Parent-Educator Connection (PEC)
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The Parent-Educator Connection (PEC) works to develop and sustain effective partnerships between families, educators, and community providers to promote success for all children and youth with disabilities
- With encouragement and support from educators and community providers, each family determines their level of participation in system processes.
- In successful partnerships, families, educators, and community providers work together by recognizing, understanding, and respecting individual differences, cultural backgrounds, and differing approaches, and seek solutions.
- Two-way frequent and meaningful communication builds successful partnerships.
- Building partnerships among families, educators, and community providers as early as possible enhances the degree of family and child success.
- Families, educators, and community providers all have important roles, responsibilities, and perspectives in the education and support of children.
Who We Are
The PEC, started in 1984, provides a unique opportunity for parents and educators to build partnerships to improve educational programs for children and young adults with special needs.
Modeling an effective collaborative partnership, the PEC is staffed by a parent coordinator who brings the perspective of a parent with a child having special needs
and an educator coordinator who brings the perspective of an educator.
Each Iowa's Area Education Agencies (AEAs) have a parent and an educator coordinator on staff to direct the program within the AEA. They deal directly with parents, local education agencies, and agencies outside the educational system.
The Iowa Department of Education, Bureau of Learner Strategies & Supports employs a parent coordinator who partners with educators at the department in order to provide assistance to AEAs and the children and families of Iowa.
What We Do for Parents and Educators
- Link families and educators with needed services and resources.
- Assist parent-educator support groups.
- Network with other agencies and programs who work with parents and educators.
- Connect families and educators with similar needs and interests.
- Inform and encourage state and local educational groups to support home-school relationships.
- Conduct workshops on various subjects for families and educators.
- Provide books, pamphlets and video/audio tapes on issues regarding special education, parenting and disabilities.
The partnership involves:
Families with children who have special learning needs, ages birth to twenty-one, can work with the PEC to build important relationships.
Educators and other individuals who work with children with special needs may also access the PEC as a resource or volunteer to work with the PEC in supporting services.
Parent & Educator Connection Brochure (2006-09-27)
Legal Requirements and Reports
While there are legal requirements in special education law that address parent participation and involvement, there is not a requirement in IDEA for states to have a service or organization such as the PEC for families and educators. Iowa is the only state in the nation that has services available across the entire state and a consultant on the state department staff.
Seven of the nine AEA PEC programs have steering committees that advise the PEC and examine the data that are generated for their AEA. Four AEA PEC programs make decisions about information and supports that need to be supported by the PEC in their specific region by using data, processes and family experiences within their AEA. Check with your AEA PEC to see if there is a steering committee in place if you would be interested in serving the AEA in that capacity.
Iowa has maintained a 20 year history of funding the PEC program through federal Part B dollars that come to the state each year. Some AEAs provide additional in-kind contributions to the program for staff, activities and events that are administered and developed locally.
The PEC has two program goals it wishes to reach as a result of the services provided across the state. The AEAs may have different activities and supports to meet the goals, but all PEC programs are working toward the same goals for children who have IEPs.
Statewide Outcomes for the PEC-
- PEC Part B, Transition Part C to Part B Goal - Maintain strong support for families to participate in their child's education by providing the information and resources they need to transition their child with a disability to appropriate Part B services from Part C services.
- Indicator #1: % of families reporting involvement in transition decisions and planning
- Indicator #2: % of families informed of Part B parent rights and responsibilities during transition planning
- PEC Part B Secondary Transition Goal - Families have expectations and plans of living, learning and employment activities post high school for their youth with disabilities<
- Indicator #1: % of parents stating specific expectations for youth's post high school experiences
- Indicator #2: % of families involved in transition decisions
- Indicator #3: % of families setting goals and making plans for post high school experiences
- Indicator #4: % of families reporting high school activities were helpful in preparing their youth for post high school experiences
The PEC is taking the lead in surveying families in the state to get information regarding the partnership efforts between families and schools to address the federal indicator for parent involvement.
The Federal Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs has indicators for both Part C and Part B in the area of parent involvement. The indicators are as follows:
- Part C Indicator- Parent of families participating in Part C who report that early intervention services have helped the family:
- Know their rights;
- Effectively communicate their children's needs; and
- Help their children develop and learn.
- Part B Indicator - Percent of parents with a child receiving special education services who report that schools facilitated parent involvement as a means of improving services and results for children with disabilities.
Calendar of Events
Iowa Training Consortium: Sponsored by the Center for Disabilities and Development at the University of Iowa.
ASK Resource Center, the Iowa Parent Training and Information Center, PTI
PACER - is the Minnesota Parent, Training and information Center--it also serves as the national technical assistance center for all PTIs in the nation and territories.
Iowaparents.org - research and information about parent involvement in education. http://www.iowaparents.org/
NICHCY - the most comprehensive site you are going find with disability and educational information. http://www.nichcy.org/
Family Village from the University of Wisconsin - disability information and national organizations/information. http://www.familyvillage.wisc.edu/
Beach Center - a center that works on research re: disabilities, education and families. http://www.beachcenter.org/
Wrightslaw - legal information regarding the various laws that impact people with disabilities and their families, and the systems that provides services and supports to them. http://www.wrightslaw.com/
Office of Special Education Programs - the Federal Department of Education
Federal Government Search