SEPTA has close to 300 members, of which 170 are staff members!
In detail, some specifics…2018-19
Our Staff Overview Meeting was once again our best meeting of the year with over 24 educators sharing strategies and overviews of their classes. We had wonderful parents and a graduate come in to discuss the transition process. We had ARC of Westchester come in to present on Special Needs Trusts and Transition Needs processes were once again tackled by Transitions coordinator, Lena Martino.
We started the year with our special education staff appreciation event at Tutta Bella. This event was attended by over 90 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 SEPTA ; 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. Finally, Binog and Brownies!! A huge success as always, selling over 315 tickets in less than four days!
Music therapy was underway for its 10th year, with SEPTA securing a 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 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 Co-president, Eleanor Evangelista.
Canine Therapy is offered at Anne Hutchinson, Waverly, EMS, and now, EHS.. SEPTA with support from the Eastchester School Foundation, The Eastchester 5K Committee and Focus for Health, has brought this program into it's eighth 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 are excited to see the EHSPTA expand this program in the future to include all HS students in the district who can benefit from this therapy that has supported our students on the Autistic Spectrum for all these years.
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.
After School Support:
SEPTA funded over $5000 for monitor support at after school clubs including Southeast Consortium “Kids in Motion" and general clubs in order for our students to participate with their typical peers.
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 10th 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 school year totaled $30,000.
This past June, SEPTA was honored to award scholarships totaling $5000 to deserving EHS seniors: 9 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 special needs for Achievement and 4 general education students in EMS for Outstanding Peer Mentorship.
Our fundraiser at Spillane’s is a family fun event as our faculty servers draw in so many of our students’ families coming in to see their teachers and staff at work for a good cause! Our Santa Brunch in December sold out again with over 100 attendees, our Music therapist Lisa, our Canine therapist Heidi and “Bleu” and of course, SANTA! The Eastchester 5K named SEPTA as one of it’s Beneficiaries in Sept 2018 so we encouraged our members to join the fun, providing snacks and delight in the way of four canine therapy dogs! We secured NY Mets tickets at no cost for members for a fun family night out over the summer last year and will sponsored a movie viewing called “Intelligent Lives”.chronicling the lives of three young adults with ID/DD.
SEPTA is an organization of interested parents, most with children receiving special services through the district, as well as special education faculty/administration who join together to help all our children reach their fullest potential. Special services range from resource room, classroom aides, occupational/speech therapy, special education classes in district and outside the district. Any parent of a child who receives special services should join SEPTA.