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November 2009 E-News


The latest news and information from around the country.

New Projects


Learn and Serve Challenge
The Learn and Serve Challenge seeks to engage 50,000 schools nationwide and five million college students in service-learning. Over the course of this school year, the Challenge will showcase the promise and best practices of service-learning. Young people – from elementary to college age – will help rebuild and renew their local and global community by using the knowledge and skills learned in the classroom to implement innovative solutions to problems across five priority areas: community renewal, education, energy and the environment, health and nutrition, and safety and security.

Calls to Participate


Mental Health Youth Bill of Rights: The Time for Youth Voice is Now
As part of the 2009 Portland National Youth Summit, a Mental Health Bill of Rights was created by young adult leaders from across the United States. They hope this Mental Health Youth Bill of Rights will be adopted by organizations such as Youth MOVE and SAMHSA and displayed in every doctor’s office, counseling center, and organization that serves youth, ages 14-25, with mental health needs. To strengthen this document, Youth Summit participants are asking for additional feedback and support from anyone involved in the mental health network – professionals, consumers, allies, etc.


The National Youth Leadership Network Looking for Members of Governing Board, Committees Word document
The National Youth Leadership Network (NYLN) is looking for new leaders to help lead their organization. Everything NYLN does is done by young people. They have openings on their Governing Board (GB) and committees. This year GB applications and Committee applications can be done at the same time. People serving on the GB participate in at least two phone meetings a month and serve approximately 15 hours per month total. Applications must be postmarked by November 6, 2009.

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The Resource Zone

Other National Resources


Building the Legacy / Construyendo el Legado: A Training Curriculum on IDEA 2004  (October 2009)
The Building the Legacy / Construyendo el Legado training curriculum was produced by National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities (NICHCY) at the request of the Office of Special Education Programs, U.S. Department of Education. The curriculum is intended to help all those involved with children with disabilities understand and implement IDEA 2004, the nation's special education law. Many modules are available in both English and Spanish, and all handouts for participants are available in both languages.


Family Involvement: Research to Practice  (October 2009) PDF document
Session Highlights
Materials from “Family Involvement: Research to Practice,” a session presented by TATRA Staff at the National Council on Rehabilitation Education’s October 2009 conference, are now available online through the PACER Web site. This session highlighted strategies that promoted family involvement in the transition and vocational rehabilitation processes based on the findings of a number of recent studies. These studies linked family involvement with academic achievement and post-school success; documented outcomes from transition-focused parent-training projects funded by the Rehabilitation Services Administration; identified a general lack of family involvement in current practices of state vocational rehabilitation agencies serving transition-age youth; and described some promising practices. (Available in pdf, 1.27MB, 44 pp.)


Getting Ready for Postsecondary Education? (Spanish Version)  (November 2009)
The U.S. Department of Education offers a Spanish version of the report entitled Students With Disabilities Preparing For Postsecondary Education: Know Your Rights and Responsibilities (Preparacion Para La Educacion Postsecundaria Para Los Estudiantes Con Discapacidades: Conozca Sus Derechos Y Responsabilidades). The information within this report is provided by the Office of Civil Rights within the U.S. Department of Education. The report explains the rights and responsibilities of students with disabilities who are preparing for postsecondary education.


Helping Students Navigate the Path to College: What High Schools Can Do  (September 2009) PDF document
Practice Guide
This new practice guide from the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) discusses the challenges that many students face in regards to gaining access to higher education. It recommends five steps that educators, administrators, and policy makers can take, beginning in 9th grade, as well as the research evidence that supports these recommendations. It targets high schools and school districts, and focuses on effective practices that prepare students academically for college, assist them in completing the steps to college entry, and improve their likelihood of enrolling in college. A project of the U.S. Department of Education, the WWC is a source of scientific evidence for what works in education. (Available in pdf, 1.96MB, 86 pp.)


Helping Youth with Mental Health Needs Avoid Transition Cliffs: Lessons from Pioneering Transition Programs  (June 2009)
Info Brief
Youth with mental health needs often face unemployment, underemployment, and discrimination when they enter the workforce. Moreover, they often find it difficult to find or maintain services they need to successfully transition to adulthood, including mental health treatment, employment and vocational rehabilitation, and housing. NCWD for Youth recently released an info brief which discusses challenges faced by youth and young adults with mental health needs during their transition to adulthood and describes strategies used by youth service professionals to avoid age-related transition cliffs and prevent service interruptions during this critical stage of development. This InfoBrief is one in a series and is based on research about transition-age youth with mental health needs published in four separate reports in the last two years, including two produced by the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth.


NAEP Questions Tool  (2009)
Questions Tool
The NAEP Questions Tool is one of the most popular features of the National Assessment of Educational Progress website. It is now even easier for teachers, parents, students, researchers, media, and the general public to locate released NAEP assessment questions. The updated NAEP Questions Tool still provides a quick selection of questions from past NAEP assessments, but now features many new capabilities. A tutorial and a detailed Help menu are available to help users of all levels navigate the new features. In the updated NAEP Questions Tool, users can: select questions by choosing different criteria, see actual student responses to constructed questions and how the answers were scored, explore detailed data for each question, and bookmark results or individual questions.


NCY Updates Education Policy Recommendations  (October 2009)
Policy Report
The National Collaboration for Youth (NCY) provides updated policy recommendations in regard to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act reauthorization. The recommendations emphasize services that support successful completion of high school, including integrated student support services, family engagement, afterschool and supplemental education service programs, mentoring, service-learning, anti-bullying enhancement, increasing student attendance, physical education and dropout recovery and prevention & multiple pathways to graduation.


Numbers and Types of Public Elementary and Secondary Local Education Agencies From the Common Core of Data: School Year 2007-08 – First Look  (October 2009)
The National Center for Education Statistics has released “Numbers and Types of Public Elementary and Secondary Local Education Agencies From the Common Core of Data: School Year 2007-08.” This report presents selected findings on the numbers and types of public elementary and secondary local education agencies in the United States and the territories in the 2007-08 school year, using data from the Public Elementary/Secondary Local Education Agency Universe Survey of the Common Core of Data survey system. Findings include: There were 17,775 operating local education agencies in the 2007-08 school year, and among those agencies, 13,924 were regular school districts; twenty-seven of the 13,924 active regular school districts enrolled 100,000 or more students; and approximately 699,000 students enrolled in the 2,012 independent charter agencies, districts in which all schools were charter schools.


Organized Communities, Stronger Schools: A Case Study Series  (November 2009)
Case Studies
The Annenberg Institute for School Reform (AISR) has released a series of case studies, which detail the positive effects of community organizing campaigns to improve public schools in seven urban communities. Each case documents the organizing efforts of a community group in a site and its effect on resource equity and district accountability for improved educational outcomes. The seven case studies are the result of a six-year, mixed methods study funded by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, which demonstrate that effective grassroots community organizing can establish strong school capacity and achieve long-term, systematic change in education. Researchers found that across all of the sites there was evidence that effective community organizing can stimulate changes in policy and practice, strengthen school-community relationships and contribute to improved student educational outcomes.


Public Elementary and Secondary School Student Enrollment and Staff Counts From the Common Core of Data: School Year 2007–08  (November 2009) PDF document
Public Elementary and Secondary School Student Enrollment and Staff Counts Public elementary and secondary schools enrolled about 49 million students during the 2007-08 school year, according to the report “Public Elementary and Secondary School Student Enrollment and Staff Counts From the Common Core of Data: School Year 2007-08.” The report, released by the National Center for Education Statistics within the Institute of Education Sciences, also found that public elementary and secondary schools and local education agencies employed a total of 6.2 million full-time staff in the 2007-08 school year, of which 51 percent were teachers. (Available in pdf, 955 KB, 25 pp.)

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What's Happening

Other National Events


The Rising Tide of Autism: How Your School Will Be Affected and Practical Strategies You Can Implement Today
Web-based Event
November 10, 2009
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM   (Eastern)
Autism-related challenges are growing exponentially, but there are ways to cope. The experts in this webinar will discuss the key steps listeners must take now to: (a) help these students, (b) protect their assets, and (c) preserve their general curriculum. Some of the challenges faced by schools are autism spectrum’s broad range, the diversity and complexity of individual needs, no “one-size-fits-all” approach, handling academically brilliant students with social and communication barriers and more.

Creating Workplace Partners: Keeping Employers Happy
Web-based Event
November 11, 2009
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM   (Eastern)
How can youth with disabilities and their families make sure that employers are able to provide the most effective work experience for youth; help employers become comfortable with youth with disabilities and their workplace accommodations; and make sure that they are pleased and willing to continue to host youth in the workplace? In this webinar presented by Transcen participants will learn strategies for meeting employer expectations and keeping them happy to have youth in the workplace as well as strategies that will also contribute to long lasting partnerships that will yield more and more work experiences and jobs for youth.

Supporting Students in Alternative Education Settings
Web-based Event
November 18, 2009
1:30 PM - 3:00 PM   (Eastern)
WestEd’s Schools Moving Up website will feature another free webinar, as part of a series of WestEd-sponsored webinars related to education goals of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Sarah Feldman, Senior Research Associate in WestEd’s Innovation Studies program, will moderate a presentation on supporting students who face significant obstacles to completing their high school diploma – parenthood, financial constraints, incarceration, immigration, drug addiction and/or previous school failure. Cami Anderson, Superintendent of Alternative High Schools and Programs for the New York City Department of Education (District 79), will present strategies for developing a teaching staff that can work effectively with such students; and Lucretia Murphy, Executive Director of the See Forever Foundation, will describe the program offered for adjudicated young men in the Maya Angelou Academy and the Transition Center. More information is on the website.

Assessing 21st Century Skills to Maximize Student Readiness for Higher Education and Careers
Web-based Event
November 24, 2009
1:30 PM - 3:00 PM   (Eastern)
WestEd’s SchoolsMovingUp website offers another free webinar presented by Robert Anderson, Senior Assessment Specialist at WestEd, who will explore the changes implicit in focusing middle and high school education on 21st century skills. Anderson will provide a definition of 21st century skills, and explain their implications for standards, curriculum, instruction, and school design. He will also co-present with a district administrator engaged in local educational reform with a 21st century skills perspective on the challenges of on-the-ground implementation. The webinar will include opportunities for audience members to interact with the speakers. This presentation is a collaboration between and SchoolsMovingUp.

26th Annual Pacific Rim International Conference on Disabilities
April 12, 2010 - April 13, 2010
Honolulu, HI
The Pacific Rim International Conference on Disabilities dates back to 1985 and has evolved into one of the top rated international educational offerings for and from persons with disabilities, family members, researchers, service providers, policymakers, community leaders, advocates, and nationally recognized professionals in the various disciplines in the diverse field of disabilities. The 2010 Pacific Rim International Conference program design is organized into three broad thematic areas: Foundation topics, Exploration topics, and Innovation topics. Registration and a call for proposals are now open. Deadline for final submissions is December 18, 2009. Registration deadline is January 15, 2010. ^ Top of Page ^

Get Wired!

Web Sites


Going to College
This new Web site, designed for high school students, has information about living college life with a disability. The site contains video clips, activities, and resources that can help students get ahead and start planning for college. Video interviews with college students with disabilities provide firsthand information about how they have been successful in college. Modules include activities that will help students explore more about themselves, learn what to expect from college, and how to be better equipped with important considerations and tasks to complete when planning for college.


Launch of a Site
A new site was launched October 26th, 2009. Based on participants’ feedback on the previous site, they added more functions (e.g. My Dashboard, User Tips, and Search Function) and improved the existing one (e.g., easier way to post documents, reconfiguration to be more user-friendly). For more information or to discuss training options, contact Mariola Rosser at, or see the website, or the SharedWork site.



KIN E-News
KIN E-News is a monthly newsletter presented by Family Support Center on Disabilities: Knowledge & Involvement Network (KIN). The Family Support Center on Disabilities: Knowledge & Involvement Network offers a centralized resource on the full range of options available to individuals with disabilities and their families.

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Funding Forecast

Federal Grant Opportunities


FY 2009-2010 Discretionary Grant Application Packages
This site, from the Department of Education, provides information on grant competitions that are currently open.


FY 2009-2010 Discretionary Grant Application Packages
This site, from the Department of Education, provides information on grant competitions that are currently open.

Additional Funding and Award Opportunities


AAPT: High School Physics Teacher Grant
The goal of the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) is to encourage high school teachers to experiment and improve on their teaching practices. AAPT believes that as teaching practice improves, physics enrollment and excitement among students increase and therefore offers the High School Physics Teacher Grant to provide funds to kick start the implementation of these practices. The grants are given each year to teachers whose proposals meet the goals of the grant: that the proposed procedures should result in better teaching practice, student understanding and interest, and/or increased enrollment. Proposal may use a new teaching method or an adaptation of an existing idea. Maximum award: $500. Eligibility: members of AAPT. Deadline: December 1, 2009.


Do Something Awards
Since 1996, Do Something has honored the nation’s best young world-changers. Do Something Award Winners represent the pivotal “do-ers” in their field, cause, or issue and are rewarded with a project grant, participation in a special award ceremony, media coverage, and continued support from Do Something. The awards are given to young people (age 25 or under) in recognition of their leadership in community improvement and concern for the lives of others. Recipients of the award receive a grant of up to $100,000 toward the cause of their choice. Deadline for application: December 15, 2009.


Do Something Invites Teens to Organize Food Drives
Selected teens from middle and high schools, sports teams, Do Something Clubs, and church groups across the nation will win a $1,000 donation to their local food bank for their work in effectively organizing food drives to help fight hunger in their community. Do Something’s goal for the drives is 1 Million lbs of food collected by teens. Entrants could win a pizza party sponsored by and a $1000 donation to their local food bank. Deadline for submission: December 15, 2009.


Emerging Leaders Summer Internship Program
Emerging Leaders is a competitive program that places undergraduate and graduate students with disabilities in fulfilling summer internships and provides them with leadership development opportunities. Emerging Leaders partners with America’s leading businesses to help them find outstanding young talent while also considering diversity and inclusion in their hiring practices. To be considered for an internship, a student must be an enrolled undergraduate or graduate student who has completed at least 60 credits and is maintaining at least a 3.0 GPA. Application deadline: December 31, 2009.


Fund for Teachers Accepting Applications for 2010 Summer Education Grants
Fund for Teachers invites educators from across the United States to submit proposals for their own educational adventures next summer. The program is designed to provide educators with the opportunity to pursue areas of personal and professional interest and bring their experiences back to the classroom for the benefit of their students. Eligible projects include tours, conferences, and independent studies anywhere in the world. Individual grants of up to $5,000 and team grants of up to $10,000 will be awarded. Deadline: January 29, 2010.


Laura Bush Foundation for America's Libraries Accepting Applications from School Libraries
The foundation makes grants of up to $6,000 each to update, extend, and diversify the book collections of school libraries. All LBF grants are made to individual schools rather than to school districts, county systems, private organizations, foundations, or other entities. LBF gives selection preference to schools in which 90% or more of the students receive free or reduced lunches and are likely to have the fewest books at home. Deadline for application: December 31, 2009.


National Endowment for the Humanities and American Library Association Announce We the People Bookshelf Grant Opportunity
Each year, NEH chooses a theme important to the nation's heritage and selects books that embody that theme to build the We the People Bookshelf. The theme for the 2009-2010 Bookshelf is “A More Perfect Union.” Four thousand public and K-12 libraries will receive seventeen books that help young readers understand great literature and explore themes in American history. Deadline: January 29, 2010.

Scholarships and Awards


Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Career Planning and Placement for Youth in Transition
The University of Maryland, in conjunction with TransCen, Inc., is offering scholarships for the Career Planning and Placement for Youth in Transition Graduate Certificate Program. The scholarships are intended for professionals with a bachelor’s degree who are employed in special education, rehabilitation or related programs; and offer a tuition and stipend award for 12 graduate credits in the University of Maryland’s Department of Counseling and Personnel Services. (Available in pdf, 392 KB, 1 p.) Deadline to apply: December 31, 2009.

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End of Issue

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E-News features resources, activities, products, and funding information from around the country. E-News is dedicated to assisting youth, parents, educators, service providers, and administrators to stay connected and informed about secondary education and transition issues.

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The National Center on Secondary Education and Transition disseminates E-News to enhance public access to information about secondary education and transition activities. Our intention is to provide resources that are current and accurate. Although every attempt is made to ensure the accuracy of this information, we can make no guarantees. We will, of course, make every effort to correct errors brought to our attention.

E-News was supported in whole or in part by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, (Cooperative Agreement No. H326J000005). However, the opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of the U. S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, or any of the six partners of the National Center on Secondary Education and Transition, and no official endorsement should be inferred.

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