Parent Educator Resource Center (PERC)

Watkins Early Childhood Center
21 Burns Drive
Newport News, Virginia 23601

Simone Rouse, Coordinator
(757) 591-4815 x.60559

Mon, Wed, Thur: 9am to 2pm
Tues: 8am to 1pm
Other hours available by request. Please call before a visit as the office is occasionally closed due to meetings and conferences.

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (P.L. 101-476 or IDEA) assures all disabled children the right to a free public education appropriate to meet their needs.  Through IDEA, parents were given both new responsibilities and new opportunities to contribute actively in planning the special education programs for their children.

Many parents feel unprepared to meet the twin challenge of working cooperatively with school personnel and of obtaining special education services for their children.

The Parent Educator Resource Center (PERC) has been established as a part of Newport News Public Schools to help parents become effective partners in planning and putting into effect appropriate special education programs for their children.

The Center, staffed by a Parent Resource Coordinator, operates cooperatively with the Special Education Advisory Committee and with outside agencies. The Coordinator offers programs and consultation services to parents of children with special needs.  

The coordinator of the PERC works directly with the Newport News Public Schools administration under the supervision of the Director of Special Education.

The Parent Educator Resource Center provides:

  • Training for parents of children with disabling conditions.
  • Answers to questions related to special education children from preschool through high school.
  • Community services and referral information to meet individual needs of special education children (i.e. health, vocational, etc.).
  • A parent-to-parent network.
  • Workshops to help parents understand the needs of their children and participate in the special education process and for teachers so they can be better partners with parents.

10 Reasons to Contact the Parent Educator Resource Center (PERC)

  1. Get help in understanding the special education process
  2. Learn about your rights with regard to IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act)
  3. Register for upcoming programs
  4. Offer suggestions of programs that you would be interested in attending
  5. Leave your email address so you can stay up-to-date on upcoming programs
  6. Check out a book or video from PERC’s lending library
  7. Find support while raising a child with disabilities
  8. Learn the importance of advocating for your child with disabilities
  9. Learn tips for a successful parent-teacher conference
  10. Connect with other parents

The Parent Educator Resource Center (PERC) offers a lending library of a wide variety of materials to help families of students with disabilities. The library includes a collection of books and videos that highlight disability characteristics, behavior management techniques, instructional strategies and the special education process. Listed below are just a few examples of what is available for parents:

Special Education

  • Negotiating the Special Education Maze - Anderson, Chitwood, Hayden, Takemoto
  • Wrightslaw: Special Education Law - Peter Wright & Pamela Wright
  • 100 Frequently Asked Questions About the Special Education Process - Pierangelo and Giuliani
  • The Goal Mine - Nuggets of Learning Goals and Objectives for Exceptional Children
    Donald Cahill and Maureen Cahill

Disabling Conditions

  • Children with Autism - Michael Powers
  • Children with Fragile X Syndrome - Jayne Dixon Weber
  • Children with Cerebral Palsy - Elaine Geralis
  • Children with Hearing Loss - Cole Flexer


  • Succeeding in College with Attention Deficit Disorders - Bramer
  • Learning a Living - Dale Brown
  • Teenagers with ADD - Dendy
  • Succeeding in College with Asperger Syndrome - Harpur, Lawlor, Fitzgerald
  • Asperger Syndrome Employment Workbook - Roger N. Meyer

PERC Survey

The Parent Educator Resource Center (PERC) provides training and information for parents of children with special needs. Listed below are some of the programs that have been offered in the past. Most programs are offered in the evenings.

If you have any ideas for programs that the PERC can offer or know of anyone that might be interested in facilitating a program, please contact Simone Rouse.

Some of the programs that have been offered by PERC:

  • Understanding Special Education
  • The Eligibility Process
  • Learning More about Related Services (Pt, OT, Speech)
  • Incorporating Transition Goals Into Your Child’s IEP
  • Can I Go to College?
  • Community Resources: CSB, SSA, ARC, DRS
  • Financial Planning and Legal Guardianship
  • Dealing with Challenging Behaviors
  • Positive Discipline
  • Functional Behavior Assessments
  • What is Assistive Technology?
  • Autism