Parent Resource Center Monday Message: 3.22.21

March 22, 2021

Earlier today, Arlington’s Special Education PTA (Arlington SEPTA) announced that it is welcoming nominations for its annual Excellence in Supporting Special Education Awards. Nominations must be received by midnight, April 6th, 2021. All nominees will be recognized for their participation, and winners will be announced by May 12, 2021.
Please note:

  • You do not need to be a member of SEPTA to submit a nomination.
  • You may submit multiple nominations for the different categories.
  • Write a Nominating Statement of 500 words or less.
  • Nominating Statements are provided to award recipients and will be shared in part or in their entirety at the awards event.
  • Information about nominators is not shared with award recipients.

Please choose the most appropriate award for each nominee.  Award descriptions are provided below.

  • Turner Award – to an outstanding administrator.Submit your nomination HERE.
  • Crawford Award – to an outstanding educator. Submit your nomination HERE.
  • Exceptional Support Award – to an outstanding aide/assistant or support staff. Submit your nomination HERE.
  • McBride Award – to an outstanding school or program. Submit your nomination HERE
  • Howie Award – to an outstanding parent or volunteer.  Submit your nomination HERE
  • Nannini Award – to an outstanding student advocate. Submit your nomination HERE
  • Exceptional Ally Award – to an outstanding student ally.Submit your nomination HERE 

View award descriptions. View past awards.

download-5March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month
Each year, the National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities (NACDD) holds a campaign for Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month to raise awareness about developmental disabilities, communicate the importance of inclusion and share stories of individuals with disabilities. To expand the conversation of inclusion and accessibility, the NACDD is encouraging the public to share stories, photos, videos and resources about topics such as education, employment and community living on social media throughout the month of March – using the Twitter hashtag #DDAwareness19. The NACDD wants to showcase the work being done to celebrate and improve the lives of individuals with developmental disabilities.

This week, we are looking forward to Talking with Kids About Race and Discrimination – The Follow-up this evening at 6pm, Yorktown High School’s Promoting Resilience & Mental Wellness in Teens Through Social Emotional Learning at 7pm, the Arlington Special Education Advisory Committee (ASEAC) Meeting on Tuesday at 7pm, and Wednesday evening’s Understanding Transition Services: Building Interdependence with our Students at 7pm. Registration links for these and other events are linked below. Have a great week, and we hope to virtually see you at one of our upcoming events.



The Parent Resource Center Team will be on spring break next week, and will return to the virtual PRC on Monday, April 5th. Please feel free to leave us a message at 703.228.7239, or email us at If you should need immediate assistance related to a special education matter, please call the Office of Special Education at 703.228.6042. The Monday Message will also return on April 5th!
We wish you and your families a safe, relaxing and restful spring break!

Upcoming Events image




Talking with Kids About Race and Discrimination – The Follow-up
Monday, March 22nd: 6pm – 7:30pm
Register here 
In this follow-up session we will have an open discussion – What happened after you attended or viewed the initial session? (View session encore recording here).  What were your thoughts and feelings?  What has happened in the interim?  Have you had the opportunity have a conversation with your child(ren) about the topic of racism and discrimination? How did it go?  Did you try a new learned strategy or technique, and, if so, what was it?  Come debrief and process with others during this interactive session. A facilitated Spanish language discussion group will be available. Please indicate your preference when registering.


  • Promoting Resilience & Mental Wellness in Teens Through Social Emotional LearningMarch 22nd: 7:00pm-8:30pm
    Register here

The Yorktown High School PTA welcomes national award-winning teacher, author and speaker R. Keeth Matheny, who will address:

  • How can we support students’ emotional health during Covid-19?
  • What is social and emotional learning (SEL) and why is it important?
  • What is going on with the teenage brain?
  • How can we use that understanding to help teens manage their emotions and make positive decisions?
  • What does effective SEL look like in schools and in communities?
  • How can we support building transformative programs for students?

View event flier

Arlington Special Education Advisory Committee (ASEAC) Meeting
Tuesday, March 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 OSE Updates and Response to February 2021 Public Comments
7:30 – 7:40 pm  Special Education Annual Plan
7:40 – 8:20 pm  Equity Teams – Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Office
8:20 – 8:30 pm  ASEAC UpdatesAt the beginning of each meeting,

Understanding Transition Services: Building Interdependence with our Students
Wednesday, March 24th: 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’s session will feature a workshop on the importance of building interdependence with students. As students and children grow into adulthood, we often strive to support them in obtaining independence. What often gets left out is teaching them interdependence. Humans have the capacity for meaningful relationships with one another that are mutually beneficial. This is interdependence. Teaching interdependence to people with disabilities demonstrates that they are valued by society, and shows how building connections with others can support and enrich their lives.
Join APS Autism/Low Incidence Specialist Deborah Hammer to explore the importance of interdependence, and learn strategies for how to build this critical lifelong skill. Please contact Kelly Mountain at 703-228-2136 or Christina Eagle at 703-228-5738 for additional information.

Youth Mental Health First Aid
Space is LIMITED to the first 8 registrants on each date! To register, email (indicate name and date interested in the course). Register for one of the following dates:

  • March 26: 9:30am-2pm
  • April 12: 9:30am-2pm
  • May 13: 3:30pm-8pm
  • May 25: 3:30pm-8pm
  • June 2: 3:30pm-8pm

Presented by Arlington Public Schools’ Office of Student Services

ADHD Parenting Series
Mondays, April 12 – May 10: 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Register here
Join us for a virtual 5-week series on parenting students with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). This session will be facilitated by the Parent Resource Center Coordinators Kelly Mountain and Kathleen Donovan, along with parent leader Susan Scott. Kelly has a background in school psychology, Kathleen has a background in special education, and Susan is a parent who has facilitated ADHD parenting sessions for many years.  Topics covered will include:

  • Session 1: ADHD – What Parents Need to Know
  • Session 2: ADHD – Diagnosis and Treatment
  • Session 3: ADHD at Home
  • Session 4: ADHD at School
  • Session 5: ADHD and Adolescence

Interested participants are asked to commit to all five sessions. For additional information, please contact the PRC at or 703.228.7239.

Irritability in Children and Youth
Tuesday, April 13th: 7-8:30pm
Register here
Join us as we welcome Dr. Jamell White from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) who will address irritability in children and adolescents, including:

  • Defining what irritability is
  • Discussing common themes in irritability
  • Identifying irritability and co-morbid disorders
  • Discussing why it is important to study irritability and how it’s studied at NIMH
  • Identifying new treatment for irritability; and
  • Sharing strategies parents can use to respond to irritability.

Dr. Jamell White is a staff clinician for the Neuroscience and Novel Therapeutics Unit (NNT) in the Emotion and Development Branch at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Dr. White received her Ph.D. from the University of Maryland in Human Development and Quantitative Methodology. She also has master’s degrees in social work (Catholic University of America) and special education (Johns Hopkins University). Prior to coming to the NIMH, much of Dr. White’s clinical work specialized in working with children, adolescents and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder and related disorders.
View event flier

Autism 101
Thursday, April 15th: 7pm – 8:30pm
Register here
Presenter: Deborah Hammer, APS Autism and Low Incidence Disability Specialist
This session will provide parents and guardians with an overview of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), including an explanation of how ASD impacts social and communication skills, executive functioning, and sensory processing. Strategies for success will also be introduced.

View additional details and more community events on the PRC’s Events page.