New Providence parents spent their summer preparing for the official launch of their Special Education Parent Advisory Group (SEPAG). One of the leaders, Courtney Mallon, attended a Special Education Parent Leadership Roundtable organized by Stefanie Babits, a Parent Group Specialist on the START-Engaging Parents of Students with Disabilities Project at SPAN, to get information. They continued a conversation via email and phone and then met with other parent leaders and the New Providence Director of Special Education in August to discuss the launching of the group this year.
The parent leaders have used the “Special Education Parent Advisory Groups in New Jersey: A Guide to Developing and Conducting an Effective Group,” a.k.a. the SEPAG Guide, to outline the formation of the group . In addition, they joined the Central NJ Special Education Parent Leaders Facebook group to get ideas and information on best practices for their group.
The New Providence SEPAG will be holding monthly meetings this year, including parent meetings and workshops. Their mission is to facilitate open, transparent collaboration between New Providence families, the school district, and the community to promote inclusion and understanding of, respect for, and support of all children with disabilities. The leadership team includes Courtney Mallon, Jen Wetzel, Meghan DiSabato, Amy Barbato, Kelli Sannicando, and Liz Marie de Jesus. Any questions can be referred to the executive team via NPSEPAG@gmail.com or online via the New Providence Special Ed Parents and Friends Facebook page .