Parent Resource Center Monday Message: 10.19.20

Monday Message image




October 19, 2020

Good evening. During the past few weeks, the team at the Parent Resource Center has been keeping busy with the launch of our first Project Core series with our wonderful colleagues, Dr. Lauren Bonnet, Sandi Stoppel and Marbea Tammaro, Assistive Technology Specialists; and Laura DePatch and Erin Donohue, Autism/Low-Incidence Disability Specialists. Many thanks to our team for the passion and dedication you bring to this work, and your commitment to students and families.

We’ve also been delighted to welcome so many of you who have joined us for this year’s Virtual Dyslexia Conference. We’ve been grateful to collaborate with our Office of Special Education administrators Dr. Kelly Krug, Heather Rothenbuescher and Elizabeth Walsh; English Language Arts Supervisor Lori Silver and Teacher Specialists Dr. Donna McConnell and Sarah Congable, and Kelley Hyner, ATSS Supervisor to offer a variety of important topics to families. Additional sessions coming up are listed in the events section below, and if you missed a session, available Dyslexia Conference handouts and session recordings are being posted on the conference webpage.

Toward the end of this month, we encourage middle and high school students and their families to join us for Understanding Transition Services and What Needs to Happen on Wednesday, October 28th. It is important to plan early for life once students leave Arlington Public Schools, and this session is a great opportunity! Register here.

download-1VDOE Parent Survey

Each school year, the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) is required to report to the U.S. Department of Education the “Percent of parents with a child receiving special education services who report that schools facilitated parent involvement as a means of improving services and results for children with disabilities.”  The VDOE forwarded surveys which will be mailed to you this week. Your participation in this survey will help VDOE collect additional information to identify training needs related to the special education processes.  The VDOE will use the results of this survey to improve parental involvement in the special education process and improve outcomes for all students within the Commonwealth.  It is important to note that your responses are recorded anonymously and cannot be personally linked to your child. Parents who have more than one child receiving special education services should submit one survey for each child receiving services. When completing this survey, you will answer questions designed to cause you to reflect upon your experiences during the past (2019-20) school year. If you have any questions about this survey, please contact Tracy Lee, VDOE family engagement specialist, via telephone, at (804) 225-3492, or via e-mail, at

Upcoming Arlington Public Schools and Parent Resource Center Events

Arlington Public Schools Virtual 2020 Dyslexia Conference
A series of free, online sessions

  • The Science of Reading
    Tuesday, October 20th: 7pm-8pm
    Register Here
    Presenter: Suzanne Carreker, Ph.D., CALT-QI, Principal Educational Content Lead, Lexia Learning
    Join this session to learn about dyslexia and the challenges students with dyslexia face. Together we will explore how teachers, administrators, and parents can help address those difficulties, including better understanding and employing Structured Literacy. With increased requirements for schools and districts to select evidence-based instructional programs, a great deal of focus has been placed on Structured Literacy and the Science of Reading. However, there is confusion regarding the definitions of these terms and how this impacts the application of effective reading instruction strategies. In this session, Dr. Suzanne Carreker, of Lexia Learning, also discusses why educators can trust the Science of Reading to inform reading instruction and how this gold-standard evidence is applied in the classroom through Structured Literacy, which is essential for students who struggle to learn to read because of dyslexia or other difficulties and beneficial for all students.
  • Dyscalculia: What We Know and Strategies to Help
    Monday, October 26th: 7pm-8pm
    Presenter: Judith L. Fontana, Ph.D., Mild Disabilities/Instructional Support Teams Coordinator
    George Mason University’s Training and Technical Assistance Center (T/TAC)
    Register Here
    The ability to calculate and understand basic math concepts and principles are life skills. Dyscalculia is a learning disability that impacts one’s ability in mathematics. Like, but not to be confused with dyslexia, the impact of dyscalculia falls along a continuum. Each case is unique. The session will address common characteristics, assessments and instructional strategies. Resources will be provided.
  • Read & Write Literacy Software Tool
    Thursday, October 29th: 7:30pm-9pm
    Presenters: Sandra Stoppel, OTR/L, Lauren Kravetz Bonnet, PhD, CCC-SLP, and Marbea Tiernan Tammaro, MEd, OTR/L, Assistive Technology Specialists, Arlington Public Schools
    Register here
    Read & Write is an educational literacy software program that makes lots of everyday tasks easier. It makes the web, documents and files more accessible on the APS staff’ and students’ personal learning devices. Read & Write was targeted to support reluctant writers and students with learning disabilities in the areas of reading and writing; however, it is beneficial for anyone who prefers to use these robust tools.  Read & Write features include:

    • hearing documents read aloud to support comprehension;
    • text and picture dictionaries to support understanding of unfamiliar words;
    • translates individual words into other languages
    • develops writing and spelling skills with word prediction;
    • highlighting and collecting text to build vocabulary lists;
    • turning speech into text;
    • simplify and summarize text on web pages; and
    • annotation.

Save the Date: Arlington Special Education Advisory Committee (ASEAC)
Tuesday, October 27th: 7pm – 9pm
ASEAC monthly meetings are open to the public and address a range of issues of importance to the disability community. A public comment opportunity at each meeting provides members of the community the opportunity to bring issues to ASEAC’s attention. Meetings also include focused briefings and presentations to identify, discuss and share information pertaining to areas of need and progress.

Understanding Transition Services and What Needs to Happen
Wednesday, October 28th: 7:00pm-9:00pm
Register here
Arlington Public Schools Transition Services, Parent Resource Center and Program for Employment Preparedness (PEP) are sponsoring a Transition Series this year, which will feature monthly transition topics. October’s topic is Understanding Transition Services and What Needs to Happen. Speakers will include representatives from:

  • The ARC of Northern Virginia
  • Arlington’s Community Services Board (CSB)
  • Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS)
  • Program for Employment Preparedness (PEP)

For further information contact Christina Eagle at 703-228-5738 or, or Kelly Mountain at 703-228-7239 or


Dates TBA – Register here to indicate your day/time preferences
All parents face day to day challenges communicating with their children, now more than ever. FLIP IT!® is a weekly 1-hour virtual series that meets for 7 weeks to provide tools for parents to increase communication with their children and their families.
Interested in attending?  Reply here

Muchos padres enfrentan desafíos comunicándose con sus hijos, ahora más que nunca. FLIP IT!® es una serie virtual semanal de 1 hora que se reúne por 7 semanas para brindar herramientas para que los padres aumenten la comunicación con sus hijos y sus familias. Facilitado por Michael Swisher, Especialista en Desarrollo de Padres y Comunidad, y Leonardo Espiña, Coordinador de Educación de Padres del Condado de Arlington.
¿Quiere asistir a clase? D éjenos saber aquí
FLIP IT! Series Spanish Flyer


CHADD of Northern Virginia and DC (NOVA DC CHADD) Annual Resource Fair
Tuesdays: 7:00pm – 8:30pm
NOVA DC CHADD announces its 2020 Resource Fair, which is a series of lectures via Zoom to celebrate ADHD Awareness Month.  The theme is: Strong Minds, Healthy Lives: Strategies to Empower People Affected by ADHD”.

Managing Unstructured Time
October 27th: 7pm
Register here
REACH is excited to announce a Parent Support Series. These groups will be geared towards families and caregivers of individuals with developmental disabilities. This is open to families and caregivers regardless of REACH services. Clinical Directors from REACH Region 1 and Region 2 will be hosting this series over the next three months (Oct – December).
This is a wonderful opportunity for families and caregivers to engage in information sharing, learning, and collaboration.
Registration is mandatory. Please note registration will end 10/23/20.