Director's Updates

What's Going On In The World Of Special Education in Bedford

Presentation to the Rotary Club

On September 13, 2022, I was invited to present at a Bedford Rotary Club meeting on inclusion. It was so nice to meet the members of the club and so interesting and exciting to hear about the Rotary's initiatives around inclusion. Although I was there to share my knowledge about inclusion and inclusive practices, they shared with me some stories about previous experiences including students in the district and the support that the Rotary Club provided so that the student could be successful. I really enjoyed meeting and speaking with the members. I look forward to continued collaboration in the future.

Something I think are important that you should know about the Rotary Club: Rotary Club of Bedford has a Program called BRIC2 where students are provided community service credit for doing things to improve life in town. Assisting with Bedford TV is one area where community service has been progressing nicely since 2017. Rotary Club is committed to accommodating student with disabilities so that they can be successful in this program.

The Rotary has two classes that students can sign up for on-line through the Recreation Department. The classes are for Grades 3-5 and for 6-8 and both take place for 5 weeks.

Special Olympics Massachusetts Unified Champion School!

Bedford High School has been recognized by Special Olympics Massachusetts as a 2021-2022 Unified Champion School. I want to give a shout out to our Athletic Director, Keith Mangan for bringing Unified Basketball to Bedford. Under his leadership, the staff and student have demonstrated a commitment to meaningful inclusion through unified sports, inclusive youth leadership and whole school engagement. The certificate that was presented to BHS says, "Thank you for your school's commitment to fostering a socially inclusive school climate that emphasizes acceptance, respect and human dignity for all students." I couldn't be more proud of Keith, the staff and students at BHS. Congratulations and Thank you!!

News from your Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC)

First SEPAC meeting of the year is October 20th at 8 pm! Come meet other parents of Bedford children receiving special education services! SEPAC (special education parent advisory council) is a volunteer group of parents that work to provide networking and support for Bedford parents/caregivers of children receiving special education services. In conjunction, they work closely with the school administration on special education needs and concerns.

Facebook group:


Please join us to discuss this years programming.

October 11, 2022 Bedford SEPAC Presents to School Committee

Bedford SEPAC to present on FCSN Apple Conference (for Massachusetts SEPACs) and ongoing work.

October 20, 2022 @ 8 pm Bedford SEPAC General Meeting

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 980 9929 7165

Passcode: 625731

November 3, 2022 @ 7pm Learn about Section 504 Plans (Zoom)

Please join us as Bedford hosts the Federation for Children with Special Needs as they present on section 504 plans. Learn how 504 plans help provide support to students with disabilities. Registration Link:

November 9, 2022 @ 8pm Bedford SEPAC Parent & Caregiver Night Out

Red Heat Tavern Bedford. Come meet and chat with other parents and caregivers of Bedford children receiving special education services! Appetizers to be provided.

November 17th, 2022 @ 8pm Bedford SEPAC General Meeting

Please join us for updates and to discuss this years programming. Zoom to come 2 weeks prior.

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Special Education Administrator's Professional Development with Lynn Lyons

On October 28th, the Special Education Administrators and I had the opportunity to hear Lynn Lyon's speak. For those of you who don't not know Lynn Lyons, she is a expert in child and adolescent anxiety. She was amazing! We learned so much that day. Here's a list of my top 10 takeaways:

1. Anxiety is predictable

2. Anxiety is redundant. It does the same thing over and over.

3. Anxiety is persistent. It comes back.

4. Teach the student about anxiety and how it works.

5. Give the students strategies

6. This is a marathon, not a sprint.

7. Consistency is key.

8. Progress isn't a straight line

9. We need to focus on the process of the anxiety cycle, not the content or the thing the student is anxious about.

10. Being uncomfortable is not the same thing as being unsafe.

Lynn has a podcast that I highly recommend. She is straightforward and practical. It is called

Fluster Clux With Lynn Lyons: For Parents Who Worry

I just started reading her book, Anxious Kids, Anxious Parents: 7 Ways to Stop the Worry Cycle and Raise Courageous & Independent Children. I'm enjoying it so far!

You can learn more about Lynn on her website. You can also sign up for her newsletter on

Continued Collaboration with The Bedford Recreation Department

On September 15, 2022, Philip Conrad, Dr. Trisha Clifford, Julie Kirrane and I met with the Director of the Recreation Department, Josh Smith. We were happy to report on the successful collaboration between the departments over the summer. We are very much looking forward to continued collaboration as we continue to work on a shared goal of inclusivity for all.

October 14-31 Children's Autism Waiver Open Application Period

Please visit this website to learn about the Children’s Autism Medicaid Waiver open application period which is Oct 14-31 this year. This is a great opportunity for families to apply for services necessary to support their children with autism under age 10 in the home and community. Families who want to apply for these services (slots are limited) must fill out the attached one page form and send it to DDS between Oct. 14-31.

Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS)

Michelle DellaValle is excited to let you know that Bedford High School is partnering with Northeast Independent Living Program (NILP) to offer a Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS) group. Pre-ETS is a free 12-week program designed to support students to develop the skills and knowledge necessary for meaningful and successful employment. Additional information about the program is attached.

If you are interested in having your high school student participate, please fill out the attached paperwork and send it back to Michelle DellaValle or to your student's liaison. We need to have at least five students to run the program and it will cap at 20. If we have more than 20 students interested, we will look into running a second group.

The program will be Wednesday afternoons from 1:00 to 2:00 at Bedford High School with an anticipated start date of October 26th (this may change due to enrollment). No transportation is provided but students are welcome to use Bedford transportation (i.e. "late bus") if it is available. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to me or to Steve Michelson at NILP -