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ACTON-BOXBOROUGH SPECIAL EDUCATION PARENT ADVISORY COUNCIL
EXECUTIVE BOARD MEETING
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
I. Call to Order. The meeting was called to order by Nancy Sherburne. The meeting
attendees were: Lisa Holt, Francesca Ricciardi, Nancy Sherburne, Steve Lowe, Mike
Coppolino, and Matthew Kidder.
II. Approval of Minutes. The minutes from the Jan.9, 2008 Executive Board Meeting were
presented for approval. All reviewed the meeting minutes. Steve made a motion to approve
the January minutes as written. The motion was seconded and the Jan. 9, 2008 meeting
minutes were unanimously approved.
III. Organization/Business Issues
A. Update on Parent Handbook Funding – Nancy reported that Mike Coppolino had
shared Bill Ryan’s commitment to provide the requested funds to publish and
distribute the A-B Special Education Parent Handbook when it was completed.
Steve suggested setting up a meeting when the Handbook was done to explain how
the document could be used, answer questions and perhaps give away free binders
to those who attend the meeting.
B. Charitable Organization Status. Steve reported that he hadn’t had a chance yet to
look into this issue. He will do that and file the appropriate forms for the PAC.
Action Item: Steve will research the state requirements and file the necessary
paperwork on behalf of the PAC to register it with the state as a
C. Annual Meeting & Election of Officers. The PAC’s Annual Meeting and Election
of Officers has been set for May 14, 2008 at 7:00 PM in the JH Library.
D. Transition Task Force Presentation: Francesca Ricciardi and Lisa Holt presented
the AB SpEd PAC Transition Task Force recommendations to the PAC Board. The
Transition Task Force met over the course of a year or so and put together a sixpage
document identifying the transition supports currently in place in the district as
well as proposing recommendations to improve various strategic transitions within
the district for children and families. The report included recommendations for: 1)
the Early Intervention to Preschool transition 2) the Preschool to Kindergarten
transition, 3) the Elementary to Junior High School transition, and 4) the Junior
High to Senior High transition. The Task Force Recommendations are attached.
One of the recommendations that was repeated at each transition point involved
parents desiring an organization chart that illustrated the “chain of command”
within special education and the relationship between special education and regular
education staff in each school. Mike shared that Marie Altieri had recently
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completed a huge organization chart for the district although he didn’t know
whether or not it went to this level of detail. He also mentioned that Susan Horn and
Liza probably had existing org. charts they could share. Mike suggested that we
contact Marie, Susan and Liza to see what org. charts were currently available and
discuss adding to those if necessary to create what parents are looking for. It was
suggested that the org. charts might be something to include in the Parent
Steve asked if Pupil Services had been part of the process of creating the Task
Force’s Recommendations. Nancy explained that the PAC had requested Pupil
Services’ participation in both PAC Task Forces – the Transition Task Force and the
Parent Handbook Task Force. The PAC had waited several months for Liza to
identify who from her staff would participate before kicking off these efforts. Liza
appointed Julie Towell to serve on both Task Forces as a Pupil Services
representative and liaison to her office. Julie had been invited to all Task Force
meetings and included in all email discussions regarding the document. In addition,
at the outset of the project the PAC had requested information from Liza and each
of her staff members regarding what supports were currently in place at each
transition point. This was the baseline from which the Task Force proceeded.
Action Item: Nancy will contact Susan, Marie and Liza to see what organization
charts are available and describe what the PAC is looking for.
Early Intervention to Preschool Transition – One minor correction was proposed
to Rec. #3. Change “During the summer…” to “Two months prior to a child turning
three…” to reflect that children move from EI to Preschool when they turn 3 no
matter when that occurs during the school year. In regards to this transition, Lisa
Holt mentioned that the PAC had recently created a flyer for EI families, which
offers information about the PAC and lets families know they can look to the
organization for support and connection to other families in the district.
Preschool to Kindergarten Transition – The task force felt this transition needed
the most support. The principal recommendations included Pupil Services sending a
letter to families over the summer to confirm the special ed. Services for their child
and identify the names of the SpEd Liaison, child’s assistant, SpEd service
providers and appropriate contact information prior to school starting. In addition,
the recommendation was made to hold a Special Education Back to School night in
September where parents could meet the specialists and staff working with their
child, see the facilities, and learn about the types of service each specialist provides.
The suggestion was made to reorder the recommendations to follow the school
calendar (i.e., move #2 to #1, #3 to #2, and #1 to #3).
Elementary School to Junior High School – The task force felt this was currently
the best-supported transition. Matt suggested a correction to existing support #1 to
reflect that a representative from the JH is only present at some Transition Team
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meetings not all. A recommendation was also made to modify recommendation #1
by adding, “or Junior High SpEd representative should be present.”
Junior High School to High School – The suggestion was made to make Existing
Transition Support #1 look like Junior High #3 (use the same language to describe
the same action at each transition point). In addition, it was noted that the May
meeting discussed in Existing Support #2 is a parent only meeting.
Action Item: Matt will take this document back to Liza for her staff’s review and
feedback prior to the next meeting.
Action Item: Nancy will write a letter to Liza and include a revised copy of the
document that incorporates tonight’s revisions. This letter will
request feedback from Pupil Services to be presented at the next
Board meeting on March 5, 2008.
E. Update From Pupil Services on New Connections Program at JH: Matt gave a
brief summary of the new Connections Program Pupil Services has proposed for
next year at the Junior High School. He said it adds Speech/Language and
Counseling staff to support Asperger’s students. Six incoming JH students have
been identified for this program. In addition, he said the Hayward Center proposed
for the High School is designed to support kids who are in social/emotional crisis
and can’t make it in a mainstream environment. It will provide extra support here in
district for students who would otherwise require an out-of-district placement.
F. Topics for Next Board Meeting: Discuss feedback from Pupil Services on
Transition Task Force Recommendations and discuss process for resolving
differences between the PAC and Pupil Services.
IV. Open Issues:
A. Process for Resolving Differences between PAC and Pupil Services: Matt said
he was not aware of any progress on this item by Liza.
Action Item: Mike will seek answer directly from Liza and Bill on this issue.
B. Completion of IEE Forms: Dependent on resolution of A.
C. Concerns re: lack of full-time ABA Program Director at Integrated Preschool:
Dependent on resolution of A.
V. Adjournment: Meeting was adjourned.
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