Posted in Resources

Bloomfield Schools To Receive a Rise in State Aid!

cropped-logo_sepac1blue.jpgBloomfield Schools will see a rise of 20.2% in State Aid with a new law signed by Governor Murphy! State Funding for our schools will rise by over $4 million!

Read- Bloomfield To Receive State Aid Increase – Here


Posted in bloomfield sepac, Opioid Abuse

Come To The Essex County Opioid Use Prevention Task Force Meeting – July 17, 2018, at 5 P.M. at Caldwell University.


Dear Parents and Guardians,

TRC has launched an Opioid Abuse Reduction Task Force (OTF).  The OTF will meet monthly to discuss the opioid epidemic, the initiatives presently in place and the areas that still need to be addressed.   Our OTF is modeled after the Morris County Opioid Task Force, which has had some positive results.

We are inviting residents, adolescents too,  as well as local, county and state government officials and law enforcement, Municipal Alliances, civic organizations, schools, clergy, pharmacies, prevention and treatment and pediatric dentists, doctors and other healthcare service providers.  There is nobody who is not affected by the opioid epidemic … and it takes everybody to eradicate it.

Our first meeting was hosted by Dr. Durr and The Restoration Center Inc in Newark.  Our next meeting on July 17th  is hosted by Mayor Ann Dassing and  The Borough of Caldwell. Please let us know if your municipality would like to host our next monthly meetings.  

The opioid crisis has received much attention in the United States. More people than ever are dying from opioid overdose; in 2017, over 64,000 people were killed by opioids. In October 2017, President Trump declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency and pledged resources to address it, as President Obama did in 2016.  Here in N.J. both Governor Murphy and Governor Christie have done the same.  The County of Essex has the highest rate of opioid deaths in N.J.

All adolescents are at risk for misusing opioids, there are a wide range of factors that can either increase the risk of prescription drug misuse or help protect against it. There are a number of concrete ways that parents, family members, and other concerned adults can help prevent opioid misuse among adolescents. The fact that the adolescent brain is still growing means that teens are vulnerable to addiction, but the adolescent brain also is ripe for learning healthy habits and behavior   (US Department of Health and Human Services)

JOIN US ON TUESDAY, JULY 17TH                                                                                                                    To listen, learn, ask questions and join in the discussion of keeping your child healthy and safe from opioid use. This discussion needs to begin when your children are young, don’t wait until high school to discuss the ill-effects of opioids and other drugs.  


CALDWELL UNIVERSITY                                                                                                        Bloomfield Avenue Caldwell Alumni Theater

Contact Robin to R.S.V.P  (862) 485-8811 “


Parents Are Invited!-page-001

Posted in Resources, Special Needs Summer Activities

JCC MetroWest Special Needs Services Summer Schedules

Programs/Registration   Donate   Our Partners
Activities By Age:       Early Childhood      Children & Youth      Adults/Seniors

Dear Participants, Family Members, and Professionals,

Summer registration starts soon and we have some great programs coming up! Check them out below.

Intake Meeting Required for New Participants

Adult/Teen Sunday Trips / Ages 18+

Join us for a Sunday afternoon with friends! This off-site social recreation program provides teens and adults with special needs the opportunity to create friendships while learning to access community resources. Participants meet at the program venue and enjoy activities at local restaurants, theaters, bowling lanes, entertainment centers, and various other locations. Lunch and admission are included in the program fee. 1:5 staff to participant ratio.


July 15: BBQ Lunch/Swim at JCC

Aug 5: Lunch/Movies

Member: $55, Guest: $ 60

To register, please contact Robin Cohen, Program Administrator:

973-530-3422 /

Summer Select / Ages 15+

Six weeks of fun activities with friends for teens and adults with special needs (ages 15+). Participants will enjoy swimming, gym activities, games, and a great end of session BBQ while making new friends. Choose a few sessions or join us for all six!

Mondays, 6:00–8:00pm

June 11 – Game Night

June 18 – Get Fit

June 25 – Creative Cooking

July 2 – Evening at the Pool

July 9 – Sports & Games

July 16 – End of Session BBQ

Member: $25 per evening / $150 for all 6 sessions

Guest: $30 per evening / $180 for all 6 sessions

To register, please contact Robin Cohen, Program Administrator:

973-530-3422 /

Teen Travelers Camp / Ages 13–21

This daily travel program for teens and young adults with Special Needs is packed with exciting day trips into the community and lots of opportunities for the development of friendships and social skills. This program is supervised by experienced staff and offers a 4:1 camper to staff ratio.


Week 1: August 13–17

Week 2: August 20–24

1 Week

Member: $980, Guest: $1080

2 Weeks

Member: $1710, Guest: $1910

JCC MetroWest works hard to ensure that all of its programs are accessible to everyone. We are happy to help individuals with special needs access various resources offered at the JCC such as the fitness center, swimming lessons & classes in the arts department—just to name a few. These quality programs are open to individuals of all backgrounds. Please let us know if there is a program of interest and we’ll do our best to provide the supports necessary to make it happen!

We look forward to seeing you soon!
Please contact us with any questions, to schedule
an intake meeting, or to register for a program.

Marisa Cohen (above, right)
Director, Special Needs Services
973-530-3478 /

Chrystal Henion (above, left)
Assistant Director, Special Needs Services
973-530-3507 /

Robin Cohen (above, center)
Program Administrator, Special Needs Services
973-530-3422 /

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.)