Tiered Focused Monitoring

March 2022

Department of Elementary and Secondary Education


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March 2, 2022

Dear WPS families,

During the week of March 28, 2022, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s Office of Public School Monitoring (PSM) will conduct a Tiered Focused Monitoring Review of Watertown Public Schools. The Office of Public School Monitoring visits each district and charter school every three years to monitor compliance with federal and state special education and civil rights regulations. Areas of review related to special education include student assessments, determination of eligibility, the Individualized Education Program (IEP) Team process, and IEP development and implementation. Areas of review related to civil rights include bullying, student discipline, physical restraint, and equal access to school programs for all students.

In addition to the onsite visit, parent outreach is an important part of the review process. The review chairperson from the Office of Public School Monitoring will send all parents of students with disabilities an online survey that focuses on key areas of their child’s special education program. Survey results will contribute to the development of a report. During the onsite review, the Office of Public School Monitoring will interview the chairperson(s) of the district’s Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC). Other onsite activities may include interviews of district staff and administrators, reviews of student records, and onsite observations.

Parents and other individuals may contact Dee Wyatt, Public School Monitoring Chairperson, at dee.wyatt@mass.gov to request a telephone interview. If an individual requires an accommodation, such as translation, to participate in an interview, the Department will make the necessary arrangements.

Within approximately 60 business days after the onsite visit, the review chairperson will provide the district with a report with information about areas in which the district meets or exceeds regulatory requirements and areas in which the district requires assistance to correct or improve practices. The public will be able to access the report at http://www.doe.mass.edu/psm/tfm/reports/.

Please see below additional information about an informational session, as well as an updated list of the Watertown Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC) officers.

Kind regards,

~Kathleen Desmarais

Director of Student Services

Tiered Focused Monitoring Family Orientation

Dee Wyatt, Public School Monitoring Chairperson with the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, will present an orientation to the monitoring process for all families of students with Individual Education Programs (IEPs), in partnership with the Director of Student Services and the Watertown Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC). The meeting will be held virtually. There will be time for Questions and Answers following the presentation.

Tiered Focused Monitoring Orientation

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

6:00 - 7:00 p.m.


Special Education Parent Advisory Council

The Watertown Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC) serves to support families of children with disabilities and to advise the district on continuous improvements to our IEP programs and services. You can reach out to the SEPAC at wps_sepac@watertown.k12.ma.us.

Current SEPAC officers are:

Cara Coller, SEPAC Co-Chair

Heather McManus, SEPAC Co-Chair

Debi Cornelius, Co-Secretary

Michelle Zoberg, Co-Secretary

Hilary Leamer, Secretary

Susan Cournoyer, Co-Training Coordinator

Rachel Kay, Co-Training Coordinator

The School Committee Liaison to the SEPAC is Lily RaymanRead, and she can be reached at lily.raymanread@watertown.k12.ma.us.

Contact Information

As always, if you have any questions or concerns regarding your child and their IEP or 504 services, please do not hesitate to reach out at the school level. Families of children with IEPs can contact their child’s special education liaison (typically their primary special education teacher) or their Evaluation Team Chair. For 504 plans, the guidance counselor and Evaluation Team Chair are the primary contacts. The building principal should be contacted if there are any issues that are not resolved after communications with the liaisons, classroom teachers, and Evaluation Team Chairs. For any additional questions, concerns, or information, please contact the Student Services office and ask to speak with the Assistant Director, Jason DelPorto, or Director, Kathleen Desmarais at 617 926 7766. We are here for you!