Scholarships for High School Seniors

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This scholarship is unique since it allows 2017 graduates pursuing a college, university, technical, trade, or vocational school level education to apply. This scholarship is not solely based on academic achievement. Meaningful community volunteerism, participation in extra-curricular activities and essay response will all be considered when choosing recipients for these scholarships. Candidates do not need to be near the top of their class to be considered. All who are eligible are encouraged to apply.

Download Scholarship Application 

Autism Family Services of New Jersey 35 Beaverson Blvd.
Building 11
Brick, NJ 08723
Attn: Melanie McGackin
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Scholarship Applications and supporting documents are due by
April 22, 2017. Should you have any questions, please contact Andrea Racioppi at (800)336-5843 or by email.

Landmark Supreme Court Ruling in Favor of Special Ed Student!

“The Supreme Court Rules In Favor Of A Special Education Student

U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the unanimous opinion in today’s ruling.

(Andrew Harnik/AP)

School districts must provide students with disabilities the chance to make meaningful, “appropriately ambitious” progress, the Supreme Court said today in an 8-0 ruling.  (Emphasis added.)

The decision in Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District could have far-reaching implications for the 6.5 million students with disabilities in the United States.

The case centered on a child with autism and attention deficit disorder whose parents removed him from public school in fifth grade. He went on to make better progress in a private school. His parents argued that the individualized education plan, or IEP, provided by the public school was inadequate, and they sued to compel the school district to pay his private school tuition.

The Supreme Court today sided with the family, overturning a lower court ruling in the school district’s favor.

The federal Individuals With Disabilities Education Act, or IDEA, guarantees a “Free Appropriate Public Education,” or FAPE, to all students with disabilities. Today’s opinion held that “appropriate” goes farther than what the lower courts held.

“It cannot be right that the IDEA generally contemplates grade-level advancement for children with disabilities who are fully integrated in the regular classroom, but is satisfied with barely more than de minimis progress for children who are not,” read the opinion, signed by Chief Justice John Roberts.

The case drew a dozen friend-of-the-court briefs from advocates for students with disabilities who argued that it is time to increase rigor, expectations and accommodations for all.

“A standard more meaningful than just above trivial is the norm today,” wrote the National Association of State Directors of Special Education.

The ruling seems likely to increase pressure from families and advocates in that direction.

Significantly, Judge Neil Gorsuch, currently in confirmation hearings for the Supreme Court’s vacant ninth seat, has repeatedly ruled the other way on similar cases.

Gorsuch’s opinions in eight out of ten cases involving students of disabilities all tended toward limiting the responsibilities of school districts — for example, if they leave school of their own accord out of frustration. IDEA’s standard of a “free appropriate public education,” reads Gorsuch’s opinion in one of these cases, “is not an onerous one.”

When questioned on his record, in light of this new ruling, during his hearing today by Texas Sen. John Cornyn, he said “I was wrong, Senator, because I was bound by circuit precedent, and I’m sorry.”

The Joys & Values of SPAN/START and Sharing Ideas With Other SEPAC Groups.

It was a great pleasure to attend the START Project & SPAN of NJ’s Essex County Roundtable last night. This very informative and useful exchange of ideas for SEPAC Organizations was led by

SPAN/START Leader Myriam Alizo.Picture of Myriam Alizo

Ms. Alizo is a fiercely dedicated Advocate for Special Education  in New Jersey and throughout the nation. Her presentation was very inspiring and informative, as always. If you have yet to hear Ms. Alizo speak, please be sure to attend one of her presentations soon. You will be very glad that you did.

Thanks also to Ms. Michele Tyler of SPAN/START, Cecilia Raubertas

who spoke about the issue of Disproportion-ality facing some school districts. 

Another highlight for me was having the opportunity to meet the very helpful and dedicated members of various Special Ed Parents groups throughout Essex County, including wonderful folks from NEWARK, SOUTH ORANGE/MAPLEWOOD, WEST ORANGE, LIVINGSTON as well as the Special Ed Supervisor from ROSELAND and the Coordinator of Special Services/LDTC from ESSEX FELLS.

It was a great night and one filled with ideas for improving our Bloomfield SEPAC!

 

Student Anxiety – Depression – Stress Forums. Matched For Your Child’s Age/Grade Level. March 1st or March 15th

Stress – Fear – Anxiety – School Avoidance – Depression

I Don’t Want To Go To School”

If any of these words have become part of your child’s vocabulary please join:

Dr. Ellen Platt for some help!

There will be 2 Sessions – based on Age/Grade. All Parents of All Students are welcome.

Bloomfield Special Services Department &  Bloomfield SEPAC Present:

For Parents of Middle School/High School

Wednesday March 1st 7-9 PM –  Students at

The Bloomfield Board of Education Administration Building – 2nd Floor, Conference Room

 AND

For  Parents of PreK/Elementary Students

Wednesday March 15th,  7-9 PM  at  Fairview Elementary School.

Dr. Ellen Platt will be joining us both evenings to talk about these concerns for all age groups. Bring your concerns, bring your questions and let’s talk! The agenda isn’t pre-planned, but will take the course the parents need!

Dr. Ellen M. Platt is a Child, Adolescent, and Adult Psychiatrist practicing in Cedar Grove, NJ. Dr. Platt consults with many school districts in addition to her private practice. She also provides workshops focusing on Child and Adolescent problems from a clinical perspective as they relate to everyday life stresses.

New Bus Driver & Aide Training for Interacting with Special Needs Students

This informational video is published by the NJ Department of Education. It may contain wording that you as a Parent may not feel is the most appropriate choice at times? It is a training video that School Bus Drivers and Aides have been mandated by Law to view. We at Bloomfield SEPAC, present it without any endorsement, but so you are aware of the regulation and what is being shown to those worker who interact with our children.

Read the NJ Department of Education website by pressing here.