News from the Technical Assistance Center
In This Issue

600 W. Virginia Street Suite 501

Milwaukee, WI 53204


(877) 374-0511

Fax: (414) 374-4655


Website: www.wifacets.org


Region 4 TA Staff


Courtney Salzer 

Jan Serak


csalzer@wifacets.org jserak@wifacets.org

 Chris Stagge  
 Program Assistant


Nelsinia R. Wroblewski

 Multicultural Consultant

Don Rosin
 Multicultural Consultant

Region 4 Website: 


Region 4 Portal Page



Funded by the U.S. Department of Education, OSEP, PTAC - H328RO80011. 


Project officer: 
 Lisa Gorove 


Views expressed are not necessarily those of the U.S. Department of Education.




Issue No. 13
February, 2012



Dear Friends, 


If you work at a PTI or CPRC, the end of February generally signals the start of report writing time. We know that many of you are currently finishing your Performance Measures write ups, most of you are starting to think about writing your Continuation Reports, and then there are those of you who have been anxiously awaiting the release of the PTI and CPRC RFPs. It is without question one of the most hectic times of the year. We get that and we are here to help if you need it! Helping you to run your center effectively is our biggest priority.


With spring on the horizon, we are starting to think about summer conferences and events. Here at the Region 4 PTAC, we have been immersed in conference planning and we think we have an amazing line up of speakers and topics planned for this summer. We always strive to have the Region 4 Conference inspire new ideas and re-invigorate you and your staffs. We also know how important it is for us all to come together to network, share ideas, and have a few good laughs as well.


Jan Serak & Courtney Salzer

Region 4 PTAC Co-Directors





               SPEAKS          Dorie France
Founded in 2009 by Dorie France, S.P.E.A.K.S. Education is a non-profit organization, located in Newberry, Michigan, that serves the entire Michigan Upper Peninsula with parent mentoring, training, and information and referral. After 20 plus years of doing mostly volunteer advocacy for children with special needs, Dorie responded to unmet needs in her area by working with twelve people from education, medical and community mental health fields and some parents to form a Board, incorporate, and secure a 501(c )(3) for S.P.E.A.K.S. Education. The acronym, S.P.E.A.K.S, represents: Students, Parents. Educators, Alliance, to Know, Special Education.


Region 4 was very excited to welcome S.P.E.A.K.S. Education in 2010 to our midst when they were awarded a 5-year Community Parent Resource Center (CPRC) grant from the U.S. Dept. of Education, Office of Special Education Programs. The grant targets service to seven counties in the Easter Upper Peninsula (tip of the thumb): Alger, Chippewa Delta, Luce, Mackinac, Marquette, Menominee, and Schoolcraft. S.P.E.A.K.S. Education is the only CPRC in Michigan. Travel is very challenging. The Upper Peninsula is a very remote, rural, underserved and low income area. School districts in the Upper Peninsula have the highest percentage of Native American students in the state.  


Dorie is very proud of how S.P.E.A.K.S. Education has been able to collaborate with Michigan agencies and school districts. S.P.E.A.K.S. Education contracts with the Michigan Alliance for Families, for which they provide services to families, including Early On and other training, in the Upper Peninsula. They also work in collaboration with Family to Family for training. S.P.E.A.K.S. partners with the MI Protection and Advocacy Service and their state mediation system for joint training efforts. The Michigan Department of Education is also a funding source to support the agency's work. S.P.E.A.K.S. Education has also benefited from a "2%" grant from the Chippewa Tribe to support some of their services for families. 2% grants result from a federal mandate requiring a percentage of gaming revenue to be used for community efforts.S.P.E.A.K.S. also received a small training grant from the Great Lakes Center for Youth Development - Strong Organizations/Strong Youth program to help with administration, building a strong board, and volunteer building.    


Melissa White (SPEAKS)Melissa White               Laurie Mold (SPEAKS)Laurie Mold   


S.P.E.A.K.S. Education has 2.5 FTE staff. Dorie France, founder and Executive Director, says she is the "financial officer, trainer, advocate, janitor, and any anything else that needs to get done person." Dorie, having personal experience supporting her own two daughters with disabilities, is very passionate about the work that she does. Dorie was a foster mom for six years, where she provided support to over 32 children, including newborns and children with intellectual and emotional disabilities.


She is excited by her networking to support families, through Facebook and other means, often receiving contacts for help from parents in other states. "One of me can only go so far," she says, so she relies heavily on her staff and 8 volunteers.   Melissa White is the Administrative Assistant and Information and Referral Specialist and works out of the main office. Laurie Mold, the newest member of the team, is a Parent Mentor who works out of the Central Western office.


Dorie is proud that S.P.E.A.K.S. Education met all of their CPRC grant goals last year. This year, she feels "more able to sit back, plan, reflect and expand." Lots of new things are in the works - starting an autism parent support group; grant writing for a development director and support for family events; hoping to hire a part-time Parent Mentor for "copper country" in the upper north part of the Peninsula; a 2-day training n Marquette; and using Go to Webinar for distance training. Two students from Lake Superior State University are helping update the S.P.E.A.K.S. Education website, which will include a parent blog and a teen blog. SPEAKS Education received the Eastern Upper Peninsula Intermediate School District Parent Advisory Committee Parent/Student Organization award of the 2010-2011 school year. Dorie says, "We are moving mountains"!


S.P.E.A.K.S. Education Website




                                 nonprofit management


Nonprofit Trends


The 2012 Nonprofit Communications Trends Report was recently released. The report is based on a survey of 1,288 nonprofits in 42 countries. The report can be downloaded here.


Infographic of some of the information contained in the report:






Logic Model Humor             


Logic models are quickly becoming a staple in our work. When done right, they are incredibly helpful tools in managing a project. But, we couldn't resist a little logic model humor...Enjoy!




ESEA Flexibility

The U.S. Department of Education is inviting each State educational agency (SEA) to request flexibility on behalf of itself, its local educational agencies, and schools, in order to better focus on improving student learning and increasing the quality of instruction. This voluntary opportunity will provide educators and State and local leaders with flexibility regarding specific requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) in exchange for rigorous and comprehensive State-developed plans designed to improve educational outcomes for all students, close achievement gaps, increase equity, and improve the quality of instruction. This is the official site for keeping up with what is happening.


nectac logo


Part C Regulations


Still trying to wade through the new Part C Regulations? Never fear- NECTAC (the National Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center) has a page on their website that they are constantly updating, which is devoted exclusively to the Part C Regs. The site includes links to some very helpful side-by-side comparisons. Some of these resources might make great additions to your center websites!


NECTAC website    



June 13-15, 2012
Conrad Indianapolis


Explore our Conference Hotel: Conrad Indianapolis



For information on all there is to do in Downtown Indianapolis, visit: The Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association website






How to Find the Audience You Want

(When They're Not Necessarily Coming Your Way)

There are a few ways to go about attracting new visitors to your website. The challenge of finding that new audience can in many ways be broken into two pieces: identifying and attracting & serving. Read the Article 


Podcasting as Digital Storytelling: Behind the Scenes Look

In its most rudimentary form, a podcast is simply a digital audio recording delivered to listeners who can hear it at their convenience. But a podcast can be a vehicle for storytelling, if you make the effort to infuse it with a narrative. Read the Article 



        cultural diversity          

Selecting Culturally and Linguistically

Appropriate Materials:

Suggestions for Service Providers


An article of: Rosa Milagros Santos y Debbie Reese


"Service providers who develop intercultural competence and collect information on available culturally and linguistically appropriate materials that can be used with families in their community are more likely to be successful in their work with families than service providers or teachers who do not do so. Careful review of materials before using them with a family is essential. No single resource can address all of a family's needs, but, in many cases, materials can be adapted to make them more useful."


Rosa Milagros Santos y Debbie Reese, of the Clearinghouse of Elementary & Early Childhood Education, University of Illinois, has written an interesting article on culturally and linguistically appropriate materials. The article provides ideas that Parent Centers can use to develop materials for culturally diverse families that reflects on how much families within the same culture differ.


Access the full article 





 Cultutally Responsive Response to Intervention  


Culturally responsive educational systems are grounded in the belief that culturally and linguistically diverse students can excel in academic endeavors. NCCRESt's newest professional learning module presents Response to Intervention (RTI) as a culturally responsive framework for ensuring evidence-based, high-quality opportunities to learn in inclusive settings for all students, including those who are culturally and linguistically diverse. Culturally responsive RTI frameworks have the potential to address issues of disproportionate representation for diverse students in special education programs by providing access to curriculum and instructional practice grounded in research that attends to the powerful role of culture in teaching and learning.


Participants in this professional learning module will become familiar with the basic structures and features of culturally responsive RTI with a focus on ensuring that general education provides robust, high quality opportunities to learn for all students. Participants will also identify traditional attitudes related to what counts as evidence in research and practice, expand upon these views, and design interventions for their own pedagogy that take into account the role of culture in teaching and learning.


Download the materials in each of the following three academies. All files will open in a new window. You may print the manuals and save the powerpoints for use with the academy presentations.


Academy 1: Culturally Responsive Response to Intervention Models


Academy 2:Using Data to Assess Student Progress and Inform Educational Decisions in Culturally Responsive RTI Models 


Academy 3: Ensuring Culturally Responsive Student Supports 


NCCRESt website



                                  important dates-desk calendar 

April 16 

Continuation Reports are Due!


April 27

FY2012 PTI and CPRC Applications Due!


June 13-15 

Region 4 PTAC Conference - Conrad Hotel, Indianapolis, IN 

(attendance is mandatory)


July 11-13 

National PTAC Institute, Minneapolis, MN (attendance is optional)


July 30-August 2 

OSEP Leadership Conference, Washington, DC (attendance is mandatory)


September 19-21 

National PTAC Institute, Minneapolis, MN (attendance is optional)