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FAMILY SUPPORT CENTER

Special Education Graduate Programs

Join for a virtual information session about the Special Education graduate programs at Johns Hopkins School of Education on Thursday, Feb 22nd @ 3 pm.

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Supporting Student Learning and Achievement

Join us on Wednesday, February 28 at 6:30PM for our parent workshop: Supporting Student Learning and Achievement
  • Learn about the relationship between student achievement and learning gaps to better assess learning strengths and weaknesses
  • Learn about Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and their impact on students and student learning; and
  • Learn about specific strategies to support student achievementand learning
*Spanish and Amharic Interpretation will be provided
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Special Education Citizens Advisory Committee (SECAC)

Join our next Special Education Citizens Advisory Committee (SECAC) meeting on Thursday, February 29 at 7PM.

Meetings are hosted virtually in Zoom and Interpretation is available.

Information, videos and presentations from our monthly SECAC meetings are listed on the SECAC website.

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MaryBeth Mantzouranis
Family Support Services Coordinator
Department of Special Education
Montgomery County Public Schools

Email: Marybeth_O_Mantzouranis@mcpsmd.org

Cell: 240- 753- 9487
Office: 240-740- 3900

Family Support Center staff are committed to provide information to parents and families to work as equal partners with MCPS.

MCPS Family Support Center seeks to:

  • Increase parental involvement in the early intervention and special education decision making process
  • Increase collaborative relationships through information and training
  • Assist families in resolving concerns and making informed decisions regarding their child's education
  • Provide information about disabilities and school system and community resources
NEW:  February 2024 Events Bulletin

 

Family Resources

*While the Family Support Center and MCPS do not endorse any business, activity, or group, we do encourage you to utilize resources to support your needs and interests.*

 

Month of February 2024

 

FEBRUARY 6

Tuesday, February 6th at 6:30PM - Montgomery County Department of Recreation & Department of Parks shared information about summer camps and inclusion:

Camps & Programs: Finding the Right Fit

2024 Summer Overview

- FULL AND HALF DAY OPTIONS (AFTER ESY)
- RECREATION ASSIST
- FINDING THE RIGHT FIT

 

FEBRUARY 7

Parent workshop: Helping Kids and Teens with ADHD and/or Executive Function Challenges to Thrive: Practical tools you can start using today.   

Slide Presentation from Parent Workshop

 

FEBRUARY 28

Parent workshop: Supporting Student Learning and Achievement

Wednesday, February 28 at 6:30PM - Access to the Zoom Link

 

FEBRUARY 29

 

Month of January 2024

 

Please join us virtually on Tuesday, January 9th at 6:30PM

Montgomery County Recreation & Montgomery Parks will be sharing information about summer camps and inclusion!

Camp offerings will be released Friday, January 5th.

Registration begins the week of January 16th.

If you are interested in learning about what is available, please join us for this virtual event!

ZOOM info:
MEETING ID:
860 4204 6561
PASSCODE:
275390
ZOOM LINK

 

Month of December 2023


The Autism Society of Maryland is hosting a Meet & Greet (in person)
on Wednesday, December 5 at the Gaithersburg Regional Library from 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Learn about resources, services, and activities available through the Autism Society of Maryland.
No need to RSVP. Please drop by. Children are welcome!
Kristen Letnick, Resource Coordinator for Montgomery County Kristen.Letnick@autismsocietymd.org
Gaithersburg Regional Library (Medium Room 2)
18330 Montgomery Village Ave., Gaithersburg, MD 20879
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Potomac Community Resources, Inc (PCR) is holding a virtual Transition Times program entitled,“How to Access Mental Health Services Across the Lifespan” on Wednesday, December 6th at 7pm. To attend this free webinar, please register at the link below.
https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_4Dal8K4GRU6aUwbbWf3b3g#/registration
Simultaneous ASL and Spanish interpretation will be provided. The webinar will be recorded in both English and Spanish, and the recordings will be archived on the PCR website: www.pcr-inc.org. PCR serves teens and adults with developmental differences.
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MCPS Transition Services Unit is hosting a virtual Transition Information for Parents and Students (TIPS) Meeting on Thursday, December 7. This meeting, College Night. will include presentations from:
● Montgomery College Disability SupportServices
● The Graduate Transition & ChallengePrograms
● Accessing Financial Aid, and
● Montgomery College, Universities at Shady Grove (USG) Pathway
Register HERE
Co-Sponsored by Autism Society of Maryland and the Parents’ Place of Maryland
Drive-Thru Santa Event on Saturday, December 9 from 10:00- 12:00.
Visit with Santa from the comfort of your car! This visit with Santa is perfect for children and youth with autism and other developmental disabilities, as well as their siblings and friends! The event is free and no reservations are required. This event will happen RAIN OR SHINE!
CEDAR LANE SCHOOL PARKING LOT
11630 SCAGGSVILLE RD, FULTON, MD
Questions- 410-290-3466 OR INFO@AUTISMSOCIETYMD.ORG
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Pathfinders for Autism
is sponsoring a free, virtual presentation titled, “SUPPORTED DECISION MAKING IN MARYLAND” on Tuesday, December 12 from 7-8:00 p.m.
Supported decision-making is an alternative to guardianship and a tool to increase self-determination that recognizes that people with and without disabilities may rely on the people they trust to make and communicate their own decisions. Last year, a new supported decision-making law came into effect in Maryland. In this presentation you will learn about supported decision-making, what the new law says and does, and how you can use and practice supported decision making. To register:
https://pathfindersforautism.org/supported-decision-making-in-maryland/.
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STAND Together is a local self-advocacy group run for and by people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities in Montgomery County, Maryland. The group will meet monthly on the second Wednesday of the month from 4-5 pm on Zoom. Join us on December 13!
Each month, the group will focus their discussion around different topics of interest to the group members.
This will be a safe space for everyone to share their thoughts and ideas without judgment.
STAND Together is part of Empowering Partners, a statewide initiative to grow and strengthen local self-advocacy groups. To learn more about Empowering Partners, visit The Arc Maryland’s website:
http://www.thearcmd.org/empowering-partners/
Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82614747133?pwd=OEd3NDJ0WVpVVmlZVkpGYXZ6NzZtZz09
Meeting ID: 826 1474 7133
Passcode: 299355STAND
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SECAC- Special Education Citizens Advisory Council
holds monthly meetings that are open to EVERYONE!.
SECAC is composed of parents/guardians, Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) staff members, and representatives of Montgomery County community groups that advocate for students with special needs and serve to advocate for, and advise, the Office of Special Education (OSE).
Please go to the SECAC website to sign up to receive emails! Meetings are typically held the 4th Thursday of the month, virtually at 7:00pm.
https://www2.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/departments/special-education/secac/
The next meeting is Monday, December 18th at 7:00. Dr. McKnight, the superintendent of Montgomery County Public Schools, is scheduled to attend.

Our next SECAC Meeting will be on Monday, December 18 at 7PM

 

Month of November 2023

Our next SECAC Meeting will be on Thursday, November 16 at 7PM

Flyer with Zoom link

Meeting ID: 898 4699 5469
Passcode: 111623

 

Parent Workshop: Fostering Positive and Productive Partnerships

Date: Wednesday, November 15, 2023
Time: 6-7PM
An interactive experience held virtually in Zoom

Flyer with Zoom Workshop Link: https://bit.ly/49wdFH7
Meeting ID: 835 7109 6732
Passcode: 533043

 

Parent Workshop: Unlocking the Major Components of the IEP Process

Date: Wednesday, November 8, 2023
Time: 6-7PM
An interactive experience held virtually in Zoom

 

 

Month of October 2023

Our most recent SECAC Meeting was on Thursday, October 26

Meeting Agenda | Meeting Video | Meeting Slide Presentation

 

 

Special Education Citizens Advisory Committee (SECAC)

Join us each Thursday at the end of the month from 7:00- 9:00pm virtually in Zoom

*Interpretation is available.

SECAC is a committee made up of parents/guardians, Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) staff members, and representatives of Montgomery County community groups that advocate for students with special needs and serve to advocate for, and advise, the Office of Special Education. 

Please sign-up to and join our SECAC meetings! SECAC is open to everyone.

Please complete this form to help us plan future meetings and to receive emails.


 

Family Resources 

 


MSDE Parent Information Series

MSDE is proud to partner with families through the publication of their new Parent Information Series. These booklets provide essential information for families of students with disabilities from ages 3 through 21 on important topics that increase collaboration between home and school in planning for their child's education.

 

New! A Companion Guide to the Alternate Education Framework

MSDE is pleased to offer the latest in our Parent Information Series, A Companion Guide to the Alternate Education Framework. This guide provides information for families to better understand IEP team decisions around participating in the alternate state assessments and alternate academic achievement standards for our students with significant cognitive disabilities. We hope that this information assists our families in ensuring they have what they need to fully participate as equal partners in the decision making process.

Download the Booklet  |  Spanish Version

 

Special Education Process - Guide 1

The first booklet in the series takes the parent from referral through evaluation and eligibility determination. This booklet provides tips for the parent to understand their role in order to actively participate at each meeting for each process.

Download the Booklet  |  Spanish Version

 

Parental Rights - Guide 2

The second booklet in the series discusses some of the key elements in the Procedural Safeguards/Parental Rights Handbook that parents are given during annual review and other IEP team meetings. It explains their legal rights in clear terms and is a companion (not replacement) to the larger Brochure.

Download the Booklet  |  Spanish Version

 

Understanding the IEP - Guide 3

This booklet takes parents through each section of the IEP and briefly explains what should be there and why. There are some legal requirements explained, as well as things the parent should expect from their IEP teams.

Download the Booklet  |  Spanish Version

 

Secondary Transition - Guide 4

The final booklet in the series provides parents with information about secondary transition. It is fairly comprehensive and includes information about other agencies and services that students may engage with once they leave high school. It also provides parents and students with tips and steps that they can take to facilitate this important transition.

Download the Booklet  |  Spanish Version

 

Contact: Alison Barmat
Department of Early Intervention/Special Education Services
Office: (410) 767-7770
alison.barmat@maryland.gov


 

Organizations, Academies, and Programs

 

The Down Syndrome Network of Montgomery County (DSNMC)

https://dsnmc.org/

The Down Syndrome Network of Montgomery County serves individuals with Down syndrome and their families in Montgomery County, MD and the surrounding region.

The DSNMC helps people with Down syndrome lead self-determined lives. They do this through education and support programs, advocacy, and initiatives that span the lives of individuals with Down syndrome from birth through adulthood. 

They also provide information and support to professionals who work with individuals with Down syndrome.

 


 

Partnership for Extraordinary Minds- xMinds

https://xminds.org/about

xMinds is a collaborative partnership of parents, educators, and service providers working together to improve the educational experience and outcomes for autistic students in Pre-K–12 education in Montgomery County, MD.

 


Maryland Coalition of Families 

https://www.mdcoalition.org/

Maryland Coalition of Families (MCF) is a state-wide nonprofit dedicated to connecting, supporting and empowering families who are experiencing behavioral health challenges. 

They also advocate to improve services and systems that impact individuals with behavioral health challenges and to reduce stigma related to behavioral health.

 


 

Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC)

SEAC is comprised of parents/guardians, Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) staff members, and representatives of Montgomery County community groups that advocate for students with special needs and serve to advocate for, and advise, the Office of Special Education.

SEAC hosts a 2-hour meeting each month, open to everyone. Parents, families, advocates, educators are all encouraged to participate each month through the academic year.

 


Parent Academy - To Go

 

 Parent Academy Logo

 

As our school district continues to navigate through COVID-19, we want our families and students to remain engaged with us throughout the school year. Student, Family and School Services is very excited to provide "Parent Academy TO GO," a series of virtual presentations for families to participate and view at home.  

Parent Academy TO GO is designed to inform and empower families as advocates and partners in their children's education. Workshops provide families with useful information and resources to support their children's academic and emotional well-being, as well as help them to be college and career ready. Through a variety of learning opportunities hosted by MCPS staff and community partners, we hope to strengthen our engagement with families and the community. We recognize that behind every successful student are supportive families, teachers, school staff and community members who take an active role in educating our students.


                                                                                       

Parental Rights, Resolution, and Compliance 

 
 

What parental rights do I have regarding the IEP? 

The Maryland State Department of Education has developed Division of Early Intervention and Special Education Services Parent’s Guide to Understanding Your Individualized Education Program (IEP) Rights and Responsibilities in Maryland which summarizes all rights that parents have such as notice, disagreement, participation, and copies of certain documentation.

If you have further questions regarding your parental rights, you may refer to the Parental Rights, Maryland Procedural Safeguards Notice, contact your child’s case manager at the school, or contact the Resolution and Compliance Unit at 240-740-3230.

Resolution and Compliance Unit

 

MSDE Family Support and Dispute Resolution Branch

MSDE Family Support Section of the Family Support and Dispute Resolution Branch, responds to parent inquiries, assists parents with navigating Maryland's early intervention and special education systems, and provides parents with school system resources.

Special Education State Complaint Resolution Procedures

State Complaint Form (Birth - 3 Individualized Family Service Plan or 4 if extended Individualized Family Service Plan)

State Complaint Form (3 - 21 Individualized Family Service Program)

Request for Mediation/Due Process Form

Listing of Free or Low Cost Assistance for Special Education Disputes

Parent Information Series on Procedural Safeguards

Procedural Safeguards/Parent Rights Brochure

A Parent’s Guide to Frequently Asked Questions about Special Education State Complaints

A Parent's Guide to Frequently Asked Questions about Special Education Mediation

A Parent's Guide to Frequently Asked Questions about Special Education Due Process Complaints

IDEA Dispute Resolution Processes Comparison Chart

Special Education Graduate Programs

Join for a virtual information session about the Special Education graduate programs at Johns Hopkins School of Education on Thursday, Feb 22nd @ 3 pm.

JHU_MCPS_GradProgramAd for Website 460x280.png

Supporting Student Learning and Achievement

Join us on Wednesday, February 28 at 6:30PM for our parent workshop: Supporting Student Learning and Achievement
  • Learn about the relationship between student achievement and learning gaps to better assess learning strengths and weaknesses
  • Learn about Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and their impact on students and student learning; and
  • Learn about specific strategies to support student achievementand learning
*Spanish and Amharic Interpretation will be provided
Parent Workshop 2.28.24 (460 x 280 px).png

Special Education Citizens Advisory Committee (SECAC)

Join our next Special Education Citizens Advisory Committee (SECAC) meeting on Thursday, February 29 at 7PM.

Meetings are hosted virtually in Zoom and Interpretation is available.

Information, videos and presentations from our monthly SECAC meetings are listed on the SECAC website.

Feb SECAC ad.png
FamilySupportCenter3.png