Table of Contents

  • Welcome Letter

  • Contact Us

  • Updates

  • Resource Round Up

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Welcome, friend!

Hi Longfellow Community! We know school looks and feels very different this year. These times are challenging our focus, energy, and resources as families. Like all of us, PTA is adapting too. We are in this together. 

We are fellow Lion parents and PTA members Ann, Andy, and Celine. We want to acknowledge the hard work of the PTA in developing programs for students and families, and with that, activate all of us to contribute to strengthening those programs.  

At the June 16th PTA meeting, we had a community discussion and began to examine ourselves and ask these questions: Do all parents really feel welcome at our PTA meetings and events? If not, why not and how can we change that? Who are we not reaching and why? Is our PTA community an anti-racist, truly inclusive one? Are our PTA programs? What can we do better to ensure we are serving all our students equally? The three of us volunteered to get the ball rolling.

A lot of people in the meeting had much to contribute to the conversation and really, all of us do! As such, Longfellow PTA has founded its first Diversity & Inclusion Committee, something our California state PTA encourages for all its districts: CAPTA Outreach, Diversity, & Inclusion toolkit   CAPTA statement on racial justice & inclusion

At the heart of our Longfellow PTA effort is inclusion and support. We want everyone to be included, feel seen and supported, and we want to support our PTA work. We want to see our PTA Board, membership, sponsors, and programming reflective and affirming of our student body. Let’s look at our current programs through the lens of inclusion and equity for our students and families of color, LGBTQ+ community, and our students with disabilities. And in doing so, get more volunteers to help run those programs! Let’s do more intentional membership outreach and make meetings more accessible and welcoming for more parents. For our great PTA to run even better, we need more folks on board – and if there are road blocks for those folks, let’s figure out how to clear the path. For all our programs to reach more of our students in a meaningful way, we need to be intentionally inclusive with those programs.

One of the first steps was to hold a Virtual Community Conversation for anyone interested in joining in discussion with the Diversity & Inclusion Committee. This is town hall-style gathering for us to get to know each other and share our experiences with inclusivity and accessibility within PTA. We welcome everyone to join the conversation and for all of us to take communal ownership of it. We held this on July 28th via Zoom and it was an important first step. We had 29 attendees and the honest, open dialogue showed us that there is indeed work to be done – and that we have a community willing to be a part of it. Notes from the meeting will be shared soon, as well as actionable next steps, and likely there will be more Community Conversations to come.

We need more voices, we need more volunteers, we need more representation of our students. We need you. The time is now and we know so many of you care. Our Longfellow community is truly an awesome one. If this is our first or fifth or fifteenth year with Longfellow PTA, all of us can make it better.

Ready to jump in or just want more info? 

Contact us at allofus@lblongfellowpta.org.  We look forward to meeting you! 

Ann Lall

Celine Malanum

Andrew Terranova


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Contact Us

Reach Out & Come In!

Please join this committee and let's do this work together! We are in the beginning stages and equity work will never be done. Come on in!

allofus@lblongfellowpta.org

and join the general PTA page on Facebook:

Longfellow PTA Facebook Group


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Updates

*8/11/20 – Added Special Education resources and Conscious Kids book recommendations list in Resource Round Up. Added updated Interest Survey to this page.

*7/28/20 – Community Conversation held via Zoom with 29 participants. Notes with action steps to go out very soon. Plans in the works for focus area subgroup meetings and future Community Conversations.

 

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Resource Round Up

 

The work on this section has just started, and will always be in progress! 
This section is for and by the community. Need resources or have some to share?
Please reach out so we can build this together: allofus@lblongfellowpta.org

i 

Social Justice Book Lists from Teaching for Change

https://socialjusticebooks.org/booklists/

"More than 60 carefully curated Multicultural and Social Justice Book lists for children,

young adults, educators, and parents."  

 

Book Lists from The Conscious Kid

https://www.theconsciouskid.org/black-authors

"We are an education, research, and policy organization dedicated to equity and promoting healthy racial identity development in youth. We support organizations, families, and educators in taking action to disrupt racism in young children."

 

Book Lists from The Conscious Kid

https://www.theconsciouskid.org/antiracist-childrens-books

 

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Special Education / Individualized Education Plan (IEP) Information

Source: Priya Bahl-Sen, attorney specializing in Special Education law, Longfellow parent

www.hope4familiesca.org // www.bahlsenlaw.com

*Download this as a Word doc from Google Drive - click here*

 

What Are Some Issues That My Child May Be Experiencing, Which Might Require Additional Support In The Classroom? 

  • Difficulty With Reading
  • Speech and Language Struggles
  • Attention and Focus Issues
  • Lack of Support in the Classroom
  • Lack of Behavioral Support
  • Social and Emotional Problems
  • Difficulty With Writing

 

To Request An Initial Assessment For Special Education Services:

Parents may start the assessment process by making a written request for assessment when they have concerns their child, ages 3 up to the age of 22, who may need special education. A school may also make a referral for assessment by requesting written permission to evaluate your child. The purpose of the evaluation is to see if he or she has a disability and requires special education services. 

To request assessment to determine whether your child is eligible for special education services, submit a written letter to your school administrator. 

You will want to retain proof of the letter’s delivery. Consider asking that your letter be date stamped at your school office and a copy of this given to you before you leave. Another option is to fax your letter and print your “successful transmission” fax report and follow up by phone to ensure the letter was received. 

A written letter triggers an important timeline under the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) law: 

From the time the school district receives your letter, the school district has 15 calendar days (not counting calendar days of school vacation in excess of five schooldays) to consider your request. If they refuse, they must provide you with a written notice explaining the reason. If they agree, they will present you with an Assessment Plan for your consent. 

From the time you consent to the Assessment Plan, the district has 60 days, including weekends, (not counting calendar days of school vacation in excess of five schooldays) to assess your child and hold the first Individualized Education Plan (IEP) meeting to consider eligibility. 

In an initial IEP meeting, you and administrative, educational, and assessor team members will discuss the assessment results and make a determination whether the child qualifies for special education services. If your child qualifies, an IEP document will be developed.
 

Overview of Special Education Services

Special Education is a set of services provided to students who experience exceptional learning needs. Governed by federal law (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, IDEA), special education is defined as: “Specially designed instruction, at no cost to parents, to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability.” Special education services may be provided across a variety of educational environments to students who have an individualized education program (IEP).

 Eligibility for special education services requires that students have an identified disability that impacts their ability to learn and requires additional services and resources to effectively participate in school. Children who typically qualify for special education services include those with the following disabilities: 

  • Specific learning disabilities
  • Intellectual disability
  • Hearing impairments (including deafness)
  • Speech or language impairments
  • Visual impairments (including blindness)
  • Serious emotional disturbance
  • Orthopedic impairments
  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Other health impairments
  • Developmental delay 

Under the law, the IDEA ensures that regardless of a student’s disability or level of severity, schools must provide an appropriate education to ALL children with a disability (ages 3-21). It also requires that the following six principles be provided for students who receive special education services: 

  • Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE)— a public education at no cost to parents/guardians or children designed to meet the individual needs of each student, provide access to the general education curriculum, provides services in accordance to a student’s IEP, and results in an educational benefit to the child.
  • Nondiscriminatory Identification and Evaluation— refers to the process and instruments used to identify individuals with a disability. Schools are required to use nonbiased methods as well as multiple approaches in the evaluation process to ensure that there is no discrimination on the basis of race, culture, or native language. All evaluation instruments must use the child’s first language. No identification or placement decisions may be based on a single evaluation instrument or test score.
  • Individualized education program (IEP)— this document is the foundation of special education and specifically describes the services to be provided to the student with a disability. The IEP includes a description of a student’s current level of educational performance, information on how his or her disability influences academic performance, and details needed adaptations and accommodations. This document also specifies the educational settings in which the student will receive instruction in the least restrictive environment, the learning goals and objectives that will be addressed within a targeted year, behavior management plan (if needed), transportation needs, and related services.
  • Least Restrictive Environment (LRE)— this indicates the educational settings in which a student with a disability receives special education services. The assumption is that all children will be educated alongside their peers without disabilities, to the greatest extent appropriate. It is only when it is determined that a student’s education cannot be achieved satisfactorily using supplemental aids and services in general classroom settings that alternative educational settings would be identified. At that time, the LRE might include special education services received part- or full-time in a resource room setting, a self-contained classroom setting, and/or community-based settings.
  • Parent Participation— parents of a child with a disability must be a member of any group that makes decisions regarding the placement and LRE of their child. Parents have a right to notification of all meetings regarding their child’s placement, access to planning and evaluation materials, and notification of any planned evaluations. Both parents and students must be invited to attend IEP meetings.
  • Due Process Safeguards— these include the protections afforded to children and their parents under IDEA. Safeguards include: obtaining parental consent for all evaluations and educational placement decisions, confidentiality of all records relating to a child with a disability, independent student evaluation at public expense, and due process hearings when the school and parent may disagree.

  

Special Education Resources

LBUSD Resources – Special Education Parent Information:

https://www.lbschools.net/Departments/Special_Education/parent_info.cfm

  

LBUSD Parent’s Rights Handout: 

https://www.lbschools.net/Asset/Files/Special_Ed/SE-Parents-Rights-2017-EN.pdf

   

Long Beach Community Advisory Committee: 

https://www.lbschools.net/Departments/Special_Education/what-is-cac.cfm

 

Information On Learning Disabilities:

 

Mindshift Guide To Understanding Dyslexia:

 https://kqed-org-assets.s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/Mindshift-Guide-to-Understanding-Dyslexia.pdf

 

Learning & Thinking Differences: 

https://www.understood.org/pages/en/families/?_sp=e86267a4-a304-4775-aa56-874f9210f4c8.1596224129837

 

California Department of Education: 

California Department of Education information on Special Education law and procedures as well as links to related forms: 

https://www.dgs.ca.gov/OAH/Case-Types/Special-Education/Self-Help
 

California Dept. of Education List of Low-Cost or Free Attorneys & Advocates for Special Education 

https://www.dgs.ca.gov/OAH/Case-Types/Special-Education/Services/Page-Content/Special-Education-Services-List-Folder/Obtain-List-of-Low-Cost-or-Free-Attorneys-and-Advocates-for-Special-Education