Pupil Services Monthly
August 25, 2020
The newsletter has a NEW NAME!
In conjunction with building administration, the Pupil Services Office oversees the following departments/areas:
- Early Childhood Education
- Special Education
- English Learner Education
- Civil Rights
- Homeless Education
- Students in Foster Care
- Section 504 Plans
- Title IX Coordinator
I hope you find this e-newsletter informative. If you need additional information, please do not hesitate to email my office.
All students, including students with disabilities (SWD) and English Learners (EL), belong to Cohort A or B as determined by the first letter of their last name. Some of these students may also be included in Cohort C. I have been asked by families and staff how students for Cohort C are determined. Please allow me to explain:
Per the MA DESE’s Guidance on Fall 2020 Special Education Services, “even if the rest of the school has entered into a hybrid or remote model of instruction, schools and districts must make every effort to maintain in-person instruction for students with disabilities, particularly those with complex and significant needs and preschool-aged children.” This guidance further states that students with complex and significant needs include:
Students already identified as “high needs” through the IEP process on the IEP form entitled “Primary Disability/Level of Need-PL3.”
Such students must meet at least two of these criteria:
Services provided outside of the general education classroom;
Service providers are special education teachers and related service providers;
Special education services constitute more than 75% of the student’s school day;
Students who cannot engage in remote learning due to their disability-related needs;
Students who primarily use aided and augmentative communication;
Students who are homeless;
Students in foster care or congregate care; and/or
Students who have been dually identified as English Learners.
Using the above guidelines, Special Education personnel have worked to further analyze service delivery grids for each student. This analysis of students’ IEPs in conjunction with the DESE criteria for prioritizing in-person learning to create Cohort C. These families are being notified this week.
Cohort C students' families may opt to only send their students in for the two initial hybrid days or they may opt for full remote learning. While we would prefer to have our most vulnerable students attend school in person as much as possible, we will honor the families' decision. Regardless of what a family decides, a detailed plan for delivering special education instruction and services remotely and for hybrid instruction will be developed for each student based on their services, as outlined in their Individual Education Program (IEP) or their Section 504 Accommodation Plan.
Regardless of whether a student is in Cohorts A, B, or C, all students will receive all services documented in their Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) and Section 504 Accommodation Plans through in-person instruction, remote instruction, or a combination of both, with a strong emphasis on providing in-person instruction to the greatest extent possible while abiding by the current necessary health and safety requirements. Any necessary adjustments to the delivery of services due to the health and safety guidelines will be communicated to and discussed with the parents and guardians.
Team Chairs, Special Education case managers/liaisons, and guidance counselors will be given time during the first ten planning days to begin contacting families to develop these plans. More information will be shared next week.
For the upcoming school year, Mrs. Susan Lewis will continue to support Elmwood. Ms. Jenn Chartier will serve as the ESL teacher at Shaw, and Ms. Coleen Thomas-DeBari will move up to the Jr./Sr. High School.
Special Education Department
There will also be some shifts in and additions to the special education department for the 2020-2021 school year. These shifts are based on student needs and to support the budget. Staff impacted by these shifts have begun talking with staff, students, and families to ensure a smooth transition.
Beginning this year, we will have a Team Chair assigned to each building.
- Elmwood : Kristie Barry-Ayres will continue in her role as Early Childhood Coordinator/Team Chair. However, she will support preschool through grade 3.
- Shaw: Please join me in welcoming Stephanie Bazinet to the Shaw special education department. Stephanie comes to us from Hopedale. In Hopedale, she served as a Speech and Language Pathologist and was often called upon to chair special education Team meetings.
- MJSHS: Christine Warren will continue to support the Jr./Sr. High School. Did you know that this will be her 24th year!?
After 12 years, Laura Newhall has accepted a new role in Uxbridge. Please join me in wishing her the best.
Sarah McCausland, from French River, will be providing OT services to all students preschool-12. She will be supported by an assistant (COTA), Nancy Lareau.
Speech and Language Department
After 30+ years of services to our students, Mrs. Patricia Siimes retired at the end of June.
With Pat's retirement, there are some changes in this department. Jamie Wilson will continue to support our youngest Woolies at Elmwood. Our newest SLP, Samantha Mansur, will join her. Samantha comes to Millbury with 10 years of experience in a variety of settings. Lisa Farese will not be returning to Elmwood as she has obtained a job closer to her home. Stephanie Hermann will move up to Shaw and Nicole Delisle, Kelly Bartlett, and Vicki Quinn will continue to support the Jr./Sr. High School.
We continue to work to fill the Elementary Special Education Clerk position for Elmwood and Shaw.
Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
This is available to employees, their dependents, and household members 24 hours a day, 7 days per week. For more information, please see the flyer link below.
Do you need PD for License renewal?
SEI or ESL Professional Development
From WIDA, "Six on-demand eWorkshops are available to educators in participating states from Sept. 1, 2019 – Aug. 31, 2020. Relevant content for all educators: school leaders, coaches and facilitators, K-12 classroom teachers, ESL teachers and specialists, and professional learning communities. All workshops are available in the eLearning Center via the WIDA Secure Portal." Please visit the WIDA eLearning page for more information. Should you decide to participate in one of these workshops, please also reach out to me via email so that I may assist in creating your WIDA account. These PD opportunities are self-paced and FREE!
Students with disabilities and instruction of students with diverse learning styles
DESE offers a FREE, online, self-paced workshop that meets these requirements. Please visit DESE's website for more information: Foundations for Inclusive Practices.