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Concord/Concord-Carlisle SEPAC January 2020

Contents

  • Co-President's Comments
  • Basic Rights: Understanding the IEP
  • Mediation and Facilitated Team Meetings
  • CMS Building Project Public Forum

Co-President's Comments

The new year always brings a fresh start and with it new opportunities. We are happy to announce that the SEPAC has an exciting opportunity to collaborate with the CCHS Theatre Department this spring. We will organize and sponsor a Sensory Friendly Performance for CCHS Theatre's production of the musical 9-5. Our technology chair, Becky Robichaud, brought the idea of offering accessible performances to CCHS theater director Melissa Charych last spring and without hesitation Melissa was all in. Yay, Melissa!

This collaboration is also a great opportunity for you and your student. We'd love to have you and/or your student be part of this collaboration and share your ideas and creativity. Even if you have just an hour or two your involvement is valuable and welcome. Contact us at concordsepac@gmail.com for more information and get involved.

Here's to new opportunities and making live theater accessible to all!

- Carol Yelle and Shaina Brito, SEPAC Co-Presidents

Mediation and Facilitated Team Meetings

Mediation. As a parent it sounds so intimidating. You and the rest of your child's team want your child to progress and succeed but may disagree about the approach. When the team can't come to an agreement, mediation may be a way to help. It's a way to solve a dispute with a neutral third-party from the Bureau of Special Education (BSEA). The BSEA serves "parents, students, school districts, private schools and state agencies in matters concerning eligibility, evaluation, placement, individualized education programs (IEPs), special education services and procedural protections for students with disabilities."

On January 16th at 9:30 a.m., the SEPAC will be hosting a talk Mediation and Facilitated Team Meetings. Presented by Myrto Flessas, Mediator, Bureau of Special Education Appeals, you'll have the opportunity to learn about this voluntary and confidential dispute settlement process which is conducted without charge to the families involved. Join us to learn more. This information is valuable no matter where you are in your student's journey.

Basic Rights: Understanding the IEP

Whether you've had a child on an IEP for a while or you're new to the IEP process, knowing your basic rights is an important element when developing your child's IEP. We'll be co-hosting the second in a series of three Basic Rights workshops on February 11, 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm, at the Sudbury Senior Center, 40 Fairbanks Rd, Sudbury, MA

This workshop, presented by the Federation for Children with Special Needs, will provide an understanding of the Individual Educational Plan (IEP): why it is important, how it is developed, what information belongs in each section, what types of services are included, and a host of other important information needed to develop a plan individualized for your child.

Each district is required to host a Basic Rights workshop and you can find a listing of workshops hosted by ours and other school districts on the Federation's website.

The Department of Education also has A Parent's Guide to Special Education. The guide covers key concepts of the law, how to be an effective team member, important timelines, and disability types.

CMS Building Project Community Forum

The Concord Middle School Building Committee is hosting a community forum on January 14th at 7:00 pm in the Sanborn Building. This is an important opportunity for parents and community members to engage, ask questions, give feedback and input during this crucial planning phase of the project.

The School Committee's goal for this initial forum is to "kick off the feasibility study public engagement process and hear from you! Visioning education in a new school will be a priority in the discussion."

What do you envision for the middle school? What building challenges have there been in your child's education that you would like addressed in the new middle school building? Your voice is important and wanted. The School Committee welcomes your comments and input at the forum and via the CMSBCemail portal. Additional information and their meetings and forums online are found on the CMSBC webpages.

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