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.
Eastchester SEPTA has over 260 members, of which 145 are teachers, administrators,and staff members!
In detail, some specifics for 2022-23
Advocacy and Guidance:
SEPTA continued to work with the District administration and BOE, holding regular meetings to ensure that our students and families are supported in this district, always known for its strong programming and acceptance.
Our Staff Overview Meeting was once again a very well attended meeting of the year with over 20 educators sharing strategies and overviews of their classes. We had vendors from recreational activities as well as one of our own Executive Board member Leah Moore on biases people have with those with disabilities as well as an invitation to view Intelligent Lives, a documentary about transition through the lives of three individuals. Zoom continues to be a strong platform for meeting attendance.
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 $6,000 and was great fun. SEPTA also spearheaded a fundraiser for the EHS's Music Department also held at Spillane’s. We participated and promoted our 2nd POLAR PLUNGE in November, raising over $13,000. In the spring, SEPTA’s “Light it Up Blue" campaign for autism awareness ran in the three elementary schools, with support from administration at each building, the Bleached Salon, EHS students, and the EHS Lacrosse team, bringing everyone out in blue for SEPTA.
Music therapy was underway for its 14th year, with SEPTA connecting a grant for $10,000 from the Community Fund via Concordia Conservatory for sessions at Waverly. We continued to provide music to AH, EMS, and EHS additionally supplementing classes with in conjunction with the Eastchester School Foundation. The Music Therapy Institute at the Westchester Conservatory of Music continues to bring our students this amazing therapy.
Canine Integrative Therapy continues to be offered at Anne Hutchinson, Waverly, EMS, & EHS. SEPTA with support from the Eastchester School Foundation and the Matthew DeMarco Foundation, provides this ever-popular therapy, now in its eleventh year with The Giving Retriever. 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."
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. We are always in search of local businesses to add to our list of “employers”.
After School Support:
SEPTA funded over $1,400 for monitor support at after school clubs including general clubs in order for our students to participate with their typical peers.
After School Clubs & Support of Sports Leagues:
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 23 special needs students with many different sport skills. This program enters it's 14th 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. We supported an amazing UNIFIED SPORTS basketball team bringing together our all-stars with peers from EHS to take on other Westchester teams, culminating in our final game and pizza party. Thank you to Coaches John Gibson & Kate McNamara.
Grants & Donations:
Special grants and donations to various school functions at all five Eastchester Schools for the school year totaled over $2,500.
This past June, SEPTA was honored to award scholarships totaling over $4,000 to deserving EHS seniors: 12 special education students who overcame obstacles to graduate from EHS and 6 general education students for standing out as mentors to all their peers. We also gave merit awards to 3 special needs for Achievement and 8 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 75 attendees, our Music therapist Lisa, our Canine therapist “EVER” and of course, SANTA! We secured NY Mets tickets at no cost for members for a fun family night out over the summer to watch them actually WIN!!