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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)


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:


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.

Cover page of SEPAG Guide-image of adults holding signs reading "Inclusion, Tools, Tips, Parent Input, Collaboration, Student Centered Learning, Strategies"Special Education Parent Advisory Groups in NJ: A 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.

screen shot of SEPAG Guia-espanol cover pageGrupos Consultivos de Padres en Educación Especial en Nueva Jersey  l  Una guía para desarrollar y dirigir un grupo efectivo  |  Esta guía se desarrolló utilizando las mejores prácticas para ayudar a los padres y profesionales interesados en crear y manejar grupos efectivos.

  • Sample – Essential Items to Include in SEPAG Bylaws English: DOC Elementos esenciales a incluir en los estatutos del SEPAG I Español: DOC
  • Sample – SEPAG Brochure English: DOC Modelo de folleto de SEPAG Español: DOC
  • Sample – SEPAG Letter of Introduction English: DOC  Ejemplo de carta de introducción del SEPAG Español: DOC
  • Sample – SEPAG Chairperson Job Description English: DOC Modelo de descripción de funciones del presidente del SEPAG I Español: DOC
  • Sample – SEPAG Member Job Description English: DOC Modelo de descripción de funciones de los miembros del SEPAG I Español: DOC
  • Sample – SEPAG Membership Grid English: DOC Ejemplo de cuadrícula de membresía de SEPAG I Español: DOC
  • Sample – Public Comment Form and Guidelines English: DOC Modelo de formulario de comentarios públicos y directrices I Español: DOC
  • Sample – SEPAG Report Format to the School Board English: DOC Modelo de formatos de informes del SEPAG a la junta escolar I Español: DOC
  • Family Engagement Inventory Tool for School Reopening and Recovery I This tool offers an opportunity to gather a team of stakeholders to take an inventory of family engagement practices across four domains – communication, parent/family engagement in student learning, engagement in decision-making, and strategic family and community partnerships. The results can help build and strengthen staff and families’ capacities to create partnerships that will benefit all students. English PDF  I Spanish PDF
    Instructional Guide for using this tool: English PDF  I Spanish PDF
  • Developing & Implementing an Effective Special Education Parent Advisory Group (SEPAG)  |  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
  • Action Minutes—Organizational tool for taking minutes  |  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
  • Input Tool for SEPAG Meetings—Organizational Tool for collecting input at SEPAG meetings  |  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
  • Webinar: Special Education Parent Advisory Groups in New Jersey l Guide to Developing and Conducting an Effective Group  |  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
  • Serving on Groups—Webinar Series and Resources  |  Developed by the WI Family Assistance Center for Education, Training, and Support (WI FACETS), 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.





  • Education-Related Acronyms: This list includes most frequently used education-related acronyms. English: PDF | Español: PDF
  • Special Education Delivery Cycle: Use this chart to learn the steps and timelines for special education delivery cycle. English: PDF | Español: PDF
  • Classification Chart: This chart includes classification categories for special education eligibility. English: PDF | Español: PDF
  • Positive Student Profile: Use this template to organize information about your child’s strengths, challenges, goals, needs, and successes of your child. English: PDF | Español: PDF
  • All About Me: This tool encourages asking questions about student’s strengths/interests, challenges/concerns, and activities with the focus to prepare them for the transition into adult life. English: PDF | Español: PDF
  • Sample Letter Requesting an Evaluation and Sample Letter Requesting an Independent Evaluation: Use this sample letter as a guide to write your own letters requesting an evaluation/independent evaluation. English: PDF | Español: PDF
  • Parent Involvement in the IEP Process: Use this checklist to guide you as you prepare for the IEP meeting, participate in the IEP meeting, and keep involved after the IEP meeting. English: PDF | Español: PDF
  • Preparing for the IEP Meeting: This collection of tools provides the IEP team members (parents, educators, and students) with guiding questions to prepare for the collaborative IEP development and implementation. English: PDF | Español: PDF
  • Communication Strategies: This chart explains various communication strategies the IEP teams can use to facilitate effective meetings. English: PDF | Español: PDF
  • Establishing a Collaborative Team: This document offers specific examples for collaboration the IEP members can use to promote trust, teamwork, and partnerships. English: PDF | Español: PDF






NJDOE Restart and Recovery Plan: The Road Back This Restart and Recovery Plan provides educators and administrators with the information necessary to ensure that our schools reopen safely and are prepared to accommodate students’ unique needs during this unprecedented time.


Creating Collaborative Action Teams: Working Together for Student Success These Web pages give an overview of the Collaborative Action Team process and link to the set of materials, including the Collaborative Action Team Guide and toolkit masters.


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


Joining Together to Create a Bold Vision for Next-Generation Family Engagement: Engaging Families to Transform Education: This report is intended to spark a conversation around the power of family, school, and community engagement.


Taking It To the Next Level Strengthening and Sustaining Family Engagement through Integrated, Systemic Practice: This document examines regional and district family engagement practices that highlight systemic exemplars and integrated strategies for strengthening and sustaining family engagement.


We Want to Hear from You!

The START-EPSD Project wants to hear your suggestions, comments, ideas, or requests for how we could better support your leadership growth and meet your SEPAG’s needs this year! Please take a brief survey.

¡Queremos escuchar de usted!

¡El Proyecto START-EPSD desea escuchar sus sugerencias, comentarios, ideas o solicitudes sobre cómo podríamos apoyar mejor el crecimiento de su liderazgo y satisfacer las necesidades de su SEPAG este año! Responda una breve encuesta.


Link to the survey in English and 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.