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)
Parent Groups Listing: “FIND” or check the listing in your county to connect with SEPAGs in your area.
Parent Group Specialists (PGS): “CONTACT” us if you would like help starting or running a parent group.
Add/Update a Group Listing: “LIST” an update to an existing group or add a new group to connect others with their SEPAG.
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:
- About the START-EPSD Project (English/Spanish) (PDF)
- About Special Education Parent Advisory Groups (English) (PDF)
- Grupo Consultivo de Padres en Educación Especial (Español) (PDF)
- About the NJ SEPAG Guide to Developing and Conducting an Effective Group (English/Spanish) (PDF)
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.
- · Developing & Implementing an Effective Special Education Parent Advisory Group (SEPAG)
- · Action Minutes—Organizational tool for taking minutes
- · Input Tool for SEPAG Meetings—Organizational Tool for collecting input at SEPAG meetings
- · Serving on Groups—Webinar Series and Resources
- · Webinar: Special Education Parent Advisory Groups in New Jersey l Guide to Developing and Conducting an Effective Group
- · NJ SEPAG Guide
- · NJ SEPAG Guía
- · Quick Guides
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.
This guide was developed utilizing best practices to assist parents and professionals interested in starting and running effective groups.
Esta guía se desarrolló utilizando las mejores prácticas para ayudar a los padres y profesionales interesados en crear y manejar grupos efectivos.
Helpful information about different topics, in an easy-to-digest format | English & Spanish (PDF)
OTHER HELPFUL LINKS
Partners in Education: A Dual Capacity-Building Framework for Family–School Partnerships: Presents 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
Cultural & Linguistic Diversity Survey
Even with the best of intentions, it may be challenging to get and keep a core group of parents engaged in the Special Education Parent Advisory Groups, or SEPAGs. It’s even harder to do in the diverse school districts in which there are language and cultural differences that may further impact parent involvement in the SEPAG.
Please help us identify effective and creative strategies, techniques, or tips for addressing challenges as well as increasing culturally responsive practices when it comes to engaging diverse families on SEPAGs.
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!