Walk to School Day October 9th!

In Las Vegas the weather is wonderful to walk to school. By October 9th it will be cooled down but certainly not too cold to observe International Walk to School Day! 

Check out the website to your child’s school and see if they have a planned event or make one with your neighbors. Invite a public official or candidate to office to your event to make it extra special for your students.

The official website has lots of great tools to plan your event and even turn it into a fundraiser for your school to pay for physical fitness activities year round!

The walk to school day date for 2013 is October 9th!

Apply for Free or Reduced Lunch ONLINE NOW be Ready for Back to School

There is a program to now apply for FREE or REDUCED lunch online so your students are ready to go when school starts.

Click on the image below or visit:  www.ApplyforLunch.com

Did you know that the number of children receiving free or reduced lunch at your school affects the level of funding the campus receives? Schools with high numbers of students who qualify for these lunches can be helped under the Title I program.  So even when you plan on packing your child’s lunch adding to the population of qualifying students can help your school.

Colleges that Waive Application Fees for Low Income Students

Generally to receive a fee waiver to a university a student must take the SAT exam using a fee waiver.  Though it is worth reading everything you can about the institution your student is interested in attending to see if there are any other programs offered.

In Las Vegas there are no colleges that waive these fees. Keep in mind that College of Southern Nevada only charges a $5 application fee.

Fee waiving colleges in Nevada are:

Read more about the SAT college application fee waiver program in the official guide.  This guide includes links to all of the universities that offer fee waivers in the nation.

Fee Waivers for PSAT, SAT, and AP Course Exams

I have had a couple of emails from parents upset about the course exam fees for AP classes this year. There is a fee waiver program for these courses but you have to start now to qualify.

The fee waiver is based on the federal standards for free or reduced school lunches. By high school many parents no longer complete the free lunch application because students are embarrassed to use the program. However it is the ONLY way to get the fee waiver through the school district.


The lists of students whom qualify for free and reduced lunch should be kept confidential at your student’s school.

Information about test fee waivers here

SAT Test Fee Waivers Brochure – This service open ONLY to Seniors

SAT Fee Waiver Guide for Counselors 

For the SAT test I recommend to parents to get your fee waiver handled in advance through the online fee waiver service  without depending on a school counselor to get it done. Your student will be given their own waiver ID number to use to register for testing and ensure their paperwork is handled.

PSAT Test Fee Waiver – This service is open ONLY to Juniors and above

AP Exams

This area has the most confusion. You may have read the Las Vegas Sun Article about students who may not receive credit for their AP tests due to a cut in funding for the program. Imagine the frustration if your college bound student did their best to pass this test only to learn over the summer it was not paid for so they may not receive credit toward college. This is a double whammy to our students. Either pay for the test  $57 ($83 minus $26 waiver from college board ) and study again which many of these students may no longer have the materials. OR sadly many of these students will end up having to repeat the course at the college they enroll in which can cost anywhere from $200 on up.

The information below is from the College Board website: 

Funding Restored for Low-Income Students’ Exam Fees

Additional Federal funding has just been announced for qualifying low-income students’ 2012 AP Exam fees. These funds allow most participating states to fully subsidize all exams taken by eligible students. Some states that previously required students to pay a nominal fee per exam may continue to do so – this is a state-specific decision. Please encourage students who opted out of taking the AP Exams due to loss of funding to reconsider taking exams in May.

The issue is that Nevada has not indicated “IF” and “WHEN” the State will announce plans to pay for the test for students.

Visit Federal and State Exam Fee Assistance for more information.

Fee reductions for AP Exams

The College Board provides a $26 fee reduction per exam for students with financial need. For each exam taken with a fee reduction, the school forgoes its $8 rebate, resulting in a cost of $53 per exam for the student.

The U.S. Department of Education has notified states that they now have additional funds to cover the costs of 2012 AP Exams for eligible low-income students. For most states that receive federal funding, when combined with the increased College Board subsidy, these funds will make all AP Exams free for low-income students in May 2012. For these states, the funding breakdown is as follows:

  • The federal contribution will be $53 per exam.
  • The College Board contribution will be $26 per exam.
  • Schools waive the $8 per exam fee they collect for their own uses.
  • Accordingly, the $87 per exam fee is reduced to $0 per exam for low-income students, and there will not be a limit on the number of exams funded per student (i.e., the three-exam cap announced by the federal government earlier this year has been removed).

Click here to Read the Nevada Guidelines.  Pending funding it says. 

Students who are either enrolled or eligible to participate in the Federal Free or Reduced Price Lunch Program qualify for the $26 College Board fee reduction on all AP Exams that they take in a given year.

Author’s personal commentary: 

This is one of those issues that we need to as a community give a hand up to our students from families that struggle financially. When a student works hard gets through that AP class and passes their exam we need our state to fall in line with the rest of the country and come through with the rest of the funds for a fee waiver. The end result will affect us all because our schools in the end will produce fewer graduates. Write to your local candidate for legislature and find out where they stand on the issue. 

Free and Reduced Lunch Guidelines for 2012

Additional Back to School Shots Clinics Announced

Check out this list.  Note that shots are NOT FREE at clinics unless specifically listed.  You will need to call the phone numbers listed.  I did post free shot clinics at Doolittle Back to School Fair, Firehouse Open House, and Shots 4 Tots locations. Also if you are confused about what shots your child will need check out the CDC Shot Catch Up Application and the CCSD list of immunizations.

(Just a reminder that an exemption for shots in Nevada is difficult to obtain and you MUST call the health department in advance. )



ParentLink is Now Mobile! Keep in Touch with Your Student’s Grades From Your Mobile Phone!

I have been a fan of Parentlink with CCSD. As a parent I have been able to keep on top of my kids assignments and get direct messages from their teachers. I get an email every time grades are updated too.

The website always worked well on my phone in its browser.  It is still exciting that there are now mobile apps! 

Download for Apple in the App Store 

Download for your Android Phone on GooglePlay

You can always make your older student download it to their phone to stay responsible. If there was an improvement suggestion for CCSD in using ParentLink it would be to have a login for the students over age 12 so they can take on some responsibility to monitor their own progress. My 14 year old logs into ParentLink and has to tell me what is happening with every assignment for every class before he gets his weekend privileges or allowance.

Plus if you do not have a mobile phone there is always the main website: Parentlink.CCSD.Net 

If you do not have regular access to the internet there is always the hotline to call.

Special Education Law Firm in Nevada Committed to FREE Representation for Students

I just learned about this firm from early intervention services.
Here are the details from the firm website. 

Making a difference…one child at a time.

Attorney Jean Murrell Adams opened the law firm of ADAMS ESQ, a Professional Corporation, to provide high quality legal service at no cost to qualifying parents of children with special needs.  Her own experience fighting for the rights of her exceptional child prompted her to dedicate her career to helping other parents.  ADAMS ESQ focuses exclusively on special education law.  With locations in Los Angeles, Oakland, Riverside and Sacramento, our attorneys are committed to helping children with disabilities obtain a free and appropriate education throughout California and Nevada.

Under the new Individuals with Education Disabilities Act (IDEA 2004), school districts are required to seek out and identify children with disabilities who may need special education and related services.  Not all disabilities are completely obvious.  Your child may have an auditory or visual processing disorder that makes it difficult for him to understand what he is reading, or what a teacher is teaching.  There is help available for your child!


The attorneys and staff at ADAMS ESQ are committed to providing exceptional legal representation free of charge to parents.  For more information please contact us at: 1-800-785-6713.