Monday Message: 2.8.21

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Good evening! This week, the PRC will co-sponsor NOVA Night tomorrow (Tuesday, February 9th), and Arlington SEPTA will feature a presentation on Social Connection in the Age of COVID on Thursday, February 11th from 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.

    • For some children, making social connections can be a challenge even in normal times, but COVID has made this even more difficult. Deborah Hammer, APS Autism and Low Incidence Disability Specialist,  April Rosenthal, Therapeutic Recreation Supervisor, and the Therapeutic Recreation Team will join SEPTA to discuss how they are working to target developmental social-emotional goals with different age groups both in and out of school. They will dive into what has worked and what has not worked, and generate ideas for working on social skills while staying socially distant.

This month’s Arlington Special Education Advisory Committee (ASEAC) Meeting will feature a Superintendent Chat with Dr. Francisco Durán, A detailed agenda is provided below.

Have a great week, and please keep in touch! We can be reached at 703.228.7239 or

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February is Low Vision Awareness Month
Low vision affects millions of Americans, including many students attending school. Low vision can impact many areas of a student’s educational experience including reading. There are many ways that students with low vision can access books and be more independent. AIM-VA can help by providing books in large print, audio (text to speech) and digital text. Read more


February is Black History Month
The National Association for Family, School and Community Engagement (NAFSCE) has shared the following resources for families:

APS Parent Academy
The APS Parent Academy site features a variety of resources for families. Today’s highlight – the Technology Support page which includes:

    • Tips to make your iPad function better at home
    • Effective Parent Involvement During Distance LearningT
    • Accessing the APS Technical Support Website – highlights resources and tutorials available to support students
    • Using Canvas
    • Using Seesaw

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NOVA Night/Noche de NOVA
English Session: February 9th – 7:00pm – 9:00pm – Register here
Spanish Session: February 24 – 7:00pm – 9:00pm – Regístrese en línea
Each year, NOVA representatives and Arlington Public Schools partner together for “NOVA Night”. This event has been extremely helpful for students and parents to learn about the services and opportunities at NOVA!Join us to learn more about the topics listed below, as well as an in-depth discussion about disability support services at NOVA and the application process for those services.

  • A brief introduction to NOVA
  • Dual Enrollment
  • Financial Aid
  • Pathways to Baccalaureate
  • First-Year Advising
  • Transfer Options
  • Sports and Student Life
  • Disability Support Services

View English language NOVA Night 2021 flier
View Spanish language Noche de NOVA 2021 flier

Arlington SEPTA’s Monthly Meeting
Social Connection in the Age of COVID
Thursday, February 11th: 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Online via Zoom Webinar
Register here
All SEPTA meetings are open to everyone. Membership is not needed to join the discussion.
Following PTA business from 7:00-7:30 p.m., join Arlington SEPTA for a discussion about making social connections when we need to be socially distant. For some children, making social connections can be a challenge even in normal times, but COVID has made this even more difficult.
APS Autism Specialist Deborah Hammer, Therapeutic Recreation Supervisor April Rosenthal and the Therapeutic Recreation Team will join SEPTA to discuss how they are working to target developmental social-emotional goals with different age groups both in and out of school. They will dive into what has worked and what has not worked, and generate ideas for working on social skills while staying socially distant. Read more

Understanding Transition Services: What are Medicaid Waivers?
Wednesday, February 17th: 7:00pm-9:00pm
Register here
Arlington Public Schools Transition Services, Parent Resource Center and Program for Employment Preparedness (PEP) are continuing to sponsor a monthly Transition Series. This month will feature a session on Medicaid Waivers, presented by Lucy Beadnell, Director of Advocacy for the Arc of Northern Virginia. Medicaid Waivers provide a wide variety of supports to people with developmental disabilities to live and access resources in their community. During this presentation, Ms. Beadnell will review the basics of Medicaid Waivers, including:

  • What a Waiver really offers
  • Eligibility
  • Application
  • Waiting lists

For further information, contact Kelly Mountain at 703-228-2136 or Christina Eagle at 703-228-5738.

Arlington Special Education Advisory Committee (ASEAC) Meeting
Tuesday, February 23rd: 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Virtual Meeting –  via Zoom
Register Here – The Zoom meeting link will be sent to those registered prior to the meeting.
Please note that the business portion of this meeting will be recorded through Zoom.
7:00 – 7:20 pm  Welcome, Member Introductions and Public Comments
7:20 – 7:30 pm  Office of Special Education (OSE) Updates and Response to January 2021 Public Comments
7:30 – 7:40 pm  OSE Comments on Distance Learning Memo
7:40 – 8:20 pm  Superintendent Chat with Dr. Durán
8:20 – 8:30 pm  ASEAC Updates
At the beginning of each meeting, ASEAC welcomes comments from the public regarding the needs of students with disabilities in APS. See the ASEAC Public Comment Guidelines at for information about submitting public comments. Any person who would like an interpreter and/or any person with a disability who needs accommodation to access the meeting should contact the Parent Resource Center at 703.228.7239 or as soon as possible to request assistance. There is also an option to request services in the registration form.


Parent Support Group
Join other parents in your community to share experiences and learn about topics relevant to your family each week. Each week a different topic will be discussed, covering a broad range including Internet Safety, Time Management for kids, COVID related grief and loss, How to navigate the school IEP process, Positive Praise and Behavior Management. Come support other parents and share your successes and lean in for support. Send any questions to

Hosted by Arlington Child and Family Services’ clinical staff

*The events included below are shared for informational purposes, and listing may not be inclusive of all available community learning opportunities and inclusion of opportunities does not reflect endorsement by Arlington Public Schools.

  • CHADD Events
    Behavior Therapy Techniques: The Gold Standard Treatment for Children with ADHD
    Tuesday, February 9th: 7pm – 8:30pm Via Zoom
    Register here
    Join licensed psychologist and Board-Certified Behavior Analyst, Dr. Teri Brooks, to learn some specific behavior therapy techniques that you can use right away with your child to help manage challenging behaviors. These proven, effective techniques can support your child’s development of critical skills related to executive functioning and emotional regulation – areas where most children with ADHD really struggle.Dr. Brooks will provide concrete solutions for inspiring your child to do the things they need to do (like chores, homework, and self-care tasks) independently or in a timely manner. She will also offer an approach that you can use to teach your child how to cope with difficult emotions such as anger, frustration, and anxiety – without resorting to verbal or physical outbursts.
  • Ask the Expert: Finding More Happiness for Both Partners When One Person has ADHD
    Wednesday, February 10th: 7:00pm
    Register here
    Couples where one partner has ADHD typically have the same struggles as other couples, but perhaps more frequently and more intensely. They often fall into a chase dynamic with the non-ADHD partner feeling the burden of over-functioning and the ADHD partner feeling too often like they cannot get it right. It is crucial to break this disheartening tug of war by helping both partners to negotiate disagreements more effectively.
    We will discuss how to help couples navigate this process of balancing the need for some aspects of the relationship to change while also accepting the differences that remain.

Sponsored by NoVADC CHADD

Virginia Commonwealth University Autism Center for Excellence (VCU-ACE) Lunch and Learn Series

  • Lunch and Learn: Autism and the Black FamilyFebruary 11, 2021Time: 12:00 – 1:00 pm ET Register on Zoom
  • Lunch and Learn: Women on the Spectrum – The Gender Voyage February 18, 2021Time: 12:00 – 1:00 pm ET Register on Zoom
  • Lunch and Learn: Continuing to Lead the Way in Virginia Public Schools with Positive Practices in Distance Learning for Students with Autism Spectrum DisorderFebruary 25, 2021Time: 12:00 – 1:00 pm ET Register on Zoom

Upcoming Events from PEATC – Virginia’s Parent Education and Advocacy Training Center

  • Early Childhood Academy Course open from January 16 – February 21, 2021
    Register here
  • TRANSITION UNIVERSITY: A free, parent-friendly 5-week self-paced online transition course
    Winter 2021: February 6 to March 26 –  Register here
  • 2021 Family Engagement Symposium
    March 6, 2021
    Register Here
    PEATC, in collaboration with the Virginia Department of Education, is pleased to announce the 2021 Family Engagement Symposium entitled “Together We Win and Students Soar“. This year’s Symposium will continue to create synergy and robust systems of support for all parents and caregivers of school-aged children (PreK-12th grade), especially children receiving special education services, new and experienced educators, administrators, Title 1 coordinators and community partners around authentic collaborative engagement for student success.The 2021 Virtual Family Engagement Symposium is a day of connecting virtually and professional learning. This year’s Summit will feature several live, interactive and engaging presentations, with a special emphasis on building engagement for underserved families in Virginia. Nationally known speakers will bring attendees concrete, innovative strategies and methods to help families and schools change the trajectory of how they engage one another to ensure ALL students soar.
    This event will take place on March 6, 2021 beginning at 9am. Several attendee raffle prizes will be awarded throughout that day.
    A recorded version of the Symposium will be available to registrants from March 8th – March 22nd.
  • Behavior Summit
    May 19, 2021
    Registration opens on March 15th
    PEATC, in collaboration with the Virginia Department of Education, is pleased to announce the 2021 Behavior Summit for families of children with disabilities that live here in Virginia. This hybrid event will provide relevant and up-to-date information to parents and interested professionals. Participants will gain a basic understanding of the science of behavior, the importance of data in evaluating behavior, and developing strategies to address it. Presentations on Functional Behavioral Assessments, Behavior Intervention Plans, the relationship between behavior and social skills, and the new seclusion and restraint regulations for public schools will round out PEATC’s first Behavior Summit.Although the majority of this event will take place virtually and open on May 19, 2021 and remain open until May 22. 2021, there will be one LIVE Q&A session on the 19th. You will be able to engage with experts on behavior, ask questions, and receive immediate feedback. The Q&A will be recorded for those who will be viewing the summit after May 19, 2021 air date.
    • Virginia Partners en Español | 17 de Febrero, 2021-1:30 PM: Reunión mensual de “Virginia Partners en Español.” Una red creada para profesionales trabajando al servicio de la comunidad Latinx en el estado de Virginia. Una oportunidad para compartir eventos, actualizaciones y cualquier información esencial que pueda beneficiar a nuestra comunidad Latina en todo el estado.
    • Grupo de Chat para Padres: Unete a nuestro nuevo GRUPO DE CHAT mediante la aplicación de WhatsApp y podras mantenerte al tanto de todo lo que PEATC Latino esta haciendo. Entra al GRUPO:
    • ABRIL 24, 2021 | 10:00 AM  La Cumbre VIRTUAL de Alcance Latinx, se creó para brindar un espacio seguro de discusión y acción para crear mejores condiciones para la comunidad Latinx a la que servimos en todo el estado de Virginia. Esta cumbre que reunirá a familias y profesionales para una mejor comprensión de la Educación Especial, la diversidad, la cultura y la oportunidad de aprender sobre los desafíos específicos que enfrenta nuestra comunidad. REGISTRATE HOY
  • Military Outreach*For Military connected families ONLY*

NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Arlington Parent Support Groups
Now Meeting Virtually

Contact to register.

These groups are geared to parents whose child is experiencing symptoms of a mental illness, including: depression, anxiety, eating disorders, mood disorders and more. No diagnosis is required to participate. Participants are given the opportunity to share their story, experience support, and glean guidance (as desired) from group members regarding both community and school resources. Confidentiality is respected.
School Age Students and Teens (PK-12)
Sundays 7pm-8:30pm
February 21
Older Teen and Young Adults: 3rd Sunday 1-3pm
Questions??  Contact:

  • PK-12: Michelle Best (
  • Adults: Naomi Verdugo (
  • Both: Alisa Cowen (