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February 2009 E-News


The latest news and information from around the country.

New Projects


MTV airs News Show Hosted by People with Disabilities: “How’s Your News?”
Every Sunday, at 10:30 PM on MTV, reporters with Down syndrome, Williams syndrome, and other intellectual and physical disabilities are broadcasting their own unique news magazine show. “How’s Your News?” began airing February 8, 2009, and is produced by Matt Stone and Trey Parker, the creators of “South Park.”


Resources in Spanish on the Child Welfare Information Gateway
The Child Welfare Information Gateway recently launched a new “Resources in Spanish” section on its Web site, with a glossary of English-to-Spanish and Spanish-to-English child welfare terms, as well as topically organized resources on: child abuse and neglect; preventing and responding to child abuse and neglect; supporting and preserving families; out-of-home care; and adoption.

Legislative Announcements


U.S. President Barack Obama Reveals Comprehensive Plan for People with Disabilities
On January 20th, 2009, U.S. President Barack Obama announced the new Administration's 4-part disability agenda: provide educational opportunities to Americans with disabilities; end discrimination and promote equal opportunity; increase the employment rate of workers with disabilities; and support independent, community-based living. The plan also has a statement on the Administration's vision for Autism support.

Calls to Participate


Casey Family Programs’ 2020 Youth/Alumni Advisors
Casey Family Programs is seeking adults and young people (ages 11 and older) to advise them as they implement their 2020 Strategy. Advisors must currently be in foster care, or have experienced foster care in the past. Candidates for this role should also have experience in the areas of mental health, education, or employment. If you have questions, contact Gregory Davis at


Exceptional Parent and the University Of Illinois at Chicago
The University of Illinois at Chicago is looking for parents and caregivers of children aged 12 - 18 with special needs to complete an internet-based survey on the lifestyle and environment of adolescents with disabilities. This survey can be accessed at the website and entered using the access code: ECP3. For more information, or if you experience any difficulty accessing the survey, please contact Brienne Davis, Department of Disability and Human Development, University of Illinois at Chicago, by email (, or by phone (312-355-4054).


Exceptional Parent and the University Of Illinois at Chicago
The University of Illinois at Chicago is looking for parents and caregivers of children aged 12 - 18 with special needs to complete an internet-based survey on the lifestyle and environment of adolescents with disabilities. This survey can be accessed at the Web site and entered using the access code: ECP3.

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The Resource Zone

Other National Resources


Course Credit Accrual and Dropping Out of High School, by Student Characteristics (February 2009)  (February 2009)
This Statistics in Brief report from the National Center for Education Statistics, within the Institute of Education Sciences, examined data from the Education Longitudinal Study of 2002 on the number of credits earned by high school students and the relationship between course credit accrual and dropping out. It found that that high school dropouts earned fewer credits than on-time graduates, and the cumulative course credit accrual gap increased with each year.


Family Guide to Systems of Care for Children with Mental Health Needs  (2009)
This guide to systems of care for families, from the National Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health, a national family-run organization dedicated to helping children with mental health needs and their families achieve a better quality of life, provides information about how to seek care for children with mental health needs. The content and format were determined by families across the country.


Improving Higher Education Outcomes for Students from Foster Care  (2009)
Only about 10% of students from foster care enroll in higher education – with less than 2% earning bachelor's degrees. This Casey Family Programs resource can assist colleges in improving their support for students coming from foster care.


Latino Students and U.S. High Schools  (January 2009) PDF document
Fact Sheet
Almost five million Latino students were enrolled in America’s public schools in the 1993-94 school year. By 2005-06, that number had doubled. “Latino Students and U.S. High Schools”, from the Alliance for Excellent Education, provides information on how the nation’s high schools are failing too many Latino youth and updates data on schools, segregation, and teacher quality. Available in pdf (3 pages, 262 KB).


Learning to Lead Leadership Assessments for Youth and Staff  (2009)
Two new publications from the National Center on Learning Disabilities-Youth (NCLD-Youth) and its sister center National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth (NCWD/Youth) allow youth with disabilities and staff working with these youth to assess the emerging leadership skills of the youth. “Learning to Lead? A Self-Assessment for Youth,” helps emerging leaders look at how they’re growing in terms of achieving youth development and leadership outcomes in the areas of learning, connecting, thriving, working and leading. “Are They Learning to Lead? A Self-Assessment for Staff,” helps staff of youth development and leadership programs evaluate how their program is helping youth achieve in these areas.


NCCRESt’s “Culturally Responsive Response to Intervention”  (2008)
Learning Module
NCCRESt has published a new learning module on Culturally Responsive Response to Intervention. The module is organized into three academies: (1) Culturally Responsive Response to Intervention Models, (2) Using Data to Assess Student Progress and Inform Educational Decisions in Culturally Responsive RTI Models, and (3) Ensuring Culturally Responsive Student Supports. Each of these areas includes a free facilitator manual, PowerPoint presentation, and participant handouts.


Students with Disabilities in U.S. High Schools Fact Sheet  (January 2009) PDF document
Fact Sheet
Nearly one third of the more than six million students with disabilities in U.S. public schools are of high school age, and many face barriers and challenges to receiving an equitable education. The Alliance for Excellent Education has published “Students with Disabilities in U.S. High Schools”, which examines dropout rates, college- and work-readiness, and transition for this group of students. Available in pdf (3 pages, 179 KB).


Supporting Student Outcomes through Expanded Learning Opportunities  (February 2009)
This paper, form the Harvard Family Research Project, looks at the role of after school and summer learning programs in supporting student success, with information on the benefits of expanded learning, why and how schools should partner, and a warrant for future research on expanded learning and education reform.


The Cost of Quality Out-of-School Programs  (January 2009)
What does a quality after-school program cost? Based on cost data collected from 111 out-of-school-time programs in six cities, this report provides cost averages and ranges for many common types of programs, and includes an online calculator and resources to help design the best programs for a given community.

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What's Happening

Other National Events


Sixth International Conference on Positive Behavior Support
March 26, 2009 - March 28, 2009
Jacksonville, FL
This international conference promotes research-based strategies that combine applied behavior analysis and biomedical science with person-centered values and systems change to increase quality of life and decrease problem behaviors. The Association of Positive Behavior Support is made up of professionals, family members, trainers, consumers, researchers, and administrators who are involved in positive behavior support.

International Conference on Self-Determination
May 3, 2009 - May 5, 2009
Winston-Salem, NC
The Center for Self-Determination will hold the 2nd Annual International Conference on Self-Determination in Winston-Salem NC, May 3-5, 2009. More information, and registration are at the website.

Abilities Expo

June 25, 2009 - June 27, 2009
Chicago, IL
In addition to featuring new technology, products and services for people with disabilities, this year’s expo features education and training seminars, a career fair, and a networking reception. The Abilities Expo will also be held November 5-7 in Atlanta, GA. ^ Top of Page ^

Get Wired!

Web Sites


College Options for Students with Intellectual Disabilities
For students with intellectual disabilities considering college, a new Web site created by the Post-Secondary Education Research Center (PERC) project offers overviews and links to a number of programs.



Proyecto Visión Newsletter
The Proyecto Visión newsletter for Winter 2009 includes interviews with disability advocate Stephanie Ortoleva and writer Natasha Álvarez and introduces new Proyecto Visión pages on Facebook and YouTube.

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Funding Forecast

Federal Grant Opportunities


FY 2008-2009 Discretionary Grant Application Packages
This site, from the Department of Education, provides information on grant competitions that are currently open.

Additional Funding and Award Opportunities


HP Innovations in Education Seeks Proposals from Secondary School Districts
The 2009 HP Innovations in Education grants for secondary school districts in the United States will provide funding to school districts launching innovative pilot initiatives that support administrators and teachers responsible for student success in math and science in middle and/or high schools. HP will award approximately 25 grants to public or qualified private school districts. Each grant is valued at more than $270,000 in HP technology, cash, and professional development. Deadline: March 30, 2009


Kohl’s Kids Who Care Scholarship Program
Through the Kohl’s Kids Who Care scholarship program, the Kohl’s Corporation plans to award over $350,000 in scholarships and prizes in 2009 to kids whose volunteer efforts in the last twelve months have made helped make their communities better places. The activity cannot be performed solely to benefit a family member. Deadline: March 15, 2009


National Center for Family Literacy Grants to Support Hispanic/Immigrant Family Literacy
The National Center for Family Literacy seeks applications from U.S. school districts to implement the Toyota Family Literacy Program. The opportunity builds on Toyota’s commitment to the program, currently serving 75 elementary schools in 25 cities. The program targets U.S. communities with fast-growing Hispanic and other immigrant populations with a family literacy approach designed to increase basic language and literacy skills and provides parents with the specific skills they need to help their children succeed. Deadline: February 20, 2009 (Capability Survey)


NEA Foundation Grants to Improve Academic Achievement
The NEA Foundation provides grants of up to $5,000 to improve academic achievement of students in U.S. public schools and public higher education institutions in any subject area(s). The proposed work should engage students in critical thinking and problem solving that deepen their knowledge of standards-based subject matter and should improve habits of inquiry, self-directed learning, and critical reflection. Proposals for work resulting in low-income and minority student success with honors, advanced placement, or other challenging curricula are particularly encouraged. Deadline: ongoing; deadline for September 15 notification period: June 1, 2009.


Sprint Character Education Grant Program
Sprint provides grant funding to U.S. public schools (K-12) and U.S. public school districts, to support character education programs promoting leadership, voluntarism, character education, and school pride. Grants will fund the purchase of resource materials, supplies, teacher training, and equipment that facilitates character education for K-12 students. Examples of eligible programs include character education curriculum and character education teacher training, direct project-related costs for service-learning programs, and leadership and mentor training. Public schools may apply for individual school grants of up to $5,000 each; public school districts for district-wide grants of up to $25,000 each. Deadline: February 27, 2009

Scholarships and Awards


Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching
The Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching are among the nation’s highest honors for teachers of mathematics and science, recognizing highly qualified teachers for their contributions in the classroom and to their profession. Maximum award: $10,000. Eligibility: teachers grades 7-12 with five years experience teaching math or science. Deadline: May 1, 2009.


Questbridge: College Prep Program for High School Juniors
Questbridge, a non-profit organization dedicated to giving high-achieving low-income students resources during the college application process, is accepting applications for its College Prep Program for High School Juniors. Maximum award: full scholarship to summer program, college admissions counseling, and attendance at college preparatory conferences. Eligibility: qualified low-income high school juniors. Deadline: March 31, 2009.

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End of Issue

Excerpting E-News
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E-News features resources, activities, products, and funding information from around the country. E-News is dedicated to assisting youth, parents, educators, service providers, and administrators to stay connected and informed about secondary education and transition issues.

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E-News Disclaimer
The National Center on Secondary Education and Transition disseminates E-News to enhance public access to information about secondary education and transition activities. Our intention is to provide resources that are current and accurate. Although every attempt is made to ensure the accuracy of this information, we can make no guarantees. We will, of course, make every effort to correct errors brought to our attention.

E-News was supported in whole or in part by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, (Cooperative Agreement No. H326J000005). However, the opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of the U. S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, or any of the six partners of the National Center on Secondary Education and Transition, and no official endorsement should be inferred.

Note: There are no copyright restrictions on this document. However, please credit the source and support of federal funds when copying all or part of this material.

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This page was last updated on October 6, 2011.