The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District in collaboration with the Santa Monica-Malibu PTA Council Special Education Committee (SEDAC) and Special Education District Advisory Committee, will hold their third forum to address various issues in the area of Special Education.

This year’s fall forum will be held at the John Adams Middle School cafeteria on Saturday, Oct. 24, from 8 a.m. to noon. The forum is one of the many ways to reach out to parents/guardians and to provide information to parents regarding district programs and services for their children.

The theme of the forum is “Strategies for Successful Learning for All Students” and will focus on students who may need additional assistance in literacy and how parents can help them at home in reading and other subject areas.

The keynote speakers will be Dr. Doug Fisher and Dr. Nancy Frey who are co-directors of the California State University’s Reading Research Center. Both of them are university professors, researchers and well-known authors.

Parents also will have the opportunity to hear from teachers and staff regarding their experiences with and strategies for helping their children in the areas of reading and writing, mathematics, and positive behavior, as well as information for parents whose children receive intensive services. Additionally, the 2009 edition of the bilingual Special Education Parent Handbook, “For Parents By Parents,” will be introduced and available.

The district’s new director of special education, Dr. Sara Woolverton, will conclude the forum with a discussion of what parents can do if they believe their children need extra help in school.

The forum and other initiatives are in response to parent and community concerns and recommendations contained in the March 2008 Independent Evaluation of the SMMUSD Special Education Program and recommendations from the Working Group issued in April 2009. SMMUSD Superintendent Tim Cuneo has been spearheading the efforts under a district-wide umbrella called the “SMMUSD Special Education Collaborative — Working Collaboratively for 21st Century Special Education Students.” The district has been working in partnership with SEDAC and the PTA Council Special Education Committee.

For more information, contact the SMMUSD at (310) 450-8338.

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