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May 2011 E-News


The latest news and information from around the country.

New Projects


New Online Tool: A Self Assessment Tool: A Coherent Approach to High School Improvement
For systemic and sustainable improvement, initiatives need to be implemented within their broader education contexts, rather than focused on specific interventions or topics (e.g., dropouts). The National High School Center has a new online tool to help users assess improvement efforts, “The Self-Assessment Tool: A Coherent Approach to High School Improvement,” on (a) identifying the strengths and weaknesses of current efforts, and (b) aligning and building on reform initiatives to develop a comprehensive high school improvement plan for high-quality teaching and learning for all students. This tool is an online version of “A Coherent Approach to High School Improvement: A District and School Self-Assessment Tool” (released January 2011). It is based on the National High School Center’s “Eight Elements of High School Improvement,” a systemic framework building on high school reform research.

Calls to Participate


Call for TASH Conference Papers Due May 31, 2011
The 2011 “No Excuses” TASH National Conference for professionals and advocates in the disability community, taking place November 30-December 3, seeks proposals for conference papers. Deadline: May 31, 2011.


Educator Advocates Program
ASCD’s Educator Advocates program is looking for input to help shape education policy decisions. Respondents can sign up to receive regular policy updates in a weekly e-newsletter. This e-resource gives information on federal education developments, teacher effectiveness, Common Core State Standards, etc., and sends out e-mail alerts on opportunities to take action to make positive change.


Learning Disabilities Association of America Extends Deadline for Submissions
The Learning Disabilities Association of America, seeking submissions for the 2012 Conference for papers or other formal presentations, workshops, or informational sessions, has extended its deadline from May 15 to May 25, 2011.


Learning Disabilities Association of America Seeks Submissions for 2012 Conference
Learning Disabilities Association of America seeks submissions for the 2012 Conference (in Chicago, IL, February 22-25, 2012), for papers or other formal presentations, workshops, or informational sessions. LDA values sessions on current and best practices, including basic information about the nature of learning disabilities as well as innovative approaches to advocacy, assessment, intervention, and instruction; new ways to ensure successful transition, use assistive technology, access the general curriculum, provide a continuum of services, and foster productive adulthood; and hands-on practical techniques for Table Talk and reports of research for Poster Sessions. Presenters are limited to one major presentation, and sessions may not promote commercial products and/or services. Deadline for submissions: May 15, 2011.

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The Resource Zone

Other National Resources


Archived Webinar Transcript and Video: Strategies to Increase School Completion Rates for Students with or at Risk for Emotional/Behavioral Disorders  (August 2010)
Archived Webinar
The National Dropout Prevention Center for Students with Disabilities has archived their August 2010 webinar, “Strategies to Increase School Completion Rates for Students with or at Risk for Emotional/Behavioral Disorders” on their Web site.


Archived Webinar: Ready by 21 Webinar Series  (February 2011)
Archived Webinar
The Forum for Youth Investment’s February 2011 “Ready by 21” webinar focused on the transition to adulthood and the importance of postsecondary completion as a critical goal for communities to work on. The webinar materials, a summary, Q& A and a link for the recording are at their Web site.


Building a Grad Nation: Understanding the Political Environment and Ensuring that Your Voice is Heard  (March 2011)
Archived Webinar
The webinar hosted March 14 by the Alliance for Excellent Education, America’s Promise Alliance, and United Way World, has been archived. The webinar focused on the two March events, the “Building a Grad Nation Summit” and an “Education Town Hall.” Video and PowerPoint presentations from the webinar are included.


Camps for Children with Special Needs  (March 2011)
The National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities (NICHCY) has updated its listing of information on camps and summer opportunities. Some of the listings identify camps available to all children, and some especially for children who have disabilities. (Many communities have additional summer camps or recreational opportunities available. For information on local camps/recreation, useful sources of information include parks and recreation departments, schools and teachers, religious organizations, other community groups, parent centers, and fellow parents.)


Engineering Solutions to the National Crisis in Literacy: How to Make Good on the Promise of the Common Core State Standards  (April 2011)
The Alliance for Excellent Education has issued “Engineering Solutions to the National Crisis in Literacy: How to Make Good on the Promise of the Common Core State Standards,” a policy brief on calls for federal support of state literacy plans aligned to ELA Common Core Standards, so that students, regardless of where they live, can graduate from high school ready for college and the modern workplace. The brief offers recommendations for leveraging improvement in literacy skills from birth through grade 12 by providing systemic approaches, equitable resources, and strong teacher training.


Individualized Learning Plans Fact Sheet  (2011)
Fact Sheet
An individual learning plan is a tool that high school students use – with support from school counselors and parents – to define their personal interests and goals related to their career and postsecondary education and to plan what courses to take and what activities to participate in during high school to further their interests and achieve their goals. The National Collaborative on Workforce and Disabilities’ ILP Fact Sheet provides an overview of the Individualized Learning Plan and highlights ways some states are using ILPs to better serve their students.


Matrix Parent Center Help for Families Preparing for an IEP Meeting  (2010) PDF document
Tool Kit
The Matrix Parent Network and Resource Center offers an IEP Tool Kit to help parents/families better advocate for their children. It includes: steps in planning for an IEP meeting, tips on organizing a child’s school-related papers, forms for organizing data about a child’s needs and strengths to decide what might be needed in the IEP and for keeping track of needs and questions to discuss at the meeting, and information on resources special education IEP plans, effective communication, and a child’s special needs. Available in pdf (637 KB, 11 pp).


Numbers and Types of Public Elementary and Secondary Schools From the Common Core of Data: School Year 2009-10 - First Look  (April 2011)
This “First Look” from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) at the Institute for Education Sciences, part of the U.S. Department of Education, presents findings on the numbers and types of public elementary and secondary schools in the United States and the territories in the 2009-10 school year.


PACER Center’s 2010 FAST Family Support Survey  (March 2011) PDF document
Survey Report
PACER’s National Family Advocacy and Support Training (FAST) project has released “2010 FAST Family Support Survey: National Results,” summarizing the results of a 2010 survey of 2,416 parents or relatives of children and youth with disabilities, ages 11 to 39, from 54 states or U.S. territories, on: finding out how to get support in 20 areas, whether they needed but were not receiving help, the quality of supports currently received, and where to find information about disability supports. FAST is an Administration on Developmental Disabilities (ADD) Project of National Significance. Available in pdf (379 KB, 32 pp).


PACER Center’s FAST Training Curricula for Parent Trainers  (2010)
Training Curricula
PACER’s National Family Advocacy and Support Training (FAST) project has developed four training curricula for use by parent trainers across the country: “Getting and Keeping the First Job,” “The Journey to Adulthood: What Every Parent Needs to Know,” “Skills for Effective Parent Advocacy,” and “Working for Change: using the Power of a Personal Story.” Power Points and supporting materials for these trainings are available online and can be downloaded in both Spanish and English. FAST is an Administration on Developmental Disabilities (ADD) Project of National Significance.

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What's Happening

Other National Events


Healthy School Communities Virtual Conference
Web-based Event
May 10, 2011 - May 13, 2011
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM   (Eastern)
ASCD's Healthy School Communities staff, guest speakers, ASCD authors and representatives from HSC mentor sites will hold a virtual conference May 10-13, 2011, for those interested in aligning health and education at their schools and in finding out what’s working in U.S. and Canadian schools.

Career and Technical Education and Dropout
Web-based Event
May 10, 2011
3:30 PM - 4:30 PM   (Eastern)
The National Dropout Prevention Center at Clemson airs a monthly radio webcast, Solutions to the Dropout Crisis, on topics related to dropout prevention. The May webcast is on Career and Technical Education (CTE) and its importance to dropout prevention and school reform.

The Nature of Effective Individualized Learning Plans and Their Promise in Supporting College and Career Readiness
Web-based Event
May 12, 2011
3:30 PM - 5:00 PM   (Central)
Based on an on-going national study sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), this webinar will describe the nature of individualized learning plans (ILPs), share ILP implementation practices, identify how ILPs serve as a bridge in supporting both college and career readiness outcomes, and describe empirical research results related to these efforts.

Family Involvement in Transitions to Adulthood
Web-based Event
May 24, 2011
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM   (Pacific)
Family members, youth, service providers, and researchers will offer perspectives on how to involve families in services in ways preferred by youth and young adults. They will discuss developmental, legal and confidentiality issues that affect young people, the balancing act between families and providers, the role of mentors and adult allies, and the strengths and needs of diverse families; and ideas on how to help navigate conflicts between youth and families, with information on family support organizations, and understanding the family journey.

Alliance for Excellent Education: Engineering Solutions to the National Literacy Crisis
Web-based Event
May 26, 2011
The Alliance for Excellent Education’s webinar, “Engineering Solutions to the National Literacy Crisis,” will deal with the importance of comprehensive literacy plans, the competitive Striving Readers grant program, and the need for improving educator effectiveness. Young adults who lack reading and writing proficiency are likely to become unskilled workers in a world where literacy is a condition for success. Webinar participants will discuss the key levers to scale and sustain literacy improvements.

National Conference on Volunteering and Service
June 6, 2011 - June 8, 2011
New Orleans, LA
The 2011 National Conference on Volunteering and Service, volunteer and service leaders from the nonprofit, government and corporate sectors, will be in New Orleans, June 6-8. In addition to many general sessions, there are several that focus specifically on disability and service, including: Targeted Recruitment and Retention Strategies for Non-traditional Volunteers and Service Members; and Stories from the Field: Members & Volunteers with Disabilities Sharing Their Experiences Inclusion 101: Creating an Welcoming Service Environment. The conference strives for full access and accommodations for people with disabilities.

Mental Health America’s Annual Conference
June 9, 2011 - June 11, 2011
Washington, DC
The 2011 Mental Health America (MHA) conference will gather advocates, consumers, educators, researchers, business and community leaders, health professionals, and MHA affiliates to examine opportunities to strengthen wellness in individuals and communities through advocacy, education, and service delivery.

Strengthening Institutions That Serve Asian American And Pacific Islander Americans

June 27, 2011 - June 28, 2011
Washington, DC
Sponsored by APIASF and held in Washington, DC. As a part of the APIASF Higher Education Summit series, the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF) will host the APIASF College Completion Forum: Strengthening Institutions that Serve Asian American and Pacific Islander Americans. The forum will bring together multicultural political leaders, higher education researchers and administrators, representatives from the private and government sectors, community organizations, foundations, and students, to discuss the national college completion agenda and its impact on the APIA community. The attendance on the first day of the forum is open to the public. The second day of the forum is by invitation only.

National School Safety Conference
August 1, 2011 - August 5, 2011
Phoenix, AZ
The School Safety Advocacy Council’s 2011 National School Safety Conference, held in partnership with the U.S. Department of Justice, and featuring a specialized training by G.R.E.A.T, will be held August 1-5 in Phoenix, AZ. The conference is for law enforcement officers or educators who work in the school environment on best practices in education safety and strategies to keep schools safe.

USBLN® Aligning Disability With The Bottom Line: Talent, Market Share, And Supplier Diversity
October 16, 2011 - October 19, 2011
Louisville, KY
The 2011 US Business Leadership Network (USBLN®) Annual Conference & Expo will gather business executives, government, community, and industry leaders, experts from USBLN® and the Job Accommodation network (JAN), entrepreneurs with disabilities, and others interested in business and people with disabilities to network, learn how to enhance business development efforts, and expand internship and mentoring programs to include students with disabilities. Sessions will focus on how including people with disabilities improves the bottom line. ^ Top of Page ^

Get Wired!

Web Sites


Learning Port’s National Online Library of Professional Development Resources
The IDEA Partnership’s Learning Port Web site has built a section listing “National Online Library of Professional Development Resources Compiled to Help Bridge Research, Policy and Practice.” This library provides educators with access to an array of resources that can be used or customized to meet their needs.


New to Disability?
The National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities (NICHCY) New to Disability page has information and resources for families and educators just entering the world of disability.


PARCC Web site
The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) has launched a Web site to provide information and timely updates on the progress of the 25-state PARCC consortium as it develops a next-generation common assessment system that will help ensure all students graduate from high school ready for college and careers. The Web site includes information on PARCC’s goals, governance structure, key stakeholders, timeline, and challenges; information about PARCC’s major design and development work; implementation issues to address for successful implementation of the Common Core State Standards and PARCC assessments; “In the Classroom,” on instructional resources being developed through PARCC, as well as other instructional resources for the Common Core State Standards being created by other organizations; and progress on implementing PARCC goals and the Common Core State Standards in each of the 25 PARCC States.


Self Determination Project at Westchester Institute for Human Development
The Self Determination Project Web site includes information on connecting to local services, resources and bibliography, helpful sites, employment, etc.


The Art and Science | Heart and Soul of Dissemination
The National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities (NICHCY) Dissemination Initiative page has information for Technical Assistance projects on effective dissemination practices.



Annie E. Casey Foundation Newsletter
The Annie E. Casey Foundation is a private charitable organization, dedicated to helping build better futures for disadvantaged children in the United States. The Foundation’s Web site provides links to the issues of its newsletter, which provide information on resources developed by Casey or its grantees on efforts to improve outcomes for vulnerable children, youth, families, and communities.

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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


Best Buy Children's Foundation: @15 Community Grants
The Best Buy Children's Foundation @15 Community Grants empower teens to thrive by helping them excel in school, engage in their communities, and develop life and leadership skills. Maximum award: $10,000. Eligibility: nonprofit 501(c)3 certified organizations located within 50 miles of a Best Buy store or Regional Distribution Center that provide positive experiences that empower early adolescents (primarily ages 13-18) to excel in school, engage in their communities, and develop life and leadership skills. Deadline: August 1, 2011.


CVS Caremark Charitable Trust Accepting Grant Applications for Programs Serving Children With Disabilities
The CVS Caremark Charitable Trust will award grants of up to $50,000 to organizations working to increase opportunities for success for children under the age of 21 with disabilities. This year, the trust will accept online applications from May 1 to June 15, 2011, for applications targeting children with disabilities. CVS Caremark is most interested in funding proposals where support can help an organization expand or enhance an existing program with proven success, enable organizations to support innovative new approaches that produce positive outcomes for targeted populations, or support one-time capital needs (excluding bricks and mortar). Applications are invited from nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations in U.S. locations where CVS Caremark has a business presence (all states except Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Oregon, South Dakota, Washington, and Wyoming). Deadline: June 15, 2011.


Earth Island Institute: Brower Youth Award
The Earth Island Institute Brower Youth Award recognizes young people for outstanding activism and achievements in the fields of environmental and social justice advocacy. Maximum award: $3,000, a trip to California for the awards ceremony, and a wilderness camping trip. Eligibility: youth ages 13-22. Deadline: May 16, 2011.


Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation: Grants for Youth with Disabilities
The Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation Grants Program is dedicated to helping young Americans with disabilities maximize their potential and participate in society. The foundation supports organizations and projects within its mission that have broad scope and impact and demonstrate potential for replication at other sites. A major program emphasis is inclusion: enabling young people with disabilities to have full access to educational, vocational, and recreational opportunities, and to participate alongside their non-disabled peers. Maximum award: $90,000. Eligibility: 501(c)3 organizations. Deadline: June 01, 2011.


National Weather Association: Sol Hirsch Teacher Grants
National Weather Association Sol Hirsch Teacher Grants improve students’ education in meteorology. Teachers selected will be able to use the funds to take an accredited course in atmospheric sciences, attend a relevant workshop or conference, or purchase scientific materials or equipment for the classroom. Maximum award: $750. Eligibility: K-12 teachers. Deadline: June 1, 2010.


NEA Foundation and Consortium for School Networking Invite Ideas for Mobile Phone Education Innovations
The NEA Foundation’s newest C2i challenge, conducted in partnership with the Consortium for School Networking, is inviting ideas for mobile phone technology that can transform teaching and learning. The foundation will award grants of $1,000 to as many as five individuals who post the best ideas on the C2i page at the U.S. Department of Education’s Open Innovation Portal. The solutions selected will be shared by the NEA Foundation and CoSN via multiple outlets. The C2i challenge is open to public school educators, students, and others with an interest in improving public education. Proposed solutions must effectively incorporate smart phones or cell phones. Portal registrants can also review, comment, and vote on the posted solutions.


PTO Today: Parent Group of the Year
PTO Today’s Parent Group of the Year Contest showcases hard work in such categories as including Outstanding Family Event, Outstanding Community Service Project, and Outstanding New Group, while giving schools the chance to win cash and prizes. Maximum award: $3,000, plus a free DIRECTV system for the school, installed in up to eight rooms. Eligibility: all parent groups – PTO, PTA, HSA, PTC, etc.; public and private schools; rural, suburban, and urban schools. Deadline: June 1, 2011.


U.S. Department of State: Teachers for Global Classrooms
The Teachers for Global Classrooms Program is a professional development opportunity for U.S. middle and high school teachers to participate in a program aimed at globalizing U.S. classrooms. Activities include an online course; two Global Education Symposiums in Washington, DC (pre- and post-travel); and an international fellowship through a two-week country visit upon successful completion of the online course. Maximum award: a fellowship, including two weeks’ travel to Brazil, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Morocco, or Ukraine. Eligibility: full-time secondary- level teaching professionals with five or more years of classroom experience in disciplines including English as a Second Language, English Language or Literature, Social Studies, Mathematics, or Science, who are also U.S. citizens. Deadline: June 15, 2011.


Yes to Seed Fund and Whole Foods Market Offer K-12 School Garden Grants
Yes to Seed Fund, a nonprofit program of personal care products company Yes to Carrots, has partnered with Whole Foods Market to offer grants for school gardens. The program is designed to provide students with engaging ways to learn about nutrition and the importance of fruits and vegetables. The partners will provide Seed Fund Grants of $2,000 to schools in each of five participating Whole Foods regions in Northern California and the Pacific Northwest, and five Starter Garden Grants of $500 to schools nationwide. Schools in Northern California (California counties including or north of Monterey, Kings, Tulare, and Inyo Counties) and the Pacific Northwest (Oregon and Washington) are eligible for Seed Fund Grants (five for each region). Schools elsewhere in the United States are eligible for the five Starter Seed Fund Grants. No one under the age of 13 can apply without parental supervision and oversight. Applying schools should have a pre-existing commitment to gardening and an internal champion for the project. Deadline: May 31, 2011.

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End of Issue

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