Thursday, February 16 @ 7:30pm

RACE & SPECIAL EDUCATION: SEPAC SOMA is thrilled to have Dr Kevin Gilbert, SOMSD Assistant Superintendent of Access & Equity, joining us for our annual look at the intersection of race and special education in our school district. This year the discussion will focus on students in middle and high school. We hope you’ll plan to join us, too! This meeting will be virtual.


At our “Middle School & Mental Health” meeting on January 9th, a panel of SOMSD experts joined us to take a close look at how anxiety presents in the tween/early teen years, how parents and caregivers can support their child at home, and how to tap into support at our SOMSD middle schools, including the SOMS Social Work Intern Program; The Hub @ MMS; and ISTEP, a therapeutic counseling program at both middle schools.

Huge thanks to Alison Steiner, Caroline Raba and Michael Zarabi for sharing their knowledge and experience with our SEPAC community!

If you are running into difficulties related to your child’s IEP or
504 plan, SEPAC SOMA wants to know.
Often, you aren’t alone … sharing your individual experience adds to the bigger picture and helps us identify systemic issues we can elevate to district administration.

Share your experience

Anxiety in elementary school … What does it look like? How can parents and caregivers support children at home? Who can help at school? Where to start??

At our November SEPAC SOMA community meeting, SOMSD Social Workers Arelis Tapia-Vargas and Marilu Gregory shared valuable information on how to help not only kids with IEPs and 504s but any K-5 student who may be struggling. 

“We believe working in a collaborative manner with all of our partners and parents is for the betterment of every student.”

Meet Beth Cosentino, our 2022-2023 SEPAC SOMA President! Read more about Beth, our SEPAC SOMA mission, and other goals for the year in our SEPAC SOMA President’s Welcome Letter and Update

Watch Assistant Superintendent Susie Budine’s comprehensive overview of SOMSD Special Education in the district presented at our October meeting. Learn more about the continuum of programming and services; interventions, 504s and IEPs; Child Study Team members; and our Special Education student population.

And if you found that presentation informative, please join SEPAC SOMA to stay in-the-know about future meetings!


The more we know about YOU, the better we are able to support our amazing community of Special Education families!

Take our survey

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 all year long.


The Special Education Parent Advisory Committee (SEPAC) is a parent-led, state-mandated 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 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 and 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!

View the schedule

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 works hard to support and 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.