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News and Notes: Arc of Stanly County, Monarch receive grant to lead four advocacy and education forums

Monarch and The Arc of Stanly recently received a grant award of $1,000 from the Stanly County Community Foundation to hold four advocacy and education forums for parents and families of special needs students in the Stanly County School system.

The forums will look closely at individualized education plans (IEP) required by law for students receiving special education services in public schools.

In 2012-13, 1,624 of Stanly County’s 8,662 students had an IEP, which establishes educational goals and outcomes for students with disabilities and is developed collaboratively by parents, teachers and administrators.

Often though, many parents of students with disabilities find the process complex and daunting. As a result, many parents struggle to advocate for the best interests of their children.

The four parent education forums will be led by Jeanette Wilhelm, quality enhancement coordinator and advocate at Monarch, who has special training in advocacy and inclusion services. Wilhelm will address key IEP concerns and equip parents with the knowledge needed to work with educators on plans that help their children achieve success in the classroom.

“The Arc of Stanly is eager to help parents become strong advocates for their children with disabilities,” said Laurie Weaver, director of grants and foundation relations at Monarch. “The training provided by this grant will help parents more effectively navigate the education system.” 

Through the course, participants will receive a resource notebook for use in IEP development and lesson topics will include:

  • The IEP process and purpose.
  • The advantages/disadvantages of self-contained classrooms, resource classrooms.
  • Parents' rights and responsibilities.
  • Guardianship and advocacy.
  • Panel discussion with parents who have navigated the IEP process.

The first forum will be held from 6 – 8 p.m. on Monday, August 11 and the location will soon be announced. Additional forum dates for late 2014 and early 2015 will also be announced soon.  For more information about the forums, please contact Jeanette Wilhelm at (704) 986-7234 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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