Happy New Year!
I hope this message finds you well and in good health. This past year was a doozy, to say the least. We experienced many challenges and difficult situations. And though we may be in the midst of some of those same challenges and situations, I encourage you to remain hopeful. A better and brighter day is on the way! I would like to share a quote from Maya Angelo that I am particularly fond of and I hope it encourages you as much as it does me. “You may not have control over all of the events that happen to you, but you can decide to not be reduced by them.” Yes, 2020 was tough and the start of 2021 is experiencing some of its own challenges. However, I encourage you to decide to be hopeful, remain joyful, and look forward to the promise that 2021 holds for you and your family, friends, and colleagues. The work toward developing a society that is just and equitable for all, but especially culturally and linguistically diverse individuals, is still ongoing. There is a long history of systemic racism in our society. MCEC firmly believes that racism, prejudice, and bias should have no place in our schools. As such, we are committed to dismantling systems of oppression and promoting anti-racism in schools. I would ask that you please revisit our statement on Race and Inequity. You can find it here - https://michigan.exceptionalchildren.org/sites/default/files/2020-11/Race_and_Inequity_Message.pdf
I would like to share a few reminders.
- First, MCEC has a new website. Our new website address is: https://michigan.exceptionalchildren.org. Feel free to peruse the site and let us know your thoughts.
- Second, if you have not already, please register for the virtual conference. March 3-5, 2021 will be here in a hurry. With all that you have going on, consider registering now, so you will not have to worry about it later. This will be a conference you do not want to miss!
- Third, our next available professional development opportunity will be on January 27, 2021 and it will focus on do’s and don’ts related to FAPE, complaints, and compensatory education. More information about upcoming professional development opportunities can be found on the MCEC website.
- Finally, please consider joining CEC in advocating for increased funding for special education for the 2021 fiscal year. This funding is needed to support infants, toddlers, children and youth with exceptionalities and/or gifts and talents. Please visit the CEC Legislative Action Center to send a letter to your US Senators and Representatives.
I wish you a fruitful and productive start to your new year. If you’d like to give me a shout, please feel free to connect with me on Twitter or via email. MCEC strives to be responsive to the needs of our members. Remember, we are all in this together!
Andrea (Angie) Jasper
Michigan CEC President