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Summer School for Parents 2008

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Welcome Summer! As families and kids take a break from school, it's time for Summer School for Parents 2008.

Summer School for Parents is a series of activities that will help you enjoy the summer and prepare for the next school year. For the next six weeks, you'll receive your assignments - and maybe even a quiz or two. When you complete the series, you'll get a certificate for a job well done!

IEP Alert levelsPart 1

Relax, Re-Evaluate, Prepare for Next Year

How did it go at the IEP meetings this year? Were you able to maintain a positive parent-school relationship? Were stress levels too high?

It's time to relax, re-evaluate, and ratchet down that stress level by ramping up your advocacy skills.

In Part 1 of Summer School, you will find a summer "to do" list that will encourage you to spend time with friends and family, re-charge your batteries, and brush up on your advocacy skills and techniques.

In Assignment #1: Relax, Re-Evaluate, Prepare for Next Year, you will find a summer "to do" list that will encourage you to spend time with friends and family, re-charge your batteries, and brush up on your advocacy skills and techniques.

Part 2

Special Education Legal and Assessment Terms, Vocabulary Quiz

dictionary Here's a good idea. You'll find news about service dogs in schools and a video that shows an activity you and your family may want to participate in this summer.

For Summer School, it's time to brush up on your vocabulary skills.

  1. Review the terms listed below
  2. Take the quiz to check your skills
  3. Get answers and complete Glossaries of Terms

Try not to go directly to Step 3! Take the quiz first!

Assignment #2: Review Special Education Legal Terms and Assessment Terms.

Part 3

Woman studying at computerSummer School for Parents: Week Three Mini-course

Resolve to find an uninterrupted time and a quiet place to complete Part 3. You have some important reading to do.

Part 3 is a mini course on your rights and responsibilities, your state academic standards, and information on how you can get schools to provide the programs and services your child needs.

Learn how to use IDEA 2004, NCLB, and your state academic standards.

Assignment #3: Rights & Responsibilities, Academic Standards, Tactics & Strategy

Part 4

Woman writing at computerSkills & Tools: Organizing the File; Record Keeping & Documentation

Your goal is to ensure the school provides your child with a "free appropriate public education (FAPE)." As a parent you are a natural advocate for your child. As an advocate you need information, skills, and tools.

This week you will write. Get your pen and paper (or your keyboard) ready. You'll be writing lists, logs, and letters and organizing your child's file.

Yes, it will take some time and effort. It will be worth every minute if you want to negotiate a good program for your child. We have a Success Story that will show you just how it works.

In Assignment #4: Skills & Tools, Organizing the File; Record Keeping & Documentation, we explain the importance of keeping and organizing records, documentation, paper trails, and letter writing and we'll show you how to do it.

Part 5

You CAN Measure Educational Change; You MUST Understand Test Scores

bar graphYour goal this summer was to improve your advocacy skills in order to get an appropriate program for your child. But here's the thing - how will you know the program is appropriate or if your child is making acceptable progress?

You've completed your written assignment and continue with your reading. This week, your math homework - statistics.

When you understand your child's test scores, you'll be able to use information from objective tests to track progress and make decisions about your child's program.

You must learn how to measure progress. Statistics allow you to use numbers to measure your child's educational growth - progress (or lack of progress).

In Assignment #5: You CAN Measure Educational Change, You MUST Understand Test Scores, you will learn how to use psychological and educational achievement test scores to measure your child's educational growth.

Part 6

How Far-By When? SMART IEP Goals and Objectives

roadmapThis is your final week of Summer School for Parents. You will receive your certificate in the next issue.

If you traveled by car this summer (in spite of the price of gas), more than likely you used a map as a guide to help you find where you were going.

Your child's IEP should be your roadmap to his progress in school.

The roadmap to SMART IEPs is learning how to write SMART goals and objectives

Clearly written SMART goals and objectives in the IEP provide you and your child's teachers with a roadmap and a clear mechanism to evaluate your child's progress.

Assignment #6: Learn to write SMART Goals and Objectives

Psychologist, Educator, and Writer Robert Mager says "If you're not sure where you're going, you're liable to end up someplace else. If you don't know where you're going, the best made maps won't help you get there."

In Part 6 of Summer School, you will learn how to determine your child's present levels of performance and write measurable annual goals that are SMART IEP goals and objectives.

Congratulations! Your Advocacy Game Plan

Summer School for Parents CertificateCongratulations! You've completed Summer School for Parents 2008, the six week series to becoming a more effective parent advocate.

Thank you for participating. You've worked hard reading, learning statistics to measure progress, completing written assignments, submitting answers to quizzes, improving your skills. You're motivated and empowered.

Well done!

We appreciate your positive comments about the series.

"This summer school series for parents you've been running in the newsletter is perfect for the parents I'm training at the Parent Information Center workshops. You haven't just told parents what to learn, you are telling them how to learn it and how to approach the learning."

In this final issue part of Summer School: Congratulations! Your Advocacy Game Plan, we'll tell you how you can practice your new advocacy skills and ways to share your knowledge, resources, and game plan with others.

Here's your Summer School for Parents Certificate.


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