Archive for February, 2009

For those who can make it–Lobby Day is March 17

February 28, 2009




Join other NYC Public School Parents & Community

members from around the City to

Rally & Lobby Albany Together!

In Albany, our parent leadership and community members will

divide into teams to meet with key legislative leaders (Assembly

Speaker Silver & Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith), the chairs

& members of the Assembly and Senate Education Committees and

staff from Governor Paterson’s office. They need to hear from us!!

The issues at stake are:

• State Budget

• Campaign for Fiscal Equity

• Parent Empowerment

• Special Education & English Language


Reserve your seat TODAY! Free round-trip bus transportation. Lunch provided.

Bus departure from Petrides, leaving by 6:30am; return by 7pm.

For more information and to reserve seats Call Federation at:

718 356-3247 or

Email or call in reservations – No later than Wednesday, March 4, 2009.

Please include your name, school and phone numbers for confirmation



February 24, 2009

Bullying: Real and Virtual
Thursday, March 12, 2009 7:00 pm
St. John’s University
300 Howard Ave
Staten Island, NY 10301

Scheduled Participants

Dr. Kenneth Poplar – Child Psychologist and Director of SI Mental Health

Greg Bowen – DOE Security Administrator

George Anthony – Executive Director of Peace Dynamics and Conflict Resolution Specialist (SWHS)

David Frey – SI Assistant District Attorney, Chief of Computer and Technology Investigative Unit

Al Pratt – NYC Public School Substance Abuse Counselor

And others

Refreshments will be served.
Seating is limited.
RSVP by March 3rd, 2009
Joan McKeever-Thomas, email: or 718-605-1400
Rosette Allegretti

Reminder- Come for coffee on Thursday 10 am-noon

February 24, 2009

at the Coffee and Tea Mart, 420 Forest Ave (near Key Food) in West Brighton.

Fresh Air Camp–FREE! (from Jackie Tripodi)

February 24, 2009


Fresh Air Fund Registration Now In Progress

As you all might know by now by, the Preventive Dept. already started registering for the fresh Air Fund. Please take advantage of these free vacations which is being offer to our at no cost. This is a chance for our children to enjoy at least 2 weeks (the first time), away from the city streets. AT the same time allowing their parents to relax and enjoy themselves. Don’t be afraid to send your children. Allow them to enjoy the outdoors. There are 13 different states to choose from. These families Children ages 6 to 15 years of age get to leave the city and enjoy the outdoors totally free of charge.

This is free to you and your Child. There is also no registration fee associated with the application process. This is done on a first come, first serve basis. We also do registration for special needs camps. Our Foster Care Department should take advantage and register their children now! for Hidden Valley and Camp Mariah.

If you are interested, please contact Angie Valdez-(718-)794-8500

Someone actually WANTS input from Staten Islanders and those with “invisible” disabilities!

February 20, 2009

This came via Parent to Parent. The researcher is seeking information and ideas from library users who have disabilities of any kind, including “invisible” ones. Please contact her at the email at the end of this post.
I thought I would contact her and ask her to consider coming to a Staten Island library branch, since many islanders find it difficult to get to Manhattan especially with their children. So if you do email her, please ask her about meeting on STaten Island. Thanks!

I am working with the New York Public Library (libraries in Manhattan, the Bronx and Staten Island) to make it more welcoming of and accessible to library users with diverse disabilities. As part of this work, I am conducting focus groups and individual interviews (phone, email or in person) with library users with disabilities to learn about their library experiences good and bad and get their recommendations for change.

I will be conducting a focus group at the Mid Manhattan Library (40th and 5th Avenue, Manhattan), next Tuesday, from 2-4 PM and individual interviews for the next several weeks, including phone or email exchanges, if that’s easier. Input from parents and teachers would be greatly appreciated as long as their children or students use public libraries in the NYPL system.
I am particularly eager to get input from those who live in Staten Island and those with invisible disabilities (cognitive, emotional, etc.) since both these groups are particularly underrepresented in my work so far, but the input of any library user with a disability would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks for your help with this.



Harilyn Rousso, LCSW

Consultant, NYPL
Director, Disabilities Unlimited
3 East 10th Street, 4B
New York, NY 10003

Families Helping Families needs volunteers!

February 16, 2009

Earn valuable service, community and leadership credits required for National Honor Society, Graduation, Awards and Scholarships!

Become a Special Olympics Volunteer and receive Special Olympics Coaching Certification

Make your college application to competitive schools have a competitive edge!

Have fun while you help others have fun!


Attention: College and High School Students 15 years old or older

Volunteer as an Assistant Coach or a 1:1 shadow for a Special Olympic Soccer League

Mandatory Training Session to be held on:

Saturday March 7th from 2:30 PM to 4:00 PM at:

Saint Joseph’s Hill Academy Gymnasium

850 Hylan Boulevard, Staten Island, NY 10305

Special Olympic League to be held on SATURDAYS 2:00 to 4:30 PM, Mid March to June

Earn important and valuable service, community and leadership credits, get certified as a Special Olympics Coach and have fun helping others have fun!

Interested parties please email us at:

Please hurry, volunteer positions are limited!

Andrea Anna Lella
CEO & Program Director
Families Helping Families
Resource and Recreation Center

opportunity to participate in research at IBR

February 10, 2009

Opportunity to Participate in Dissertation Research Study: Doctoral student at Teacher’s College looking for boys between the ages of 9 and 21 diagnosed with autism and cognitive impairment to play several games of picture bingo 1:1 for to determine if prompting for eye contact has an impact on task performance. Study takes place at IBR; $50 compensation for participation. Please contact Laurie Yankowitz at 718 422-3271 or 646 734-5068 if interested.

Turning 5 open house at PS 373

February 9, 2009

PS 373 is having an OPEN HOUSE for families of students “Turning 5” on Wednesday, March 11, 2009 at their Main Site, 91 Henderson Avenue.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact Kirsten at 718-816-8897 x-210 or 347-563-5281 (cell). The website is

Important mtg re: special ed reoganizaton

February 9, 2009

From: “John T. Englert”
Date: February 1, 2009 2:40:40 PM EST
Subject: Special Education Re-organization

To All:

After repeated requests by the Citywide Council on Special Education (CCSE), it would appear that the DOE maybe addressing some of the issues identified by the Council on Great City School Report which was issued in late August. We understand from the PEP meeting last week that Garth Harries will serve as the Chancellor’s representative and begin an effectiveness and efficiency initiative to look at Special Education across the DOE. As you may know, Garth has had the lead role in the Office of New Schools for the past few years. This is the same program that excluded children with disabilities in the first two (2) years. We are told by Dr. Lyles that this special education initiative is across all of the Districts and does not include reducing/consolidating special education budgets.

This was one of the topics that were going to be addressed with the Chancellor at our last Wednesday meeting which had been cancelled due to inclement weather.

I have copied the attached link in case you haven’t seen it.

I have attached a flyer and Agenda for the CCSE meeting scheduled for 2/11/09 where both Garth Harries and Deputy Chancellor Lyles will be in attendance.

Please share this notice with parents of all children with IEP’s as this is one meeting not to be missed.

As always, if there is anything that the CCSE can do to help/support you, please do not hesitate to contact us.


Very truly yours,

John Englert

CCSE President

Great Workshops presented by Andrea Lella!

February 9, 2009

Families Helping Families” Presents:

A FREE Eight Week Special Education Workshop Series

Conducted by Andrea Lella
Learn everything you ever wanted to know about helping your special needs child but didn’t know where to ask!
Topics to be addressed:
Special Ed Law – Learn the Law and how to access the services available, so you can be the best advocate for your child.
Your Rights- They’re your child’s rights! Learn how to protect them!
Educate yourself- Allow us to translate the acronym ridden and mystical world of the DOE and IEP development into straight talk.
Parenting Tips – Learn strategies to implement in your home that will support your child’s learning, independence and behavioral development. Discover the path to your child’s success!
WHEN: Mondays from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
3/2/, 3/9, 3/16, 3/23, 3/30, 4/20, 4/27 & 5/4

WHERE: SIDDSO, “Elizabeth Connelly Center”

930 Willowbrook Rd. Bld. 41 A

(Building with blue awning).
For Additional Information and to Pre-Register for entire course or select weeks, email:
(Course syllabus to be announced and posted on website.

This FREE Eight Week Educational Workshop series will include instruction on the following topics; Advocacy, The Law, Impartial Hearings, Your Rights as a Public AND Private school parent, Compliance & Implementation, Your Rights to Reject an IEP, Sate Education Complaints, IEP development, understanding evaluations, goal development, available testing accommodations, Functional behavioral Assessments (FBA), Behavioral Intervention Plans (BIP), Behavioral Modification Plan (BMP), available services & programs, modified promotional criteria, transition, homework strategies, behavioral techniques, parenting tips and much, much more!