Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Not a Time for Slowing Down

We’re between those busy holidays and there’s a temptation to think of nothing but that!  But there are some important events and issues that still deserve our attention this month.

I’m thinking in particular of the Supporting Families Community of Practice, which will be meeting this Friday, December 8.  Here’s the agenda:  https://tinyurl.com/y8x8khms.  Come if you possibly can – I know that’s hard for many folks, but if you think you’d be more likely to make it to SF CoP meetings if they weren’t on weekdays, it’s a good time to speak up.  Why?  Because there’s a new person coordinating the SF CoP, someone you may know already through her work on No Wrong Door and Person-Centered Thinking.  With Alison having left, Emily Price has now taken on the SF CoP, in addition to her other functions, and she’s getting off to a great start by reaching out for ideas.  In case you’d like to give her some input for her new position, you’ll find her at emily.price@dc.gov.

As for Friday’s meeting, the SF CoP will be celebrating its five-year anniversary with, among other things, an update on the recent federal approval of D.C.’s revised Home and Community-based Waiver and the public kickoff of the new Cultural and Linguistic Competency Community of Practice.  There also will be a chance to talk with “DDS leadership” – I hope this means Andy Reese! – about recent changes in DDS organization and what comes next.  What won’t be on the SF CoP agenda this time around is the briefing on finance and investment issues that’s needed to help folks who may be thinking of opening an ABLE account.  Hopefully next time!

On Friday there also will be a brief discussion led by Molly Whalen of the D.C. Association for Special Education, on the “OSSE School Report Card Focus Group.”  (OSSE is the Office of the State Superintendent of Education” – and I wish we still had a State Office Although I don’t know much about this initiative, I’m looking forward to learning more.  One concern I know will be covered is the slowdown in funding for key reforms launched in legislation by the D.C. council in 2014, most particularly the plan to lower the age for transition planning from 16 to 14.  You can read more about this important issue at:  http://dcase.org/2017/11/dcspedreform.

And on the subject of youth, councilmember David Grosso, who chairs the education committee, will be hosting a roundtable this Thursday at 4:00 on “Issues Facing D.C. Youth” (https://tinyurl.com/yc26eukj). Young people aged 21 and younger are encouraged to sign up by 5:00 today.  Seems to me the subject of funding for special education reforms should be very high on his agenda, and I know we’ll hear more about that roundtable at the Sf CoP on Friday. 

I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at DDS this Friday!

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