State Correctional Education Self-Assessment (SCES)

(March 2016) | Useful to states in assessing their own correctional education systems for juveniles with disabilities, and to Parent Centers involved in juvenile justice issues.

The Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) has developed a voluntary State Correctional Education Self-Assessment (SCES) to assist States in self-assessing their systems for providing special education and related services to students with disabilities in correctional facilities. This self-assessment addresses some, but not all, of the requirements of Part B of the IDEA as they apply to States, State educational agencies (SEAs), and public agencies (including local educational agencies (LEAs), and responsible noneducational public agencies) in educating these students.

This self-assessment is organized into three main areas:

  • The first area highlights requirements for interagency agreements between SEAs and other public agencies, including responsible noneducational public agencies, involved in the provision of special education and related services to students with disabilities in correctional facilities.
  • The second area provides a tool to evaluate and track the State’s progress in addressing States’ and SEAs’ responsibilities to students with disabilities in correctional facilities.
  • The third area provides a tool to evaluate and track how the IDEA requirements are being addressed by public agencies in your State, including LEAs, and correctional facilities that operate as LEAs, and noneducational public agencies that are responsible for providing education to students with disabilities in correctional facilities.

For more information about the SCES and to view the assessment click on one of the following links:

PDF version (559 KB):


Note: The State Correctional Education Self-Assessment (SCES) and accompanying letter to SEA directors supplement and build upon the resources in the Correctional Education in Juvenile Justice Facilities package previously issued (and available in the Hub), at:

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Personalized Learning: Meeting the Needs of Students with Disabilities

(2016) | Useful to Parent Centers, families, and education staff in addressing the needs of students with disabilities.

When schools and teachers personalize learning, students – including students with disabilities – receive a customized learning experience. Students learn at their own pace with structure and support in challenging areas. Learning aligns with interests, needs, and skills, and it takes place in an engaging environment where students gain a better understanding of their strengths.

Personalized Learning & Students with Disabilities
The National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) has developed several resources to help educators, families, and policymakers understand personalized learning systems and to identify strategies for educators and leaders at all levels to better meet the needs of and appropriately include students with disabilities in personalized learning. These resources include:

Personalized Learning Recommendations

Personalized Learning Key Considerations

Roadmap for Parents

Roadmap for Educators

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More about These Resources | The Process NCLD Used
Over the course of a year, NCLD gathered top special education and personalized learning experts from across the country – including educators, advocates, researchers, state and district leaders, school leaders, and parents of children with disabilities – and engaged them in discussions to learn and explore ways to ensure that personalized learning systems integrate and benefit students with disabilities. NCLD also conducted one-on-one expert interviews and participated in site visits to schools using personalized learning.

NCLD surveyed over 1,800 parents of students with disabilities and found that the majority of parents were not familiar with personalized learning, but nearly all of them wanted to learn more!

Finally, NCLD brought together nearly 50 experts, advocates, and advisors in Washington, DC to consider the recommendations, challenge assumptions, and explore best practices for meeting the needs of students with disabilities through personalized learning. From this research, collaboration, and discussion, NCLD produced this comprehensive set of policy and practice recommendations addressing families, educators, school leaders, district and state leaders, and policymakers, all of whom have a role in ensuring that students with disabilities succeed in school.

Use the links above to download NCLD’s full set of policy and practice recommendations and other materials developed for parents, educators, school and district leaders, and policymakers.

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ESSA Fact Sheet: Deeper Learning

(2016, April)  The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) of 2015 offers a number of opportunities for states and districts to advance deeper learning and ensure that all students graduate from high school with the ability to think critically, solve complex problems, collaborate with peers, communicate effectively, and be self-directed.

Deeper learning is the delivery of challenging academic standards to students in innovative ways that allow them to learn, and then apply what they have learned. True deeper learning is developing competencies that enable students to graduate from high school ready for college and a career and then make maximum use of their knowledge in life and work.

This 2-page fact sheet from the Alliance for Excellent Education discusses deeper learning in the context of ESSA’s requirements regarding:

  • standards
  • assessments
  • direct student services to support access to rigorous academics
  • teacher capacity to support deeper learning.

Access the fact sheet at:

Understanding Student Learning: The Need for Education Data

(2015, July) | Useful to Parent Centers in “data discussions”

Schools have long collected information about students, from basic emergency contact details to daily attendance statistics. But only recently have schools used education technology to collect solid, reliable information (or data) about how students learn—as well as details about their strengths, challenges, and individual traits that impact their learning. Having this kind of individual learning data is one of the best ways schools can help students succeed academically.

This 3-page fact sheet explains the types of data schools collect and how they use education data to help individual students. It also explains who needs this education data and why. From the Alliance for Excellent Education.

Access the fact sheet at:

Opening Doors to Self-Determination Skills

(2013) | Useful to Parent Centers, schools, and families in supporting early learning of self-determination skills and planning for life after high school.

This 26-page handbook, subtitled Planning for Life After High School, deals with the skills that students will need no matter what option they choose after high school. Self-determination is a mix of skills youth and young adults with disabilities will use throughout their lives. These skills include their personal beliefs and values and skills that empower them to make choices and take control of their lives according to their own interests, needs, and abilities. Self-advocacy is the process of speaking for themselves and knowledge of their rights, wishes, needs, and strengths.

Access the handbook in PDF, at:


What’s in the Handbook
The handbook  is designed as a guide to help students with disabilities take another step in preparing for “life after high school.” Published by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, the handbook includes:

  • an overview of self-determinating skills
  • timelines for developing self-determination skills (starting in elementary school)
  • differences between public high school and adult services
  • a worksheet called “Knowing Yourself.”

Speaking directly to youth, the handbook guides their personal exploration of possible goal areas, assessing their future, reaching goals one step at a time, acting on goals, problem solving, and learning from experience. It concludes with creating a personal profile, looking at person-centered planning, and suggestions for who to invite to their next IEP meeting.

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Making Informed Decisions: A Guide to Understanding Early Education Research

(2016, February) | Useful to Parent Centers, educators, and families involved in making evidence-based decisions about early childhood education.

This webinar examined ways in which one can identify high-quality, evidenced-based early care and education research, both in general and within the realm of building quality rating and improvement systems (QRIS). Selected QRIS issues were addressed, including:

  • the school readiness achievement gap;
  • early education/Head Start academic outcomes;
  • early education investment (cost-benefit ratio);
  • program environment,
  • policies and practices;
  • measuring quality; and
  • teacher/administrator qualifications and credentials.

Reliable research resources were shared during the webinar, and the ensuing discussion focused on translating research into practice.

Access the PowerPoint associated with this webinar, at:

Jim Squires, Ph.D., Senior Research Fellow
Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes/
National Institute for Early Education Research


Creating Change: Student-Led IEPs and Youth Engagement as a Dispute Resolution Option | Webinar

(2016, March) | Useful to Parent Centers in working with youth and families. 

This interactive webinar from CADRE explores student-led IEPs and their relationship to self-advocacy and student engagement. In a student-led IEP, the student actively participates in the development of his/her IEP and takes a leadership role in decision-making about his or her future. Student engagement levels are individualized based on the age, needs, and abilities of the student. Participants in the IEP meetings include students, parents/caregivers, special educators, general educators, support staff, and administrators.

Student-led IEPs is an innovative dispute resolution practice that fits into Stage 1 of the CADRE Continuum: Prevention. Students gain greater awareness of the impacts of their disabilities and develop critical self-advocacy and problem-solving skills that will help them to reach their goals, improve their academic and postsecondary outcomes, and become leaders in their own lives and futures. Student-led IEPs also enhance student/parent/school/community relationships and partnerships.

Access the webinar at CADRE:


More about the Webinar:
The webinar was co-facilitated by a student from Oregon, a student from Washington DC, and the program director for youth leadership from SchoolTalk, a nonprofit focused on special education dispute resolution in DC. Presenters shared their personal experiences participating in the IEP process, provided a brief overview of the Student-led IEP demonstration project in Washington DC, showed a clip from a film series, shared resources, and facilitated a dialogue with webinar participants.


Webinar on Alternate Assessment for Career and College Readiness

alt-assess-coverA webinar for the Parent Center Network


Webinar Date:
September 4, 2014

Center for Parent Information and Resources


Overview of Alternate Assessment
Mary LaCorte
Assistant Director and North Carolina PTI Program Director
Exceptional Children’s Assistance Center (ECAC)

The NCSC Alternate Assessment
Ricki Sabia, J.D.
National Center and State Collaborative (NCSC)
Parent Training and Technical Assistance Specialist

The DLM Alternate Assessment
Karen Erickson, Ph.D.
Dynamic Learning Maps (DLM)
Director, Center for Literacy and Disability Studies

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PowerPoint Presentations for the Webinar:

PPT for the Overview of Alternative Assessment {900 KB]
Mary LaCorte

PPT on the NSCS Alternate Assessment [ 1 MB ]
Ricki Sabia

PPT on the DLM Alternate Assessment [ 14 MB ]
Karen Erickson

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Handouts for the Webinar:
We are pleased to provide the following handouts on alternate assessments to accompany the webinar and to support your work with families and children with disabilities.

Handout | North Carolina Test, 3rd grade reading

Handout | Modules on Dynamic Learning Maps

Handout | Parent Brochure on Dynamic Learning Maps

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Go to the Webinar Archives, to listen to and view other webinars in the CPIR series.


Webinar on Traumatic Brain Injury

Title slide for the webinar on TBISchool Planning and Educational Strategies Following Traumatic Brain Injury

A webinar for the Parent Center Network


Webinar Date:
August 7, 2014

Center for Parent Information and Resources

Brenda Eagan Brown, M.Ed., CBIS
BrainSTEPS Program Coordinator, BIAPA | 724.944.6542

Handouts for the Webinar:
We are pleased to provide the following handouts to accompany the webinar and to support your work with families and children with TBI.

PowerPoint presentation slides (47 pages, PDF)

Signs and Symptoms of TBI (2 pages, PDF)

Guided IEP PowerPoint presentation (13-slide PPT from PA)

Returning to School After Concussion: Recommended Protocol
(4 pages, PDF)

Teachers’ Desk Reference: Practical Information for Pennsylvania’s Teachers
(8 pages, PDF)

Additional CPIR Resources on TBI

Fact sheet on TBI in English

Fact sheet on TBI in Spanish

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Go to the Webinar Archives, to listen to and view other webinars in the CPIR series.


Buzz from the Hub | April 2016

group of finger faces on the sky backgroundTheme: Just the Facts, Ma’am

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

Parent Centers want to bring their authentic and meaningful perspectives to decision-making tables. And there are a lot of important decisions states are busy making right now, from the SSIP process to improving outcomes for students with disabilities, to defining how to implement ESSA.

To take part in these ongoing discussions, Parent Centers need to have facts at their fingertips. So we’ve focused this Buzz on resources that deliver the latest info on our key priority areas. Stoke up on the facts!

All our best to you, as always,

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


See other issues of the Buzz

New Resources in the Hub

CPIR’s resource library is ever-growing, so it’s helpful to know what’s been recently added. Here are several you may find useful in the coming days and months.

Developmental Foundations of School Readiness for Infants and Toddlers.
This Research to Practice report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services summarizes the research on development during the first 3 years of life; highlights areas that are foundational for school readiness and later school success; and describes how providers can support the development of school readiness in infants and toddlers.

Effective Literacy Interventions | Webinar.
Has your state selected “literacy” as an important target for improving outcomes for students with disabilities? If so, this webinar of the REL Mid-Atlantic is for you! Learn what the research says about the effectiveness of literacy interventions and how teachers can offer literacy instruction that meets a range of student needs. The webinar also discusses how school leaders can support effective literacy programs.

Technology in Education: An Overview.
Keep up to date with how technology is being used in education and get answers to questions such as: What is personalized learning? 1-to 1 computing? Blended learning? How is online testing evolving? How are digital materials used in classrooms? And much more…

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Spotlight on…ESSA Resources

The recent passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act—ESSA—ensures that loads of decisions must be made at the state level as to how to implement the law. So being well informed about ESSA is an ongoing priority for Parent Centers. Here are several new resources on the law to go with CPIR’s resource page on ESSA.

Education Week’s Overview of the ESSA.
One of the best overviews you’ll read, nicely broken down and explained.

PTA Resources for Families on ESSA.
Check out the many briefs offered on Parent Teacher Association’s website that summarize the titles of ESSA and stress family engagement.

ESSA and Students with Disabilities: Analysis & Comments.
The Advocacy Institute and the Center for Law and Education examine several key provisions of ESSA along with comments of how the provisions may impact students with disabilities.

The New Education Law: 6 Things to Know.
From NCLD’s Public Policy & Advocacy Team, this succinct article focuses on the 6 important things for parents to know about the new law, with emphasis on how it affects students with disabilities and the need for parental involvement and advocacy.

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Resources You Can Share with Families

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

Summer Fun Camp Directory.
From the Federation for Children with Special Needs, this directory includes links to over 200 camp websites serving children with disabilities.

Physical Education for Students with Disabilities.
Just updated page from Wrightslaw! If your child has a disability and an IEP, the school must provide physical education as part of your child’s special education program. This includes providing accommodations and modifications (as needed), or it may mean providing adapted physical education.

Checklist: What to Ask the School Before Choosing a Tool or Device.
This checklist includes multiple questions that parents might ask the school about assistive technology (AT) options for their child with a disability. The questions are organized into three sections: (1) AT and Your Child’s Needs; (2) Assessment of Assistive Technology; and (3) Assistive Technology Settings and Situations.

Options and Planning for College: For Families.
Do you serve families who want to learn more about the possibilities for their sons or daughters with intellectual disabilities to attend college? This self-paced module from Think College! describes college options, identifies how college is different from high school, discusses the changing role of families once students are in college, and offers strategies for families and students on how they may navigate those differences.

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Resources Just for Parent Centers: More Facts at Your Fingertips

Significant Turnover in State Education Leadership in 2015.
This new report details the changes that took place across the country in 2015 and early 2016 in 4 key state leadership roles: Governor, State Boards of Education, Chief (leader of the K-12 system), and State Higher Education Executive Officer (leader of the postsecondary system). This makes it critical that education stakeholders such as parents, community leaders, and business leaders be a consistent voice for keeping expectations high and improving student performance in their communities.

How to Look at Your Data to Address Disproportionality | Webinar.
Disproportionality in discipline rates can be a barrier to student engagement and school completion. This webinar from the REL Mid-Atlantic and the Technical Assistance Center on Disproportionality can help Parent Centers and others become more familiar with using data to identify disproportionality; identifying root causes of disproportionality in discipline rates; and analyzing existing policies and practices to address disproportionality.

Best Practices for Engaging Youth with Disabilities.
This 7-page brief comes from the Iowa Developmental Disabilities Council with extensive input from the ID Action Youth Advisory Board. It begins with an overview of youth engagement best practices, discusses essential components of youth-serving programs, and concludes with considerations for working with youth with disabilities.

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Miss the April 7th Webinar?

No problem! NTACT’s Resources on Transition and Opportunities for Parent Center Partnership is archived for your listening and viewing convenience. At your leisure, you can learn more about:

  • the resources of National Technical Assistance Center on Transition (NTACT);
  • how NTACT encourages the engagement of Parent Centers as partners at each level of planning and implementation;
  • what Parent Centers can bring to the various decision-making tables going on in their states right now; and
  • strategies that some Parent Centers have used—successfully!—to become part of state-level decision-making and capacity-building teams.

Just visit the archive page of the April 7th webinar on NTACT’s Resources on Transition and Opportunities for Parent Center Partnership, at:

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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.

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.