SPrEaD the word

Fall Edition 10.2019

Welcome to the first edition of “SPrEaD the word.” Over the last year, I heard that everyone wanted more communication from my office. Given the Team Chairs serve as the district’s designee to commit district resources at Team meetings, I thought I was doing a pretty good job of getting information out regarding our practices. However, I have learned that the message wasn’t always interpreted or delivered as originally intended. I am hoping that these e-newsletters will assist with streamlining communication, as well as communicating adjustments to our practices and procedures. I am also open to attending special education department meetings.

As many of you know, I have been with the Millbury Public Schools for 17 years. During this time, we have seen changes in administration, education practices, and the range of disabilities. With that said, we need to be open to change. But change is hard! I have often caught myself saying things like “Well that’s how we do it,” or “we’ve always done it that way.” While there is much in the world of special education that is governed by laws and regulations, there are some things that may and need to be adjusted to meet the needs of the students in our current classrooms. Earlier this year, I was in a meeting with members of our department when the Team Chair used what I have dubbed the “Pizza Analogy”. For too long, we have provided all students with a large cheese pizza regardless of what they needed. What if the student only needed a slice or two?

With that said, I invite you all to join me in shifting our mindset to improve our practices and procedures to ensure we are meeting the needs of our students. Will it be easy? Not always. Will it be worth it? Absolutely!

N1s: Writing the Story

Notice of Proposed School District Action

Writing an N1 - Proposed Action

What is an N1?

*A specific, detailed summary of the meeting following a prescribed format

*Factual document, not an opinion document

*Always reflects the unique nature of the particular case

*Answers the following questions:

  1. What action is the school district proposing to take?
  2. Why is the school district proposing to act?

  3. What rejected options were considered and why was each option rejected?

  4. What evaluation procedure, test, record or report was used as a basis for the proposed action?

  5. What other factors were relevant to the school district’s decision?

  6. What next steps, if any, are recommended?

When is an N1 used?

  • Written for any meeting that is held in regard to the IEP. This includes the review of reports, progress meetings, etc.
  • Documents any action to be taken as a result of a Team meeting
  • Change in placement (pull out, inclusion), services

Who would draft the N1?

  • Team Chair
  • BCBA
  • Special Education Liaison

I've never written an N1 before. Help!

These links will bring you to template N1s. If you are in need of assistance, please reach out to your Team Chair.

Parent and Family Engagement

  • Annual Welcome Letter

For the last six years, I have sent a letter welcoming families back to another school year. Because districts are required to send out the Parent's Notice of Procedural Safeguards on an annual basis, this letter goes out mid-September with a hard copy of the procedural safeguards. Many of our families have enough copies of this document to wallpaper their house! As a result, this year, my annual mailing included a link to access this document. Additionally, families were invited to contact my office if they preferred to receive a paper copy.

  • Millbury Public Schools IEP Process Parent Survey
In an effort to best meet families' expectations and improve practices, parents/guardians have been asked to complete a brief survey following all IEP Team meetings. These surveys have been made available electronically, as well as included with the mailed IEP. While we do not yet have any responses to this survey, I am sharing the link to where the responses will be housed. This will update in real-time.