Back to School!

I don’t know about you, but I can’t believe the 2017-2018 school year starts at the end of this month!  The end of lazy summer days is always a mixed blessing.  It’s hard to say goodbye to vacation time, the pool and a more relaxed schedule, but for many of our Special Needs Families, the return to the structure of the school year can be a big relief for our children and ourselves.

photo of scattered papersSEPTA is excited to launch into our first full year as an organization!  At our recent SEPTA Board Retreat, we established our goals and calendar for the upcoming year. We plan to have at least one board meeting and one event a month,  and four General Membership Meetings a year and we will continue to grow our website and advocate for our students.  Advocacy is our number-one priority, for it is the best way to ensure a successful future for our kids.

There are several great opportunities for you to get involved in advocating for our students. Most important is the upcoming At-Large School Board Election on August 29.  SEPTA sent a questionnaire to each of the four candidates in advance of the election to find out more about them and their views on Special Education in FCPS.  Their responses (in alphabetical order) can be found here:

Please take some time to read what they have written and keep an eye out for Candidate Forums where you can meet candidates in person prior to the election.  Most of all, VOTE.  There is no better way to protect our students needs than taking an active role in the election process that will determine the stewards of their educational future.

Starting in September, our committees will begin having regular meetings.  Committee information can be found on our website.  Please consider getting involved! Join a committee or talk to us about creating your own committee.  Come to events and keep an eye out for opportunities to advocate in our CALLS TO ACTION on our FB page and emails.

You will also start to see information about our Fall Membership Drive (September-October 2017) CurrentSEPTA making a  difference one member at at timeSEPTA memberships are valid through October 31, 2017.  New Memberships will be valid November 1, 2017  – October 31, 2018.

Finally, I am delighted to share with you the date of our Fall General Membership Meeting!  This is one of the most important meetings of the year – a chance for our members to vote on our budget, voice their ideas during the membership forum and participate in an awesome gathering of friends, educators and activists as we come together to celebrate our membership and mission.  We are extremely excited to announce that we will have three very special guests of honor:  New FCPS Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Scott Brabrand; New Assistant Superintendent of Special Services, Theresa Johnson and Director of Special Education, Dr. Irene Meier.  Superintendent Brabrand, Assistant Superintendent Johnson and Dr. Meier will be making speeches and participating in a meet and greet with SEPTA members.  You will not want to miss this opportunity to get to know our new FCPS leadership! So, clear your schedule for October 10 from 7-9pm!

Fall General Membership Meeting Special Speakers
photo of Teresa Johnson
Dr. Scott Brabrand
Superintendent of FCPS Schools
Teresa Johnson
Assistant Superintentdent of Speical Sevices
Dr. Irene Meier
Director of Special Education

Best Wishes on the 2017-2018 FCPS School Year!
Diane Cooper-Gould

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