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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 Meetings

NEXT: Thursday 6/9/22 @ 7:30pm

What’s Next?!
Looking ahead to summer and next September! Join us to talk with other parents who are navigating IEPs and 504s about what worked this year, what didn’t work, and what your hopes are going forward.

If you weren’t able to attend our grade-level meetings in April and May, this is another opportunity to ask transition questions and draw on the collective wisdom of our SEPAC SOMA community.

Check back soon for the Zoom link or sign up for meeting notices to have it delivered directly to your inbox!

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:

  • 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

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