November 2015 as Family Involvement in Education Month

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On October 22, 2015, the Board of Education’s, Chair, Dr. Billy Cannaday, presented a “Resolution of Recognition” to Commemorate November 2015 as Family Involvement in Education Month. Phil Harris, Coordinator for Family Engagement, Virginia PTA, Dana Yarbrough, Director, and Center for Family Involvement, Partnership for People with Disabilities at VUC and Tina Norris, Family Engagement Specialist, PEATC received the Resolution on behalf of the Family Involvement Network.

The Board often notes the critical role families play in the education of our youth. Whether through parents, step-parents, siblings, grandparents, adopted parents, or guardians, the support and active participation of families in our schools supports children’s success in school, and as they become productive citizens, contributing to our communities.

The Board of Education wholeheartedly supports the work of the Department, the Parent Education Advocacy Training Center, the Virginia PTA, and the Center for Family Involvement, the Family Involvement Network (FIN), and other partners to develop ideas for stimulating and sustaining parental involvement activities within all of the school divisions in the Commonwealth.

Meet Elizabeth Hamblet

Hamblet presentation photo 3PEATC is very excited to introduce Elizabeth Hamblet. Elizabeth will be hosting a live PEATC webinar on November 3, 2015, at 11 am.

Register Here:

In today’s post, we will introduce you to Elizabeth and next month we will host a webinar where she will answer YOUR questions. For the opportunity to have your question included in Elizabeth’s November 3rd webinar, please submit your questions to

Can you please introduce yourself to our readers?

I am a learning disabilities consultant who splits my professional time between working at Columbia University and writing, consulting, and presenting on the topic of preparing students with disabilities for a successful transition to college.

Tell us about a day in your life at Columbia U?

Well, my first appointment isn’t until 10:00 A.M., and it’s often hard to fill that slot because college students typically aren’t up at that hour!  I have one-hour appointments with any students registered with Columbia’s disability services office, including those with learning disabilities, ADHD, psychological disabilities, or a combination of these.  The majority of my discussions focus on time management, which is a major challenge for many students at college because there is little structure in that environment and deadlines tend to be far away.  I also teach students strategies for reading, writing, and studying effectively.

What is the top question asked by students each fall?

I am most frequently asked how students can manage their time.  When they are in high school, students are in one building all day, going from class to class according to a bell schedule.  When school is over, some complete homework after extra-curricular activities or work.  Others do homework when parents tell them to, and the rest of the night is often structured around a dinner time and bedtime enforced by parents.  None of this is true at college, and it can be a real challenge for students to use all of the time they have well.

What prompted you to decide to write a book?

Hamblet Eye to Eye photoI was working at my second college (Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey) reviewing students’ requests for accommodations, and some of the adjustments students asked for showed a lack of understanding of the college disability service system.  Some examples of these requests including asking to have a final exam waived, for professors to email students the homework assignments or spend extra time with them, one-on-one tutoring with a disability specialist, and other requests for things that that actually aren’t accommodations.    Having been a high school special education teacher and case manager, I knew that my own training had not taught me about college services and that I had therefore been unable to prepare my own students for college.  I could see from students’ requests that the same must have been true of their case managers, too.  Since the research I read showed that students who were prepared for the independence of college tended to be successful, I wrote the book as a way to reach as many families and professionals as I could.

We heard you will be a speaker at Futurequest this year, anything you can share with us as a sneak peek?

I will provide a review of many points I think are important for family members and professionals to know so that they can make sure that students have the preparation they need to be successful at college.  I’ll explain the shifts in the laws and how they affect services, outline students’ rights and responsibilities in the college system, review the accommodations that may or may not be easy to get there, and talk about the skills that have been shown by research to be correlated with success.  Attendees will leave with a thorough overview of what knowledge and strategies will need to transition smoothly to college.

Send your college transition questions here:

Register for the November 3rd webinar here:

We look forward to connecting with you live next month!