This page is dedicated to give resources and guidance to the Special Education process. The Special Education Resource Packet gives full details of the process starting from requesting a referral to the child study team, to developing an initial Individualized Education Plan (IEP), to ongoing implementation and adjustments to the IEP.


This edition of the Guide is the product of collaborative efforts between parents/guardians of students with special needs, represented by the South Orange-Maplewood Special Education Parent Advisory Committee (SEPAC), and the South Orange-Maplewood School District’s Department of Special Services.


For more information about the SOMSD Special Education Resources and Staff, it can be found at


Each school in the district is represented by a Special Education liaison. The liaison for Jefferson Elementary School, Diego Ribadeneira, can be reached at

Special Education Resources


Special Education PTOThe South Orange Maplewood Special Education Parent Teacher Organization (Special Education PTO) provides parents with tools and information to work collaboratively with the school district, and to be more effective advocates for their children.


They host monthly meetings to help families network with other families to navigate special education, and share information about concerns, successes, and resources. They support ongoing professional development of district staff and teachers, and encourage comprehensive, thoughtful inclusion of differently-abled children in our communities. In partnership with the Parenting Center they host a monthly meeting where all members of the community are welcome.


Membership to the Special Education PTO is free. They meet monthly, 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm, at the Board of Education building, 525 Academy Street in Maplewood, NJ 07040, 3rd Floor conference room.


There is also a Facebook group which you can follow called the South Orange/Maplewood Special Education Community.


SPED PTO and SEPAC will be working together more closely

Special Education PTO provides parents with tools and information to work collaboratively with the school district, and to be more effective advocates for their children with special educational needs. We generally dedicate the first 45-60 minutes of our monthly meetings to the featured conversation and then open the floor for attendees to ask individual questions, get support, share resources and
connect with other members of the special education community. We are a Parenting Center sponsored group.
Each featured topic is our attempt to get those with similar concerns in the same room at the same time but all are always welcome! A representative of SOMA SEPAC (Special Education Parent Advisory Committee) will give a brief update of their organization's advocacy efforts at
each meeting and we will conduct joint SPED PTO/SEPAC meetings at year's beginning and end.
Questions? Email: Ann Leeb,


Please let us know in advance if you need childcare in order to attend our meetings.

Meetings are on Tuesday evenings (except Monday, November 13th) 7:30-9 PM, District Office, 525 Academy, Maplewood

September 26 - Joint general meeting SPED PTO and SEPAC
October 24 -   3rd Annual Special Education Back-School-Night, hosted by the Special Services Department  (Location TBA)             
November 13 - Special Services overview with Administrators and Board of Ed members
January 23 – Pre K & Elementary families
February 27 - Secondary families
March 27 – Out of District families
April 24 - IEP workshop
May 22 - Taking Care of Yourself as a Parent, followed by joint general meeting SPED PTO and SEPAC


The Parenting Center

The Parenting Center serves elementary school families in the South Orange Maplewood School District. The Center's goal is to be a dynamic resource in our community addressing children's needs and parent's concerns. Its aim is to provide parents with a full range of supports as they help their children grow and develop. 

  • Sponsors an evening speaker series addressing parents' most common concerns.  Speakers are nationally known experts as well as local professionals.
  • Presents parenting workshops on topics ranging from sibling rivalry, to bullying, to helping children eat more healthfully (a nominal fee is charged for some workshops).

For more information about The Parenting Center, it can be found at






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