We have an active community of families with special needs students at Bethesda Elementary and, together with the PTA, we work to help provide a support network for parents and the best possible experience for our students.  

The BE Special Needs mailing list distributes information that may be of interest to BE families with special needs, with or without a 504 Plan or IEP.  The mailing list is opt-in and is managed by PTA Special Needs VP Mai Nguyen. You only need to sign up once during the duration of your time at BE.

What kind of information would you receive by joining this mailing list?

Several times a month, subscribers may receive information and resources such as:

  • free virtual events hosted by Smithsonian museums and other organizations for children with special needs
  • free workshops on special needs financial planning and the IEP process
  • information on sports and recreational programs for children with special needs, including Montgomery County Department of Recreation special needs resources
  • details on upcoming MCPS Special Education Advisory Committee meetings
  • Parenting Special Needs magazine and other online newsletters/resources for parents and families
  • BE-specific information on special needs accommodations for students with special needs at BE PTA-sponsored events
  • invitations to and details about annual BE Special Education Family Night (date TBD)

How do you sign up?

In the A to Z Connect app, open the drop-down menu at the top left and go to “My Account”, then “My Groups & Subscriptions” and under “Your Subscription Lists” select “Special Needs”.

Here are a list of some of the things we have been working on recently:

  • Working on a pilot to bring Best Buddies to BE
  • Working with Disability Inclusion Guild to coordinate activities for inclusion month (December 2017)
  • Successful collaboration with PTA STEM and Education chairs to obtain a grant from the KID Museum and Google to develop inclusive “maker carts” filled with Legos, circuits, and other STEM materials that can be adapted to kids of all ages and abilities.
  • Quiet room at Multicultural Night

Helpful Links:

Pediatric Development Center has lots of free workshops for parents.

Arc of Montgomery County runs a great series of free workshops called Tools for School that is specific to parents of MCPS kids.

Parents’ Place of Maryland is an organization whose mission is to support families of children with disabilities.  They have a free conference coming up on 5/20 called Powerful Parents – Pulling It All Together:  Coordinating Care for Your Child with Special Needs.

Parent Encouragement Program (PEP) is a nonprofit, educational organization provides classes, events and other educational resources to parents and all who care for children, toddlers through teens.

Parent Child Journey—Programs led by Dr. Dan Shapiro are designed to help parents identify the source of their child’s challenging behavior and learn what they can do about it. 

Parent Academy workshops give parents tips and tools to help their children succeed in school.