Tuscan PTA Special Services

Welcome to the Tuscan PTA Special Services page. This page is designed to help families navigate the special services system within our district and specifically at Tuscan.  This page includes some very helpful links and important people to contact.  

Everyone’s journey with special services takes different paths, but please know there are many people at Tuscan and in the district who want to help you find your way. Visit the district site for special services information and resources.
How to Begin
As a reminder, the first step should always be to speak with your classroom teacher about any concerns you have. A good second step is to speak with Mr. Bertani, Vice Principal. Mr. Bertani is the point person for beginning the Intervention and Referral Process and he will work with the family and teacher to set up proper interventions and modifications for the classroom. After a period of time, if these interventions are not working, then it will be determined if the child needs to proceed into a 504 plan (which is overseen by Mr. Bertani). Another option is for the child to move into the child study team testing process to determine if the child qualifies for an IEP.   

For a comprehensive step by step guide of how to navigate the special services process, please refer to the Special Services Resource Packet.  This packet also includes district contacts, the differences between an IEP and a 504, frequently asked questions and other support resources. The Special Services Department has put out Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) that includes thorough description of the process as well as FAQs for families. 
Parent’s legal rights can be found in a document called PRISE (Parental Rights in Special Services).  You can find this document in English on the website. You can find the PRISE in other languages on the NJ State's Special Services page

People to Contact at Tuscan
Support and Advocacy
SIGN UP FOR The SEPAC Email list and Email The Parenting Center to be added to their e-blast - they will update you on all the meetings for the groups listed below!

SEPAC (Special Education Parent Advisory Committee) 
SEPAC is an advocacy group focused on policies, programs, and practices within the
South Orange/Maplewood School District. Families and caregivers of student(s) with learning needs or students eligible for or receiving services under an IEP or 504 plan are encouraged to attend SEPAC Meetings.

SEPAC merged with the Special Ed PTO to provide the community with one special education parent group. SEPAC provides parents with tools and information to work collaboratively with the school district and to be more effective advocates for their children with special educational needs. Meetings consist of featured conversations/ presentations as well as support, resource sharing, and the ability to connect with other members of the special education community. Meetings with featured topics are their attempt to get those with similar concerns in the same room at the same time but all are always welcome!
The Parenting Center of the School District of Maplewood and South Orange  
The Parenting Center Coordinates the School Social Work Intern Program and offers many workshops throughout the year. The website also contains a flyer with the dates and contact info for the various district Parent Support Group meetings. Support Groups include ADHD/ADD,  SOMA 2e (twice exceptional), Navigating the Middle School Years- Cliques, Squads , Bullying & More, Screen Smart Kids , Selective Mutism and Special Siblings. Meeting times for these groups and the Parenting Center Speaker Series can be found at www.theparentingcenter.info.

SOMA 2e (twice exceptional)
This group supports the achievement of gifted students with special needs and their families. www.facebook.com/groups/soma2e/

Additional information ‚Äčabout special education and PTAs can be found here.

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