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On Thursday, February 16, 2012, Monmouth University’s School of Education hosted the third session of its Special Services Academy in the MAC Varsity Room. The session titled “Code Changes and Legal Implications,” had over thirty attendees from twenty-two different school districts.

Dr.  Lynn Romeo, dean of the School of Education at Monmouth, opened the session and introduced the main speaker, R. Armen Mc Omber, Esq., Board Attorney. Mr. Mc Omber spoke about legal issues and the IEP Process and provided his insights regarding collaborating with parents and gaining new knowledge.

Richard Conte, project administrator for Monmouth-Ocean Educational Services Commission, commented he felt the Academy was a great opportunity for networking, not just between special services professionals but between them and Monmouth as well. He said that “Dr. Romeo has always made opportunities available to let districts know what Monmouth is doing,” which is an integral part of the academy.

Mr. Mc Omber said that the “quality of attendees is excellent” and that they “are truly experts in their fields.” He felt he learned just as much from them as they did from him.

The Special Services Academy is an opportunity for dialogue and an exchange of ideas and experiences for directors of special services, learning disabilities teacher consultants, school psychologists, school social workers, and speech language specialists. Through collaboration with University administrators and faculty, the academy provides professional learning communities for members through sessions which focus on promoting reflective practice and positively impacting student and teacher learning. A network of support and resources for members has been established.

The first two sessions that were held addressed “Pre-referral Intervention/Strategies” and “Referral and Evaluation,” with a focus on autism. The last session of the Special Services Academy for this year, “Program and Placement,” will be held on Thursday, June 7, 2012.

Special Services personnel who are interested in learning more about the academy should call 732-571-7518 or e-mail

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Media contact: Petra Ludwig at 732-263-5507