NYS PTA Advocacy Newsbriefs... September 2013

NYS PTA Advocacy Newsbriefs

Back to School: Teaching Kids How to Handle Bullying

Girl bulliedStopbullying.gov provides useful tools for teachers, parents and others concerned with bullying. The website defines the behavior, explores warning signs and offers prevention tools.

How to Discuss Traumatic Events With Children

Kids Holding HandsThe tool, “Discussing Traumatic Events with Children,” is designed for social workers, but discusses how parents play a part in the healing. To review the document, click here.

New Legislation Removes Parent Member on the Committee on Preschool Special Education

On July 31, 2013 Governor Cuomo signed into law S4880A/A6881A. This new law has removed the requirement for the additional parent member on the Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE). Membership on CPSE now reflects the changes made to CSE last year. The additional parent member would be required if requested in writing at least 72 hours prior to the meeting. Click here to read more.

NYSED is looking for public comment about the change to the Regulation of the Commissioner regarding the additional parent member on the CPSE. Comments must be submitted by October 28, 2013. The Board of Regents is expected to take action on this at their November 18-19, 2013 meeting. The effective date would be December 4, 2013. To let your voice be heard on this important issue, click here for additional information and to submit comments.

“Highly Mobile” Students

Military FamilyThere is a unique population of students who move often and are considered “highly mobile.” These students include kids from military families, those in foster care, those from migrant families as well as those who are homeless. The US Department of Education has issued a letter which explains the special responsibility of school districts to provide continuity when students with disabilities move from one district to another. The directive can be read by clicking here.

Mental Health and What Schools Should Be Looking At

Sad ChildMental health issues continue to be in the news again. One in four Americans, including children, will face mental health issues this year.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness has a lot of information that could help parents and educators become informed about these issues. Their website is www.nami.org. There is an interesting article that list five key areas that schools should be looking at; click here to read.

Opiod Overdose Prevention Resources

NYS OASAS has released a resource for parents called “Opioid Overdose Prevention Facts: Protect Your Children, Be Aware and Don’t Share.” To download the card, click here.

SAMHSA Opioid Overdose Toolkit for communities: click here to download.

More on Prescription and Over the Counter Drug Abuse

Prescription DrugsSome over the counter drugs are being placed behind the pharmacy counter, making it necessary to request them directly from the pharmacist and therefore restricting our youth from easy access.

Narcan is a drug used to prevent an overdosage from becoming fatal. More and more trainings are provided to nonmedical individuals on the use of Narcan. Information on trainings may be obtained from the New York State Department of Health.

Click here for more information as to why and how teens and youth abuse drugs.

Click here for a slideshow of the commonly used prescription and over the counter drugs.

Click here for a video on how to intervene with your child if you suspect substance abuse.
For your information only, there is proposed legislation for use of Narcan by police and schools. Click here for more information.
September 2013
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In the Spotlight

The Family Engagement in Education Act of 2013

The Family Engagement in Education Act of 2013 is designed to support family capacity. This, in turn, leads to an increase in pupil achievement. Here are seven key components of the Family Engagement in Education Act of 2013:
  1. Increase school district resources dedicated to family engagement;
  2. Support school districts in developing and implementing standards-based policies and practices for family-school practices;
  3. Establish state-wide Family Engagement in Education Centers;
  4. Provide support for local Family Engagement Centers;
  5. Allow states to use teacher/principal training and recruiting funds for family engagement staff development;
  6. Require strategies for the transition of youth from correctional facilities; and
  7. Improve existing law at no additional cost.
Congress is currently considering the Family Engagement in Education Act of 2013. It is vital that Congress hear from parents and families on why this legislation is important. You can visit www.PTA.org/TakeAction to email your member of Congress.
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US Department of Health and Human Services Mobile Apps

US HHS Apps PageThe US HHS has put all their digital content apps on one page so people can easily access them and download to phones and tablets. To access, click here.

US Food and Drug Administration Finalized Definition of Gluten-Free Food Labels

The following comes directly from the FDA:

Gluten-Free“The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently finalized the definition of the term “gluten-free” on food labels, which means all manufacturers that want to use that phrase on their products must adhere to strict guidelines. As stated by the FDA, the term gluten-free now refers to foods that are either inherently gluten-free or foods that do not contain any ingredient that is:
  • A gluten-containing grain (e.g., spelt wheat)
  • Derived from a gluten-containing grain that has not been processed to remove gluten (e.g., wheat flour)
  • Derived from a gluten-containing grain that has been processed to remove gluten (e.g., wheat starch), if the use of that ingredient results in the presence of 20 parts per million (ppm) or more gluten in the food
Additionally, any unavoidable presence of gluten in the food must be less than 20 ppm.
The ruling benefits more than three million Americans who live with celiac disease, an immune reaction to gluten that damages the lining of the small intestine.

The gluten-free ruling applies to all FDA-regulated foods and dietary supplements, but excludes foods whose labeling is regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. Manufacturers have one year to make package labels compliant.”

Click here to read more.

USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion

MyPlate Kids Place

The USDA has launched MyPlate Kids Place, designed for children ages 8-12 to help parents and educators make better and healthier food choices.

Useful Webinar and Podcasts

The Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools, EPA’s Back to School Webinar: Managing Asthma in Schools. Tuesday, September 24, 2-3 p.m. Click here to register.

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention’s (OJJDP’S) Underage Drinking Enforcement Training Center is hosting the podcast series, “A National Conversation on Protecting Our Youth.” To access the podcasts, click here.

Did You Know...
The NYS Board of Regents meets monthly, except for August. To access the 2013 meeting schedule, agendas, materials and webcast opportunities, go to: www.regents.nysed.gov/meetings.

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