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.


Winter 2022

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 bcpssecac@gmail.com.


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 egalvez@bcps.org for assistance. For more information visit the SECAC website.


Please contact us with questions at bcpssecac@gmail.com. To receive regular updates add yourself to our email contact list by completing our online form: http://bit.ly/sercnewssignup.

Thank you,


Megan Stewart-Sicking & Julie Zielinski

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SECAC RECOMMENDATIONS 2021-2022

View the document that was submitted to Superintendent Dr. Darryl Williams at our December SECAC meeting.

KNOWLEDGE IS POWER!

SECAC offers scholarship funds for parents to attend workshops, conferences, and webinars to enhance their understanding of topics related to Special Education. These funds are available to YOU! Click the button below to find out more about how this amazing program works.

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 serc@bcps.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.

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TAKE A QUICK TOUR OF SERC ONLINE

Watch this short video and discover how to access many SERC resources on our website.

FREE PARENT TRAININGS FROM SERC

Our Winter 2022 webinar schedule is out! All webinars are free and can be accessed via Google Meets. Registration will take place through Eventbrite and meeting links will be emailed to participants the day before the event. This winter our presenters include skilled professionals from NAMI Metropolitan Baltimore, Maryland ABLE, Towson University, Kennedy Krieger Institute, and Baltimore County Public Schools. For details and registration information visit our workshop site. We hope to see you at one of our events!
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IEP TIP: KNOW WHO'S AT THE TABLE

Everyone at the IEP table should introduce themselves at the beginning of the meeting. Don't be afraid to ask someone to repeat their name, title or purpose if you don't catch it the first time around. Remember to include the student, they have lots of valuable input to share!

KUDOS TO OUR SCHOOLS

We are lucky to have amazing students and school staff who show up and give it their all every day! Below are just a few of the incredible things happening around BCPS.


  • 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

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 serc@bcps.org.
  • 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.
LOOKING FOR SUMMER CAMP OPPORTUNITES?

It sure is cold out now but summer will be here before we know it!

BCPS VIRTUAL TRANSITION CHATS

This year the Transition Team is piloting a series of monthly Virtual Transition Chats. This new offering will be a place to gather information and ask questions related to the transition topic of the month. All chats will take place from 6:00-7:30 PM. Registration will occur via Eventbrite and links to join the meetings will be sent out a day or two before the event. See below for dates, you may click on the topic to be redirected to the registration page for each chat. We hope you will join us!



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.

FINANCIAL TIPS FOR PARENTS

Does your child have a developmental disability? Check out this article full of tips and resources!

FINANCIAL PLANNING VIDOES

A series of short videos from The Arc of the United States

SERC LENDING LIBRARY

We worked diligently to grow our library last year and have lots of new print materials, games/ kits and eBooks! We are excited to share all we have to offer and hope you will take a few minutes to view our collection online. If you are having trouble finding what you are looking for please give us a call (443) 809-5443 or send us and email serc@bcps.org and we'd be happy to assist. We are once again able to send checked out materials to your child's school via our interoffice mail system, you can return books and materials the same way! We look forward to working with you this year.


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:

TOUR THE SERC LENDING LIBRARY

Learn how to navigate our website to find LOTS of resources!

RECRUITING PTA SPECIAL EDUCATION LIAISONS!

Do you have a child with an IEP or 504 Plan? Are you a member in good standing of your school PTA? Are you willing to help share SERC's resources through your school? Email serc@bcps.org for more information on how you can share your experiences and contribute meaningfully to your school community.

COMMUNITY BULLETIN BOARD

PARENT UNIVERSITY

Parent University provides tools and resources to BCPS families to support learning at home. Check out their online resources and webinar schedule today!

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MSDE TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE BULLETINS

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.

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SHOW ME MORE SERC RESOURCES

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.

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WOULD YOU LIKE TO RECEIVE WEEKLY UPDATES FROM SERC?

Sign up for our weekly SERC News & Notes by completing our online form http://bit.ly/sercnewssignup.
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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!