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May 2003 E-News


The latest news and information from around the country.

New Projects


Educational Opportunities for Vulnerable Youth Provide Options for At-risk Students
Four foundations have joined together in supporting the creation of a nationwide network of alternative schools. The Bill & Melinda Gates, Annie E. Casey, Walter S. Johnson, W.K. Kellogg, and Charles Stewart Mott Foundations are working together to establish 150 high quality educational alternatives for young people who have dropped out or been excluded from education. The goal of the Alternative High Schools Initiative is to reach 36,000 young people failed by traditional high schools. Resources to promote high quality alternative education and opportunities for vulnerable youth are also made available.

Calls to Participate


Education Department Seeks Input on Accountability for Students with Severe Cognitive Disabilities
On March 20th, 2003, the U.S. Department of Education issued a proposed rule to amend Title I under No Child Left Behind, as it relates to State, LEA, and school accountability for the academic achievement of students with the most significant cognitive disabilities. Specifically, the Department requests comments on what current record keeping and reporting requirements would States and LEAs use to comply with this provision and whether additional information or data will be necessary for compliance. There is not a specified deadline.


Submit Experiences for New Mobility's New Book: Youth with Disabilities
New Mobility is preparing a new book for youth with disabilities. Jean Dobbs, Executive Director of New Mobility, is striving to create a unique resource for children and teens that is filled with peer support ideas and that will serve as a vehicle for them to share their experiences. Active pre-teens or young teens or any successful youth organizations that introduce children or youth with disabilities to adaptive sports, recreation, the arts, etc are encouraged to submit their experiences. There is no specified deadline.

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The Resource Zone

NCSET Resources


Community Resource Mapping: A Strategy for Promoting Successful Transition for Youth with Disabilities  (April 2003)
NCSET Information Brief  • Volume  2 ,  Issue  1
This brief introduces a dynamic process for creating synergistic community collaboration among those concerned with youth development, and for maximizing the community's human and financial resources that support youth. The brief includes a detailed explanation of Community Resource Mapping, a list of the benefits of mapping, examples of mapping efforts, whom to contact information for further information, plus related resources.


My Future My Plan: Engaging Students as Leaders in Planning for Their Future  (February 2003)
NCSET Teleconference Transcript
Transcript of the teleconference call held in February 2003. Presenters discussed the making of Graduating Peter, an HBO documentary of Peter, a student with Down syndrome graduating high school, from Director and Producer Gerardine Wurzburg; Peter’s transition from high school to adult life, as well as the outcomes of his transition planning process; and the new, corresponding educational curriculum My Future, My Plan, developed with assistance from NCSET staff.


Self-Determination: Supporting Successful Transition  (April 2003)
NCSET Research to Practice Brief  • Volume  2 ,  Issue  1
This brief outlines research on self-determination suggesting that youth with disabilities who actively direct their own lives are more likely to successfully transition into adult life. In addition, the brief addresses development of self-determination skills and student-led Individualized Education Program meetings. Also included are descriptions and contact information for several self-determination curricula and helpful Web links.


Supplemental Security Income (Part 1 of 3): A Bridge to Work  (March 2003)
NCSET Parent Brief
This parent brief is part 1 of a 3-part series on supplemental security income. This brief gives parents of youth with disabilities practical information about how youth can use Social Security work incentives to facilitate a gradual transition from dependence on Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to partial or complete financial independence. Social Security work incentives allow a recipient of Supplemental Security Income to earn wages while maintaining SSI cash benefits and Medicaid. Background information, definitions, and specific financial criteria for using SSI work incentives are included.


Supplemental Security Income (Part 2 of 3): So You Have Decided to Apply  (April 2003)
NCSET Parent Brief
This parent brief is part 2 of a 3-part series on supplemental security income. The brief is tailored for parents of youth with disabilities and provides a detailed description of the process for applying for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). The brief outlines four elements, including a) the process of making an appointment with a Social Security Administration representative, b) the specific steps in applying for benefits, c) criteria that the Social Security Administration uses to determine an applicant's eligibility, and d) information about the evaluation conducted if the Social Security Administration cannot initially make a decision about your child's eligibility.

Other National Resources


A New Wave of Evidence: The Impact of School, Family, and Community Connections on Student Achievement  (January 2002)
Authors Anne Henderson and Karen Mapp reviewed more than 50 research studies published since 1995. They learned that in order for parent involvement to have an impact on student achievement, schools must link parent activities to student learning goals and be respectful of differences among families. The book provides guidelines on schools that successfully engage families from very diverse backgrounds typically follow. Available in PDF (244 pages).


A Practitioner’s Guide to Involving Families in Secondary Transition  (2003)
This guide, a publication of the Division on Career Development and Transition, is designed especially for school and agency professionals to provide specific strategies for supporting parents in expanding their roles within the secondary transition process. Topics in the guide include: introduction to the role of parents in secondary transition, defining the family, parents as collaborators, parents as decision-makers and evaluators, and parents as role models, trainers, and mentors. The order information is at the bottom of the Web link.


Beating the Odds III: A City-By-City Analysis of Student Performance and Achievement Gaps on State Assessments  (March 2003) PDF document
The nation's largest urban school districts have made significant gains on statewide assessment exams, often improving faster than their rural and suburban counterparts, a new study has found. The study was conducted by the Council of Great City Schools, a coalition of the nation's 59 largest urban districts, and tracked math and reading scores by grade, typically over five years.


Considering Mediation for Special Education Disputes: A School Administrator's Perspective  (2003)
The Consortium for Appropriate Dispute Resolution in Special Education has released a new publication for administrators that describes the advantages and disadvantages of mediation in order to help administrators make an informed decision about whether it is in the best interest of their school district, and ultimately the students they serve, to participate in mediation.


Development and Disability  (October 2002)
Development and Disability is the fully revised edition of the successful text, Development and Handicap, first published in 1987. Since the publication of the first edition, a vast amount of new research has been published on how the psychological development of children is affected by disability. Now including over 1100 references, this much-enlarged edition provides a comprehensive and up-to-date account of this recent research activity.


Home Physical Activity Programs for People with Physical Disabilities  (2003)
This brochure, published by the Research and Training Center on Independent Living at the University of Kansas, has tips and resources for starting a physical activity program for persons with disabilities. Descriptions of setting a goal, scheduling in physical activity, and recording and rewarding your progress are included the brochure. A list of resources, including Web sites, books, and magazines related to exercise and disability is also given.


Preparing Tomorrow's Parents Today: How to Bring Parenting Education for Children and Teens to Your School  (2003)
This guidebook, published by the Parenting Project, is designed to provide educators, policymakers, and other advocates with the tools and information to establish and operate parenting preparation programs for children and teens in their communities. It documents the need for parenting education for children and teens, describes in detail well-respected school-based programs currently available, and offers many resources for implementing parenting education programs for young people. The cost of the guide (182 pages) is $15.00 plus $3.00 shipping and handling, and includes The Parenting Project's 13 minute video Preparing Tomorrow's Parents.


Su Familia National Hispanic Family Health Helpline  (2003)
Su Familia provides Hispanic families with basic health information to help them prevent and manage chronic conditions, and refers them to local health providers and federally supported programs including the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). Su Familia bilingual information specialists refer callers to one of over 16,000 local health providers, including community and migrant health centers. Callers can also request basic health information, referrals to information sources, or receive consumer-friendly, bilingual Su Familia fact sheets. Su Familia is supported by HHS' Health Resources and Services Administration and HHS' Office of Minority Health, and was developed and is operated by the National Alliance for Hispanic Health. The toll-free helpline (866-783-2645) is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern Time.

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What's Happening

NCSET Events


Education, Disability, and Juvenile Justice
Teleconference Call
May 28, 2003
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM   (Central)
NCSET teleconference call held May 28, 2003 to address the significance of prevention, education programs, and transition/aftercare services in reducing the risk that youth with disabilities will be involved in the juvenile justice system. Presented by Peter Leone, Director, and Lili Garfinkel, Associate Director of the National Center on Education, Disability, and Juvenile Justice at the University of Maryland. The transcript of this call is now available.

Other National Events


Serving Students with Disabilities: Helping All Children Achieve
Teleconference Call
May 20, 2003
8:00 PM - 9:00 PM   (Eastern)
Special Education will be the topic of discussion on the May 20 broadcast of “Education News,” a production of the U.S. Department of Education. Questions to be addressed include: How can schools and districts provide a quality education for students with disabilities? What do parents need to know about early reading intervention for children classified with disabilities? How can schools increase the number of students with disabilities graduating from high school? To participate, locate a facility with satellite downlink capabilities. Otherwise, call your local cable access station or school board channel and give them the satellite coordinates or visit the site's Registration Gateway for viewing options in your area. ^ Top of Page ^

Get Wired!

Web Sites


Academy for Educational Development (AED)
AED is an independent, nonprofit organization committed to solving critical social problems in the U.S. and throughout the world. Major areas of focus include health, education, youth development, and the environment. The Web site offers symposium series and links related to these topics.


Family Education Network
This site was created by parents for parents, and provides homework help, parenting tips, and expert advice on various topics related to parenting. Launched in September, 2000, the company's mission is to be an online consumer network of the world's best learning and information resources, personalized to help parents, teachers, and students of all ages take control of their learning and make it part of their everyday lives.


May is National Mental Health Month
To help you observe National Mental Health month, the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has included this event among their special online features. The Web site provides information about programs and resources that can improve the lives of individuals with mental illness and help families enjoy better mental health.


Resource Center: Tools and Training for Volunteer and Service Programs
NSRC is a training and technical assistance provider to programs funded by the Corporation for National & Community Service. NSRC provides information specific to community service programs.



Minnesota Transition Discussion Group
This discussion group, made possible by the Metropolitan Center for Independent Living (MCIL), is a place for parents, teachers, social service workers, employers, and those interested in issues related to transition for youth with disabilities to share information. Although this forum is specific to individuals in Minnesota, it is open to anyone around the country. More information about this group is available on the MCIL Web site at (see link under Transition).

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Funding Forecast

Funding Resources


The Accessibility Area of
The Foundation Center provides a user aid for individuals with disabilities who are looking for information on grants specifically for those disabilities. Some of the most important print and electronic resources designed to help individuals with disabilities obtain financial support are detailed. Also included in the user aid is information on accessibility for visitors with disabilities to their libraries and learning centers.

Federal Grant Opportunities


Carol M. White Physical Education Program - CFDA# 84.215F
The Carol M. White Physical Education Program provides grants to initiate, expand, or improve physical education programs, including after-school programs, for students in one or more grades from kindergarten through 12th grade in order to help students make progress toward meeting State standards for physical education. Applications available: April 1, 2003. Application deadline: May 12, 2003.


Credit Enhancement for Charter School Facilities Program - CFDA# 84.354A
This program will provide grants to eligible entities to permit them to enhance the credit of charter schools so that they can access private-sector and other non-Federal capital to acquire, construct, and renovate facilities at a reasonable cost. Grant projects awarded under this program will be of sufficient size, scope, and quality to enable the grantees to implement effective strategies. Applications available: April 3, 2003. Application deadline: June 3, 2003.


National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research--Rehabilitation Engineering Research Centers (RERCs) Program - CFDA# 84.133E
RERCs conduct research, development, and training activities regarding rehabilitation technology: including rehabilitation engineering, assistive technology devices, and assistive technology services, in order to enhance opportunities for meeting the needs of, and addressing the barriers confronted by, individuals with disabilities in all aspects of their lives. Applications Available: April 22, 2003. Application Deadline: June 27, 2003.


Special Education--Technical Assistance and Dissemination to Improve Services and Results for Children with Disabilities Program – CFDA# 84.326X
This program provides technical assistance and information that support States and local entities in building capacity to improve early intervention, educational, and transitional services and results for children with disabilities and their families. It address goals and priorities for changing State systems that provide early intervention, educational, and transitional services for children with disabilities and their families. Applications available: April 18, 2003. Application deadline: June 2, 2003.


Teacher Quality Enhancement Grants Program - CFDA#s 84.336B and 84.336D
The purpose of this program is to promote improvements in the quality of new teachers, with the ultimate goal of increasing student achievement in the nation's K-12 classrooms. Partnership grants are designed to promote significant improvements in teacher education by strengthening the vital role of K-12 educators in the design and implementation of effective teacher education programs, and by increasing collaboration among these educators and institutions of higher education, and departments of arts and sciences. Applications available: April 30, 2003. Deadline for applications: June 2, 2003, for pre-applications; August 8, 2003, for full applications.


Underground Railroad Educational and Cultural Program - CFDA# 84.345A
The Underground Railroad Educational and Cultural program will provide grants to nonprofit educational organizations that are established to research, display, interpret, and collect artifacts relating to the history of the Underground Railroad. Applications Available: April 22, 2003. Application Deadline: June 2, 2003.

Additional Funding and Award Opportunities


National Geographic Society Education Foundation
The mission of the National Geographic Society's Education Foundation is to "prepare children to embrace a diverse world, succeed in a global economy, and steward the planet's resources." The foundation's teacher grants are awarded to educators to facilitate their work in the classroom, school, district, and/or community. Applications are accepted from any current teacher or administrator in an accredited K-12 school within the U.S. Projects that feature outreach to urban areas are particularly encouraged. Application deadline: June 12, 2003.


Pathways to Collaboration Workgroup
Pathways to Collaboration is a knowledge-building workgroup organized by the Center for the Advancement of Collaborative Strategies in Health at the New York Academy of Medicine and funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The Pathways to Collaboration workgroup will give up to twelve community partnerships from across the U.S. a unique opportunity to explore what makes a collaborative problem-solving process successful. The program is seeking letters of intent from partnerships that have a record of success in using collaboration to address problems that are important to people in their community, a spirit of curiosity about what made those successes possible, and an interest in participating in a rigorous and provocative learning experience. Application deadline for letters of intent: May 9th, 2003.

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End of Issue

Excerpting E-News
You are welcome to copy and paste portions of this E-News issue into your own e-mail newsletter; however, please credit the National Center on Secondary Education and Transition E-News and link to as follows: “Excerpted from NCSET E-News, an electronic newsletter of the National Center on Secondary Education and Transition (NCSET), available online at NCSET is funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs.”

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Purpose of the Listserv
E-News features resources, activities, products, and funding information from around the country. E-News is dedicated to assisting youth, parents, educators, service providers, and administrators to stay connected and informed about secondary education and transition issues.

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E-News Disclaimer
The National Center on Secondary Education and Transition disseminates E-News to enhance public access to information about secondary education and transition activities. Our intention is to provide resources that are current and accurate. Although every attempt is made to ensure the accuracy of this information, we can make no guarantees. We will, of course, make every effort to correct errors brought to our attention.

E-News was supported in whole or in part by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, (Cooperative Agreement No. H326J000005). However, the opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of the U. S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, or any of the six partners of the National Center on Secondary Education and Transition, and no official endorsement should be inferred.

Note: There are no copyright restrictions on this document. However, please credit the source and support of federal funds when copying all or part of this material.

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