Parent Coordination SHOUT OUT!

February 2019

Parent Coordination Network

The Parent Coordination Network is committed to ensuring that parents of students with disabilities receive accurate and timely information to assist in making informed choices in their children's education.

Webinar Series: Building Stronger School-Family Partnerships

The Parent Coordination Network and the Texas Education Agency, in collaboration with the Right Question Institute, present the Webinar Series: Building Stronger School-Family Partnerships.


Nationally acclaimed speakers, Luz Santana, Co-Director & Author and Siyi Chu, Project Coordinator with the Right Question Institute, will help participants understand how The Right Question School-Family Partnership Strategy can be used as a pathway for educators and parents to work more effectively with each other – to improve communication, increase parent participation, nurture engagement, and engender better partnerships.


There will be two series:

  • One for Educators, with the first webinar quickly approaching on Monday, February 25; and
  • One for Parents, premiering in April.


Click here for a description of each webinar and to register.

From the Office of the Governor, Greg Abbott: The Individual Education Program - Present Levels to Measurable Annual Goals

presented by the Governor's Committee on People with Disabilities


As parents of special education students prepare for their student’s spring Admission Review Dismissal (ARD) meetings, the Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities is pleased to present a session on writing measurable goals. This webinar is free.


Individual Education Program - Present Levels to Measurable Annual Goals

Saturday, February 16, 2019

10:00 AM to 11:30 AM

Registration link: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Tx7ZlQHXQii11uTuLTS0zg


Join us to learn quality Present Levels of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance (PLAAFP) components along with measurable standards-based goals and objectives. Shemica will discuss why the PLAAFP is the cornerstone for creating a high-quality Individualized Education Plan (IEP). You will be able to use the tools learned to help advocate for appropriate IEP goals and services.

ENGAGE at the Texas Transition Conference: Upcoming on February 20-22 in San Antonio

The Texas Transition Conference is a two-day event with a pre-conference session on the 20th, focused on providing evidence-based practices that result in a smooth transition from school to adult life for youth with disabilities. Participants will receive intensive training in five focus areas: Student-focused planning, Family involvement, Interagency collaboration, Student development, and Program structure. Conference attendees come from all over the state of Texas and include educators, transition specialists, vocational coordinators, service agency representatives, and youth with disabilities and their families.


For more information:

Upcoming PRN & TEA Webinar Series

Partners Resource Network is doing a series of collaborative webinars with the Texas Education Agency. The next webinar on February 26 covers A Student's Rights when Disciplined for a Behavioral Incident. It will be conducted in English at 12:15 p.m. CST and in Spanish @ 1:15 p.m. CST. To register, click here.


During these webinars, TEA will do a Q&A section based on questions submitted prior to each collaborative webinar. Please submit your questions even if they are not directly related to the pre-determined topics of the currently planned webinars. Submit your questions by clicking here. After each webinar, the resulting Q&A will be provided in a document form in both English and Spanish.


The full listing of dates and topics for the collaborative webinar series are included in the printable flyer attached below.


If you have questions about the statewide or collaborative webinar series, please contact Meagan Sanders at msandersprn@sbcglobal.net.

SPEDTex Premieres New Website

The Special Education Information Center (SPEDTex) works collaboratively with stakeholders to provide resources and facilitate collaboration that supports the development and delivery of services to children with disabilities in our State.


An important method of resource dissemination is digital and web-based media. Take a look at the newly redesigned SPEDTex website! Be sure to land on the Parent Resources and Educators' Corner pages for information specific to your needs.


In addition to more resources embedded throughout this website, two additional languages (Farsi and Urdu) have been included for Procedural Safeguards.

Texas Project FIRST Updates

Texas Project FIRST is a bilingual, web-based tool created by parents, for parents! It will point the way to special education information and resources you can trust and understand and people you can contact for more assistance.


Check out these most recently updated resources:

Dyslexia Resources

Transition to Preschool from ECI / Transición de ECI a Preescolar (reflects new timelines)

STAAR Alternate 2 / Alternativa 2 al STAAR

How to Get Services / Cómo Obtener los Servicios

Learning Disability Resources

Math Resources

Reading Resources

Supplementary Aids & Services / Ayudas y Servicios Suplementarios


Register for periodic updates like the ones you see above by clicking here.

Texas Assistive Technology Network

The Texas Assistive Technology Network (TATN) works to ensure that students with disabilities receive assistive technology (AT) devices and services when needed to benefit from a free, appropriate public education. Region 4 ESC provides statewide leadership to build district capacity in the area of AT and promote strategies specifically for building the literacy skills of all students, using the strategic implementation of AT devices and services.


Each year the TATN hosts the Texas Assistive Technology Conference. See the Save the Dates graphic below for basic information and/or visit the conference web page, which is continually updated as new information is available.


For potential parent stipend inquiries, contact Angela Standridge at angela.standridge@esc4.net or (713) 462-7708.

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Five Top Technology Trends in Special Education

as published by Education Week and featured by Reading Rockets


Fueled by technological advances, changing state policies, and a continued push from advocates, ed-tech companies and researchers are crafting new tools and strategies to better serve students with disabilities. Underlying a range of new trends, experts say, is a growing recognition that designing learning resources from the beginning with students with disabilities in mind can benefit all students. Education Week canvassed the field for insights on new developments in the use of technology to support special education. Some promising technologies, such as virtual reality, are still very much in the experimental stage. Some segments of the K-12 sector, such as the burgeoning "Computer Science for All" movement, are hustling to make up for past oversights. And some experts are sounding cautionary notes.


Click here to read the full text.

Partners Resource Network

Partners Resource Network is a non-profit agency that operates the federally funded Texas Parent Training and Information Centers - PATH, PEN & TEAM. All of the projects share the common purpose of empowering parents of children and youth with disabilities in their roles as parents, decision makers, and advocates for their children.

World Read Aloud Day

written by Alina O'Donnell, published by the International Literacy Association, and distributed by Reading Rockets


Last Friday, February 1, marked the 10th annual World Read Aloud Day (WRAD)—a global movement that highlights the importance of reading aloud and sharing stories. Founded by the nonprofit LitWorld and sponsored by Scholastic, the event is celebrated by millions of people in more than 100 countries.


For many educators and parents across the world, the event is an opportunity to engage students in discussion about the importance of global literacy and the dangers of illiteracy, build cross-cultural connections, and have fun. It's not too late - check out these resources for inspiration and ideas to harness the power of read-aloud. Then, join the conversation: #WorldReadAloudDay #WRADChallenge2019

Going Beyond Good Grades: What if Parents Knew What Teachers Know?

Data has consistently indicated that parents and teachers are not on the same page when it comes to understanding how their child is performing academically in school.


"NEARLY 9 IN 10 PARENTS, REGARDLESS OF RACE, INCOME, GEOGRAPHY, AND EDUCATION LEVELS, BELIEVE THEIR CHILD IS ACHIEVING AT OR ABOVE GRADE LEVEL. YET NATIONAL DATA INDICATES ONLY ABOUT ONE-THIRD OF STUDENTS ACTUALLY PERFORM AT THAT LEVEL."


Take the time to check out this report compiled by Learning Heroes. The article delves deeper into this "disconnect"--parents' widespread belief that their children perform at or above grade level vs. national data suggesting only about 1/3 of students actually do so.


Three Insights:

1. Parenting Styles Drive How Parents Engage in Their Child’s Education: Most parents believe they are involved in their child’s education as much as they should be, yet depending upon their parenting style, they have different thresholds for involvement, leaving teachers to navigate a range of approaches from parents.


2. Report Cards Sit at the Center of the Disconnect: Parents rely heavily on report card grades as their primary source of information and assume good grades mean their child is performing at grade level. Yet two-thirds of teachers say report cards also reflect effort, progress, and participation in class, not just mastery of grade-level content. Teachers have many more data points about student performance than parents do.


3. The Disconnect Is Solvable: Providing parents with a few already available pieces of information in one place in a clear, decipherable format leads many parents to reconsider their views about their child’s performance.


Download Parents 2018: Going Beyond Grades


Read an essay about the Report, Going Beyond Good Grades: What if Parents Knew What Teachers Know?

Into the Archives

For previous editions of the ShoutOut!, click here.

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