Preteen boy leaning against the school busTheme: Back to School!

Welcome to the August 2016 edition of Buzz from the Hub, the newsletter of the Center for Parent Information and Resources (CPIR). This month’s Buzz focuses on ESSA for starters, and gives you lots of resources for getting back to school. Yes, it’s almost that time again. We hope the resources below help you and your families get off to a great school start!

All our best to you, as always,

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



New Resources in the Hub on ESSA

Here are several recent additions to the Hub library, all of which pertain to the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and how it addresses specific populations of students.

ESSA Provisions for Juvenile Justice-Involved Youth with Disabilities.
This presentation by Kate Burdick of the Juvenile Law Center & Legal Center for Youth Justice and Education provides an overview of important provisions in the ESSA regarding youth involved in the juvenile justice system. 24 minutes.

ESSA Provisions Regarding Homeless Children and Youth: Implications for Students with Disabilities.
This presentation provides information on important provisions of the ESSA for homeless children and youth that impact students with disabilities. Presented by Patricia Julianelle, Director of State Projects and Legal Affairs for the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth (NAEHCY). 26 minutes.

ESSA and Students with the Most Significant Cognitive Disabilities.
This presentation provides an overview of ESSA provisions regarding Alternate Assessments on Alternate Academic Achievement Standards for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities. Presented by Ricki Sabia, Senior Education Policy Advisor for the National Down Syndrome Congress. 14 minutes.

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Spotlight on…Help for the Hot Spots

As the school year gets underway, we all hope for the best, while recognizing that there are particular “hot spots” where trouble may brew—behavior, discipline, bullying, to name a few familiar challenges. Here are tools to help parents build effective working relations with school professionals, help them ward off hot-spots-in-the-making, or deal with them once they arise.

Open Line and More: A Guide for Effective Communication.
This handy guide is filled with useful communication tips for families working with schools or other agencies. From Parents Reaching Out (PRO) in New Mexico.

Planning for a Meeting about Your Child’s Behavior Needs. | Also in Spanish!
When a child’s behavior causes concern at school, parents may find themselves among competing approaches to handling behavior. Planning ahead for an individualized meeting about their child’s behavior needs will help parents explain their own ideas about the best way to help their child in addition to listening to the ideas of others. English version from PACER Center in Minnesota. Spanish version from Parents Resource Network in Texas.

IDEA Dispute Resolution Parent Guides | In English and Spanish!
IDEA gives parents and schools multiple ways to resolve conflicts. CADRE offers a parent guide series describing each of IDEA’s mechanisms: state complaints, mediation, due process complaints and hearings, resolution sessions, and IEP facilitation. Each is available in English and in Spanish.

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Resources You Can Share with Families

Building parent power takes hard, dedicated work. Here are several resources you can share with the families you serve.

Back to School Tips for Parents of Children with Special Needs.
Here are Reading Rockets’ top 8 back-to-school tips for parents emphasize communication, organization, and staying up-to-date on special education news.

Accessible Educational Materials: Key Questions for Parents and Families.
Are you working with families with a student who needs extra help using textbooks, online learning programs, or other educational materials or technologies? Share this Q&A with families and parents to help them get started learning about AEM and accessible technologies to ensure every learner has access to learning.

10 Tips for a Successful School Year.
Here are 10 tips to help parents get off to a good start at the beginning of the new school year. From Wrightslaw.

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Resources Just for Parent Centers

The work that Parent Centers do covers so many topics, it’s mind-boggling. How do you keep up with such a broad range of priorities? Here are several resources you can use on topics of continuing importance.

Essential Elements of Digital Storytelling for Nonprofits.
Everyone loves a compelling story, and Parent Centers have a lot of stories to share. The link below will take you to an article called Experts Break Down the Science of Nonprofit Storytelling. At the end of this interesting article is an even MORE interesting storybook you can download for free. Sweet!

Parent Leadership Initiatives Set Off a Ripple Effect.
This new report from the Annenberg Institute for School Reform suggests how parent leadership initiatives can set off a positive “ripple effect.” Across the 7 programs explored, parents said they have gained the confidence and skills to speak out with authority about their experience and propose innovative solutions to bolster access and opportunity for their children’s future.

Preschool Inclusion: What’s the Evidence, What Gets in the Way, and What do High-Quality Programs Look Like? | Webinar
This 2016 webinar provides an overview of the 40 years of research supporting early childhood inclusion; a review of myths surrounding the children, adults and systems that support inclusion; and a review of common features across the inclusion models that have produced the most powerful outcomes. 58 minutes. Watch the streaming presentation (linked above) or download the PowerPoint presentation file.

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Miss the August Webinar?

No problem! We’ve archived Using Data for Collaboration and Advocacy for your listening and viewing convenience.

About the webinar | ESSA requires that states engage in meaningful consultation with a variety of stakeholders in making decisions about state plans for ESSA implementation. Many of these decisions will be based on the data on students, schools, professionals and communities.

This webinar will help you hone your skills in finding, understanding, and using data to make sure that the needs and interests of students with disabilities and their families are addressed in these important discussions.

Find all at the archive page of the August 4th webinar, at:

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, Myriam, Lisa, and Nolan
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.