Posted in Resources

SEPAC MEETING MINUTES for Sept. 19, 2012

SEPAC MEETING MINUTES

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 (monica.doddpalestis@verizon.net)

  • 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.

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