Special Services



Director of Special Services

Mr. Robert Koroski

Director of Special Services



Mrs. Gwen Spoerl

Confidential Secretary to the Director of Special Services
gspoerl@mendhamtwp.org
973-543-7107 ext. 248



Ms. Michelline Cote

Learning Disabilities Teacher/Consultant
mcote@mendhamtwp.org
973-543-7107 ext. 247



Mrs. Peggy Goldenberg
School Psychologist
pgoldenberg@mendhamtwp.org
973-543-7107 ext. 294




Mrs. Kathleen Ruskin
Social Worker
kruskin@mendhamtwp.org
973-543-7107 ext. 229






Mrs. Michele Ippolito
School Psychologist
mippolito@mendhamtwp.org
973-543-2505 ext. 237


The Office of Special Services strives to improve educational performance and life skills of all students with disabilities through appropriate involvement with their peers in the academic setting and involvement within the community. Our goal is to help students with disabilities acquire skills to assume responsibilities within their community and the ability to care for their own environment.

As always, if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact the office.

CST Resource Page

The CST Resource Page is a place for parents and community members to gain valuable information and resources from the Mendham Township Child Study Team. Information on this page will assist parents in many areas including; parenting support, executive functioning and social skills.
From our School Psychologists:
Resources:
Please see the attachments and links below for information and resources to support your student(s)
while working with them at home.




New Jersey has recently released a website for parents that addresses the many stages of Early Childhood.
There are many outstanding resources on the website and these are just a few of the topics covered;
parenting, early learning, development, and health.
You can visit the website by using the following link www.njparentlink.nj.gov

Anxiety and nervousness are common feelings that many children deal with and can appear in the form of worry, apprehension, dread, fear or distress. The link below shares a lot of great information on anxiety in children and supporting their needs.


From our Learning Consultant:
What are Executive Functions? How can we improve these skills? How does Executive Functioning impact learning?
Read the attached article to answer these questions and learn how to better support our learners.
For more information on Executive Functioning please visit the links below.
From our Social Worker:

Speech Therapy

WELCOME TO SPEECH-LANGUAGE THERAPY
children speaking
If you are concerned about your child's speech and/or language skills, it is recommended that you initially discuss your concerns with your child's teacher to determine the necessity of a referral. Any referrals for speech-language evaluations should be directed to the Director of Special Services, Mr. Robert Koroski at rkoroski@mendhamtwp.org or (973) 543-7107 ext. 223

Ms. Caitlin Delaney
Speech-Language Therapist
Mendham Township Middle School
(973)543-2505 x233

Mrs. Maureen Hengst
Speech-Language Therapist
Mendham Township Elementary School
(973)543-7107 x235

children holding hands

Click on the links below to learn more about speech-language delays and disorders.

Typical Speech & Language Development: http://www.asha.org/public/speech/development/

Articulation Disorders: http://www.asha.org/public/speech/disorders/speechsounddisorders.htm

Language Disorders: http://www.asha.org/public/speech/disorders/ChildSandL.htm

Helpful Information

Helpful Information and Resources for Parents:
The Benefits of a Pet for Children
The link below is from Medical News Today. In the article, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention share research on the benefits of pets supporting the health of children.

The link below will direct you to Morris County P.A.C.E, an organization devoted to parent support and advocacy.

The P.A.C.E website is filled with resources and opportunities to support our learners.

The link below provides an overview of the Morris County Project Life Saver ... offering a creative method to ensure a proactive response by law enforcement for children who may wander away from home due to a cognitive impairment, autism, etc. See attached link for more information as well as an application.

Child Find

CHILD FIND

All Morris County school districts offer varied educational programs and services for students ages three (3) to 21. Parents or other appropriate persons may refer children who are experiencing significant difficulties.

Child Study Team services are available to children age three (3) to 21. Children experiencing physical, sensory, emotional, communication, cognitive and/or social difficulties may be eligible for special education and related services. Parents should contact their district Child Study Team office for further information. Babies from birth to three (3), who are thought to have a developmental delay, may receive assistance from the Early Intervention Program. To access this service, parents should contact the Service Coordinator for Early Intervention at 973-971-4155.

If parents are concerned about their school age child’s progress, they should feel free to discuss such issues with their child’s teacher, guidance counselor and/or principal. Parents have the option of making a referral to the Intervention and Referral Services (I&RS) committee or to the Child Study Team (CST). The I&RS offers intervention procedures that are provided within the regular education school program. At times, however, more extensive interventions that can be provided in a regular education setting are necessary to assist the student. If the decision is made to undertake a full Child Study Team evaluation, the child’s social, emotional and academic status may be assessed. Medical or other specialized evaluations may be included in the assessment at no cost to the parent. If a child is determined to be eligible for special education and related services, an individualized Education Program (IEP) is developed, which includes a rationale for the student’s educational placement and the basis for the program implementation.

The following is a listing of county Child Study Team offices/phone numbers. For further assistance, contact your local district.

Boonton Township Schools

973-334-4162 ext. 370

Boonton Public Schools

973-316-9230

Butler School District

973-492-2070 ext. 309

Chester Public Schools

908-879-6004

Florham Park Schools

908-822-3888 ext. 4006

Hanover Park Regional High School District

973-887-6308

Harding Township Schools

973-267-6398 ext. 112

Jefferson Township Schools

973-697-3535 ext. 5885

Kinnelon Public Schools

973-838-1418 ext.112, 113

Long HillTownship Schools

908-647-1201 ext. 2227

Madison School District

973-593-3153

Mendham Borough Schools

973-543-4175

Mendham Township

973-543-7107 ext. 223

Mine Hill Public Schools

973-366-0590

Montville Township Public Schools

973-808-8580

Morris Hills High School

973-664-2324

Morris Plains School District

973-538-1650

Morris School District

973-292-2300 ext. 2041

Mountain Lakes Public School District

973-334-2587

Mt. Arlington Public School

973-398-4400

Netcong School District

973-347-0020

Pequannock Township Public Schools

973-616-6067

Randolph Public Schools

973-361-0808 ext. 6

RiverdalePublic School District

973-839-1300 ext 19

Rockaway Township Public Schools

973-627-8200,ext. 218

Rockaway Borough Schools

973-625-8605

School District of the Chathams

973-635-9455

Wharton Public Schools

973-361-3010 ext.327

PACSS Presentations & Meetings

For Information on presentations and meetings held by PACSS, please see the information and event details below.

2016 -2017 Meetings

January 2017
Presentation on Social Emotional Learning
by MTSD School Counselors
Ms. Perrotta and Ms. Probert
Please access the links below to view presentation and resources
2015 - 2016 Meetings
January 27th Mindfulness presentation by CST
For a copy of Ms. Cote's presentation please click on the link below
2014 - 2015 Meetings

October 15th at 9:15 PACSS General Meeting & Intro to 2014-2015 School Year by Mr. Koroski and CST

December 17th at 9:15 General meeting and presentation by Miche Cote and Michele Ippolito on Executive Functions/Mindfulness

February 27th at 9:15 General Meeting & Presentation by Dr. Liz Matheis on Social Skills and Anxiety

April 30th at 9:15 General Meeting & Presentation by Dr. David Leigh, Director of Special Services at WMRHS,

High School Transition

June 4th at 9:15 General Meeting & End of Year Wrap Up/School Year 2015-2016

2013 - 2014 Meetings
December 5, 2013 at 9:30 am Dr. Ken Gates on “Enhancing Executive Functioning in Everyday Life”

February 27, 2014 at 9:15 am PACSS General Meeting and workshop. Presentation by Mr. Do, Executive VP and Chief Strategy Officer for Merk & Co.

Mr. Do will be speaking on "How Executive Functions are Critical to Workplace Success."

April 7, 2014 at 3:00 at the MT Middle School and 4:00 at the MT Elementary School Faculty presentation/workshop

May 8, 2014 at 9:15 am PACSS General Meeting and workshop. This workshop portion will focus on an Introduction to Mindfulness.

To view a video of the presentation by Mr. Do on "How Executive Functions are Critical to Workplace Success",
please click on the link below or copy and paste the address into you web browser.

PACSS Mindfulness

PACSS FOCUS ON EXECUTIVE FUNCTIONS AND MINDFULNESS


What are Executive Functions?

While there is no formal definition of executive functions, it is an umbrella term for various complex processes in the brain that together orchestrate such functions such as organizing, planning, decision-making,self-control, the ability to shift attention, time management, memory of details and so on.

For further information, we suggest visiting these other sites and resources**:

http://www.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev-psych-113011-143750

http://www.webmd.com/add-adhd/executive-function

http://developingchild.harvard.edu/resources/multimedia/videos/inbrief_series/inbrief_executive_function/

http://www.autismspeaks.org/family-services/tool-kits/asperger-syndrome-and-high-functioning-autism-tool-kit/executive-functioni

  • What is Mindfulness?

In his book, The Mindful Brain, Daniel J. Siegel, Director of the Mindsight Institute,Co-Director of the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center provides the following description:

Mindfulness in its most general sense is about waking up from a life on automatic, and being sensitive to novelty in our everyday experiences. With mindful awareness the flow of energy and information that is our mind enters our conscious attention and we can both appreciate its contents and come to regulate its flow in a new way. Mindful awareness, as we will see, actually involves more than just simply being aware: It involves being aware of aspects of the mind itself. Instead of being on automatic and mindless, mindfulness helps us awaken, and by reflecting on the mind we are enabled to make choices and thus change becomes possible.

Being mindful is not only being aware, it is being aware of awareness. It is approaching the present experience with a reflective awareness including the qualities of curiosity, openness, acceptance, and love. http://www.pbs.org/thebuddha/teachers-guide/

"While there are many definitions of mindfulness, the definition I use with children and adolescents is: Mindfulness is paying attention to your life, here and now, with kindness and curiosity. One of the primary ironies of modern education is that we ask students to “pay attention” dozens of times a day, yet we never teach them how.The practice of mindfulness teaches students how to pay attention, and this way of paying attention enhances both academic and social-emotional learning.”

http://www.mindfuleducation.org/mindfulnessforchildren.pdf


“Mindfulness training emphasizes focused attention to internal and external experiences in the present moment and time without judgment.”

For further information,we suggest visiting these other sites and resources**:

http://www.psychologytoday.com/basics/mindfulness

http://blogs.hbr.org/2012/10/mindfulness-helps-you-become-a/

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/03/fashion/mindfulness-and-meditation-are-capturing-attention.html

http://wordplay.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/10/28/calculus/

Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation by Daniel Segal; http://www.amazon.com/Mindsight-New-Science-Personal-Transformation/dp/0553386395/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1384610448&sr=1-1&keywords=dan+siegel

Sitting Still Like a Frog: Mindfulness Exercisesfor Kids (and their Parents) byEline Snel, Myla Kabat-Zinn and Jon Kabat-Zinn; http://www.amazon.com/Sitting-Still-Like-Frog-Mindfulness/dp/1611800587/ref=sr_1_15?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1384610200&sr=1-15&keywords=mindfulness

In this short youtube video, Dan Harris explains the use of meditation and the science behind it, helping us to become more aware of the benefits of mindfulness/meditation. www.youtube.com/watch?v=FAcTIrA2Qhk
    How are executive function and mindfulness related?

    Mindful awareness training develops concentration and regulation of attention thereby contributing to improved executive functioning processes. Mindfulness enables the individual to develop the emotional regulation to manage and carry out executive functions most effectively. http://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ880516

    Useful Links


    The Office of Special Services strives to improve educational performance and life skills of all students with disabilities through appropriate involvement with their peers in the academic setting and involvement within the community. Our goal is to help students with disabilities acquire skills to assume responsibilities within their community and the ability to care for their own environment.

    For a copy of N.J.A.C. 1:6A – New Jersey Administrative Code, Title 1, Chapter 6A – Special Education, please click Title 6A Code.

    For a copy of New Jersey Department of Education Parental Rights in Special Education, please click Parental Rights in Special Education.