Jan. 16, 2013 Special Ed Sub Meeting


Quincy School Committee
Special Education Subcommittee
Wednesday, January 16, 2013, 7:00 pm
Quincy High School

  1. Review of QPAC Goals
    Resource Sharing
    Transition to Adulthood
    Needs Evaluation

  2. Review of Collaborative Goals
    Updating the QPS Website
    Updating the Program Booklet
    Monitoring Progress Report Distribution, IEP Implementation

  3. Update on the Use of the Evaluation Brochure and Substitutes Chart

  4. Adjournment/Thank You!


Special Education Subcommittee Meeting

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A meeting of the Special Education Subcommittee was held on Wednesday, January 16, 2013 at 7:00 pm at Quincy High School. Present were Mr. Paul Bregoli and Mrs. Anne Mahoney, Chair. Also attending were Superintendent DeCristofaro, Ms. Judy Todd, Mrs. Donna Cunningham, Mrs. Erin Perkins, Mr. Richard Kelly; Quincy Parent Advisory Council to Special Education (QPAC) Board members Ms. Jill Gichuhi and Ms. Linda Perry; interested parents; and Ms. Laura Owens, Clerk.

The meeting was called to order at 7:05 pm by Mrs. Mahoney. The first item on the agenda was a Review of QPAC Goals. QPAC’s goals are grouped in four categories, including Resource Sharing, where a number of items have been completed and the work on redesigning and updating the QPAC website is scheduled to be completed in February. QPAC is also planning a Resource Fair to be held March 25th at Quincy High School; details are to come to share with principals. For Home-School Communication, a presentation on Quincy Public Schools (QPS) Special Education Programs and Services was held and suggested changes for the QPS website will be reviewed later in this meeting. For Transition to Adulthood, items related to review of existing QPS and QPAC resources are completed. Planning is underway for training for parents and students; QPAC would like to explore the possibility of workshops for transition-related programming as part of Summer Scene. Ms. Todd agreed that this would fit in very well with the NQHS Summer program. District teams are invited to DESE state-wide Transition conference in Marlboro on April 24; all districts in the state are participating in a needs assessment whether they attend the conference or not. The new Needs Evaluation Survey will be conducted online and teachers will be included in this survey; the previous survey completed several years ago was parents only.

The next item on the agenda was a Review of Collaborative Goals. QPAC reviewed the SPED pages on the QPS website and passed on suggested changes, including consolidation of information and additional links. Information about QPS website usage was requested, specifically the number of “hits” for the SPED program pages. The SPED staff is in the process of updating the Program Booklet with the goal of publishing next fall. Ms. Gichuhi requested that flow charts be reintroduced so parents can see how SPED programs progress across grade levels. For Monitoring Progress Report Distribution: Ms. Todd will follow up to be sure that these are being distributed in conjunction with report cards. Ms. Perkins suggested adding an item to the SPED newsletter to remind parents when the progress reports are expected. In terms of Monitoring IEP Implementation, the SPED department worked with the high school teams to ensure that transition issues between middle and high school were handled smoothly.

The elementary and middle school transition has worked well for the last several years. Mrs. Mahoney spoke about students sometimes transitioning out of IEPs just before they begin middle school and then issues resurfacing. Ms. Todd said that IEP information should travel with student records so that the school guidance counselors are aware. For the Update on the Use of the Evaluation Brochure and Substitute Chart, Ms. Todd noted that the Evaluation Brochure is being printed and will be distributed to schools next week. Special Education chairs will include the brochure with the introductory letter to parents. The brochure will also be posted on both the QPS and QPAC websites. The Substitute Chart is almost final; Ms. Todd and Ms. Gichuhi are working on the last round of edits. Dr. DeCristofaro said it will be shared with the principals to add to substitute folders that each teacher maintains.

There was a brief discussion about the new Aspen X2 Student Information System (SIS) which will be implemented for the 2013-2014 school year and the online gradebook component. Eventually, the IEP system will be integrated into this SIS.

For Communications, Ms. Perry noted that Dr. Larry Epstein from Massachusetts General Hospital’s Think Kids behavioral program will be available in the QPAC resource room on February 28, 2013 to consult with teachers who the adopted program philosophy and may want to check in. Ms. Gichuhi announced that on January 28, 2013, QPAC is hosting Communication in Special Education, a workshop about effective communication throughout the Special Education process. See the QPS or QPAC website for more details.

Mr. Bregoli made a motion to adjourn the Special Education Subcommittee Meeting at 8:05 pm. Mrs. Mahoney seconded the motion and on a voice vote, the ayes have it.