Category Archives: Parenting

Understanding your child’s IEP

The Kingston Special Education Parent Group will host a forum geared toward new parents/caregivers in the Special Education system or anyone needing a refresher regarding the IEP on Tuesday December 13, 2016.


A second forum on January 10, 2017 will be a very informative lesson on how to read and interpret the test and assessment results. Learn what all those numbers mean so you can make informed decisions and make the data work for your child!

These forums are open to all Ulster County parents and caregivers.

Cybersafety Presentation – December 1, 2016

Check out this presentation at UCCC tomorrow evening.

The Ulster County Safe Harbour program will host “Internet Awareness: Tools for Keeping Youth Safe in Cyberspace”  on Thursday, December 1, 2016 at UCCC’s  Quimby Auditorium from 6-8:30pm .  

According to a study titled, “2014 Teens and the Screen study: Exploring Online Privacy, Social Networking and Cyberbullying,” 87% of youth have witnessed cyberbullying versus 2013 when 27% of youth witnessed cruel behavior online. Additionally, an increase in cases of suicide have been attributed to sexts gone viral.  

While 79% of youth have never used the Internet or social media to reinvent themselves, one in three youth feel more accepted on social media than they do in real life.  Traffickers utilize social media sites such as Facebook to groom and lure youth into trafficking situations via tactics such as fraud (promises of a romantic relationships or lucrative employment offers) and coercion (threats to the life of the survivor and their family).  Thorn, an agency that studies technology’s role in sex trafficking, found that 70 percent of their surveyed child sex trafficking survivors were, at some point, sold online.


Contact Jackie Arsenuk at (845) 340-3927 or with any questions.

Understanding Students with Autism Workshop

The Understanding Students with Autism Workshop on Tuesday January 10, 2017 is open to parents who are interested in learning more about autism.  Registration is required and the workshop costs $55.00.

Understanding Students with
Autism Spectrum Disorders
New York State Education Department approved coursework training in autism
Tuesday, January 10, 2017
4:00 – 7:00 ~ Registration: $55.00

Center for Spectrum Services
70 Kukuk Lane
Kingston, NY 12401
(845) 647-6464
presented by Cheryl N. Engel
This course will provide an overview of Autism Spectrum Disorders and effective treatment practices. A review of diagnostic categories, etiology, and current research will establish the foundation for this course. Key factors that impact individuals within an educational setting will be discussed (e.g. communication, social skills, executive functioning, sensory, and behavioral characteristics) and support strategies and evidence based teaching methodologies will be presented.  Participants will be introduced to functional behavior assessments and how they are used to develop positive behavioral support plans.

This Training is appropriate for:
*  Certified administrators newly assigned to special education position
*  Those applying for special education certification through the individual transcript
*  Those applying for a special education certificate through the SED TEACH system
* Parents, professionals or anyone else interested in
learning more about autism

Click Here For More Information and Register Online


To print and mail in or fax your registration, please click here.
Questions about registration, please contact:
Michelle Thomas at (845) 336-2616 ext. 110

Cybersafety Presentation

Parents – Mark your calendars to attend the presentation “Internet Awareness:  Tools for Keeping Youth Safe in Cyberspace” on Thursday December 1, 2016 from 6-8:30pm at UCCC’s Quimby Auditorium.


The event is hosted by the Safe Harbour Program.  Contact Jackie Arsenuk at (845) 340-3927 or with any questions.

Parent involvement in Middle School

reblogging from Alice Wellborn:

Middle school teachers appreciate parents who are involved with their children, communicate with teachers, and take part in the school community.  Many parents pull back during the middle school years, and become much less involved in school and the school community.  It’s hard to be a strong partner with teachers, because kids this age aren’t thrilled about parents coming to school, so parents who manage to stay involved are much appreciated!

continue reading


Over the Christmas holiday, I saw the movie “Concussion” and I highly recommend that parents see the movie.

Why am I recommending a movie about football and the NFL on an education blog?  I am not a sports fan and know very little about football.  In fact the last football game I watched was the Super Bowl 2015 and I normally only watch the Super Bowl and sometimes a game on Thanksgiving each year.

In fact “Concussion” is not just about football and the NFL but about the damage, the degenerative brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), that playing football can inflict upon football players and the determination of the forensic neuropathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu who discovered this disease and fought to bring the truth to light.

For me “Concussion” was well acted and enjoyable, or as enjoyable as any movie with a difficult subject can be, but more importantly it presents issues that Americans need to grapple with.  As parents do we want to allow our children to play football with the danger that we now know repeated head trauma can produce?  How will our schools keep our students who play football safe?  How many head bangs are too many?  If our students do not play football, who will fill the collegiate and professional football teams of the future? I found this response from the NFL claiming that they are working to make football safe but is enough being done to keep players safe?  And ultimately are Americans willing to give up the violence that has traditionally been part of football in order to make it safer for the players?  Let’s face it – professional football is about the money.  Fans have to be excited, wanting to attend games, buy merchandise, etc.  If football players are not rough or are worried about concussions and avoiding injuries, are fans going to attend the games or lose interest?

When Dr. Omalu finally gets to talk to Dr. Joseph Maroon, the NFL doctor who has claimed that there is no risk to players from head trauma, Omalu charges Maroon to “Tell the truth!”  “Concussion” is telling the truth on the big-screen so that the American public can know the truth and make informed decisions regarding head trauma and football.

No Common Core words

I have to admit that Dr. Omalu’s David vs. Goliath fight against the NFL also inspired me in “Concussion”.  As a parent fighting against Common Core for what seems like forever, the battle is discouraging at times.  However protecting our children is worth the fight and we must persevere.  While the pro-Common Core side doesn’t “own a day of the week” (Dr. Cyril Wecht) like the NFL does on TV, Common Core supporters/lobbyists are deeply funded while parents are not.  All we have is our determination to “tell the truth” and I will continue to do so in person and via this blog until Common Core is defeated.



Matters Helping All Parents: Conflicts for Positive Change

Have you checked out the Matters Helping All Parents:  Conflicts for Positive Change posts that MHA in Ulster County has posted this month?

Week 1 kicked off the theme with a video of Practical Tips to Reduce Conflicts with Parents and Children.

Week 2 provided resources on No Drama Discipline

Week 3 gave parents the opportunity to share stories of successful conflict management in the home.

Week 4 (this week) talked about how mistakes can be OPPORTUNITIES to help our children learn.  I particularly liked this portion from the “Mistakes are wonderful opportunities to learn” article for this week:

So much parenting and teaching is based on fear. Adults fear they aren’t doing a good job if they don’t make children do better. Too many are more concerned about what the neighbors will think than about what their children are learning.  Others are afraid that children will never learn to do better if they don’t instill them with fear and humiliation.  Most are afraid because they don’t know what else to do—and fear that if they don’t inflict blame, shame and pain, they will be acting permissively.

There is another way.  It is not permissive, and it truly motivates children to do better without paying the price of a lowered sense of self-worth. Teach children to be excited about mistakes as opportunities to learn.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to hear an adult say to a child, “You made a mistake. That is fantastic. What can we learn from it?” And I do mean “we.” Many mistakes are made because we haven’t taken time for training and encouragement. We often provoke rebellion instead of inspiring improvement.



Keeping youth out of the Juvinile Justice System – December 3, 2015

The Kingston High School Parents Association (KHS PA) invites KHS parents, Kingston Middle School parents and community members to attend a workshop titled “STSJP and One80 programs: Keeping youth out of the Juvenile Justice System by engaging in pro-social activities

Date:  Thursday December 3, 2015  6:30 pm – 7:30 pm

Location:  Kingston Library Community Room (second floor)

Presenter:  Ms. Dana Katz, Family of Woodstock

The workshop will be followed by a short KHS PA meeting from 7:30 pm – 8:00 pm.

If your student has ever done something wrong and been excessively punished or just been in the ‘wrong place at the wrong time’, this workshop is for you. If you are concerned about an excessively punitive culture and would like to see more restorative justice, this workshop is for you. If you are concerned that your student might make a bad choice in the future and be faced with some scary consequences, this workshop is for you. If you care about the kids here in Kingston, this workshop is for you.

KHS PA Dec 3 flyer

Hope to see you at the workshop on December 3, 2015.

Cultural Competency

Matters Helping All Parents, the new monthly program from the Mental Health Association in Ulster County, Inc., has focused on Cultural Competency for the month of October.

Cultural competence consists of knowledge and interpersonal skills that help people better understand, appreciate and work with individuals from cultures other than their own.  Culture does not just refer to nationality.  It can refer to ethnicity, nationality, language, religion and many other factors.

Cultural Competency Week 1 included tips for parents in addressing cultural issues with our children.

Cultural Competency Week 2 focused on common misconceptions about cultural competency/diversity issues.

Cultural Competency Week 3, which is this week, asks parents to share success stories navigating cultural competency with our child/ren.  You can read and respond on the MHA website or on the MHA facebook page.