Parent Resource Center Weekly Message: 3.9.21

March 9, 2021

SSW-PAGE-1Happy School Social Work Week! This week we acknowledge and celebrate APS’ School Social Workers, who provide vital support to students and families in APS. During this challenging year, we’ve been especially heartened to learn of the significant impact our school social workers have had on our community, and we are honored to salute and celebrate our colleagues this week and throughout the year. Read more

VCU-ACE Lunch and Learn to feature the Order of Self-Determination – Student Perspectives!

We are proud and excited to learn that this week’s Virginia Commonwealth University’s Autism Center for Excellence (VCU-ACE) Lunch and Learn session will feature members of the Order of Self-Determination. The Order of Self-Determination is a group of stOSDudents who meet together to learn and teach others about self-determination. Students from APS’ Program for Employment Preparedness (PEP) participate and lead workshops, conferences, webinars, and learning activities to students around Arlington County and beyond. Tune in at noon on Thursday, March11th!
Register on Zoom

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PEATC, Virginia’s Parent Education and Advocacy Training Center, has shared useful infographics in English and Spanish to illustrate virtual learning terms:

What Do These Words Mean? Virtual learning Terms for Parents to Know (English and Spanish)

Office of Special Education Seeks Distance Learning Input

The Office of Special Education is seeking input from families on distance learning. Links to the survey in English and Spanish are provided below. Parents/guardians wishing to complete the survey in Amharic, Arabic or Mongolian should contact the Parent Resource Center at 703.228.7239 or
English Language Survey
Encuesta en español

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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.

SAVE THE DATE: Arlington Special Education Advisory Committee (ASEAC) Meeting
Tuesday, March 23rd: 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Virtual Meeting –  via Zoom


  • Promoting Resilience & Mental Wellness in Teens Through Social Emotional Learning
    March 11th: 7:00pm – 8:30pm Register here
    March 22nd: 7:00pm-8:30pmRegister 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

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

Why Youth Mental Health First Aid? Youth Mental Health First Aid teaches you how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illness and substance use disorders in youth. This 6-hour training gives adults who work with youth the skills they need to reach out and provide initial support to children and adolescents (ages 6-18) who may be developing a mental health or substance use problem and help connect them to the appropriate care. First Aiders will complete a 2-hour, self-paced online class, then participate in a 4- to 5-hour Instructor-led videoconference.The course will cover common signs and symptoms of mental illness in this age group, including:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Eating disorders
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Common signs and symptoms of substance use
  • How to interact with a child or adolescent in crisis
  • How to connect the person with help
  • NEW: Expanded content on trauma, addiction and self-care and the impact of social media and bullying

The course will teach you how to apply the ALGEE action plan:

  • Assess for risk of suicide or harm.
  • Listen non judgmentally.
  • Give reassurance and information.
  • Encourage appropriate professional help.
  • Encourage self-help and other support strategies

Presented by Arlington Public Schools’ Office of Student Services


ADHD Parenting Series
Mondays, April 12 – May 10: 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Join us for a virtual 5-week series on parenting students with 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.


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

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
2021 Dates:

  • March 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 (

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

Upcoming Events from PEATC – Virginia’s Parent Education and Advocacy Training Center
Behavior Summit
May 19, 2021
Registration opens on March 15th

    • Grupo de Chat para Padres: Unete a nuestro nuevo GRUPO DE CHAT mediante la aplicación de WhatsApp y podras mantenerte al tanto de todo lo que PEATC Latino esta haciendo. Entra al GRUPO:
    • Abril 24, 2021 | 10:00 AM  La Cumbre VIRTUAL de Alcance Latinx, se creó para brindar un espacio seguro de discusión y acción para crear mejores condiciones para la comunidad Latinx a la que servimos en todo el estado de Virginia. Esta cumbre que reunirá a familias y profesionales para una mejor comprensión de la Educación Especial, la diversidad, la cultura y la oportunidad de aprender sobre los desafíos específicos que enfrenta nuestra comunidad. REGISTRATE HOY
  • Nurturing Parenting Program (English series)
    Thursdays: Starting March 18 to May 13 (*skipping April 1) – 6:00pm- 8:00pm via Zoom
    Register here
  • Navigating the Tween and Teen Years (English)
    Tuesdays: April 6 – May 18 – 6:00-8:00 pm
    Register here
  • Nurturing Parenting Program (Spanish series)
    Wednesdays: March 17 to May 12 (*skipping March 31) – 6:00 pm- 8:00 pm via Zoom
  • 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
  • Transition Lunch & Learn
    Wednesday, March 17th – 12:00-1:30 p.m.
    Register here