Parent Advisory Group

Special Education Parent Advisory Group (SEPAG)

The Haddon Heights Public School has established a Special Education Parent Advisory Group (SEPAG) to provide input and advice to the district in regard to matters pertaining to students with disabilities. All school districts in New Jersey are required to "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" (N.J.A.C. 6A:14-1.2h).

Our parent group membership is committed to seeing their advisory group firmly established in the district and volunteer their time and energy in helping put in place a very important avenue for parents to provide input to their district for years to come. They deserve special recognition and thanks for their continuing service.

Should you have any questions regarding SEPAG membership please contact Pam Driver in the Child Study Team Office directly at (856) 547-1322  Ext. 2000 or Jocqueline Renner at rennerj@hhsd.k12.nj.us

Meeting Information for the 2017-18 School Year

The district continues to strengthen the Special Education Parent Advocacy Group (SEPAG) and the relationship with the Haddon Heights, Barrington, Lawnside, and Merchantville communities. I invite you to join us for a meeting and/or to celebrate an event. All are always welcome! SEPAG meeting dates will be posted and announced soon. A Haddon Heights parent started a SEPAG Facebook page. This Facebook page is not affiliated or monitored by the school but can be accessed by searching for Haddon Heights Special Education Advisory Group.

 This year the Haddon Heights School District is embarking on the 7th year of their Ability Awareness Initiative. The primary focuses of the initiative are to raise awareness and to work to build a world of inclusion. Although this is a constant frame of mind that the district promotes, new events to increase acceptance and raise awareness continue to be organized. Since its inception, Abilities Awareness has not only been embraced by the school community but also by the Haddon Heights Borough as a whole. We appreciate your support as well as the support of the community leaders and local businesses as you have been active partners in spreading this positive message with the goal of creating an accepting and inclusive town-wide environment. This year’s theme will be “Dream, Believe, Achieve!”

Upcoming Events:

Monday, October 16, 2017 6:30-8:00pm
Samuel Mickle School Library
559 Kings Hwy, Mickleton, NJ 08056 

Please Join the East Greenwich School District as their SEPAC team presents a workshop “ Supporting Students with Anxiety Disorders” Featuring Guest Speaker Dr. Steven D. Tsao.  
To attend you must RSVP to specialedparentgroup@eastgreenwich.k12.nj.us
Dr. Tsao received both his master’s and doctoral degrees in clinical psychology from Fordham University. He completed his pre-doctoral internship at the Boston VA Medical Center and his post-doctoral fellowship at McLean Hospital, a Harvard Medical School affiliate. Dr. Tsao is an expert in exposure and response prevention for obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and has extensive experience with prolonged exposure (PE) therapy for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Prior to joining Rogers, Dr. Tsao was on the staff at the Center for the Treatment and Study of Anxiety at the University of Pennsylvania where he most recently served as the Clinic Director. In addition to his leadership role with Rogers, Dr. Tsao co-directs a specialty practice conducting psychotherapy, training and consultation for the full-spectrum of anxiety disorders. Dr. Tsao is a member of the International OCD Foundation, the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies and the Philadelphia Behavior Therapy Association.
Information will be made available to those interested but cannot make it. 

Information from the 2016-17 School Year

I am super excited to announce some of our new Ability Awareness Activities and get your input for others! This year, we will participate in Rock Your Socks. The idea behind it is that together we can create a single global voice for advocating for the rights, inclusion and well-being of people with Down syndrome in our school, community and around the world. March 21st is World Down Syndrome Day. It was selected to signify the uniqueness of the triplication (trisomy) of the 21st chromosome which leads to Down Syndrome.

We will also organize an Ice Cream Social for Williams Syndrome. Williams Syndrome is a genetic condition that is present at birth and can affect anyone.  It is characterized by medical problems, including cardiovascular disease, developmental delays, and learning disabilities. These often occur side by side with striking verbal abilities, highly social personalities and an affinity for music.

Past Events:

Wednesday, March 8, 2017, 6:00pmDuring the meeting we discussed the development of a Mentor Group for parents willing to mentor other parents and/or participate in a support group. We also discussed upcoming Ability Awareness Initiatives and future meeting topics.


Wednesday, January 11, 2017, 6:15pm Barrington Special Education Parent Advisory Group invites Haddon Heights parents to join in a discussion on special education topics including a special presentation entitled "Central Tools for Managing Home Behavior" from a Board Certified Behavior Analyst.

Avon School Library

862 Mercer Drive

Haddonfield, NJ 08033


Thursday, October 20, 2016 from 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM (EDT)

We had a SEPAG meeting on October 20th at 5:30pm in the 7th Ave. School Multi-Purpose Room. During the meeting, we reviewed current programs, initiatives, and planned for Ability Awareness activities.


Wednesday, September 21, 2016 from 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM (EDT)

This was an opportunity to meet face to face and exchange ideas around what works to enhance and sustain family engagement in schools to improve outcomes for children with disabilities. Strategies to start and run local special education parent groups/advisory groups (SEPAGs) will be discussed and shared. Come and network with other parent leaders in your county.

Eastern Regional High School
1401 Laurel Oak Road
Learning Center
Voorhees Township, NJ 08043

Parent Involvement in Special Education: An Overview of Rights Presentation

Thank you to the START Project, Parent Group Specialist Debbie Esposito, and Eastern Regional High School for inviting the Haddon Heights and Lawnside SEPAG to join them for "Parent Involvement in Special Education: An Overview of Rights." Ms. Esposito discussed with parents on the importance of identifying their dreams and goals for their children, and their rights and responsibilities as parents of children with special needs under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Families in attendance gained the knowledge and strategies necessary to be equal partners in the special education process.

Night of Pampering, Fun and Q &A

Night of Pampering

For this event SEPAG invited Haddon Heights and Lawnside parents to a well-deserved relaxing night out. Throughout the evening attendees were treated to a chair massage and mini reflexology session provided by Julie Goeltz (LMT), fingernail polish change and hand massage by Avenue Salon and Spa, and Essential Oils by Melissa Nicely.  Thank you to these local businesses for providing their services, and we encourage you to support them. The event also provided child care from special education staff members, and families were treated to a meet and greet with Erica Kirschner and Jack the Therapy Dog (pictured above).  A question and answer session was held for attendees by Board Certified Behavior Analyst, Dr. Denise Kerth. Thank you to all the volunteers and attendees for a fun evening.

Dyslexia Simulation

Dyslexia

The Haddon Heights and Lawnside SEPAG committee held a Dyslexia Simulation for our community members throughout Camden County.  Over 80 participants attended the simulation, held at the Seventh Avenue School multi-purpose room, creating a wonderful gathering of parents and educators. SEPAG would like to thank Deborah Lyman and Learning Ally for providing this educational workshop with the unique simulation experience.

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