Huge pile of books in laptop isolated on whiteTheme: Responses to Your Feedback

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

This month’s Buzz is a direct response to the feedback that many of you gave us in April. You rated the Buzz quite highly in terms of relevance, usefulness, and quality, which is good to know. We especially liked that you also expressed many similar requests and resource needs (thank you very much, extremely helpful and appreciated!). So CPIR is pleased to focus the May Buzz on the need areas most mentioned. We hope that the resources listed help you address those needs. Please do let us know!

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, as you know. These new resources in the Hub also correspond to the needs Parent Centers expressed in the recent survey of satisfaction with the Buzz.

Understanding Student Learning: The Need for Education Data.
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 these education data and why. From the Alliance for Excellent Education.

Opening Doors to Self-Determination Skills.
This 26-page handbook, subtitled Planning for Life After High School, deals with the self-determination and self-advocacy skills that students will need no matter what option they choose after high school. Want to start teaching these skills in the early grades? That’s included in the handbook, too.

Webinar series on Family, School, and Community Engagement.
Definitely share news of this series with school systems! The webinar series of 9 makes clear that effective family engagement is not a one-time program or event. Rather, it’s a set of day-to-day practices, attitudes, beliefs, and interactions that support learning at home, at school, afterschool, and during the summer. The series focuses on how to get there.

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Spotlight on…Family Engagement

No surprise, that this topic is a need area, especially when we’re talking about engaging with multicultural families. And what about school systems engaging with Parent Centers and families?! Perhaps these various resources can offer valuable guidance to us all.

Developing Relationships with Families.
For Parent Centers | This isn’t just one learning resource—it’s a package of 4 individual sessions: (1) Getting Started: Family Engagement and Positive Goal-Oriented Relationships; (2) Strengths-Based Attitudes and Relationship-Based Practices; (3) Reflective Strategies: Sustaining Effective Practice; and (4) Additional Resources on family engagement and related topics.

Professional Development Tools to Make Continuous Family Engagement Come Alive!
For educators, schools, and school systems | Share the March newsletter of FINE, the Family Involvement Network of Educators. It offers educators tools and resources for learning and developing the skills to promote family engagement from early childhood through to transitioning to college.

Immigrant Parents and Early Childhood Programs: Addressing Barriers of Literacy, Culture, and Systems Knowledge.
For Parent Centers and schools | Immigrant parents face significant barriers as they try to engage with their children’s early educational experiences. This report identifies the unique needs of newcomer parents across the range of expectations for parent skill, engagement, and leadership, as well as strategies to address these needs. From the National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy.

Interactive Homelessness Lessons.
For Parent Centers and schools | The Interactive Homelessness Lessons were designed to strengthen the knowledge and skills of all staff who work with families experiencing homelessness. The lessons include useful strategies, compelling parent stories, experiences and lessons learned, sample documents, and much more.

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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. You told us you’re interested in resources that are ready-to-share with families, so we’ve identified several relating to other topics of interest, especially key transition moments across time.

Get Ready for Kindergarten!
Being ready for kindergarten means that a child with special needs is able to attend to and learn the information being presented in the academic setting and is emotionally able to interact appropriately with the teacher and fellow students. This article asks (and answers) 2 questions: What are some of the skills expected of a child entering kindergarten? And what are some things that families can do to prepare their child for kindergarten?

Parent Toolkit | In English and Spanish.
This toolkit will help parents navigate their child’s journey from pre-kindergarten through high school. It is designed to help families track and support progress at each stage. While not specifically about children with disabilities, the toolkit explores growth and development through each of the grades (K-12) and provides important and useful information about how to support children’s academics, social-emotional development, and health and wellness.

Making My Way Through College: A Guide for Youth with Disabilities.
This guide is aimed at helping students with disabilities navigate postsecondary education. It provides information and resources on preparing for and succeeding in college and transitioning from college into the world of work.

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Resources Just for Parent Centers

So… you also expressed the need for more resources on ESSA, significant cognitive disabilities, transition to adulthood…

ESSA Cheat Sheet: What’s in the New Testing Regulations?
This cheat sheet from Education Week sums up the new testing regulations in easy-to-read bullet points that are organized into topic-specific sections. Particularly relevant to Parent Centers are the sections on how testing will work in general, for students who have disabilities, and for English language learners.

Step-by-Step Guide for Implementing LRE for Students with the Most Significant Cognitive Disabilities.
This guide from the Georgia Department of Education Special Education Services and Supports chronicles the progress and inclusion of one first-grade student, providing a step-by-step guide for others to replicate.

Working Effectively with Diverse Youth & Families in Transition.
From the project Opening Doors for Multicultural Families, there are currently 3 webinars to enjoy and learn from: (1) Meaningful Transition Planning for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Youth with Disabilities; (2) Working With an Interpreter; and (3) Adult Service Eligibility for Immigrant and Refugee Students.

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Save the Date! June 2nd Webinar

It’s time to plan for “Summer School!” Our so-called summer lull is a great time for Parent Center staff to focus on their own professional development, training needs, and hot topics. The IEP is ever a hot topic and an especially important one for staff to know backwards and forwards. Do you have new staff onboard who could benefit from an indepth and authoritative look at the IEP process? Want to refresh your own knowledge? And how about the families you serve?

CPIR’s June webinar will spotlight training materials on the IEP you can use to learn or train others. We hope you’ll join us!

Date | Thursday, June 2, 2016
Time | 3-4, Eastern Daylight Time
Join online at:
Conference line: 1-877-512-6886, code 1825 1825 18

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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.