minutes 2009 Jan 14

Nancy Sherburne called the meeting to order.
The meeting was attended by: Nancy Sherburne; Terry Lindgren, Bill Guthlein,
Valerie Ryan, Matt Kidder
The minutes from the November Board meeting were presented for approval.
Clarification from Liza had been provided via e-mail prior to the meeting. With
regard to the number of students in the ABA program Liza stated that the numbers
have ranged from as few as 5 in 2005 to a high of 11 over the past three years.
Liza went on to state that the current projection for FY 2010 is 3 children. Liza
also provided clarification regarding the ABA programmatic model. Liza states
that in the fall of 2007, a new model was introduced which had the ABA Team
Leader providing program supervision (a .5 FTE), as well as teaching one session
of the Integrated Preschool (also a .5 FTE). The session taught by the ABA Team
Leader included the three year olds in the ABA Program (Monday – Thursday
AM) and the respective staff assigned to them, providing adequate time to work
with that staff and those students while leaving the remainder of the week for
supervision of students and staff in other classes. Liza went on to state that the
model is developmentally and educationally sound.
After discussing the clarifications, a motion was made to approve the November
minutes. The motion was seconded and the minutes were unanimously approved.
A. ABA Lead at Elementary School Level:
A brief discussion took place as Nancy shared with the group that she had
heard from parents who had wanted to know the qualifications of the
individual taking over the ABA program at Conant during Jana Bardsley’s
maternity leave. Nancy shared that the interim Lead had a waiver to serve
as an academic teacher. Matt stated that she was going to be certified in
the Spring of 2009 and that she is familiar to the program, the staff, and
the students.
Action Item:
• Matt offered to get additional details regarding the interim
Lead’s qualifications. Page 2 of 4
B. Pupil Services Budget:
Liza had previously given Nancy and Terry a brief summary stating that
more information was needed on potential reductions for the summer
program and assistants. Matt added that more information would be
available at the next meeting. Terry brought up the need for the
opportunity to give feedback. He suggested the PAC have a presence at
meetings to express the needs with regard to special education to add
meaning to the numbers.
C. Quarterly Meetings:
Nancy mentioned that the first meeting prior to the winter break went well
and that the meetings are part of providing a bridge between parents and
the administration. Upcoming meetings are scheduled as follows:
Tuesday, January 27
4:00-6:00 pm, Tuesday April 14
4:00-6:00 pm,
and Tuesday June 9
4:00-6:00 pm.
D. SpEd PAC Contribution to Superintendent Search Process:
Terry shared that 90 people attended the various focus groups held by the
Superintendent Search Task Force. The SpEd PAC focus group had
approximately 12 attendees. Follow-up is needed to ensure that our
questions get asked. Nancy shared that Heather and Mike were grateful
for the input from the PAC and had gained insight into the needs of
parents of special needs children.
E. SpEd PAC Survey:
The survey is still open and there are over 60 entries now.
F. ABA Preschool Changes:
Nancy shared with the group that the ABA Program Lead is resigning as
of Friday. A letter was sent to the parents in the program stating that Jill
McGrail and Shelagh Conway will be consulting to the program while the
search for a new Lead is under way. A suggestion was made that parents
in the program have the opportunity to share qualities and qualifications
important to them with regard to the new hire.
G. Pupil Services’ Task Force re: Technology use in IEP Development
Nancy shared that Liza is looking for staff to participate in the Task Force
and to investigate hardware and software options. Terry stated his
interest. Matt stated the need to move forward to identify critical
numbers. A discussion took place around the goals of determining the
important components, working out the trouble spots, and prototyping the
technology. The goal is to use the technology to streamline the IEP
development process. One possibility might be modifying a baseline IEP
(such as the last active IEP) on a Smart Board during IEP meetings. This
would allow all of the Team members to exchange information and Page 3 of 4
modify the IEP and then leave the Team meeting with a draft version of
the new IEP.
H. Clarification of Parent vs. Team Vision Statement in IEP:
Reports had been made to the PAC that the district was using the Vision
Statement section of the IEP for a Team Vision. Nancy stated that Liza
had given her the assurance that there was no policy change with regard to
the Vision Statement. It was agreed that this area of the IEP is for the
parents to share their vision for their child.
I. Treasurer’s Report:
Bill reported our cash balance – $528.21 – and opened the discussion to
ideas to raise revenue for the PAC. He asked about the PAC philosophy
on fundraising. Discussion of ideas to raise money included bake sales
and flower bulb sales, and writing grant proposals. It was mentioned in
this discussion that some PACs request donations from PTOs so as not to
compete for funds and to be unified. Nancy mentioned that she and Terry
had discussed putting a presentation together and taking it to the PTOs and
asking for $200.00 from each school. This money could be used to fund
speakers, etc. It was mentioned that it was important that fundraising does
not detract form the overall focus of the PAC in providing feedback to the
district and support to parents. It was suggested that we look into being
identified as a non-profit.
Action Item:
• Bill will look into state non-profit form
A. Process for Combining Outside Specialists’ Recommendations with
District Evaluations/Recommendations and Appropriate Incorporation into
Nancy updated the group on the ongoing conversations she and Terry are
having with Liza. The goal is to have transparency into how this works.
Reports continue to come in verifying that parents do not feel that the
evaluations and reports from their private professionals (i.e.
neuropsychological evaluations) are being given adequate consideration
by the Team and/or appropriately incorporated into the child’s IEP.
B. Mandatory Special Education Training/Professional Development for
Regular and Special Education Staff:
Matt stated that a timetable is being developed for staff training. The
district does a lot of staff development throughout the year although
participation is generally voluntary.
C. Increased After school/Extracurricular programming and enhanced
Summer School: Page 4 of 4
The PAC is continuing to receive input from parents about the need for
better programming.
A motion was made to adjourn the meeting. The motion was seconded and
unanimously approved.
Next month’s PAC General Meeting is scheduled for February 10
at 7:00
P.M. at the Junior High School Library.
Minutes Respectfully Submitted by Valerie Ryan, Secretary

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