START-Engaging Parents of Students with Disabilities

Offering programs and services that support the engagement of families to improve outcomes for students.

 

SEPAGS in NJ

SPECIAL EDUCATION PARENT ADVISORY GROUPS

Special Education Parent Advisory Groups (SEPAGs) are required for all school districts in New Jersey. The purpose of these groups is to provide opportunities for parents and community members to offer input to their districts on critical issues relating to students with disabilities.

New Jersey Administrative Code states:  Each board of education shall ensure that a special education parent advisory group is in place in the district to provide input to the district on issues concerning students with disabilities. 6A:14-1.2(h)


OUTREACH MATERIALS

The following documents are available for parent leaders/groups to share with their districts to provide more information about SEPAGs and the role START-EPSD plays in supporting families and districts as they start and run SEPAGs:


RESOURCE MATERIALS

The following documents are available for parent leaders/groups to use during meetings or to help familiarize SEPAG members on the ins and outs of running and participating in a parent group.

This chart includes the steps and questions to consider when developing a SEPAG. Use this tool as a guide for discussion when forming your group.

English: DOC / PDF

Español: DOC / PDF

Use this form at meetings to quickly and effectively take minutes, document a group discussion, and create an action plan. It can also be copied into a Google Doc and made interactive so anyone with a link can add comments or suggestions.

English: DOC / PDF

Español: DOC / PDF

Use this chart to organize input, identify systemic issues, and include suggestions for possible resolution. It can also be copied into a Google Doc and made interactive so anyone with a link can add comments or suggestions.

English: DOC / PDF

Español: DOC / PDF

​This training enables individual or group users to learn how to:

  • confidently and actively participate in decision-making groups,
  • recognize personal leadership skills,

  • build an understanding about decision-making groups, and

  • develop skills essential for active and meaningful participation in groups.

Go to ​Serving on Groups—Webinar Series and Resources page.

This curriculum was developed by the WI Family Assistance Center for Education, Training, and Support (WI FACETS). Click here to learn more about WI FACETS or to purchase the Guidebook.

Developed for parents and professionals to present an overview of the structure, content, and use of the Special Education Parent Advisory Groups in New Jersey l Guide to Developing and Conducting an Effective Group.

Go to Webinar: Special Education Parent Advisory Groups in New Jersey l Guide to Developing and Conducting an Effective Group.

Cover page of SEPAG Guide-image of adults holding signs reading "Inclusion, Tools, Tips, Parent Input, Collaboration, Student Centered Learning, Strategies"

This guide was developed utilizing best practices to assist parents and professionals interested in starting and running effective groups.


Special Education Parent Advisory Groups in NJ  |  A Guide to Developing and Running an Effective Group

screen shot of SEPAG Guia-espanol cover page

Esta guía se desarrolló utilizando las mejores prácticas para ayudar a los padres y profesionales interesados en crear y manejar grupos efectivos.


Grupos Consultivos de Padres en Educación Especial en Nueva Jersey  l  Una guía para desarrollar y dirigir un grupo efectivo

Helpful information about different topics, in an easy-to-digest format English & Spanish (PDF)

Engaging the School District during a Change in Administration

What are the Results of an Effective SEPAG?


OTHER HELPFUL LINKS

Partners in Education: A Dual Capacity-Building Framework for Family–School PartnershipsPresents a new framework for designing family engagement initiatives that build capacity among educators and families to partner with one another around student success

New Jersey Department of Education Office of Special Education: Information and updates on Special Education from NJDOE

NJ State Special Education Advisory Council: The purpose of the advisory council is to provide guidance on special education and related services


THE SEPAG SURVEY

Special Education Parent Advisory Groups, or SEPAGs, are skilled in creating partnerships to tackle special education issues. This know-how comes from personal experiences of SEPAG members and how they invite diverse viewpoints, suggest strategies, and use best practices.

Your answers to this survey will help create a collection of success stories and practices. These stories will highlight the accomplishments of SEPAGs in New Jersey, and some of them will even be shared in future issues of our newsletter. Thank you in advance for your participation!

Link to The SEPAG Survey in English and La encuesta del SEPAG in Spanish.

SPAN’s START-EPSD Project is funded through a Cooperative Agreement with the New Jersey Department of Education, Office of Special Education Professional Development.