January 8th Meeting Notes

Howard County SECAC Agenda

January 8, 2019 General Meeting 7:00pm-9:00pm

Wilde Lake Middle School Cafeteria


  1. Call to Order - 7:05pm
  2. Welcome and Introductions
    1. Purpose and Vision 

The Howard County Special Education Citizens Advisory Committee (SECAC) advises the school system on the needs of students with disabilities. We collaborate with other community disability advocacy groups to improve special education and the lives of our students in Howard County, MD.

  1. Approval of Minutes
    1. Action Required: Motion to approve minutes. See attached minutes

Motion made and seconded.  Minutes approved.  

  1. IEP Presentation: Stephanie Carr and Mai Hall
    1. See attached PDF at the bottom of the page for notes.
  2. Board Reports
    1. Co-Chair- 
      1. Advocate Night is tentatively Feb 5th.  Advocates have 15 minutes per parent -  will be sign up form.  
    2. Secretary - Awards Night
      1. Awards Night will be different this year.  There will be a selection committee.  The April SECAC meeting will be for Awards Night planning.  
    3. Member at Large
    4. Past Chair Advocacy Night
  3. Committee Reports
    1. Marcia Morales - Equity Policy Development - Draft next week, almost a year of work.  Going well.
    2. PTACHC -  Ho. Co. 23-20 Proposed legislation - Reporting on Student Data.  PTACHC concerned about volume of data being able to identify individual students.  PTACHC does not support.  
  4. Department of Special Education Reports
    1. Executive Director and staff - Dr. Terri Savage 
      1. Budget presentation 1/9 Dr. M at BOE
      2. Special Ed work session 1/30 - 1pm-4pm.  DSE Staff will be asked questions about the special ed budget.  
      3. Dyslexia -  met this week with parents.  
      4. Administrator series - DSE comes before all ES Principals and Asst. Principalss.  Addressing the needs with diverse needs.  Focused on behavior.  First one is completed.  The rest will be completed this week.  Discussing what they should be looking for in teachers.  
        1. Q - is there a way to know what teachers trainings are?
        2. A - DSE shares some generic info with the SECAC board but there is no public information about when those days are.  
      5. Some training is mandatory.  If they can’t do it, we will offer it another time.  
      6. Q - What is the best way for us to stand behind special educators?  

A - All of the above.  Here, bring friends, come to BOE meeting.  We want to hear the good and the bad.  Because we want to replicate the good things.

  1. Q - about PTA reps?  

A - Mai goes to PTACHC.  Get on a list, social media, talk to principals.  Beth emailed all PTA presidents again this year.  Got less responses than the year before.  

  1. Q - Programs for non-verbal children?  

Emily - Middle School Girls Night Out group came from a parent suggestion and help.  It’s once a month - crafts, games, staff is there.  Successful.  No therapy, just a social group.  

From the group - Children’s Development Class at CCBC.  Work with families with students with disabilities.   Children up to 14 years old.


  1. Trish Gunshore, Special Education Parent Liaison
    1. Parent’s guide to IEP vs 504 is almost ready for publishing.  Will bring copies to SECAC.
    2. Transportation workgroup has parents and staff guidelines to give to schools and guidelines to families as well.  
    3. After the Think College presentation in Sept question was asked about what do teachers know about our students.  Missy Baxter (HS Resource Teacher)  gave Professional Development to HS counselors training on certificate vs diploma this week.
  2. Family Support, Ann Scholz
    1. Parent Ambassadors - Talked about at the Dec meeting.  Pilot program and being expanded to other schools.  Parents volunteer to mentor other families.  Would mentor families in your school and nearby schools.
    2. Need student with IEP, help other families, attend 3 trainings (not yet scheduled but should be day and evening).  If you are interested, contact Ann after the meeting.  ann_scholz@hcpss.org
  3. Board of Education Reports, Vicky Cutroneo
    1. Budget presented at the 7pm meeting.  First public hearing is Jan 16th - sign up is available.  Jan 28th is second hearing.  Then BOE vote mid Feb, goes to County Exec, public hearing, then it goes to County Council and they do public hearings.  Vicky has been visiting schools and learning a lot.  
      Coffee and Convo - this Saturday at PLES 9:30-11.  Can talk one on one to each Board Member.  
    2. State Legislative session started today.  Lots of education related bills.  
  4. Next Meeting Dates
    1. February 12, 2020, March 11, 2020, April 15, 2020 - SECAC Awards planning, May 13, 2020, June 10, 2020
  5. Adjournment 9:07pm