Massachusetts Special Education Director to Speak in Kingston

Don’t miss a great opportunity to listen to and meet Marcia Mittnacht, the Director of Special Education for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  Ms. Mittnacht will be speaking in Kingston at the next meeting of the Kingston Special Education Working Group on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 7:00 PM.  The meeting will be held at the Kingston Council on Aging, 30 Evergreen St. in Kingston.  Ms. Mittnacht will be speaking about special education programs in Massachusetts.  For additional information, call 508-732-0033.

The Law Office of James M. Baron represents students and parents in special education and other school-related legal matters throughout Massachusetts and New Hampshire.  Please visit http://www.lawbaron.com, or call 781-209-1166 for more information.

Cambridge Sped PAC to Present Several Programs

The Cambridge, Massachusetts Special Education Parent Advisory Council (C-PAC) will have several interesting programs coming up in the near future.  Check out the C-PAC website for more details:

November 7, 2012: Basic Rights in Special Education

  • Learn about the legally defined role of parents in the Special Education process.  This presenter is bilingual and can answer questions in English and Spanish.

December 5, 2012: Section 504 Plans

  • 504 Plans protect individuals with disabilities from discrimination and outline accommodations students need to participate fully at school. Learn how this process works in Cambridge.

January 9, 2012: Sarah Ward – Executive Functioning
Cambridge Citywide Senior Center – 806 Massachusetts Avenue (Central Square)

  • Sarah Ward, M.S., CCC/SLP will present a workshop on executive function skills, which include time management, attention, organization, memory and problem solving.

January 23, 2013: IEP Goals & Progress Monitoring

  • Trudy Wilcox will assist parents in understanding data to set goals and monitor your child’s progress at school.

February 6, 2013: Special Education Mediation

  • Mediator Myrto Flessas will explain the process how parents and school districts may access mediation to resolve disagreements.

March 6, 2013: Behavioral Disabilities Panel Discussion

  • Learn about a variety of strategies for helping students develop skills for positive behavior.

March 20, 2013: Summer Programs & Services

  • Learn who qualifies for extended year programs and how to access summer services;  and hear from a variety of private summer programs that welcome or specifically serve students with disabilities.

April 3, 2013: Who Cares About Kelsey?

May 1, 2013: The Impact of Trauma on Learning

  • Learn about ways parents and schools can effectively support students whose learning is affected by past trauma.
The Law Office of James M. Baron represents students and parents in special education and other school-related legal matters throughout Massachusetts and New Hampshire.  Please visit http://www.lawbaron.com, or call 781-209-1166 for more information.

Marlborough Public Schools and Child Find Responsibilities

Wicked Local Marlborough has posted the following online:

If you know of any school-age child, ages 3 to 21, who is a resident of Marlborough, who is attending a public or private school or who is homeless or has left school, and who could benefit from an evaluation under special education, 504 or educational services under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, contact the Marlborough Public Schools Office of Special Education for information regarding eligibility guidelines and services.

It is the responsibility of the Marlborough Public Schools to identify any child who is a resident of Marlborough who may have a disability, regardless of the severity of the disability.  It is also the responsibility of the Marlborough Public Schools to evaluate those students to determine if they are eligible for special education or related services under IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) or 306 CMR 28 (Massachusetts Special Education Regulations).

Write inquiries to Special Education Director Tina M. Betley or Assistant Special Education Director Karen Sturges at Marlborough Public Schools, Office of Special Education, 25 Union St., Marlborough, MA 01752 or call 508-460-3502 and press 2.

To the extent practical and as required by law, the Marlborough Public School district will work with students and their families to provide stable in-school attendance and other services, according to the department.

The Law Office of James M. Baron represents students and parents in special education and other school-related legal matters throughout Massachusetts and New Hampshire.  Please visit http://www.lawbaron.com, or call 781-209-1166 for more information.

Special Education Child Search in Rockland, Massachusetts

Wicked Local Rockland has published the following news article online:

Rockland parents or people in a care giving or professional position of a Rockland child ages 3 through 21 that suspect the child has a disability and may require special education should call the Office of Pupil Personnel Services at 781-878-1380 for assistance.

Rockland Public Schools offers special education programs at the preschool level and for children enrolled in kindergarten through high school.

The Law Office of James M. Baron represents students and parents in special education and other school-related legal matters throughout Massachusetts and New Hampshire.  Please visit http://www.lawbaron.com, or call 781-209-1166 for more information.

Special Education “Basic Rights Workshop” in Wilmington

Wicked Local Wilmington has posted the following online:

Wilmington Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC) invites parents, guardians and other interested parties to attend a workshop entitled “Basic Rights Workshop” on Thursday, Oct. 25, 6:30-8:30 p.m., at the Wilmington High School Library, 159 Church St., in Wilmington.

Presented by a representative from the Federation for Children Special Needs, this workshop provides families with an introduction to their rights and responsibilities under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Massachusetts Special Education Law and No Child Left Behind (NCLB). It is designed to help parents learn how to be effective partners with the school, to decide the child’s eligibility for special education, to plan, make decisions and to monitor the educational progress of their child.

If you plan to attend this workshop, it would be helpful, but not necessary, if you send an email to fjobrien@gmail.com, so we will have a sufficient number of handouts available.

For more information about Wilmington SEPAC, go to www.wilmington.k12.ma.us/SEPAC.htm.

Read more: Wilmington basic rights workshop set for Oct. 25 – Wilmington, MA – Wilmington Advocate http://www.wickedlocal.com/wilmington/news/x1826359608/Wilmington-basic-rights-workshop-set-for-Oct-25#ixzz2AJkYmDCh

The Law Office of James M. Baron represents students and parents in special education and other school-related legal matters throughout Massachusetts and New Hampshire.  Please visit http://www.lawbaron.com, or call 781-209-1166 for more information.

Special Needs Screening in Duxbury for Children Ages 3 and 4

Wicked Local Duxbury has posted the following regarding special education screenings in Duxbury:

DUXBURY — Friday, Oct. 26, the Duxbury Integrated Preschool will be conducting a special needs screening for children ages 3 and 4. The screening will help to identify students who may require special education services. Children will participate in developmentally appropriate activities designed to screen their speech and language skills, fine and gross motor control and cognitive development. Screening takes place at the Chandler School (use the Ray Coppens Field entrance and park in the designated visitor parking spaces). To schedule a time to have your son or daughter screened, call Christine at 934-7672.

Read more: Preschool special needs screening – Duxbury, MA – Wicked Local Duxburyhttp://www.wickedlocal.com/duxbury/news/education/x1890064616/Preschool-special-needs-screening#ixzz2AF8vvwiK

About my law practice: The Law Office of James M. Baron represents students and parents in special education and other school-related legal matters throughout Massachusetts and New Hampshire.  Please visit http://www.lawbaron.com, or call 781-209-1166 for more information.

Selected to the Massachusetts Rising Stars List for 2012 – Boston Magazine, November 2012

I am pleased to have been selected for a second straight year to the Massachusetts Super Lawyers list of Rising Stars in the area of “Schools and Education.”  This list appears in the November 2012 issue of Boston Magazine.  No more than 2.5% of attorneys in the state can be selected to this list.  Selection for this list is made by the research team at Super Lawyers.

Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters business, is a rating service of lawyers from more than 70 practice areas. The annual selections are made using a rigorous multi-­phased process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, an independent research evaluation of candidates, and peer reviews by practice area.

About my law practice: The Law Office of James M. Baron represents students and parents in special education and other school-related legal matters throughout Massachusetts and New Hampshire.  Please visit http://www.lawbaron.com, or call 781-209-1166 for more information.

Natick SEPAC to Hold Free Special Education Basic Rights Workshop

The Natick SEPAC will hold a special workshop tonight (10/18/12) at 7:00 PM to inform families about their special education rights and responsibilities under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Massachusetts special education law, and No Child Left Behind (NCLB).  The workshop will be presented by a representative from the Federation for Children with Special Needs.  Topics will include how parents can work in partnership with the school district to determine special education eligibility, and how to plan, make decisions regarding education, and monitor progress.  The workshop will be held at Natick Town Hall, 13 E Central St, Natick, MA.  Contact the Natick SEPAC to RSVP and for more information (naticksepac@gmail.com).

The Law Office of James M. Baron represents students and parents in special education and other school-related legal matters throughout Massachusetts and New Hampshire.  Please visit http://www.lawbaron.com, or call 781-209-1166 for more information.

DESE Report Criticizes Waltham Schools for Poor Training and Micromanagement

The Waltham Patch just published a very interesting online article.  It states that the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has reviewed the Waltham schools, and drafted a report very critical of the school system.  The article states:

A new state report, which will be formally presented at the Oct. 17 Waltham School Committee meeting, harshly criticizes the committee itself as well as the district.

The report will unveil the findings of the state’s Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s review of the district, which it began in January. The report will be presented at 7:30 p.m. at Waltham High School.

MICROMANAGEMENT

The report criticizes the School Committee for “micromanaging” the district and recommends that Superintendent Susan Nicholson and the committee join the District Governance Support Project that is intended improve members’ understanding of their roles in the district.

The report also says that some school committee members told the review board that there should be no “micromanagement” of the district and that they should mostly be creating the budget setting district goals. Other members said that “most school committee members do not recognize their proper roles in that they tend to micromanage or ‘want to manage more than support.’” Other district staff, not school committee members, agreed that some members have a tendency to micromanage.

Others interviewed cited a lack of trust between the committee and staff.

“Many interviewees expressed concern about a perceived tendency of some school committee members not to trust and support the superintendent and her staff and not to work with school leaders to support higher levels of student achievement. They described a ‘disconnect’ between the school committee and the administration and said that committee members ‘minimize reports from the district about student performance,’ the report reads.

The report also chastises the district for not having a comprehensive and coordinated professional development system for teachers, which ultimately results in teachers missing a lot of classroom time. The current system has teachers missing many hours of crucial classroom time when they are given school days off for professional development time, according to the report. Also, the current program is not properly coordinated with the district’s goals, according to the report.

“The team found limited evidence to suggest that the district uses student achievement data, program evaluations, or information about staff needs from personnel evaluations to plan professional development,” the report reads.

In total, the district has around 80 initiatives to help teachers improve their performance, but they have not been adequate.

“Interviewees told the team that professional development has been unfocused and superficial, initiatives have been scattered, and there has been no accountability for sharing or using professional development information to improve instructional practice,” the report reads.

The report recommends that district better align teaching priorities with professional development efforts.

The Law Office of James M. Baron represents students and parents in special education and other school-related legal matters throughout Massachusetts and New Hampshire.  Please visit http://www.lawbaron.com, or call 781-209-1166 for more information.

Duxbury Preschool Special Needs Screening

Wicked Local Duxbury has posted the following regarding screening children for special education:

DUXBURY —

The Duxbury Integrated Preschool will be conducting a special needs screening for 3- and 4-year-old children Friday, Oct. 26. The screening will help to identify students who may require special education services.

Children will participate in developmentally appropriate activities designed to screen their speech and language skills, fine and gross motor control, and cognitive development.

Screening takes place at the Chandler School (use the Ray Coppens Field entrance and park in the designated visitor parking spaces).

To schedule a time to have your son or daughter screened, call Christine at 934-7672.

Read more: Preschool special needs screening – Duxbury, MA – Wicked Local Duxbury http://www.wickedlocal.com/duxbury/news/education/x1890057412/Preschool-special-needs-screening#ixzz295iqFsxg

The Law Office of James M. Baron represents students and parents in special education and other school-related legal matters throughout Massachusetts and New Hampshire.  Please visit http://www.lawbaron.com, or call 781-209-1166 for more information.