SEPAC MEETING MINUTES for Sept. 19, 2012


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Oakview Elementary School

Warm welcome extended to all, and September meeting minutes were briefly reviewed. Sign-in sheet for meeting participants remains on file.

Newly appointed department administrators were introduced:

  • Keri Regina – Special Education Supervisor, 7th through 12th and transitioning students ages 18 to 21.
  • Linda Colucci, Director of Special Services.

Upcoming events open to the public were announced:

  • District’s Transition Fair scheduled for 9/27/12.
  • MSU’s 2012 Annual Interdisciplinary Council on Development and Learning Disorders Conference scheduled for 11/16-18/12.
  • MSU’s Interactive Workshop Series for Parents of Children with Developmental Delays (brochure provided.)

Supportive literature/hand-outs provided:

  • NJ Inclusion Resources for Families – “Least Restrictive Environment, Step by Step” (from NJ Council on Development Disabilities).
  • Stamping out “The R-Word Campaign” – (from NJCDD)
  • “Together We Are Stronger Than Bullying” – (from NJCDD)
  • LRE/IDEA presentation PowerPoint.


Informational Session/Discussion – Inclusion and the Law Highlights:

Presented by Monica Dodd Palestis, Esq., Sp. Ed. Attorney, Federal Arbitrator, Educational Consultant (

  • LRE is the legal standard by which inclusion decisions are made.
  • Each child’s LRE is different, based on that child’s unique needs and ABILITIES rather than the child’s disAbility label or category.
  • To the maximum extent appropriate, children with disabilities are educated with non-disabled peers. The general education class with appropriate supports (not as it currently exists, but as it might be modified) is examined as the first possible placement option.
  • One purpose of IDEA is to make sure that districts create workforce and post-secondary opportunities for students with disabilities.

TIP TO STAY OUT OF COURT: DEVELOP TRUST! Be honest and respectful in your communication. Attacks only produce defensiveness. This shifts the focus away from the most important person in the IEP process – the student!

Meeting wrapped up with the anecdotal “Gemstone” celebrations. Next SEPAC meeting is November 28, 2012, at the Bloomfield Middle School, 7:00 p.m. All are welcome to participate, network, and enjoy the movie “Including Samuel.” Discussion by a panel of Bloomfield educators will follow.



NJCIE Key Logo
New Jersey Coalition for Inclusive Education 
Preschool Inclusion Mini-Conference
National Expert – Amy Allison 

Parents and Family members line up your child care, gather your support group and register today to attend NJCIE’s P.R.I.M.E.INCLUSION CONFERENCE

designed specifically for families of children  0-5 years of age.







National Center For Learning Disabilities (NCLD)

From the NCLD Site:

“NCLD team member Jillian Levy has a high IQ, perfect vision…and dyslexia. As a young child, she went through a difficult period of diagnosis, during which she was subject to a common myth about dyslexia. Her story is a touching one. Here’s an excerpt:

“Imagine the level of frustration a young child must feel when he or she is truly putting all their effort into comprehending what they are reading, yet is unable to grasp any of the information. When I was in fourth grade I felt this frustration. I was told by many of my teachers that I ‘wasn’t trying’ or ‘didn’t care’ about the work, which left me feeling trapped. I had no way of proving that I wasn’t lazy and without a diagnosis of some sort, I didn’t know what to do.”

Read on to learn what dyslexia treatment myth she encountered and the valuable lessons she gained from the experience.

The NCLD Team

P.S. If you’re looking for more information on dyslexia, our list of 10 resources will help you learn more about dyslexia and find local help.”