Important Announcements

Parent Support Needed at County Council Budget Hearings in May

posted Apr 30, 2017, 9:53 AM by Super Admin   [ updated May 2, 2017, 8:52 PM ]

Parents and friends - AACPS and Special Education needs YOUR SUPPORT at the upcoming county council hearings. We are looking to have a strong showing of parents and other supporters at both hearings to testify in support of fully funding (or more!) the Superintendent's requested education budget, and increasing support for Special Education. The Anne Arundel County Council needs to hear from you! Come share your stories with the county council to help them understand the importance of education in our county. While attending, also stand in support of others who testify about the education budget. Our schools desperately need more community support at budget hearings to overcome the long standing trend of funding AACPS education and 'maintenance' levels, not accounting for continued growth and changes in the educational needs of our students. Interested but not sure how to go about it? We've prepared some budget testimony guidelines to help, posted HERE.  For those interested, we also have a summary of Special Education issues and talking points to reference when applicable, which is posted HERE. (Note: Both documents can also be found in our Files library.)  The budget hearings are planned for:
May 8, 2017, 7:00-9:00 pm - AA County Council Proposed BOE and General County Budget Hearing; North County HS,
North County High School 10 East 1st Ave Glen Burnie, MD
May 11, 2017, 7:00-9:00 pm -  AA County Council Proposed BOE and General County Budget Hearing; Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts,
801 Chase Street, Annapolis, Maryland 21401
Both hearings start at 7pm, but those planning to testify should plan to arrive early, by about 6pm, in order to sign in to testify.
We are asking all education and special education supporters to wear blue in support of education.  We look forward to seeing you there!

MSDE Special Education Parent Involvement Survey

posted Mar 12, 2017, 11:48 PM by Super Admin

MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD!     YOUR OPINION MATTERS!
Parents or guardians of children receiving special education and related services were mailed the Maryland Special Education Parent Involvement Survey from the Maryland State Department of Education, Division of Special Education/Early Intervention Services on February 1, 2017.  Parents are asked to complete the survey and return it in the postage paid envelope by May 1, 2017.  The survey may also be completed online.  Please look for details in your survey packet.  Your feedback will help guide efforts to improve special education and related services in your local school system.  Your voice can make a real difference for your child and many other children across the state of Maryland.  To learn more, please visit https://www.mdparentsurvey.com

Visual Impairment Definition Updated by AACPS

posted Jan 18, 2017, 9:25 PM by Super Admin

AACPS has revised the definition of a visual impairment in the Parent eHandbook and on the Public Website.  The definition has been revised to clarify that convergence deficiencies and binocular disorders are considered when determining the presence of an educational disability affecting a student’s access to curriculum.  The revisions can be found at the following locations:

 

Parent eHandbook, Appendix marked Disabilities

"Visual impairment" refers to a visual impairment, which, even with correction, adversely affects a student's educational performance. The term includes but is not limited to diagnoses of:

§ "Legal blindness" - visual acuity is 20/200 or less, in the better eye, after correction, or a field restriction of less than 20^; and

§ "Partial sight" - visual acuity is 20/70 or less, in the better eye, after correction.

§ Other visual impairments that adversely affect educational performance (e.g. convergence insufficiency

 

AACPS Website:  http://www.aacps.org/specialed/blind.asp

Anne Arundel County Public Schools has recently updated its definition of students under the disability category of Visual Impairment, Including Blindness.  In accordance with COMAR 13A.05.01.03B(84), a Visual Impairment is defined as an impairment in vision, which, even with correction, adversely affects a student's educational performance and includes both partial sight and blindness.   Any impairment in vision, regardless of severity, is covered, provided that such impairment, even with correction, adversely affects a student's educational performance.  Convergence Insufficiency, and other binocular visual disorders, are not excluded from the definition of Visual Impairment.

Scholarships Sponsored for Students with Autism and Down Syndrome

posted Aug 29, 2016, 10:03 PM by Super Admin

Two law firms are sponsoring scholarships in 2016 for students with a diagnosis of Autism or Down Syndrome. The Kelly Law Team of Phoenix AZ is sponsoring two scholarships for students with Down syndrome. Not to be outdone, Feldman Royle Attorneys as law, also of Phoenix AZ, is sponsoring two scholarships for students with Autism. The deadlines for submission for each is November 7, 2016. Click on the included links in this post for the details on each scholarship. Thank you to our AACPS and Arc of Maryland partners for sharing information about these opportunities with us!

AA SECAC 2016-2017 School Year Kickoff

posted Aug 8, 2016, 11:04 PM by Super Admin   [ updated Aug 9, 2016, 7:32 AM ]

Hello! Anne Arundel County Special Education Citizens Advisory Committee is excited to kick off our 2016-2017 school year with a board planning meeting to be held virtually this Thursday, 11 Aug. Are you interested in specific topics for our speakers this year or helping work on one of our objectives to improve special education? We want to hear from you! Please submit your ideas to us via our Contact Us form. 

Our first general meeting of this year will be held Thursday, September 8 from 7-9pm at the The Dr. Carol S. Parham Board of Education Building, 2644 Riva Road, Annapolis, MD. Also, save the date for our annual resource fair, back to school night for Special Education, October 10 at Severna Park Middle School.

Our updated meeting schedule for this school year has been posted. Please check back for updates on our speaker topics. We are looking forward to meeting you at one of our upcoming meetings or events!

SECAC Special Education Parent Survey Open for Your Input

posted May 21, 2016, 4:33 PM by Super Admin

Hello!  The Anne Arundel County Special Education Citizen's Advisory Committee is gathering parent input on Special Education in AACPS. This is our second annual survey. The results of our survey are provided to the AACPS Department of Special Education to help guide future planning for improving special education in AACPS.

Please take this opportunity to have your voice be heard and complete our survey! Please pass the word to other parents you know.    The link to our survey is here:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/AASECAC2016


We would also like to thank those of you who took the opportunity in March and April to provide input on the MSDE Special Education survey. We understand you may wonder, why should you complete yet another survey?  Aren't they basically the same thing? In fact, they are different, which is why we are conducting an additional survey.

Our survey is shorter than the MSDE survey, and asks questions much more specific to Special Education in OUR schools here in AACPS. Each survey provides different types of information so both provide valuable input to AACPS and Special Education leadership. The Director of Special Education will receive the results of our SECAC survey within a month after the survey is completed and we compile the results. Because of the increased size and scope of the MSDE survey, it takes much longer for the results to be compiled, assessed and provided to each county.  We know your time is limited and valuable, so we appreciate the time you spend providing input for our survey. For your convenience, our survey will be open through June 30, 2016.

Thank You!!

US Dept of Education Publishes Updated Guidance on FAPE

posted Feb 9, 2016, 2:23 AM by Super Admin

The US Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services published updated guidance on Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) in November of 2015, which we are posting here for your reference.

Spring SECAC Meetings

posted Feb 9, 2016, 2:01 AM by Super Admin

We hope you will plan to join us at our upcoming spring meetings where we will be discussing several great topics:
Feb 11:  OT/PT/SLP and other related services
March 10:  Social Skills and defining social pragmatic goals
April 14: Behavioral Challenges

Each meeting will start at 7pm
We meet in the Parham Board of Education Building, 2644 Riva Rd, Annapolis
A copy of our flyer is included below.
We are looking forward to meeting you!

SECAC STARS Program Discontinued

posted Jan 20, 2016, 11:34 PM by Super Admin

The SECAC board recently determined that we will not be sponsoring the STARS event this year due to lack of resources. While we are disappointed in this change, we are not surprised because it has been an increasing struggle ensuring we had sufficient resources both from a planning and support perspective (we are unfortunately still a pretty small group of volunteers) as well as funding perspective.  We are currently exploring other approaches to providing recognition to teachers/providers that support special education and children with special needs in AACPS. We would welcome any suggestions you may have. Those interested my submit their suggestions via our Contact Us web form.

SECAC Budget Hearing Survey For Parents, Teachers and Community Members

posted Dec 16, 2015, 11:52 PM by Super Admin   [ updated Dec 16, 2015, 11:58 PM ]

Are you interested in the AACPS budget process and potentially attending one of the upcoming AACPS budget hearings in early January? The AACPS Board of Education encourages county residents to participate in each of the stages of yearly budget development.  AA-SECAC would like to have a strong showing in support of appropriate funding for Special Education services!
Please check out our survey for more information and to provide input to SECAC on this important topic.


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