What is SEPAC SOMA?
A 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!
SEPAC hosts meetings throughout the school year to provide parents and caregivers support, resources and information relevant to students with special education programming.
Do you have a child with an IEP or 504? Do you have questions about Special Education or want to connect with other parents? SEPAC SOMA’s first community meeting of the school year is coming SOON!
Join SEPAC on October 6th @ 7:30 to:
• Discuss the return to school and IEP updates/reviews
• Meet the SEPAC SOMA Board and School Liaisons
• Preview upcoming meeting topics
Click here to sign up for meeting notices (and to get the Zoom link for the October meeting. You can also find the link in SOMA school and community Facebook groups).
All are welcome! 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
The SEPAC SOMA Executive Board brought the following issues and concerns to the attention of the District Administration, the Special Services Department and/or the Board of Education during the 2020-2021 school year:
- 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.