Parent Resource Center Monday Message: November 16, 2020

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November 16, 2020

Transition Series
As we parent PreK students, elementary age students, middle school students, and even high school students, it’s sometimes hard to imagine our children’s lives beyond their school years. However, that is what all of our efforts are leading to, and those of us who are now parenting young adults know how quickly the time can pass. That’s why it’s so important to begin planning for post-secondary opportunities well in advance. We are extremely grateful that APS’ Program for Employment Preparedness and Transition Team are partnering with us to offer monthly sessions to provide parents and students with information and resources to ensure a smooth transition from APS to whatever is next for students. Parents of middle and high school students are especially encouraged to attend these monthly sessions.

Employment logoThis month’s session focuses on employment. Numerous community and agency partners will share services available for students with disabilities beginning to navigate employment as they transition from APS. Families will have the opportunity to learn about all service providers in a group presentation and then meet individual service providers within smaller break-out sessions. Register here to join us for Understanding Transition Services: Employment Connections on Wednesday, November 18 from 7:00pm-9:00pm.

November is Homelessness Youth Awareness MonthHomeless Youth Awareness Month Logo
November was first declared National Homeless Youth Awareness Month in 2007. November is a time to acknowledge the 2.5 million children nationwide experiencing homelessness. The McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act requires public schools to remove barriers to enrollment and attendance and provide opportunities for homeless children and youth to succeed in school.

Arlington Public Schools (APS) pro-actively identifies homeless children and youth, and provides transportation and supports to stabilize the educational experiences of homeless students. Project Extra Step is the APS program designed to meet the needs of children and youth experiencing homelessness. Under McKinney Vento, homelessness includes children and youth who lack a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence, staying instead in places such as shelters, motels, cars, or places not meant for habitation; or doubled-up in shared temporary housing with others due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason. Children and youth living in these settings meet the criteria for McKinney-Vento and have special rights. In recognition of National Homeless Youth Awareness Month, it’s important to know the Rights of Homeless Students.

For more information, referral procedures and brochures, please go to the Project Extra Step website, call the Homeless Liaison at 703-228-2585, or email  To discuss these concerns for children in schools, please contact the School Social Worker where the child attends school.

For immediate housing questions and concerns, please call the Department of Human Services Resources at 703.228.1300. Additionally, the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) has compiled a list of helpful resources for parents and caregivers, children and teens, mental health providers, child welfare workers, juvenile justice professionals, and policy makers.

Upcoming Events image

Understanding Transition Services: Employment Connections
Wednesday, November 18: 7:00pm-9:00pm
Register here

Arlington Public Schools Transition Services, Parent Resource Center and Program for Employment Preparedness (PEP) are sponsoring the second in a monthly series of transition workshops. This month’s session will feature opportunities for families to learn about employment supports from a host of community and agency partners. Presenters will include ServiceSource, Melwood, Didlake and many others.
For further information, please contact Christina Eagle at 703-228-5738 or or Kelly Mountain at 703-228-7239 or

Crisis Intervention Training for Parents/Caregivers
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.
Submit Questions by midnight on November 22nd – Questions can also be emailed to
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.

Arlington Special Education Advisory Committee (ASEAC)
Tuesday, December 15, 2020: 7pm – 9pm
Virtual Meeting –  via Zoom
See the ASEAC Public Comment Guidelines for information about submitting public comments. Any person who would like an interpreter and/or any person with a disability who needs accommodations to access the meeting should contact the Parent Resource Center at 703.228.7239 or as soon as possible to request assistance.

Community Webinar/Virtual Learning Opportunities/Meetings

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

  • Supporting Communication & Social Skills for Early Learners
  • November 19, 2020: 12:00 – 1:00 pm ET
  • Register on Zoom

Organized Chaos: Executive Functioning Strategies for Learning in a Variety of Environments
Wednesday, November 18: 7:30-9:00 pm
Register Here
Presenter: Courtney Heldman, MS, OTR/L, Director of Occupational Therapy, The Lab School of Washington
Whether learning virtually, in person, or through a combination, executive functioning skills and strategies are necessary to manage daily workload, homework, and maintain organization. This lecture will address key strategies and tips for all students, from elementary to high school, and will target such topics as time management, physical and digital organization of workspace, ergonomics, planning, and more.
Sponsored by The Lab School of Washington

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, youth, 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 7-8:30pm

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

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