News from the Parent 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 PTAC 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: 
David Emenheiser


Views expressed are not necessarily those of the U.S. Department of Education.
Issue No. 20
November, 2013



 Dear Friends,                          


It is with great excitement and a little bit of sadness that we bring you this last version of the Region 4 Insider under our former RPTAC grant.  We are thrilled about our new award to continue serving as your TA provider, and we will have much more to share on the new project in the coming weeks.  However, we are finishing up some items under our No-Cost Extension and this newsletter is one of those items!  In closing out our now former RPTAC grant, we had the opportunity to reflect on some of the wonderful things that occurred over the previous 5 years in Region 4.  Accordingly, our theme for this edition is 'Winding Down and Revving Up!  In addition to the highlights of the past five years, in this issue we will also be pointing out some new resources and saying farewell to our friends in Pennsylvania by highlighting some of the great work they've been up to. 


As always, we remain available to you and your Board no matter what the issue. Please remember to visit the Region 4 PTAC website for our most current list of upcoming events and helpful resources. 




Jan Serak & Courtney Salzer

Region 4 PTAC Co-Directors



Region 4 PTAC Summer Working Meeting 2013 University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee Non Profit Management Certificates awarded.

Great news! Due to the popularity of the nonprofit training during the past 5 years, Region 4 PTAC is continuing its partnership with the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee School of Continuing Education to deliver nonprofit management programming to Parent Centers in our region.


From 2009 to 2013, nonprofit training offered by Region 4 resulted in over 60 Mini Certificates in the areas of Service Provision, Strategic Management, Organizational Change, Strategic Resource Management and Board Relations. This training included the following topics: Effective Board Recruitment/Orientation, Effectively Managing Within a Multi-Generational Workplace, Managing Staff in Non Traditional Environments, New Trends in Personnel Management, Developing and Using a Stakeholder Group, Creative Leadership, Facilitating Effective Meetings, Diversifying and Strengthening Funding Streams.This program provided over 720 hours of professional skill building and nonprofit instruction for those completing 12-hours of nonprofit training from UW-Milwaukee each year.


Region 4 PTAC nonprofit management workshops are uniquely designed for current and future needs of our Parent Centers. Mini certificates are given upon completion of nonprofit programing in specific areas. Please stay tuned for more details on how this nonprofit management training will be offered in the new grant cycle. Region 4 PTAC invites you to continue taking advantage of this great opportunity. We're excited about assisting parent centers to improve their ability to solve problems by providing information and linking centers to resources available to the non-for-profit sector.



Most of you know that the parent center regions were "re-drawn" to align with the Regional Resource Center (RRC) regions.  This meant that as of October 1st, all of the Pennsylvania centers are now in Region 1.  To honor the many contributions that the PA centers have brought to Region 4 during their time with us, we'd like to share with you some of the fantastic work that has been recently under way at each center.
   HUNE logo


Over the past summer, Philadelphia HUNE had their first OSOS youth summer skills development program for students with special needs.  There were 8 adolescents and young adults who participated in structured activities designed to develop educational, emotional, physical, team-building and mentoring skills.  The group was composed of three mentors and five students with special educational needs.  During the school year, HUNE has commenced an after school program.  This program, similar to the summer program, works with students with special educational needs.  It provides them with individualized and/or small group academic instruction and homework help, speech therapy, and emotional, physical and team-building skills.  HUNE also commenced a speech therapy program for children from 3-5 years of age in collaboration with Elwyn Services.


mission empower Mission Empower just moved to a new office that is centrally located and has a large training area for the workshops they hold.  The Erie Community Foundation awarded Mission Empower a grant for remodeling and accessibility updates to the new office.  Mission Empower has formed a partnership with a local community center, the Parade Street Community Center, to empower youth with and without disabilities who are involved with the juvenile justice system to transition to a productive, successful adult life.  And they are very thankful to the PEAL Center for partnering to present their IEP mini-series, which started at the end of October.


PEAL Center  

The Peal Center very recently released an online learning course, "Developing a Strong IEP".  Explore this great new resource here
On October 19thPEAL held their second annual

Inclusion Awards Dinner, which featured a Silent Auction and dinner at a very tony restaurant that donated back half of the cost of the all dinners, which helped them to build their cash reserve.  Paula Kluth and other local folks were their honorees including their own retired Ceil Belasco.  


A new Parent Leadership Coordinator position was recently created at PEAL and is funded by SPDG funds and a PA DDC grant.  On October 1st, PEAL held a webinar on the Affordable Care Act and implications for families with children with disabilities the PA Health Law Project.  It is archived on their website along with the handouts.  In addition, PEAL was recently awarded a grant from the McLaughlin Trust to fund technology needs, including replacing old computers.  And last but certainly not least, PEAL was awarded the Parent Center of Excellence Award this summer at the IDEA Leadership Conference in Washington, DC.  
PEN Logo Recognizing October as Bullying Prevention Month, Parent Education Network (PEN) was asked to present on the topic of "Bullying Prevention, Everyone's Responsibility", for a local TV station.  As a result of the show, the station was asked by Gettysburg School District to post the link to the show on their website.  A bullying prevention presentation has been requested by the same station in Spanish.  
Several months ago the PA House Education Committee had asked PEN to give testimony at a hearing they were having regarding Bullying and Suicide Prevention.  Throughout the year PEN has hosted multiple training and forums on bullying prevention.  Having the opportunity to present at a local tv has been a great opportunity to wrap up a year focusing on bullying prevention and celebrate the efforts of communities addressing the issue of bullying. 




    Connecting your Latino Outreach Coordinator to TA&D Resources


Do you know what the expression "Colorín Colorado" means? If you don't, you are encouraged to ask your Latino outreach coordinator so you obtain a deeper understanding of our Latino heritage, and the connection to the Spanish version of the "Reading Rockets" resource available to parents and teachers of English Language Learners in the United States.

Parent-Teacher Resource for Latino English Language Learners


Colorin Colorado   is a bilingual web site that provides information, activities, and advice on helping children learn to read and succeed at school. Developed by the  Reading Rockets project, Colorín Colorado features practical information for Spanish-speaking parents, beautiful illustrations from Caldecott Award-winning illustrator David Diaz, video clips of celebrities such as the late beloved Celia Cruz (ˇˇˇazúcar!!!), and skill-building activities that draw upon Spanish-language songs and rhymes.


With the generous support of the American Federation of Teachers, Colorín Colorado now also offers an extensive educator's area with practical, research-based information for teachers of English language learners.


Sign Up for E-NewslettersˇColorín Colorado! is proud to deliver useful and timely information (Spanish & English) straight to the inbox of parents and educators of English language learners.


... y Colorín Colorado... Esta historia se ha terminado...  Your TA Multicultural Consultant, Nelsinia Ramos Wroblewski.



R4 logo  

 Region 4 PTAC

 Website Capacity Building Project



From May to September of this year, nine parent centers in Region 4 took part in a Nonprofit Website Toolkit course with the help of Idealware, a nationally recognized technology consulting organization.  Each month included a webinar training session conducted by Idealware, phone office hours for one-on-one technical assistance for websites from Idealware, and (a little) homework to complete between sessions. Each webinar training session focused on a key aspect for improving and redesigning a website. 


The first session started with the website auditing process by defining priorities and setting goals. We went through strategies for user interviews and surveys to assess what's working on the website and what needs improvement.


The second session was about defining our content strategies to see what content goes where, who creates the content, and how content is organized so our websites provide value. The design process focused on wire framing, creating a site map, and an overview of website analytics to help identify the high-traffic areas and what visitors want from our sites.


In the third session, we really concentrated on web design.  We began with a more detailed look at wire framing.  Then we examined the visual design best practices for usability and accessibility. We ended the session by discussing search engine optimization (SEO) so the website can be more easily found on search engines such as Google.


With our strategies and goals defined, we spent the fourth session covering the technical side of website design.  We started with an overview of content management systems (CMS), which make it easier for nontechnical staff members to create or update website content themselves. We also covered the technical side of implementing your SEO strategy and website analytics tool. Finally, we ended with talking about website security, integrating our websites with our databases, online payment tools, and other systems we have in place.


The last session was focused on putting our plans into action now that our strategies are in place and we've got an understanding of the tools involved.  We discussed how to work with others who can bring our redesigns to fruition and ended with a review of the typical website development processes.

For more information about building a better nonprofit website, check out SmartCause Digital's updated 
Nonprofit Website Project Handbook





Can Physical Education Services be Denied?




Hot off the presses - please see the attached two OSEP letters related to Physical Education services (PE).  PE services, specially designed if necessary, are required to be available if appropriate as part of special education in IDEA 2004. The Center for Disability Health and Adapted Physical Activity recently requested clarification from OSEP related to these services.


 OSEP Letter to Tymeson 7/31/13notes that IDEA Sec. 300.108(a) & (c) does not relieve schools of the duty to provide PE that is specially designed to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability and is set out in that child's IEP. If in the IEP, the services must be provided whether or not they are provided to other children in the agency.


OSEP Letter to Kelly 10/23/13,notes that high school students with disabilities, ages 16-21, are also entitled to PE if it is included on their IEP, even if PE is not available to same-age typically developing peers, including in community-based transition programs.



 Virtual Charter School OCR Agreement


The U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights has entered into an agreement with Virtual Community School of Ohio to ensure compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act for students with disabilities at the school.  This first-of-its-kind resolution promises equal access to educational opportunities for students with disabilities in virtual charter schools. 


 "Students with disabilities who attend online public charter schools are entitled to all the protections of the federal civil rights laws that their peers receive at traditional public schools, including the right to receive a free appropriate education.  Online schools also must take steps to ensure that the websites and online classrooms they use to promote their services and to educate students are accessible to individuals with disabilities," said Catherine E. Lhamon, Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights. 

OCR initiated a compliance review in 2011 to assess whether the Virtual Community School of Ohio discriminates against students with disabilities by failing to ensure that they receive FAPE.  OCR also examined whether individuals with disabilities are provided an equal opportunity to access the school's website and on-line learning environment. See the findings in OCR's Nov. 6, 2013 resolution letter



TA & D



The National Center on Educational Outcomes (NCEO) has been tracking and analyzing states policies on assessment accommodations since 1992. The Center is affiliated with the Institute on Community Integration at the College of Education and Human Development, University of Minnesota. 

 In their August 2013 publication, 2012 State Policies for Accommodations Used to Deliver Assessments Orally, NCEO analyzed state policies on accommodations for delivering assessments orally. The 2 consortia (PARCC & Smarter Balanced Assessment) will use the data in their work on the next generation general assessments based on common core state standards to be rolled out in 2014-15. Check out your state.                



November 13

Region 4 Webinar - "Dashboards and Informed Decision Making"

1:00-3:00 pm CDT

(Required for 2013 nonprofit Management Certificate) 


November 22

State Advisory Panel/Interagency Coordinating Council Quarterly Webinar (Stakeholder Involvement in RDA) 2:00 -3:00 pm CDT


November 25

Region 4 Webinar: " Moving Forward - How Can We Help You?"

Launch of the new Region 4 PTAC grant awarded to WI FACETS.

1:00-2:00 pm CDT



December 5 

Melody Musgrove Quarterly Meeting,

2:00 -3:00 pm CDT

December 9

P&A/Parent Center Collaboration Webinar: Meet the Exemplar Pairs, 11:00-12 noon CDT


December 12 - Quarterly R4PTAC Cohort Call with David Emenheiser, OSEP Project Officer, 1:00-2:00 pm CDT