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Event: TSTI’s “Crip Camp” Discussion with Judy Huemann, February 2023

Event Alert! TSTI’s Movies Together Virtual Discussion”Crip Camp” with Judy HeumannFebruary 5, 2023 @ 4pm This Sunday! February 5th @ 4pmDisability rights activist Judith Heumann will be leading Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel’s Movies Together discussion of “Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution,” the 2020 documentary about a 1970s Catskills summer camp that galvanized a group of teens…

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Recap: Middle School & Mental Health, January 2023

Meeting Recap: Middle School & Mental HealthJanuary 9, 2023 At our January 9th SEPAC SOMA meeting, a panel of SOMSD experts joined us to take a close look at anxiety in middle school, including signs of stress, strategies at home and how to get help at MMS and SOMS. Alison Steiner explained how anxiety presents…

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Meetup: Cup Chats, January 2023

Cup ChatsJanuary 22, 2023 @ 3:00pm Sunday, January 22 @ 3:00pm📍Elitist Coffee in South Orange (3rd & Valley)CUP CHATS: Informal, in-person gatherings to connect with other parents and caregivers of kids with Special Education-related needs in our district. 

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Meeting: Anxiety in High School, January 2023

Anxiety in High SchoolTuesday, January 24 @ 7:30pm Tuesday, January 24 @ 7:30pmHIGH ANXIETY: High school can be hard to handle in the best of times and, after the events of the last few years, even more teens are struggling. We’ll hear from a panel of CHS experts about anxiety and mental health in the…

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Meeting: Middle School & Mental Health, January 2023

Middle School & Mental HealthJanuary 9, 2023 @ 7:30pm Monday, January 9 @ 7:30pmMiddle School & Mental Health: Join us to learn more from our panel of SOMSD experts about anxiety in middle school, including signs of stress, strategies at home and how to get help at MMS and SOMS. This meeting will be virtual. Do…

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Save the Date: Anxiety in High School, January 2023

Save the Date: Anxiety (& More) in High School Tuesday, January 24 @ 7:30pmAnxiety (& More) in High School: High school can be hard to handle in the best of times and, in this post-pandemic world, even more teens are struggling. Join us to learn more about mental health in high school and the support programs…

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Request: Share Your Challenges

Feedback Wanted: Sharing Your Challenges Helps Our 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 that should be elevated to district administration.► Add your input

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Recap: Anxiety in Elementary, November 2022

Meeting Recap: Anxiety in ElementaryMonday, November 21, 2022 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 SEPAC SOMA community meeting on November 21, 2022, SOMSD Social Workers Arelis Tapia-Vargas and Marilu Gregory shared valuable information…

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Save the Date: Middle School & Mental Health, January 2023

Save the Date: Middle School & Mental Health Monday, January 9 @ 7:30pmMiddle School & Mental Health: Join us to learn more about anxiety in middle school, including signs of stress, strategies at home and supports at school. This meeting will be virtual.

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December 2 is Special Education Day!

December 2 is Special Education Day! SEPAC SOMA recognizes Special Education Day on December 2. Enacted in 1975, IDEA shaped the future of what we know as Special Education today. If you like to learn more about what things were like before IDEA, here are a couple of videos for you to watch. We hope…

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Meeting: Learning Disabilities Support Group, December 2022

Learning Disability Parent Support GroupWednesday, December 14, 8:00pm From group creator and organizer Susan Nasberg-Abrams: Thank you to everyone who joined us at the last Learning Disabilities Parent Support Group meeting. It was so wonderful to share stories and get advice – and also to share laughs and get drinks! Our next meeting will be on Wednesday, Dec…

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Statement: Transgender Awareness Week 2022

Transgender Awareness Week 2022 The Special Education Parent Advisory Committee Executive Board of South Orange & Maplewood School District wants you to know …  November 13-19 is Transgender Awareness Week and November 20th is Transgender Remembrance Day. In our role as an advisory group to the district, SEPAC SOMA is here to support and be an ally for…

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Announcement: Mobile Sensory Station Fundraiser

FUNDRAISER: Mobile Sensory Station Each year, South Orange Village President Sheena Collum invites the community to celebrate her birthday with a “Party with a Purpose.” SEPAC SOMA is absolutely thrilled to share that this year’s focus is to fund a Mobile Sensory Station for community events in our towns. We hope you’ll consider donating to…

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Announcement: 2022 BOE Candidate Questionnaire & Responses

2022 BOE Candidate Questionnaire & Responses Each year SEPAC SOMA invites SOMSD Board of Education candidates to respond to several questions about issues related to Special Education in our district. We are pleased to share with you the 2022 BOE Candidate Responses to our questionnaire. We thank all the candidates for taking the time to share…

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Meeting: Learning Disabilities Support Group, October 2022

Learning Disabilities Parent Support GroupWednesday, October 26, 8:00pm From group creator and organizer Susan Nasberg-Abrams: Calling all parents of kids with learning disabilities, learning struggles or learning stress. We deserve a night out! Let’s get together to chat and compare notes – what’s going well, what’s not going well, what we have learned and what…

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President’s Note: October 2022

President’s Update: October 2022 Fall Greetings, I’m Beth Cosentino, a Maplewood resident with two children in the school district and this year’s President for the Special Education Parent Advisory Committee: SEPAC SOMA. In the last few years, I’ve held various SEPAC roles, including Special Education Liaison, SEPAC Communications Officer and Administrator and SEPAC VP of…

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Watch: SEPAC SOMA’s BOE Presentation, September 2022

SEPAC SOMA Presentation to SOMSD BOESeptember 29, 2022 SEPAC SOMA presented to the SOMSD Board of Education on 9/29/22. We were so pleased to share more about our parent-led group – who we are, what we do, and our goals for this school year – and were encouraged by Board Members’ thoughtful comments and follow-up questions.…

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Resource: SOMSD Special Services Contact List, Summer 2022

Summer 2022: SOMSD Special Services Staff Note from Susie Budine, SOMSD Assistant Superintendent of Special Services:Please see below the appropriate staff to contact for the summer. Also, kindly note that the district is on a skeleton crew from mid-August until school starts in September. You may experience a longer than usual delay in response during…

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Recap: ☀️Top 5 Summer Tips, June 2022

OUR TOP FIVE SUMMER TIPSJune 9, 2022 1. PLAN AHEAD Reach out to your Case Managers now to find out who will be your point of contact over the summer. Think ahead to where your child will be next year and if they are moving to a new building (Jefferson, MMS or SOMS, CHS) make…

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Announcement: 2022-2023 Executive Board

Announcement: 2022-2023 Executive Board The proposed slate for the SEPAC SOMA 2022-2023 Executive Board was approved at our 6/9/2022 community meeting. Thank you to all our new and returning board members for your commitment to and passion for supporting Special Education families in the South Orange & Maplewood School District! President – Beth CosentinoEx-Officio –…

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January 2022: PerformCare Fact Sheet

Individualized Education Programs and 504 Plans help get your child what they need to thrive at school, but what about at home? Caring for a child with behavioral, mental health and emotional challenges, or intellectual and developmental disabilities, can be overwhelming. The Children’s System of Care (part of New Jersey’s Department of Children and Families)…

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Announcement: New SEPAC SOMA 2021-2022 Board Members

SEPAC SOMA is happy to announce two recent additions to our SEPAC SOMA Executive Board: Nicole is the Special Education Liaison at Jefferson Elementary, and has previously served as our Vice President of Parent Support. Michelle is a former Special Education Liaison at South Mountain School. We’re thrilled to have their passion and experience in…

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2021 BOE Candidate Questionnaire

Each year SEPAC SOMA invites Board of Education candidates to respond to several questions about issues related to Special Education in our district. We are pleased to share with you the 2021 Candidate Statements on Special Education. We thank all the candidates for taking the time to share their perspectives. SEPAC is not a political organization,…

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Letter Read at BOE Meeting (8/16/21): Vaccination Mandate

The following letter submitted by SEPAC was read during the public speaks portion of the 8/16/21 Board of Education meeting. Good evening Dr. Taylor, Administrators and BOE Members, The Executive Board of the Special Education Parent Advisory Committee (or SEPAC) here in our district is advocating for you to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations for all school…

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