SEPAC Meeting – March 10, 2020

Call to Order

-Alison, Lynne, Joyce, Kristen and Chris attended.

Approve Minutes:
– Minutes could not be approved because we didn’t have enough people from the February meeting
present. We will attempt to approve them in April.

Officers/committee reports:
– We are changing our April 14th business meeting to start at 6:45pm in the Gibbs Media Center so we can hold it before the Disclosure workshop (7 to 9pm).
– Jess is almost finished working on the new SEPAC website.
– Inae is hoping to go before the school committee and request that we be able to have a SEPAC Facebook group that is for posting information only (only admins can post, no comments allowed).

Planning Workshops:
– Elise Wulff from MGH ASPIRE will be holding a workshop on Disclosure at our April 14th Business Meeting.

APS Staff Reports:
– Intelligent Lives screening was held yesterday evening. The panel discussion after was informative and
touched on topics such as inclusion and disclosure.
– The legislature passed the student opportunity act, and Arlington was one of around 30 districts who
received funding due to our enrollment growth. We are planning to use the additional funds to target early literacy initiatives and the achievement-opportunity gap/sub-groups affected by the achievement-opportunity gap. At the elementary level this will mean adding certified reading specialists instead of reading tutors to improve equity based on student enrollment in each school. Much of this is geared toward general education, but if we improve Tier 1 outcomes, the likelihood of students requiring special ed services diminishes. In the high school, funds will be used to add special ed staff and general ed staff
so co-taught clusters can be more effective (mostly in ELA, science, math). Ottoson will be adding
special ed staff as well.
– Inae is concerned that the change in curriculum since adding Tools of the Mind has impacted the literacy
rates because it changes when the Fundations curriculum is taught. Ensuring that our math coaches have
the flexibility and understanding to work with diverse populations is also important if our math
interventions are to be effective.
– Ottoson is adding another half cluster (due to increased enrollment), and we are looking into adding a
special educator to that cluster.
– We are in the mid-cycle for TFM (course monitoring). There will be an announcement in the paper with
a number to call if you’d like to do a survey and then be interviewed by the DESE representatives.
– There isn’t any progress on getting a new SPED mailing list. It is possible to create one through school
messenger and using power school to determine who receives an email, but it wouldn’t include those who
aren’t currently receiving special education services, so publicizing it so people can opt in would be
– Middle School transition nights (5th to 6th, 6th to 7th) do not have definite dates yet.

Public Participation: