SEPAC Meeting – February 9, 2021

Call to Order

Introductions: Alison Elmer, Stephanie Greiner, Joyce Schlenger, Sarah Barton, Inae Hwang, Jessica Dombrosky, Chris Carlson, Lauren Bellon, Nathan Forster, Cheryl, Katrina Berenstein, Rebekah, Stephanie Trinkle, Eileen Coleman, Jamie Gallo, Mai Oishi, and Marais Young attended

Approve minutes:

– Meeting minutes from January were approved

Officers/committee reports:

– Our workshop on Self Advocacy from Elise Wulff of MGH ASPIRE last month was very well received. Inae sent the video to Claudia Bertoli to be put up on the APS website.

– Basic Rights Workshop, Tuesday March 16th, from 7 to 9pm

Planning Workshops for the coming year:

– Arlington SEPAC is hosting a Basic Rights – Evaluation and Eligibility Workshop, presented by Phyllis Keenan from the Federation for Children with Special Needs. The workshop is from 7pm to 9pm on Tuesday, March 16thYou need to register via a link to get the Zoom link and password.

APS Staff reports:

– In January we had the Tiered focus monitoring visit. This happens in the middle of a six year cycle. They are reviewing special education, civil rights, and English learner education. They are telling us to wait 60 days from when they are on-site before issuing us a continuation improvement plan. We expect to get the report back in two months. They sent a survey to parents and got 250 responses and interviewed 15 families, including the two SEPAC chairs.

– Tomorrow night at School Committee they’re going to give the budget proposal for the upcoming year.

– Lauren Bellon from the Whole Child group is working on a social-emotional learning vision for more effectively supporting children and families in a more holistic way, paying attention to mental and physical well-being. They talked today about an eight year plan to implement these changes. It’s a grassroots movement that has been slowly growing and working on outreach.

– Last year, before the pandemic, Sarah Burd was going to host a day of workshops related to Social Emotional Learning.

Public participation / New business / Open discussion:

– Federation for Children with Special Needs is holding their conference virtually this year. The cost is $55 per person, and as part of our membership we are allowed to have one educator attend the conference. Melanie Jarboe is a special education lawyer and is going to be on one of the panels at the conference.

– Collaborative Problem Solving has been used more often at AHS, and looks at behavior through the lens of students/parents/teachers do well when they can, and that discipline issues are due to unsolved problems and lagging skills. Dr. Janger would like to have the high school host a parent workshop in the coming year.

– There is a documentary called “The Kids We Lose” and they have been looking into doing a collaboration with SEPAC to host a screening.

– Wakefield Public Schools is hosting Dr. Stuart Ablon, Director of Think:Kids at MGH, on Thursday night, February 11th:

– Stephanie Trinkle asked about how the inclusion specialists work to coordinate work and supports with the general educator, special educator, and aides. APS has added data blocks for grade level team meetings and collaboration between special educators and general educators or reading specialists. Every Wednesday afternoon there is also common planning time. Also, if you look on the A Grid of your child’s IEP, you will see the amount of time for consultation between educators/specialists/paraprofessionals.

– Another question was regarding student goals and how they determine progress. Students have end of unit assessments based on curriculum, plus 3 benchmark assessments each year, plus I Ready math assessments (multiple assessments during the year), plus DIBELS assessments, which are nationally normed reading assessments.


– Our next monthly business meeting is on Tuesday, March 9th, from 9am to 10am on Zoom