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February 2008 E-News


The latest news and information from around the country.

Calls to Participate


Nominate a Teacher to be Honored as an American Star of Teaching
The U.S. Department of Education’s Teacher-to-Teacher Initiative is seeking nominations for the 2008 American Stars of Teaching. Parents, students, colleagues, school administrators, and others can nominate exemplary teachers who are improving student achievement, increasing opportunities for students, and using innovative strategies to make a difference in the lives of their students. The American Stars of Teaching are honored for their classroom contributions and successful implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act. Teachers across all grade levels and disciplines are eligible. Nomination deadline: March 31, 2008.


People with Disabilities Who Have Been Abroad: Enter the Travelers With Purpose 2008 Photo Contest
Are you a person with a disability? Have you been abroad to study, volunteer, teach, intern, or research? Mobility International USA and the National Clearinghouse on Disability and Exchange want your photos for a full-color, 12-month 2009 calendar and screensaver. The first-place photograph will be featured on the cover of the calendar and in the screensaver. Second- and third-place photos, along with 10 other honorable mention photos, will be featured in the calendar and screensaver. All entrants whose photographs are chosen for the calendar will receive a copy of the calendar and screensaver. Photo submission deadline: March 31, 2008.


Students Ages 9-19 and Their Teachers: Enter the ThinkQuest International 2008 Web Site Competition
In the ThinkQuest International Web site Competition, sponsored by the Oracle Education Foundation, teams of students ages 9-19 form a team and recruit a teacher to act as coach to build an innovative educational Web site on any topic within a broad range of educational categories. Diverse teams and globally relevant themes are encouraged. All of the completed Web sites are published in the online ThinkQuest Library. The top five teams in each age division receive laptops and a cash award for the coach’s school. Entry deadline: April 2, 2008.


Take a Quiz: How Much Do You and Your Community Do to Support Public Education?
Take the Give Kids Good Schools quiz—10 questions designed to gauge how actively respondents support public education and how involved they think their communities are. You can chart the responses online.


The Threshold Program at Lesley University
The Threshold Program at Lesley University provides highly motivated young adults with learning challenges and other special needs the opportunity to experience “college life” while gaining the skills required to become independent adults. It is a comprehensive, non-degree, two-year campus-based program. Participants must be interested in careers in one of our vocational fields of study—Business and Support Services or Early Childhood Studies—and have a strong desire to become an independent adult. Successful participants receive a certificate of completion and six college credits from Lesley University. Application deadline: April 1, 2008.


Transition Professionals: Apply to the University of Kansas Online TransCert Program for Fall 2008
The University of Kansas (KU) TransCert Program is a 12-credit block of online graduate courses plus a 3-credit culminating experience for secondary special education professionals focusing on transition from school to adult life. The Program provides specific knowledge, skills, and competencies in order to improve instructional strategies and opportunities, resulting in improved adult outcomes for students with disabilities. It is seeking applicants to begin the program in Fall 2008. Student stipends that cover the cost of tuition, fees, and books/materials are available. Application deadline: March 1, 2008.


Undergraduate and Graduate Students: Submit a Poster Proposal for the 2008 Multiple Perspectives on Access, Inclusion, and Disability Annual Conference
The Eighth Annual Multiple Perspectives on Access, Inclusion, and Disability conference, to be held April 22-23 in Columbus, OH, is seeking undergraduate and graduate student research; performance, writing, visual art; or applied and community service projects to be presented during a poster session and reception on April 22. Posters that relate to the conference theme, “looking back and thinking ahead,” will be given preference in the review process. Conference fees will be waived for all accepted presenters. Application deadline: March 21, 2008.


Young Playwrights With and Without Disabilities: Enter VSA’s Playwright Discovery Program
The VSA arts Playwright Discovery Program invites students with and without disabilities in grades 6-12 to examine the ways in which disability affects their own and others’ lives through the art of playwriting. Playwrights may write from their own experience or about the life of another person or fictional character. Entries may be the work of an individual student or a group or class of students. The winning play will be professionally produced at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the winning playwright will receive $2,000 and a trip to Washington, DC, to see his/her play performed. Playwrights must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Entry deadline: April 11, 2008.


Youth with Disabilities Ages 15-28: Join the National Youth Leadership Network, and Join a Committee
The National Youth Leadership Network (NYLN) is looking for new members, and for members for its Accessibility, Advocacy, and Public Outreach Committees. NYLN is a non-profit organization run by young people with disabilities. Membership in NYLN is free; simply sign up on NYLN’s Web site. Committee Member application forms are also available on NYLN’s Web site. NYLN Members (and Committee Members) must be between 15 (16 for Committee Members) and 28 years old, have a disability, and have a desire to share and learn more about leadership and advocacy skills. Application deadline for Committee Members: February 8, 2008.

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The Resource Zone

Other National Resources


2008 Fact Sheet on Health Care Access and Utilization: Adolescents and Young Adults  (2008) PDF document
Fact Sheet
This fact sheet from the National Adolescent Health Information Center contains the most recent available data on health insurance coverage, preventive and other health services, and unmet needs among adolescents and young adults ages 12-24, including those with special health care needs. It highlights trends and presents data by age, gender, income level, and race and ethnicity, and includes information on trends and data sources. Available in PDF (6 pages, 640 KB).


A “Ticket to Work” for Transitioning Youth -- and Those Working With Them  (January 2008)
Web Page
The Social Security Administration’s Ticket to Work (TTW) program is designed to support effective transitions to employment for youth with disabilities ages 18-25. Young people receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security enroll in TTW and get tickets they can use to obtain services and job supports. The program is actively seeking grant applications from a range of organizations working with such young people. In this Q&A, Melody Goodspeed, Youth Transition Specialist for TTW, answers some common questions about the funding.


Aligning High School Graduation Requirements with the Real World: A Road Map for States  (December 2007)
This policy brief from Achieve, Inc. featuring lessons learned by states that have put more rigorous graduation requirements in place. It addresses challenges of policy design as well as strategies for implementation, communication, and coalition-building.


Career and Technical Education’s Role in Postsecondary Transitions PDF document
As states and national organizations implement initiatives designed to improve the secondary and postsecondary education outcomes of our nation’s youth, numerous reform strategies with a strong focus on CTE have emerged. This brief from the Association for Career and Technical Education describes some of them. Available in PDF (8 pages, 2.7 MB).


Evidence for Education: Assessment and Accommodations  (2007)
This report from the National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities (NICHCY) focuses on the following questions: (1) Which accommodations are appropriate for which students? (2) How do accommodations affect student learning and performance on tests? Available in PDF (12 pages, 534 KB).


Facts From NLTS2: Orientation and Mobility Skills of Secondary School Students With Visual Impairments  (November 2007) PDF document
This report from the National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER) presents information on the percentages of students with visual impairments who receive orientation and mobility services, including percentages for different segments of the population (blind vs. partially sighted, regular vs. special school placement, and demographic groups). It also discusses the levels of orientation and mobility skills in this population and factors associated with them. Data are from the National Longitudinal Transition Study-2, a project of the U.S. Department of Education. Available in PDF (14 pages, 512 KB).


Federal Employment of People with Disabilities: Employing Students
Web Page
This Web page from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management’s Web site provides information on hiring and retaining students with disabilities in federal government jobs.


Knowledge Path: Children and Adolescents with Emotional, Behavioral, and Mental Health Challenges  (October 2007)
Knowledge Path
This Knowledge Path from the Maternal and Child Health
Library at Georgetown University offers a selection of current, high-quality resources about children and adolescents with emotional, behavioral, and mental health challenges from the health, education, social services, and juvenile justice literature. It identifies tools to help professionals stay abreast of new developments in mental health care and conduct further research. Separate sections present resources for families and schools. The final part of the Path presents resources about specific emotional, behavioral, and mental health challenges, including ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Learning Disabilities, and Tourette Syndrome.


Mapping Educational Progress 2008
Web Page
Six years after the passage of No Child Left Behind, the U.S. Department of Education has collected data about the academic performance of both students and schools. This Web site’s interactive map of the U.S. provides links to state data, including student achievement in reading and math, high school graduation rates, schools making adequate yearly progress, highly qualified teachers, parents taking advantage of tutoring and choice options, and state participation in flexibility options.


Reviews from the What Works Clearinghouse: Dropout Prevention  (January 2008)
Research Reviews
The U.S. Department of Education’s What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) has released two new dropout prevention intervention reports. Find out how the WWC rated First Things First, a reform model intended to transform schools serving economically-disadvantaged students, and New Chance, a program for young welfare mothers who have dropped out of school that aims to improve both their employment potential and their parenting skills.

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What's Happening

Other National Events


Technology & Persons with Disabilities Conference
March 10, 2008 - March 15, 2008
Los Angeles, CA
Persons with disabilities and their family members; special education teachers; university professors and researchers; occupational and physical therapists; alternative and augmentative communication clinicians; manufacturers, distributors, and developers; community agency personnel; policymakers; private and public rehabilitation service providers; rehabilitation engineers; assistive technology practitioners and suppliers; speech and language clinicians; and human resource specialists should attend this conference, which is presented by California State University-Northridge’s Center on Disabilities. Speakers will include Jim Fruchterman and Ray Kurzweil.

2008 ASCD Annual Conference and Exhibit Show: Reinventing Schools: Courageous Leadership for Positive Change
March 15, 2008 - March 17, 2008
New Orleans, LA
Participants in the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development’s Annual Conference will explore the big ideas in education today, examine new developments in their content area or grade level, extend their professional development learning into new areas, and examine issues they care about in depth. Sessions will explore what it takes to create better schools, how to improve programs for teaching and learning, which education approaches are most likely to work, how to build stronger learning communities, which practices ensure that all students are learning, how to get results, and what to question about traditional practices.

AERA 2008 Annual Meeting: Research on Schools, Neighborhoods, and Communities: Toward Civic Responsibility
March 24, 2008 - March 28, 2008
New York, NY
The theme of this year’s American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting provides an intellectual space for scholarship focused on schools, neighborhoods, and communities. Research will be presented on the following topics, as well as others: (1) higher education and community development, (2) education and social service partnerships, (3) community-based teacher education, (4) project-based learning in metropolitan settings, (5) juvenile justice and opportunity to learn, (6) fiscal policy and planning, and (7) the educational role of the professions (e.g., health, law, and engineering).

Fifth International Conference on Positive Behavior Support: The Expanding World of PBS: Science, Values, and Vision
March 27, 2008 - March 29, 2008
Chicago, IL
The Association for Positive Behavior Support (APBS) is an international organization dedicated to the advancement of the positive behavior support (PBS) with children, adolescents, and adults with problem behavior. APBS is made up of professionals, family members, trainers, consumers, researchers, and administrators who are involved and interested in PBS. Its conference will feature Glen Dunlap as the keynote speaker.

Abilities Expo: Your Show for Independent and Assisted Living Products & Services

March 28, 2008 - March 30, 2008
Edison, NJ
Abilities Expo showcases the latest independent and assisted living products and services to enhance the lives of people with disabilities. It is a consumer show and is open to the public. Abilities Expo also has a comprehensive workshop program consisting of consumer and professional tracks, with certificates of participation available to students and education and healthcare professionals.

Pac Rim Conference on Disabilities
April 14, 2008 - April 15, 2008
Honolulu, HI
The Transition to Adulthood strand at the Pac Rim conference will feature breakout sessions with a broad range of speakers, as well as a roundtable session and poster presentations. The featured speaker for this strand is Hewitt B. “Rusty” Clark from the Florida Mental Health Institute and developer of the Transition to Independence Process (TIP) system, which helps young people transition into employment, postsecondary education, safe living situations, and community life. For further information about the Transition to Adulthood strand at Pac Rim, contact David Leake at or Teresa Whelley at

IES Research Training Institute: Single-Case Design

April 15, 2008 - April 16, 2008
Washington, DC
The National Center for Special Education Research, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education will sponsor this Training Institute to increase the capacity of researchers to conduct rigorous special education research using single-case methodologies that incorporate quantitative analyses. Application deadline: February 22, 2008.

National ADA Symposium

May 12, 2008 - May 14, 2008
St. Louis, MO
Hosted by the Network of DBTAC-ADA Centers, the ADA Symposium brings together representatives from key federal agencies involved in implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act, including the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Access Board, and the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission to provide comprehensive training and updates. Breakout sessions in the following tracks will be offered: employment, architecture, state and local governments, and community issues. Early-bird registration deadline: April 15, 2008.

People on the Move: Using All Transportation Options (ADA and Beyond…): A FREE “train-the-trainer” initiative to increase accessible transportation in your community

June 2, 2008 - June 3, 2008
Washington, DC
Each year, Easter Seals Project ACTION (Accessible Community Transportation In Our Nation) offers five of these trainings providing teachers and trainers the basic tools needed to expand community transportation options. Human service providers, transportation providers, school personnel, individuals who use community transportation, and advocates who support community change are invited to apply to attend. Application deadline: March 27, 2008. ^ Top of Page ^

Get Wired!

Web Sites


Intercultural Development Research Association
The Intercultural Development Research Association is an independent, private non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening public schools to work for all children. IDRA fulfills its mission through professional development, research and evaluation, policy and leadership development, and programs and materials development. Its Web site includes information about attrition and dropout rates, including the Coca-Cola Valued Youth dropout prevention Program.


National Center on Severe and Sensory Disabilities (NCSSD)
The National Center on Severe and Sensory Disabilities (NCSSD) is a resource center for information, training, and technical assistance for families and educators of more than 1 million school children who are deaf and hard-of-hearing, visually impaired, or who have severe disabilities. Its Web site includes sections on research, resources, technology, and news, as well as information about NCSSD and links to its newsletter and Pop-Up IEP resource.


National Consortium for Health Systems Development
The National Consortium for Health Systems Development (NCHSD) is a technical assistance partnership providing flexible, tailored technical assistance to states developing comprehensive health and employment service systems for people with disabilities who want to work. Its Web site is a resource for states that are developing employment systems for people with disabilities, providing a library, resource exchange, and grants information. It offers a wide variety of information about what is happening at the state level around health-related employment supports for workers with disabilities as well as changes to state infrastructure around access to health care for workers with disabilities.


Pass It On Center: The National Assistive Technology Reuse Center
The Pass It On Center’s Web site is for individuals looking for ways to reduce the cost of Assistive Technology (AT) or Durable Medical Equipment (DME) or programs across the country that reuse, recycle, and refurbish AT and DME. Among other features, the site includes a map of state AT/DME reuse programs and information on how to deal with legal, liability, and regulatory information in reuse; build a facility for reuse of AT; make informed decisions about purchasing used AT; and plan for sustainability of reuse programs.

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Funding Forecast

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.


Math and Science Partnership
The Math and Science Partnership (MSP) program is a major research and development effort that supports innovative partnerships to improve K-12 student achievement in mathematics and science. MSP projects are expected to raise the achievement levels of all students and significantly reduce achievement gaps in the mathematics and science performance of diverse student populations. MSP projects contribute to the knowledge base for mathematics and science education and possess a sufficiently strong evidence base to be replicated in educational practice. Application deadline: March 25, 2008, or April 10, 2008 (Innovation through Institutional Integration award type only).

Additional Funding and Award Opportunities


Fiskars’ Project Orange Thumb Grants
Project Orange Thumb is a grant program that provides community garden groups with the tools and materials they need to reach their goals for neighborhood beautification and horticulture education. Community garden groups, as well as schools, youth groups, community centers, camps, clubs, treatment facilities, etc. are encouraged to apply. Grant recipients receive up to $1,500 worth of Fiskars Garden Tools, Project Orange Thumb t-shirts for project participants, and up to $800 for other materials such as plants, seeds, and mulch. Application deadline: February 15, 2008.


The Jordan Fundamentals Grant Program
The Jordan Fundamentals Grant Program awards one million dollars annually to teachers across the country who motivate and inspire students toward achieving excellence. Innovation Grants averaging $2,500 will be awarded to individual teachers for projects that will impact classroom innovation and improve instruction. Winners of Innovation Grants may apply for an Inspiration Grant of $10,000. Inspiration Grants will be awarded to teams of teachers in support of scaling-up implementation of approaches developed with Innovation Grants. Application deadline: March 30, 2008.

Scholarships and Awards


Casey Family Scholars Scholarship
The Orphan Foundation of America (OFA) in conjunction with the Casey Family Programs offers scholarships of up to $10,000 to young people, under the age of 25, who have spent at least 12 months in foster care and were not subsequently adopted. The scholarships are awarded for the pursuit of postsecondary education, including vocational/technical training, and are renewable annually based on satisfactory progress and financial need. In addition to the money, Casey Family Scholars receive ongoing support through OFA’s vMentor program. Application deadline: March 31, 2008.


Christopher Columbus Awards for Middle School Students Making a Difference
The Christopher Columbus Awards is a national, community-based science and technology program for middle school students. The program challenges the students to work in teams of three to four, with an adult coach, to identify a problem in their community and apply the scientific method to create an innovative solution to that problem. Four finalist teams and their coaches will receive an all-expense-paid trip to Walt Disney World to attend National Championship Week and compete for U.S. Savings Bonds plus a $200 development grant to further refine their idea. Entry deadline: March 17, 2008.


Community-Police Partnership Awards from the MetLife Foundation
The MetLife Foundation Community-Police Partnership Awards recognize partnerships between community groups and police that exhibit tangible accomplishments in their efforts to advance the process, outcome, and/or evaluation of potent police-community collaborations. Public agencies (including police departments and public schools) must apply in conjunction with at least one nonprofit organization. There are two separate award categories which emphasize different models of community-police collaboration: Neighborhood Revitalization Awards, and Special Strategy Awards (including an award for successful Diversity Inclusion & Integration). Awards range from $10,000-$25,000. Application deadline: February 29, 2008.


Yoshiyama Award for Exemplary Service to the Community
The Hitachi Foundation presents the Yoshiyama Award for Exemplary Service to the Community each year to 10 U.S. high school seniors on the basis of their exemplary service and community involvement. Award Recipients have left a lasting impression on their communities. Many have started projects/programs or taken on challenges related to the corporate citizenship, philanthropic, and corporate social responsibility priorities of the Foundation and Hitachi, Ltd.: improving the wellbeing of economically and socially isolated Americans. The Award is accompanied by a gift of $5,000, dispensed over two years. Nomination deadline: April 1, 2008.

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End of Issue

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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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