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February 25 Drop In Webinar of the Child Count

National Child Count

On Wednesday, February 25 we will be hosting an informal drop in webinar to talk about the child count. I will be sharing some basic information and then we would like to open it up to your questions. This will be an opportunity to get answers to your questions about specific or general issues, learn how others conduct their child count, and share with others how you conduct your child count. We can, and should, all learn from each other in doing the child count and hopefully this will provide an opportunity to do so. Last year when we held a similar webinar a lot of great sharing occurred and we hope this happens again this year. So, come with your questions and your good ideas to share.

See you then!

Can’t make the webinar? Don’t worry, we will record it and make it available on the NCDB website. And, of course, you can always contact me or Robbin with questions.

Webinar details:

Mark Schalock

Posted Feb 19, 2015 by Mark Schalock

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Comments (7)


Thanks go to Gail as well!!


Mark Schalock

Posted Mar 13, 2015 by Mark Schalock

Thank you for the summary of comments, Mark!

Michelle Clyne

Posted Mar 13, 2015 by Michelle Clyne

On February 25, 2015, NCDB held an informal drop in conversation about the Annual Deaf-Blind Child Count with state deaf-blind project staff. The session was designed to share some basic information (the submission date is May 15th, feel comfortable in asking for an extension if there is an issue, data is submitted as an Excel file) and to serve as an opportunity for open conversation to address topics of concern to those participating. While some time was spent on the new inclusion of Intervener Services to the child count, several other questions elicited a broad range of responses worth sharing here with the DB network. These included: getting schools to return forms; confidentiality and release forms; and, maintaining contact at transition ages or when families move.

Q. Does anyone have a secret for getting schools to return forms?
• We use an electronic census form that gives us a great return rate. Then follow up with phone calls.
• I work more with the TVIs and teachers...they are better with forms.
• Our state special education director writes a cover letter to accompany our census mailing. That helps a lot!
• We send a self-addressed return envelope for each child.
• We are working toward having an online data system that can be updated by teachers/administrators. Online, similar to the APH census. TVI's are used to this format, so we'll likely target them.
• We have regional contacts, we also include a SASE and we offer a gift card (not using any federal funds!) for the 1st and 75th census form returned.
• Our state department of education sends out our census letter to the school district.
• We send an an e-mail, maybe a week or two before we are actually going to send out the census forms and that has made a notable increase in the forms that get returned from the schools. In the email we include the date that they will receive the form, give them a heads up so that it's not just something they delete out of the e-mail as soon as it shows up.

Q. Do new students being added to your count require parent permission/signature for release of information?
• We take new census referrals from educators w/o parental consent; however, we designate them "census only" and do not contact them without permission.
• We collect this data for the state dept of education and they have access to student information without needing separate parent permission to collect this info - we do need permission to share their information beyond NCDB. We have a standard form that has been vetted by agency lawyers and must be present in the district folder and validated on the response forms.
• We let each district decide.
• We have a form we include. I wonder how often we need to get permission? At initial referral or each year?
• I would think if the informed consent or permission letter is phrased correctly, it would be just an initial referral.
• With confidentiality for school-age kids, we have a nice document that our colleagues crafted that covers the law. While school districts don't need permission to get some of the basic information, to include those kids in the child count we use this document. I think a lot of the information came from NCDB. We have been sending that out regularly to school districts to inform them about giving information about our kids.
• There are a number of documents on the child count group page related to confidentiality. It looks at both parts C and B. There is language in there about what kind of, in what circumstances is parental consent not necessarily a requirement. It spells those out pretty well. I think an argument can be made that most, many projects could meet those requirements.
• Our legal wanted something really explicit that the child count was mandated by OSEP. I tried to piece something together between the RFA and our grant application, but there wasn't something really explicit. We had problems getting a letter saying the district must comply with our request. We are kind of in the Catch-22. Usually if the district knows us, if the families are familiar with us, we have no problem. It is finding the new students where we come up with a catch. That is where we are requesting parent signature and making it a new referral for all of the new kids. That's how we have been dealing with the issue. Our counts have gone down probably at least by five students per year. That's what I'm guessing since FERPA.
• I think what we have seen over the past couple of years is that each state is a little bit different. In fact districts within states, and agencies within states, differ. Overall issues of confidentiality are becoming more heightened. And we all have to be aware of that.

Q. What are some ways folks keep track of kids from Part C to Part B?

• Try to identify kids before transition to B. Sometimes I just have to track them down where I think they went to school
• We have regional contacts who help us track down missing children and missing forms.
• Our children are all assigned a student ID number when they enter the education system. It begins at first step in the part C. We have access to what the state calls the state student ID system. We can find out what school district is now reporting that student and I can contact them and follow them that way.
• We try to establish good relationships with parents while they are receiving Part C services and then they often ask the Part B folks to make contact with the SDBP.

Mark Schalock

Posted Mar 11, 2015 by Mark Schalock

Here is the link to the webinar for those who missed it:

Robbin Bull

Posted Mar 2, 2015 by Robbin Bull

Thanks, Gail. :) Shelly

Shelly Voelker

Posted Feb 21, 2015 by Shelly Voelker

Hi Shelley,
The webinar is scheduled for noon Pacific time. Details are here:

Gail Leslie

Posted Feb 20, 2015 by Gail Leslie

What time is the webinar? :) Shelly Voelker, Florida Deaf-Blind Collaborative

Shelly Voelker

Posted Feb 20, 2015 by Shelly Voelker

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