Monday Message: November 23, 2020

Monday Message image




Monday Message: November 23, 2020

Greetings, and warm Thanksgiving wishes from the team at your Parent Resource Center. While in the midst of a global pandemic and contending with the likelihood that this will be a challenging holiday season on many fronts, we know that gratitude serves an important purpose in building resilience and coping with stress. So, we spent some time reflecting on the last several months, and wanted to share several of the things that your PRC team is grateful for this year:

  • Our Office of Special Education administrators/supervisors – Dr. Kelly Krug, Heather Rothenbuescher & Elizabeth Walsh, who have been working tirelessly and creatively to advocate for students, staff and families;
  • Our colleagues in the Office of Special Education and the Department of Teaching and Learning, led by Bridget Loft, who have continued to plan for and support learning in unprecedented times;
  • The new skills we’ve learned and new technology we’re using in operating the virtual Parent Resource Center, which we hope will help us engage with families in ways that are increasingly accessible moving forward;
  • Arlington SEPTA, the Arlington Special Education Advisory Committee (ASEAC), and the numerous parent leaders participating in these organizations and in community support networks that have continued to support families, students and staff;
  • Our hardworking colleagues and administrators in our schools;
  • The resilience of APS students; and, most importantly….images-1
  • YOU – the families we are so fortunate to get to know each year! We are humbled and inspired by your advocacy, tenacity, patience, flexibility and determination. We’ve loved hearing success stories and positive outcomes, and we’ve appreciated your trust in reaching out to us with questions and concerns. It’s been great seeing many of you at our virtual learning sessions and video-consults this fall and hearing your voices on the phone. We are always grateful for the honor of serving as your Parent Resource Center team, but are especially thankful this year. We miss you and can’t wait until we are able to safely see one another again, but, for now, please know that Kelly, Kathleen and Emma are sending wishes your way for a safe and healthy Thanksgiving.

Check out these new resources logoFrom Virginia’s Family Flyer: November 2020 Issue
Parent and Family Digital Learning Guide
Office of Educational Technology
U.S. Department of Education
This guide aims to help all parents and caregivers, including those who have limited experience with digital tools, those who are experts with these tools, and anywhere in between. Each section starts with foundational pieces and builds from there.
Examine the Parent and Family Digital Learning Guide

Resources for Serving Students with Sensory DisabilitiesVirginia Department of Education, VDOE
This is a compilation of the required guidance documents and additional resources that are available at the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) Special Education-Sensory Disabilities webpage.Find Education Resources for Students with Sensory Disabilities

Supporting Students with Intensive Needs during COVID-19
National Center on Intensive Instruction, NCII
During Fall 2020, educators are providing virtual, in-person, and hybrid intervention with an ongoing need to engage with and support parents and families. While the context and environment may have changed, the focus on providing high-quality interventions with validated practices, monitoring student progress, and adapting and intensifying supports based on student data continues to be applicable across virtual, in-person, or hybrid models.
Visit Supporting Students with Intensive Needs during COVID-19

Virginia Family Special Education Connection Handout

Upcoming Events image



Crisis Intervention Training for Parents/Caregivers – FINAL 2020 Opportunity
Tuesday, December 1, 2020: 7:00-7:45pm
Register here
From time to time, families inquire about strategies to support challenging and noncompliant behaviors exhibited by their children within the home setting. Understanding how adult responses and approaches to behavior displayed by children is a key factor in preventing and de-escalating undesired behavior.Join us to learn more as Arlington Public Schools’ (APS) Crisis Prevention facilitators define Nonviolent Crisis Intervention and its philosophy of providing Care, Welfare, Safety and Security as adults respond to behavior challenges.
Each session will provide a live, introductory session with facilitators. Upon completion of the introductory session, participants will have access to independent, asynchronous interaction with training modules during a two-week session. At the end of the session, there will be a live, follow-up session with the facilitators.
Although this session is free of charge, we do ask families to commit to participating in both live sessions and completing the training modules independently.

Arlington SEPTA’s Annual Superintendent Chat
Wednesday, December 9, 2020: 6:30pm – 9:00pm
Online via Zoom Webinar: Register and Submit Questions
Join Arlington Special Education PTA (SEPTA) for its annual “Super Chat” with Superintendent Durán and the Office of Special Education to discuss topics relevant to special education in Arlington Public Schools.
All SEPTA meetings are open to everyone. American Sign Language interpreters will be available for this meeting. Questions are submitted by SEPTA members and compiled by SEPTA’s Board.

Community Webinar/Virtual Learning Opportunities/Meetings

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

  • Connecting the Dots: Early Intervention | December 2 at 1:30 PM. Acting early can make a difference for your child. Early Intervention (EI) supports families of infants and toddlers, ages birth to three years, with developmental delays and disabilities. In this introduction, we’ll connect the dots on EI – what it is, eligibility, and who to contact.
  • Understanding Special Education | December 17 at 7:00 PM. Come and learn the seven phases of the special education process and identify the specific actions you may take during the special education process. You will become familiar with dispute resolution options, both informal and formal, and learn ways to work as partners with teacher and other school personnel.
  • Serving with an Exceptional Family Member (EFM) | December 10 at 7:00 PM. An up-close look at how one Navy family has managed decades of service with a child with severe autism. Attendees have the opportunity to benefit from the speaker’s experience in special education, Tricare, and transitioning from active duty to retirement and the civilian world.
  • Ins and Outs of IEP’s | January 21 at 11:30 AM. This presentation will help prepare parents of what to expect in the IEP meeting and to have a productive student focused meeting. From pre-planning before the meeting to working together afterwards, this presentation will build relationships and self-advocacy skills of the parents while focusing on the needs of the student.
    • Cafecito Virtual de la Participación Familiar |  Lunes, Noviembre 23 a las 6:00 PM: Noviembre es el mes de la Participación Familiar, y junto a Luz Lauretano, Enlace de Participación Familiar en el estado de Virgia, aprenderemos sobre la importancia de este tema y tambien consejos. Esta paltica incluira temas como: Pirámide de Maslow, Recursos de Atención Plena, y la Importancia de las Rutinas. Los esperamos!
    • Ciberacoso y Nuestra Juventud | Diciembre 2 a las 5:30 PM. El acoso cibernético es diferente del acoso en el “patio de la escuela”. Durante este taller interactivo, los participantes se adentrarán en el mundo de la tecnología y explorarán motivaciones, categorías, señales de advertencia y formas que puede adoptar el ciberacoso online. Los participantes aprenderán consejos y estrategias para proteger a sus hijos.
    • Entendiendo la Educación Especial | Martes, Diciembre 8, 2020 a las 6:30 PM: Patrocinado por el Centro de Recursos para Padres del condado de Fauquier, unase a nosotrospara familiarizarse con las seis fases del proceso de educación especial y cómo usar ese conocimiento para navegar a través del viaje de su hijo en la educación especial.

    GRUPO DE APOYO 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:

Virginia Commonwealth University Autism Center for Excellence (VCU-ACE) Lunch and Learn Series
Virtual Data Collection during Distance Learning
December 3, 2020: 12:00 – 1:00 pm ET
Register on Zoom

Parenting in a Pandemic: Virtual Parent Support Group
Tuesdays: 5:30pm-6:30pm
Register here for the November 24th meeting
Developmental Support Associates (DSA) is offering a virtual family support group for local families who care for children, youths, and young adults with developmental and/or behavioral challenges. The immediate goal is to help families collaborate with professionals and with each other in order to break out of isolation and share experiences, thought, feelings, and novel strategies for promoting personal and social growth. Meetings are free, but pre-registration is required. Login information for the Zoom Meeting will be sent to registrants prior to the date of the meeting.  For questions about the support group meetings,  email  or Sponsored by the Arc of Northern Virginia and Developmental Support Associates

NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Arlington Parent Support Groups
Now Meeting Virtually
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) for 2020
Sundays: 7:00-8:30pm

Older Teen and Young Adults: 3rd Sunday 1-3pmQuestions??  Contact:

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