Are You an Early Childhood Special Educator? Invitation to join dissertation study on staff health and wellness

Study Purpose: The purpose of this study is to enhance our understanding of wellbeing of early childhood special education teachers and their experiences in the field as well as your profile on certain positive psychology variables (e.g., wellbeing, mental health, and workplace satisfaction). 

Who can participate?
If you: 

  • Are an early childhood special education teacher serving children 3 years to 8 years old 
  • Hold a special education and early childhood licensure from one of the 50 states or the District of Columbia
  • Teach in early childhood special education in preschool settings (push in our pull out/ public and non-public setting

You can participate! 

Why should I participate?
By participating, you have the opportunity to share your experience. You will help people better understand early childhood special education teacher’s wellbeing. 

What can I expect if I participate?
There are two parts to this study: 

  1. Survey: A 20-minute survey will ask about (1) demographic information (2) individual profile on teacher and general well-being scales and then a career wellbeing scale and (3) profile of mental health symptoms (depression and anxiety inventories) 
  2. Interview: If chosen a one-hour interview will be conducted at a place of your choice.

 The consent form will provide you with more information about what to expect. 

Consent & Confidentiality:
Participation is voluntary, and you will complete a consent form. Consent can be withdrawn at any time without penalty. All information obtained is strictly confidential. Please see the consent form for additional information about risks to confidentiality. 

About the researcher:
Heather Walter is a doctoral student in special education at George Washington University in Washington, DC. She is interested in learning about early childhood special education teacher’s wellbeing. The dissertation is titled: Exploring early childhood education teacher’s wellbeing through a multidimensional framework: A Mixed Methods Study.

For additional information contact: Heather Walter: or (585) 451-6043 

High Court Argument to Center on Level of Benefits for Spec. Ed. – Education Week


When the U.S. Supreme Court made its first substantive interpretation in 1982 of the main federal special education law, it was careful to say that courts should not impose their own view of education adequacy upon states and districts for children covered by the law.

In that case, Board of Education of the Hendrick Hudson Central School District v. Rowley, the court created a definition of a “free, appropriate public education” in the special education arena that has stood for decades. Under the definition, special education must confer “some educational benefit.”

But in a case set to be argued Jan. 11, the court is weighing in on what “some” should mean. The question at hand: What level of educational benefit must school districts provide to students with disabilities in order for them to receive that free, appropriate public education under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act?

Source: Education Week

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DEC Recommended Practices Monograph Series – Using DEC Family Practices with All Families: Call for Manuscripts

The Division for Early Childhood of the Council for Exceptional Children (DEC) will be publishing its third monograph in the DEC Recommended Practices Monograph Series in 2017 concentrating on the Family topic area.

We are interested in manuscripts that highlight the Family Recommended Practices from multiple perspectives to support families with young children from birth – 5 years old who have or are at risk of developmental delays and disabilities.  We hope to publish manuscripts that represent the breadth and depth of each of the three themes of the DEC Family Recommended Practices (family-centered practices, family capacity-building practices, and family and professional collaboration), which include the 10 practices that can be downloaded from the DEC website.

We are especially interested in manuscripts that demonstrate innovative use of the DEC family recommended practices to (1) effectively address the complexities of partnering with families, (2) positively support families whose values and structures are different from the professionals supporting the families, (3) identify specific behaviors that encompass the active ingredients of the recommended practices, and (4) enhance families’ knowledge and skills to enrich their child’s development.

Suggested topics include applying the DEC Family Practices to strengthen:

  • Families who are supported by multiple formal systems
  • Reciprocity between caregivers in different EI/ECSE contexts (e.g., preschool teacher and family)
  • Families with limited access to needed supports, such as families who are undocumented and those lacking stable housing
  • Family outcomes
  • Families’ use of informal supports to help meet the needs of their family and children

We are seeking manuscripts well grounded in research that are written for practitioners as well as case studies that illustrate the nuances of partnering with individual families.  We are also seeking manuscripts that include families who are currently, or in the last year were, supported by Early Intervention or 619 programs as primary or equal contributors to manuscript development.  At least one Family Recommended Practice should be clearly targeted and woven into the manuscript.

Final inclusion of manuscripts will, in part, be determined to assure representation of different Family Recommended Practices.

Submission Deadline is December 15, 2016. Manuscripts should be 10-12 pages including references.

Please contact the co-editors Carol M. Trivette ( and Bonnie Keilty ( with any questions.

We look forward to receiving your submissions.

New Accountability Framework Raises the Bar for State Special Education Programs


To improve the educational outcomes of America’s 6.5 million children and youth with disabilities, the U.S. Department of Education today announced a major shift in the way it oversees the effectiveness of states’ special education programs.

Until now, the Department’s primary focus was to determine whether states were meeting procedural requirements such as timelines for evaluations, due process hearings and transitioning children into preschool services. While these compliance indicators remain important to children and families, under the new framework known as Results-Driven Accountability RDA, the Department will also include educational results and outcomes for students with disabilities in making each state’s annual determination under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act IDEA.

“Every child, regardless of income, race, background, or disability can succeed if provided the opportunity to learn,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said. “We know that when students with disabilities are held to high expectations and have access to the general curriculum in the regular classroom, they excel. We must be honest about student performance, so that we can give all students the supports and services they need to succeed.”

Source: U.S. Department of Education

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  • CELLnotes are nontechnical descriptions of the findings from Center research synthese and include examples of evidence-based practice guides based on those finding.

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Volume 1

Child Interests – Learning Starts Here
CELLnotes, Volume 1, Number 1

I’m Interested!
CELLnotes, Volume 1, Number 2

Ordinary Activities and Not-So-Ordinary Outcomes
CELLnotes, Volume 1, Number 3

Early Literacy Learning Can Be Promoted Through Experiences with Print and Language

  • CELLnotes, Volume 1, Number 4


Volume 2

Let the Reading Begin…Early and Often!
CELLnotes, Volume 2, Number 1

Sharing Books with Little Ones Leads to Learning Gains
CELLnotes, Volume 2, Number 2

The Power of Exploring Books Together
CELLnotes, Volume 2, Number 3

What Do You Think Will Happen Next?
CELLnotes, Volume 2, Number 4

There Are Many “Positives” to Reading the Same Books and Telling the Same Stories Over and Over Again
CELLnotes, Volume 2, Number 5

The Power of Shared Reading
CELLnotes, Volume 2, Number 6

Children’s Active Participation in Reading and Storytelling Can Enhance Early Literacy Learning
CELLnotes, Volume 2, Number 7

Volume 3

Children’s Experiences With Nursery Rhymes Promote Early Phonological and Print-Related Skills Development
CELLnotes, Volume 3, Number 1

A Strong Correlation is Found Between the Experiences, Awareness, and Knowledge of Nursery Rhymes of Young Children With Disabilities and Their development of Literacy Skills
CELLnotes, Volume 3, Number 2

Volume 4

Increasing Infants’ Cooling and Babbling
CELLnotes, Volume 4, Number 1

Parentese…If You Please!
CELLnotes, Volume 4, Number 2

Encouraging Young Children to Retell Stories Enhances Their Language and Literacy Development
CELLnotes, Volume 4, Number 3

The Power of Assistive Technology
CELLnotes, Volume 4, Number 4

Volume 5

Get Movin’…and Make a Difference!
CELLnotes, Volume 5, Number 1

Something In The Way We Move…
CELLnotes, Volume 5, Number 2

Combining Manual Signs and Oral Speech Can Promote Language Production of Young Children With Disabilities
CELLnotes, Volume 5, Number 3

Volume 6

Scribbling and Mark Making: Promoting Infants’ and Toddlers’ Emergent Drawing Behavior
CELLnotes, Volume 6, Number 1

Opportunities to Use Hands and Fingers to Draw and Make Marks Are Important Early Literacy Learning Experiences
CELLnotes, Volume 6, Number 2

I’m Starting to Get the Feel of It!
CELLnotes, Volume 6, Number 3

On Your Mark!
CELLnotes, Volume 6, Number 4

Source: Center for Early literacy Learning : CELL

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