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Acronyms & Key Terms
Family- An Essential Ingredient for Student success and Excellent Schools
Advice to Graduates Who have Disabilities
What is Youth Lens Photo Project?
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U. S. Department of Education Releases New Family and Community Engagement Framework

U. S. Department of Education Releases New Family and Community Engagement Framework


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Dear Friends and Colleagues, 


As Project Coordinator of the Long Island Parent Center, I have been asked to write a column for the Long Island Association of Special Education Administrators' newsletters. We are fortunate to have Special Education Administrators here on Long Island who see the importance of working closely with families and value the relationships we have built focusing on collaborative practices. I am humbled and honored to have this opportunity and look forward to long, positive working relationships with the professionals with whom we work. Here is the first article of the series that I would like to share with you, our LIPC readers. Enjoy!!


Helene Fallon

Project Coordinator



Collaborative Practices with Families

In today's world of education reform and the goal of having students ready for college and career, we must think out of the box and incorporate strategies that may be challenging yet effective in improving outcomes for all students, especially students with special needs. Effective Communication and Collaboration are included in evidence based practices that are keys to improving educational outcomes for all students. Meaningful stakeholder involvement in education has proven to reduce conflict and improve overall performance in a school environment. The good news is there has been years of work around this concept. There are strategies, practices and curriculum that can be formally implemented in pedagogy; but educators, families and the professionals with whom they work must embrace the importance of collaborative practice as a priority. Although, as educators we must collaborate with all team members; in this article, I will focus on the importance of family engagement and parent involvement while citing publications that are available to review and you will find direct resources to improve on meaningful collaboration. First let's touch on the research, followed by resources and strategies!

Taken together, decades of research strongly suggest that families have a major influence on their children's achievement in school and through life. When schools support families to be involved at home and at school, students achieve at higher levels, no matter what their background. In short, when parents are involved in education, children do better in school and schools get better. According to A New Wave of Evidence; the Impact of School, Family and Community Connections on Student Achievement, a review of recent research published by the National Center for Family and Community Connections with Schools, SEDL,

(SEDL is a nonprofit education research, development, and dissemination organization)
, students with meaningfully involved parents are more likely to:


  • Earn higher grades and test scores
  • Attend school regularly
  • Have better social skills, show improved behavior and adapt well to school
  • Graduate and go on to post-secondary education

The evidence is consistent, positive, and convincing: families have a major influence on their children's achievement in school and through life  confirms that the research continues to grow and build an ever-strengthening case. When schools, families, and community groups work together to support learning, children tend to do better in school, stay in school longer, and like school more.

(Ann Henderson, Karen Mapp; 2010)


Family, school, and community engagement in education should be an essential strategy in building a pathway to college---and career---readiness in today's competitive global society.


Read more... 


Acronyms & Key Terms


CADRE - The Center for Appropriate Dispute Resolution in Special Education (CADRE) works to increase the nation's capacity to effectively resolve special education disputes, reducing the use of expensive adversarial processes. CADRE works with state and local education and early intervention systems, parent centers, families and educators to improve programs and results for children with disabilities. CADRE is funded by the Office of Special Education Programs at the US Department of Education to serve as the National Center on Dispute Resolution in Special Education.


EPIC- Every Person Influences Children, Inc. (EPIC) is  a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping families, schools, and communities raise children to become responsible and capable adults. EPIC supports the people who have the most influence on children by providing evidence-based programs for parents, a character education curriculum for families and schools, and training for schools and agencies.

FCTD - The Family Center on Technology and Disability (FCTD) is a resource designed to support organizations and programs that work with families of children and youth with disabilities. We offer a range of information and services on the subject of assistive and instructional technologies. Whether you're an organization, a parent, an educator, or an interested friend, we hope you'll find information that supports you in your efforts to bring the highest quality education to children with disabilities.
NCPIE -  National Coalition for Parent Involvement in Education.  At NCPIE, our mission is simple: to advocate the involvement of parents and families in their children's education, and to foster relationships between home, school, and community to enhance the education of all our nation's young people.
SEQA - Special Education Quality Assurance oversees preschool and school-age special education services through a quality assurance review process that emphasizes attainment of positive results for student with disabilities. Regional Associates, located in several quality assurance offices across New York State, coordinate the review process and also provide technical assistance to parents, school district personnel, and private providers.  


Highlighted Acronyms
CPIR -  The Center for Parent Information and Resources
CPIR offers information and connections related to the full spectrum of disabilities in children, including developmental delays and rare disorders. Visit their website at  
CPIR will be housing the National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities (NICHCY)  endless resources once their site closes in September. Links are provided to learn about typical developmental milestones in childhood, specific disabilities and disorders, and the disability categories in our nation's special education law (IDEA) that qualify a child for special education services. All resources are available in English and Spanish. 

Families | An Essential Ingredient for Student Success and Excellent Schools.

By Otha Thornton, President of National PTA


Researchers Keith Robinson and Angel L. Harris recently released the results from a study on family engagement. The findings of the study appear to challenge the traditional view of the importance and positive impact of family engagement on children's academic achievement. Actually, the findings highlight a lot of what is already known about effective family engagement. It's the type of engagement that matters the most when it comes to student achievement.


Robinson and Harris assert that family engagement activities including observing a child's class, helping students choose high school courses and helping children with homework do not improve student achievement. Existing research, however, demonstrates that children do best if parents play a variety of roles in their learning.   Read more... 



Life After Graduation

Advice to Graduates Who Have Disabilities from Adults with Disabilities

Congratulations! As you graduate this spring, please know that adults with disabilities are cheering for you and welcoming you to "the real world," whatever that is.

In addition to your classes, you've learned a lot in school. You've dealt with the hard parts of having a disability, like things taking longer, costing more and not always being readily accessible for you. You've gained skills in advocating strongly, but politely and persistently for your access needs to be met. You've experienced the joy of "I did it!" as well as some disasters, which may have become funny stories at least in hindsight.

As you move forward to the next stage of life, I'd like to offer some advice gained from my 65 years of life as a person with disabilities and from an unscientific sampling I did of other folks with disabilities on some listservs

read more... 

Young People Express their Thoughts...

What is the Youth Lens Photo Project? 


The Youth Lens Photo Project will provide a forum for young people to express their thoughts, feelings and experiences regarding mental health and wellness.


The project can be a tool to highlight the challenges, successes and needs of young people to a national audience of professionals, policymakers, youth, families and others thereby creating an improved understanding from the youth perspective.


We aim to have biannual Youth Lens Photo Contests (see Twitter @YLPContest) to support youth expression.


Our team will announce a photo theme where young people can create an original photo, write a brief caption or select from a set of provided photos to provide a caption and have the opportunity to become published in our gallery.


We look forward to working with you.  Please check out the LIPC Website for updates on future trainings and workshops and be sure to look for our next newsletter in the spring!