“You can’t stop the future
You can’t rewind the past
The only way to learn the secret
…is to press play.”

–Jay Asher, Thirteen Reasons Why.


December Greetings!

This extraordinary year is in its final month, as impossible as that seems. How fast and how slowly time can pass! Now, most of us are buckling down over surging COVID and gearing up for a marathon of continued schooling, holiday prep and planning, and anticipation of 2021, hopefully with vaccinations against COVID as the new year progresses.

Still, we have some miles to go before we break open the champagne. Here are several resources that you might find useful to you and yours in the days ahead, as well as helpful to the families you serve and the greater community in which you live.

We’re all in this together, so stay well and strong and true!
Carolyn Hayer and the CPIR Team


Schooling Resources for You and Your Community

It’s Official: National Test Is Postponed Due to COVID-19 Concerns
Heard of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)? It’s the national test of reading and math given since the 1970s to representative samples of students in all 50 states. Well, it’s been postponed for 2021 by the U.S. Department of Education. See you in 2022!

GAO Report: Challenges Providing Services to K-12 English Learners and Students with Disabilities during COVID-19
COVID-19 forced schools to rapidly shift to distance learning. GAO (the Government Accounting Office) investigated the impact of this shift and found that it presented logistical and instructional challenges, especially for English learners and students with disabilities—both of whom have persistent achievement gaps compared to other student subgroups. Find out what those challenges were for each group.

Map: Where Are Schools Closed?
Want to know where school buildings are open or closed? Consult this state-by-state map.

Why School Board Diversity Matters
The racial and ethnic makeup of school boards rarely matches that of the students in the schools they are responsible for. Yet a growing body of research suggests having more diverse school boards can make concrete differences in how schools operate. In fact, having just one minority member on a board increases a school district’s financial investment in high-minority schools and even some measures of student achievement and student climate.


For the Holiday Season Ahead

2020 Holiday images made of gingerbread

Playtime’s Guide to Activities Families Can Do Together
(Available in English and Spanish) | The Homeless Children’s Playtime Project offers creative tip sheets for parents looking for fun activities to do with their children during the pandemic. Tip Sheets 1-4 are available in English. Tip Sheets 5 and 6 are available in both English and Spanish. There are also fun videos for children on the project’s YouTube channel.

Self-Care in the Time of Coronavirus
(Also available in Spanish)
For parents, prioritizing your own well-being benefits your whole family.

Holidays During the Pandemic
(Also available in Spanish)
Tips for reducing stress, helping kids cope, and making new traditions.


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Publication of this eNewsletter is made possible through Cooperative Agreement H328R180005 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.