Special Education Parent Advisory Committee (SEPAC) is a parent-led advocacy group focused on policies, programs, and practices within the South Orange Maplewood School District. Families and caregivers of student(s) with learning needs or students eligible for or receiving services under an IEP or 504 plan are encouraged to attend SEPAC Meetings.
SEPAC provides parents with tools and information to work collaboratively with the school district and to be more effective advocates for their children with special educational needs. Our meetings consist of featured conversations/ presentations as well as support, resource sharing, and the ability to connect with other members of the special education community. Meetings with featured topics are our attempt to get those with similar concerns in the same room at the same time but all are always welcome!
There are no more meetings scheduled for the 2020-2021 School year.
SEPAC hosts meetings throughout the school year to provide parents and caregivers support, resources and information relevant to students with special education programming. We are looking for your feedback for next year’s programs. Go here to fill out the survey: https://forms.gle/DYcECbyGzcUWjaBN7 . Your input is greatly appreciated!
SEPAC Board Advocacy 2020-2021
The following list of issues and concerns have been brought to the attention of the District Administration, the Special Services Department and/or the Board of Education:
- Additional accommodation support for students with IEPs and 504s for distance learning.
- Professional development to teachers to be able to help students during distance learning.
- Prioritizing special education students to return safely to in-person learning, especially those in self-contained classrooms.
- Compensatory Related Services be broadly offered, as opposed to school by school.
- Childcare coverage for the Montrose students when the school returned to hybrid learning and no longer had space for them.
- Additional PPE for Paraprofessionals and Staff who work more closely and hand-over-hand with some Special Education students.
- Greater outreach for Preschool Program Registration to include more families whose children may not otherwise receive a high quality preschool education.
- Integration throughout special education and inclusion classrooms.
- Executive Function Program to be initiated in Elementary Schools and more EF preparation for Middle Schoolers.
- Elementary School Social Skills Program that is embedded into the school day as opposed to once-a-week pull out with the School Social Worker.
- Social Emotional and Mental Health Support for students and families.
- Transition support for students returning to in-person learning.
Staff Shout Outs!
Is there a staff member that has gone above and beyond for your child? If so, click on the link below and fill out the form to give them a shout out. Then, in the next Special Services Newsletter they’ll get to see their name and feel extra special! Here are the previous staff members who have received Shout Outs… Karen Leary, Rebecca Milligan, Stacey Field, Dana Franza, Ms. Benn, Mrs. Spina, Mrs. Butler, Mrs. Pleasant, Mrs. Hirsch, Nichole Kaller, Christopher Faley, Amanda Quinitchett, Lataeya Lane-Mega, Patty Scali, Jessica Knasel, Meg Richardson, Michael Wojcio, Shannon Colonna, Amy Pitucco, Mara Fox, Cynthia Van Wert, Hillary Rosen, Meredith Roig, Kristin Auriemma, Miss DeMartino and Miss Dulny, Danielle Mooney–Chavez, Phil McCormick, Lori Smith, Dr. Nicole Guilino, Mary Davis.
Special Events and Programs
South Orange honored Black History Month this year with a variety of offerings. Click on the highlighted header-links for more information.
Our Voices Podcasts: This weekly podcast will feature conversations with members of our local and nearby communities. For 2021, Our Voices focuses on this year’s theme for Black History Month – The Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity. This podcast will highlight black families who practice Judaism, black LGBTQ+ families, and black people with disabilities and their families.
South Orange Village’s Black History Month Home Page – This year’s national theme is The Black Family: Representation, Identity and Diversity.
Quick Links to SOMSD Special Services Information
Special Services Department Newsletters
May 2021: https://www.smore.com/9h5sq
April 2021: https://www.smore.com/eqn6a
March 2021: https://www.smore.com/wp4a3
February 2021: https://www.smore.com/f106k
January 2021: https://www.smore.com/xkhy1t
December 2020: https://www.smore.com/8by1u
October 2020: https://www.smore.com/u7xk2