech Problems to Solve in 2020: Q&A With ISTE's Richard Culatta.
|Transition to Adult Life/Youth
Preparation for Transition to Adult Care Among Medicaid-Insured Adolescents:
Young adults and parents of children with chronic illness consistently report suboptimal preparation for transition from pediatric- to adult-focused health care. No validated tool has provided the perspective of adolescents on their own experience of transition preparation. The Adolescent Assessment of Preparation for Transition, a youth-report patient experience survey, identifies substantial gaps in the quality of transition preparation for adolescents with chronic health conditions in Medicaid populations.
What Were You Thinking? Brain Development in Young Adults: iSPARC is out with a new tip sheet focusing on brain development in young adults. This tip sheet describes typical and atypical brain development in young adulthood, and what can be expected in terms of executive functioning, impulse control, risk-taking, and other behaviors. Best practices for working with young adults by understanding their developing brain and resources to learn more are provided. Read the tip sheet on the iSPARC website.
|Trauma & Toxic Stress
Adverse Childhood Experiences Are Different Than Child Trauma, and It's Critical to Understand Why: Legislators, caregivers, and the media increasingly recognize that childhood adversity poses risks to individual health and wellbeing. The original Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Study has helped raise public awareness about this critical public health issue. However, as the use of ACEs questionnaires for identifying potentially harmful childhood experiences has gained popularity, it is important to understand how ACEs differ from other commonly used terms, including childhood adversity, trauma, and toxic stress. Read more.
Are We Trauma-Informed? Tools to Measure Progress in a Program, School, or Organization: The Child Health Development Institute is out with a new Issue Brief focusing on child trauma. Interest in addressing child trauma has surged in the past two decades, sparked by research on the effects of trauma exposure. As a result, child-serving organizations are increasingly integrating trauma-informed approaches; however, there is a limited research on how to measure the effectiveness of these approaches. This Issue Brief reviews 49 surveys (or measure) of trauma-informed approaches and identifies promising examples that can be used by programs, organizations, and broader service systems to help evaluate how they are supporting the health of children affected by trauma.
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.