Acton-Boxborough Special Education Parent Advisory Council

Headline News

  • 5/2 Director of Special Education Finalist Community Forum – There is an open community forum for the ABRSD Director of Special Education search on Monday, May 2, at 7 p.m. in the Parker Damon multipurpose room. The search committee, which included PAC representation, has advanced Pamela Smith for the Director of Special Education position. The Superintendent invites interested members of the community to meet with Ms. Smith to provide feedback on her candidacy. Ms. Smith’s name may be familiar as she was a finalist for the Assistant Superintendent of Student Services position ultimately filled with Dr. Dawn Bentley.
  • NEW 2015 AB SpEd PAC Parent/Guardian Survey Executive Summary – From May to July of 2015 the PAC conducted a parent/guardian survey to gather feedback on a number of important issues. We are releasing this executive summary of our results in advance of the full report. There were several interesting findings and trends from the survey we conducted in 2011.
    Previous survey reports are available by clicking here.
  • 5/11 PAC General Business Meeting – Our next meeting is Wednesday, May 11th, at 7:30 p.m. in the RJ Grey Junior High library. Come connect with other parents and get up to speed on special education news in the district. Those interested in running for officership at our annual meeting in June should attend or email abspedpac@gmail.com with questions. Food and refreshments will be served. We hope to see you there! Please note this meeting will be followed by a brief Friends of AB SpEd PAC meeting.
  • Parenting Support Hour (Infants through High School) – This is an informal parent-to-parent support group for those raising children with learning differences, special needs, or other challenges to share stories, experiences, resources, and ideas with others facilitated by members of the PAC. It is free and open to all communities. Please join us at 10:30 a.m. in the upstairs conference room at the Acton Memorial Library on the following Wednesdays: 4/6, 5/11, 6/1. Drop-ins welcome. Questions? E-mail Jeanne at mysticrivermusik@aol.com.
  • Special Education Attorney Daniel Perlman Presentation – On November 18th, 2015, Attorney Dan Perlman presented on how to handle disagreements in special education, citing recent BSEA decisions and emphasizing due process, working with the team, responding to an IEP, and independent evaluations. Slides from his presentation are available on his site.
  • Dr. Bostic’s Mental Health Presentation — On June 2nd, 2015, Dr. Jeffrey Bostic, assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and director of school psychiatry at Mass General Hospital, gave a presentation addressing the topic of mental health issues in children and teens. Click here to access the slides from his presentation: Building Better Brains at School.
  • 2014 Special Education Population Trends Report – In September 2012, the AB SpEd PAC published two separate reports titled Special Education Spending & Population Trends 2004–2011 – one for Acton Public Schools and one for Acton-Boxborough Regional Schools. These reports can be found on the PAC website at http://abspedpac.org/reports/sped-spending-trends/. The current report focuses on updating those trends with the last three years’ data and including Boxborough’s student population in our analysis as we look ahead to a fully regionalized Pre K-12 district. We believe that tracking population and spending trends over time and comparing our district to other high-performing districts can provide valuable information to help inform future decision-making related to special education budgeting and planning.
  • Dr. Gaab’s Dyslexia Presentation – On March 12th, 2014 Dr. Nadine Gaab from Children’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School gave a very engaging and informative presentation on the most recent research related to Dyslexia, reading acquisition and the brain development of children with Developmental Dyslexia. A link to Dr. Gaab’s presentation is included here. And a link to sign-up for Dr. Gaab’s research registry is here.
  • AB SpEd PAC Presents First Teaching Excellence Award – In June of 2013 the AB SpEd PAC awarded retiring Gates 5th grade teacher, Monty Grob, with our first Teaching Excellence Award. Mr. Grob was an exceptional teacher who was deeply committed to the success of every student in his classroom. He put enormous effort and compassion into understanding how each individual child learned and ferreting out obstacles that got in the way of student learning. As a community we’re very grateful for the years he dedicated to educating our children. In addition to an engraved crystal award, over the summer the AB SpEd PAC installed a cast aluminum garden sign in Mr. Grob’s honor at Gates Elementary School to commemurate the wonderful, year round garden he created for students on the school property.
    Monty Grob

     

  • 2011 AB Sped PAC Parent/Guardian Survey Report – Here are the results from the Parent/Guardian Survey we conducted last year. There were some interesting findings and trends from the previous Parent Survey conducted in 2008. Check out the details in our new 2011 Survey Report. The 2008 Survey Report is also available on our website under the PAC Reports & Presentations header sub-category Parent/Guardian Surveys.
  • AB SpEd PAC Special Education Parent Handbook – This handbook defines terminology, timelines and the different steps in the special education process from evaluation for services through IEP development and transition planning. It offers parent tips and resources and includes a list of the special education programs and services available in the Acton Public and Acton-Boxborough School districts. If you have questions about special education, this should be a very useful reference guide.
  • Donate to support ABSpEdPAC programs and services. Please make checks payable to “Friends of ABSpEdPAC” and mail to Nancy Sherburne, 10 Heritage Rd, Acton, MA 01720. To learn how your donation will help reference our recent letter.

Get Involved!

  • Email Lists: We have two email lists, one for news about upcoming events and activities, the other for confidential communication between parents of children with special needs.
  • Calendar of Events – This calendar includes special education related presentations, meetings, and workshops in Acton, Boxborough and surrounding communities. To add an event, email the event name, date, time, description, contact information and/or link to abspedpac@gmail.com.  The calendar is updated about once a week, so get your events in early!
  • Would you like to become more involved in the PAC?
    Please see our Volunteer page.
  • For further information about the AB SpEd PAC contact us at abspedpac@gmail.com.

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