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What's New in Our Community

Special Education Citizens Advisory Committee (SECAC)

Our next Special Education Citizens Advisory Committee (SECAC) meeting will be on Thursday, October 26 at 7PM.

*Meetings are hosted virtually in Zoom and Interpretation is available.

Information, videos and presentations from our monthly SECAC meetings are listed on the SECAC website.

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Transition - Adult Services Night

Adult Services Night will be held on Wednesday, October 25, 2023
Time: 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Location: Richard Montgomery HS Cafeteria
250 Richard Montgomery Drive, Rockville, MD
The meeting will include a presentation from:
  • The Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA)
  • The role of the Coordinator of Community Services in the TY process

Families will have a chance to speak with provider agencies regarding the services they offer.  *NO REGISTRATION REQUIRED FOR THIS MEETING!

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Family Support Center

MaryBeth Mantzouranis
Family Support Services Coordinator
Department of Special Education
Montgomery County Public Schools

Cell: 240- 753- 9487
Office: 240-740- 3900

Family Support Center staff are committed to provide information to parents and families to work as equal partners with MCPS.

MCPS Family Support Center seeks to:

  • Increase parental involvement in the early intervention and special education decision making process
  • Increase collaborative relationships through information and training
  • Assist families in resolving concerns and making informed decisions regarding their child's education
  • Provide information about disabilities and school system and community resources


Month of October


Kids Day Out begins on Monday, October 9

Register here for your child to participate in FREE organized out-of-school time fun, with well-planned and supervised activities.

Time: 8:30AM-4PM - Search for activity code # R05113 on



Our next SECAC Meeting is on Thursday, October 26!

Meeting Agenda | Agenda in Espanol


Special Education Citizens Advisory Committee (SECAC)

Join us each Thursday at the end of the month from 7:00- 9:00pm virtually in Zoom

*Interpretation is available.

SECAC is a committee made up of parents/guardians, Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) staff members, and representatives of Montgomery County community groups that advocate for students with special needs and serve to advocate for, and advise, the Office of Special Education. 

Please sign-up to and join our SECAC meetings! SECAC is open to everyone.

Please complete this form to help us plan future meetings and to receive emails.


Family Resources 


MSDE Parent Information Series

MSDE is proud to partner with families through the publication of their new Parent Information Series. These booklets provide essential information for families of students with disabilities from ages 3 through 21 on important topics that increase collaboration between home and school in planning for their child's education.


New! A Companion Guide to the Alternate Education Framework

MSDE is pleased to offer the latest in our Parent Information Series, A Companion Guide to the Alternate Education Framework. This guide provides information for families to better understand IEP team decisions around participating in the alternate state assessments and alternate academic achievement standards for our students with significant cognitive disabilities. We hope that this information assists our families in ensuring they have what they need to fully participate as equal partners in the decision making process.

Download the Booklet  |  Spanish Version


Special Education Process - Guide 1

The first booklet in the series takes the parent from referral through evaluation and eligibility determination. This booklet provides tips for the parent to understand their role in order to actively participate at each meeting for each process.

Download the Booklet  |  Spanish Version


Parental Rights - Guide 2

The second booklet in the series discusses some of the key elements in the Procedural Safeguards/Parental Rights Handbook that parents are given during annual review and other IEP team meetings. It explains their legal rights in clear terms and is a companion (not replacement) to the larger Brochure.

Download the Booklet  |  Spanish Version


Understanding the IEP - Guide 3

This booklet takes parents through each section of the IEP and briefly explains what should be there and why. There are some legal requirements explained, as well as things the parent should expect from their IEP teams.

Download the Booklet  |  Spanish Version


Secondary Transition - Guide 4

The final booklet in the series provides parents with information about secondary transition. It is fairly comprehensive and includes information about other agencies and services that students may engage with once they leave high school. It also provides parents and students with tips and steps that they can take to facilitate this important transition.

Download the Booklet  |  Spanish Version


Contact: Alison Barmat
Department of Early Intervention/Special Education Services
Office: (410) 767-7770


Organizations, Academies, and Programs


The Down Syndrome Network of Montgomery County (DSNMC)

The Down Syndrome Network of Montgomery County serves individuals with Down syndrome and their families in Montgomery County, MD and the surrounding region.

The DSNMC helps people with Down syndrome lead self-determined lives. They do this through education and support programs, advocacy, and initiatives that span the lives of individuals with Down syndrome from birth through adulthood. 

They also provide information and support to professionals who work with individuals with Down syndrome.



Partnership for Extraordinary Minds- xMinds

xMinds is a collaborative partnership of parents, educators, and service providers working together to improve the educational experience and outcomes for autistic students in Pre-K–12 education in Montgomery County, MD.


Maryland Coalition of Families

Maryland Coalition of Families (MCF) is a state-wide nonprofit dedicated to connecting, supporting and empowering families who are experiencing behavioral health challenges. 

They also advocate to improve services and systems that impact individuals with behavioral health challenges and to reduce stigma related to behavioral health.



Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC)

SEAC is comprised of parents/guardians, Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) staff members, and representatives of Montgomery County community groups that advocate for students with special needs and serve to advocate for, and advise, the Office of Special Education.

SEAC hosts a 2-hour meeting each month, open to everyone. Parents, families, advocates, educators are all encouraged to participate each month through the academic year.


Parent Academy - To Go


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As our school district continues to navigate through COVID-19, we want our families and students to remain engaged with us throughout the school year. Student, Family and School Services is very excited to provide "Parent Academy TO GO," a series of virtual presentations for families to participate and view at home.  

Parent Academy TO GO is designed to inform and empower families as advocates and partners in their children's education. Workshops provide families with useful information and resources to support their children's academic and emotional well-being, as well as help them to be college and career ready. Through a variety of learning opportunities hosted by MCPS staff and community partners, we hope to strengthen our engagement with families and the community. We recognize that behind every successful student are supportive families, teachers, school staff and community members who take an active role in educating our students.


Parental Rights, Resolution, and Compliance 


What parental rights do I have regarding the IEP? 

The Maryland State Department of Education has developed Division of Early Intervention and Special Education Services Parent’s Guide to Understanding Your Individualized Education Program (IEP) Rights and Responsibilities in Maryland which summarizes all rights that parents have such as notice, disagreement, participation, and copies of certain documentation.

If you have further questions regarding your parental rights, you may refer to the Parental Rights, Maryland Procedural Safeguards Notice, contact your child’s case manager at the school, or contact the Resolution and Compliance Unit at 240-740-3230.

Resolution and Compliance Unit


MSDE Family Support and Dispute Resolution Branch

MSDE Family Support Section of the Family Support and Dispute Resolution Branch, responds to parent inquiries, assists parents with navigating Maryland's early intervention and special education systems, and provides parents with school system resources.

Special Education State Complaint Resolution Procedures

State Complaint Form (Birth - 3 Individualized Family Service Plan or 4 if extended Individualized Family Service Plan)

State Complaint Form (3 - 21 Individualized Family Service Program)

Request for Mediation/Due Process Form

Listing of Free or Low Cost Assistance for Special Education Disputes

Parent Information Series on Procedural Safeguards

Procedural Safeguards/Parent Rights Brochure

A Parent’s Guide to Frequently Asked Questions about Special Education State Complaints

A Parent's Guide to Frequently Asked Questions about Special Education Mediation

A Parent's Guide to Frequently Asked Questions about Special Education Due Process Complaints

IDEA Dispute Resolution Processes Comparison Chart


Thank you for attending our Special Education Resource Fair on Saturday, April 29th

Our Special Education Community Resource Fair was held on Saturday, April 29th from 9:00 am- 12:00 pm at Gaithersburg High School. This year's fair hosted representatives from MCPS as well as from community organizations to learn about the many resources available to support you and your family! This event included activities for the children too- a petting zoo, tattoos & face painting, and the opportunity to make a craft. A very special thank you to all who were involved and attended this wonderful event. We look forward to seeing you next year for even more fun and resources!