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Eastchester SEPTA

Special Education PTA

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Eastchester SEPTA has close to 300 members, of which 174 are staff members! 




  • Held our after school club that brought in over 35 volunteer coaches from EMS/EHS, held music therapy with EMS volunteers coming in from their lunch periods to participate in & started sessions in the HS as well.


  • We held a successful joint meeting with the HS in November on study skills for all students.  


  • In April, Autism awareness month, we also held our BLUE Day, asking the students to wear blue and donate $1 to charities that aid families with special needs.


  • We brought in Irvine and Eleanor — therapy dog into AH splitting costs with the  Eastchester School Foundation & followed up by bringing them over to Waverly in the Spring.  


  • We sponsored a trip for EMS and EHS students to Lincoln Center for Up & Away which was featured on NBC News and sent the HS Intensive needs class to the circus, as well as the EMS Intensive needs class to the Radio City Christmas Show.


  • Waverly received a massive amount of supplies for a sensory grant that was divided by WVPTA, the ESF and SEPTA.


In Detail, some specifics…

Meetings: Our Staff Overview Meeting was once again our best meeting of the year and our Resource Fair in the spring was very well attended by both vendors and parents.  We had wonderful parents and a graduate come in to discuss the transition process and had Dr. Christina Hift share her knowledge on treating children with special needs.


Staff Appreciation:

We started the year with our special education staff appreciation event at Tutta Bella.  This event was attended by over 70 special education teachers and school administrators. This annual event is SEPTA's way of acknowledging the unwavering support and dedication of the special education staff and administrators in our district. A beautiful autumn afternoon was enjoyed by all.



Our Spillane “guest bartending” fundraiser was very well attended, raised close to $5,000 and was great fun.  In the spring, SEPTA’s “Light it Up Blue" campaign for autism awareness ran in the three elementary schools, raising over $800 which was donated to the EHS Stay Awake-A-Thon and SEPTA after school clubs. Our "Blue Hair Extensions" at Salon Atelier for the month of April was also very well attended and raised $500.  Mini calendars were once again available and we participated in the Lord and Taylor Shop & Do Good days held in the fall and the spring. 


Music Therapy:

Music therapy was underway for its 6th year, with SEPTA securing another grant for $10,000 from ASCAP and supplementing additional classes with grant funds from the Eastchester School Foundation. The Westchester Arts Council also contributed allowing the program to expand to the HS.  The district & The Music Therapy Institute received an award on behalf of the district and SEPTA at Lincoln Center at the ASCAP Foundation awards in December, accepted by Dr. Noreen Urso.


Canine Therapy:

Canine Therapy is offered at both Anne Hutchinson and Waverly. SEPTA with support from the Eastchester School Foundation, has brought this program into it's second year in the district. The program brings "Therapeutic Assistance Dog Training" into the Special Needs classrooms. "Students work collaboratively to train the Assistance Dogs while practicing life skills: focus, concentration, patience, timing-sequencing, planning, teamwork and cooperation." We hope to expand this program in the future to include all students in the district who can benefit from this therapy.   


School to Work:

SEPTA supported our School to Work program whereby local businesses hire our high school students to work and SEPTA funded the student's’ stipend each month.


Technology grants exceeded $5,000  in the way of apps, iPads, Chromebooks plus online library subscriptions to Tumblebooks for all three elementary schools and the middle school. 


After School Support:

SEPTA funded over $5000 for monitor support at after school clubs including Southeast Consortium “Kids in Motion".  


After School Clubs:

SEPTA ran another successful Backyard Sports Club for WV, Anne Hutch and the Middle School students - enlisting over 35 volunteer coaches from the MS and HS to assist 21 special needs students with many different sport skills. This program enters it's 5th year and continues to be a unique opportunity for the students in our district to practice their skills in a fun, safe and supportive environment.


Grants & Donations:

Special grants and donations to various school functions at all five Eastchester Schools for the 2015-16 school year totaled $30,000.  Includes a subscription to the online site/library Tumblebooks for WV, GV, AH, & EMS.



This past June, SEPTA was honored to award scholarships totaling $4,500 to deserving EHS seniors: 4 special education students who overcame obstacles to graduate from EHS and 4 general education students for standing out as mentors to all their peers. We also gave merit awards to 4 General ed students in EMS for Outstanding Peer Mentorship.