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.


Spring 2021

MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD! YOUR OPINION MATTERS!

Parents or guardians of children receiving special education and related services were mailed the Maryland Special Education Parent Involvement Survey from the Maryland State Department of Education, Division of Special Education/Early Intervention Services during the week of February 8, 2021. Parents are asked to complete the survey and return it in the postage paid envelope by May 21, 2021. The survey may also be completed online. Please look for details in your survey packet. Your feedback will help guide efforts to improve special education and related services in your local school system. Your voice can make a real difference for your child and many other children across the state of Maryland. To learn more, please visit https://www.mdparentsurvey.com.

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.

FREE PARENT TRAININGS FROM THE SPECIAL EDUCATION RESOURCE CENTER

Our Spring 2021 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 spring our presenters include skilled professionals from Towson University, Kennedy Krieger Institute, The Reading League and Parents' Place of Maryland. For details and registration information visit our workshop site. We hope to see you at one of our events!
VIRTUAL IEP MEETINGS

Maryland Learning Links has created supports to assist families in understanding and preparing for virtual IEP meetings.

BALTIMORE COUNTY SECAC

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 in BCPS, please join us at the next SECAC meeting, or any meeting this year. You are always welcome.


Meeting Schedule


  • April 12, 2021 7:00-8:30 PM "Struggling Readers"
  • May 3, 2021 7:00-8:30 PM "Promoting Wellness and Coping with Change as We Return to School" with Dr. Tana Hope


Our meetings 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.


Executive Board Members:

Megan Stewart-Sicking, Co-Chair

Julie Zielinski, Co-Chair

Aviva Goldman, Secretary

Ellen Galvez, Resource Center Representative

TRANSITION RESOURCES FROM BCPS AND SECAC

"Set your goals high, and don't stop until you get there." - Bo Jackson


The transition out of high school and into the adult world is both exciting and daunting for students and parents alike. In the state of Maryland if a student is 14 or older and has an IEP the IEP will also includes a Transition Plan that should be reviewed at least annually. The transition plan should focus on things the student can do while still in school to prepare to meet post-secondary goals. Its never too early for teens to start developing their vision and working on their self-advocacy skills!


The BCPS 2020 Transition Expo for students with IEPs and 504s and their families is virtual! The Post-Secondary Virtual Transition Expo connects students and their families to resources that help build successful lives after high school. Visit the website for great resources including; Senior Transition Checklist, Maryland Transition Resource Guide, Secondary Transition Planning Guide and a variety of video clips regarding continuing education programs as well as adult service agencies.


Additional resources curated by SECAC members can be found below:



Still have questions? Reach out to your student's IEP Case Manager or Transition Facilitator.

SPECIAL NEEDS ANSWERS

A great resource for guidance related to ABLE accounts, special needs trusts, SSI, SSDI, financial planning, health care, guardianship and much more.

FAMILY TOOLKIT PEDIATRIC-TO-ADULT HEALTHCARE TRANSITION

Toolkit for youth and families to use during the transition from pediatric to adult care. It includes a health care transition timeline, readiness assessments, a tip sheet about the differences between pediatric and adult care, and much more!

DID YOU KNOW?

  • The BCPS Division of Climate and Safety developed a Virtual Calming Room for use at home and school. Help your students reset, refocus and prepare their brains for work!
  • 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.
  • Disability Rights Maryland hosts a live Facebook Q & A event every other Wednesday night at 6:30 PM. Visit @DisabilityRightsMD on Facebook Wednesday 4/21 for the next event.
  • The BCPS Department of Special Education tweets tips, tricks and resources daily. Follow them @BCPS_DSE or check out some past tweets on their website.
  • BCPS hosts a virtual Autism Caregiver Support Meeting weekly in Spanish and English. For more information and a schedule email Ilene Berman.
  • 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.
  • Parents' Place of Maryland offers a vast array of supports and resource for Maryland families. Check out Alphabet Soup: A Guide to Special Education Acronyms to help you prepare for your next IEP meeting or parent conference!
  • 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.
  • Disability Rights Maryland has created a series of guidance documents to assist families in understanding their children's rights during COVID 19. Topics addressed include continuity of learning plans, data collection and compensatory services.
  • SERC has a new phone number. Call us today at (443) 809-5443 to find out how we can help support you and your student!
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.
LOOKING FOR SUMMER CAMP OPTIONS?

Many groups are diligently working on summer camp opportunities with COVID 19 precautions in place. See a sampling of the options out there and gain access to two great camp-finder databases.

SERC LENDING LIBRARY

Our collection of eBooks continues to grow. We now have close to 200 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 (443) 809-5443 or send us and email serc@bcps.org and we'd be happy to assist.
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SHOW ME MORE SERC RESOURCES

Many SERC resources are now accessible online! Check out our resource sheets on funding, mental health, parent supports and much more.

WOULD YOU LIKE TO RECEIVE WEEKLY UPDATES FROM SERC?

Email your request to serc@bcps.org and we'll gladly add you to our email contact list!

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!