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.