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 Autism, bloomfieldsepac, Educación Especial, Kids & Technology, Resources, SEPAC Meetings, special ed

Bloomfield SEPAC Meeting – March 14th, at BHS, 6-8 P.M.

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Please join us for our next SEPAC Meeting  – on Wednesday, March 14th at BHS from 6-8 P.M. It is a great opportunity to get helpful information from inspirational and knowledgeable Speakers and meet with other Bloomfield Parents and Special Ed Staff.  Parents helping Parents is why we exist.

We look forward to seeing you Wednesday evening. – Your Bloomfield SEPAC Team 

Posted in Autism, bloomfieldsepac, Kids & Technology, Resources, special ed

“My Autism,” – by George. A 9 year old makes a video to explain his autism to others.

   “Most of the time I can make eye contact with you when you speak to me. That wasn’t always the case. Like a lot of other kids with autism I might not have been looking, but that didn’t mean I wasn’t listening.”

“Speaking of listening, I can hear and see a lot of things and sounds all at the same time which sometimes makes it hard to focus on any one sound or thought. That’s why it may take a little more time to answer you when you ask me a question.”

Read more: http://www.essentialkids.com.au/development-advice/special-needs/this-is-what-its-like-boys-video-on-life-with-autism-20171211-h02ef7?btis#ixzz513fvVjND
Follow us: @EssentialKids on Twitter | EssentialKids on Facebook

Posted in bloomfieldsepac, Kids & Technology, Resources

Tips For Managing Your Child’s Technology Use

“​This information is included in our Guide to Parenting in the Digital Age. Click here to see the rest of the guide.

Almost any child that has access to a computer has equal access to the dangers of the Internet. Recent events in the news highlight these dangers. That’s why it is imperative that you be informed on how to protect your children when they’re online.

The following tips are excerpts from 20 Internet Safety Tips for Parents provided by Lynette A. Battaglia, United States Attorney for the District of Maryland:

​Internet Safety Tips for Parents:

  1. Become computer literate and be actively involved in your children’s online experiences.

  2. Place computers in high-traffic areas, not a child’s room.

  3. Use screening software.

  4. Read unfamiliar e-mails. Monitor telephone and modem changes. Check out unfamiliar phone numbers and e-mail addresses.

  5. Don’t allow children to spend long periods of time on the computer, especially at night.

  6. Help children understand that online users may not be who they claim to be or who they seem to be. Get to know your children’s Internet friends.

  7. Tell children to report anything they come across online that seems strange or makes them uncomfortable especially if they are ever asked personal questions or invited to personal meetings.

  8. Tell children to report to you suggestive, obscene or threatening e-mail or bulletin board messages. Forward copies to your ISP (Internet Service Provider) and insist they help deal with the problem.

  9. Be concerned if children mention adults you don’t know, become sensitive, or appear to have inappropriate sexual knowledge.

  10. Post the Internet Safety Rules for Kids by your computer.

Internet Safety Rules for Kids:

  1. ​Never give out personal information, such as your name, address, school name or address, or parents’ or teachers’ names or addresses.

  2. Never create online profiles.

  3. Never visit chat rooms or join an IRC (Internet Relay Chat) without permission.

  4. Never go to private chat rooms or meet online friends in a private online setting.

  5. Never go to new Web sites without permission.

  6. Never respond to rude or offensive e-mail, instant messages or postings.

  7. Never post, send or receive pictures (usually files that end with GI, jpg, jpeg, or tiff).

  8. Never meet online friends in person without a parent present.​”

The above information can be found in full at  http://www.boystown.org/parenting/guides/Pages/digital-age.aspx

Special thanks to a concerned and very helpful Parent for providing us with this important information.