SOMSD Special Services Newsletter
Message from the Assistant Superintendent of Special Services
April 27th marked my official one year anniversary in the district. While it has just been a little over a year, with all of the changes brought about by the pandemic, it feels like much longer! I would like to thank the many parents and families that welcomed me into this great district, and look forward to continuing our work together.
As you will see from this newsletter, we are gearing up for another great ESY! Please be sure to complete the registration form in your child is eligible so that we can plan accordingly. There are other summer programs across the district if your child was not found eligible for ESY, and we encourage you to look into them.
As the weather warms up, please continue to use all safety measures as you enjoy family time! Sun and warmth most certainly helps to rejuvenate and bring smiles to faces.
As always, thank you for all of your support and advocacy.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month
Shout out a Special Services Staff Member!
Special Education Parent Advisory Committee
Wednesday, May 26 7:15-8:45pm
Google Meet: meet.google.com/mbc-ieza-xmg
For our final meeting of the school year, we’ll be voting on SEPAC Board positions, looking for input on next year’s programs and sharing our experiences from the last year. All are welcome to join!
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 the 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
THE SOMSD PRESCHOOL TEAM WELCOMES ALL LOTTERY ELIGIBLE FAMILIES TO OUR PROGRAM!
The preschool team is pleased to announce that due to our preschool expansion efforts, all families who enrolled their child with the District to participate in the preschool lottery prior to the February 26th deadline, and completed the enrollment process by meeting all registration requirements for the 2021-2022 school year will receive placement into our program! All families will be notified in the next few weeks of their child's school placement.
All families who filled out an online pre-registration application after the February 26th deadline will remain on the wait list. Please be advised that we anticipate additional seats in our preschool program opening up prior to the start of the 2021-2022 school year. As such, we encourage all preschool-eligible families to pre-register their child by filling out the online pre-registration application so that their child's name can be added to the wait list. Please visit the District's Registration Page for all registration guidance.
Please be advised that adding your child to the wait list at this time does not guarantee placement. Families on the wait list will be notified if and when a seat for the 2021-2022 school year becomes available. For more information on our preschool program, please visit us HERE. Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
SOMSD Preschool Team
Extended School Year 2021
ESY will be held from July 6-August 13.
ESY eligible families you should have received an email with ESY registration information. Please complete the registration form contained in that letter. If you have not received the ESY Registration email please reach out to your child's case manager.
Returning to School Tips
Phase 5 of the SOMSD began this week . This is an exciting time but one that may be anxiety-producing. Please use the resource from CDC for helpful ideas on how to continue supporting the return to in-person learning.
Reminder: Frontline Collaboration Portal
During virtual IEP meetings, you will be asked to sign the participation page of the IEP electronically via the Collaboration Portal. The Collaboration Portal is a message delivery system we are that allows us to share documents related to your child’s IEP. It is a service provided by Frontline Education, which is our IEP platform (IEP Direct). You will receive an email indicating that a document is available for your review/signature.
The access code for this document is the first three letters of the student's last name (upper case) plus his/her date of birth in mmddyyyy format. Example: XYZ04032005. Note: if a student has fewer than three letters in his/her last name, the full last name is included with date of birth.
Your case manager will be available to support as needed.
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 Middle & Self-Contained K-8 Programs
Gerri Colon, Supervisor of Special Education 9-12