The township school district’s director of special education Caitlin Mallory gave updates late last month on actions taken following spring meetings with 21 special ed families and a presentation to the board in August.
All 19 township schools were represented, as well as a variety of categories for special education, including support for autism or behavior and emotional support, or a learning disability.
Following the feedback from meetings, the district is improving its communication with building administration on inclusive opportunities for students with IEPs (Individualized Educational Plans), professional development for educational assistants and special-program teachers and staff, and an expansion of special services information and resources on the district website.
“Middle school is where we’re going to be meeting with principals to discuss transitions, and transition activity for students, and also discuss what specific things are being done at each building for inclusion opportunities outside of what is recommended in the IEPs,” Mallory said.
She also named steps about which the district has received positive feedback, such as regular meetings with the superintendent, the director of special education, CHSEPTA (Cherry Hill Special Ed Parent Teacher Association) and SEPAG (Special Education Parent Advisory Group), and open communication with parents.
Mallory also reviewed changes the district has made since COVID, such as updates to the website based on parent feedback and creation of a Google Classroom for Special Education District Stakeholders. They include contracted staff like related service providers and the child study team.
At the school board’s recent committee meetings, its policy and legislation committee discussed updates to elementary-school redistricting and announced a town hall on Jan. 17 at 6:30 p.m. on the subject. The hope is for a final decision on redistricting in February.
The district will also have a diversity job fair on Dec. 15 from 4 to 7 p.m. at Cherry Hill West. The next board of education meeting is Tuesday, Dec. 6, at 6:30 p.m.