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Welcome to the August “back to school” newsletter from the Center for Parent Information and Resources—the CPIR. We are proud to serve as the central source of information and connection for the Parent Center network! Here’s the latest Buzz.

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New in CPIR’s Resource Library

Every month we add new resources to the CPIR library that Parent Centers can use to inform themselves and the families they serve. Here are three of the newest entries!

2014 State determinations under IDEA and RDA.
With these color-coded maps from the U.S. Department of Education, you can tell at a glance whether your State is meeting IDEA-related requirements for Part C (early childhood) and Part B (school age). There’s a lot more to explore here as well, including a description of how the Department made the 2014 State determinations and the role that its new results-driven accountability approach (RDA) played in the analyses.

Confidentiality matters: Crosswalk between FERPA and IDEA.
The IDEA and FERPA Confidentiality Provisions Crosswalk is a side-by-side comparison of the legal provisions and definitions in IDEA Part B, IDEA Part C, and FERPA that relate to protecting the confidentiality of personally identifiable information of students and children served under IDEA.

Need an organizer to support and track student readiness for a college or career?
The College & Career Readiness and Success Organizer brings together essential considerations for career and college readiness that are equal in importance and interconnected. The organizer has four central strands: goals and expectations, outcomes and measures, pathways and supports, and resources and structures.

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Spotlight on… IEP Resources for Your Parent Center

It’s that time again—IEP season and the start of a new school year. Perhaps a few training materials on the IEP would come in handy for your Parent Center.

Don’t forget to tell families about the “special factors.”
IDEA lists five special factors that the IEP team must consider in the development, review, and revision of each child’s IEP. Those factors are: behavior, limited English proficiency, blindness or visual impairment, communication needs/deafness, and assistive technology. Does the child have one or more of these special factors to be considered—and addressed in the IEP?

Online IEP training in English, Spanish, or Creole.
Parent to Parent of Miami (Florida’s CPRC serving Miami, Dade, and Monroe counties) has an online training series about the IEP in three languages. You must be a registered user to access these trainings, but it’s easy and it’s free. Use the sessions to train new staff or help families learn about the IEP process.

IEP training modules in English and Spanish.
You probably already know about the training modules NICHCY produced on the IEP, but they are a continuing source of detailed and authoritative information on the IEP. There are five modules altogether. Three are available in English and in Spanish. Help yourself, they are all now at the Parent Center Hub.

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Resources You Can Share with Families…on IEPs

This section of the newsletter identifies useful resources that you might share with families or mention in your own news bulletins.

Short-and-sweet overview of the IEP.
This overview is a great place for newcomers to begin understanding what a vital document the IEP is-its big picture and purpose, what information it contains, and who develops it. Parents can use the links throughout to go directly to more detailed explanations of each part of the IEP and each team member’s role in the writing and implementing the IEP. Also available in Spanish.

IEP meeting checklist for parents.
Get ready for those beginning-of-the-year IEP meetings! Download this checklist and send a copy to your team before the meeting so they can use it to prepare. From SPAN, New Jersey’s PTI.

How about a video or two on the IEP process?
Actually, there are 5 videos you can share with families, staff, board members, and others: IDEA and IEPs, the IEP Team, the Team Process, Getting Ready for the IEP Meeting, and the IEP meeting. From the ECAC Center, North Carolina’s PTI.

Downloadable IEP checklist app.
The IEP Checklist App helps parents of students with special needs become better-informed advocates by making IEP information easier to access. Version 2 of this downloadable app has active links to the federal regulations; allows users to record the IEP meeting or record notes; and has the capacity to print out notes and click on a checklist as requested items are discussed. From PEATC, Virginia’s PTI.

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Resources Just for Parent Centers

This section of the CPIR’s newsletter focuses on the many priority areas that Parent Centers have, with a special emphasis on the 14 topics that OSEP has identified as important for Parent Centers and the CPIR to address. First, though…

Time to raid NICHCY’s State Organizations page.
As you know, NICHCY officially ends on September 30, 2014, so its State Organizations search page is going away, too. Is that a resource you use or refer people to? If so, you may want to grab the listing of resources for your State while you still can and use it to create (or add to) your own branded State resource list. Here’s a step-by-step “how-to” flyer.

Mental health resources.
This resource page can help you put families in touch with immediate mental health services, as well as connect them with the many sources of mental health information and assistance.

This month we’re especially pleased to premiere stand-alone Hub pages on three of the priority topics.

Priority | Evidence-Based Practices that Improve Early Learning.
Find resources from the experts who are working to improve children’s early learning, our systems of professional development, and how we measure outcomes and understand the results. What practices help children successfully move on to kindergarten? Is any of this available in another language?

Priority | College and Career Readiness.
Connect to already available materials explaining what college and career readiness is and what’s going on in your State. What about assessment and alternate assessment? And again, what about materials in other languages?

Priority | Using Data to Advance School Reform.
Being able to find education data and use it to support improvements in student learning, school climate, and outcomes for students with disabilities are becoming increasingly important, especially given RDA activities and the writing of the SSIP (State Systemic Improvement Plan). Might these resources help?

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We Are Very Sorry to Tell You…

Here’s our sad news: CPIR is losing Elaine Mulligan as director of communication and dissemination. She’s been indispensable at CPIR, setting up the website, the PTAC pages on the site, our Facebook and Twitter pages, and so much more. Now she’s off to a new job and new challenges at the DaSy Center. Please join us in wishing her the very best of journeys and good fortunes ahead.

To Elaine: You will be sorely missed. Thank you for working with all your head and heart to bring the CPIR into being. Most excellently done, friend.

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Miss the Webinar on TBI?

It’s not too late to listen in (the webinar is archived!) and get your hands on the very helpful handouts that presenter Brenda Eagan Brown shared with us about TBI.
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Save These Dates!

Thanks to all who attended CPIR’s three webinars to date.  Save the dates below for more in the series, all on Thursdays, all at 3 p.m. Eastern time.

  • September 4 | Alternate Assessments for Common Core Standards

Also save October 2, November 6, and December 4. Topics to be determined based on Parent Center needs!

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Logo of the Center for Center for Parent Information and ResourcesThe CPIR hopes that you’ve found useful and relevant resources listed in this month’s Buzz from the Hub. Please feel free to write to the editor, Lisa Küpper, at lkupper@fhi360.org to suggest the types of resources you’d like to see in the future. CPIR’s listening! Your input is extremely valuable to helping us to craft newsletters that support your work with families.

Our very best to you,

Debra, Elaine, Lisa, and Myriam
The CPIR Team

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Publication of this eNewsletter is made possible through Cooperative Agreement H328R130014 between OSEP and the Statewide Parent Advocacy Network (SPAN). The contents do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Department of Education, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government or by the Center for Parent Information and Resources.