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


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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.