every child. one voice.

Posts Tagged PARENTS

The Battle to Improve Special Education

It’s been 40 years since the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act went into effect, and school districts across the country are still working to ensure that students with physical or cognitive impairments have access to educational opportunities that address their needs. In some places, lawsuits have forced districts to do more. In Part I of this report on special education in Los Angeles, we saw the impact of a 20-year class-action lawsuit, which has led to significant improvements for students with disabilities in the nation’s second largest school district. In the past 3 years the district has focused more intently on inclusion, moving many students out of dedicated special education centers and into their regular neighborhood schools.

While many see this as a sign of progress, others see cause for concern. In Part II, we take a closer look. Linda Hilton’s son Brandon has attended one of these centers all his life because, she says, no other school in the district could meet his profound physical and medical needs.

Parents who support having their children in regular schools say they are not receiving the services they require. Is LAUSD moving too fast? What’s needed for large districts to educate students with the greatest needs?

Correspondent John Tulenko speaks with teachers, service providers, parents, students, and LAUSD’s director of special education to get the story.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE STORY TONIGHT (March 1) ON PBS NEWSHOUR.

Check Local Listings
And check out Part I of The Battle to Improve Education, and our recent stories about parents’ efforts to advocate for better services for their children with special needs. There are additional resources and coverage on the topic on our website, and the On Special Education blog.

DCCPTA High School Scholarship Application

DCCPTA awards five scholarships every year to graduating Duval County high school seniors.

This year’s scholarship application is now available.

2017-DCCPTA-scholarship-application B  DOCX

2017-DCCPTA-scholarship-application B  PDF

2017 DCCPTA High School Scholarship Promotion

Applications are DUE April 15, 2017.

Students awarded the scholarships will be invited to our Presidents’ and Principals’ Luncheon on May 16, 2017 at UNF.

Good luck!

National PTA Releases Two New Position Statements

February 5, 2016

National PTA’s Board of Directors adopted two new position statements on positive school discipline and assessment last week.

  • Position on positive school discipline states that exclusionary discipline practices should only be used in schools as a last resort effort and on an individualized basis in schools. Read the full statement
  • Position on student assessment and opt-out policies calls for all students to participate in high-quality, comprehensive assessments. Read the full statement

NPE State Grade Card Report

Our partners at 50th No More attended a meeting in Washington DC at which the Network for Public Education released its annual report on the state of public education in the United States.

Factors examined to determine each state’s grade include:

How well the state promotes a well-trained, professional teaching force.

Is there adequate funding for public education and are funds spent wisely?

Does the state have policies that give all students a better opportunity for success?

You can read the entire report using the link below.

NPE-Report-Card-Smaller.pdf

President Signs NEW Elementary and Secondary Education Act

On Dec. 10, President Barack Obama signed the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 into law. This landmark legislation—which received overwhelming bipartisan support in the House and Senate—reauthorizes the long overdue Elementary and Secondary Education Act/No Child Left Behind (ESEA/NCLB).

This new law brings needed improvements to K-12 education in the United States, provides greater responsibility to states to meet the needs of all students and acknowledges the essential role of family engagement to student achievement.

In large part due to the efforts of PTA members across the country, the ESSA contains a Statewide Family Engagement Centers program that will provide states and districts with the capacity to support effective implementation and enhancement of family engagement policies and initiatives.

Read National PTA’s official statement.

Absentee Ballot Information

The following information is from a February 18, 2015 email from the Florida League of Women Voters:

LEAGUE URGES VOTERS NOT TO LET ABSENTEE BALLOTS EXPIRE:
Request Absentee Ballots for Spring Elections and Even 2016

In less than a month, many Florida municipalities and some counties will be holding local elections. Unlike in the November elections, most municipalities, hit by tight budgets, will not have early voting sites.

Are you going to be out of town or unable to vote on your local election day? Then now is the time to act. And at the same time make sure your absentee ballot for the 2016 presidential election is secure.

The League of Women Voters of Florida reminds voters wishing to cast an absentee ballot that they can make a request or renew an absentee ballot with a simple phone call to their local Supervisor of Elections. Renewals can also be made online or via mail.

An absentee ballot requested in 2015 is good for two general election cycles under Florida law, (FS. 101.62(1)(a). After that initial period, however, the request must be renewed or it will automatically sunset.

“Any Florida voter can request an absentee ballot,” said Deirdre Macnab, president of the state League. “However the League is concerned that many seasoned voters may not realize that their standing absentee ballot request has expired.

“The good news is that the remedy is easy,” Macnab added. “Voters can renew by phone with a simple, quick call to their Supervisor of Elections to continue receiving their absentee ballots for future elections. Online renewal is acceptable as well”.

Charley Williams, League Voter Services Chair, said the “popularity of absentee voting in Florida continues to grow with each election cycle.”

He urged voters to vote on THEIR schedule and make the single phone call that will “ensure that you continue to receive absentee ballots through the 2016 presidential election and beyond.”

“The League encourages voters to make a habit of updating their voter record at least once a year. It’s important. Be Ready!”

Deirdre Macnab

League of Women Voters of Florida

(407) 415-4559

floridaleague@earthlink.net

You can reach the Duval County Supervisor of Elections by calling 904.630.1414 or going to their website HERE.

School Choice Guide

In time for the school choice season, the Jacksonville Public Education Fund and the Duval County Council of PTAs have designed a new guide for parents. This guide, (see link below), takes you through some of the key steps and important questions to ask yourself as you go through the school choice process.

JPEF How to Choose a School Card

In addition, check out JPEF’s full report on the school choice landscape in Duval County.

Finally, you can research every public and charter school in Duval County on School Facts Jax – check it out today.

Military Family Life Consultants (MFLC)

Through a collaboration with The Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense Military Community and Family Policy, Duval County Public Schools, and NS Mayport and NAS Jacksonville, Military Family Life Consultants (MFLC’s) have been provided to 12 Duval County Public Schools. The consultants’ services are designed to offer extra support to assist with the unique challenges which military families’ experience.

The primary focus of the Military & Family Life Counseling Program is prevention, education, and counseling support. The services are provided confidentially and no case records or documentation is kept. The consultants do not assess or diagnose, and when they encounter more in depth issues/diagnoses, they offer to connect military families with other helping agencies available on the installation or in the community. While meeting with children, MFLC’s always remain in line of sight of a teacher, staff member, or a parent.

The consultants are licensed clinicians who have demonstrated expertise in working with children. They can provide short-term non-medical counseling support in a variety of different ways: individual meetings with children, presentations about life skills issues, skill-building group discussions, and meetings with parents and families at the family’s request for additional counseling/coaching support.

Some of the common issues that CYB MFLCs help with include the following:

  • stress management and coping skills
  • anger management/conflict resolution
  • deployment and reintegration issues
  • feelings associated with separation and divorce
  • grief and loss reactions
  • self-esteem and confidence
  • communication skills
  • leadership skills

The seven MFLC’s have been assigned to work in the following schools:

  • Finegan Elementary: Ruthanne Wing with school counselor Donna Davis,
  • Mayport Elementary and Jax Beach Elementary: Susan Schanen with school counselors Melissa Hammond and Carla Crumley-Forest,
  • Mayport Middle: Robyn Ashburn with school counselor Adrienne Wakefield,
  • Venetia Elementary and John Stockton Elementary: Cheryl Alvarado with school counselors Na’toria Campbell and Cheryle Roman,
  • Oceanway Middle and San Mateo Elementary: Willie Lott with school counselors Amelia Williams and Duane Monte,
  • New Berlin Elementary and Sheffield Elementary: Shelley Rosen with school counselors Marisa Negron and Ginger Brown, and
  • Enterprise Learning Academy and Chimney Lakes Elementary: Diona Moody with school counselors Ellen Golden and Shelia Handress.

The school program model is designed to provide an informal context in which children can access a behavioral consultant in a non-threatening and supportive environment. MFLCs circulate throughout the school facility making themselves available in classrooms, libraries, staff lounges, athletic events and other areas as identified. By virtue of these efforts to become integrated into the day to day fabric of the school, the consultant becomes the friendly face on the playground, the compassionate listener in the lunchroom, and an objective resource to teachers and staff alike.

All military families will be given the opportunity to consent for their children to participate in this free service or to opt-out. For more information about MFLC services, contact your school to request the direct number for the MFLC on campus.

Or you can contact Judy Cromartie the School Liaison Officer for NS Mayport or Dawn Mills the School Liaison Officer for NAS Jax. As a military parent, if you have questions about this program or concerns about an educational issue impacting your child, they can be reached via email at judith.cromartie@navy.mil or by phone at (904) 270-6289 X1305 [office] or dawn.m.mills@navy.mil or by phone at (904) 778-2236.

Judy Cromartie, School Liaison Officer
NS Mayport
(904) 270-6289 x1305
Judith.Cromartie@navy.mil

General Meetings:

General DCCPTA Meetings
are above and run from 9:30 am - 11:30 am, hospitality 9:00 -9:30 a.m. meeting 9:30 am. Make sure your PTA/PTSA has a representative. Join us at:
Duval County Public Schools
School Board Building
Cline Auditorium, 1st floor
1701 Prudential Dr
Jacksonville, Florida 32207

PTA – Applications – Forms – Spreadsheets – Samples

Mailing Address:

DCC PTA
P.O. Box 5397
Jacksonville, FL 32247
Email DCC President
Email Local Unit Team