Parent Resource Center Monday Message: 2.22.21

Monday Message imageFebruary 22, 2021

Tomorrow evening, Tuesday, February 23rd, the Arlington Special Education Advisory Committee (ASEAC), will welcome Arlington Public Schools Superintendent, Dr. Francisco Durán, to its monthly meeting. This meeting will be held virtually via Zoom, and details and a registration link are provided below. The Parent Resource Center is looking forward to Noche de NOVA on Wednesday evening, and another opportunity to learn more about Northern Virginia Community College during this Spanish language session.

Next week is a week of transition for many as some students return to school as part of the hybrid model. And, even though this is a transition we have been eagerly anticipating for many, many months, transition periods and the inevitable routine changes that accompany them may pose challenges for some students. We encourage families to keep lines of communication open with the school-based members of your child’s IEP Team and continue to prepare your child for the transition this week. As we mark another milestone of this pandemic, we salute our colleagues, administrators, and the families we are so fortunate to work with. Your patience, strength, fortitude, flexibility, and collaboration have defined our community during these months, and we know you are supporting the development of resilience in your children. We send our best wishes for smooth, exciting and happy transitions next week. As always, please feel free to reach out to the Parent Resource Center at 703.228.7239 or if we can be of support.

New resources logo

New APS/Cigna Partnership

APS is partnering with Cigna to provide a school support line for eight high schools and programs as a pilot. The schools participating initially are:

Washington-Liberty, Wakefield, Yorktown, Arlington Community High School, Arlington Career Center,
H-B Woodlawn Secondary Program, Langston and New Directions.

APS is exploring the expansion of the program to additional schools. The support line is available now through September 30 to provide a vital resource for crisis support and referral support. It is available 24/7/365 to students age 14 and over, staff and parents. Staff on the line are trained in crisis response and can help in English and Spanish and can link callers to local resources. Other languages are available through the Language Line. Help is available by calling 833-Me-Cigna (833-632–4462). Read more.


Please contact the Parent Resource Center at 703.228.7239 or prc@apsva.usat least 7 days prior to events to request ADA accommodations.
NOVA Night/Noche de NOVA
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 flierView Spanish language Noche de NOVA 2021 flier

Arlington Special Education Advisory Committee (ASEAC) Meeting
Featuring a Superintendent Chat with Dr. Francisco Durán
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.

How Executive Function Skills Improve Student Success
Wednesday, March 3, 2021: 7pm
Register here
How do Executive Functions skills impact planning, starting, and completing work? Learn how to build them to help your student thrive. One of the great joys for a parent is to be able to cheer on our children as they build new skills. When it comes to school, we praise the obvious skills such as doing well on a test or getting an A on a paper, but often miss the less obvious — but equally important — ones, such as overcoming challenges to get started on planning and completing in order to finish a longer-term assignment on time. In this helpful presentation by The StudyPro and Rachel Bailey, M. A., you will learn:

  • What Executive Functions (EF) skills are and why they matter
  • How to recognize and improve “missing skills” behind common school challenges
  • How to partner with your student to support them the “right way”

Improving Executive Function skills will help with focus, flexibility, and pushing through frustration. And that’s definitely something to cheer about.
View event flyer


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 CFSD clinical staff

Project Family Classes: Beginning March 1st
Arlington County invites Arlington families with children 0 to 5 years of age to participate. Virtual classes will include a developmentally based curriculum. Activities for children will include letters and thematic discussion, reading time, and interactive music lessons.
Register here to secure your spot.

  • Monday: 10am to 11am
  • Tuesday: 1pm to 2pm
  • Wednesday: 11am to 12pm
  • Thursday: 9am to 10am (Reserved for children 0 to 12 months)
  • Friday: 10am to 11am (Class in Spanish)
  • Saturday: 10am to 11am

Classes will be held through Zoom. Each class cycle will last for 7 weeks. All classes are completely free for all Arlington County residents.
For more information contact Leonardo Espiña at:
Project Family Flyer
Project Family Flyer SPANISH

Additional event details

*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.
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)
Sundays 7pm-8:30pm
Upcoming 2021 Dates:

  • March 7 and 21

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

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

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

  • Lunch and Learn: Continuing to Lead the Way in Virginia Public Schools with Positive Practices in Distance Learning for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder
    February 25, 2021: 12:00 – 1:00 pm ET
    Register on Zoom

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

SCAN of Northern Virginia Programs

  • Nurturing Parenting Program (English series)
    Thursdays: Starting March 18 to May 13 (*skipping April 1) – 6:00pm- 8:00pm via Zoom
    Register here
    Join other parents and share parenting insights, successes, and challenges. This is a FREE virtual program.
  • Strengthening Families 10-14 (English series)
    Parent Session: Wednesdays March 3 to April 28 from 6:30-7:30 pm via Zoom
    Youth and Family Session: Mondays March 8 to May 3 from 5:30-7:30 pm via Zoom
    Register here
    Sessions are interactive and involve family activities. Parent/Caregiver and child between 10 and 14 years of age must attend the program.
  • Navigating the Tween and Teen Years (English)
    Tuesdays: April 6 – May 18 – 6:00-8:00 pm
    Register here
    This class provides parents/caregivers with the skills to improve family communication while reducing family conflicts and teens’ negative behaviors and attitudes. Parent only series.
  • Nurturing Parenting Program (Spanish series)
    Wednesdays: March 17 to May 12 (*skipping March 31) – 6:00 pm- 8:00 pm via Zoom
    Please contact to register.
    Join other parents and share parenting insights, successes, and challenges. This is a FREE virtual program.

The Arc of Northern Virginia Events

  • Divorce and Children with Disabilities
    Friday, March 5, 2021 – 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon
    Register here
    Divorce can make any conversation about finances challenging. The complex task of special needs planning for children with disabilities only adds to the stress. Our upcoming free seminar will give you the facts, structure and advice you need to get the planning right the first time:

    • Issues arising out of the divorce (finances, child support, alimony)
    • The importance of “getting it right the first time”, to benefit your child with disabilities
    • Why setting up a Special Needs Trust is essential for parents and your child with disabilities
    • Virginia Family Law 2020 Legislative Update as it pertains to children with disabilities and enforcing Child Support Obligations
    • And more…Listen to experts, ask your questions. You’ll come away with knowledge and a vital dose of confidence that the help you need is close at hand.
      The panel for this webinar will feature Catherine McQueen, Principal, Offit Kurman Attorneys At Law; Courtney McCarthy, Esq., McCarthy Law PLLC; and Tia Marsili, Director of Trusts, The Arc of Northern Virginia.All workshops presented by The Arc of Northern Virginia are FREE to attend, but pre-registration is required.
  • Life After High School – Finding the Right Fit for Neurodiverse Learners
    Wednesday, March 10, 2021 – 11:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.
    Register here
    There are a multitude of paths that students can take after high school to achieve their goals in life. Naturally, parents want to see their children develop into resilient, capable young adults, living as independently as possible. Obtaining a college degree is one way to achieve this, but there are others. In recent years, many colleges and post-secondary programs have broadened their services to become more inclusive of all learners. This presentation will examine the wide range of higher education models for students with Autism, ADHD, and language-based learning challenges, as well as for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities. This webinar is Webinars an FREE to attend, but pre-registration is required.
  • Transition Lunch & Learn
    Wednesday, March 17th – 12:00-1:30 p.m.
    Register here
    These small group sessions are an opportunity to begin creating a plan for the future. Learn what kinds of employment and meaningful day support services are available, how to explore post-secondary options, what transportation supports exist, how to help your child make decisions and advocate, when to apply for SSI and manage benefits, and what recreation activities are available.