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Special Education Parental Advisory Council

Weston SEPAC


WELCOME!

The Weston Special Education Parent Advisory Council (Weston SEPAC) is an all parent volunteer group of that promotes a network for parents of children with disabilities to provide a forum to share information, support, provide resources and discuss important issues.

We provide educational presentations for parents and teachers of special needs and typical students.  We meet with school administration and school committee members to give our input on policies and programs that impact our children.  We promote and raise awareness of children with special needs.  We meet with our state representative to share and discuss information to advocate for children with disabilities.

September/October 2020

Welcome back to the 20/21 School Year!  The Weston SEPAC (Special Education Parent Advisory Council) has some upcoming events.

SEPTEMBER

MEETING:  SEPAC Business Meeting Click here for agenda Wednesday September 30, 2020 at 7:00PM

OCTOBER

PRESENTATION:  “Executive Functioning in Remote Learning”  – POSTPONED from Oct 8th to now Wednesday October 28th – 7 pm –  Elise Wulff (MEd, Program Manager at Aspire) will be speaking about how to support your child’s executive functioning during this time of remote and hybrid learning.  Registration is free thanks to Wayland PTO sponsorship.  Weston SEPAC members WELCOME to attend Click Here to Register

PRESENTATION:  “Back to School 2020: Advocating for your Student’s Special Education Rights During Covid-19”  –Wednesday October 14, 2020 at 7:00PM –Co-hosted with Wayland SEPAC- Attorneys Lillian Wong and Allison Boscarine from Wong & Boscarine LLC will present on DESE updates, Special Education Services during Remote or Hybrid, health Safety & Learning at School, Covid Compensatory Claims and Questions.  Click Here to Register

 

SEPAC BOARD 2020-2021

Co-Chairs: Lisa Lappi & Kathy Davidoff
Secretary:  Maija Cirulis-Gooch
Treasurer: Becky Dempsey
Member at Large: Vicky Gifford, Jeannette Velasquez, Lornece Tull, Michelle Galloway

School Committee Liaison:  Rachel Stewart

School & Program Liaisons:
High School: Kathy Davidoff & Lisa Lappi
Middle School: Becky Dempsey, Lornece Tull, Michelle Galloway
Field School: Mija Cirulis-Gooch
Country School: Vicky Gifford
Woodland School: Jeanette Velasquez
Out of District: Kathy Davidoff & Becky Dempsey
METCO: Lornece Tull & Michelle Galloway
Remote Learning Academy-Lornece Tull

CLICK FOR SEPAC BROCHURE

Facebook Feed is not specific to Weston but for events in and around Massachusetts pertaining to children and special education!

Please like us on Facebook to learn more!

6 hours ago

Weston SEPAC

This!I've never loved the term "special educator," "special education," or "special needs." Because at the end of the day, I'm an educator; my students are getting an education; their needs are human needs; and "special" is only used as a term of othering.

So I've decided that I'm just going to start calling myself an accessibility specialist, because I spend my days making abstract state standards accessible to my students (and really...don't all educators?). My classroom is an accessible classroom, where accessibility to the environment and curriculum is prioritized. And my students' needs are accessibility needs, because talking about making things (environments, communities, curricula) accessible to students often leads to a much more productive conversation than simply saying they're "special."

My students' needs come down to accessibility. My degree comes down to accessibility. My classroom comes down to accessibility. If we put in the work to make the world more accessible, we realize that my students' needs, their right to education, and the way I teach aren't so "special" after all. They are simply meeting needs that are just as valid, just as human, just as important as any other students' needs. And that just because something is different, doesn't make it wrong, extra, or "special."

Anyways, I made a shirt to commemorate my new title. You can get your own by visiting bit.ly/accessibility_specialist

#TheFutureIsAccessible #AccessibilitySpecialist #SpecialEducation #SpecialEducationTeacher #SpecialEd #Teacher #TeacherTee

Image ID: McAlister is smiling in her classroom. She holds a deep breathing task in one hand, and holds the other out to her side. She is wearing a red tshirt that says "accessibility specialist."
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3 days ago

Weston SEPAC

We know the source of distressed behavior is mostly non-volitional. But what about those who know why they hurt, but cannot process it’s magnitude, and are suffering alone? Yes, in a roomful of other people, trauma makes a person feel alone and scared.

Trauma hurts.
We talk a lot about trauma that occurs at school when children are restrained and secluded, when other children witness their peers being subjected to it, and also the impact of restraint and seclusion culture on those who inflict it.

How about the child who comes to school with the weight of the world on their hearts? The child who is hurting over sick, incarcerated, or missing family members, or parents who are struggling, dead, or dying? Few children understand how to manage their emotions with trauma of that magnitude.
What then?

We talk about the disproportionate use of restraint and seclusion inflicted onto disabled children, children of color, children who are poor, or with food insecurity. There are also typical children who get caught up in restraint and seclusion culture.
When they’re at their most vulnerable, when they’re hurting most, when they need the most understanding, rather than asking why they are distressed, they are silenced. Trauma places a person in persistent fight or flight. It makes one struggle to feel safe.

We believe children have a right to feel safe at school.

Trauma does not disappear unless it is validated. Ignore it or invalidate it, and silent screams continue internally heard only by the one held captive. Only when someone enters the pain and hears the screams, is healing possible.

We can do better for our children in distress for whatever reason, than a toxic restraint and seclusion culture.
Restraint is not safe; it invalidates trauma.
Seclusion is not safe; it ignores the silent screams of trauma. Seclusion doesn’t just hold a child alone in a solitary confinement cell; it holds a child captive in their own pain.

It’s time to liberate our schools from restraint and seclusion culture, loosen the chains of trauma, and set all it’s captives free.

#endseclusion

Photo of a child looking into a dark doorway. Copy: My Mommy is sick. I’m acting up at school because I’m afraid. Rather than punishing me for my pain, can I talk to someone who cares? I need safety, not seclusion.
endseclusion.org
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4 days ago

Weston SEPAC

October 19th- Updated guidance
www.doe.mass.edu/covid19/return-to-school/2020-0724remote-learning-guide.docx
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4 days ago

Weston SEPAC

Yesterday, the Commissioner’s office sent out the following to superintendents:
“Prospective District/School Closures after Thanksgiving: We are hearing that some school committees are considering taking votes to close their schools after the Thanksgiving break, contrary to DESE guidance that districts make closure decisions based on the Department of Public Health (DPH) color-coded metrics and/or other local health and safety factors. Per DESE guidance, districts and schools are expected to use the most recent three DPH weekly color-coded reports (four weeks of data), to make any decisions about shifting to a remote learning model. Please expect that if school committees decide prospectively to shift to remote learning after Thanksgiving (i.e. voting now, before the relevant data is available), this will likely trigger an audit from DESE. “
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