Partnering with Parents

To Meet the Needs of Our Students with Special Needs

November 30, 2020 Volume 3 Issue 4

If you are accessing this newsletter via the Parent Portal, please type this link into your browser so you can access the links in the newsletter- Or you can find the link on Facebook or Twitter @HTDSspecialed.

Big picture

Hamilton Cares

As an additional avenue to support our HTSD community, a hotline has been set up for all families to call if they are in need of any assistance. The number for the hotline is (609) 476-6138. If you or someone you know needs assistance with meals, wellness, or any other related service, please call the hotline, leave a message, and we will reach out as quickly as possible.

*The state has recently extended our free meal program until the end of the school year. ALL students eat free in Hamilton Township Schools this year.

Big picture

Important Dates


21- Report Cards and Progress Reports issued

23- Early Dismissal

24- Holiday Break Begins

Changes to the Special Education Code

The NJDOE updated the eligibility categories and made a few other minor edits to the special education code.
Big picture

Awesome Information and Strategies Provided by Our Staff Members!

Many thanks to Kelly Crowder, School Psychologist, who has been facilitating the iMom Program at Shaner for many years. This year Ms. Crowder has figured out how to present the program virtually since we are restricted with in person events. The good news is that this has allowed me to share this presentation with all of you! Ms. Crowder shared the presentation with the Shaner families but the information is great for parents and children of all ages. Click on the link below, then click present. This session has to do with helping children deal with anxiety.

Also, linked below you will find an amazing podcast featuring our own Laura Aleszczyk with lots of great strategies for parents and staff on how to get children to do non-preferred tasks by using choices.

Workshop Opportunities for Parents

SPAN Parent Advocacy Network presents the following virtual workshops in December:

NJ Resources and Options for Families – December 3, 2020

Time: 10 AM – 11 AM

This workshop will discuss resources and information SPAN can provide to families as well as various other organizations and agencies to help families.


Health Advocacy – December 7, 2020

Time: 7 PM – 8 PM

This workshop will provide information about the various insurance models- who is eligible, what is covered and how to apply.


Universal Design for Learning (UDL): Teaching the Way Students Think and Learn – December 8, 2020 (see attached flyer)

Time: 12 PM – 1 PM

UDL is a way of thinking about teaching and learning that helps give ALL students an equal opportunity to succeed. In this webinar, we will review UDL guidelines, explain how UDL can facilitate inclusion and be implemented in remote settings, learn what parents can do, and review key resources.


Using Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) in School – December 8, 2020

Time: 7 PM – 8 PM


All Kids Belong: The Importance of Least Restrictive Environment (LRE)/Inclusion - December 10, 2020

Time: 1 PM – 2 PM

This workshop will review the IEP process with specific focus on the legal requirement of Least Restrictive Environment.


Procedural Safeguards: What You Need to Know – December 14, 2020

Time: 2 PM - 3 PM

This workshop will provide information on parental rights under the NJ Administrative Code pertaining to written notice, consent, confidentiality, access to records, dispute resolution procedures, disciplinary protections and more.


Paperwork for Families: Getting Organized - December 16, 2020

Time: 3 PM – 4 PM

Are you overwhelmed by the mountains of paperwork created by your child's school records? Not sure what to keep, what to toss? Want to be better prepared for that next meeting at school? Join us for this hands-on workshop to finally get those papers organized so you can more effectively advocate for your child.


Transition to Adult Life – December 21, 2020

Time: 3 PM - 4 PM

This workshop will discuss issues related to transitioning from school to adult life.


ADDitude presents:

Live Webinar on December 9: Mid-Year Motivation Guide: Help Your Child Persist with Hybrid or Online Learning

Atlantic Prevention Resources
is also sponsoring several upcoming workshops for parents. See the flyers below.
Big picture
Big picture

Special Education Parent Advisory Group (SEPAG)

We have a Special Education Parent Advisory Group (SEPAG) in the district. Each district board of education shall ensure that a special education parent advisory group is in place in the district to provide input to the district on issues concerning students with disabilities (N.J.A.C. 6A:14-1.2(h).

Please contact Marylynn Stecher- if you would like to serve as a member of this group and you will be added to the email list to get reminders of meetings. Our first meeting for the 20-21 school year was on Wednesday, October 21. Upcoming meetings are scheduled as follows:

  • Tuesday, January 12, 2021 from 6:00-7:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, March 9, 2021 from 6:00-7:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, May 11, 2021 from 6:00-7:30 p.m.

Mental Health and So Much More!

Please check out the Mental Health webpage on our Hamilton Township School District website. There are a ton of great resources. I have included a button below to take you directly there if you are accessing this newsletter via Facebook or Twitter. If you are accessing this newsletter via a PDF copy on the parent portal, please go to our Facebook or Twitter page @HTSDspecialed so you have access to all the links contained in the newsletter.

Social Emotional Learning and Mindfulness

Grow Kinder (at Home) Podcast

Grow Kinder (at Home) is a series of mini podcast episodes designed to help educators and families through the dramatic changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. With discussion topics ranging from teacher self-care and reopening schools to supporting anxious kids and managing screen time, Grow Kinder (at Home) explores real-life challenges and how we can overcome them by using our social-emotional skills and practicing empathy.

Big picture

Physical Health

  • Updated Guidance from the Department of Health

Covid-19 Information for Schools

There are updates dated 11/17 and 11/19. They are highlighted so it is easy to see the changes.

  • If you have not already done so, please view the video prepared by our school nurses linked below.
Big picture
Big picture

Project Child Find

Parents of Hamilton Township who are concerned that their school age child (3 years to 21 years) may have special needs can receive assistance from the local school district's Child Study Team. In addition, the Hamilton Township Schools are organizing a Child Find campaign to locate and provide services for children ages three to five who may have physical, cognitive, language or emotional difficulties. Information also may be obtained on how and where to receive services for children with special needs who are younger than three. Professional guidance, assessment and an educational program are all available free for eligible children. For more information contact the Hamilton Township School District Child Study Team office at 476-6111.

The Project Child Find Fact Sheet

NJDOE Project Child Find Information

Big picture
Big picture

Register Ready – New Jersey’s Special Needs Registry for Disasters

Register Ready – New Jersey’s Special Needs Registry for Disasters allows New Jersey residents with disabilities or access and functional needs and their families, friends, caregivers and associates an opportunity to provide information to emergency response agencies so emergency responders can better plan to serve them in a disaster or other emergency."

For more information, click on this link.

Administrative Team

Supervisor of Special Education and Child Study Teams

Marylynn Stecher

Supervisor of Instruction in Special Education

Dana Kozak

Supervisor of Special Projects

Jeff Wellington

Notice of Nondiscrimination

The Hamilton Township School District does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, gender, affectional or sexual orientation, ancestry, disability, age, or social or economic status in its programs and activities.

The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies:

Marylynn Stecher

Affirmative Action Officer



For further information on notice of nondiscrimination, visit for the address and phone number of the office that serves your area, or call 1-800-421-3481.