WPS-SEPAC-Logo-WEB

Woburn SEPAC

October Open Meeting

Date: Wednesday, October 20
Time: 6:30pm
Location: Woburn Public Library

Save the date: Wednesday, October 20. We will meet in-person (and masked-up) for those comfortable enough to join us. There will also be a virtual component. Links are below. Watch this space for updates. We look forward to seeing you!

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

…………………………………………………………………………………………

SEPAC Transportation Update, September 2021

On Friday, September 10, SEPAC attended the School Committee’s Student Services and Achievement (SSA) subcommittee meeting. A representative from SEPAC attends SSA every month.At this meeting, there was a discussion about the current state of school bus transportation in Woburn, especially as it pertains to special education students who are utilizing North Reading Transportation (NRT). SEPAC was able to share a number of parent stories and concerns related to both recent and past school transportation issues, and we thank you for sharing that information with us.While SEPAC is aware that school bus transportation is an issue statewide, we’re reminding WPS Administration that special education families have been experiencing NRT-related transportation problems in Woburn for years. As always, we are pushing for accountability. Please continue to share your stories and concerns with us so we can continue to advocate for you.Click here for the rest of the SSA details, including meeting minutes, posted on our Facebook page. Below, you’ll find WPS’ letter on Special Education Transportation via NRT from Wednesday, September 8.Dear parents/guardians,We are excited to welcome our students back tomorrow.  For those that receive special education transportation on NRT, please be patient as we anticipate some challenges. If your child is not picked up at the start of the day within 20 minutes of the expected pick-up time or does not arrive home when expected, please call the Special Education Office at 781-937-8233  xx11253.  If you do not speak with a person, please email bhegarty@woburnps.com.The building staff will assist students that arrive late on the vehicles to ensure they arrive safely and get to their classrooms.  We appreciate your patience. We look forward to a great start to the school year.

………………………………………………………………………………………..

SEPAC Letter to WPS, August 2021

The SEPAC Board spent time this summer drafting up a letter to Woburn Public Schools Administrators to address problems parents have raised with the ACE Program specifically, as well as accountability and better communication from the district in general.

Click the link below to read our letter and suggested timeline.

SEPAC ACE Letter to WPS

…………………………………………………………………………………………

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 and will not be shared.

…………………………………………………………………………………………

Wrapping up 2020-2021

We had a strong spring to end the 2020-2021 school year. In March, we discussed everything from post-high school paths for kids who learn differently to working with WMHS Guidance to make sure your child is getting the accommodations they need an identifying the best paths forward while they’re in high school.

In April, Andrew Lipsett from the Woburn School Committee updated us on the budget. In May, Joseph Flaherty of the Woburn Commission on Disability joined us to discuss what the group has been up to. You can go to the Meeting Minutes page for recaps of all our recent meetings, and you can watch the April 13 School Committee meeting here.

For our June meeting, WPS Director of Special Education Maureen Ryan and Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Courtney Young joined us. We are also still actively searching for a Secretary. Reach out to us via wps.sepac@gmail.com if you’d like to learn more about the position. We’ll be accepting nominations in September and holding elections in October. In the meantime, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for more SEPAC news and updates.

…………………………………………………………………………………………

RECAP: SEPAC Coffee Chat

Date: May 26, 2021

WPS Director of Special Education Maureen Ryan joined us last month for an informal “Coffee Chat” Q&A session. You can access a recap of the session below, along with DESE’s latest COVID-19 guidelines, which will go into effect in the fall.

SEPAC Coffee Chat 052621

Updates to DESE COVID-19 Guidance 052721

………………………………………………………………………………………..

Woburn Public Schools Letter on Non-Discrimination and Retaliation

Last month, 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.

…………………………………………………………………………………………

RECAP: Basic Rights Workshop on Evaluation and Eligibility

Presented on Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Each fall, the Woburn SEPAC–in conjunction with the Federation for Children with Special Needs–presents a Basic Rights Workshop. Since so many parents have reached out in recent months with questions about evaluations, we chose the Evaluation and Eligibility Workshop this year. Here are two takeaways you might not have known about:

– When scheduling a Team Meeting to discuss an evaluation, the evaluator must be present unless excused by the family. If the evaluator–or any other team member–isn’t included on the meeting invitation, the family can request that they be included. If the evaluator or team member is not available, the family can request the meeting be rescheduled for a date during the appropriate time frame that they are available.

– When measuring IEP benchmarks, effective progress is defined as “the documented growth in the acquisition of knowledge and skills, including social/emotional development, within the general education program with or without accommodations according to chronological age and developmental expectations and the individual education potential of the child.”

Effective progress is NOT determined solely by passing grades or being promoted from grade to grade.

And that’s just a bit of the helpful information that was shared. Thanks to Kristin LaRose from FCSN and advocate Tracey Morgan for organizing and presenting the workshop. If you missed it, download the handout below. If you’d like to attend a future presentation, e-mail us at wps.SEPAC@gmail.com and we’ll put you in touch with Kristin at FCSN.

BR Evaluation and Eligibility PDF Handout

…………………………………………………………………………………………

WOBURN PUBLIC LIBRARY UPDATE

Library adds Reasonable Accommodation Form

As the Woburn Public Library moves to reopen, a reminder that they provide accommodations by request for patrons with disabilities, including ADA accommodations for access to library buildings and services and accommodations for library programs and events. Click here to access and fill out the form.

…………………………………………………………………………………………

Special Education Services and COVID-19 Information

With Woburn Public Schools closed through, at the very least, May 4th, parents have been reaching out to us with questions about students with special needs. Districts are still required to provide a free, appropriate pubic education (FAPE) to students with disabilities. Click here for the most recent guidelines set by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). Click here for a statement from Woburn Director of Special Education Maureen Ryan. We’ve also posted recent WPS documents and an informative webinar below, produced by the Federation for Children with Special Needs.

Supporting Children with ASD During COVID Closures

WPS SPED COVID-19 Letter 051820

WPS SPED COVID-19 Letter 041920

WPS SPED COVID-19 Letter 040920

WPS SPED COVID-19 FAQs 040920

If you’d like general information regarding Special Education programming in Woburn, click here. General information about family resources and extending learning resources can be found via this link.

………………………………………………………………………………………..

Specialized Programs

GAIN Program Guide

PEAK Program Guide

As Woburn Public Schools continues to develop specialized programming for students with special needs, we’ll continue to share the updates here. For more information on specific program descriptions, please contact Dr. Baldassarre.

…………………………………………………………………………………………

Basic Rights Workshop: Understanding the IEP

Thanks to everyone who joined us for the workshop. If you missed it, you can download the Basic Rights – Understanding the IEP PDF Handout.

…………………………………………………………………………………………

VOLUNTEER WITH US!

Heading into the new school year, the SEPAC is looking for help in the following areas:

- Outreach Representatives
- Fundraisers
- Grant Writers

Specifically, we need reps for the High School, Goodyear, White, Joyce, Linscott, and Hurld-Wyman. If you have connections at any of those schools and would be willing to liaise with the principal and PTO and to distribute SEPAC materials, we can use your help!

We’ve started the process of brainstorming speakers and workshops for the 2019-2020 school year, and we’ll need 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

…………………………………………………………………………………………

Confused? Frustrated?

You’ve come to the right place!

We’re here for you! Sign up for our mailing list below to receive updates on policy changes and decisions that affect Woburn’s students with disabilities.

Our mailing list is confidential and for SEPAC use only. Your information will not be sold or shared. If you cannot attend our next meeting but have a concern or opinion you would like to share, please email us at wps.SEPAC@gmail.com.

………………………………………………………………………………………….

We want to hear from you!

We work with parents and the school administration to address issues facing Special Education students in Woburn.

We’d love to hear both your successes and your concerns. Stop by our next meeting. We’d love to meet you!

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.