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Description: Inclusive Practices in Successful Schools: Virginia Inclusive Schools Planning Guide Module addresses the following components: A Clear and Consistent Vision and Vocabulary for Inclusive Schools, Legislative and Accountability Standards, Strong Tier One Instruction, Student-Centered Decisions/Staffing and Scheduling, Effective Use of Resources, Collaboration Among Educators, Specialized Support, Social Inclusion, Family and Community Engagement, Sustaining Inclusive Success. This module was...
Description: Each school year the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) is required to report to the U.S. Department of Education the "Percent of parents with a child receiving special education services who report that schools facilitated parent involvement as a means of improving services and results for children with disabilities." Your school division should have provided you with an opportunity to participate in a short survey, which VDOE will use to collect the necessary data to report on this...
Description: Presentation Recordings from VDOE Family Literacy Night Family Literacy Night included presentations on the following topics: Early Childhood: Early Literacy Starts at Home Assessment Supports: An Explanation of Your Student's SOL Reports Family Field Trips: Connecting Literacy to the Commonwealth Family Engagement: Supports for the Home Virginia State Literacy Association: Choosing Books for the Children in your Lives Virginia Association for Teachers of English Equity & Community...
Description: Social Security recently changed the rules about what types of financial assistance can affect an individual’s Supplemental Security Income (SSI) eligibility or their monthly SSI payment amount. Usually, they consider any help an individual receives in cash to meet their need for food or shelter as countable income. Generally, the more countable income someone has, the less their SSI payments will be. If their countable income is over the allowable limit, they are ineligible to receive SSI...
Description: This article provides a compliation of tips, strategies, and resurces to help improve the connection from home to school and expand parent involvement.
Description: The Parents’ Guides to Student Success were developed by teachers, parents and education experts. Created for grades K-8 and high school English, language arts/literacy and mathematics, the guides provide clear, consistent expectations for what students should be learning at each grade in order to be prepared for college and career.
Description: PACER Center enhances the quality of life and expands opportunities for children, youth, and young adults with all disabilities and their families so each person can reach his or her highest potential. PACER operates on the principles of parents helping parents, supporting families, promoting a safe environment for all children, and working in collaboration with others. With assistance to individual families, workshops, materials for parents and professionals, and leadership in securing a free...
Description: Why haven’t we been more successful in engaging every family in the educational lives of their children? Why do we still struggle with the notion of engaging every family as a conduit to improved student learning? This book outlines a pathway and process to engage every family, including those families that have been traditionally disengaged or disenfranchised. Updates to this second edition include updated research to ensure a firmer foundation for each of its five simple principles as...
Description: Dr. Constantino and guest Patricia Weinzapfel, author of No More Mumbo Jumbo: Bridging the Communication Gap Between Educators and Families, provide a conversation that focuses on how to recognize effective and ineffective communications and provide you with the knowledge, skills, and checklists you need to improve your relationships with families and cultivate student success. (May 2020)
Description: The Center for Schools and Communities is a dedicated group of professionals providing comprehensive services designed to build your organization’s capacity. We work closely with local education agencies, community-based organizations and state and local departments to strengthen systems. We help our clients increase their knowledge, awareness and skills by providing high quality professional learning opportunities, research and evaluation design, and...
Description: Does your school's atmosphere shout "Welcome!" to parents, students, and staff? Ed World's "Principal Files" team shares ways in which they have created welcoming atmospheres in their schools. Most of their ideas are quite easy to duplicate. All principals want their schools to feel warm and welcoming. That's why they go out of their way to make entryways inviting and front offices efficient. That's why they create brochures, Web sites, and newsletters. That's why they encourage special events...
Description: Strong relationships between families and teachers are critical for successful students, but where do you begin to build them? This article offers up resources and a playlist of videos about parent engagement.  This is a collection of videos with examples of the many ways schools can build powerful partnerships with families. They included actionable tips for both parents and teachers about how to best to work together.
Description: Family Friendly Schools: Increase dynamic communication between schools and families Identify and adddress cirtical cultural obstacles to academic success Provide best-in-the-nation family engagment coaching for schools looking for the next level Whether your district is new to family engagement or whether you are pros looking to dive deeper, Family Friendly Schools is your partner in increasing student success.
Description: FAMILIES IN SCHOOLS envisions a public education system where students have all the opportunities and resources necessary to succeed in school and in life. We seek a workforce prepared for lifelong learning, and active engagement in the civic life of our society. Guided by this belief, the mission of Families In Schools is to involve parents and communities in their children's education to achieve lifelong success. COVID-19 Resources to Support Families and Student Success are available in...
Description: Global Family Research Project elevates the benefits of family engagement and the connections across educational organizations, nationally and globally: at school in early childhood education in community spaces like afterschool programs and libraries through digital media
Description: In this course, you will learn about building trusting family-professional partnerships when working with families of young children by: Describing effective practices for developing trusting family-professional partnerships in early care and education programs. Using a decision-making process to select partnership-oriented practices linked to developing an initial friendly relationship, making shared decisions, and developing a trusting partnership with families to address challenging issues....
Description: This series of videos is designed to give practical parenting advice that they can immediately use to support their neurodivergent child’s executive functions. These engaging videos feature parents sharing their real life wisdom and experts who give practical ideas and easy to understand explanations. If you have a child with ADHD, Learning Disabilities, or Autism, these videos will help you reduce conflict and turns can’t’s into cans.
Description: The Office of Special Education Programs is excited to release a new OSEP Fast Facts: Race and Ethnicity of Children with Disabilities Served under IDEA Part B and new supplemental tool, Hand In Hand, which explore  IDEA, Section 618 data with the specific lens on race and ethnicity. For the Hand In Hand supplemental tool, each display in the OSEP Fast Facts: Race and Ethnicity of Children with Disabilities Served under IDEA Part B is presented with critical questions to allow parents...
Description: IECMHC is a prevention-based approach that pairs a mental health consultant with adults who work with infants and young children in the different settings where they learn and grow, such as child care, preschool, home visiting, early intervention and their home. Mental health consultation is not about “fixing kids.” Nor is it therapy. Mental health consultation equips caregivers to facilitate children’s healthy social and emotional development.
Description: You are the school’s most important education partner. Research shows that when families are involved at home and at school, children do better academically and socially. So how do you show your support? Connect early and often. Reach out to your child’s teachers at the beginning of the school year and reconnect with the teacher whenever you attend a school event.   Commit to communicating. Schools and teachers send messages to families in a number of ways—backpack...
Description: As you are preparing for the return to school for your child, there are a few key items you can consider putting on your checklist to help ensure your child is prepared to thrive in this academic year and beyond: Make a Plan for Eligible Children to Get Vaccinated Talk to Your School about Health and Safety Protocols If Your Child isn’t Eligible Yet for a Vaccine, Talk with Them about Strategies to Keep Them Safe at School Make a Plan to Access Safe Transportation to and from School Talk...
Description: The Biden Administration has developed a Return to School Roadmap to support educators and school leaders, parents, families, and communities and lead students on a path to return to in-person learning this fall, where they are safe and supported. The Roadmap contains three “Landmark” priorities for each school, district, and state as they work to reengage students this summer and bring them back into classrooms. These priorities can be advanced using funding from the American Rescue...
Description: As we head into the 2021-2022 school year, fragments of uncertainty remain from the COVID-19 pandemic. Thoughts about children’s physical health and safety, such as germ transmission and mask wearing, are blending with concerns about how to prepare children academically, socially, and emotionally for a return to school in 2021. This article provides four suggested areas where parents and caregivers can help prepare a young child for the return to the school year in 2021: Address nervous...
Description: This includes recordings of webinar presentations and accompanying materials on a range of topics sponsored by Formed Families Forward (FFF) including: Back to School Improving Organization and Study Skills Screen-Savvy Parenting Collaborative Problem Solving with Agency Partners Special Education Eligibility And many more  
Description: Bright Horizons has been changing the way the world works for 30 years. Way back in 1986, our founders saw that child care was an enormous obstacle for working parents. Providing on-site centers became just one way we responded to help whole organizations work better. Today we offer child care, elder care, and help for education and careers -- tools used by more than 1,000 of the world’s top employers and that today power many of the world's best brands.
Description: VDH and VDOE have created a Healthy Back-to-School webpage to help parents keep their children healthy this summer and prepare them for returning to school. The site provides resources about immunizations, COVID-19, well-child visits, routine oral care and mental health. There is also a "Back to School Checklist" to help parents track and organize back-to-school tasks.
Description: The 2020 legislation amended the Code of Virginia to require the following new immunizations and booster shots: Two doses of properly spaced human papillomavirus vaccine for all children. The first dose is required before the child enters the seventh grade. Two or three properly spaced doses of rotavirus vaccine, depending on the manufacturer, for children up to eight months of age. Two properly spaced doses of hepatitis A vaccine. The first dose must be administered at age 12 months or older....
Description: This 9.5 minute video is designed for school personnel and families. It offers an overview of education equity and suggests strategies for facilitating greater educational equity through meaningful family engagement practices. The video features the voices and lived experiences of students, parents and caregivers, and school leaders. Strategies are organized by key components of family engagement in  multitiered systems of supports. The video has captions available in English and Spanish. A...
Description: This document is designed to guide the Program Leadership Team around considerations for supporting children, families, and staff as they return to the program. The guidance includes Pyramid Model practices you know and encourages you to think about those strategies from a trauma-informed perspective. While the leadership team may not know who among children, families, and staff have or are experiencing trauma, a trauma-informed approach guides programs in providing a safe and nurturing...
Description: In January 2020, Virginia legislators passed House Bill 817 requiring the Department of Education (VDOE), in collaboration with the Department of Health and medical professional societies, to develop health and safety guidelines related to the use of digital devices in the classroom. The VDOE convened a Digital Devices in the Classroom Workgroup to develop guidelines. The Digital Devices in the Classroom: Health and Safety Guidelines document (Word) address digital device use for different...
Description: Career exploration is an important step in helping a student fulfill long term employment goals. This exploration can help a student connect to a path that is appealing, fulfilling, and leads to a desired career. The following key questions and answers will help with decision-making and information gathering concerning academic and career choices. What is career exploration?Career exploration is one way to find out about multiple career options. During the different phases of exploration,...
Description: These questions can be used to establish a relationship with families and encourage two-way communication. Edit this survey to fit the needs of your community and classroom. Remember: brevity is best. Only include the questions that you believe will best inform your relationship with your students and families. Bolded & italicized script should especially be edited.
Description: This is a compilation of articles about the importance of self-care as well as helpful strategies for parents, family members and caregivers.
Description: When a child endures a traumatic experience, the whole family feels the impact. But adults hold the power to help lessen its effects. Several factors can change the course of kids’ lives: feeling seen and heard by a caring adult, being patiently taught coping strategies and resilience-building techniques, and being with adults who know about the effects of such experiences. The resources provided include printables, videos and more on topics to help families.
Description: The Virginia Board for People with Disabilities (VBPD) has developed three new fact sheets in conjunction with the Partnership for People with Disabilities and the Arc of Virginia, regarding safety information about coronavirus vaccines for people with disabilities, how to receive the vaccine, and what to expect after you get it.
Description: Over the past year, many students have experienced entirely virtual and remote learning and many—especially students with disabilities—will need additional support, time, and teaching to get the high quality education they deserve. Students have missed out on opportunities to learn and develop during the pandemic. In response, the federal government is providing billions of dollars to address “instructional loss”. While states, districts, and schools pilot new approaches...
Description: Welcome to the online trauma learning modules for Virginia Tiered Systems of Supports, VTSS. They believe that becoming a Trauma-Sensitive School is a journey. These tools will help to develop the systems to gain knowledge, to build practices, and to have the skills to support a Trauma-Sensitive School. Within the learning modules, you will interact with content that is focused on developing a Trauma-Sensitive School. Supplemental activities, resources, and an action planner are included to...
Description: The Virginia LEARNS initiative is about to take you on a journey to successful educational outcomes during uncertain times. The Student and Staff Wellbeing Checkpoint is the essential first-step consideration before embarking on the trip. We’ll focus on the social emotional wellness and physical health needs of our students, families, and staff. It will be critical to re-engage students in learning, rebuild relationships and school communities, and create equitable learning environments...
Description: Family engagement is increasingly recognized as a critical link in advancing school reform efforts, and the current emphasis on successful strategies for school turnaround necessitates research-based information and practices on effective family and community engagement approaches that support student achievement and school improvement.   To assist in the goal of understanding how family and community partnerships can promote school improvement efforts, this literature review strives to...
Description: The Commonwealth of Virginia is unique in that each of our school divisions are required by the Regulations Governing Special Education Programs for Children with Disabilities in Virginia to have a local advisory committee (local SEAC) for special education. SEAC members are appointed by local school boards to perform several important functions that are detailed in this guide. State regulations require that a majority of the committee be comprised of parents of children with disabilities or...
Description: The Virginia Department of Education is committed to working with school divisions to ensure Virginia schools are welcoming, affirming, and safe learning environments for all students. Every Virginia student, regardless of their gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation, has a right to learn free from discrimination and harassment. Virginia’s Education Equity Framework, Navigating EdEquityVA (PDF), outlines our commitment to dismantle any and all forms of inequity...
Description: Critical Decision Points for Families of Children with Disabilities, the VDOE’s widely utilized curriculum which assists families of students with disabilities with accessing the knowledge necessary to be full partners through the IEP process. VDOE's Coordinator of Family Engagement, Tracy Lee, has recorded five video modules for families to access at home.
Description: For LGBTQ+ Students: engaged and supportive families provide needed understanding, care and resilience. supportive families can mitigate other risk factors for LGBTQ+ youth. lack of family support can lead to conflict, running away, homelessness increasing the overall risk for mental health problems, including depression and suicidal ideation, among LGBTQ+ youth. (Excerpted from John Taylor's Side by Side Presentation: School PRIDE in the 21st Century Strategies to Ensure Inclusive School...
Description: These are a variety of comercially available online tools that can help with student engagement, assessment, and instructional materials.
Description: Parent Resource Centers (PRCs) exist in nearly forty school divisions in the Commonwealth of Virginia. PRCs work to foster collaborative connections between families of students with disabilities and their schools. PRCs assist families by providing resources, training, and support. The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) supports PRCs through the provision of funding for personnel and activities/products that support families of students with disabilities in Virginia. The VDOE also provides...
Description: An Ombudsman is a person who serves as a designated neutral party who advocates for a fair process and provides confidential, informal assistance and support to parents, guardians, advocates, educators, and students with disabilities. The Parent Ombudsman for Special Education serves as a resource to parents in non-legal special education matters.
Description: When is Virginia Kindness Week? Schools can promote and foster kindness all school year. However, Virginia has recognized VA Kindness Week as February 14th - 20th, 2021. What is Virginia Kindness Week? The purpose of Kindness Week is to recognize that simple day-to-day acts of kindness enable our schools, communities, and state to be a kinder, safer, healthier and more inclusive place to live, work, learn and play. Why Kindness? Research has proven that kindness helps us to form...
Description: These resources include Parent Handouts on Attendance and Toolkits for Parent Engagement, Attendance, and Military familes as well as for handouts for parents and students in different grade levels and in a variety of languages (English, Spanish, Russian, Vietnamese, and Chinese). There are also flyers to help parents decide if their children are too sick, pledge cards and interactive exercises. Strategies for Connecting with Students & FamiliesSchool districts should consider revamping...
Description: It's been said that "necessity is the mother of invention". When the pandemic struck last year, practitioners in early education and early childhood special education, and parents came together to support young children and their families through remote service delivery. This multi-part video series, developed by Larry Edelman, features preschool staff and families from five states and illustrates their working together to use technology to make the virtual learning experience exciting,...
Description: This toolkit helps families and schools work together to support children’s literacy success in and out of school. You will learn: Tips for starting or enhancing discussions about literacy instruction and intervention Ways to increase your joint understanding of evidence-based literacy practices Strategies for addressing concerns about children’s literacy development together This toolkit includes: An Online Tutorial Supplemental Materials Talk and Interact Often Dicuss Literacy...