Parent Support

The families of students who attend the Stepping Stones School are a critical component to the success of their children and our program. From the beginning of each school year, families are encouraged to attend various school activities which provide parents with a window into how their child spends each day. The Stepping Stones School is a comprehensive resource to parents for providing guidance, education, and information support. The goal of these resources are to help parents carry out strategies applied during the classroom; gain knowledge on how to navigate systems; and, become the most effective advocate for your child.

Experience has shown that by collaborating with families through various means such as daily communication logs, multiple parent conferences during the school year, open houses, open door policy, monthly parent support groups, and regular “homework” assignments, parents are more successful in implementing strategies utilized in the classroom thus effectively contributing to their child’s learning process. Often, parents will learn how to develop their own strategies to help their child reach his/her optimum level of success.

Through education sessions focusing on effective IEP development, negotiating the myriad of government systems, financial resources, and best practice approaches to managing a child with developmental needs, parents leave the Stepping Stones School with a wealth of knowledge and are confidently prepared to be the most effective advocate for their child.

In addition to the groups held during school sessions, the following are also available:

The Arc of Essex County Parent Support Group  


Through The Arc of Essex County’s North Jersey Parent Support Group, education, resources, and support are provided to families with the goal of helping each member to become the most effective advocate for their child. Led by a licensed clinical social worker, topics vary depending on the needs of the families as well as timely pertinent issues. Some recent topics have included: estate planning, education law, parent rights, speech therapy, sign language, resources, medical professionals, sensory integration and more. For interest in attending a parent support group, please contact Judy Bellina at 973-535-1181 ext.1223.

Dad’s Night Out


Dad’s night out is an evening program that is facilitated by our Stepping Stones Principal. This program provides an opportunity for Stepping Stones dads to come together one evening each month. The meeting takes place at the school, a restaurant or another agreed upon location. Annually, the dads decorate the multi-purpose room in anticipation of our holiday party the next morning and also for graduation. There is much camaraderie and a sharing of experiences, knowledge and resources gained by being a dad or grandpa of a child with special needs.

Early Intervention Support Group


To meet the varying needs of parents, caregivers, and extended family members, The Stepping Stones Early Intervention Program offers parent groups during program operations on most Tuesdays and Thursdays. For students who are transitioning out of the program, our social worker will spend time with the family provide them with information on the various state and local systems that would benefit their child. For interest in attending a parent support group, please contact Judy Bellina at 973-535-1181 ext.1223.