Partnering with Parents

To Meet the Needs of Our Students with Special Needs

May 22, 2020 Volume 2 Issue 9

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.

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School Closures and Special Education Update

Please know that our special education staff is working hard from home to ensure that we continue to provide excellent services for our students! We are following the guidance of the US Department of Education and the NJ Department of Education as we implement distance learning.

  • Teachers, related service providers and/or case managers are reaching out to you regularly. Please communicate with them as to how your child and your family are doing at this time. We would like to tailor our services to the needs of your child and your family as best we can.
  • The teachers and related service providers continue to provide distance learning based on the students' IEPs.
  • Related services (speech/language, counseling, physical therapy, occupational therapy) are being provided in a variety of ways. The related service providers will continue to communicate with you regularly to provide these services.
  • IEP meetings (annual reviews) are happening remotely. If you have not yet participated in your child's annual review, the case manager will soon be in touch with you to arrange a date and time.
  • At this time, there are some portions of the evaluation process that we are not able to complete. For instance, we are currently unable to complete learning or psychological assessments remotely. We will continue or start evaluations as soon as possible. We are hopeful that we will be able to evaluate students this summer.
  • If your child is slated for Extended School Year (ESY), we are still waiting for guidance from the NJDOE as to how/where/when that will be delivered. I will send you a letter with more information as soon as it becomes available.

Mental Health Month

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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.

Growing Our Gratitude

"Research shows that people who practice gratitude - who think about the good things in their life - are healthier and happier! They feel more energized, sleep better, have stronger social connections, and feel better about themselves. Gratitude helps us grow mentally and grow as a person."

Check out this website to get some free seeds to 'grow our gratitude' and access to a gratitude guide for teaching kids about gratitude.

Parent Training Opportunity

Please see the flier below for information about a free workshop with Dr. Lori Desautels and Michael McKnight for parents. The FREE workshop is being held through Zoom on Friday, May 29th, the workshop is being held twice that day to accommodate parents and their schedules.

"In this 90 minute presentation, we will explore how the developing child and adolescent brain learns, behaves, and handles adversity. We will also learn the key components to building resiliency in our children and ourselves. Our brains are built for connection and they learn best in a state of “relaxed alertness.” We will share ways to create that state in ourselves and our children.

The current global pandemic has created a great deal of stress and unpredictability in all our lives. This session will focus on strategies that we can use at home to buffer the stress response that can often lead to conflict cycles and dysregulation. We will share ways to regulate attention and behavior and create environments that enhance growth and development for every member of the family."

Click on one of the links below to register or copy the url into your browser:

May 29, 2020 @ 2:30 PM

May 29, 2020 @ 7:00 PM

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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 group to get reminders of meetings.

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

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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.