Outside the Pencil Box

Dress Down for Autism 2017Top of Page

Autism Walk 2016Top of Page


WelcomeTop of Page

pencil box picture

As most parents of students with special needs know, our children require more than just pencils, loose-leaf and a graphing calculator to meet their individual goals and objectives. Whether it be an IEP, high-incentive motivators, visual schedules, augmentative communication devices, occupational therapy, or social stories, the tools in our children's pencil boxes extend way beyond what most other parents can even imagine.


And while we'd all like to be experts in the process, practices, and paraphernalia associated with our children's individual needs, it always helps to have support from other parents and professionals who have experience in many of the situations we encounter as we take this journey through school with our children.  


Who are we? Parents, educators, and administrators in the Johnston public school system, working with children with identified special learning and social needs from pre-school to 21. We began as a Barnes-based group for students with Autism Spectrum Disorders, but are expanding to include all children with special needs, district-wide.


What do we do? We meet regularly to share resources, ask questions, get advice, and discuss ways to offer our children all the support we can, both in school and at home. We also raise money to support district programs and the educators and children they serve, as well as offer outreach to parents who may have children who would benefit from special education services.


How do you join? Email Robert Rocchio, Jr., Licensed Independent Clinical

Social Worker at rrocchio@johnstonschools.org or parent member, Lori La Terra Bellina at ladylaterra@verizon.net.

Reading ResourceTop of Page

         Need help finding helpful materials regarding your child's disability?             
                  Click Here for a list of Reading Resources.                        


RIPINTop of Page

Rhode Island Parent Information Network

The RI Parent Information Network is a statewide, non-profit organization with a collective programmatic reach that extends to every Rhode Island community.  As the state's federally-designated Parent Training and Information Center (PTIC), we have worked with many different agencies and organizations, local and state wide since 1991It is our pleasure to introduce you to our Parent Involvement Coordinators working with families statewide and within your district:


Northern Region

Victoria Duarte


270-010 1, ext. 175

East Bay Region

Anne Fartura


270-0101, ext.  176


Katie Torres


270-010 1, ext. 174

West Bay and Southern Regions

Kelly McCorkle


270-0101, ext.  177


A RIPIN Parent Involvement Coordinator's role combines providing outreach to all families (including families of children with disabilities) and school districts regarding supports and services available to families and professionals. Additionally, we employ two RIPIN Parent Mentors who work directly with families statewide (including military families) supporting them as they navigate special education systems.  RIPIN's goal is to provide training, resources, information and support in the areas of health, education and socio economic well-being.


Our staff work in collaboration with Rl's Regional Transition Centers (RTC}, the secondary Transition Advisory Committees (TAC) and Early Intervention (El) teams.  RIPIN's Resource Center receives over 6,000 calls per year from families and professionals with questions ranging from cradle to career.


In addition to RIPIN's current Workshop and Technical Assistance Catalog and schedule, below is the link to RIPIN's "Packing for the Future Video.  Please feel free to share this important information with your Local Advisory Committee on Special Education (LAC) and families within your district.


We look forward to working with you, your families and your school professionals!
Best regards,


Susan J. Donovan , Director

Parent Training and Information Center (PTIC)

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