Family engagement and children with disabilities: A resource guide for educators and parents

This resource guide has been compiled to help parents and special educators establish a comfortable and effective partnership in service of promoting successful outcomes for children with disabilities. Highlighted are research reports, journal articles, examples of best practices, and tools that suggest methods for developing productive collaborations so that educators and families can, together, ensure better services for children in their care.

Access the resource guide at

Holding Schools Accountable: Using Data to Engage Parents in School Improvement Efforts

Nita Rudy is a Program Director for the Mississippi Schoolhouse to Statehouse program developed by Parents for Public Schools (PPS), a national organization supporting community-based groups that work with parents to improve public schools. In this Voices from the Field, Nita shares her experience using data to engage families around school improvement efforts.

Policy Statement on Expulsion and Suspension Practices in Early Learning Settings

On December 10, 2014, Secretaries Burwell (HHS) and Duncan (DOE) announced the release of a policy statement on expulsion and suspension practices in early learning settings. Exclusionary discipline practices occur at high rates in early learning settings, and at even higher rates for young boys of color. As part of this commitment, HHS will dedicate $4 million toward early childhood mental health consultation services to prevent this troubling practice and to help all children thrive in early learning settings.

View the HHS and ED Joint Letter on Suspension and Expulsion Policy:

Read the Policy Statement on Expulsion and Suspension Policies in Early Childhood Settings:

Buzz from the Hub | December 2014

Holiday card featuring a snowmanWelcome to the holiday issue of Buzz from the Hub, the newsletter of 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! Everyone here at CPIR wishes you the best of holidays and an excellent Happy New Year. See you in 2015!

See other issues of the Buzz.   

New Resources in the Hub

What’s new in the resource library? Here are several newbies on the College and Career Readiness Standards (CCSR) and the new assessment systems to be used to measure student readiness.

States’ approaches to College and Career Readiness Standards.
The CCRS Center has developed an interactive state map to present the broad landscape of college and career readiness throughout the nation. The map provides a simple-to-navigate snapshot of key college and career readiness initiatives taking place throughout the states. What’s your state up to?

Multiple language translations about the CCRS.
Courtesy of the California Department of Education’s Clearinghouse for Multilingual Documents, there are multiple other-language fact sheets about the CCSS: Arabic, Armenian, Chinese, Farsi (Persian), Hindi, Hmong, Japanese, Khmer (Cambodian), Korean , Lao, Pilipino (Tagalog), Punjabi, Russian, Somali, Spanish, Ukrainian, and Vietnamese.

The Smarter Balanced Assessment System.
(in English and Spanish)  |  Smarter Balanced is a consortium of states funded to develop student evaluations aligned with college- and career-readiness standards. Twenty-three states and territories are members of the consortium. Is yours? (Find out at the link above.)

Smarter Balanced resources in English | Support for underrepresented students

Smarter Balanced resources in Spanish | Cómo ayudar a todos los estudiantes a que tengan éxito

What about the PARCC assessments?
The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) is a group of states working together to develop a set of assessments that measure whether students are on track to be successful in college and their careers. Find out more with the two resources listed below.

List of states participating in PARCC and the designated state lead

PARCC Accessibility Features and Accommodations Manual

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Spotlight on … Disability Information

Parent Centers are always looking for new information on disabilities to share with families. Here are several resources you might find useful in the coming year.

What is a non-verbal learning disorder?
This article describes how a non-verbal learning disorder affects students and how it differs from learning disabilities in general.

Parent training modules in autism.
(in English and Spanish) | Here are two 10-lesson interactive, self-paced, online learning modules providing parents with tools and training to more effectively teach their child with autism and other related neurodevelopmental disorders functional skills using applied behavior analysis (ABA) techniques. Module 1 focuses on strategies for teaching functional skills. Module 2 focuses on positive behavior strategies for children with autism. Both are available in English and in Spanish.

Overview of oppositional defiant disorder.
How can you tell the difference between a particularly obstinate child and one suffering from ODD? This article, which is accompanied by a video, describes the symptoms of ODD, identifies co-existing disorders, and discusses treatments.

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Resources You Can Share with Families

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

10 ways to have a happy holiday!
Have you seen’s December newsletter? It’s packed with ideas for making this holiday season a winner for all. See #4 especially, if you’re looking for this year’s gift-giving guides for children with special needs.

A blog in Spanish, from CPIR’s own Myriam Alizo.
Parenting a child with learning and attention issues can bring unexpected challenges, as Myriam Alizo describes. Myriam is CPIR’s project assistant and recently published this blog in Spanish (No éramos, ni somos los únicos) for It’s since been translated into English (We weren’t the only ones)!

The science of early childhood development.
(in English and Spanish) | From the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University, this 4-minute video shares basic concepts of early childhood development, established over decades of neuroscience and behavioral research. The video is also available in Spanish.

Self-advocacy: A valuable skill for your teenager with LD.
(in English and Spanish)  |  If your teen has a learning disability, self-awareness and self-advocacy are keys to his or her future success. Also available in Spanish.

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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.

This month, we’re focusing on effective educational practices for improving student outcomes. These resources may also be relevant in your state’s work on the SSIP in 2015, so keep them in mind for the future.

Effective reading interventions for students with LD.
In recent years, several excellent, well-publicized research studies have helped parents and educators understand the most effective guidelines for teaching all children to read. This article describes the findings of a research study that will help parents become a wise consumer of reading programs for students with reading disabilities.

Dropout prevention: An IES practice guide.
Geared toward educators, administrators, and policymakers, this guide provides recommendations for reducing high school dropout rates. Strategies presented include identifying and advocating for at-risk students, implementing programs to improve behavior and social skills, and keeping students engaged in the school environment.

What is an evidence-based behavior intervention? Choosing and implementing behavior interventions that work.
This webinar (from the National Center for Intensive Interventions) discusses considerations for selecting and using evidence-based interventions to address challenging behaviors. The webinar introduces NCII’s Behavior Interventions Tools Chart and describes how educators can best utilize this resource and other available resources to select interventions.

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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 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, Indira, Lisa, and Myriam
The CPIR Team


This eNewsletter from the CPIR is copyright-free.
We encourage you to share it with others.

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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.

Multiple language translations about the Common Core State Standards

Courtesy of the California Department of Education’s Clearinghouse for Multilingual Documents (CMD).

These fact sheets about the CCSS are available in: Arabic, Armenian, Chinese, Farsi (Persian), Hindi, Hmong, Japanese, Khmer (Cambodian), Korean , Lao, Pilipino (Tagalog), Punjabi, Russian, Somali, Spanish, Ukrainian, and Vietnamese.

Note that they are posted online with this alert: “CMD translations may be downloaded by schools, districts, and county offices; customized to meet local needs; edited to remove CMD document information; and then disseminated to parents. The CDE recommends that LEAs first confer with local translators, however, to determine any need for modifications, as there can be many variations in translation.”

Find all the translated fact sheets here:,8243-8255

Guías sobre los Estándares Académicos Fundamentales / About the Common Core State Standards.

El Council of the Great City Schools ha desarrollado guías para padres que describen el contenido académico principal para cada grado en las áreas de matemáticas, lectura, escritura y en las habilidades en comprensión y expresión oral.  Las guías contienen consejos para colaborar con los maestros de sus hijos e ideas de cómo usar oportunidades en su vida cotidiana para apoyar el aprendizaje de sus hijos.

Guía para los padres: En artes del lenguaje en inglés
Guía para los padres: Matemáticas

Page with the English translation and guides can be viewed at:

Correctional Education in Juvenile Justice Facilities

The Correctional Education Guidance Package was published to help states and local agencies aimed at helping states and local agencies strengthen the quality of education services provided to America’s estimated 60,000 young people in confinement every day. This guidance package is part of a number of notable actions from ED and DOJ, who are working together to help communities reduce the number of youth entering the justice system and to ensure that those who have entered the system return to their communities with dignity, skills and viable education and employment opportunities.

Letter sent to Chief State School Officers and State Attorneys General on Correctional Education, from Attorney General Holder and Secretary Duncan on the importance of providing high-quality correctional education.

The guidance package includes the following components:

A set of Guiding Principles for Providing High-Quality Education in Juvenile Justice Secure Care Settings, outlines five principles and supporting core activities to improve education practices, or implement new ones. Authored jointly by the U.S. departments of Education and Justice, the guide is meant to help agencies and facilities serving youth in correctional education provide education services comparable to those available to students in community schools.

A Dear Colleague Letter on the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act for Students with Disabilities in Correctional Facilities from Education’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services to clarify state and public agency obligations to ensure the provision of a free appropriate public education to eligible students with disabilities in correctional facilities.

A Dear Colleague Letter on the Civil Rights of Students in Juvenile Justice Residential Facilities clarifying how the Federal civil rights laws that prohibit race, color, national origin, sex, religion, and disability discrimination against students in traditional public schools also apply to educational services and supports provided to youth in juvenile justice residential facilities.

A Dear Colleague Letter on Access to Federal Pell Grants for Students in Juvenile Justice Facilities clarifies the extent to which confined youth may be eligible for the Federal Pell Grant Program, and is accompanied by a fact sheet for students and a detailed set of questions and answers for institutions of higher education.

For more information and additional resources visit the following link: