Hand in Hand
Parents and Educators working together
A joint publication of the Special Education Citizens' Advisory Committee (SECAC) and the Baltimore County Public Schools' Special Education Resource Center. Its purpose is to provide families and staff with information related to children with disabilities.
HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM SECAC!
The Special Education Citizens Advisory Committee Executive Board is looking for help! Want to take a more active role in SECAC? We have lots of opportunities, big and small. Currently we are looking for members who regularly attend meetings and would be interested in learning more about joining the Executive Board. Additionally, we are seeking members to serve on the nominating committee for the SECAC Executive Board. According to the SECAC bylaws, biannual elections will take place at the last scheduled meeting of this school year (June), and the nominating committee will present a slate of candidates at our May meeting. If you’d like more information on these or any other opportunities to get involved, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our meeting schedule is below, all meetings are open to the public. Registration is not required. Meetings will be held virtually via Google Meets using the join code: https://meet.google.com/fak-czgt-dvt. If you need to call in to the meeting or are having difficulty joining, email email@example.com for assistance. For more information visit the SECAC website.
Megan Stewart-Sicking & Julie Zielinski
View the document that was submitted to Superintendent Dr. Darryl Williams at our December SECAC meeting.
KNOWLEDGE IS POWER!
GOT QUESTIONS? JUST ASK!
We are here to help! SERC is staffed M-F 8:30-3:30 and we are excited for the new opportunities 2022 will bring. We know this continues to be a challenging time for parents and educators alike and we are here to support you. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (443) 809-5443 with questions, to brainstorm challenging situations, or just to talk. For more resources check out the SERC website, sign up for our weekly SERC News & Notes by completing our online form http://bit.ly/sercnewssignup and follow us on Facebook or Twitter.
Watch this short video and discover how to access many SERC resources on our website.
FREE PARENT TRAININGS FROM SERC
IEP TIP: KNOW WHO'S AT THE TABLE
KUDOS TO OUR SCHOOLS
- Glyndon Elementary School teachers Melissa Mecler (Special Educator) and Alaleh Sadri (General Educator) have been co-planning using the general education curriculum to increase vocabulary and comprehension skills for all students. Teamwork makes the dream work!
New Town Elementary School teacher Robyn Vealey (Special Educator) consistently goes above and beyond supporting the students on her caseload.
- Franklin Elementary School teacher Nancy Kane (Special Educator) has been working diligently with her team to provide students’ the individualized support they need.
- Lyons Mill Elementary School Kindergarten teacher Melanie Flemming has been working hard to provide an inclusive and supportive environment for her students with IEPs.
Shout out to Franklin Middle School for their commitment to school wide SEL! The PBIS team members develop weekly lessons for the staff. Each week they have Dragon P.R.I.D.E Wednesday when the lessons are taught during a designated SEL time with a modified schedule for the remainder of the day. The SEL lessons are designed to be a guide in promoting the Three Signature SEL Practices and developing positive relationships with students.
The Baltimore Highlands special education and general education staff are fully committed to supporting students with disabilities. Everyone collaborates to meet the needs of students with complex behaviors and learning differences. Positivity radiates through the building!
MENTAL HEALTH MATTERS
Mental health in children and teens is a critical topic that we continue to hear more and more about. Below please find some resources to support students and families alike:
- Baltimore County Crisis Response System
- CMHM Crisis Services Fact Sheet
- CMHM First Steps in Seeking Help
- CMHM Self Care for Families Tip Sheet
- CMHM Treatment Facts for Families
- Mindfulness & Relaxation Apps
- Mental Health Tips & Considerations for Students
- BCPS Mind Over Matters Campaign
For more resources visit: childrensmentalhealthmatters.org.
DID YOU KNOW?
- Athletes Serving Athletes is actively recruiting high school Wingmen. Students ages 14 and up can earn service learning hours, make friends and keep fit! Take a few minutes to learn more about being a Wingman. Together we finish!
- A game of peek-a-boo can change the world. Listen to 7 year-old Molly Wright's Ted Talk about how every child can thrive by five. Connections matter!
- Disability Rights Maryland (DRM) created an easy to read publication that helps families understand the Special Education process. "Special Education Rights: A Handbook for Maryland Families and Professionals" is available online. To have a FREE paper copy mailed to you email the request to email@example.com.
- The BCPS Division of Climate and Safety developed a Virtual Calming Room for use at home and school. Help your students reset, refocus and prepare their brains for work!
- DORS and MedStar Health both offer driver assessment and driver education services to individuals with disabilities.
- The Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council and the Maryland Department of Health have created a series of easy to understand COVID 19 Fact Sheets.
- You can access and interact with the BCPS website in 14 different languages by navigating to the black bar at the top of the homepage, clicking "Language" on the left side and selecting the desired language from the drop down.
It sure is cold out now but summer will be here before we know it!
BCPS VIRTUAL TRANSITION CHATS
- February 28: SSI/ ABLE/ Financial Issues
- March 21: Disability Support Services in Colleges and Trade Schools
- April 25: Autism Supports
- May 16: Legal Issues and Guardianship
- June 13: Building "Possibilitopia"
REMINDER: Transition planning begins the year the student turns 14, if not earlier. At this time a formal Transition Plan that includes the student's postsecondary goals and transition services must be developed and included in the IEP. For a FREE copy of the Maryland Transition Resource Guide complete this short request form.
Does your child have a developmental disability? Check out this article full of tips and resources!
SERC LENDING LIBRARY
Many of our students are struggling with stress and anxiety. Below are some of the books in our collection to help students work through their feelings and promote mindfulness:
- The Anxiety Workbook for Teens Activities to Help You Deal with Anxiety & Worry
- Mindfulness for Teen Anxiety a Workbook for Overcoming Anxiety At Home, At School, & Everywhere Else
- Overcoming Anxiety in Children and Teens
- I Bet I Won't Fret : A Workbook to Help Children with Generalized Anxiety Disorder
- What to Do When You Worry Too Much: A Kid's Guide to Overcoming Anxiety
- My Anxiety Handbook: Getting Back on Track
RECRUITING PTA SPECIAL EDUCATION LIAISONS!
COMMUNITY BULLETIN BOARD
- Athletes Serving Athletes
- Autism Society of Baltimore-Chesapeake
- Baltimore County Public Library
- Chesapeake Down Syndrome Parent Group
- Club 1111
- Decoding Dyslexia Maryland
- The Image Center
- KEEN Greater DC-Baltimore
- Maryland Coalition of Families
- NAMI Metropolitan Baltimore
- Pathfinders for Autism
- The Parents' Place of Maryland
- Special Olympics Maryland
- Spirit Club Fitness for All
Parent University provides tools and resources to BCPS families to support learning at home. Check out their online resources and webinar schedule today!
The Maryland State Department of Education develops Technical Assistance Bulletins to provide guidance to state education agencies. The "TABs" are a great way for parents and teachers to educate themselves on current policy.
Many SERC resources are now accessible online! Check out our resource sheets on funding, mental health, parent supports and much more. Resource sheets are now available in Spanish, Arabic and Urdu.
SHOUT OUT TO PARENTS
Thank you BCPS parents for all you do! You are amazing and we couldn't do this without you. Your tireless efforts are recognized and genuinely appreciated!