SOMSD Special Services Newsletter
Dear Parents & Guardians,
First, let me thank you for your support and understanding as we continue to work within the realm of virtual learning. I know that while many students have benefitted from the individualized supports that the teachers and CST have been working to provide, there are also some students who need more. For the students and families who continue to seek additional supports, please reach out first to your child's teacher, and then case manager for support. Together, you as a team can work together to make adjustments that will help your child be successful.
Like you, our teachers and staff cannot wait to get everyone back into the building, but safety is the number one priority in doing so. We look forward to the time we are together again in person.
Thank you for the partnership and collaboration.
Yours in education,
Dr. Melody Alegria
November Dates to Remember
November 25: PreK-12 Half Day (3 & 4 Hour Day) Holiday Recess
November 26-27: Thanksgiving Break District Closed)
Spotlight on Transition Services at CHS
On Tuesdays at 2;00, the freshman are invited to meet with Mr. Endlich to discuss issues related to acclimating to the expectations of high school, understanding your IEP and the IEP process, develop strategies for success, and figure out what you want to do after high school.
Every other Wednesday at 2:00, the juniors are invited to meet with Mr. Endlich to understand their IEP and the IEP process, develop strategies for success, figure out what they want to do after high school, understand how support services work in college, and alternative post-secondary options.
On Thursdays at 2:00, the seniors are invited to meet to discuss developing strategies for success, navigating the college application process, self-disclosure, how to get accommodations in college, college life, self-advocacy in post-secondary life, and alternative post-secondary options.
In addition, Mr. Endlich is available to meet with seniors and their parents/guardians individually to help navigate life after high school. Appointments can be set up by emailing Mr. Endlich at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Flyer with links to meetings:
Your Best Shot at Good Health!
With so many healthy habits to practice during this COVID-19 pandemic, here are SEVEN IMPORTANT REASONS TO VACCINATE YOUR CHILD:
1. It is the law! Immunization requirements for children to attend childcare centers, preschool facilities, and schools in New Jersey - both public and private - are established by the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH). These requirements are not being waived or extended during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
2. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the value of immunizations, including the annual flu vaccine, is even more evident for protecting individuals and communities from vaccine-preventable diseases. Routine vaccination prevents illnesses that lead to unnecessary medical visits, hospitalizations and further strain the healthcare system.
3. Immunizations can save your child’s life. Because of advances in medical science, your child can be protected against more diseases than ever before.
4. Vaccination is very safe and effective. Vaccines are only given to children after a long and careful review by scientists, doctors, and healthcare professionals.
5. Immunization protects others you care about. For example, some babies are too young to be protected by vaccination while other individuals may not be able to receive certain vaccinations due to weakened immune systems.
6. Immunizations can save your family time and money. Some vaccine-preventable diseases can result in prolonged disabilities and can take a financial toll on families. The Vaccines for Children program is a federally funded program that provides vaccines at no cost to children from low-income families. To find out more about the VFC program, visit https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/programs/vfc/parents or ask your child’s Health Care Professional (HCP).
7. Immunization protects future generations. Vaccines have reduced and, in some cases, eliminated many diseases that killed or severely disabled people just a few generations ago.
Summary of vaccines required* by NJDOH to attend virtual or in-person school:
· Preschool – Up-to-date on: Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis (DtaP); Polio; Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR); Haemophilus B (HIB); Varicella; Pneumococcal Conjugate; and Influenza (flu due by December 31st)
· Kindergarten: Up-to-date on above plus Hepatitis B plus boosters for: Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis (DtaP); Polio; Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR)
· Sixth Grade and 11-years-old: Up-to-date on above plus Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis (Tdap); and Meningococcal
· High School: Up-to-date on above
*Please consult your HCP. New Jersey still allows for medical and religious exemptions when applicable.
Students that do not meet the NJDOH vaccine requirements may be excluded from virtual school beginning November 12, 2020. Please email, scan, or FAX proof of required immunizations to your school nurse immediately. Please keep a copy. Feel free to reach out to your school nurse with questions, concerns, or hardship.
We hope you and your families are healthy and finding happiness and patience with yourselves during this time. Be well.
School Nurse Contacts
Montrose Early Childhood Center
South Mountain School (SMS) Elementary
Julie Porter, RN
South Mountain School (SMS) Annex
School Nurse Leader
Preschool Parent Guide to the Curriculum
Example of Teletherapy during Virtual Learning
Instructional Accommodation Request
- -Please reach out directly to the teacher, and copy the case manager
- -Please reach out directly to the case manager
Progress Monitoring and Reporting
- -Please reach out directly to the teacher, and copy the case manager
Related Service Question
- -Please reach out directly to the assigned therapist and copy the case manager
Unresolved Challenges on Above Concerns
- -Please reach out to the assigned supervisor (see below), if not resolved, please reach out to Asst. Superintendent, Special Services
Special Education Parent Advisory Committee (SEPAC)
Out-of-District Families' Meet Up
Wednesday, November 11, 2020
Google Meet: meet.google.com/hms-eqzq-ftf
Special Education Parent Advisory Committee (SEPAC) Meeting
Tuesday, December 1, 2020
7:15 - 8:45pm
Topic: Behaviors and Mental Health
Google Meet: meet.google.com/hwe-qukd-qvt
The Special Education Parent Advisory Committee, or SEPAC, is an advocacy group focused on policies, programs, and practices within the South Orange/Maplewood School District. Families and caregivers of student(s) with learning needs or students eligible for or receiving services under an IEP or 504 plan are encouraged to attend SEPAC Meetings. SEPAC provides parents with tools and information to work collaboratively with the school district and to be more effective advocates for their children with special educational needs.
SEPAC BOARD, 2020-2021
Michele Richman, Vice President of Policy
Malia Herman, Vice President of Community Outreach
Caryn Gehrke and Nicole Josey, Vice Presidents of Family Support
Nicole Stewart and Lindsey Stone, Vice Presidents of Programming
Beth Cosentino, Communications Officer and Administrator
Ann Leeb, Ex Officio
Department of Special Services Leadership Team
Dr. Melody Alegria, Assistant Superintendent for Special Services
Leroy Johnson, III, PreK Program Supervisor
Karen Thomany, Supervisor of Special Education K-5
Susan Ellis, Supervisor of Special Education Self-Contained K-8 Programs & 6-8
Gerri Colon, Supervisor of Special Education 9-12