WPS-SEPAC-Logo-WEB

Woburn SEPAC

Woburn SEPAC Statement on School Committee Member Comments

During Asst. Superintendent Courtney Young’s Mid Year Data Update at the Wednesday, April 27 School Committee meeting, comments were made by a School Committee member that the Woburn SEPAC Board would like to address.

While commenting on below-grade-level statistics for sixth graders, School Committee member Patricia Chisholm said the following:

“Those are the kids that I’m worried about, the kids that are going mainstream, just kind of going through the middle and they’re toddling, and they’re not getting the extra from where they need to do. [Because] our bright students are going to excel because they’re going to be pushed because they’re driven to do that. And the lower ones are going to get the attention because they’re going to make sure they’re on IEPs and they have all the extra help. It’s those middle kids that I’m worried about.”

While we understand and share Ms. Chisholm’s concerns for students in the middle, we’re disappointed at her seeming lack of understanding of what services are afforded to Woburn students on IEPs. And her referring to students with disabilities and learning differences as “lower ones” is, frankly, offensive. And it hurts our hearts to hear.

Given the number of years Ms. Chisholm has served Woburn as a member of the School Committee, we expect more. More understanding of the difficulties students on IEPs and 504s have faced in recent years with regards to obtaining the services these plans promise. And more empathy. To so naturally and conversationally refer to students with disabilities in Woburn as “lower ones” speaks to a lack of compassion for our kids who need more.

Ms. Chisholm, as an experienced member of the School Committee, is in a position to push for expanded services and resources for the students in Woburn who need the most. We’re hoping she’ll do that moving forward, and we invite her to reach out to the SEPAC board for suggestions on how to be a better ally.

We see many School Committee members at our monthly meetings and we’re so grateful for their continued support as we work together to advocate for families of students in Woburn with disabilities. We hope Ms. Chisholm will join us in that advocacy as well.

Sincerely,

The Woburn SEPAC Board
Elissa Milto, President
Julie Cotton, Vice President
Adam Chapman, Treasurer
………………………………………………………………………………………..

SEPAC Speaker Series continues Jen Mahon on Better Communication with the School District

Get her Ready Set Routine notes here

Date: Wednesday, May 4
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Location: Zoom

Meeting ID: 927 5492 4901
Passcode: 913432
One tap mobile
+16465588656

 

Join us on Wednesday, May 4 for the continuation of our SEPAC Speaker Series.

Woburn-based educational advocate Jen Mahon will join us to facilitate a discussion related to fostering better communication with the school district. We’ll also discuss news of a possible new Assistant Director of Special Education for Woburn Public Schools and we’ll take nominations for our Executive Board.

In the meantime, please take a minute to fill out our latest survey so we can better serve your needs and identify future conversations with the school district.

You can reach out to us at wps.SEPAC@gmail.com.

………………………………………………………………………………………..

SEPAC Input Form

Link to the form here

We are always here to hear your thoughts, concerns, accolades, and more. Please fill out the form above to let us know what you need. All comments are confidential, of course.

………………………………………………………………………………………..

Woburn Public Schools Letter on Non-Discrimination and Retaliation

In October of 2020, Woburn Superintendent of Schools Dr. Matthew Crowley sent a letter to Woburn families reaffirming Woburn Public Schools’ commitment to Section 504 of the
Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Section 504 deals with discrimination on the basis of disability and retaliation on the basis of complaint.

Read Dr. Crowley’s letter here. For more Civil Rights information as it pertains to Woburn Public Schools, click here. And, as always, feel free to contact us at wps.SEPAC@gmail.com with any questions or concerns.

…………………………………………………………………………………………

Volunteer With Us!

The Woburn SEPAC is looking for help in the following areas:

- School Liaisons
- Fundraisers
- Grant Writers

If you have a connection to your kiddo’s school and would be willing to liaise with your Principal and PTO to help spread SEPAC awareness and information, we can use your help!

We’re constantly in the process of brainstorming speakers and workshops and can always use  additional funds. Are you a gifted grant writer, or someone with connections to the financial industry? We can use your help!

Reach out to us at wps.SEPAC@gmail.com

And don’t forget to Like us on Facebook. f_logo

………………………………………………………………………………………….

The Woburn Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC) is a state-mandated advisory group that provides education and support for parents, guardians and educators of children ages 3 to 22 years old with special education needs. We are a city-wide organization of parents working together with teachers, administrators, the school committee and the community to provide an educational environment that is innovative, challenging, safe and nurturing for all children.