Special Services

Welcome to the Seth Boyden PTA Special Services page. This page is designed to help families navigate the special services system within our district and specifically at Seth Boyden. This page includes some very helpful links and important people to contact.


Everyone’s journey with special services takes different paths, but please know there are many people at Seth Boyden and in the district who want to help you find your way. The district site for special services is also an important resource.

How to Begin

As a reminder, the first step should always be to 1) speak with your classroom teacher about any concerns you have. A good second step is to speak with 2) Principal Shannon Glander, who can begin the Intervention and Referral Process and can work with the teacher to set up proper interventions and modifications for the classroom. After a period of time, if these interventions are not working, then it will be determined if the child needs to proceed into a 504 plan.


Another option is for the child to move into the Child Study Team testing process to determine if the child qualifies for an IEP. For a comprehensive step-by-step guide of how to navigate the special services process, please refer to the Special Services Resource Packet. This packet also includes district contacts, the differences between an IEP and a 504, frequently asked questions and other support resources.


Parents’ legal rights can be found in a document called PRISE (Parental Rights in Special Services). You can find this document on the New Jersey Special Services page in English here, and in other languages here.

People to Contact at Seth Boyden

Support and Advocacy

Sign up for the SEPAC Email list​ and ​email The Parenting Center​ to be added to their e-blast. They will update you on all the meetings for the groups listed below!


SEPAC​ (Special Education Parent Advisory Committee): This group meets a few times a year and is designed to provide opportunities for parents and community members to offer input to their district’s special services programs.


The Parenting Center of the School District of Maplewood and South Orange. ​The Parenting Center offers many workshops throughout the year and is a great resource to our community.


SOMA Peer Support + Action Network for IEP/504/EI Families (ages 0-11)
A facebook group providing community and peer support to the parents/guardians of SOMA children, 0-11 years-old, who are in early intervention, have IEPs, 504s, or are "not typically developing" in some way. 

SOMA 2e (twice exceptional):​ This Facebook group supports the achievement of gifted students with special needs and their families.


Helpful Information and Explanations:


Special Services Department

All Special Education programs are under the direction of Susie Budine who can be reached at 973.762.5600, ext. 1840. The district provides Special Education Programs, Speech/Language Therapy, Occupational, and Physical Therapy and Counseling Services for eligible students.

Special Education and Related Services at Seth Boyden

Special education services are delivered to eligible students in a variety of configurations. These include but are not limited to: 

● Self-Contained Special Education classes: These classes are taught only by Special Education teachers, supported by paraprofessionals. The students in these classes receive all academic instruction in this smaller, focused setting.

● Pull - Out Resource Room: One Special Education teacher teaches the students. Students come out of their General Ed Room to receive instruction in this smaller, focused setting as determined by their Individual Education Plan, (IEP). Reading, Writing and Math are the primary content areas taught in the Resource Room.

● Co-taught inclusion classes : These classes are taught by two certified teachers – one General Education and the other a Special Education teacher. A paraprofessional may also assist the class. These classrooms are general education settings that provide special education instruction/support for students with IEPs.

● Para-supported Inclusion classes: These classes are taught by one General Education teacher. Some students receive support from a paraprofessional for all or part of the school day.

● Consultative model: Some students receive consultative (supportive) services in a General Education classroom from a Special Education teacher. Some students also receive Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy and/or other related services through the Department of Special Services.

● Students in all classes participate in all school-wide activities and programs.

Child Study Team

In conjunction with parents/guardians and teachers/staff, the Child Study Team,(CST), uses assessments to determine whether students are eligible for special education and/or related services. The CST works through the Department of Special Services and serves as an invaluable resource to our school community. Parents have the right to request a Child Study Team evaluation by emailing their request to referrals@somsd.k12.nj.us.

Section 504

A 504 plan ensures that students with disabilities have equal access to their education and the school environment under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504). 504 plans include but are not limited to issues pertaining to a student’s medical or cognitive needs that present the necessity of accommodations and modifications to the learning process. The SOMSD Section 504 FlowChart can be found here. The Assistant Principal is the 504 Coordinator for Seth Boyden. All 504 policies and forms can be found here.


A Special Education Parent Advisory Committee serves as a representative body on behalf of students with special educational needs and their families. The mission of SEPAC SOMA is to work collaboratively with the district to support every student with an Individualized Education Program, a 504 Plan or a special need.

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