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Youth Topics is a service of the Center for Children and Families, Department of Community and Human Services, City of Alexandria.  It is produced by Jacqueline Coachman, DCHS Office of Youth Services. 

Subscribe here. Make inquiries here. Youth Topics is posted online here. 

 

In the June 29 Edition: 

Events
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month (June)
Best Practices for Keeping Your Family Safe Online (July 2)
Youth Spark Summer Camps – Smart Game Design/Beginner (July 6-10; July 20-24; August 3-7; August 17-21)
Youth Spark Summer Camps – Smart Game Coding/Beginner (July 6-9; July 20-24; August 3-6; August 17-21)
Youth Spark Summer Camps – Smart Game Design/Intermediate (July 13-17; July 27-31; August 10-14)
Youth Spark Summer Camps – Smart Game Coding/Intermediate (July 13-17; July 27-31; August 10-14)
RSVP Orientation (August 10)
Alexandria Youth Leadership Conference (August 17-19)
Language Access Leadership Conference (October 15)
Save the Date: National Reduce Tobacco Use Conference (April 25-26)

Careers/Volunteerism 
Siemens Competition in Math, Science, and Technology
Young Artists Prize
Johnson Prize
Women in the Winner’s Circle
Workforce Development Center Training Programs
Redistricting Review Committee
Workshop Proposals for National Mentoring Summit
Rosalynn Carter Leadership in Caregiving Award
National Crime Victims’ Service Awards
Shell Science Teaching Award
Lifetime Achievement Award in Mathematics Education
Frederick and Florence Bauder Endowment for the Support of Physics Teaching
Leavey Awards for Excellence in Private Enterprise Education
Outstanding Information Science Teacher Award
Vera List Center Accepting Art and Politics Fellowships
James Madison Memorial Fellowship
Distinguished Fellows Program
Midcareer Scholars
Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellows
Fund for Environmental Journalism
Abe Fellowship for Journalists
Formulating a Science Vision for Health Disparities Research

Grantsmanship
DCHS Office of Youth Services Listing of Grant Opportunities

Research & Resources 
Children’s Free Summer Food Service Program
Virginia Preschool Initiative
T.C. Williams Graduation
Lyles Brothers Represent United States in Historic Cuba Meet
International Academy: ‘We Know We Will Succeed’
Ramsay Students Create Empowering Music Video
Theogony On Air: Student Wellness
Principal of T.C. Williams Retires After Working to Transform High School
Superintendent Selects New Principal of Francis C. Hammond Middle School
School Board Appoints Student Liaisons for Next Year
School Board Approves Redistricting Framework
School Board Adopts Goals and Objectives of 2020 Strategic Plan
School Board Adopts and Revises More than 50 Policies
Board Adopts/Revises More Policies
School Board Approves Construction of New Building for Patrick Henry
Nominations Kick Off for Second Hall of Fame

Education
Education Reform Not Enough to Close Achievement Gap: Report
Minorities Less Likely to Be Identified for Special Education, Study Finds
Study on Minorities in Special Education Proves Provocative
Is Special Education Racist?
Hurdles in Pairing General, Special Education Teachers
Discipline Practices Erect Detours for Special-Needs Students
A Matter of Equity: Preschool in America
Head Start Proposals Draw Cheers, Cautions
The Condition of Education 2015
Key “Soft Skills” that Foster Youth Workforce Success
Urban Districts Embrace Social-Emotional Learning
Guidebook Suggests Best Supports for Low-Income College Students
Colleges Are Using Big Data to Identify When Students are Likely to Flame Out
The Economic Value of College Majors
The New Forgotten Half: Those Who Pursue College But Never Earn a Degree

Youth Well-Being
No School Alone: How Community Risks and Assets Contribute to School and Youth Success
California’s Child Care Conundrum
Healthy Habits for Youth in Afterschool
Baltimore Young to Get Volunteer Work Making City Greener Under 50-City Plan
Monitoring the Future National Survey Results
Teens, Social Media & Technology Overview 2015
New Office Will Coordinate ACF Anti-Trafficking Initiatives
Domestic Human Trafficking: A New Look at U.S. Victims
Updated Anti-Trafficking Brochure ‘Bought and Sold’
Child Sex Trafficking and Commercial Sexual Exploitation: Health Care Needs of Victims
“Missing Children, State Care, and Child Sex Trafficking: Engaging the Judiciary in Building a Collaborative Response”
New Book Helps Children Cope with Worry and Anxiety
Teen Deaths by Suicide, Homicide, and Firearms
What Three People Learned About Suicide and Kids
“Protect, Heal, Thrive: Lessons Learned from the Defending Childhood Demonstration Program”
Weapon Involvement in the Victimization of Children
The Incarceration of Children & Youth in New Jersey’s Adult Prison System
“Multijurisdictional Teen Court Evaluation: A Comparative Evaluation of Three Teen Court Models”
Juvenile Justice GPS – Geography, Policy, Practice & Statistics
Permanent Connections for Youth in Foster Care
What Works for Transition Age Youth with EBD
More Youth Reaching Out for Help Before They Run
Many Homeless Youth Experience Traumatic Brain Injury
A Client Advocate Explains How LGBTQ Homeless Youth Can Petition for Child Support
Epidemic of HIV Among Youth Needs Structural Repair
Biggest Obstacles to HIV Treatment Aren’t Medical
Health-Care Coverage for Youth in Foster Care

Families
City Financial Inclusion Efforts: A National Overview
Family Engagement Inventory
Moving to Young Adult Life: A Legal Guide for Parents of Youth with Mental Health Needs
Helping Foster and Adoptive Families Cope with Trauma
Recommended LGBTQ Children, Youth, and Families Cultural Competence Tools, Curricula, and Resources
Responding to Children of Arrested Parents

Workshops & Webinars 
Partnerships in Action (July 1)
Ready Youth Learning Cohort (July 8, July 14)
Best Practices in Pre-apprenticeship for Nontraditional Occupations (July 14)
Legal Challenges to Medical Testimony: Hearsay, Daubert and Other Critical Pretrial Motion (July 20)
Women Unbarred: Recovery and Supports for Women Involved with the Criminal Justice System (July 23)
Enough is Known for Action: Credentials that Count for Youth (On Demand)
Enough is Known for Action: Implementing Effective Work Experience Models for Youth (On Demand)
Enough is Known for Action: Preparing to Deliver Expanded Services to Out-of-School Youth (On Demand)
Enough is Known for Action: Making the Shift – Successfully Leveraging in School Youth and Out-of-School Youth
Enough is Known for Action: Firing Up Youth Standing Committees (On Demand)

Events

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month (June)
President Obama issued a proclamation in 2011 declaring June as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride. In support of the goals of the month, the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) has compiled a list of helpful links for educators, mental health and child welfare professionals, parents and caregivers, and youth.  

Best Practices for Keeping Your Family Safe Online (July 2)
Workshop participants will learn the basics of keeping themselves and their families safe online. Participants will also learn how to set parental controls for Windows 8.1, Bing, and Xbox as well as get great tips on how to talk to kids about online safety and detect signs of cyber-bullying. The event will be held at the Microsoft Store located on the ground level of the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City (1100 S. Hayes St.).

Youth Spark Summer Camps – Smart Game Design/Beginner (July 6-10; July 20-24; August 3-7; August 17-21)
The free camp offers youth ages 8-11 with no previous coding experience hands-on experience with the latest technology as they learn how to code, create games, and use their creativity and imagination. The camp is two hours per day for four consecutive days, and will take place at the Microsoft Store located on the ground level of the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City (1100 S. Hayes St.).

Youth Spark Summer Camps – Smart Game Coding/Beginner (July 6-9; July 20-24; August 3-6; August 17-21)
Youth ages 8-11 with no previous coding experience are afforded hands-on experience with the latest technology as they learn how to code, create games, and use their creativity and imagination. The free camp is two hours per day for four consecutive days, and will take place at the Microsoft Store located on the ground level of the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City (1100 S. Hayes St.).  

Youth Spark Summer Camps – Smart Game Design/Intermediate (July 13-17; July 27-31; August 10-14)
The free summer camp for youth ages 11 and older with some previous coding experience. The camp is two hours per day for four consecutive days, and will take place at the Microsoft Store located on the ground level of the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City (1100 S. Hayes St.).  

Youth Spark Summer Camps – Smart Game Coding/Intermediate (July 13-17; July 27-31; August 10-14)
The free camp at the Microsoft Store located on the ground level of the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City (1100 S. Hayes St.) gives youth ages 11 and older hands-on experience with the latest technology as they learn how to code, create games, and use their creativity and imagination. The camp lasts four consecutive days, two hours per day.  

RSVP Orientation (August 10)
A one-time, one-hour orientation for Northern Virginia residents who wish to learn about volunteer opportunities, RSVP member benefits, and volunteer policies will be held at Beatley Central Library (5005 Duke Street).    

Alexandria Youth Leadership Conference (August 17-19)
The free conference for rising 9th – 12th graders will feature workshops about leadership, public speaking, resume writing, and becoming a community change maker as well as guest speakers. The event will take place at First Baptist Church (2932 King Street). Register at www.preventitalexandria.org or www.keepit360.org by August 10. For more information or transportation assistance contact Kim Hurley or text questions to #30644.  

Language Access Leadership Conference (October 15)
The Alexandria Department of Community and Human Services is hosting the third annual Language Access Leadership Conference. Support the Alexandria community by learning how to understand and better serve individuals with limited English proficiency by attending the event at the Mary M. Gates Learning Center (701 N. Fairfax St., Alexandria).  

Save the Date: National Reduce Tobacco Use Conference (April 25-26)
The Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth conference will showcase the latest in tobacco-use prevention, reduction and cessation with youth and young adults. Registration will open this summer for the event, which will be held at the Crystal Gateway Marriott.

Careers/Volunteerism 

Siemens Competition in Math, Science, and Technology
The competition fosters intensive research that improves students’ understanding of the value of scientific study and informs their consideration of future careers in these disciplines. It is the nation’s premiere science research competition for high school students and seeks to promote excellence by encouraging students to undertake individual or team research projects. Students can compete as an individual or as a member of a two or three-person team. Scholarships for winning projects range from $1,000 to $100,000. The competition will close September 22.  

Young Artists Prize
The National YoungArts Foundation provides emerging artists (ages 15-18 or grades 10-12) with opportunities to work with renowned mentors, access to significant scholarships and national recognition. The objective is to help ensure the nation’s most outstanding young artists are encouraged to pursue a career in the arts. Support is offered in ten artistic disciplines: cinematic arts, dance, design, jazz, music, photography, theater, visual arts, voice, and writing. The program selects up to seven hundred winners per year from students across the country. Winners will receive grants of up to $10,000 each and have the opportunity to attend YoungArts programs as well as partake in workshops, interdisciplinary activities, performances, and master classes with internationally renowned artists. Application materials must be received no later than October 16.  

Johnson Prize
The prize is awarded annually to an early-career African-American artist in the areas of painting, photography, sculpture, printmaking, installation, and/or a new genre. “Early career” is interpreted liberally to include artists who have finished their academic work within the last dozen years. Age is not determinative and artists who have not earned BFAs or MFAs are still eligible as long as they have not been working as an artist for more than twelve years. The prize is a $25,000 cash award. The deadline is September 18.  

Women in the Winner’s Circle
The program provides direct financial assistance in the form of matching grants to women in racing to help further their professional careers in all forms of racing, including go kart, quarter midget, drag racing, sports car racing, and oval track racing. Applicants must be women drivers who can prove that funds equal to the grant amount requested have been raised from sponsors for the specific racing series and season identified. Applications may be submitted from August 1 through September 30.

Workforce Development Center Training Programs
WDC in partnership with ACPS Adult Learning Center is now offering three training programs – Electrical/ Groundsmen Test Preparation, Certified Medical Administrative Assistant, and Pharmaceutical Technician for eligible City residents.   

Redistricting Review Committee
Parents, high school students, and city residents are invited to apply for the Redistricting Review Committee. With the goal of addressing current and future elementary school capacity needs across Alexandria City Public Schools, the role of the committee is to review options developed by an independent third party. Committee members will be chosen through an open application process. Applications must be submitted by June 30.  

Workshop Proposals for National Mentoring Summit
MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership is seeking workshop proposals for its national summit from January 27-29, 2016 in Washington, D.C.  Sessions will focus on how mentoring relationships can support the growth of youth and communities. Prospective workshop presenters are encouraged to design sessions that reflect this theme and the recommendations outlined in MENTOR’s 2014 report “The Mentoring Effect: Young People’s Perspectives on the Outcomes and Availability of Mentoring”. Submit workshop proposals online by June 26.  

Rosalynn Carter Leadership in Caregiving Award
The award recognizes leadership in implementing innovative partnerships between community agencies and caregiving researchers that bridge the gap between science and practice. Winning partnerships will clearly demonstrate progress in one or more of the following: educating the public about the critical role family caregivers play in the nation’s long-term healthcare system and the risks associated with serving in that role; assuring that caregivers receive evidence-based, effective support services that target their identified needs; supporting the translation of evidence-based caregiver programs into community settings; advocating for tax and public policy changes; targeting investments that lead to sustainable funding, and providing leadership for coordination of efforts to support family caregivers. The winning partnership will receive a cash award of $15,000. Nominations must be submitted by August 1.

National Crime Victims’ Service Awards
The Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) will recognize individuals, teams, programs, and organizations that provide outstanding service in support of victims of crime. Every year, OVC selects the award recipients from public nominations and honors them at the National Crime Victims’ Service Awards Ceremony in Washington, D.C. This year a new award category—the Tomorrow’s Leaders Award—will honor and highlight youth as old as 24 years of age for their extraordinary efforts to support victims of crime. Information on how to nominate an individual, team, program, or organization is available on the OVC web site. Nominations are due by July 30, 2015, through OVC's Online Nomination Form.   

Shell Science Teaching Award
The annual program recognizes an outstanding K-12 classroom science teacher who has had a positive impact on his or her students, school, and community through exemplary classroom science teaching. The award includes a cash prize of $10,000 and an all-expense paid trip to the National Science Teachers Association national conference. Nominations must be submitted by November 18.  

Lifetime Achievement Award in Mathematics Education
The award recognizes achievement in leadership, teaching, and service. Distinction in these categories can be demonstrated through performance of the nominee on the job; service beyond the requirements of the job at the state and national/international level; and service to the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) such as offices held, committee memberships, special projects, meetings, and publications. The deadline for Letters of Nomination is November 6.  

Frederick and Florence Bauder Endowment for the Support of Physics Teaching
The endowment was established to support special activities in the area of physics teaching. Activities can include but are not limited to the development and distribution of innovative apparatuses for physics teaching, traveling exhibits of apparatuses, and local workshops. The maximum award is $500. Members of the American Association of Physics Teachers are eligible to apply. The deadline is July 1.  

Leavey Awards for Excellence in Private Enterprise Education
The awards honor outstanding educators who excite a commitment in their students to the free enterprise system and unleash the entrepreneurial skills of their students at the elementary, junior high, high school and college level. The maximum award is $15,000. Applications must be submitted by November 1.  

Outstanding Information Science Teacher Award
Individuals directly engaged in teaching some aspect of information science on a continuing basis, in an academic or a non-academic setting are eligible for an award that recognizes unique teaching contributions. The maximum award is $1,000 with the possibility of another $500 towards travel and expenses. The deadline for applications is August 1.      

Vera List Center Accepting Art and Politics Fellowships
The fellowships support individuals whose work advances the discourse on art and politics. Two fellowships will be awarded, each spanning ten months. The fellowship is part-time, non-residential, and carries a $10,000 stipend. Applications must be submitted by August 3.  

James Madison Memorial Fellowship
The program provides fellowship grants of $24,000 to individuals who are looking to become outstanding teachers of the American Constitution at the secondary-school level. The foundation plans to offer one fellowship per state per year. The deadline for applications is March 1, 2016.  

Distinguished Fellows Program
The fellows program of the William T. Grant Foundation is designed to increase the supply of, demand for, and use of high-quality research in the service of improved youth outcomes. To this end, it provides influential mid-career researchers with opportunities to immerse themselves in practice or policy settings and gives influential practitioners and policy makers the opportunity to work in research settings. The program generally selects between one and four fellows annually. Each will receive up to $175,000 (including direct and indirect costs) for the total duration of the fellowship. Fellowships may range from six months to two years. The foundation also may provide a small grant of up to $25,000 to the fellowship site to defray the costs associated with hosting a fellow.  

Midcareer Scholars
The program of the Spencer Foundation provides support for scholars interested in advancing their understanding of a compelling problem of education by acquiring new skills, substantive knowledge, theoretical perspectives, or methodological tools. Up to five midcareer awards of up to $150,000 will be awarded. Applicants must be faculty members or research scholars who were awarded doctorates within the last seven to twenty years. The deadline is September 10.  

Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellows
The program of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) is designed to help activists, practitioners, scholars, and journalists from around the world deepen their understanding of democracy and enhance their ability to promote democratic change. Five-month fellowships offer practitioners the opportunity to focus on strategies and best practices for developing democracy in their country of interest, and scholars the opportunity to conduct original research for publication. Fellows maintain full-time residence at the International Forum for Democratic Studies, NED’s research arm in Washington, D.C. Applications are due October 16.  

Fund for Environmental Journalism
Grants of up to $5,000 are available to underwrite story projects in three categories: open topic, including international coverage of land-use issues in North America; and coverage of biodiversity conservation and climate change impacts in North America. Journalists working independently or on staff of either a for-profit or nonprofit news organization worldwide may apply for a grant. The deadline is July 15.  

Abe Fellowship for Journalists
The fellowship is designed to encourage in-depth coverage of topics of pressing concern to the United States and Japan through individual short-term policy-related projects. Applicants are invited to submit proposals on one of four themes: Threats to Personal, Societal, and International Security; Growth and Sustainable Development; Social, Scientific, and Cultural Trends and Transformations; and Governance, Empowerment, and Participation. Fellows are expected to produce an analytical article or feature story that informs public debate or a policy community. The program provides $23,500 in support for six weeks in Japan or the U.S. Applications must be received by September 15.  

Formulating a Science Vision for Health Disparities Research
To set a transformational agenda for health disparities science for the next decade, the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) is leading a process of science visioning to define a vision to guide the development of health disparities research for the next decade as well as identify some of the key research areas that should be given high priority. The deadline for responses is July 31.

Grantsmanship

DCHS Office of Youth Services Listing of Grant Opportunities
The DCHS Office of Youth Services compiled a listing of grant opportunities on June 15 and June 22.

Research & Resources

Children’s Free Summer Food Service Program
The USDA Summer Food Service Program provides students with free meals at several sites throughout Alexandria, including recreation center locations and several ACPS locations. Anyone 18 years of age or younger is permitted to eat. No previous qualifications are needed but a parent should accompany the child the first time to register and identify any food allergies.  

Virginia Preschool Initiative
ACPS offers free pre-K through the Virginia Preschool Initiative (VPI) for children who live in the City of Alexandria. VPI is a program designed for families who might not otherwise be able to access quality early childhood education opportunities. Most families qualify for the program based on their income. The program includes full day classes for 4-year-old children from 8:00 a.m. to 2:35 p.m.; breakfast, snack and lunch are provided. ACPS VPI programs are located at John Adams, William Ramsay and Patrick Henry elementary schools and Jefferson-Houston School. To register, visit the ACPS Central Office at 1340 Braddock Place, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday through Friday. For more information, visit the ACPS VPI web page.  

T.C. Williams Graduation
More than 750 graduates received certificates from Superintendent Alvin L. Crawley during the ceremony on June 15 at the Patriot Center at George Mason University.  

Lyles Brothers Represent United States in Historic Cuba Meet
T.C. Williams High School students Josephus and Noah Lyles made history by becoming the first American high school students to compete in Cuba since 1997.  

International Academy: ‘We Know We Will Succeed’
Students from the International Academy at T. C. Williams High School, a program designed for recent immigrants, posted a video regarding their experiences as immigrants and how the Academy has supported them academically and socially.  

Ramsay Students Create Empowering Music Video
Superintendent Alvin Crawley and Mayor Bill Euille joined the entire school population of William Ramsay Elementary for a music video written and produced by Ramsay students to empower other ACPS students.  

Theogony On Air: Student Wellness
The T.C. Williams production explores student mental health with ACPS Health Services Coordinator Robin Waller and ACPS Lead Psychologist John Baker.  

Principal of T.C. Williams Retires After Working to Transform High School
After five years, Suzanne Maxey retired as principal of T.C. Williams High School.  

Superintendent Selects New Principal of Francis C. Hammond Middle School
Pierrette P. Hall, currently the 8th grade principal at George Washington Middle School, has been named the new principal of Francis C. Hammond Middle School.  

School Board Appoints Student Liaisons for Next Year
Abbey Nelson and Isabella Lovain, both rising seniors at T.C. Williams, were chosen by a panel of three School Board members as the new student liaisons to the School Board for the 2015-16 school year.        

School Board Approves Redistricting Framework
The Alexandria City School Board approved a framework to guide the redistricting of elementary schools across the city. The framework includes the use of an independent third party to develop options to present to the School Board and the formation of a community-based Redistricting Review Committee.  

School Board Adopts Goals and Objectives of  2020 Strategic Plan
The Alexandria City School Board approved the goals and objectives of the 2020 Strategic Plan, which will be used to steer ACPS towards its goal of becoming a high-performing school division. The objectives of the 2020 plan include narrowing the achievement gap, establishing educational equity, and cultural competence. The plan also stresses “grit”, which is the development of persistence and resilience among students.  

School Board Adopts and Revises More than 50 Policies
At its meeting of June 11, the Alexandria City School Board adopted or revised several policies and regulations that guide the operation of ACPS. Especially notable were new policies on the management of student behaviors in emergency situations, including restraint and seclusion, and on lactation support (breastfeeding). In addition, the Board updated the policies on staff participation in political activities and third-party complaints against employees and reaffirmed policies on equity and excellence, student use of social media and student wellness. The wellness regulations include nutritional guidelines for School Nutrition Services, celebrations, school-sponsored fundraising activities, and sporting events. It also extended its policy about student conduct on school buses to include behavior at bus stops, making it clear that student transportation is a privilege that can be revoked.  

Board Adopts/Revises More Policies
At its Special Called Meeting of June 18, the Alexandria City School Board adopted or revised 13 policies. Continuing its work on ACPS 2020  (the new five-year strategic plan for the school division),  the Board amended its policy on the Evaluation of the Superintendent to reflect the fact that the superintendent will be evaluated on his/her implementation of the plan as well as progress toward meeting its objectives. See the strategic plan's goals and objectives on the ACPS website in English, Spanish, Arabic and Amharic. The Board also adopted a new policy on Threat Assessment Teams that requires that each school have a team that assesses and intervenes with students whose behavior may pose a threat to the safety of school staffers or students. The superintendent will establish a committee to oversee the threat assessment teams. The entire set of School Board Policies is posted on the ACPS website.  

School Board Approves Construction of New Building for Patrick Henry
The Alexandria City School Board approved the construction of a new Patrick Henry school for grades PreK-8 on the existing property. The Board voted in favor of building around the existing school to enable students to remain in the old building while the new one is built. The old building will be demolished once the new one is complete. Staff from ACPS will work with the community and an architectural firm to develop the final design of the new school.  

Nominations Kick Off for Second Hall of Fame
Nominations are being accepted for five athletes who will be added to the ACPS Athletic Hall of Fame. Inductees will be selected by a seven-member induction committee that includes ACPS alumni and community members. This year's induction ceremony will take place on Saturday, December 12. Nominations can be made online.

Education
Education Reform Not Enough to Close Achievement Gap: Report
The Economic Policy Institute (a Washington, D.C.-based think tank) conducted a study on the needs low and middle-income families, analyzing how key social and class factors work to diminish student achievement. Those characteristics include parenting practices, single parenthood, irregular work schedules, lack of access to primary and preventive health care, and lead exposure. The report suggested educators should still be encouraged to support strategies such as improving access to early childhood care and education, school-based health centers and afterschool and summer opportunities, but those programs must be pursued in conjunction with “macroeconomic policies like full employment, higher wages, and stable work schedules”, which also help nurture children.      

Minorities Less Likely to Be Identified for Special Education, Study Finds
A study by researchers from the Pennsylvania State University and the University of California concluded that black and Hispanic students are less likely than their white and non-Hispanic peers to be labeled as having a disability, challenging the notion that overt or unconscious bias on the part of educators has funneled a disproportionate number of minority students into special education. According to the researchers, it is not race but risk factors such as poverty that are driving some children into special education.  

Study on Minorities in Special Education Proves Provocative
Federal special education officials and civil rights advocates are pushing back against the new study that challenges conventional wisdom that minority students are steered into special education by biased educators.  

Is Special Education Racist?
The release of the study concluding minorities are underrepresented in special education was accompanied by an opinion piece in the New York Times written by the authors of the study.  

Hurdles in Pairing General, Special Education Teachers
In 2003, about half of school-age students with disabilities spent most of their school day in classrooms with their typically developing peers. By 2013, that number had risen to 61%. At least part of that change can be tied to wider use of co-teaching, an instructional method that pairs a general and a special education teacher in the same classroom. But poorly implemented co-teaching practices may be taking the “special’ out of special education, say many who train teachers and districts in best collaboration practices.  

Discipline Practices Erect Detours for Special-Needs Students
A growing body of data shows that school discipline practices disproportionately target students with disabilities – often causing then to miss out on needed instruction. In addition, some administrators expel students for behaviors related to their disabilities, or “counsel them out” rather than addressing those behaviors under processes included in federal civil rights laws.  

A Matter of Equity: Preschool in America
Significant new investments in high-quality early education are necessary to help states, local communities, and parents close the readiness gap that exists between disadvantaged children and their more advantaged peers. For Latino children, the unmet need is especially great. While Latinos are the fastest growing and largest minority group in the United States (making up a quarter of 3 and 4-year-olds), Latinos demonstrate the lowest preschool participation rates of any major ethnicity or race. While most children who have access to preschool attend moderate-quality programs, African-American children and children from low-income families are the most likely to attend low-quality preschool programs and are the least likely to attend high-quality preschool programs.  

Head Start Proposals Draw Cheers, Cautions
Federal officials see a proposed top-to-bottom revision of the rules governing Head Start as a way to cut the bureaucratic burden that has developed over the program’s fifty years in existence. But the changes come with a $1 billion price tag. The Head Start program must currently operate for at least 3.5 hours a day and 128 days a year. The proposed changes would increase that to at least 6 hours a day and 180 days per year.  

The Condition of Education 2015
The report summarizes important developments and trends in education using the latest available data. It presents 42 indicators on the status and condition of education. In addition, three spotlight indicators are featured that describe selected issues of current policy interest.  

Key “Soft Skills” that Foster Youth Workforce Success
Soft skills refer to a broad set of skills, competencies, behaviors, attitudes, and personal qualities that enable people to effectively navigate their environment, work well with others, perform well, and achieve their goals. Unfortunately, there is not clear consensus as to which soft skills are most critical for workforce success.  

Urban Districts Embrace Social-Emotional Learning
Eight predominantly urban districts have committed to a multiyear initiative that is allowing researchers to study their systemwide social-emotional learning programs. Such programs blend evidence-based classroom curriculum with school climate improvements and efforts to infuse social and emotional concepts into the teaching of traditional subjects like history.  

Guidebook Suggests Best Supports for Low-Income College Students
The Lumina Foundation has published a guidebook of strategies for college administrators to improve financial support and completion success for low-income students. The publication presents six key strategies to better serve disadvantaged students and highlights promising approaches being used by colleges and universities.  

Colleges Are Using Big Data to Identify When Students are Likely to Flame Out
Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) is turning to big data to help identify students who are most at risk of falling through the cracks. Researchers at Education Advisory Board, a consulting firm that uses predictive analysis to improve retention and graduation rates, reviewed university files and found that students who were withdrawing from or failing classes were most likely to leave. Based on that insight, the company created a platform that enables advisers to flag students in need of intervention.

The Economic Value of College Majors
The report by the Center for Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University analyzes wages for 137 college majors to detail the most popular college majors, the majors that are most likely to lead to an advanced degree, and the economic benefit of earning an advanced degree by undergraduate major.  

The New Forgotten Half: Those Who Pursue College But Never Earn a Degree
A study commissioned by the William T. Grant Foundation found that many young people who enroll in college fail to complete their studies and attain a degree and that these youth fare no better in the labor market than those with only a high school diploma. While 37% of on-time high school graduates enroll in community colleges and intend ultimately to pursue bachelor’s degrees, nearly half (46%) drop out within eight years, earning no degree and incurring significant expenses. These young people, who pursue but do not complete their higher education are, according to the authors, the new forgotten half.

Youth Well-Being
No School Alone: How Community Risks and Assets Contribute to School and Youth Success
A report prepared for the Washington State Office of Financial Management reviewed community factors that may influence academic and youth well-being. Three factors emerged as the primary descriptors of community characteristics that can influence academic success and youth development: the severity of adverse childhood experiences reported by adults; poverty level in school communities; and differences in school size and ethnic diversity.  

California’s Child Care Conundrum
California faces a serious shortage of affordable, licensed care for infants and toddlers. A demographic profile of young Californians by Child Trends highlights access to child care and the child care subsidy system.  

Healthy Habits for Youth in Afterschool
An edition of New Directions for Youth Development explores the effect that afterschool programs can have on healthy eating and physical activity. The special issue of the journal is sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the National Afterschool Association.  

Baltimore Young to Get Volunteer Work Making City Greener Under 50-City Plan
The Obama Administration announced Baltimore has been selected to participate in the U.S. Department of Interior’s 50-city Interior Youth Initiative. The initiative will ultimately provide volunteer opportunities for 10,000 to 20,000 young people in Baltimore as well as part-time, temporary jobs for 34 young adults as part of a larger effort to provide training and work opportunities for 100,000 young adults on public lands through 2017.  

Monitoring the Future National Survey Results
The National Institute on Drug Abuse has created a new section on its website featuring the most recent Monitoring the Future national survey results on drug use among students enrolled full-time in college as well as young people of the same age group not attending college. It includes links of interest to parents, educators, dorm supervisors, counselors, clinicians, and researchers who work with this age group. Additional resources include infographics, statistics and trends, treatment guides, information about careers in addiction science as well as related videos, publications, articles, and other relevant materials.  

Teens, Social Media & Technology Overview 2015
According to a new study from Pew Research Center, 92% of teens report going online daily – including 24% who say they go online “almost constantly”.  

New Office Will Coordinate ACF Anti-Trafficking Initiatives
The Office of Trafficking in Persons will manage several initiatives currently run by various Administration for Children and Families (ACF) offices, including the domestic trafficking grants program administered by the Family and Youth Services Bureau.  

Domestic Human Trafficking: A New Look at U.S. Victims
A new report from Washington, D.C. based anti-trafficking group Polaris uses information reported to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center and the BeFree Textline to paint a picture of domestic human trafficking in the United States. The main data comes from more than 1,600 sex trafficking cases reported in 2014. Polaris also analyzed accounts of 292 survivors who contacted the resource center of BeFree and collected supplemental data from 141 U.S. citizen sex trafficking survivors to whom it provided direct services between 2011 and 2014. About 44% of survivors estimated they were first trafficked at age 17 or younger, and the average age of participation was 19 years old. Based on this finding, the authors of the report stated a controversial statistic suggesting that the age of entry for girls into prostitution is as young as 12 or 14 should be reconsidered.  

Updated Anti-Trafficking Brochure ‘Bought and Sold’
The new version includes expanded information about what victims need to escape exploitation and recover their lives, considerations for involving the police and victims’ families, a glossary of terms used in sex trafficking, and an updated list of resources.  

Child Sex Trafficking and Commercial Sexual Exploitation: Health Care Needs of Victims
As noted in an article in the American Academy of Pediatrics, child sex trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation of children are major health problems in the United States and throughout the world. Despite large numbers of American and foreign born youth affected and the associated physical and mental problems, there is limited information available to pediatricians and health care providers regarding the scope of human trafficking and how they may protect the children. Knowledge of risk factors, recruitment practices, possible indicators of trafficking/commercial sexual exploitation, and common medical and behavioral health problems experienced by victims will help pediatricians recognize potential victim and respond appropriately.  

“Missing Children, State Care, and Child Sex Trafficking: Engaging the Judiciary in Building a Collaborative Response”
The brief provides information for juvenile and family court judges about the missing children’s resources of National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NMEC) that can help juvenile justice and child welfare agencies, law enforcement, legal guardians, and other stakeholders involved in efforts to locate and recover children missing from care.  

New Book Helps Children Cope with Worry and Anxiety
The picture book “Just Breathe” helps children cope with the challenges by reminding them to take a moment to breath and find one’s inner calm.  

Teen Deaths by Suicide, Homicide, and Firearms
Suicide and homicide are the second and third leading causes of death for U.S. teens after unintentional injury. While the homicide rate for teens more than doubled between the 1970s and the early 1990s, by 2013 it was at its lowest rate since before 1970.  

What Three People Learned About Suicide and Kids
Almost 66,595 kids in the United States killed themselves from 1996 to 2010. The suicide rate for rural kids was double that of urban kids.  

“Protect, Heal, Thrive: Lessons Learned from the Defending Childhood Demonstration Program”
The report highlights process evaluation findings from six of the eight sites participating in the Defending Childhood Demonstration Program, a national initiative that the Department of Justice funds and OJJDP supports to address children’s exposure to violence. The researchers evaluated the strategies that the six sites implemented to reduce and raise awareness about children's exposure to violence in their communities and make recommendations for jurisdictions and tribal sites planning similar work.  

Weapon Involvement in the Victimization of Children
Over 17.5 million youth in the United States have been exposed to violence involving a weapon in their lifetimes as witnesses or victims, or over 1 in 4 children. More than 2 million youth in the United States have been directly assaulted in incidents where the high lethality risk weapons of guns and knives were used.  

The Incarceration of Children & Youth in New Jersey’s Adult Prison System
In the state of New Jersey, youth as young as 14 can be tried, sentenced and incarcerated in the adult prison system, and those age 16 or older are subject to mandatory (automatic) waivers if they commit certain crimes. It is the position of the New Jersey Parents’ Caucus, Inc. (NJPC) that the state’s policies promoting the trying, sentencing and incarceration of children and youth between the ages of 14 and 17 in the adult system are unjust and require further review.  

“Multijurisdictional Teen Court Evaluation: A Comparative Evaluation of Three Teen Court Models”
The report presents the results of a study of three geographically diverse teen courts in Maryland. The study found that youth in each jurisdiction who completed a teen court program had fewer instances of recidivism than youth who did not complete the program.  

Juvenile Justice GPS – Geography, Policy, Practice & Statistics
A new section of the online resource Juvenile Justice GPS features national and state information on state laws and juvenile justice practice to help chart system change. The new status offense issues section examines how states classify status offenders and includes a summary of status offenses in each state.  

Permanent Connections for Youth in Foster Care
Participating in extracurricular activities is commonplace for U.S. youth. These social (clubs), physical (sports), and economic (summer job) activities help them meet developmental milestones. For youth in foster care, even going to a sleepover can present enormous obstacles.  

What Works for Transition Age Youth with EBD
The RENEW (Rehabilitation for Empowerment, Natural Supports, Education and Work) model is a transition intervention specifically designed to meet the needs of youth with serious emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD) by providing them with one-on-one youth-driven planning using graphic facilitation and individualized team development that intentionally builds social support networks and leads to enhancement of the youth’s social capital.  

More Youth Reaching Out for Help Before They Run
According to a new 10-year trend report released by the organization that runs the National Runaway Safeline, more than half of youth who contacted the system were reaching out for help before getting to the point of running away from home. Youth in crisis who had not yet run away from home made the largest percentage (30%) of crisis calls and online chat requests to the system in 2014.  

Many Homeless Youth Experience Traumatic Brain Injury
Researchers wanted to assess the prevalence of traumatic brain injury, or TBI, among homeless youth. The sample included 2,732 young people recruited from streets, shelters, and drop-in centers. Of the youth participating in the study, 43% had a history of TBI. The average age at injury was 15 years old. African American youth were much less likely to have TBI than were white youth.  

A Client Advocate Explains How LGBTQ Homeless Youth Can Petition for Child Support
Homeless for a time in college, Deborah Lolai was forced into the street because her family rejected her sexual orientation. She is now a client advocate with the legal advocacy group Bronx Defenders. Through independent research, Lolai is promoting a legal option that may help minor young people in similar situations support themselves and get off the streets.  

Epidemic of HIV Among Youth Needs Structural Repair
One of the biggest issues facing the gay community across the country is an epidemic of HIV infection in young African-American men who have sex with men. A report released this winter by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that 26% of all new HIV infections are among males 13-14 of all races.  

Biggest Obstacles to HIV Treatment Aren’t Medical
According to a recent study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately two-thirds of all new HIV diagnoses among teens in 2013 were African-Americans, despite the fact they make up only 15% of the nation’s teen population. In Los Angeles, African-Americans make up approximately 10% of the total teen population. In addition, more than 90% of all new teen male infections in 2011 were caused by gay intercourse. A 2013 report by the LA County Health Department estimated 1,700 people between ages 13-24 are aware they are infected but do not adhere to treatment. Another estimated 350 teens who are HIV positive but do not know it. 

Health-Care Coverage for Youth in Foster Care
An issue brief reviews the eligibility pathways for children and youth in foster care to receive Medicaid or other health-care coverage and looks at some of the newer benefits now mandated through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), especially those for older youth in or formerly in foster care.


Families
Video Game Design Workshop Helps Bridge Generational Gaps
AARP sponsored a workshop designed to bridge the age gap through the universal language of gaming. Some children emerged surprised at the ubiquity of game-playing across generations.  

City Financial Inclusion Efforts: A National Overview
A combination of mayors, councilmembers and/or city treasurers in nearly eighty cities are working with community partners to increase the availability of financial education and counseling as well as to implement innovative programs to help families build financial stability. The report is a result of an in-depth scan of financial programs across the U.S. by the National League of Cities.  

Family Engagement Inventory
The informational tool is designed to familiarize users with family engagement practices across child welfare, juvenile justice, behavioral health, education, and early education.  

Moving to Young Adult Life: A Legal Guide for Parents of Youth with Mental Health Needs
The guide covers topics such as financial decisions, health care options, guardianship, and transition from special education.  

Helping Foster and Adoptive Families Cope with Trauma
The purpose of the guide by the American Academy of Pediatrics is to support adoptive and foster families by strengthening the abilities of pediatricians to identify traumatized children; educate families about toxic stress and the possible biological, behavioral, and social manifestations of early childhood trauma, and empower families to respond to their child’s behavior in a manner that acknowledges past trauma but promotes the learning of new, more adaptive reactions to stress.  

Recommended LGBTQ Children, Youth, and Families Cultural Competence Tools, Curricula, and Resources
The synthesis recommends publicly available resources that can support workforce development in child, youth, and family-serving systems (e.g., schools, healthcare, child welfare, homelessness, juvenile justice). Resources are intended to support more competent practice and inclusive services and supports for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) children, youth and families.      

Responding to Children of Arrested Parents
Several million children witness the arrest of a parent each year in the United States. These arrests are most likely to be for domestic violence, drug-related incidents and property crimes. According to a report from the Office of Justice Programs Diagnostic Center (an agency of the U.S. Department of Justice), the experience can be excruciating for children. The report recommends model practices for law enforcement agencies for reducing trauma to children during parental arrests, including trauma-informed training, collaboration with social services and child advocacy groups, and enhanced data collection. The model policy, “Safeguarding Children of Arrested Parents”, was developed by the International Association of Chiefs of Police.

Workshops & Webinars

Partnerships in Action (July 1, 2 p.m.)
A number of state and local teams from Adult, Dislocated Worker, Youth, Wagner-Peyser Employment Service, Adult Education and Vocational Rehabilitation, and other partners such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families are already aligning their resources in innovative ways to improve services to their shared customers. Learn how to make the case and how to make it work.  

Ready Youth Learning Cohort (July 8, 3 p.m.; July 14, 2 p.m.)
Ready Youth is a campaign that starts with a new kind of data about young people in a community and using that information to create community-based solutions. The process begins with a powerful measure of youth voice: the Gallup Student Poll. Ready Youth helps school and community leaders use poll results to ignite conversations that drive actions. Ready Youth engages community members in exploring and analyzing areas of need, then generating strategies to address those needs. Two informational webinars will be held: July 8 and July 14.  

Best Practices in Pre-apprenticeship for Nontraditional Occupations (July 14, 2 p.m.)
In the construction industry, pre-apprenticeship training is important to the success of any apprentice, but in particular women. The webinar will feature representatives of the construction industry discussing best practice models they are using and how they are achieving better program outcomes.   

Legal Challenges to Medical Testimony: Hearsay, Daubert and Other Critical Pretrial Motion (July 20, 2 p.m.)
In a webinar sponsored by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention in collaboration with the National District Attorney’s Association, Presenters will discuss the impact of pretrial motions and hearsay challenges to medical testimony and identify ways forensic nurses and other medical professionals can prepare to effectively testify at trial.   

Women Unbarred: Recovery and Supports for Women Involved with the Criminal Justice System (July 23, 3 p.m.)
Experts will address the experiences, needs, and resiliency of women involved with the correctional system, along with effective interventions, programs, policies, and partnerships to help women rebuild their lives. The presentation is designed for anyone working with women who have experienced incarceration, including community and in-custody treatment and recovery service providers.  

Enough is Known for Action: Credentials that Count for Youth (On Demand)
Helping youth attain credentials is a critical goal of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). The webinar provides information, resources, and local examples that will inform service delivery strategies for helping youth earn high school diplomas or equivalencies, and industry-recognized and postsecondary credentials that have value in the labor market.  

Enough is Known for Action: Implementing Effective Work Experience Models for Youth (On Demand)
YouthBuild, Conservation Corps, Apprenticeship and Pre-Apprenticeship programs will be highlighted during the webinar for the innovative approaches they have taken to implementing work-based learning models into their programming.