Spring presentation to school committee 2009 2010 school year
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Spring Presentation to School Committee 2009-2010 School Year. Presented by. 2009-10 AB SpEd PAC Officers. Co-Chairs: Nancy Sherburne & Bill Guthlein Treasurers: Sasha Stavsky & Caroline Jarvis Secretaries: Valerie Ryan & Lynne Zawada Past PAC Chair: Stephen Lowe

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Spring Presentation to School Committee 2009-2010 School Year

Presented by


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2009-10 AB SpEd PAC Officers

  • Co-Chairs: Nancy Sherburne & Bill Guthlein

  • Treasurers: Sasha Stavsky & Caroline Jarvis

  • Secretaries: Valerie Ryan & Lynne Zawada

  • Past PAC Chair: Stephen Lowe

  • School Committee Representatives: Mike Coppolino & Xuan Kong

  • We want to thank Mike Coppolino & Xuan Kong for their invaluable support and guidance to the AB SpEd PAC.


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Introduction

  • On the following slides our original 2009-2010 goals are shown in black, with our progress towards those goals shown in green.

  • As the year progressed, the PAC contributed to the community in other ways not originally envisioned in the summer of 2009. Those areas are noted following the original goals in a section titled Other Contributions.


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Goal 1: Service to the Community

  • Provide support to individual families

    •The PAC regularly supported families by phone, email and in person. In particular we helped clarify parental access to test “protocols.”

  • Maintain online Parent to Parent support forum, information distribution list & PAC website: www.abspedpac.org

    •Our site and distribution lists continued to provide information and support to families.

  • Complete Special Education Parent Handbook

    •Deferred. New goal: complete by fall 2010.


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Goal 1: Service to the Community

  • Participate in the Bullying Policy Task Force

    •Nancy Sherburne represented the PAC on the Bullying Prevention Task Force and two subcommittees –

    1. Bullying Prevention/Curriculum and

    2. Bullying Intervention/Response

  • Pursue multiple fundraising opportunities

    •Our fall bulb sale was a success and we explored a potential grant opportunity


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Goal 1: Service to the Community

  • Co-host Back-to-School Picnic, Bullying Panel, Parent Workshop

    •Pupil Services and the PAC held a family picnic on Sept. 30th at Danny’s Place.

    • CAFY, NPFH, PS and the PAC co-hosted a bullying panel presentation on Oct. 20th.

    • Pupil Services and the PAC co-hosted the 4th Annual Parent Workshop featuring Rick Lavoie on Nov. 6th.


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Goal 1: Service to the Community

  • Present a variety of parent education speakers/ workshops

    • Oct. 14th, “An IEP for My Child”

    • Dec. 9th, “Basic Rights” (canceled due to snow)

    • March 9th, “Transition Workshop”

    • April 13th, “Sensory Integration”

    • May 5th, “Shut Up About Your Perfect Kid” (brought to our attention and co-sponsored by Sue Horn and ABRSD – thank you, Sue)


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Goal 2: Build on New SC Policy

  • Continue quarterly meetings with Pupil Services and PAC Board to discuss district special education programs

    •We met this year on Nov. 17th and Apr. 29th

  • Increase parent opportunities to participate in on-going planning, development and evaluation of the district’s special education programs

    • The Autism Parent Focus Groups increased parent participation and feedback on program design. This was a wonderful success. (See Addendum A for feedback)


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Goal 3: Developing Stronger PAC – Pupil Services Relationship

  • Co-host the 2nd Annual Special Education Family Picnic & 4th Annual Parent Workshop in fall 2009

    • Done.

  • Continue regular monthly meetings between Liza Huber and PAC Chairs to facilitate communication and improve relationship between PAC & Pupil Services

    • We met in Aug.,Nov., Dec.,Jan., Apr. and May

  • Fundraise as able to help bridge budget shortfalls

    • Successful fall bulb sale in October 2009.


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Goal 4: Technology

  • Apply current technology to more steps in the IEP Development Process (Use ESPED & laptops in IEP meetings)

    • To expedite IEP development

    • To minimize errors and misunderstandings

    • To reduce staff time spent on meetings and document revisions related to IEP development

      Progress on this task force has been disappointingly slow. Look forward to seeing how Westford uses this technology on June 14th and refocusing the team’s efforts on achievable results for the district.


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Goal 5: Equal Consideration of Independent Testing by Teams

  • Identify mistakes parents and their specialists make, which lead to the devaluation of specialist’s testing and recommendations

    • Alerted PAC members to common pitfalls. Pupil Services reports 80% of students found eligible for services based on IEE recommendations at ABRS and 50% at APS without additional testing. Pupil Services tracking additional IEE statistics this year.

  • Conduct a mock Team evaluation of IEE testing with Pupil Services’ Leadership Team during 1st quarter of the school year

    •Not done – unable to schedule.


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Goal 6: Survey Follow-up

  • Participate in and assist in the Autism program review pre-K through high school.

    •Collaborated with Pupil Services to conduct four parent forums in Dec. and Jan. Provided written summary of parent priorities from these meetings. Discussed actions at Apr. 29th Quarterly Meeting.

  • Research what the national norms and standards are for a successful autism program.

    •Reviewed National Standards Project. No commonly accepted norms and standards found to date.


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Goal 6: Survey Follow-up

  • Promote and support special education changes consistent with successful autism programs.

    •In process. Pupil Services revised assistant schedules based on focus group feedback. More to do.

  • Participate in the Bullying Policy Task Force

    •Ongoing.

  • Resurvey special education community in 2010

    •Survey planning to begin over the summer.


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Other Contributions

  • Promoted SGP to measure student progress and published analysis of districts’ recent MCAS performance.

  • Proposed a set of cost savings suggestions to help address budget challenges.

  • Raised awareness of stakes if fail NCLB for special education subgroup at Conant and R. J. Grey.

  • Delivered comparative analysis of special education spending at Westford.

  • Published SC candidate views to PAC members on issues of interest to the special education community.

  • Contributed to the Conant Principal Search Committee.


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Looking Forward

  • Encourage use of SGP to see how successful programs are at delivering academic results.

  • Support increased spending on professional development for teachers.

  • Encourage development of quality in-district programming to reduce OOD costs.

  • Help implement improvements identified in Autism parent focus groups in tangible way.

  • Support increased use of technology in IEP development process.

  • Share analysis of Spring 2010 MCAS (NCLB) results.


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Addendum

  • Summary of Parent Priorities from Autism Focus Groups

  • New DESE Guidance for PACs

    • Has financial implications for existing funds raised

    • Tess is exploring options with Town Treasurer – will need to move forward with Finance Director

    • PAC may consider creating Friends of the PAC as a separate fundraising entity going forward


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