Parent Resource Center Monday Message – January 11, 2021

Monday Message imageGreetings from the Special Education Parent Resource Center. This evening, we wrapped up our first-ever Project Core for Parents Series, and wanted to give a big shout-out to all of the families who participated in this 12-week session, along with our wonderful colleagues who facilitated the sessions: Marbea Tammaro, Dr. Lauren Bonnet and Sandi Stoppel, Assistive Technology Specialists, and Laura DePatch and Erin Donohue, Autism/Low-Incidence Disability Specialists. We learned a great deal together, and it was a great reminder of the power families and staff have when collaborating to make differences in the outcomes for our students.

We are excited to welcome Dr. Erin Berman of the National Institutes of Mental Health back to Arlington on January 19th. Dr. Berman presented an extremely well-received session on anxiety a few years ago, and we are looking forward to her insights on strategies to help kids and caregivers cope during tough times during her new Worry and Anxiety in Children and Adolescents session. Details and registration links for this and other informative sessions are provided below.

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Parent Resource Center Informational Video

If you are new to special education and/or the Parent Resource Center, please check out the APS Parent Academy’s new Parent Resource Center Overview, which shares information about our staff, supports, services and resources.

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Please contact the Parent Resource Center at 703.228.7239 or prc@apsva.usat least 7 days prior to events to request ADA accommodations. 

Worry and Anxiety in Children and Adolescents
Using evidence based strategies to help kids and caregivers cope during tough times
Tuesday, January 19th: 7:00pm to 8:30pm
Register here
Join the Parent Resource Center as we welcome Dr. Erin D. Berman, Clinical Psychologist at the National Institute of Mental Health, back to Arlington Public Schools for a free and important virtual session in which she will:

  • Address signs and symptoms of anxiety disorders
  • Review the difference between a stress response vs. anxiety disorder
  • Discuss how an anxiety disorder in children/adolescents impacts online learning
  • Discuss how coping strategies need to be adjusted given the current pandemic

Dr. Erin D. Berman is a Clinical Psychologist at the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, Maryland. She received her clinical psychology doctoral degree from Rosalind Franklin University / The Chicago Medical School. Her clinical training continued with attending the Boston Consortium of Clinical Psychology where she was a Harvard Medical School Fellowship recipient. She completed post-doctoral re-specialization in child and adolescent Anxiety Disorders at Temple University. Her main area of interest continues to be in cognitive behavioral interventions for children, adolescents, and adults with anxiety disorders.
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Understanding Transition Services: Supported Decision Making (SDM)
Wednesday, January 27th: 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 Transition Series, which will feature a workshop on Supported Decision Making (SDM) this month, featuring Lucy Beadnell, Director of Advocacy for the Arc of Northern Virginia.
SDM is a way to provide short and long term support for people with developmental disabilities who need assistance to understand and make choices. SDM can be used as an alternative to guardianship that is less costly and restrictive, or used with guardianship to maximize self-determination.  It is a growing national best practice for increasing independence, safety, and quality of life.
For further information contact Kelly Mountain at 703-228-2136 or Christina Eagle at 703-228-5738.

Talking with Kids about Race and Discrimination
Tuesday, February 2nd: 6:30pm – 8:00pm
Register here
In this timely and free workshop, Dr. Ricia Weiner, Ms. Eleanor Lewis and Ms. Veronica Valdes, APS School Psychologists, will offer parents/caregivers developmentally appropriate ideas and strategies for talking with children (PreK through high school) about race, diversity and discrimination.
Case studies and scenarios will be presented and participants will have the opportunity to practice newly learned skills. Participants will leave this workshop with child-focused, anti-racist strategies for addressing racism and discrimination. Discussions will address:

  • When should you talk to kids about race?
  • Overall approach to talking with children about race
  • Key points to remember when talking about


Stress and Mental Health
Wednesday, January 13th: 2pm – 3pm
Join the session here
Please join Yorktown High School Psychologists Bethany Banal and Solange Caovan-Hornbake for a live presentation on Stress and Mental Health. This event, geared toward parents of secondary school students, will address:

  • Monitoring mental health/well-being
  • Recognizing signs of anxiety and depression
  • How to respond when your student seems stressed
  • Strategies for listening to your student in a helpful way that doesn’t inflame their anxiety
  • How to figure out how to help your student
  • What to do if you believe that your student may be having suicidal ideation

Save the Date: Arlington Special Education Advisory Committee (ASEAC)
Tuesday, January 26th: 7pm – 9pm
Virtual Meeting –  via Zoom
Please note that the business portion of this meeting will be recorded through Zoom.At the beginning of each meeting, ASEAC welcomes comments from the public regarding the needs of students with disabilities in APS.

downloadKnow What Your Teen Knows
Thursday, January 14th: 6:30pm – 8:00 pm
Register here
​Presented by: Michael Swisher, Parent & Community Engagement Specialist; Siobhan Bowler, APS Substance Abuse Counselor; Lt. Eliseo Pilco, ACPD Student Resource Officer Supervisor; and Arlington County Teen Network Board representatives
In this event, parents will have an opportunity to see and learn about signs and clues – and possible things to look for – that might indicate a young person is using drugs, alcohol or tobacco products. We’ll have a ‘tour’ of a teen bedroom, learn about different ‘hideables’, and hear from teens, APS staff, and an SRO about what they are seeing among young people in our community.

home safety graphicHome Safety
Tuesday, January 19, 2021 at 6:00 pm
Presented by: Emily Siqveland and Linh Nghe
Register Here
Join Arlington Addiction Recovery Initiative and the Prevention Unit to learn about how to keep your homes safe. Speakers will review common safety concerns including prescription medications and firearms. The webinar will offer resources to assist in keeping your home safe.

Community Webinar/Virtual Learning Opportunities/Meetings*
*The events included below are shared for informational purposes, and listing may not be inclusive of al available community learning opportunities and inclusion of opportunities does not reflect endorsement by Arlington Public Schools.

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
  • Ins and Outs of IEP’s | January 21 at 11:30 AM.
  • TRANSITION UNIVERSITY: A free, parent-friendly 5-week self-paced online transition course
    Winter 2021: February 6 to March 26 –  Register here

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
Contact Michelle Best at to register for 2021 Dates
January 17 and 31; February 7 and 21; March 7 and 21; April 11 and 15; May 9 and 23; June 6 and 20
Older Teen and Young Adults: 3rd Sunday 1-3pm
Questions??  Contact:

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