Press Releases

New SEPAC Helps Improve Communication

The Livingston Public Schools Special Education Parent Advisory Committee, known as SEPAC, has gotten off to a successful start and is working to improve communication between Livingston Public Schools and the parents of special needs students, according to Lawrence W. Russell Jr., Assistant Superintendent of Student Services and Instruction for Livingston Public Schools.

“I think the parents were looking for an avenue to have open dialogue with the school administration and I think we met that goal,” Russell said. “We hope to continue to serve as a communication and information forum for all parents of special needs children in the School District.”

The committee meets monthly and has met five times since its formation. “We are really trying to increase the level of communication between parents and school staff,” Russell said. The next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday Sept. 28th in the media center at Heritage Middle School.

Sign Up for E-News

SEPAC, which works with the Parents & Professionals for Exceptional Children, formed in January and has gotten off to a strong start, he said. “SEPAC fulfills the State Department of Education requirement to facilitate communication between New Jersey School Districts and parents of special education students in the districts.

“Our biggest responsibility is to give parents information on how to navigate the special education system in the School District and the State,” Russell said. “This helps parents who have students placed out-of-district keep in touch with their home school. We help to educate parents about which services are available from the District.”

SEPAC acts as a resource for parents and as a liaison between parents and the schools and the parents and the District. “We try to come up with ideas to make the District more inclusive,” he said. “We put programs and services in place and also try to bring some students back into the District who were placed in out-of-district special education private schools.”

Livingston Public Schools now offers a special program for autism students at Mount Pleasant Elementary School, he noted as an example.

SEPAC is also working on developing a special education parent handbook. Russell said he also plans to start a twice yearly or bi-annual newsletter to keep parents better informed about the committee’s actions. He plans to issue the first one later this summer.

SEPAC consists of 21 parent voting members with two representatives chosen from each school, one chosen by the principal and another by the PTA/HSA. Livingston places 128 special needs students out-of-district and educates 800 special needs students in the District overall. Its mission is to foster increased communication of services and information for families of children with special education needs, facilitate and foster parent involvement in parent education resources and foster and promote inclusionary special education settings for all students. It is also seeks to provide advisory information to the Livingston Board of Education.

Russell said he also plans to start a twice yearly or bi-annual newsletter to keep parents better informed about the committee’s actions.

Parent Wendy Slavitt said she is pleased to be a member of SEPAC.  “Knowing that Larry Russell and the District are behind the SEPAC and what it stands for is very important. I really feel that we as a community have come a long way in a relatively short time period.”

Since SEPAC is so new, many parents are not aware of it and do not know what its’ goals are, Slavitt noted.  “I believe that it would be a great benefit to spread the word and let people know more about the group including who each school’s contacts are and that each principal has an interest in supporting the group.”

Slavitt said she is also pleased with the way Heritage Middle School Principal Pat Boland holds periodic meetings with parents of special needs students to keep them informed. “It has been a great dialogue and allows parents to voice concerns and ask questions,” she said.  “I think that more of these types of events held with SEPAC could make a positive impact on families at each school as well as the District as a whole.”

Heritage Middle School Principal Pat Boland, a committee member, said she thinks that SEPAC benefits everyone involved. “Being able to hear the concerns as well as being able to share what works well within the schools will help all of us address the needs of our special education students throughout the District,”  Boland said. “SEPAC has given us the forum to have a continuous dialogue.”

Harrison Elementary Principal Cynthia Healy, who sits on the committee, said she is very pleased to be a part of the new group. “I think it is a great start to have everybody come together and discuss issues that are important to all of the stake holders,” she said. “I think it is great to have a lot of people sitting down and talking about what is best for kids.”

For more information on SEPAC, visit the Livingston Public Schools website at

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Lola's Buy 1 Regular Soft Serve Cone or Cup, Get One 50% Off With Coupon

May 26, 2018

FAIRFIELD, NJ - Lola's Ice Cream and Sweet Shoppe is offering Buy One Regular Soft Serve Cone or Cup, Get One 50% Off with coupon. Lola's Sprinkles are always FREE! 

The coupon expires on June 18, 2018, and coupon offers cannot be combined. All guests must present this coupon to redeem.

Lola's Ice Cream and Sweet Shoppe is located at 244 Route 46 East ...

Free Flavors Soft Serve Ice Cream (Jr. Cup or Cone) With Coupon

Fairfield, NJ - Flavors Homemade Ice Cream is offering a FREE soft serve ice cream (jr. cup or cone) when you spend $10 or more with coupon.

Flavors Homemade Is located at 653 Rt 46 West (1.98 mi) in Fairfield, New Jersey 07004 next to Jose Tejas.

*Homemade Ice Cream

*Italian Ice


*Fresh waffles 

*ice ...

Upcoming Events


Tue, May 29

Essex County

Primary – Vote by Mail deadline


Tue, June 5

Essex County




Wed, June 6, 7:00 PM

Livingston Public Library, Livingston

Mindfulness Approach to Stress

Health & Wellness

Philip Roth's Childhood Home Still Stands in Newark

May 26, 2018

NEWARK, NJ — The house at 81 Summit Avenue in Newark's Weequahic neighborhood is otherwise unremarkable expect for a sign attached to its faux flagstone facade noting that the home has been designated a historic site—the childhood home of celebrated author Philip Roth, who died Tuesday at the age of 85.

There were no crowds outside the home to pay homage to ...

Still Time to Register for Livingston's Fall Intown Soccer

May 14, 2018

LIVINGSTON, NJ — Although a late fee may be applied as of May 13, registration is still open for the Fall 2018 Intown Soccer season in Livingston, including the high school co-ed program.

Livingston Soccer Club's (LSC) Intown program is all about sportsmanship, making friends, getting some exercise and learning a bit about soccer along the way. LSC provides the following ...

10-Year-Old Cancer Patient Receives Donation from Randolph Hockey Family

May 21, 2018

RANDOLPH, NJ — While the inter-town hockey battles on the ice between Randolph and Roxbury are fierce at every age level, when it comes to real-life battles off the ice, there is no hesitation to offer help to their neighbor.

Such is the case with a recent gesture of unity and support from the members of the Randolph varsity hockey team, when they came together to ...

A Royal Pain

I went to a big wedding over the weekend.  It was in England.

I like to think I was invited, but according to the Royal Guards and the Thames Valley Police I was not.  But more about that later.

You see, not too long ago I received an evite addressed to me from H&  Curiously, it was in my spam folder with a warning message. For an evite it was pretty ...