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 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 Meetings

THIS MONTH: Wed 12/8/21 @ 7:30pm

• Get to know SOMSD’s new Assistant Superintendent of Special Services, Susie Budine.
• Ms Budine will share her experience in Special Education and goals for our district, plus answer questions submitted by our SEPAC community
• As always, we’ll have time at the end for questions, discussion and support
Click here to join the conversation!

You can share, too!
To ask a question and/or give feedback about your experience with Special Education in our district, please use this link. Questions must be submitted by Sunday 12/5 at 7pm.

Did you miss our November meeting?

No worries … you can still learn more about Special Education in preschool! Click here to view our “ABCs of IEPs in PreK” presentation. This is also a fantastic resource for anyone who is new to the Special Education world, even if your child is older.

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 info@sepacsoma.org.

Ongoing 2021-2022 Advocacy Efforts:

  • 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

2020-2021 Advocacy: 

  • 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