The Parent Connection

Updates for Special Education and Student Services

February 2019

McKinney-Vento Law

The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act can help provide school stability for your child if you do not have a permanent home and are:

  • Staying with friends or family because you lost housing.
  • Living in a shelter, including transitional programs.
  • Staying in motels because you cannot get your own home.
  • Living on the streets, in a car, van, tent, or other non-permanent structure.

If any of these situations apply to you, please reach out to Michelle Lutz at (215) 830-1513 or for assistance.

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Safe Schools Update

The Safe Schools Parent Advisory Committee met on January 23rd to share updates about what is going on in the schools with regards to school safety and to answer community questions. Thank you to the parents who attended this important meeting.


Have a tip, contact the Upper Moreland Safe School Helpline. Students and parents can anonymously report threats and concerns through call, text or through the app.

Call 1-800-418-6423 ext. 359

Text 66746

Download the app at

Want to reach out to the Safe Schools Parent Advisory Steering Committee? You can contact them with questions or concerns at

Check out the updated Safe Schools Model. We have many new and exciting initiatives going on in Upper Moreland to keep students safe.

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Need Assistance?

If you are experiencing a time of need, please reach out to the Office of Student Services at (215) 830-1513. Our office has many community resources to help you.

This district maintains a list of local services, from food banks to housing partners, to counseling services. If you are in need, please click on the link below to check out this resource.

For Families in Need

One Wish Foundation

A charitable organization that grants an outdoor wish to students who have experienced life-altering medical or social conditions. Please inform your caseload parents of this opportunity as you see fit.

Camp Scholarships

MCIU is offering support to parents to help pay for summer camp. Please pass the application along to interested parents. Students must have an IEP and be eligible for free or reduced lunch.

Community Happenings

Here's what's happening around the area this month:

Made in Montgomery County

Norristown, PA

February 1st


Lego Club

Upper Moreland Library

Monday 3:30-5:30 (Weekly Event)

Right to Education Task Force


February 5th


Sunday Cinema

Upper Moreland Library

February 17th


Governor's STEM


February 22nd

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What is Addiction?

Addiction is a condition in which a person engages in the use of a substance or in a behavior for which the rewarding effects provide a compelling incentive to repeatedly pursue the behavior despite detrimental consequences. Addiction may involve the use of substances such as alcohol, inhalants, opioids, cocaine, nicotine, and others, or behaviors such as gambling. There is scientific evidence that the addictive substances and behaviors share a key neurobiological feature—they intensely activate brain pathways of reward and reinforcement, many of which involve the neurotransmitter dopamine.

Both substance use disorders and gambling behaviors have an increased likelihood of being accompanied by mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety or other pre-existing problems. Substance use and gambling disorders not only engage many of the same brain mechanisms of compulsivity, they respond to many of the same approaches to treatment.

Complex conditions that affect reward, reinforcement, motivation, and memory systems of the brain, substance use and gambling disorders are characterized by impaired control over usage; social impairment, involving disruption of everyday activities and relationships; and may involve craving. Continuing use is typically harmful to relationships and work or school obligations. Another distinguishing feature is that individuals may continue the activity despite physical or psychological harm incurred or exacerbated by use. And typically, tolerance to the substance increases, as the body adapts to its presence.

Because addiction affects the brain’s executive functions, individuals who develop an addiction may not be aware that their behavior is causing problems for themselves and others. Over time, pursuit of the pleasurable effects of the substance or behavior may dominate an individual’s activities.

Although all addictions have the capacity to induce a sense of hopelessness and feelings of failure, as well as shame and guilt, research documents that recovery is the rule rather than the exception, and that there are many routes to recovery. Individuals can achieve improved physical, psychological, and social functioning on their own—so-called natural recovery. Others prefer the support of community or peer-based networks. Still others opt for clinical-based recovery through the services of credentialed professionals.

The road to recovery is seldom straight: Relapse, or recurrence of substance use, is common—but definitely not the end of the road. For those who achieve remission of the disorder for five years, scientists report, the likelihood of relapse is no greater than that among the general population.

Source: Psychology Today

Special Education and Student Services Team

Michelle Lutz

Director of Special Education & Student Services (215) 830-1513

Valerie Adair

Supervisor of Special Education (215) 830-1592