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February 2011 E-News


The latest news and information from around the country.

Calls to Participate


Are You a Parent of a Child on the Autism Spectrum?
Boston University is conducting a study to develop a comprehensive measure of adaptive behavior of children and youth with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), ages 3-21 years. The researchers are looking for 600 parents (legal guardians) of children and youth with an ASD, ages 3-21, from across the United States to complete an online survey asking questions about their child's ability to perform everyday life tasks and about his/her behaviors.


Southwest Conference on Disability Seeks Proposals for 2011 on Inclusion  (2009)
The 2011 Southwest Conference on Disability (October 5-7), on “Inclusion: How We All Fit Together,” is seeking proposals which explore topics related to advancing inclusion for people with all types of disabilities. Sessions may focus on such topics as innovative policies at any level of government that promote inclusion; programs and services that increase inclusion or technology as a tool to increase inclusion. Sessions may address these or similar issues in one or more topical areas, such as independent living; behavioral health; housing; health, physical activity and nutrition; the built environment and universal design; employment; and others. Deadline for proposals: May 20, 2011.

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The Resource Zone

NCSET Resources


Self-Determination for Middle and High School Students  (2011)
NCSET Web Topic
This NCSET Web Topic explores how self-determination--which results from the development of self-esteem, self-awareness, and other positive learning skills--helps children and teens learn to exercise personal control over their lives. Like all NCSET Web topics, it includes an introduction, frequently asked questions, related research, emerging practices, Web sites, and additional resources.

Other National Resources


Achieve’s Closing the Expectations Gap 2011  (February 2011)
In February 2005, the National Governors Association and Achieve co-sponsored the National Education Summit on High Schools, and Achieve and 13 states launched the American Diploma Project (ADP) Network to challenge states to work together to align high school expectations with the expectations of postsecondary institutions and employers. Each year, Achieve conducts a survey of all 50 states and the District of Columbia on key college- and career-ready policies, including aligning standards, graduation requirements, assessments, and data and accountability systems with the expectations of postsecondary institutions and employers. In 2011, Achieve reports increasing use of Common Core Standards, more requirement of college- and career-ready curricula for graduation, and more use of assessment of such curricula.


Building Local Leadership for Change: A National Scan of Parent Leadership Training Programs  (October 2010)
In “Building Local Leadership for Change: A National Scan of Parent Leadership Training Programs,” Annenberg Institute senior consultant Anne Henderson looks at four successful parent training programs across the country and offers strategies that can be used by cities and districts looking to implement similar initiatives.


CADRE’s Exemplar Collection: Resources for State Special Education and Early Intervention Dispute Resolution Systems  (2010)
Resource Collection
CADRE has examined state special education and early intervention dispute resolution systems that are particularly effective, to identify systems and components that would be useful to other states that are considering improvement activities. CADRE worked with representatives from four exemplar states (Iowa, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin) to identify effective features of their dispute resolution systems. CADRE has developed an online Resource Showcase for others who wish to implement practices or use materials used successfully elsewhere. The Showcase presently houses over 400 downloadable items. The Exemplar Collection also includes video and other resources on dispute resolution.


CORE of a Good Life  (2009) PDF document
“CORE of a Good Life: Guided Conversations with Parents on Raising Young Children with Disabilities” is a resource from the University of Wisconsin’s Waisman Center, giving parents guidance from the experiences of other parents on raising young children with disabilities by drawing on the “CORE”: Community (connections and participation), Opportunities (to explore and pursue interests), Reciprocity (in relationships), and Enjoyment (in our lives. Available in pdf (29.8 MB, 64 pp).


Crafting E-Curriculum that Inspires  (January 2011)
This report from “Education Week,” the final installment of a three-part series on e-learning, examines how schools are working to create high-quality digital curricula and online courses. It covers the influence the common-core standards are likely to have on building the online curricula of the future, the growing emphasis on teaching social skills to virtual school students, how schools are building courses that blend face-to-face and online learning, and the evolving role of e-assessments.


Facts from NLTS2: The Secondary School Experiences and Academic Performance of Students with Hearing Impairments  (February 2011)
The U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES) has released “Facts from NLTS2: The Secondary School Experiences and Academic Performance of Students with Hearing Impairments,” using data from the National Longitudinal Transition Study 2 to examine the secondary school experiences and academic achievement of students with hearing impairments who received special education services. A gap exists between the academic achievement of youth with hearing impairments and their peers in the general population. The report examines outcomes from key areas, including students’ experiences in general education academic courses and non-vocational special education courses, accommodations, supports, services provided to students, and academic achievement.


Guide for High Schools on Creating Job Shadowing Opportunities for Youth with Disabilities  (September 2010) PDF document
“How to Build Partnerships for Career Exploration: Using Job Shadowing to Explore the World of Work” is a guide for high schools on how to collaborate with a postsecondary institution or other organization to plan and carry out a job shadow day. The guide describes the preparation tasks needed at the high school and at partner sites, provides details for the job shadow day and for follow-up activities, and includes a task timeline helpful as a planning tool. It is part of a series of resource guides from the Monadnock Center for Successful Transitions (MCST). Available in pdf (617 KB, 130 pp).


Helping Families Transition to the Future: 2008-2009 Outcome Data from Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) Parent Information and Training Programs  (2010) PDF document
This publication summarizes the work of parent information and training programs funded by the U.S. Department of Education Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) to “provide training and information to enable individuals with disabilities, and the parents, family members, guardians, advocates, or other authorized representatives of the individuals to participate more effectively with professionals in meeting the vocational, independent living, and rehabilitation needs of individuals with disabilities.” The data in this report were collected by parent centers conducting RSA-funded parent training and compiled by the Technical Assistance on Transition and the Rehabilitation Act (TATRA) Project. Available in pdf (901 KB, 26 pp).


Insulating the Education Pipeline to Increase Postsecondary Success  (September 2010) PDF document
Issue Brief[1].pdf
The first in the Forum for Youth Investment’s new “Ready by 21, Credentialed by 26” series, this issue brief explores why postsecondary completion is an important goal and how the United States is faring. It identifies partners that need to be mobilized and policy approaches that need to be enacted to increase completion rates and help more young people successfully transition to adulthood. Available in pdf (342 KB, 7 pp).


KASA Fact Sheets for Youth with Disabilities, Written by Youth with Disabilities  (2010)
Resources List
Kids as Self-Advocates (KASA) offers over 60 fact sheets written by youth with disabilities on its Advisory Board and by youth writers from its network.

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What's Happening

Other National Events


Using Data to Align Resources to Create a Comprehensive Learning System
Web-based Event
September 4, 1021
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM   (Eastern)
American Youth Policy Forum will present a webinar on how outcome management systems support city and district efforts to build a system of comprehensive services to ensure all students are on track to graduate. Presentations will include findings from research and descriptions from two communities that have built an information management system to support the development and sustainability of a comprehensive learning system for all students. These systems align the resources of both the school district and community providers to support educational opportunities both during school hours and beyond.

Building Strategic partnerships to Foster Communication Engagement in Education
Web-based Event
February 9, 2011
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 a webinar on building strategic partnerships to foster community engagement in education, the fifth in a series of webinars on “Achieving Excellence and Innovation in Family, School, and Community Engagement.” The webinar will examine practical examples of building successful strategic partnerships that foster community engagement, and how to select the organizations, people, and services to be included; how to structure communications to ensure ongoing collaboration; and how to build connections with families and schools.

PEAK Parent Center Conference on Inclusive Education: Expand Your Toolbox and Construct New Possibilities
February 10, 2011 - February 12, 2011
Denver, CO
The 2011 PEAK Parent Center Conference, “Expand Your Toolbox and Construct New Possibilities,” for family members of people with disabilities, general and special educators, administrators, and others interested in inclusive education, will be at The Hyatt Regency Denver Tech Center, February 10-12, 2011. Highlights will include five keynote presentations, break-out sessions with over 20 relevant topics, seven six-hour topical institutes of in-depth information on crucial topics in education, seven four-hour, hands-on mastery sessions, an Interactive Assistive Technology Lap throughout the conference, and a special evening event with the Axis Dance Company. Continuing education and undergraduate/graduate credit is available. Information and a registration form are at the conference website.

Setting Bigger Goals: Postsecondary Success
Web-based Event
February 22, 2011
3:00 PM - 4:30 PM   (Eastern)
This Ready by 21 webinar will focus on older youth and key barriers facing low-income, first-generation college students, with speakers who are leaders in community-based organizations, community colleges and employers changing the odds for disadvantaged young adults.

State Level Strategies for Recruiting and Retaining Special Education and Related Service Personnel
Web-based Event
February 22, 2011
1:00 PM - 2:30 PM   (Eastern)
Project Forum and the Personnel Improvement Center (PIC) will host a webinar February 22, 2011, on state level strategies for recruiting and retaining special education and related service personnel. Representatives from eight states will discuss their work in initiatives that help raise the quantity and quality of personnel working with students with disabilities.

RTI at the Learning Disabilities Association of America’s Conference
February 23, 2011 - February 26, 2011
Jacksonville, FL
The LDA Conference sponsored by the LDA of America will include in its activities and presentations a thread on response to intervention (RTI) as a strategy for helping students with learning disabilities. More information is available in pdf (2.15 MB, 72 pp.).

High-Leverage Partnerships to Transform the High School Experience
Web-based Event
February 25, 2011
2:00 PM - 3:30 PM   (Eastern)
The Alliance for Excellent Education will present a conversation with two educational leaders (Michelle Cahill and Robert Hughes) to talk about their roles in the redesign of secondary education in New York City that resulted in a more than 20% increase in the graduation rate. The webinar will address the district role in managing a portfolio of schools by maximizing partnerships with external organizations to fashion the elements of the reform. It will focus on the lessons learned from this partnership that can help districts and states create innovative solutions to improve the outcomes of public school students, regardless of race or economic class.

Common Core Standards: Transitioning to New Rigor
Web-based Event
March 2, 2011
1:30 PM - 3:00 PM   (Eastern)
The Comprehensive School Assistance Program at WestEd will present a webinar on aligning district curriculum with the Common Core State Standards. The webinar will cover Common Core State Standards and a process to help districts transition their thinking about curriculum and interim assessments. Presenters will include WestEd’s Ruth McKenna, Director of Field Services, and Joe Sassone, Director of the Local Accountability Professional Series; and staff from the Alamosa (Colorado) School District.

Ready by 21 Institute
March 14, 2011 - March 15, 2011
Washington, DC
The Forum for Youth Investment will offer a Ready by 21 Institute in Washington DC, March 14-15, 2011. The Institute will explain the research behind Ready by 21, and the tools and resources for stakeholders to put its concepts for broad partnerships, ambitious goals, data collection, and bold strategies into action to improve children and youth’s readiness to succeed as adults. For more information and to learn how to apply to attend, contact Kiley Bednar, Program Manager with the Forum at or 202-207-3722.

The Common Core Curriculum Mapping Project
Web-based Event
March 17, 2011
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM   (Eastern)
The Schools Moving Up Program at WestEd will present a webinar for educators on how to redesign their English Language Arts curriculum to accord with the Common Core State Standards. It will highlight the first totally new K-12 curriculum maps that are shaped around the Common Core State Standards. Presenters will include educators and staff from the Common Core curriculum mapping team.

School Response Conference
March 18, 2011
Orlando, FL
Members of the school safety threat prevention and preparedness community are invited to attend the School Response Conference (SRC). SRC 2011 is a sub-conference of the World Response Conference on Global Outbreak 2009 which was telecast live by Homeland Security Channel and featured on ABC 13. The one-day conference will run from 7:00 AM-5:00 PM. Topics covered will include school violence, school shootings, bullying, dating violence, vandalism, gang activity, alcohol and drugs, bomb threats, child abuse, catastrophic events such as terrorist attacks, and technological intrusions. The conference brochure is available in pdf (2.63 MB, 6 pp).

Breakthrough Strategies to Teach and Counsel Troubled Youth

May 5, 2011 - May 6, 2011
Seattle, WA
Youth Change Workshops will sponsor “Breakthrough Strategies to Teach and Counsel Troubled Youth,” in Seattle, WA, May 5-6, 2011, a workshop on solutions to turnaround problems like violence, apathy, truancy, defiance, ADD, school failure, bad attitudes, and poor motivation. A special focus will be on children with challenges and disabilities. The workshop is for teachers, youth workers, counselors, psychologists, court workers, social workers, justice workers, foster parents, and school administrators. There is no registration deadline but early registration is encouraged. Financial Aid is offered, plus $50 college credit and free CEUs are available. The workshop will be repeated in Portland, OR, October 13-14, and is also available on DVD. ^ Top of Page ^

Get Wired!

Web Sites


College Atlas: A World of Higher Learning
The College Atlas: A World of Higher Learning Web site gives information about colleges and higher education opportunities organized by kind of institution, location, and majors, with links to recommended college search articles.


SparkAction’s Fund & Sustain Your Work Section
SparkAction’s Fund & Sustain Your Work Section Web site provides links to grant-writing tools, sample proposals, and funding alerts by deadline and topic.



Family Center on Technology & Disability Newsletter
The Family Center on Technology & Disability newsletter, “Technology Voices,” is full of assistive/instructional technology resources of interest to families of children with disabilities.

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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


Amgen: Award for Science Teaching Excellence
The Amgen Award for Science Teaching Excellence recognizes extraordinary contributions by educators across the United States who elevate the level of science literacy through creativity in the classroom and motivation of students. Maximum award: $5,000. Eligibility: full-time classroom teachers grades K–12 in public or private school whose major responsibilities include teaching science and who work in California, Colorado, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, or Washington state. Deadline: February 11, 2011.


Disney Friends for Change Grants
The Disney Friends for Change program will award fifty $500 grants for youth-led projects around the world to help the environment on Global Youth Service Day (April 15-17, 2011). Deadline for applications: March 10, 2011.


Do Something: Seed Grants
Do Something Seed Grants can aid project ideas and programs that are just getting started, to jump-start programs and realize ideas for the first time; or projects that are already developed and sustainable and moving toward the next steps of the project and organization as the project expands. Maximum award: $500. Eligibility: U.S. or Canadian citizens aged 25 or under. Deadline: ongoing.


Jamba Juice: It’s All About the Fruit
The Jamba Juice It’s All About the Fruit grant program provides schools with fruit trees to create engaging nutrition and gardening experiences. Recipients will be selected based on plans to promote nutrition education, ideas for incorporating fruit tree activities into the curriculum, and ability to sustain the program over multiple years. Maximum award: fruit trees valued at $500 and the Jamba Juice It’s All About the Fruit Youth Garden Guide; trees will be selected based on recommended varieties for each area. Eligibility: schools and community garden programs in the United States gardening with at least 15 children between the ages of 3 and 18. Deadline: April 11, 2011.


Middle and High School Students in United States and Canada Invited to Apply for Young Naturalists Awards
The American Museum of Natural History and the ALCOA Foundation are accepting applications for the Young Naturalist Awards from students grades 7 to 12 across the United States and Canada. The competition promotes participation in the sciences in school and as potential science careers, encouraging students to independently explore the natural world and pursue in-depth scientific research in the areas of biology, earth science, ecology, and astronomy. Contestants form hypotheses, conduct research, plan experiments, gather data, and report their findings in an essay. Twelve winning students will be honored at a ceremony at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, where they will meet with scientists and take a behind-the-scenes tour of the museum. Winners will receive a scholarship as well as the awards ceremony trip; their essays will be featured on the AMNH Web site. Deadline: March 1, 2011.


National Association of Biology Teachers: Evolution Education Award
The National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT) Evolution Education Award, sponsored by The American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS) and the Biological Sciences Curriculum Study (BSCS), recognizes innovative classroom teaching and community education efforts to promote the accurate understanding of biological evolution. Maximum award: $1,000, a recognition plaque to be presented at the NABT Professional Development Conference, and a one-year complimentary NABT membership. Eligibility: biology and life science teachers. Deadline: March 15, 2011.


Sodexo Youth Grants
Youth Service America (YSA) will award one hundred $500 Sodexo Youth Grants for youth-led projects addressing childhood hunger in American communities on Global Youth Service Day (April 15-17, 2011). Deadline for applications: February 25, 2011.


Toyota: International Teacher Program
The Toyota International Teacher Program for Costa Rica Study will send teachers to eastern Costa Rica from November 19 to December 3, 2011, to study the country’s environmental and cultural preservation efforts. Maximum award: a fully funded (transportation, lodging, meals, and all program activities) ten-day trip to Costa Rica. Eligibility: U.S. teachers grades 7-12 with at least three years of full-time teaching experience. Deadline: May 4, 2011.


Yamaha: Young Performing Artists Program
The Yamaha Young Performing Artists Program (YYPA) recognizes outstanding young musicians from the world of classical, jazz, and contemporary music. Each year, the YYPA Finalists are invited to perform at the Music for All Summer Symposium held in late June. Maximum award: $5,000 in retail credit towards a professional model Yamaha instrument, as well as a series of clinics and master classes with renowned artists to help winners launch their music career. Finalists also receive a professional recording of their performances and national press coverage. Eligibility: musicians ages 16-21. Deadline: March 15, 2011.

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End of Issue

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