Recent News

2/4/2020

Raise Awareness About Online Safety

On Feb. 11, 2020, Safer Internet Day will be celebrated in over 100 countries. The event is led by Connect Safely in the United States and encourages parents, students, and educators to come together to discuss digital issues and the responsible and respectable use of the internet and social media. National PTA encourages nationwide involvement to create a safer digital community for students.


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2/4/2020

Identify the Signs


Children develop at their own pace. Your baby is growing in ways you can and cannot see is the message from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). ASHA and Read Aloud 15 MINUTES developed a free tool kit which details communication skills parents and caregivers should expect to see in their child by age and tips for how to encourage development through reading daily. The tool kit targets ages birth to five.

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1/13/2020

“On Demand” FREE F.A.S.T. Webinar Series


Have you checked out Tennessee’s State Personnel Development Grant (SPDG) “On Demand” Webinar Series on

Families and Schools Together (FAST) - Increasing Student Success Through Partnership

This three-part webinar series is a great tool for parents and teachers.  The free webinars can be viewed anytime on your computer, smartphone or tablet.  

Please share with parents and families or feel free to use it as part of professional development for teachers and administrators.

Click on the following topics to view each webinar, download handouts, and resources.  Be sure to give your feedback by completing the brief evaluation at the end of each webinar.

This webinar series is a collaborative project of the TN Department of Education State Personnel Grant (SPDG) and their family partner Support & Training for Exceptional Parents (STEP, Inc.).

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12/13/2019

TN Special Education Directors Update

The latest Special Education Directors Update is out from the Tennessee Department of Education. 

 In this issue:

  • Student Participation in IEP meetings
  • Partners in Education Conference
  • Required Actions Following Incidents of Restraint and/or Isolation
  • Requirements for Students Assessed on the Alternate Assessment
  • Family Mini-Conference: Pathways to the Future

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12/11/2019

December 2019 Issue of EP-Magazine is now available

The December 2019 Issue of EP-Magazine is now available.

Notable articles include:

  • Advocating as A Family in the Community
  • Lessons from Olmstead 
  • Holiday Travel Tips 
  • Top Toy and Gift Guide 
  • Myths about Hiring People with Disabilities

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12/4/2019

Tennessee Council on Developmental Disabilities Update

The latest update is out from the Tennessee Council on Developmental Disabilities.

In this issue:

  • Living in a Smart Home by Ned Andrew Solomon 
  • Aira, A visual interpreter for the blind by James Brown
  • In Search of a Calm, Familiar Place, through Technology by Ned Andrew Solomon
  • Technology in My Life by Suzanne Colsey 
  • Youth Leadership Academy 2019 by Marissa Fletcher-Smith 
  • Ned Andrew Solomon Retirement Tribute

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12/2/2019

TEIS (TN Early Intervention System) Update

The latest TEIS (TN Early Intervention System) Update is out from the Tennessee Education Association.

(Note: The Governor announced that TEIS will be moving to DIDD from the Department of Education in July of 2020.)

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12/2/2019

Keep Your Kids Reading Over the Holidays and Winter Break


Parents and caregivers play an important role in supporting children’s reading development, especially when children are having difficulty.  With Winter break and the holiday’s right around the corner, remember to take time to keep your children engaged in learning and reading.  Remember you can “sneak” reading into daily activities with your children -

  • Have your children read holiday cards when they are received in the mail, and let them write a message in outgoing cards. 
  • Let children read ingredients from holiday recipes while you bake together. It's a great way for them to learn measurements and temperatures. 
  • Set aside time for kids to "show off" their new reading skills to visiting relatives. Children love being the focus of attention, and grandparents are usually more than willing to see their progress. 
  • Make special holiday readings a tradition. Find a special book for Hanukkah or Christmas, and have each member of the family read from it at the same time each year. 
  • Listen to audio books together. 
  • Even if no books make your child's wish list, make sure you give at least one as a gift and encourage them to read it. 
  • Find books that focus on an interest your child has. For example, if they ask for a bike, find a book on Lance Armstrong, or a children's book that includes a bicycle adventure. There are books out there to suit every interest under the sun – it just takes a little browsing. 
Explore some of these ideas and resources 

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11/26/2019

SMART Reading Tips for the Holidays


Winter break is right around the corner, and holidays can get pretty hectic! Routines can fly out the window with celebrations, travel and out-of-town guests. As your family prepares for the holidays, use these tips for keeping kids engaged in learning and reading over winter break.

  • Read for fun! Whether your child is in the mood for holiday stories or the newest installment from a favorite series, winter break provides the perfect opportunity to set aside school books and read for fun. Make time for bedtime stories to create the routine and enjoy books on a daily basis.
  • Stock up on books at the local library. Help your child pick out books they’re interested in reading over the winter break. Libraries may also have fun, free holiday activities throughout the break.
  • Make the most of travel time. Turn travel time to or from a holiday get-together into an opportunity to practice reading. You can look for license plates from different states, try to find the alphabet on the license plates, or count the number of red (or white or green) cars you see. Read street signs and billboards you see along the way.
  • Create a new tradition. A little predictability is comforting for kids. Starting a special Winter Break Story Time can be a new tradition that links reading with happy memories. Hot cocoa and your favorite stories will have the whole family feeling comfy and cozy, while creating memories that will last a lifetime.

Remember, you don’t have to be an expert to help your child with reading. By simply interacting with children around books, you can show them that books are important and worthy of our attention.

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11/26/2019

Supporting Your Child's Literacy Development


This toolkit helps parents and families take part in literacy experiences at home to develop children’s reading and language skills. 

You will learn:

  • Strategies, tips, and activities to help your child develop as a reader from preschool through adolescence.
  • How to listen, look, help, and encourage while you and your child participate in activities together.   

Check Out the Toolkit

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