Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools held its second information session for families in the school district and other interested people.

The session on Monday focused on exceptional children’s programs.

“Information sessions are a formal way to tell the district story,” said Christine Catalano, executive director of communication, planning and engagement of Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools. “Community information sessions are open to all stakeholder groups.”

Angela Caudle, Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools district implementation specialist for exceptional children, explained to parents, families, teachers and students about a new Family Engagement pilot program launched by the state Department for Public Instruction.

The objective of the pilot is to “encourage family engagement by their systematic inclusion in activities and programs that promote children’s development, learning and wellness, including in the planning development and evaluation of such activities, programs and systems.” The pilot also aims to build positive and goal-oriented relationships between staff, parents, families and their children.

Megan Cardin, Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools lead psychologist for exceptional children, updated attendees on policy changes for Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD). Beginning July 1, IQ tests will not be a required component of SLD evaluation, new eligibility criteria will use multiple sources of data and parent requests and school referrals will have the same criteria. Parent requests will not lead to shorter or different evaluation processes.

Several parents were featured as guest speakers detailing how the Nash-Rocky Mount school system has been instrumental in helping their exceptional children succeed. They detailed how their children have developed confidence in their abilities in light of their disabilities and how they stay encouraged about the future and their contributions to society.

Upcoming opportunities for Exceptional Children parent training include:

  • A Deep Dive into Dyslexia: NCDPI Dyslexia trainings to support building awareness, capacity and intervention systems — 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Feb. 17 at the Teacher Resource Center.
  • Twin County Autism Family Support Group: Mental health resources in the school — 6 p.m. Feb. 28 at Englewood Methodist Church in Rocky Mount.
  • Reconnect for Resilience: Practical tools for parents to stay well in the face of stress or adversity — 6-7:30 p.m. March 31, location to be announced.

The next information session will be held at 6 p.m. March 9 at the Nash-Rocky Mount Administration Building in Nashville. This session’s topic will be determined at a later date.