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SPAN to Collaborate with National Family Voices in National Center for Family-Professional Partnerships

SPAN partnered with National Family Voices in a successful application to serve as the National Center for Family-Professional Partnerships for 2016-2019 (…/familypropartnerships/index.html). Funded by the US Department of Health and Human Services Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB), the NCFPP is one of six national centers funded to provide technical assistance to improve outcomes for children and youth with special healthcare needs (CYSHCN). SPAN's Executive Co-Director Diana Autin will serve as Project Co-Director with Nora Wells and Bev Baker of Family

ESSA: Concerns about school climate as an accountability measure

Source:  National Initiative for Transforming Student & Learning Supports

Passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) brings with it concerns and issues about what will and should be done to ensure that every student succeeds. One focus is on improving how accountability is assessed. School accountability is a policy tool with extraordinary power to reshape schools - for good and for bad. Systems are driven by accountability measures. This is particularly so under "reform" conditions.

Newark Schools Water Crisis - Children At Risk

A Brief Look at Lead Poisoning: Lead can build up in the body over a period of months or years. Even a small amount of lead in the body can cause serious problems–hence the term lead poisoning. Children under the age of 6 are especially vulnerable, because their mental and physical abilities are still developing. Exposure to lead-based paint or paint dust is the most common avenue to lead poisoning. This exists in older buildings and poses a serious health hazard. The reality is that lead poisoning can come from other sources besides paint, including drinking water that contains lead. As the

Parents as Leaders in Early Childhood: Creating Change so ALL Children Succeed

Calling on Parent Leaders who are committed to working together to create change for children from birth to 8!  Come together to learn and share the knowledge and skills for successful leadership and advocacy at the Parent Leadership Institutes sponsored by SPAN's START Project.  Three (3) regional Institutes will feature parent leaders and professionals discussing best practices in addressing: 

  • Family Literacy
  • Access to High Quality Early Care and Education
  • Inclusion in Early Childhood
  • Positive Behavior Supports in Early Childhood Programs
  • Early Learning issues and More

Click here to find dates

SPAN Applauds USDE Actions to Address Widespread Disparities in Special Education

The U.S. Department of Education took a critical step today addressing widespread disparities in the treatment of students of color with disabilities, proposing a new rule to improve equity in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).  The nation's special education law, IDEA, aims to ensure fairness in the identification, placement, and discipline of students with disabilities. Yet disparities persist, and students of color remain more likely to be identified as having a disability and face harsher discipline than their white classmates.

In order to address those inequities,

Supported Decision Making and Alternatives to Guardianship

On Tuesday, 2/16/16, SPAN Executive Co-Director, Diana Autin presented a webinar on Supported Decision Making and Alternatives to Guardianship.  With close to 200 registrants, the webinar was well received and highlighted the critical importance of supporting youth with disabilities in making choices and decisions about their own lives.  Missed the webinar?  Click here to access a recording and other important resources!

USDE Calls on Schools to Address Discrimination & Harassment

On December 31, 2015, former Education Secretary, Arne Duncan, and the now Acting Secretary of Education, John B. King, Jr., released a letter discussing their concerns with discrimination and harassment based on student race, religion, or national origin in schools and institutions of higher education.

Early ID of Autism Spectrum Disorder and other Developmental Disabilities

Listen to this webinar to find out what works in helping communities learn the signs of developmental disabilities and autism spectrum disorder and Act Early!  SPAN’s Deepa Srinivasavaradan, our NJ Act Early Ambassador and Family Resource Specialist, and Malia Corde, SPAN’s Parent to Parent Coordinator and Improving Birth Outcomes Program Manager, are featured presenters on this webinar from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Association of University Centers on Disability.  Also you can access Promising Practices, a collection of locally inspired models and activities

Happy New Year! SPAN Web-Based Resources for Families

Happy New Year!  Looking for information about early intervention, education, transition to adult life, health and mental healthcare?  Check out the resources on SPAN's website via this "mini-map" at  Want answers to Frequently Asked Questions about the special education process?  View our FAQ video clips at where you can also find videos on early intervention, Response to Intervention, and dispute resolution.