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.)

Advertisements
Posted in bloomfield sepac, Educación Especial, News & Information, Resources

NJ Dept. of Education Seeks Your Input on Statewide Assessment Plans.

cropped-logo_sepac1blue.jpg PRESS HERE TO ACCESS THE ASSESSMENT INTEREST FORM

“This form is for all individuals interested in joining one of the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE)’s Statewide Assessment Collaboratives. These Collaboratives will represent interested stakeholders from across New Jersey who have direct and diverse experiences with the realities of statewide assessments and who represent various New Jersey education and community stakeholder groups.

The Collaboratives will meet for a single half-day to reflect on experiences and to form recommendations for the future of statewide assessment in New Jersey. We are particularly interested in perspectives on the PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) assessments, which are the current statewide assessments for English language arts/literacy and math.

All feedback will be recorded and responded to in a document to be published this summer. The NJDOE is looking to host and to hear from different participants at each gathering of approximately 40-60 attendees. The number of Collaboratives and specific meeting locations will be based on interest and are expected to be announced on May 11.

If you are interested in participating in a Statewide Assessment Collaborative, please complete and submit by May 8 11:59 P.M.

Please noteWe are collecting personal information on the interest form with the sole purpose of building a diverse community of stakeholders at every meeting. Your information will not be shared or used for any other purposes. This is an initial form to gauge interest. The NJDOE will make every effort to include all interested individuals who submit a complete survey by the above deadline. However, due to space, location and time constraints, not every person who is interested may be able to participate in the Statewide Assessment Collaborative. We will notify you when dates, times and locations are finalized. We will also be contacting you when the listening tour dates and online questionnaire launch.”

Posted in Autism, Educación Especial, Resources, special ed, Special Needs Workshops

Free Parent Workshops. 4/19, from Navigating Autism NJ

 ​Providing Families with Direction, Advocacy & Knowledge​

In honor of Autism Awareness Month – Join us for an evening of Complimentary Special Needs Workshops – For parents, grandparents, siblings & caregivers

Thursday, April 19, 2018 at 6:00 pm
Certified Financial Services, LLC
Workshops begin promptly at 6:30 pm and will repeat at 7:30 pm
Space is Limited
RSVP:  201-788-6711 or connie@navigatingautismnj.com
Refreshments will be served
Advocating for Effective ABA Programs
Presenter: Diane Berger BCBA, Berger Learning Group; 
                   Connie Sproul Bonarigo, President, Navigating Autism NJ; 
                   Vincent Blazewicz, CLTC, Certified Financial Services, LLC
Topics: How to ensure measurable & meaningful progress in your ABA program.  Obtaining Coverage via NJ Insurance Autism Mandate.
Siblings & Future Planning: Keeping the Conversation Open
Presenter: Kara Sellix, MSW, LSW, President & Co-Founder of SIBS; 
                   Kristen Sellix, MSW, LCSW, Co-Founder of SIBS NJ
Topics: How to navigate the unique challenges of being a sibling of someone with an intellectual or developmental disability, as well as discussing how siblings should be included in discussions regarding future planning. How to have difficult conversations about this will be discussed as well as resources to do so. 
Planning for Tomorrow: The Person with Special Needs
Presenter: Raymond J. Falcon Jr, Esq. Falcon Law Group; 
                   Richard Lofredo, ChFC, CLU, ChSNC, Certified Financial Services, LLC
Topics:  Planning for a loved one with special needs or mental illness is a challenge – come learn key planning information you need to know.
   
Posted in bloomfieldsepac, Educación Especial, Health Advocacy, Helpful Films & Videos, Resources

Come See the movie “WONDER,” April 9th!

cropped-logo_sepac1blue.jpg

The very nice Folks over at Glen Ridge’s G.R.A.S.E. (Glen Ridge Association for Special Education) have kindly invited ALL of our Bloomfield SEPAC Members to come and see a showing of the film, “Wonder,” a family style starring Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson. It is Monday evening, April 9, at 7 P.M. in the Ridgewood Avenue School. Kids are very welcome too! AAW_Wonder FINAL-page-001.jpg

Posted in bloomfieldsepac, College & Special Needs Students, depression,, Educación Especial, Health Advocacy, Resources, Suicide Prevention

“Talk Saves Lives,” A Parents Workshop on Suicide Prevention, at BHS, April 17th at 7 P.M.

There will be a community night presentation for parents called, Talk Saves Lives. The organization presenting is the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. The Talk will be held at the BHS Media Center on April 17, 2018 at 7 P.M. Talk Saves Lives - 4.17.18 BHS-page-001.jpg