May 28, 2015 Special Ed. Sub Meeting


Quincy School Committee
Special Education Subcommittee
Thursday, May 28, 2015 6:00 pm
Coddington Building

  1. Director’s Update - Ms. Todd
    * Physical Restraint Policy
    * Surveys
    * Reimbursements from MassHealth

  2. Reflection on SIP Goals - Ms. Todd

  3. QPAC Update - Ms. Nabstedt
    * 2014-15 Goals Update
    * Upcoming Events
    * QPS/QPAC Collaboration
    * General Parent Concerns

  4. Special Education Subcommittee Meetings for 2015-2016

  5. Adjournment/Thank You!


Quincy School Committee
Special Education Subcommittee Meeting
Thursday, May 28, 2015

A meeting of the Special Education Subcommittee was held on Thursday, May 28, 2015 at 6:00 pm at the Coddington Building. Present were Mr. Noel DiBona, Ms. Barbara Isola, and Mrs. Anne Mahoney, Chair. Also attending were Superintendent DeCristofaro, Mrs. Catherine Carey, Mrs. Donna Cunningham, Mrs. Mary Fredrickson, Mr. Richard Kelly, Deputy Superintendent Kevin Mulvey, Mrs. Maura Papile, Ms. Madeline Roy, Ms. Judy Todd; Quincy Parent Advisory Council to Special Education Board Members Ms. Beck and Ms. Nabstedt; Parent Andrea White; and Ms. Laura Owens, Clerk.

Mrs. Mahoney called the meeting to order at 6:00 pm.

Ms. Todd presented a video of Beyond the Bell activities, including therapeutic opportunities at Snug Harbor, Squantum, and Clifford Marshall and a Lego activity at Parker. Many teachers and therapists volunteered for these programs, an extraordinary effort on the part of staff.

Ms. Todd updated that School Committee voted on May 20 to adopt the new Physical Restraint regulations. Next steps include developing a procedure manual for implementation by January 1, 2016. Ms. Todd also announced that the DESE Special Education parent survey is available online through May 29. Information was shared with parents through Instant Alert and the QPS website/social media platforms.

Ms. Todd reviewed an issue discussed at the March meeting that MassHealth/Medicaid members cannot be reimbursed for services in school and outside school on the same day. Deputy Superintendent Mulvey researched the issue and has found two possible solutions: one option would be to request a waiver from Medicaid so that both therapies are reimbursable. Alternately, scheduling therapies on different days, except where required by doctor’s prescription. Parents and school will be working together to schedule services so that reimbursement is not impacted.

Ms. Beck asked if there is the option for QPAC to write a letter of concern to Medicaid. Mr. Mulvey said he would provide contact information; Ms. White suggested contacting state legislators as well.

Ms. Todd reflected on the progress towards the Special Education Program Improvement Goals for 2014-2015. For the Grade 3 DIBELS fluency goal, multiple strategies have been implemented to move student fluency levels and final data is due in June. For Middle School Math, MCAS scores will be available in the early fall. The Math Reteach Team has met multiple times, shared strategies, sample lessons and activities, and will be focusing on math study skills moving forward. Ms. Carey spoke about compliance issues and IEPs; in reviewing the spring IEPs, language around sensitivity to social or bullying issues have been added to all IEPs. In addition, for students on the autism spectrum disorder, a checklist was developed and has been utilized in all appropriate IEPs reviewed. For the out of district students, Mr. Kelley and Ms. Pattavina are employing the same language and checklist.

For the QPAC update, Ms. Beck said the board’s goal is to rebrand QPAC in an effort to get more parents involved and aiding the students as the first priority. QPAC will be a resource to parents about the many options available outside the school setting; for example, camps and activities that will help students build critical social skills so that they will have the tools to participate in schoolbased activities. Ms. Beck said it is difficult for parents to get out once a month. The hope is that next year, the meeting types and times will be set up to reach the maximum number of parents.

For upcoming events, QPAC will be hosting a Sensory Night on Thursday, June 4 from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm at Quincy High School. This is a student-focused activity night, with no age limit.

For General Parent Concerns, Ms. Nabstedt mentioned that at Quincy High School, Math & English Assist is available for Grades 9-10. For Grades 11-12, there are Study Skills classes offered. Several students have expressed concerns about the transition, so Ms. Todd will speak with the Department Chair about addressing the needs of these students although the intention is for Grade 11 is to be a transition to independence and preparation for college.

Mrs. White asked about students with sensory issues and exposure to first responders. Mrs. White offered her husband for an after-school activity to help familiarize students with police, firefighters, etc. Ms. Todd said the middle school CARES program at Sterling would be a good site for this activity.

Mrs. Mahoney noted that next year’s Special Education Subcommittee meeting dates will be scheduled at the School Committee Special Meeting in early September.

Mr. DiBona made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 6:45 pm. Mrs. Mahoney seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.