Thursday, July 23, 2015

Message from Advisory Commission on Special Education Chair, Gina Plate for Supporting Gull Funding of the IDEA

Dear Special Education Funding Supporter:


We invite you to participate in this national effort that focuses on the urgent need for Congress and the President to fund the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) promise to provide 40% of the average per pupil expenditure to states. Based on 2013–14 data, this would result in over $1.6 billion in additional funding for special education programs in California, alone! Attached please find both state and national data statistics. We ask that you share this with your membership at the state and federal levels. Thank you!



July 24, 2015, and October 30, 2015

National Call-In Days

Fully Fund the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Promise


On Friday, July 24, 2015, the U.S. Department of Education, led by the Office for Civil Rights (OCR), will host a large-scale celebration in Washington, D.C., to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

We are calling on school administrators, teachers, advocates, parents, and students nationwide to use this special opportunity to call and email members of Congress and the President to urge them to FULLY FUND THE EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS AND SERVICES FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES.

Friday, October 30, 2015, marks the 40th anniversary of the passage of the federal IDEA, which included the promise by Congress to fund 40% of the average per-pupil expenditure to offset the costs of providing educational programs and services to students with disabilities.

We are calling on school administrators, teachers, advocates, parents, and students nationwide to use this special opportunity to call and email members of Congress and the President to urge them to FULLY FUND THE IDEA PROMISE.



Below is a TOOLKIT to assist you with this effort.


Where will I find my Congressional Representative’s contact information?

You can find your Congressional Representative contact information here: However, before you enter this website, you will need your zip code and four-digit zip code extension. The four-digit extension can be found here:

How do I contact the President?

You can call, write, or email President Barack Obama. Contact information is located here:

What should I say in my communication to my Congressional Representative and the President?

We recommend you politely ask your Congressional Representative to support increased federal funding for special education programs and services. Below are some bullet points for your use:

·         As we approach the 40th anniversary of the passage of landmark federal legislation that protects the rights of students with disabilities by ensuring that everyone receives a free appropriate public education (FAPE), we respectfully urge Congressman/woman ______________ to support a major funding increase for special education programs and services through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The lack of federal funding impacts our ability to implement the strategies and services to our most vulnerable student population that are proven effective in improving achievement.

·         The cost of federally mandated special education services continues to rise, and the population of students with high-cost disabilities is increasing nationwide. The federal appropriation is not keeping pace with rising costs and we call on Congress to increase funding for these federally mandated responsibilities.

·         It is critical that Congress and the President make a permanent investment in IDEA funding by meeting the federal commitment to fund special education programs at the 40% of the average per-pupil expenditure level. It is time that this long-standing commitment to fund federal special education mandates be met.


Please forward this e-mail to 5 friends and colleagues.

Ask them to e-mail or call Congress on

July 24, 2015, and October 30, 2015

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Summer Tips and Ideas to Keep Your Child Engaged Active and Learning while having FUN!

Summer break is a time to relax, have fun and enjoy a break from the hustle and bustle of the school year!  Remember to take the time for a break but here are some ideas when you realize the break is just becoming a bit too long and you need something to do!

Check out a list of fun activities and free services over the summer.

Some Quick Ideas:
  • Check out your local library for summer activities
  • City Recreation Catalogs have great activities including camps, sports and classes.  City of Concord, City of Walnut Creek, City of Pleasant Hill.
  • Discover and Go through the local library offers discount tickets to activities.
  • Plan fun science activities at home to incorporate learning, you can learn safe science activities like building your own home volcano.
  • Use scraps from paper towel rolls, scrap paper, etc. and make arts and crafts. 
Tips to make sure your family transitions back to school easily:
  • Make sure staying up late does not get out of control. 
  • Make sure your children still have a consistent wake up time and don't let them sleep in too late. 
  • Keep a consistent routine, meals, and schedules that are a little more flexible than the school year. 
  • Keep the chores routine going and add additional chore routines to practice for the year. 
  • Practice skills over the summer like writing, math and of course reading.
  • Read, read, read! 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Former Foster Youth from Contra Costa County In Need

You wouldn't think that people who work in schools would try to buy an RV for a homeless mother, but we are. It would be amazing if you click this link and donate $5. 

She is a former foster youth from Contra Costa County, CA.  She does not use drugs or alcohol and is a loving mother who would do anything to protect and care for her children.  Because her children are young, and have special needs (autism) it has been difficult for her to maintain steady employment.   

The Mt. Diablo HOPE School Social Workers have unturned every stone, but we can't find shelter or stable housing for a family her size (one baby boy, a girl (6) and two boys 7,9).  This is why we are attempting, on our own, to obtain a mobile home / RV for her.   

Funding will cover the cost of a used RV.  It's not ideal, but it will provide temporary shelter until she's back on her feet.   When life is predictable, children have less anxiety and do better in school.    

Even a $1 donation will help to raise awareness, and give her hope.   

Pay it forward.  
Please post this, email, or text your friends to spread the word.

(See the gofundme site to donate HERE)

Yours truly, 

Vivica Taylor, MSW
Derek Wang, LCSW 
James Wogan, LCSW
(Independently of our work with Mt. Diablo Unified HOPE) 

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Special Ed Mini Conference Scheduled for Saturday May 16th!

Come join us for the Special Ed. Mini Conference

Saturday May 16th, 2015 8:30 - 12:00

Workshops on Executive Functioning, Google Aps for Education, Behavior Management, The IEP Process, and more. 

Loma Vista Adult Education
1266 San Carlos Ave.
Concord, CA 94518

Workshops for Parents, Teachers, Staff and Community!  Resource Square

For more information click here

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Special Ed Mini Conference RESCHEDULED!


SATURDAY, MARCH 14th the Special Ed. Mini Conference Parenting the Child with Special Needs is cancelled and will be rescheduled for a future date. 

For more information contact: Hilary Shen, Parent Liaison at (925) 682-8000 ext. 4297 or

Tuesday, March 10, 2015