Fall 2015 Message from the President

 


Greetings from your KDEC President!


Hello Everyone!

Photo of Jennifer Oborny, PresidentOur goal as a Board this year of 2015-2016 is to increase membership in Kansas Division for Early Childhood (KDEC). Let's make a commitment to invite at least one colleague or friend to join KDEC.

You can choose how you:

  • Access evidence-based articles to broaden your knowledge
  • Receive news and information to keep you current.
  • Engage in conversations that stimulate your thinking.
  • Take advantage of discounts to save you money.

Make connections to expand your relationships and find new paths to advance your career.

I also want to also encourage everyone to register and attend our 34th Annual KDEC Conference on February 25-26, 2016 at the Wichita, Airport Hilton Doubletree Hotel. Our President-Elect and Conference Planner this year is, Tammy Wallin. Our theme this year is: Building Real Relationships with Professionals and Families using Evidence Based Practice. Registration will be open mid-November 2015.

DEC's newest publication, DEC Recommended Practices: Enhancing Services for Young Children With Disabilities and Their Families will be released October 1, 2015. The first version of the DEC Recommended Practices was created in 1993, and the recommended practices were revised in 2000. This newest publication, highlights the 2014 revisions to the DEC Recommended Practices which provide guidance to families and professionals about the most effective ways to improve learning outcomes and promote development of young children, birth through age 5, who have, or are at-risk for, developmental delays or disabilities.

Thank you for all the hard work you do for families and children!

Jennifer Oborny, KDEC President


Welcome Part B 619 Coordinator

Greetings!

I am excited to begin my new position with the Kansas State Department of Education as an Education Program Consultant for Early Childhood, Special Education and Title Services. This position includes the duties of Part B 619 Coordinator. I have worked in Wyandotte County for the last nine years as a School Psychologist for the Turner School District as well as a Parent Educator for KCK Parents As Teachers. I have had the opportunity of working with Part C, Part B, At-Risk Preschool and Elementary School programs. Some of my responsibilities have included facilitating Child Find screenings, evaluations, ECO training/data entry, and transitions from Part C to B and kindergarten. I also enjoy being involved in a couple of Early Childhood Communities of Practice. I have served on the Wyandotte County Early Childhood Interagency Coordinating Council as well. I have three wonderful children. Two are working on their post graduate degrees, and my "baby" is working on his undergrad! Time really does fly!

I am looking forward to meeting more of our Early Childhood partners and learning more about the many programs and great work that is being done in our state!

Barbara Dayal, Ed.S.


ED & HHS Release Guidance on Including Children with Disabilities in High-Quality Early Childhood Programs Meeting with USDE and HHS Officials

 

The U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services released the final version of a policy statement that articulates the departments' position that "all young children with disabilities have access to inclusive high-quality early childhood programs, where they are provided with individualized and appropriate support in meeting high expectations."

The policy statement sets a vision for States, local educational agencies, schools, and public and private early childhood programs to systematically work toward increasing the quantity of high-quality inclusive early childhood programs nationwide. This vision aligns directly with Early Childhood Inclusion: A Joint Position Statement of the Division for Early Childhood (DEC) and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and as such should re-energize us all to bring the vision to reality.

You can find more information about the policy statement here and read the full policy statement.


Meeting with USDE and HHS Officials

Three KDEC members were among six Kansas early education leaders who met with senior officials from the US Department of Health and Human Services and US Department of Education on September 14 at the Woodland Early Learning Community School in Kansas City, Mo. regarding new federal guidance on including children with disabilities in early learning programs. They were KDEC Board Members David Lindeman, Sarah Walters and Gayle Stuber.

This was the first stop in US Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan's ten-city tour, Ready for Success: 2015 Back-To-School Bus Tour. The tour was launched with a joint policy statement from the U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services announcing the recommendations for increasing the number of children with disabilities in public and private high-quality inclusive early childhood programs nationwide.

This meeting with USDE Deputy Secretary, Libby Doggett, HHS Deputy Secretary, Linda Smith, Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, Michael Yudin, OSEP Associate Division Director, Christy Kavulic, and HHS Policy Advisor, Shantel Meek provided representatives from Kansas and Missouri to engage in discussion of the potential impact of the joint policy statement.

The discussion focused on activities in their respective states regarding inclusion and focused on both opportunities and challenges. The federal officials and state representatives engaged in extended discussion regarding reaction to the policy statement, they discussed specific components of the statement, identified dissemination opportunities for the statement, and discussed additional supports that the federal agencies can provide states. This discussion lasted hour and a half.

This policy statement highlights the benefits of inclusion for both children with and without disabilities, provides the scientific and legal foundations supporting inclusion, provides a clear definition of inclusion, and provides recommendation to states, school districts and early childhood programs for expanding inclusive high-quality early learning opportunities for all children.

As noted in the news release on the event from the USDE, this year is the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the 40th anniversary of the Individuals with Disabilities Act and the 50th anniversary of Head Start, but too many preschool children with disabilities are still excluded from early childhood programs with their peers. There is significant work to be achieved regarding inclusions of young children with disabilities into everyday activities and learning environments.

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