Posted in bloomfieldsepac, BOE Meetings Synopsis, early intervention services, Educación Especial, Kids & Technology, Mental Health, special ed, Suicide Prevention

May 8. 2018, Board of Ed Meeting- Synopsis

cropped-logo_sepac1blue.jpgThere were two very informative presentations at the May 8, 2018, Bloomfield Board of Education Meeting. One was about “What’s Ahead” in Special Education in our schools, with Bloomfield’s Director for Special Services, Keri Regina and one of the Crisis Counselors at BHS, Heather Cannon, MSW, LCSW.

Ms. Regina told us about a special grant from the NJ Department of Education that will provide 10 days training to Staff who are involved with the Early Intervention Process. This deals with the very young children that are incoming to our District, from age 3 and up. She cited the need to better identify the situations these students face and to help develop more and improved ways to communicate with their incoming parents to help them understand the Special Education Programs, evaluations etc.. There were some videos of students in Inclusion Classes at Grammar Schools with the teachers co-teaching. It showed a seamless process of blending Special Needs students and typical students at two schools.

Ms. Regina mentioned the large scope of the task of managing our Special Needs population which is close to 1,000 students. She had thanks and praise for all of her Staff, describing the collaborative efforts from Supervisors, Educators, School Psychologists, Paraprofessionals, Therapists, etc. in working to find methods that are helpful and utilising them. She also spoke of learning new approaches for Special Education. also a new method for helping students with Dyslexia. The month of May, being Mental Health Month, and mental health being so vital for all of our students, Ms. Regina introduced Ms. Heather Cannon, MSW, LCSW, and one of the Crisis Counselors at BHS.

Ms. Cannon described working along with the other BHS Crisis Counselor, Ms. Cindy Sherman and the vast job of helping some of our students. They deal with things that are bothersome on students minds on any given day, along with groups of students dealing with more serious ongoing situations. There will soon be a website and smart phone app where students can contact her staff and even contact Bloomfield Police in dire emergencies and this app will be functional all year round. Ms. Cannon also described connecting when needed with Mountainside and Clara Maas Hospitals, Bloomfield Police and other local agencies.

Ms. Kristie Arnold and Ms. Suzanne Johnson gave a fine presentation about “Researched-Based Literacy Instruction.” They described the many ways of increasing literacy among students of all ages and described various methodology used by the District Educators in both book form and digital form. References were made in particular to Newsela, Newsela, Click here.  This site breaks down current news stories and presents them according to a student’s reading level. They also described methods for students being able to  annotate text digitally and being able to have interaction with their teachers through online methods, including the capability of handing in homework that was done online using the Google Platform. All high school grades will have Chromebooks next year as well.

My favorite part was video clips of the students “caught” reading. Sometimes just for fun, sometimes for classwork and reading both regular books as well as online material.

These were two truly informative presentations and we at Bloomfield SEPAC are grateful for the dedicated work of all those involved.

(Please note: This is merely a synopsis and is not intended to cover every item discussed at the Meeting during my time there.)

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Posted in anxiety, Autism, bloomfieldsepac, early intervention services, Educación Especial, Resources, SEPAC Meetings, special ed

Bloomfield SEPAC Begins a New School Year/Grupo de Apoyo de Padres en Educación Especial

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BLOOMFIELD SEPAC is an independent, volunteer-run organization made up of parents helping parents. SEPAC helps parents become better informed about Special Education in the Bloomfield school district. We provide resources and support for families of students who require an IEP and special services while at school. We work in a cooperative effort with the Bloomfield Special Services Department and the Bloomfield Board of Education to help ensure every child is getting the best education possible.

SEPAC meetings provide, but are not limited to, information on how to read an IEP, what channels go through if you have questions and concerns about your child’s education and services, what you can do about bullying, knowing your child’s and family’s legal rights, and how to handle transitions for your child.

Please visit our website www.bloomfieldsepac.com and join our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/bloomfieldsepac/ for more information.

We look forward to seeing you at our meetings this year.

Grupo de Apoyo de Padres en Educación Especial

2017-2018 SEPAC Meetings

October 11, 2017 BHS 6-8 PM

November 8, 2017 BHS 6-8 PM

January 10, 2018 BHS 6-8 PM

March 14, 2018       BHS 6-8 PM

May 9, 2018             BHS 6-8 PM

SEPAC es una organización independiente de padres voluntarios que tienen como objetivo ayudar a otros padres a estar informados sobre Educación Especial en el distrito escolar de Bloomfield, NJ. Nuestra organización provee recursos y apoyo a familias con estudiantes que tiene un IEP o un plan 504 y que reciben servicios especiales mientras asisten a la escuela. Trabajamos en colaboración con el Departamento de Educación Especial y la Junta de Educación de la ciudad de Bloomfield, NJ para de esta manera ayudar a garantizar que cada estudiante reciba la mejor educación posible.

Las reuniones de SEPAC proveen, pero no están limitadas a, dar información acerca de cómo leer un IEP o un plan 504 y qué vías se deben seguir si tiene preguntas o inquietudes acerca de la educación de su hijo/a y los servicios que debe recibir. SEPAC también ayuda en circunstancias de bullying e informa a padres de los derechos de su hijo/a y de la familia. Además, guía a padres cuando se presentan transiciones en la educación de su hijo/a.

Le invitamos a visitar nuestra página Web www.bloomfieldsepac.com y unirse a nuestra página en Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/bloomfieldsepac/  para recibir más información.

Esperamos verlos en nuestras reuniones este año.

Posted in anxiety, Autism, bloomfieldsepac, depression,, early intervention services, Educación Especial, Resources, school phobias, SEPAC Meetings

Bloomfield SEPAC Meeting – May 17, 2017, at The Early Childhood Center at Forest Glen School.

Our next Bloomfield SEPAC Meeting is set for Wednesday, May 17, 2017, at The Early Childhood Center at Forest Glen School from 7 – 9 P.M.

Our special guest will be Dr. Ellen Platt, a renowned Child Psychiatrist who will speak about such topics as helping Parents to deal with Anxiety and School Avoidance with Pre-School through  Elementary School Students. She will also hold a Question & Answer Session for our Parents

Dr. Platt held a very informative Forum for parents of our school Teens in January and she has graciously agreed to return to do the same for the parents of our younger age students at our May 17th Meeting.

The Early Childhood center at Forest Glen is located at 280 Davey Street, Bloomfield, N.J.  Davey Street is off Belleville Avenue, in Bloomfield.  After you turn onto Davey Street, just follow the winding road to the end and you will be in the School Parking Lot.

All are welcome. Please bring a friend and a question or two that you would like the Doctor to address.