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, Laws + Special Education, Resources, special ed, Special Needs Workshops

IEP & 504 Plan – Open Forum, in East Orange. April 26, from 6:30-8:00 P.M.

PLEASE JOIN FAMILY SUPPORT ORGANIZATION OF ESSEX COUNTY AS WE ADDRESS QUESTIONS REGARDING YOUR CHILD’S IEP AND 504 PLANS.” Free Registration – Press Here

 

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 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 bloomfieldsepac, Resources, SEPAC Meetings, SPAN, special ed

Get Instant Notifications About SEPAC Meetings With The REMIND TEXT System.

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We are pleased to announce that we are now set-up for the REMIND TEXT System. Any parent, SEPAC Member, etc. can sign-up to receive a REMIND TEXT for our meetings and information by:

TEXT ADDRESS:  81010

Then texting the “words:”  @kkg3399

It will also ask if you want the REMIND APP as well, but that is NOT necessary to receive text messages to your cell phone. The purpose of the REMIND APP is merely to keep all your REMIND Texts from the District in the same place on your cell phone.

 – Your Bloomfield SEPAC Team