Bloomfield SEPAC Meeting- is Wed. Nov. 13, 2019, from 6-8 P.M. at BHS. TOPIC- SOCIAL AWARENESS FOR STUDENTS

Our next Meeting  (Nov. 13, at BHS, from 6-8 P.M.) is not  aimed at only Special Ed Students. Any student or parent may benefit from this very helpful and informative Forum. So please spread the word among your friends and school families.  You will have the opportunity to ask your questions of our Presenters following their talks.

Our topics will be overview of Suite 360 and the Wingman initiative.

Assistant Superintendent of Bloomfield Schools, Joseph Fleres, will give a presentation about Suite 360.

“Suite360 provides students with information and techniques to support self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationships skills, and responsible decision-making. In addition, the program addresses specific topics such as cyberbullying, academic success, substance abuse and many other challenges students and communities face. Finally, the program provides behavior intervention support for students who experience common conduct issues.”

Bloomfield Schools Supervisor of Guidance, K-8, Michael Bruno, will give a presentation about The Wingman Program.

The Wingman Initiative-  “Wingman is a unique youth leadership program from Dylan’s Wings of Change that develops social and emotional skills through team bonding and trust building activities. Wingman inspires children to be more empathetic, courageous and inclusive young leaders. The Wingman program is being used in schools, dance studios, running clubs, summer camps and after school programs to promote accepting and inclusive environments around the world.

We look forward to seeing you on what is bound to be a most informative evening.

 – Your Bloomfield SEPAC Team Members

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.)

Teen Mental Health Review, Workshop For Parents. Dec. 5, 2017, 6-8 P.M. at BHS.

Bloomfield Schools District offers a Workshop for Parents, with Elizabeth Dunlea, LCSW & Sandra McClurg, LCSW,  who will present a Parent Workshop on Teen Mental Health, on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017 from 6-8 P.M. in the BHS Media Center.

The topics will include, Trauma Informed Suicide Prevention, Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and Social Networking.