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December 2008 E-News


The latest news and information from around the country.

New Projects


Strategies for Parents: Working with Students with Intensive Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Needs
Project REACH is a National Center, funded by the Office of Special Education Programs, U.S. Department of Education, to work with students with intensive social, emotional, and behavioral needs, taking the most effective interventions from the research and translating them into easy step-by-step directions for implementing in the home setting.

Legislative Announcements


Assistance to States for the Education of Children With Disabilities (Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, U.S. Department of Education)
Final regulations governing the Assistance to States for Education of Children with Disabilities Program and the Preschool Grants for Children with Disabilities Program in the areas of parental consent for continued special education and related services; non-attorney representation in due process hearings; State monitoring, technical assistance, and enforcement; and allocation of funds. The regulations also incorporate a statutory requirement relating to positive efforts to employ and advance in employment individuals with disabilities that was inadvertently omitted from the 2006 regulations.


FERPA Final Rule, U.S. Department of Education PDF document
Final Family Educational Rights and Privacy (FERPA) regulations addressing the issues in last March’s proposed rule have been released. Available in pdf (51 pages, 296 KB).

Calls to Participate


Center for Self-Determination Announces Call for Papers for May 3-5 Conference on Self-Determination PDF document
The International Conference on Self-Determination (May 3-5, 2009, at the Benton Convention Center, Winston-Salem NC) is open through January 16, 2009 for proposals for papers on self-determination. Selected submissions will be notified by February 2, 2009. Available in pdf (2 pages, 364 KB).


Extended APSE Deadline: January 9th
The deadline for submission of proposals to present at the 20th National APSE Conference on Integrated Employment (June 30-July 2, 2009, in Milwaukee, WI) has been extended to January 9, 2009. Details and information on submitting proposals are on the APSE Web site. For additional questions regarding submitting conference proposals, David Hoff can be contacted (email, phone 617-287-4308, or TTY: 617-287-4350).


NYLN Seeks New Leaders For 2009-2010 Governing Board
The National Youth Leadership Network (NYLN), a non-profit organization run by young people with disabilities with the goal of empowering all young people to reach their maximum potential, is looking for new leaders. Applicants to the Governing Board must: be between the ages of 16 and 28, have a disability, and have leadership and advocacy skills. The Governing Board application can be found at the Web site. Applications are due February 8, 2009.


Online Discussion - Parent Advocacy and Family-School Partnership
The Family Center on Technology and Disability is hosting a discussion of effective family-school partnerships that result in successful use of technology throughout the month of December. Assistive and instructional technology (AT/IT) can help both IEP (Individualized Education Program) students and General Education classes addressing a range of learning needs. The discussion will be moderated by AT/IT technologist Lon Thornburg and parent advocate Charles DiPietro.


Research and Training Center on Family Support and Children’s Mental Health Announces Call for Papers for June 23-25 Building on Family Strengths Conference
The Building on Family Strengths Conference (June 23-25, 2009, in Portland, OR) is open through January 30, 2009 for papers on family support and children’s mental health. The conference will feature developments in two areas: Youth empowerment and participation in designing, delivering, and evaluating services, supports, and systems; and Wraparound: practice, supervision, fidelity measurement, outcome studies, system support, and more. Proposals can be submitted online.


RWJF Commission to Build a Healthier America: Promising Programs and Policies
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Commission to Build a Healthier America is a national group seeking ways to improve the health of all Americans. The Commission expects to issue a set of recommendations in April 2009, and to inform these recommendations, is soliciting ideas and examples of promising policies, innovations, and interventions that can help Americans live healthier lives.

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The Resource Zone

Other National Resources


Can High Schools Prepare Students for Careers and College?  (October 2008)
Yes high schools can prepare students for careers and college, according to this MDRC long-term study of Career Academies, which connect students with personalized supports and work experience. The study finds that the choice between academics and careers is “a false dichotomy” and that these Academies produce sustained employment and earnings gains without sacrificing academic preparation.


Changing Circumstances: Experiences of Pre- and Post-SSI Youth  (February 2008)
Study Summary
The results of a new study, summarized in the paper “Changing Circumstances: Experiences of Child Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Recipients Before and After Their Age-18 Redetermination for Adult Benefits,” analyze the dynamics of the transition of child recipients of SSI into adulthood. Findings suggest that youth with mental and behavioral disorders are much less likely to receive SSI benefits after turning 19. A major concern is that these youth are not sufficiently prepared for life without SSI.


Co-Teaching in Inclusive Classrooms  (2008)
Co-teaching is the pairing of two teachers together to take responsibility for meeting the educational needs of children in the classroom. Shared instruction allows special educators to teach beside the general education teacher, enhancing instruction. Students benefit from this type of teaching because it creates inclusive classrooms where children with disabilities are learning the same material as those without disabilities, albeit with extra support.


Creating a Path to Employment: Tips for Parents with Children with Disabilities  (September 2008) PDF document
Fact Sheet
“Creating a Path to Employment: Tips for Parents with Children with Disabilities” is one of three new, easy-to-read fact sheets from the Office of Disability Employment Policy with disability employment information for parents, youth, and employers. Available in pdf (2 pages, 1.58 MB).


Essential Skills to Getting a Job: What Young People with Disabilities Need to Know  (September 2008) PDF document
Fact Sheet
“Essential Skills to Getting a Job: What Young People with Disabilities Need to Know” is one of three new, easy-to-read fact sheets from the Office of Disability Employment Policy with disability employment information for parents, youth and, employers. Available in pdf (4 pages, 1.85 MB).


Hopes, Fears, & Reality: A Balanced Look at American Charter Schools in 2008  (December 2008)
“Hopes, Fears, & Reality: A Balanced Look at American Charter Schools in 2008,” is a new report from the Center on Reinventing Public Education, the fourth annual analysis from the National Charter School Research Project. It looks at what’s going on in charter schools, how well they’re doing, where they need to improve, and what can be learned from the research on these types of public schools. The report concludes that a more sophisticated understanding of its diverse constituent demand is needed to effectively grow the charter sector.


Jumpstart on College and Careers: Dual Enrollment Research, Policies, and Effective Practice  (September 2008)
Dual enrollment, in which high school students take college courses, has become a popular strategy to help students transition to, and be successful in, college. The American Youth Policy Forum developed this status report on dual enrollment: what the newest data show, how policy is stimulating participation and shaping practice, and ways in which dual enrollment is being incorporated into career and technical programs to prepare students for both college and careers.


New NCCRESt Professional Learning Module, Culturally Responsive Pedagogy and Practice  (2008)
Learning Module
The National Center for Culturally Responsive Educational systems (NCCRESt) has released a new professional learning module, “Culturally Responsive Pedagogy and Practice,” designed to help educators understand and create a classroom atmosphere and curriculum that integrate and respond to the vast diversity of cultures present today in our schools.


School Improvement and School Turnaround: Local Accomplishments of MetLife Foundation/NASSP Breakthrough Schools  (October 2008)
The first of a recent series of American Youth Policy Forum (AYPF) forums examining efforts to improve academic outcomes for students focused on a project by the MetLife Foundation and the National Association of Secondary School Principals which identified, showcased, and recognized middle level and high schools that are high achieving or dramatically improving student achievement and serve large numbers of students living in poverty.


Shaping Tomorrow's Workforce: Including Talents of Young People with Disabilities  (September 2008) PDF document
Fact Sheet
“Shaping Tomorrow's Workforce: Including Talents of Young People with Disabilities” is one of three new, easy-to-read fact sheets from the Office of Disability Employment Policy with disability employment information for parents, youth and employers. Available in pdf (4 pages, 3.45 MB).

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What's Happening

Other National Events


Inclusive Schools Network:
Web-based Event
December 1, 2008 - December 5, 2008
The Inclusive Schools Network is hosting the 8th Annual Inclusive Schools Week this December 1-5, celebrating the theme, "Together We Learn Better: Inclusive Schools Benefit All Children." Check out the 2008 "Celebration Ideas" Kit! and find free celebration and awareness materials.

Formative Assessment Webinar
Web-based Event
December 4, 2008
10:30 PM - 11:30 PM   (Pacific)
The Assessment and Accountability Comprehensive Center’s webinar on how formative assessment can improve student learning will provide information on the knowledge base for formative assessment, ways to elicit evidence to guide instruction, how to provide effective feedback to students, and how to involve students in the assessment process.

Research-Based Strategies for Dropout Prevention
Teleconference Call
December 10, 2008
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM   (Eastern)
The National Dropout Prevention Center for Students with Disabilities will host a telephone seminar on Research-Based Strategies for Dropout Prevention, by Dr. Russell W. Rumberger,Director, California Dropout Research Project, University of California, Santa Barbara. To help schools help youth to stay in and complete high school, practical recommendations and strategies based upon the best research evidence available are necessary. In September 2008, the Institute of Education Sciences’ National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance released a practice guide, “Dropout Prevention,” drawing on research studies evaluating dropout prevention programs, practices and strategies that work. Dr. Rumberger, co-author of the practice guide, will present background information about the guide, discuss the six evidence-based recommendations for reducing dropout rates that emerged from the evaluations, and conclude by talking about how a comprehensive, multiple-approach strategy to increase student engagement brings the greatest success in reducing dropout rates. A fee applies.

Innovative and Inclusive School to Work Programs
Teleconference Call
December 11, 2008
1:00 PM - 2:30 PM   (Mountain)
The Conference Depot-Web based Audio Training (CTAT) is sponsoring this teleconference on “Innovative and Inclusive School to Work Programs,” on effectively integrating community service into transition planning and creating cooperation among the systems involved in supporting our youth.

Technology, Reading, and Learning Diversity Conference
January 22, 2009 - January 24, 2009
San Francisco, CA
“Opening Doors to Universal Learning” is the theme of the 2009 TRLD conference, sponsored by numerous organizations at the Hyatt Regency in San Francisco CA.

OSEP National Parent Center Conference
January 28, 2009 - January 30, 2009
Crystal City, VA
Sponsored by OSEP, the National Parent Center Conference theme is “High Expectations, Endless Possibilities.”

2009 Conference On Inclusive Education: Energizing Learning
February 12, 2009 - February 14, 2009
Denver, CO
Sponsored by PEAK Parent Center, this conference focuses on practical strategies that boost the academic success and inclusion of students with disabilities in their classrooms, schools, homes, and communities.

Fourth Annual Reaching At Promise Students National Conference
February 20, 2009 - February 22, 2009
San Diego, CA
Sponsored by SIATech and the RAPSA, the conference focuses on the latest research and best practices on what’s working to sustain achievement.

2009 Biennial Autism Congress
February 26, 2009 - March 1, 2009
Vancouver, BC
The theme “Autism Through the Lifespan” reflects the evolving set of personal, familial, societal, and therapeutic issues that autism spectrum disorders present as affected individuals pass from infancy, childhood through adolescence, adulthood, and finally old age. Adopting a life-span perspective is fundamental in developing comprehensive services to individuals and families who are dealing with Autism Spectrum Disorder. The Congress features over 18 of the world's foremost autism experts speaking on topics covering the full range of issues of autism spectrum disorders across the lifespan.

International Conference on Positive Behavior Support
March 26, 2009 - March 28, 2009
Jacksonville, FL
The Association for Positive Behavior Support will host the Sixth International Conference on Positive Behavior Support, “The Expanding World of PBS: Science, Values and Vision.”

Council for Exceptional Children’s 2009 Convention and Expo
April 1, 2009 - April 4, 2009
Seattle, WA
CEC’s 2009 Convention and Expo will discuss the latest issues in special and gifted education, share teaching strategies, and explore the latest special education legislation and trends and in new products and services in the exhibit hall, for those working with children with exceptionalities and their families.

The National Center for Education Research’s Summer Research Training Institute on Cluster-Randomized Trials
June 21, 2009 - July 3, 2009
Nashville, TN
The National Center for Education Research, Institute of Education Sciences, announces its third Summer Research Training Institute on Cluster-Randomized Trials at Vanderbilt University. This Training Institute is held to increase the national capacity of researchers to develop and conduct rigorous evaluations of the impact of education interventions. Application information will be available on the IES Web site by mid-January. For assistance contact Dr. Christina Chhin, at (202) 219-2280 or ^ Top of Page ^

Get Wired!

Web Sites


National Center for Urban School Transformation (NCUST)
NCUST is an organization housed at San Diego State University that is dedicated to improving achievement in urban schools. This site contains information on research, principal coaching, and strategies for improving instruction and academic achievement in urban schools.


Niusi-Leadscape Conversation: Another Inclusion Effort
Another Inclusion Effort: Education for Social Justice for Students with Disabilities by Dr. Carole Edelsky is the newest blog in a guest writers’ blog series hosted by Niusi-Leadscape. Dr. Edelsky talks about the roles of educators and administrators in creating a new curriculum which supports the sharing of ideas surrounding equity and social justice. This semi-weekly blog series offers opportunities to engage in substantive conversations with experts on issues around inclusive education practices.


PALMS Project
The Postsecondary Access for Latino Middle-Grades Students Project seeks to improve the lives of Latino youth by opening doors to postsecondary education, providing information about how to equip and support students and families in pursuing education beyond high school.

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Funding Forecast

Funding Resources


Directory of Foundation Workforce and Economic Development Grants PDF document
The Directory of Foundation Workforce Development Grant Opportunities booklet is a resource for faith-based and community organizations (FBCOs) that focus on workforce/economic development and job training and are looking for funding opportunities for their programs. It provides a detailed list of private and corporate foundations that provide grant opportunities to FBCOs, with explanations of grants and contact information to more easily determine eligibility. Available in pdf (54 pages, 720 KB).

Federal Grant Opportunities


FY 2007-2008 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


AmeriCorps State and National Grants PDF document
The U.S. Corporation for National and Community Service supports programs that improve lives, strengthen communities, and foster civic engagement through service and volunteering, offering grants to award new and re-competing AmeriCorps State and National grants. Available in pdf (10 pages, 45 KB). Deadline January 13, 2009


Coming Up Taller Program Invites Nominations of Arts Programs for Underserved Children and Youth
Youth Programs using school-based components or school spaces in underserved communities will be recognized with $10,000 and an invitation to attend the upcoming conference. Programs must concentrate on children and youth who live in family and community circumstances that limit their opportunities, and must involve those children and youth as active participants in the arts or humanities experience. (Cultural programs in which children function only as an audience are not eligible.) Programs must provide participants with regularly scheduled sessions on an ongoing basis. (One-time or occasional programs will not be considered.) Programs must have been operational since January 2005 and must be administered by a nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization, unit of state or local government, or federally recognized tribal community or tribe. Deadline: January 30, 2009


Easter Seals and AUCD Announce New Grant for Students to Develop Solutions to Challenges Faced by People with Disabilities in Public Transportation
Easter Seals and the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) has announced the availability of up to $5,000 in grant money for two student applicants interested in working on a project designed to make public transportation more accessible to people with disabilities. Deadline: January 5, 2009.


General Mills Foundation Invites Applications for Champions for Healthy Kids Grant Program
Fifty grants of $10,000 each will be awarded to nonprofits working to encourage balanced diets and physically active lifestyles for young people between the ages of two and eighteen. Grants will support community-based groups that develop creative ways to help youth adopt balanced diet and active lifestyle and will be awarded only to 501(c)(3) and 509(a) not-for-profit organizations and agencies (including park districts, health departments, government agencies, Native American tribes, municipal organizations, churches, and schools). Priority will be given to organizations working with communities that demonstrate the greatest need and likelihood of sustainable impact on young people's nutrition and activity levels through innovative programs. Deadline: January 15, 2009


Heinz Ketchup Creativity Contest
The H.J. Heinz Co. is sponsoring a contest for young artists: winners’ designs will be on single-serving Heinz Ketchup packets for 2009. Maximum award of $1,000 award for art supplies, $1,000 worth of Heinz Ketchup, and the winner’s art framed for display. Eligibility: students grades 1-12. Deadline: February 28, 2009.


MTV and Ashoka GenV Invite Young People to Submit Their Ideas to Improve the Environment
MTV Switch ( ), MTV Networks International’s global climate change campaign, and Ashoka GenV invite young people to submit their creative ideas for improving the environment through the “Dream It. Do It.” challenge. Applicants will be eligible for awards of 25 grants of up to $1,000 each. The best projects may also be featured in a half-hour MTV documentary scheduled for Earth Day 2009. In addition, the Lemelson Foundation will award five project leaders a trip to Boston, Massachusetts, to take part in a roundtable discussion on climate change at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The challenge is open to youth ages 12-20 in North America and Europe and 12-24 everywhere else. Each participant will be required to submit an action plan showing what activities will be carried out and how the grant will be spent. Each participant will need to form a team with at least two other youth to qualify for funding. Ideas and action plans may be submitted in English, Spanish, Portuguese, or French. Deadline: December 31, 2008


Music Matters Announces Music Education Grant Guidelines
Music Matters grants for 2009 focus on educational reform in school music programs and independent music programs throughout the United States. Grant amounts for this cycle are between $1,000-$12,000 each and are made on an annual one-time basis. Music education, vocal or instrumental, must be the key component of any music program requesting funds. Public school programs (qualifying for Title I federal funding and serving a minimum of 70 percent low-income students) or nonprofit 501(c)(3) programs directly funding music education (serving students regardless of ability to pay) are eligible to apply. Priority will be given to programs serving students in grades K-12, programs involving innovative educational reform, programs serving economically disadvantaged children, programs having established collaborative partnerships with parent-teacher-student associations and other community groups, and programs focused on the basic need of music instruments and educational materials. Deadline: February 4, 2008


National School Library Media Program of the Year Awards
Entries are invited for three grants of $10,000 each to be awarded to school library media programs that work to ensure students and staff are effective users of ideas and information. The award recognizes exemplary school library media programs that are fully integrated into the school’s curriculum. Deadline: January 2, 2009.


NEA Foundation Accepting Applications for Student Achievement and Learning & Leadership Grants Programs
Grants will be awarded to K-12 public school teachers, education support professionals, and higher education faculty working to improve their own professional development and the academic achievement of students. The Student Achievement Grants ($5,000 each) should improve students’ critical thinking and problem solving and habits of inquiry, self-directed learning, and critical reflection. Proposals for work resulting in low-income and minority student success with challenging curricula are particularly encouraged. The Learning & Leadership Grants are to individuals ($2,000 each) fund participation in professional development experiences such as summer institutes and action research or to groups ($5,000 each) to fund collegial study, including study groups, action research, lesson study, and mentoring experiences for faculty or staff new to an assignment. Deadline: February 1, 2009; June 1, 2009; and October 15, 2009.


UnitedHealth Heroes Service Learning Grants
Applications are invited for UnitedHealth Heroes Service Learning Grants of up to $1,000, awarded to teachers, service-learning coordinators, and students in the health professions working on projects that address childhood obesity and engage youth volunteers between the ages of five and 25. The program encourages semester-long projects that launch in February, and celebrate Global Youth Service Day, April 24-26, 2009. Deadline: January 15, 2009

Scholarships and Awards


Ann Ford Scholarship Competition for High School Students with Learning Disabilities
The Ann Ford Scholarship Competition annually awards $10,000 to a high school senior with a learning disability who intends to pursue a college education and who is willing to be a role model for other people with learning disabilities. Deadline: December 31, 2008.


Entries Invited for Intel Schools of Distinction Awards in Math and Science
The annual Intel Schools of Distinction Awards recognize U.S. schools that implement innovative, replicable programs that inspire their students and lead to positive educational outcomes in the areas of math and science, developing an environment and curricula that meet or exceed benchmarks, including national mathematics and science content standards. The awards are 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. Home schools are not eligible. The applicant school’s program must have at least three years of results data, whether NCES or other comparable data. Six winners will each receive $10,000 from the Intel Foundation ( and more than $100,000 worth of products and services from program sponsors. One of the six will be identified as the Star Innovator for 2009. This school will receive an additional $15,000 cash grant from the Intel Foundation and additional services and products from sponsors. Deadline: February 17, 2009

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End of Issue

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