You Inspire Us!
The SEPAC SOMA team is already hard at work planning our 2022-2023 meetings, and the more we know about YOU, the better we are able to support our amazing community of Special Education families!
Please take a few minutes to share your input on topics, meetings, communication preferences and volunteer opportunities. Five minutes of your time right now will help us tailor our programming and parent support opportunities over the upcoming school year. Thank you!
We loved hearing from our amazing Special Education families at our June meeting and sharing our Top 5 Tips for summer and beyond!
What is SEPAC SOMA?
The 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. 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. Families and caregivers of students with learning needs or students eligible for or receiving services under an IEP or 504 plan are encouraged to attend SEPAC Meetings.
SEPAC hosts meetings throughout the school year to provide parents and caregivers support, resources and information relevant to students with special education programming. 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!
Click here to sign up for meeting notices.
At every meeting … we learn from one another, support each other, share resources and connect with others.
Connect with SEPAC SOMA
Stay informed about Special Education updates, advocacy efforts and upcoming meetings by subscribing to our mailing list.
SEPAC SOMA Advocacy
SEPAC SOMA works hard to advocate for Special Education families by identifying trending issues and elevating those concerns to district administration and the Board of Education. If you’re feeling stuck, please let us know by reaching out to your school’s SEPAC Liaison or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ongoing 2021-2022 Advocacy Efforts:
- Against the proposal to move all district bus drivers and bus aides to an outside vendor. Outsourcing drivers and aides has the biggest impact on our most vulnerable and youngest students: Special Education and Preschool.
- Staffing Shortages – Evidence Based Reading, Special Education Teachers, Paraprofessionals
- Out-of-order elevator at Maplewood Middle School
- Busing issues
- 2021 BOE Candidate Statements on Special Education – Read more about our annual questionnaire for Board of Education candidates
- 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