Dear Members of the South Orange Maplewood School District,
For the last two years, parents of children with special needs in our community have been supported by two volunteer organizations: the Special Education Parent Teacher Organization (SPED PTO) and the Special Education Parent Advisory Committee (SEPAC).
In June, the SEPAC executive committee met to review our progress in 2013-14 and set goals for 2014-15. One of those goals is to support parents on an individual basis, as well as work with the district in a formal and strategic way to improve the experience for classified students and their families. To that end, we are pleased to announce that the SPED PTO and SEPAC will merge this year to become one organization.
As you may know, the SPED PTO has existed for many years and has done tremendous work within our district. Many of us turned to the SPED PTO for support and advice and found a place where we felt welcomed, heard, and understood. For this we should all be extremely grateful – especially to the steadfast leadership provided by Barry Berg.
SEPAC was established more recently, in response to a state mandate that all districts have such a group, and its focus is on advocating for sound policy and effective practice to ensure that all South Orange/Maplewood students with special needs receive a free and appropriate education. In order to fulfill this mission and preserve the important work of the SPED PTO – and the tremendous goodwill it has fostered between families, educators, and administrators, this year the two organizations will collaborate on a a full merger.
SEPAC will be the umbrella organization, and the PTO will continue to support parents and families individually and offer a growing roster of recreational activities.
Please join us at our first SEPAC/SPED PTO meeting on SEPTEMBER 30th @ 7.30 pm in Board of Education Meeting room, 525 Academy Street, Maplewood
Jane Bleasdale, President
South Orange Maplewood Special Education Parents Advisory Committee