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.


Fall 2020

MESSAGE FROM THE SECAC CO-CHAIRS

This year, more than ever, the voices of parents and guardians need to be heard as we support our students in new and changing circumstances. As parents, the Special Education Citizens' Advisory Committee provides us a platform to give BCPS feedback from the frontlines. If you feel called to advocacy, or you just want to become more informed about special education services at BCPS, please join us at the next SECAC meeting, or any meeting this year. You are always welcome.

Our areas of focus continue to be education and advocacy. Our voices will continue to be used in a positive, organized effort to help parents and professionals convey information and experiences to leadership, to support the Department of Special Education in their goals, and to advise the Board of Education and top-level decision makers in Baltimore County Public Schools.

Our meeting topics will remain fluid this year so that we can be responsive to the needs of BCPS families during these unprecedented times. Our meeting schedule is below and registration is not required. All first semester meetings are open to the public and can be accessed via Google Meets at https://meet.google.com/fak-czgt-dvt. Registration is not required. 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 sending the request to serc@bcps.org.


Thank you,


Megan Stewart-Sicking & Julie Zielinski

NEWS FROM THE SPECIAL EDUCATION RESOURCE CENTER

The Resource Center located in the White Oak School in Parkville supports parents of children with disabilities, ages birth to 21. Its mission is to promote positive, effective partnerships within the school community. The center activities include but are not limited to the following services:
  • Maintaining a lending library of books and resources on a wide range of special education topics such as preparing to transition to adulthood, building executive function and coping skills, special education law, types of disabilities, and managing challenging behaviors
  • Seeking ways to encourage and strengthen communication between parents and school personnel
  • Teaming with educators and community members to offer free parent trainings
  • Making community presentations to both parent groups and school staff
  • Representing special education issues and concerns of parents and students with special needs
  • Directing parents to available community resources
  • Establishing a family-to-family support network
  • Offering support to parents who need someone to talk to on an individual basis in a confidential, supportive atmosphere
  • Coordinating the PTA Special Education Liaison Project

We know this is a challenging time for parents and educators alike and we are here to support you. Please email serc@bcps.org or call (410) 887-5443 with questions, to brainstorm challenging situations or just to talk. For more resources check out the SERC website and follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

FREE PARENT TRAININGS FROM SERC

Our Fall 2020 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 fall our presenters include skilled professionals from Towson University, Kennedy Krieger Institute, Baltimore County Public Schools, Pathfinders for Autism and Maryland ABLE. For details and registration information visit our workshop site. We hope to see you at one of our events!
LISS FUNDS

The DDA's Low Intensity Support Services program serves children with developmental disabilities living in their own homes and not receiving any other DDA supports. LISS fund applications for the random selection are being accepted through 11/23/20.

BALTIMORE COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS TRANSITION EXPO

The 2020 Transition Expo for students with IEPs and 504s and their families will be virtual! The Post-Secondary Virtual Transition Expo will connect students and their families to resources that help build successful lives after high school. The link will go live on October 1st and remain open for the foreseeable future. Stop by to hear an inspirational message from keynote speaker LeDerick Horne and see what other valuable information the expo has to offer.
BCPS MAGNET PROGRAM VIRTUAL SHOWCASE

Magnet applications for the 2021-2022 school year are due by 1:00 PM on 11/6/2020. For more information on available programs check out the virtual showcase.

DID YOU KNOW?

  • The BCPS Office of Assistive Technology has a Schoology group with tips and tricks that can be accessed by students and parents alike. Just login to Schoology, click "GROUPS" on the top bar, click "My Groups" on the top right under your name, click "Join Group" on the right and enter the join code: WMZZX-P57DN.
  • You can receive weekly emails from Schoology that will help you track your student's grades and missing assignments. Watch this short YouTube video to find out how to set up the notifications on your account.
  • Learn at home with PBS Kids offers a vast array of activities, tips and crafts for children ages 2-8 that can easily be implemented at home and in your community.
  • Disability Rights Maryland’s (DRM) Education Team is hosting a weekly live Q&A to help parents and families understand their children’s rights to special education services for the coming school year. Live sessions are on Wednesday evenings from 6:30 to 7:30 PM. Join in via the DRM Facebook page.
  • Research shows that brain breaks helps kids re-energize, refocus and retain more information? Here are 50 quick and easy brain breaks from weareteachers.com. Try them out with your kids and see if you can find some favorites!
  • Daily schedules and learning contracts can help keep kids motivated and on task especially during remote learning. Check out these samples from understood.org and tweak them to fit your family's needs.
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!

COMMUNITY BULLETIN BOARD

Many group are continuing to provide activities, support groups and workshops to students and parents alike in the virtual setting. Check out the calendars below to view some of the local opportunities.
GUIDE TO UNDERSTANDING IEP RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES

A quick read from the Maryland State Department of Education to help parents understand their rights and responsibilities.

SERC LENDING LIBRARY

Our collection of eBooks continues to grow. We now have over 80 books available for electronic check-out on a range of topics including: executive functions, anxiety, mindfulness, ADHD, dyslexia, behavior management, transition to adulthood and parenting in the digital age. To view our collection and for information on how to check out eBooks visit our Lending Library page. If you are having trouble finding what you are looking for please give us a call (410) 887-5443 or send us and email serc@bcps.org and we'd be happy to assist.

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!