What is the history of WSPEI?
In July of 2000, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction developed the Wisconsin Statewide Parent-Educator Initiative (WSPEI) in response to widespread requests from parents and school districts for support, training and strategies that enhance the learning of children with special needs. Recognizing that partnerships between school and home are crucial to the success of students with special needs, WSPEI was founded on 5 areas of partnership:
1. Alignment with and access to state and federal initiatives that promote educational accountability and parent participation in education and child health, for example Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs Resource Centers (CYSHCNC), IDEA State Improvement Plan, and United States Department of Education Continuous Improvement Monitoring.
2. Information exchange and referral with other public and private agencies and organizations in Wisconsin that have similar objectives of supporting parent involvement in education and child health, and positive relationships among parents and educators.
3. Collaboration with the Community Learning and Partnership Team within the Department of Public Instruction to model partnerships between general education and special education in supporting family involvement in schools that is compatible with various learning styles, cultures, and other family responsibilities.
4. Collaboration with the twelve Cooperative Educational Service Agencies (CESAs) to assess the needs of the districts in their regions and offer to parents and educators statewide training, mentoring, networking, and dissemination of exemplary materials about parent involvement in the education of children with disabilities.
5. Support and leadership for local school districts to promote positive, reciprocal communication between school personnel and families with disabilities to participate meaningfully on IEP teams and in school advisory functions.
What do WSPEI and CESA 2 offer to parents of children with special needs?
The Wisconsin Statewide Parent-Educator Initiative funds our CESA 2 Parent Education Program for Special Education. Through this funding, CESA 2 is able:
-- To provide parents with unlimited phone and e-mail access to address parental needs for information, resources and emotional support.
-- To assist in the start-up of parent advisory councils in each district within our 74 district service area.
-- Coordinate and host parent trainings on the special education process and disability-related topics.
-- To assist school districts in the recruitment and development of their own District Parent Liaison and provide continuous mentoring and networking opportunities for District Parent Liaisons as they carry out their duty of sharing and disseminating parent information in their respective school districts.
-- To send requested special education and disability-related information to parents via email, regular mail and fax.
-- To maintain electronic mailing lists of parents seeking training and workshop notices so that parents can receive periodical notices of these events from our office.
-- To inform CESA 2 school districts of parent trainings and workshops so that each district may notify resident parents of trainings and workshops at CESA 2 that can assist them in their understanding of the special education process and provide in-depth training in their child's disability area.
What do I pay for WSPEI Support?
As a parent, caretaker or guardian of a child with special needs you are entitled to free support and resources. The WSPEI grant covers all costs of printed materials, postage, phone and e-mail support by the trained parent educators that are listed below.
Who are you and how do I contact a CESA 2/WSPEI Parent Educator?
The CESA #2 Parent Education Department consists of Deb Hall, Family Engagement Co-Coordinator, and Carlene Chavez, Family Engagement Co-Coordinator, both of whom are parents of children with disabilities and who are experienced in the area of special education and disabilities.