January 30 Meeting Minutes and Auditory Processing Presentation

Thank you to all who attended our January 30, 2015 meeting.    Minutes from the meeting as well as the presentation on Understanding Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) by Maureen E. Jones, M.A., CCC-SLP are attached here.

Understanding Auditory Processing Disorder Understanding Auditory Processing Disorder (APD)

Meeting Minutes January 30, 2015 1.30.15 General Meeting Notes

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December Meeting Update and Documentation – updated

Update 12/16/14  Meeting Notes can be found 12.3.14 General Meeting Notes Final

The December 3, 2014 joint meeting of the SEPAC and Special Education PTO covered several important topics: a budget analysis for special education; contacting legislators regarding state funding of special education; state testing that will be conducted in a new format this year.

Budget Analysis:
Find the Budget Analysis presentation in pdf form 2014-12 soma budget analysis – Final
We encourage you to become familiar with the budget/budget process and be aware of the timeline of this work as the Board of Education adheres to a strict deadlines to meet state requirements when “making” the budget.

Contact Legislators:
Part of special education is funded, and in cases, underfunded, by the state government.  The SEPAC Executive Committee recently sent the attached letter to our Assemblywoman Mila Jasey and similar letters were also sent to additional legislators.   A template letter is attached as well as contact information that can be used to advocate for more appropriate funding decisions  2014-12-03 SEPAC Handout  We encourage you to contact legislators regarding this issue.

State Testing:
Many students with classroom supports (IEPs and 504s) have accomodations for state testing.  As the testing format has changed to a computer based assessment, the accomodations will be changing as well.   The district has provided a FAQ document on the new testing – you can find the information on the district site and B. PARCC FAQ

District Update and Next Meeting December 3

Wednesday, December 3 is the next joint meeting of the SEPAC and Special Education PTO.  The meeting will be held at 525 Academy Street at 7:30pm in the main Board Room.

Board of Education Update:

At the November Board of Education meeting Dr. Barker, Director of Special Education Services, gave a district report  Special Education Update.  It was also noted in this meeting that Dr. Barker will be retiring at the end of this year.

Find a copy of her presentation HERE

The Village Green online news service reporting on various topics of the meeting, you can read more on Dr. Barker’s presentation from Village Green here:
http://villagegreennj.com/schools-kids/special-ed-director-faults-district-results-outsourced-projects/

To watch video recordings of Board of Ed meetings online at any time, courtesy of SOMAtv,  find links to the recorded meeting http://somatv.pegcentral.com/

Who can be involved in SEPAC?  Special Education Parent Advisory Groups are required for all school districts in New Jersey. The purpose of these groups is to provide opportunities for parents and community members to offer input to their district’s special education programs.
Anyone with student or students with learning needs or anyone with a student or students eligible for or receiving services under an IEP or 504 plan is welcome to attend, as well as district staff and administrators.

Please share this information and meeting reminder.  Send questions at any time to info@somsepac.org

Find the Special Education PTO here http://www.somsd.k12.nj.us/Page/215

Meeting Notes 1-9-2014

SEPAC MEETING for South Orange Maplewood School District
Thursday January 9, 2014 7:00-9:00pm
District Meeting Room 525 Academy Street
Maplewood NJ 07040

Prior to the official start of the meeting, from 7-7:30, new parents introduced themselves, networked with other parents, and sought peer suggestions about how to proceed with advocating on behalf of their individual children.

At 7:30, SEPAC President Jane Bleasdale opened the meeting, introduced members of the District staff and Board of Education (BOE) who were in attendance, and introduced the guest speaker, Dr. Lydia E. Furnari, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum/Instruction, who presented an abbreviated version of a presentation she gave to the BOE in October regarding Common Core Curriculum Standards (CCCS) and the process and impact of their adoption by the South Orange /Maplewood School District.  (The full slide presentation is appended below.)

After her talk, Dr. Furnari fielded questions from parents about how CCCS affects the way teachers differentiate instruction and provide supports for students with varying special needs.

The meeting concluded with a brief review by SEPAC Board members of 2013-14 priorities, especially strengthening communications between District faculty and staff and parents, and progress to date.  For instance, one outcome of a recent meeting with the Director of Special Services was the scheduling of an Inclusion Committee meeting (including parent representatives) to hear the District Management Council’s recommendations.  This meeting was set for January 21st but was canceled due to weather.  It is now on the calendar for March 3.