a golden heart-shaped holiday tree ornamentTheme: Getting Ready for the Holidays

Welcome to the December 2016 edition of Buzz from the Hub, the newsletter of the Center for Parent Information and Resources (CPIR).

As we’re closing in on the holiday season and a new year, CPIR would like to take a moment to appreciate the amazing work that all of us in the Parent Center network do to support the well-being of children with disabilities and their families. It’s been quite a year, hasn’t it? We hope the resources in this month’s Buzz will be useful now and throughout 2017, which promises to be full of change, challenge, and opportunity.

All our best to you, as always,

The CPIR Team | Debra, Lisa, Jessica, and Myriam

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New in the Hub

The Hub library is full of resources of interest to Parent Centers. Here are several items we’ve recently added.

New Brief from CPIR for Parent Centers.
We are very pleased to offer Parent Centers a brand-new brief on the use of sworn law-enforcement officers in public schools as part of building a safe learning environment for students. The brief is designed to accompany and elaborate upon OSEP’s Dear Colleague Letter on the Use of School Resource Officers (SROs) in Schools, released September 8, 2016. Appropriate duties of SROs are discussed, as are current statistics on the use of SROs, the concerns expressed in OSEP’s letter, and resources of more information.

Helping Justice-Involved Youth Transition Back to Traditional School Settings.
Check out this new suite of resources from the U.S. Department of Education. The resources include: (a) a guide written for incarcerated youth; (b) a newly updated transition toolkit and resource guide for practitioners in juvenile justice facilities; (c) a document detailing education programs in juvenile justice facilities from the most recent Civil Rights Data Collection; and (4) a website that provides technical assistance to support youth with disabilities with transitioning out of juvenile justice facilities.

Developing Financial Capability Among Youth: How Families Can Help.
Developing financial capability has been recognized as an important part of preparing youth for the transition to adulthood. This brief from NCWD/Youth provides families with suggestions and resources on how to talk with youth about money and assist them in learning and practicing financial management skills through their interactions at home.

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Latest Federal Guidance

Here are two recent announcements from the Department of Education and the Office for Civil Rights.

Final Regulations on Disproportionality Released.
On December 12th, the U.S. Department of Education published the final regulations under Part B of IDEA aimed at promoting equity by targeting widespread disparities in the treatment of students of color with disabilities. The regulations address a number of issues related to significant disproportionality in the identification, placement, and discipline of students with disabilities based on race or ethnicity.

p.s. You’ll hear more from CPIR on this in the near future, because we’ve been asked to develop resources for Parent Centers to use in partnering with their states, civil rights groups, and parent leaders to identify and address disproportionality in their states and communities.

Dear Colleague Letter Addressing Racial Discrimination.
The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has released a new Dear Colleague Letter to remind states, school districts, and public schools of their legal obligation to prevent discrimination on the basis of race in special education. The letter outlines how to avoid racial discrimination in the referral for disability evaluation, the evaluation process itself, and the provision of special education. It also provides ten illustrative examples that provide further guidance on those processes.

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Spotlight on…Getting Ready for the Holidays

Yes, the holiday season is almost upon us again, bringing with it kids’ excitement and anticipation, adults’ preparations, family gatherings, and lots of rushing around. Here are some helpful resources for capping the chaos and enjoying the season.

Toy Guide for Differently-Abled Kids.
Toys”R”Us has again collaborated with the National Lekotek Center to identify toys that help with the development of children with physical, cognitive or developmental disabilities.

The Family Gathering: A Survival Guide.
Parents can help their children with special needs be at their best and have fun, too! This guide from the Child Mind Institute offers parents practical, well-grounded suggestions.

15 Stress-Reducing Holiday Tips.
This list of 15 tips comes from Friendship Circle. Share it with the families and friends of children with disabilities.

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Resources You Can Share with Families

Here are several resources you can share with the families you serve.

Parent’s Guide to OCD.
How to recognize obsessive-compulsive disorder in kids, and what you need to know to get effective treatment.

What is the Role of the School-Based Occupational Therapy Practitioner?
This tidy 2-page brochure is designed to answer parents’ questions about what occupational therapists do in schools and how their services help children.

All About Young Children | In 8 different languages.
Check out the All About Young Children website, where you can find out about what skills help children learn, how they learn language, how they learn about feelings and relationships, how they learn about numbers, and how they become skillful at moving their bodies. Share the site with families who are learning about childhood development.

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Resources Just for Parent Centers

These resources can help Parent Centers address new political realities in 2017 and the importance of their participation at decision-making tables.

Free Guide to the New Congress.
CQ Roll Call is offering a free copy of its 71-page Guide to the New Congress. There are more than 60 new lawmakers to meet and several House committees with new leaders and a new chair, meaning how you approach advocacy will be different in the 115th Congress.

Tips For Telling Your Association’s Advocacy Story.
Telling your story well is the essence of advocacy, something that Parent Centers know a great deal about! Come 2017, there will likely be many, many opportunities to deploy this skill…this guide is full of tips about what makes for effective advocacy.

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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 is listening! Your input is extremely valuable to helping us to craft newsletters that support your work with families.

Debra, Myriam, Jessica, and Lisa

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.