Don’t miss Arlington SEPTA’s Excellence in Special Education Awards toniite!
We are eagerly anticipating celebrating many in our community this evening as Arlington SEPTA hosts its annual Excellence in Special Education Awards at 7pm! Join us to celebrate staff, parents and students, and congratulations to this year’s nominees!
Register to attend the session here.
Summer School Town Halls
As announced earlier this week, APS will host two Town Halls next week to address questions regarding summer school. The Town Hall on Monday, May 17 from 6-7 p.m will address summer school questions, and the Town Hall on Tuesday, May 18th from 7-8 p.m will specifically focus on the delivery of services during summer school for students with disabilities. The meetings will be conducted via Microsoft Teams and you can find more information here regarding how to participate, submit questions, and access language interpretation.
Mental Health Awareness Month
Mental Health Awareness Month continues throughout the month of May. Virginia NAMI (National Association for Mental Illness) invites you to participate in the Go GREEN challenge to help spread awareness, gain knowledge and access resrouces this month. View the promo flyer for links to resources, workshops and more!
VDOE Seeking Public Comment
The Virginia Department of Education is asking for public comment on two important Guidance documents. The first is related to legislation which requires VDOE to establish guidelines for IEP teams to use when considering whether students with disabilities need instruction that matches their developmental level in areas related to healthy relationships, self-protection, privacy, personal boundaries and more. This document is designed to help guide IEP teams to determine if additional supports and instruction is needed for a student in these critical areas. You can read the draft guidance and tell VDOE what you like and don’t like about it here: Guidance Document Public Comment Forum (virginia.gov)
The second area that VDOE is looking for comments on is its draft guidance document on Social Emotional Learning Standards (SEL) for al K-12 public school students, including students with disabilities. SEL helps people manage their emotions, achieve their goals, develop good relationships, and care about others. Among other benefits, SEL instruction helps with behavior, stress, building relationships and making decisions. The Guidance, if adopted, will provide uniform standards to all school divisions and has a focus on equity. You can read the draft guidance and comment on what you like or don’t like about it here: Guidance Document Public Comment Forum (virginia.gov)
- The I’m Determined project, a state directed project funded by the Virginia Department of Education, focuses on providing direct instruction, models, and opportunities to practice skills associated with self-determined behavior. I’m Determined has just relaunched its new website, which has wonderful tools for youth, families and staff members.
- The Shenandoah Valley Inclusive Wellness Coalition (SVIWC) is an alliance of individuals with disabilities, family members, and professionals who are working to increase opportunities for ALL individuals to participate in community-based physical activity and wellness opportunities. Explore free online modules here.
- The Va-LEND program is committed to the preparation of professionals, family members and people with disabilities in the field of childhood neurodevelopmental disabilities who will assume leadership roles within health care and disability service systems. The interdisciplinary program provides a 12-24 month curriculum of interactive seminars, clinical and community-based practice, planned grassroots and systems level policy activities, and for most trainees, a family mentorship experience. The curriculum emphasizes all aspects of neurodevelopmental and related disabilities, social and family environments across the life course, the interdisciplinary approach, leadership and research.
- NAMI Virginia has generously made recordings available from its 9th Annual Youth and Family Summit. Session topics include:
- How to Recognize and Respond to Virtual Fatigue
- Drawing the Lines – How to Separate Work and Home Life During COVID
- One Year Later – Special Education Updates
- The School Experiences of South Asian American Youth
- Advance Directives for Mental Health Care
- Hey, I’m Talking, are you listening?
- Crisis Planning with Families
- Mind and Body Hacks to Boost the Family’s Mood with a D.O.S.E. of Wellness
- Trauma Informed Chair Yoga
- Transitioning to College and the Real-World experiences of College Students in the COVID-19 Pandemic
- Poetry Writing and Arts as Self-Care
- Formed Families Forward has announced the launch of a new online learning portal, Learning Your Way! Designed for parents and caregivers raising children and youth with special needs, the self-paced and interactive Special Education 101 course offers a variety of topical lesson modules including referral and eligibility, individualized education programs (IEPs) and transition planning through and beyond high school. While the content covers basics applicable to all families, information specific to foster, adoptive and kinship families is emphasized. Learning Your Way course access is free and certificates of completion for foster care training hours and other needs are available at the end of each lesson. Registration for Learning Your Way opened on May 1 and registered participants can begin the courses on May 15. REGISTER HERE.
SEPTA 2021 Awards in Excellence
Wednesday, May 12 at 7:00 p.m
Register to attend the session
Congratulations to all of the nominees for Arlington SEPTA’s annual Awards for Excellence in Special Education.Winners will be announced at the 2021 Excellence Award Virtual Ceremony Live on Zoom, Recorded for YouTube.
Register to attend the session
View the list of the 2021 nominees
Learn more about the awards
I Thought It Would Be Better by Now
Wednesday, May 12th: 7pm
Join Arlington Public Schools, Arlington’s County Council of PTAs and Arlington County’s Department of Human Services (DHS) for a presentation and dialogue on the lingering and cumulative effects of the pandemic on the mental health of children and their families.
*This conversation will take place virtually and be recorded and shared afterward with all who registered.
Don’t We Already Do Inclusion?
May 20th: 7:00-9:00 pm
This presentation is not only filled with ideas for teaching diverse learners, but is also focused on change itself and, more specifically, on how those concerned about inclusion can create change even when they are not in positions of power. The activities, examples, and illustrations in this workshop are designed to help participants refine their vision and their skills when it comes to inclusion. The ideas are no or low cost and many can be achieved by any number of stakeholders—including students and families. Come and learn tried and true techniques as well as some out-of-the box solutions such as involving traditional and social media,“shrinking” the change, phoning for help, advertising, and writing your way to progress.View event flyerSponsored by Arlington SEPTACan You Really Have It All?
How to Avoid Learning Loss Without Sacrificing Summer Fun
NEW DATE! Monday, May 24, 2021: 7-8pm
Featuring Ann K. Dolin, M.Ed.
This spring, as we navigate hybrid learning and launch into yet another new normal, we’re all looking forward to a relaxing summer ahead. But this summer, more than ever, we want to make sure our kids are feeling confident and prepared academically for school success this fall.In this interactive virtual talk, Ann will share strategies for:
- Planning interactive summer activities so fun that your child won’t even realize they’re learning
- Ensuring your child is up to speed after a year of inconsistencies and setbacks
- Accessing online and offline learning resources that make summer learning fun and easy
- Incorporating math, reading, and writing into your child’s summer routine to minimize pushback
- Encouraging engagement when your child seems burned out or distracted
Ann Dolin, M.Ed. is the President and Director of Educational Connections. She holds a B.A. in Child Psychology/Elementary Education and a Master’s degree in Special Education, with a concentration in Learning Disabilities, from Boston College. Ann is a former Fairfax County, VA public school teacher with over 20 years of teaching and tutoring experience. Ann is a recognized expert in education and learning disability issues, and she is also the author of the award-winning book Homework Made Simple: Tips, Tools and Solutions for Stress-Free Homework.
Arlington Special Education Advisory Committee (ASEAC) Meeting
Tuesday, May 25, 2021 from 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Virtual Meeting – via Zoom
Registration link coming soon