Parent Resource Center Monday Message: October 25, 2021

Monday Message imageAugmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Week
October 25-29
Arlington Public Schools is acknowledging Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Week from October 25 – 29. AAC is used by people who cannot rely on oral speech (some or all of the time) to communicate. AAC includes a variety of ways that people communicate. To support equity and inclusivity, we have an array of exciting and interactive opportunities taking place:

    • Staff and students will have an opportunity to watch a brief AAC Awareness video and complete a “Chatterbox Challenge” activity. Additional extension activities will also be available for staff to complete.
    • A session on AAC at Home including a presentation by APS AAC Implementation Coaches – Brittany Thomas and Erin Tokajer – and  parent leaders – Janna Dressel, Brandi Horton and Cecilia Kline –  is scheduled for Wednesday, October 27th at 7pm.
    • In partnership with Arlington SEPTA, the Office of Special Education and Parent Resource Center will host a complimentary snack/beverage cart at the Syphax Education Center on Wednesday, October 27th. Staff will have an opportunity to learn about AAC and experience using AAC devices and systems.
    • A new webpage  has been created and includes AAC Awareness Week activities, along with links to the Chatterbox Challenge, and resources for staff and families.

We are looking forward to welcoming two terrific speakers back to Arlington this week. Kirk Martin of Celebrate Calm will join the PRC on Monday and Tuesday for two sessions on calm parenting. On Tuesday evening, Arlington SEPTA is sponsoring a session presented by Dr. Paula Kluth. On Wednesday, the PRC  is looking forward to our virtual AAC at Home session. Details and registration information are included below.

Upcoming Events image


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

Celebrate Calm
Monday, October 25: 7pm – 9pm at Kenmore Middle School Auditorium
Tuesday, October 26: 10am – Noon at Syphax Education Center, 2110 Washington Boulevard, Room 256, Arlington, VA 22204
Registration is required.
Register online here.
Parents of children ages 2-22 are invited to join the PRC in welcoming Kirk Martin of Celebrate Calm back to Arlington Public Schools for two FREE dynamic, laugh-out-loud funny parent events. During the sessions, Kirk will give you 10 practical ways to:

  • Improve focus, grades, impulse control, and social skills.
  • Calm anxious, defiant, and/or frustrated children.
  • Motivate students who seem stubborn or apathetic without lecturing.
  • Stop power struggles without escalating situations.
  • Do morning, homework and bedtime without meltdowns.

**Please note – masks are required in APS buildings.
The morning session will be livestreamed. Register to receive link to join the livestream.

Universal Design: Supporting All Students in the Diverse Classroom
Tuesday, October 26, 2021 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Online via Zoom, Registration Required – Recording available until Nov. 9th with registration.
To register and find more information visit:
APS Staff can register in Frontline at: SPED2022 Universal Design: Supporting All Students in the Diverse Classroom
Join Arlington SEPTA in welcoming back Dr. Paula Kluth. Building on last spring’s webinar, “Don’t We Already Do Inclusion: 5 Ways to Create Better Schools for All,” Dr. Kluth will explore an important component of the inclusive classroom, Universal Design. It’s undoubtedly important to teach in ways that honor learning differences and to structure lessons that are engaging, varied, and appropriately challenging. However, in this era focused on universal design for all, it is also critical to explore the underlying habits of mind related to “teaching them all.” Based on the book of the same title, this presentation centers on big ideas related to teaching and learning. Paula will discuss the role of “teaching up” and presuming both competence and complexity. She will explore the need to focus on student strengths, passions, and interests. She will also talk about the need to design lessons that are responsive and dynamic.

This presentation contains video clips, classroom stories, examples, and illustrations. It will provide both points of reflection and practical strategies. More importantly, it features ideas to help all teachers better respond to the diversity that exists in their classrooms every single day.

All SEPTA meetings are open to everyone.  Membership is not needed to join the discussion. ASL interpretation and CC provided.
Contact for translation requests.


Using Augmentative and Alternative Communication Strategies at Home
Wednesday, October 27, 2021: 7pm – 8:30pm
Register here
Join us to meet and welcome APS’ new AAC Implementation Coaches – Brittany Thomas and Erin Tokajer – and parent leaders Janna Dressel, Brandi Horton and Cecilia Kline, who will share strategies and practical resources on how families can support communication at home and in the community.

APS Transition Fair
Saturday, November 13, 2021: 11am to 1pm
Arlington Career Center, 816 S Walter Reed Drive, Arlington, VA  22204
Register here or call 703.228.2545
Join the APS Transition Team for the Arlington Public Schools Annual Transition Fair! – Building Your Future Together!
Participants will learn about a variety of community resources for individuals with special needs. This event will focus on services that individuals with developmental disabilities can access after graduation. For additional information, please contact Joy Haley at 703-228-2545 or
View APS Transition Fair Flyer 2021

Arlington Special Education Advisory Committee Meeting/Reunión del Comité Asesor de Educación Especial de Arlington (ASEAC)
Tuesday, November 16, 2021: 7pm to 9pm
Registration coming soon
Virtual Meeting –  via Zoom
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 at least four business days in advance of a meeting to request assistance.

Arlington County Programs

FLIP IT!®: Transforming Challenging Behavior
Spanish Sessions – Mondays: 7pm – 8:15pm beginning on October 18th

Managing Holiday Stress
Tuesday November 16th, 2021 – 7-8pm
Hosted by Arlington Child and Family Services clinical staff

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.

The Arc of Northern Virginia

  • Parents in a Pandemic – Virtual Support Group
    Meetings will be held on Wednesday evenings at 5:30 – 6:30pm.  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.
    Register for the October 27th meting

The Arc of Northern Virginia is partnering with Developmental Support Associates (DSA) to offer a virtual family support group for local families who care for children, youths, 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, thoughts, feelings, and novel strategies for promoting personal and social growth. Since the program began,Meetings are free, but pre-registration is required.

  • Careers in Computer Tech: Spotlight on Your AbilIT 
    Thursday, October 28, 202112:00 noon – 1:00 p.m.      
    Register here 
    People with disabilities represent one of the most promising and readily available entry-level tech workforces in the nation. Many people on the autism spectrum who are unemployed or underemployed have heightened abilities that make them a perfect match for these high-tech jobs. Melwood’s 14 week abilIT program, conducted in partnership with Cybrary, consists of both technical training as well as professional development. The program’s design ensures that participants are equipped with both the technical and soft skills necessary to join and succeed on any project team. During this webinar, attendees will learn about the program’s application process, the IT certifications offered, core curriculum components, and how this program is impacting people with disabilities. This webinar will be presented by Melwood Program Director Eboni Borden
  • Fall Lunch and Learn Transition Series: 12:00pm to 1:30pm
    Register here
    Planning for the transition from school to adult services can be an overwhelming task.These small group sessions are an opportunity to begin creating a plan for the future.  If you have questions, please email Diane Monnig, Transition Manager at

    • November 3rd, 2021
    • November 17th, 2021
    • December 1st, 2021
    • December 15th, 2021
    • December 29th, 2021

CHADD of Northern Virginia and DC – Annual Resource Fair

  • Virtual Exhibit Hall:  Meet our sponsors and learn about their services
    Tuesday, 10/26, 7:00 – 9:00 PM
    This opportunity to meet with various organizations broadens your horizons and allows you to find the right services for yourself or a family member.  To register, click HERE.

NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Arlington Parent Support Groups
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.
Parents of School Age Students and Teens (PK-12): Sundays 7pm-8:30pm
Cherrydale Baptist Church, 3910 Lorcom Lane, Arlington, VA 22207 – Building Entrance 16, Rm 118

  • November 7 and 21
  • December 5

Older Teen and Young Adults: 3rd Sunday 1-3pm
Trinity Presbyterian Church, 5533 16th St N, Arlington, VA 22207Questions??  Contact:

  • PK-12: Michelle Best (
  • Adults: Naomi Verdugo (

Both: Alisa Cowen ( NAMI Support Groups Flyer   Upcoming Events from PEATC – Virginia’s Parent Education and Advocacy Training Center

    • La Dinámica del Acoso Cibernético, la Tecnología, y Nuestra Juventud | Octubre 20 – 7:00 PMA medida que el uso de la tecnología aumenta, el ciberacoso también lo hace. Las personas con discapacidades corren un mayor riesgo de sufrir acoso cibernético y ciberacoso ha creado nuevos desafíos para los estudiantes, padres, administradores escolares y aquellos que hacen cumplir la ley. Durante este taller interactivo, definiremos qué es el ciberacoso, exploraremos los tipos de ciberacoso, las motivaciones detrás del ciberacoso y las señales de advertencia a tener en cuenta. También aprenderemos consejos y estrategias para proteger a las personas vulnerables del ciberacoso.REGISTRACIÓN:

What, Me Organized? Understanding Your Child’s Style Thursday, October 28, 2021: 7pm – 8:30pm
Register Here
Dr. Susan Baum, Director of the 2e Center for Research and Professional Development at the Bridges Academy will offer a free virtual parent workshop which will address:

  • Helping your child use their own style for the best organization
  • Supporting your child to use their own strengths for success
  • Digging into research about understanding your child
  • Discovering your own personality
  • Ideas to share with your child to provide them with ideas for getting along with others that work differently
  • How to help a highly creative child

For more information, please contact Karen Duby at