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November 2010 E-News


The latest news and information from around the country.

New Projects


American Youth Policy Forum YouTube™ Debut
American Youth Policy Forum (AYPF) has made its YouTube™ debut and has many videos posed on its channel there.

Calls to Participate


University of Missouri-Kansas City Institute for Human Development Seeks Input on the Assistive Technology Needs of Individuals with Developmental Disabilities
The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) Institute for Human Development is looking for people who wish to use and/or are currently using assistive technology to take a brief survey on their assistive technology needs.

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The Resource Zone

Other National Resources


Assessing Self-Regulation in Children and Youth: A Guide for Out-of-School Time Program Practitioners  (October 2010) PDF document
Research-to-Results Brief)
Being able to suppress impulsive behavior and to adjust behavior as appropriate has been linked to positive outcomes for children and adolescents. This brief defines self-regulation and why it is important, provides three measures of self-regulation skills of children and teens, and includes tips for enhancing self-regulation skills in out-of-school time programs. Available in pdf (170 KB, 8 pp).


Assessing Stress in Children and Youth: A Guide for Out-of-School Time Program Practitioners  (October 2010) PDF document
Research-to-Results Brief
It is important for families, schools, and program providers to be able to recognize and help youth cope with stress to minimize the risk for negative health and behavioral development. This brief identifies characteristics of youth who may be particularly vulnerable to stress, provides two scales to measure stress among adolescents, and includes tips and resources for helping youth deal with stress. Available in pdf (142 KB, 6 pp).


Behavior A Problem? – FACTS  (2010)
FACTS, the Functional Assessment Checklist for Teachers and Staff, from the OSEP TA&D Network’s Technical Assistance Center Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports, is a two-page interview completed by people (teachers, family, clinicians) who know the child best. It is used to either build behavior support plans or guide more complete functional assessment efforts.


Characteristics of the 100 Largest Public Elementary and Secondary School Districts in the United States: 2008-09  (November 2010)
The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) has released its annual report on “Characteristics of the Largest 100 Public Schools Districts: 2008-2009.” The data include such characteristics as the number of students and teachers, number of high school completers, the averaged freshman graduation rate, and revenues and expenditures.


College Success for All: The Hidalgo Independent School District’s College Readiness Program  (October 2010)
“College Success for All,” from Jobs for the Future, tells how the Hidalgo Independent School District -- in one of the most economically depressed metropolitan areas in Texas and with low numbers of college-educated adults -- is preparing all of its students to earn college credits while in high school. Hidalgo ISD is 99.5% Hispanic, 90% economically disadvantaged, and 53% limited-English-proficient. In 2005, the district promised that all of its students, not just a select group, would earn college credits before graduating from high school. Since then, it has transformed its elementary schools, middle schools, and high school by driving college expectations, implementing rigorous course sequencing, integrating student support systems into all of its schools, stepping up parental engagement, and building strong relationships with partnering institutions. In June 2010, more than 95% of the class graduated with college credits, and two-thirds of the graduating seniors had earned at least a full semester of credit for a college degree.


Edutopia’s Home to School Connections Guide
Resource Guide
Improved communication between home and school and new technologies making classrooms accessible have created more opportunities for parents, teachers, and students to connect. Edutopia has published a free resource guide, “Home to School Connections Guide: tips, Tech Tools, and Strategies for Improving Family-to-School Communication. It provides resources and ideas for building and strengthening the bonds between schools, families, and communities. For both educators and parents, the guide provides tools and tips for nurturing collaboration and partnerships.


Health and the IEP  (April 2009)
The Wisconsin Community on Transition Health Practice Group has developed health-related training materials that can be used with schools, health providers, families, and directly with youth to help youth with disabilities learn to more effectively manage their health care concerns.


Health and Transition in the IEP  (August 2009)
“Embedding Health Outcomes in the Individualized Education Program” is a video recording of a 40 minute teleconference that provides information and specific examples of health-related goals for an IEP. This free recording is available from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction Web site.


Inducting, Supporting, and Retaining Special Educators: NCIPP Insights  (2010)
The National Center to Inform Policy and Practice in Special Education Professional Development (NCIPP) has made available a collection of 12 Induction Insights briefs designed to help district and building administrators use research-based practices to induct, mentor, and keep special educators, especially those just starting out.


Mass Insight’s School Turnaround Group Releases Evaluation Toolkit  (September 2010)
Schools, districts, and states across the country are trying ways to improve their lowest-performing schools. Because turnaround efforts are fast-paced and challenging, evaluations cannot be limited to a summative process, but must be ongoing, to allow mid-course corrections. This toolkit from Mass Insights provides a framework and process for conducting evaluations. It includes a framework that outlines a process for setting school goals, collecting aligned data, and using data to inform decision-making; a list of critical variables or metrics to track within the categories of demographic data, school environment, student achievement, community perceptions, instructional data, and school facilities and resources; a compilation of data from successful turnaround schools on what is achievable year by year under a turnaround model, to suggest benchmarks in other states, districts, and schools; and an evaluation primer with information about the general practice of evaluation as related to school improvement.

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What's Happening

Other National Events


College 101: Transition to Higher Education for Students with Disabilities
Web-based Event
November 11, 2010
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM   (Central)
The Midwest Alliance and the Disability Resources and Educational Services (DRES) at the University of Illinois will be presenting a free webinar for high school students, parents, and education personnel, “College 101: Transition to Higher Education for Students with Disabilities.” Topics covered will include types of college options, college preparation during the high school years, financial resources, college application tips, and difference between high school and college for a student with a disability. Participants will need to register by November 4th, through the link to registration for the webinar on the Midwest Alliance website. For those who are unable to attend, a captioned recording of the webinar will be available on the website after November 11th.

The Teacher-Parent Relationship: Using Professional Development to Improve Family and Community Engagement
Web-based Event
November 18, 2010
2:00 PM - 3:30 PM   (Eastern)
The U.S. Department of Education, in partnership with United Way Worldwide, National PTA, SEDL, and Harvard Family Research Project, will hold the fourth webinar in its “Achieving Excellence and Innovation in Family, School, and Community Engagement” series, on “The Teacher-Parent Relationship: Using Professional Development to Improve Family and Community Engagement.” The webinar will examine practical examples of how states can embed family engagement into their professional development systems and how teacher education programs can systematically include family engagement in teaching and learning; and will also discuss promising practices in higher education, including partnerships with Parental Information and Resource Centers (PIRCs) to build the capacity of family coordinators.

Careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Fields
Web-based Event
December 9, 2010
1:00 PM - 2:30 PM   (Central)
The Midwest Alliance is hosting a webinar that highlights the careers of three individuals in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) related fields who have a disability. Scott Anderson, a high school math teacher who received his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, will tell how his career path led him to a Masters in Instruction, allowing him to empower students and faculty through self-advocacy education; Dr. Matthew Weed will talk about his career experiences as an administrator, science and medical educator, student adviser, and bio-ethicist; and Mike Jones, a graduate of Eastern Illinois University, will discuss his work as a self-employed computer database Madison consultant. The webinar will be held online and at the UW-Madison Pyle Center.

Customized Employment
Web-based Event
December 14, 2010
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM   (Eastern)
The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) will sponsor a discussion of customized employment and the success it can bring to individuals with significant disabilities. Strategies and suggestions will be provided, including identifying natural workplace supports, using assistive technology, and negotiating employment tasks. ^ Top of Page ^

Get Wired!

Web Sites


A Tale of Two Teachers
“A Tale of Two Teachers” is a new guidebook and website from the Joyce Foundation on teacher quality aimed at parents, community leaders, school administrators, and policymakers. It tells two stories of the same teacher: one who receives the right support to help her students succeed, and one who does not. The guidebook suggests teacher effectiveness policies and provides tactical information on how to hire good teachers, raise standards of performance, and help teachers thrive in their careers. It also encourages parents to stand up for their children’s right to a quality education, and includes a list of key questions for parents to ask their schools, administrators, and state legislators as they advocate for change. It also includes a complementary guidebook that outlines steps advocates can take to improve the way we recruit, support, evaluate, and reward teachers.


IDRA’s Courageous Connections Webpage
The Intercultural Development Research Association (IDRA) has developed a “Courageous Connections” webpage, that highlights events, resources, initiatives and projects on how communities and schools can spark and sustain changes, using IDRA’s Quality Schools Action Framework.


Voices4Hope’s Youth-Led, Youth-Focused Website Supporting Teens and Young Adult with Mental Health Challenges
Voices4Hope is a website created by a group of young adults with mental health challenges who work in the Transitions Research & Training Center (Transitions RTC). The goal of this site is to connect young adults with mental health challenges across the country so they can talk to each other about things that are important to living happy and independent lives. (More general information on Transitions RTC’s research and dissemination activities is available at



Kids As Self Advocates Listserv
Kids As Self Advocates (KASA) is a national grassroots project created by youth with disabilities, speaking out for youth. KASA knows youth can make choices and advocate for themselves if they have the information and support they need. The KASA listserv provides information for youth with disabilities about their rights, giving peer support and training, and changing the systems that affect their lives, as well as helping health care professionals, policymakers, and other adults in their communities understand what it is like to live their lives.

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Funding Forecast

Federal Grant Opportunities


FY 2010-2011 Discretionary Grant Application Packages
This site, from the Department of Education, provides information on grant competitions that are currently open.


FY 2010-2011 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


Astronauts Memorial Foundation: Alan Shepard Technology in Education Award
The Astronauts Memorial Foundation’s Alan Shepard Technology in Education Award rewards excellence in the development and delivery of technology programs in the classroom with students, or in the professional development of teachers in the school or district. Maximum award: $1,000, recognition at the awards ceremony at the 27th National Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Eligibility: K-12 educators and district-level personnel in the field of Educational Technology. Deadline: January 15, 2011.


Captain Planet Foundation: Grants for the Environment
The Captain Planet Foundation funds hands-on environmental projects to encourage youth around the world to work individually and collectively to solve environmental problems in their neighborhoods and communities. Maximum award: $2,500. Eligibility: 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations, including schools. Deadline: December 31, 2010.


Earthwatch: Education Fellowships
The Earthwatch Institute offers educators fully funded fellowships for hands-on learning with leading scientists doing field research and conservation on one of 130 projects. Earthwatch’s Education Fellowships are national in scope, and supported by a wide range of businesses, foundations, and individuals. Maximum award: full cost of expedition, including all research costs, meals, housing, on-site travel, etc. Eligibility: K-12 classroom educators of any subject(s) from public or private schools nationwide. Deadline: Applications accepted on a rolling basis.


Honeywell: Educators at Space Academy Program
The Honeywell Educators at Space Academy Program funds five-day scholarships for middle school math and science teachers at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama. Recipients have 40 hours of intensive classroom, laboratory and training time, focusing on space science and space exploration, including participation in astronaut-style training and simulations and activities designed to promote life-long learning in a classroom setting. Maximum award: travel, accommodations, materials, and five-day tuition. Eligibility: middle school (grades 6-8) science and math teachers. Deadline: December 31, 2010.


Intel Schools of Distinction Awards
Every year, Intel honors K-12 schools in the U.S. demonstrating excellence in math and science education through innovative teaching and learning environments, developing an environment and curricula that meet or exceed benchmarks put forth by national mathematics and science content standards. Up to three schools at each level (elementary, middle, and high school) will be named as finalists in the math and science categories. Each school will receive a cash grant of $5,000 from the Intel Foundation and a trip to Washington DC for a four-member team from their school and district. Six winners will be selected from the 18 finalists and receive a $10,000 cash grant, and products and services from program sponsors. One of the six will be selected as the "Star Innovator" and will receive a $25,000 grant. The program is open to K-12 public, private, charter, and parochial schools in the United States, Department of Defense Dependents schools, and Bureau of Indian Affairs schools. Eligibility is limited to accredited schools that are publicly funded and/or not-for-profit. Deadline for applications: February 17, 2011.


Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries Invites Applications for Book Grants from School Libraries
Schools where a minimum of 50% of the student body qualifies for free or reduced-price lunches are eligible to apply for Laura Bush Foundation (LBF) regular grants to their school libraries. Research demonstrates a clear relationship between family income and a student’s access to books, and so the LBF gives selection preference to schools in which 90% percent or more of the students receive free or reduced-price lunches and are likely to have the fewest books at home. Schools in all fifty states, the District of Columbia, US territories, and Department of Defense schools in other countries are eligible. The LBF makes grants of up to $6,000 to update, extend, and diversify the book collections of the libraries that receive them. Applications must be submitted through the foundation’s website. Application deadline: December 31, 2010.


U.S. Department of Labor’s YouthBuild Grants
The U.S. Department of Labor’s (USDOL) Employment and Training Administration announced the availability of funds and solicitation of grant applications for YouthBuild grants for up to about $130 million in total. (The final amount will depend upon the amount of funds Congress appropriates to the program for Fiscal Year 2011.) USDOL will award the grants based on a competitive process. Grant funds will be used to provide disadvantaged youth with education and employment skills necessary to achieve economic self-sufficiency in high-demand occupations and postsecondary education and training opportunities; opportunities for meaningful work and service to their communities; and opportunities to develop employment and leadership skills and a commitment to community development among youth in low-income communities. Application deadline: December 3, 2010.

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End of Issue

Excerpting E-News
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Purpose of the Listserv
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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E-News Disclaimer
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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