April 2006 E-News
The latest news and information from around the country.
Achieving and Sustaining Results for All Youth: TRANSITION SOLUTIONS
Transition Solutions is a fee-based service that helps state education agencies and local school districts nationwide improve transition services and outcomes for youth. Transition Solutions offers customized services to help states and districts use data to guide system improvements, meet transition requirements, customize solutions using research-based practices, build effective interagency teams, create a shared plan for action, and map and align resources. Transition Solutions is a strategic alliance of the National Center on Secondary Education and Transition, the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s Center for Disability Studies, the University of Massachusetts’s Institute for Community Inclusion, and TransCen, Inc., in Rockville, MD.
Association of Youth Leadership Forums
The Association of Youth Leadership Forums (AYLF) seeks to improve employment and independent living outcomes of youth with disabilities transitioning from high school by promoting Youth Leadership Forums for Students with Disabilities throughout the U.S. and its territories. Youth Leadership Forums identify students with disabilities who have exhibited leadership skills and equip them with the additional training so they may become leaders by example.
National Consortium on Leadership and Disability for Youth (NCLD-Youth)
NCLD-Youth is a youth-led resource, information, and training center for youth and emerging leaders with developmental disabilities, housed at the Institute for Educational Leadership and funded by the Administration on Developmental Disabilities of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. The project is led by the next generation of young leaders with disabilities for the next generation of young leaders with disabilities—taking a positive development approach to working with the next generation of disability community leaders and developing materials to better prepare them for the transition to adulthood and leadership.
National Secondary Transition Technical Assistance Center
The National Secondary Transition Technical Assistance Center (NSTTAC) is a national Technical Assistance and Dissemination Center funded from January 1, 2006-December 31, 2010 by the U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP). NSTTAC helps states build their capacity to support and improve transition planning, services, and outcomes for youth with disabilities by helping State Education Agencies collect data on Part B State Performance Plans Indicator 13 and use these data to improve transition services; generating knowledge that provides a foundation for improving transition services; providing capacity building resources to states and Local Education Agencies; and disseminating information about effective transition education and services.
New Director: Office of Special Education Programs, U.S. Department of Education
Alexa Posny, Ph.D., Deputy Commissioner of Education for the Kansas State Department of Education, has been appointed Director of the Office of Special Education Programs of the U.S. Department of Education effective April 17, 2006. Her experience includes serving as a state and local director of special education, director of curriculum and instruction, and a teacher of students with emotional and learning disabilities.
New Web Site: Office of Disability Employment Policy, U.S. Department of Labor
The Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) of the U.S. Department of Labor has redesigned its Web site to better reflect the policy nature of its mission. ODEP provides national leadership by developing and influencing disability-related employment policy and practice affecting the employment of people with disabilities. Its Web site provides information for adults with disabilities, businesses and employers, federal partners/collaborators, researchers, service providers, state partners/collaborators, youth and families, and veterans.
New Web Site: Systems of Care
The Child, Adolescent, and Family Branch of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has a new Web site. The site provides information about the mental health of children, youth, and families, as well as information about systems of care, an approach to services that recognizes the importance of family, school, and community, and seeks to promote the full potential of every child and youth by addressing his/her physical, emotional, intellectual, cultural, and social needs.
SSA Commissioner Announces New Disability Determination Process
On March 28, 2006, U.S. Social Security Administration Commissioner Jo Anne B. Barnhart announced that the final rule establishing a new disability determination process was now publicly available. The new process, built upon Social Security’s electronic claims process, will shorten decision times and pay benefits to people who are obviously disabled much sooner.
Calls to Participate
Submit a Paper Proposal for the Association for Career and Technical Education Research Conference
The Association for Career and Technical Education Research (ACTER) is soliciting paper proposals for its 40th annual meeting, to be held November 29-30, 2006 in Atlanta. Quantitative, qualitative, historical, philosophical/theoretical, or mixed methods research manuscripts on career and technical education, training, preparation for work, or workforce related issues are desired. Proposal submission deadline: June 2, 2006.
Submit a Presentation Proposal for National Symposium on Dispute Resolution in Special Education
CADRE, the National Center on Dispute Resolution in Special Education, is accepting presentation proposals for its 4th National Symposium on Dispute Resolution in Special Education, to take place December 7-9, 2006 in Washington, DC. Symposium invitees include state dispute resolution coordinators, parent advocates, directors of special education, dispute resolution practitioners, attorneys, educators, service providers, and others interested in creating effective agreements that benefit educational and early intervention programs for infants, toddlers, children, and youth with disabilities. Proposal submission deadline: May 26, 2006.
Youth (Ages 14-18): Participate in 2006 CFK Youth Essay Contest
Connect for Kids invites students ages 14-18 to participate in its annual essay contest. This year’s question is, “Do you feel U.S. high schools support the academic [and] social needs and interests of today’s students well? Why or why not?” The winner will receive $100. Entry deadline: May 5, 2006.
Youth (Ages 17-20): Apply to the State Farm Youth Advisory Board for Service-Learning
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The State Farm Youth Advisory Board will help State Farm leadership design and implement a $5 million/year signature service-learning initiative to address issues of importance to State Farm and communities across America. State Farm will select a diverse group of approximately 30 young people ages 17-20 to serve on this distinguished Board. In addition to a challenging and fun experience, Youth Advisory Board members will receive scholarships following completion of their term on the Board. Application deadline: April 28, 2006.
The Resource Zone
Other National Resources
An Overview of Alternative Education
This Urban Institute report looks at policies and funding streams that help states and communities replicate and expand alternative learning opportunities for youth who are not in school, do not have a diploma, and are not working. A variety of alternative pathways to educational success is needed, from essential early intervention and prevention strategies in the early years, to high-quality alternative options within mainstream K-12 systems at the middle and high school levels, and to opportunities outside of the mainstream for those unable to learn and thrive in the general education system.
Autism/Asperger's Syndrome and International Exchange: What, Why, and How
This tip sheet from Mobility International USA discusses the benefits of going abroad for youth with autism and Asperger’s Syndrome and the steps to take and questions to ask when planning an inclusive group exchange.
César Chávez Campaign 2006 Tool-Kits for Teachers
In honor of César Chávez’s birthday, the César Chávez Campaign began on March 31, 2006 and will run through April 23, 2006. The Campaign seeks to help K-12 students take action in their communities utilizing service-learning experiences to connect civic action to meaningful learning in the classroom. Free grade-appropriate teacher tool-kits for the Campaign are available on the Chávez Foundation’s Web site.
Characteristics of Schools, Districts, Teachers, Principals, and School Libraries in the U.S.: 2003-04 Schools and Staffing Survey
The National Center for Education Statistics in the Institute of Education Sciences has released its first report containing data from the 2003-04 Schools And Staffing Survey (SASS), the nation’s most extensive sample survey of schools and the teachers and administrators who staff them. The report covers public, private, and Bureau of Indian Affairs schools.
Community-Based Learning: Engaging Students for Success and Citizenship
Studies show that as many as 60% of students are “chronically disengaged” from learning. This report from the Coalition for Community Schools offers evidence that community-based learning—which integrates different strategies, including service learning, place-based education, environmental and civic education, and work and community service—can help re-engage students using real-world content and issues. The community-based approach is linked to higher attendance rates, improved academic performance, and on-time graduation.
Financial Literacy Information for Young People with Disabilities
This Information Brief from the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth discusses various state and federal initiatives for individuals with disabilities and their families to help them explore options for becoming more economically self-sufficient. The Brief includes descriptions of such financial literacy programs and additional resources.
Higher Education Opportunities for Foster Youth: A Primer for Policymakers
Foster youth are among America’s most disadvantaged in terms of opportunities for higher education, and targeted strategies are required to increase their college-going, according to this report from the Institute for Higher Education Policy. The report recommends several policy changes to alleviate obstacles such as low educational expectations, frequent disruptions and changes in school placements, underdeveloped independent living skills, and lack of access to mental health care and treatment. Available in PDF (64 pages, 4.1 MB).
Inventing Hispanic-Serving Institutions: The Basics
Almost half of all Latino students in higher education are enrolled in just 6% of the institutions of higher education in the U.S. This concentration of Latino enrollment in higher education has come to be known as the phenomenon of Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs). HSIs are defined as public and private not-for-profit degree-granting institutions of higher education with at least 25% undergraduate full-time equivalent Hispanic enrollment. This brief from Excelencia in Education introduces HSIs’ history and general institutional characteristics, and describes how these institutions contribute to Latino student success. Available in PDF (24 pages, 424 KB).
Learning from the Youth Opportunity Experience: Building Delivery Capacity in Distressed Communities
From 2000-2005, the U.S. Department of Labor funded Youth Opportunity (YO) grants in 36 high-poverty communities. Grantees were required to serve all their community’s youth, regardless of socioeconomic status or connection to school or work, and to assess and integrate existing youth-serving systems and agencies to support education, work exposure, youth development, and other services. This report from the Center for Law and Social Policy and the Campaign for Youth, based on a survey of 22 YO sites, examines project strengths, challenges, and learnings, and offers recommendations for policy and practice. Available in PDF (58 pages, 376 KB).
Making Public Programs Work for Communities of Color: An Action Kit for Community Leaders
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People of color comprise one-third of the U.S. population, but they are less likely to have health insurance, adequate housing, or access to preventive care and routine services. Families USA created this action kit to provide community leaders with the information, tools, and resources necessary to engage in health advocacy and improve the health and well-being of their communities.
Other National Events
Standards-Based Instruction: Could it Happen in Special Education?
April 6, 2006
1:30 PM - 3:00 PM (Eastern)
How can we close the achievement gaps that seem to be persistent or widening for special education students? Research-based systematic standards-focused instruction has tremendously improved outcomes for general education students, but how can it facilitate closing the achievement gap between general and special education students? In this interactive presentation from WestEd’s SchoolsMovingUp initiative, learn how special educators can implement standards-focused instruction and how appropriately written Individualized Educational Programs (IEPs) can support the attainment of grade-level standard skills. Free registration is required.
Inspiring Excellence: Great Teachers, Great Principals
April 18, 2006
8:00 PM - 9:00 PM (Eastern)
The April edition of Education News Parents Can Use, a television series from the U.S. Department of Education, will showcase award-winning educators and schools; explore how effective teaching is at the core of America’s long-term economic competitiveness; highlight strategies to recruit, train, and reward effective teachers and principals; and reveal how programs like the Adjunct Teacher Corps, Teacher-to-Teacher, and the American Competitiveness Initiative are strengthening our nation’s teachers, schools, and students. Registration is required.
Successful Strategies for Middle and High School Inclusion
April 20, 2006
1:30 PM - 3:00 PM (Eastern)
This interactive presentation from WestEd’s SchoolsMovingUp initiative will focus on practical classroom applications to support students with mild to moderate disabilities in the general education setting. Lisa Dieker, Associate Professor in the Department of Child, Family, and Community Sciences at the University of Central Florida, will discuss co-teaching between general education and special education; building collaborative school and classroom environments; and adapting the environment, curriculum, and instruction using techniques proven to help all students. Free registration is required.
Differentiated Instruction: An Overview and One Classroom's Transformation
April 25, 2006
2:00 PM - 3:30 PM (Eastern)
Differentiated instruction allows all students to access the same curriculum by providing entry points, learning tasks, and outcomes tailored to students’ needs. This Access Center Webinar will provide an overview of differentiated instruction, introduce differentiation strategies, and present the story of a classroom that has been transformed through differentiation. Presented by Dr. Melissa Storm of The Access Center and Lori Centerbar of Frederick H. Tuttle Middle School in Vermont. Participation is free and registration is NOT required.
Transition from High School to College: The First Steps for Students with Disabilities
April 28, 2006
New Brunswick, NJ
Secondary and postsecondary education staff, disability professionals, parents, and students are invited to this conference on the transition of students with disabilities from high school to postsecondary institutions. The conference will improve participants’ understanding of the obligations of postsecondary institutions and high schools as well as the responsibilities of students themselves.
Dropout Prevention and Youth with Disabilities: What the Research Says Really Works!
May 25, 2006
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM (Eastern)
What works in dropout prevention for youth with disabilities? In this National Dropout Prevention Center for Students with Disabilities Web seminar, Dr. Brian Cobb will describe instructional interventions that help prevent youth with disabilities from dropping out or engaging in activities that correlate highly with dropping out, based on his thorough review of scientifically-based dropout prevention research from the past 20 years. Representatives of state education agencies, school-based leadership teams, general and special education teachers, district and building level leadership, parent leaders, and policymakers are invited to participate. Registration is required; no registration fee for the first 100 registrants.
National Forum About Employment Issues and Latinos with Disabilities
May 31, 2006 - June 2, 2006
San Antonio, TX
Each year recruiters, vocational experts, and job seekers from around the country convene at this conference to participate in trainings and exchanges on occupational issues, and to collaborate to increase job opportunities for Latinos with disabilities. Sponsored by Proyecto Visión.
National Perspectives in Transition Planning
June 26, 2006 - June 30, 2006
West Chester, PA
National, state, and local experts in transition will share current and best practices in transition throughout this weeklong workshop/graduate course. Topics will include transition-related legislation, assessment and self-determination, transition to postsecondary education, transition planning within the Individualized Education Program, and family partnerships in transition planning and instruction. $495 for entire workshop; registration for individual days is available.
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Center for Universal Design: Environments and Products for All People
The Center for Universal Design at North Carolina State University is a national research, information, and technical assistance center that evaluates, develops, and promotes universal design in housing, public and commercial facilities, and related products. Its Web site includes information about the Center, including its products, services, education, training, and publications, as well as information about universal design.
DisabilityPreparedness.gov . . . for the safety and security of Americans with disabilities
This Web site from the Federal government provides practical information to help people with and without disabilities prepare for emergencies. It also provides information for their family members and service providers, as well as for emergency planners and first responders.
National Association of State Head Injury Administrators
The National Association of State Head Injury Administrators (NASHIA) assists state governments in promoting partnerships and building systems to meet the needs of individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI) and their families. In March 2006, NASHIA launched an expanded Web site with new products and services for the TBI community, including an enhanced store and Resource Center and Policy Information sections.
Parents. The Anti-Drug.
TheAntiDrug.com was created by the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign to provide parents and other adult caregivers with the tools they need to raise drug-free kids. Created in collaboration with the nation’s leading experts on parenting and substance abuse prevention, TheAntiDrug.com provides helpful articles and expert advice; scientifically-based drug prevention information, news, and studies; support from other parents; and teen perspectives. Information available in Spanish, Chinese, Filipino, Korean, and Vietnamese.
Access Currents (United States Access Board)
The U.S. Access Board is a federal agency committed to accessible design. Access Currents is a free newsletter the Board disseminates every other month by mail and e-mail.
E-mail Updates (Office of Disability Employment Policy)
Receive the latest news and updates from the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) at the U.S. Department of Labor by signing up for their electronic newsletter (at the bottom of the ODEP home page). ODEP provides national leadership by developing and influencing disability-related employment policy and practice affecting the employment of people with disabilities.
News @ a Glance (Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention)
The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention of the U.S. Department of Justice sends out News @ a Glance every other month. The e-newsletter provides an overview of the Office’s activities and information about recent publications, funding opportunities, and upcoming events.
SchoolsMovingUp/date (SchoolsMovingUp, A WestEd Initiative)
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WestEd’s SchoolsMovingUp initiative sends out a monthly e-newsletter, the SchoolsMovingUp/date, which features information about upcoming online events hosted by the initiative as well as other features. SchoolsMovingUp helps schools and districts raise student achievement in low-performing schools.
Additional Funding and Award Opportunities
Braitmayer Foundation Education Grants
The Braitmayer Foundation offers grants of up to $35,000 for K-12 education projects throughout the U.S. Of particular interest to the Foundation are: 1) curricular and school reform initiatives; and 2) preparation of and professional development opportunities for teachers, particularly those which encourage people of high ability and diverse background to enter and remain in K-12 teaching. Application deadline: June 1, 2006.
Learning in the Arts Grants
The National Endowment for the Arts’ Learning in the Arts grants program offers funding for projects that help children and youth acquire appreciation, knowledge, and understanding of and skills in the arts. Projects must provide participatory learning and engagement of students with skilled artists, teachers, and excellent art, and apply national, state, or local arts education standards. School- and community-based projects are eligible to apply. Application deadline: June 12, 2006.
Teens, Crime, and Community Grants
The National Crime Prevention Council is offering 100 grants of up to $500 each to support service-learning projects planned and implemented by youth (ages 11-19) who identify needs and create projects to address or prevent crime, violence, and drug abuse in their schools and communities. Deadlines for summer projects: June 1, 2006.
Youth Outreach for Victim Assistance (YOVA) Project
The National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) and the National Center for Victims of Crime (NCVC) are seeking applicants for the Youth Outreach for Victim Assistance (YOVA) project, which seeks to raise awareness about teen victims of crime and services to help them, and to provide resources to victim service providers so they can better reach and serve teen victims. Sites will receive up to $3,000 to implement a youth-led public awareness campaign during the 2006-07 school year. Each site will also send two youth and one adult to a training in August 2006. Application deadline: May 15, 2006.
Scholarships and Awards
High School Juniors: Apply for a QuestBridge College Prep Scholarship
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The QuestBridge College Prep Scholarship is designed to level the playing field for outstanding low-income high school juniors by providing opportunities that will help them prepare to apply to leading schools. The program awards full scholarship to QuestBridge’s summer program, coverage of expenses for college travel visits, an SAT prep course and material, and a new laptop computer to qualified low-income high school juniors. Application deadline: May 15, 2006.
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