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.
SECAC WELCOMES YOU TO THE NEW SCHOOLYEAR!
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 schedule is below, all meetings are open to the public. Registration is not required. Initially meetings will be held virtually via Google Meets using the join code: https://meet.google.com/fak-czgt-dvt. We hope to transition to in-person offerings. If you need to call in to the meeting or are having difficulty joining, email email@example.com for assistance. For more information visit the SECAC website.
Megan Stewart-Sicking & Julie Zielinski
NEWS FROM THE SPECIAL EDUCATION RESOURCE CENTER
We are back! SERC is now staffed M-F 8:30-3:30 and we are excited for another successful schoolyear. We know this is a challenging time for parents and educators alike and we are here to support you. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (443) 809-5443 with questions, to brainstorm challenging situations, or just to talk. For more resources check out the SERC website, sign up for our weekly SERC News & Notes by completing our online form http://bit.ly/sercnewssignup and follow us on Facebook or Twitter.
Please help spread the word by letting your friends, family and colleagues know we exist. We offer:
- Special education resources
- Information and referral to community connections
- An extensive lending library with games, kits, print materials and a growing selection of eBooks
- Free parent trainings
- IEP process consultation
- Confidential conversations and guidance related to topics of special education and related services
- Weekly emails, a quarterly newsletter, and daily updates via Facebook and Twitter
- Community presentations to both parent groups and school staff
Watch this short video and discover how to access many SERC resources on our website.
FREE PARENT TRAININGS FROM SERC
The Maryland State Department of Education develops Technical Assistance Bulletins to provide guidance to state education agencies. The "TABs" are a great way for parents and teachers to educate themselves on current policy.
BCPS VIRTUAL TRANSITION CHATS
- October 18: Introduction to Transition
- November 15: All About DORS
- December 13: Leisure & Recreation
- January 24: DDA and Adult Providers
- February 28: SSI/ ABLE/ Financial Issues
- March 21: Disability Support Services in Colleges and Trade Schools
- April 25: Autism Supports
- May 16: Legal Issues and Guardianship
- June 13: Building "Possibilitopia"
Magnet applications for the 2021-2022 school year are due on 11/5/2021. For more information on available programs check out magnet program guide and attend the virtual showcases.
RECRUITING PTA SPECIAL EDUCATION LIAISONS!
DID YOU KNOW?
- Our BCPS Birth to Five Parent Coordinator has created two virtual bulletin boards for parents to share resources with parents? Check one out today! Parent Support Resources or Recursos de apoyo para padres
- BCPS hosts a virtual Autism Caregiver Support Meeting weekly in Spanish and English? For more information and a schedule email Ilene Berman.
- The CDC has rolled out a COVID-19 resource toolkit for people with IDD? Explore all it has to offer!
- 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.
- SECAC offers a limited number of parent education scholarship funds for attendance at workshops, webinars and conferences? Set aside some time to increase your understanding of special education topics.
- According to The Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity, Dyslexia affects 20 percent of the population and is the most common of all neuro-cognitive disorders? Check out Ten Things to Help Your Struggling Reader for tips on how to can help your student.
- Pathfinders for Autism has an extensive library of PFA Tip Sheets? Explaining Autism Using Everyday Examples is a great one to share with friends, family and school staff.
- Parents and guardians can request IEP meetings at any time throughout the school year? If you have question and concerns don't wait for your student's annual meeting! Your student's IEP team can meet as often as necessary, just put your request in writing (email or letter) to your school's IEP chair.
- That some of our ADHD kids need explicit teaching and practice in sequence and schedules? For tips and ideas read "Be on Time! Teaching Sequence and Schedules" from ADDitude.
- Autism Speaks will be hosting a Baltimore Walk at Towson University on Sunday October 31st to help create a world where all people with autism can reach their full potential? The walk will include sponsor tents, music and a family friendly trick or treat option that will follow all CDC guidelines!
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 11/30/21.
A quick read from the Maryland State Department of Education to help parents understand their rights and responsibilities.
SERC LENDING LIBRARY
HAVE YOU HEARD OF FOCUS AND SCHOOLOGY?
Inside of the Parent Portal, parents will find a link to the second system, Schoology, which is BCPS's Learning Management System, or LMS. Schoology is where parents will see their student's class assignments and assignment grades. Parents and teachers can use Schoology to communicate back and forth. Together these two tools give parents a great view into their student's progress in BCPS.
For additional assistance, please contact your child's school.
Thanks to our friends at Parent University for sharing this information!
COMMUNITY BULLETIN BOARD
- Athletes Serving Athletes
- Chesapeake Down Syndrome Parent Group
- Baltimore Chesapeake Chapter Autism Society of America
- Special Olympics Maryland
- Club 1111
- KEEN Greater DC-Baltimore
- Pathfinders for Autism
- The Parents' Place of Maryland
- The Image Center
- Spirit Club Fitness for All
- Maryland Coalition of Families
Parent University provides tools and resources to BCPS families to support learning at home. Check out their online resources and webinar schedule today!
Many SERC resources are now accessible online! Check out our resource sheets on funding, mental health, parent supports and much more. Resource sheets are now available in Spanish, Arabic and Urdu.
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!