SEPAC Meeting – May 11, 2021

Call to Order

Introductions: Alison Elmer, Inae Hwang, Sarah Barton, Jessica Dombrosky, Kristin Burke, Lynne Bennett, Sophie Prevost, Chris Carlson, Joyce Schlenger, Bill Hayner, Stephanie Trinkle, Samrat Bhattachan, Tracy Perneta attended

Approve minutes:

– Meeting minutes from April were approved

Officers/committee reports:

– We have been thinking about our next steps and events/workshops for next year.

– At a subcommittee meeting for the School Committee, David Goode mentioned that they could host our website, and the District can then link to that website from the Special Education page. Alison said she could follow up with Dan Sheehan, who has taken over for David Goode since he retired. There will be a notice when you are redirected that you are leaving the district website to visit the SEPAC website.

– We will be having a Social Hour tonight at 7:30 at this same Zoom Link, where parents and caregivers can chat and commiserate, not in an open meeting format. There will be breakout rooms, based on different ages or disabilities. School staff will not be present for the social hour. Any parents can attend, even if you don’t have an IEP or 504. If you’re at all interested, you can attend.

– Inae will be reporting back to the School Committee about SEPAC in June (June 10th).

– Alison and Inae are on a hiring committee for the new district position for the Director of Diversity/ Equity/Inclusion. We are trying to find someone who can represent the District well in all of these facets, at the intersection of these facets, and how they influence our District and how it operates as a whole.

Planning Workshops for the coming year:

APS Staff reports:

– Bill Hayner is the new School Committee Liaison to SEPAC, and is in attendance at this meeting.

– MCAS is starting in certain grades at the elementary schools today. MCAS has limited the number of sessions, pushed the testing window back, and expanded the number of days where testing could occur. High Schoolers had the MCAS requirement waived unless they are applying for state scholarships.

– The Whole Child team has been working on holding a Community Day in June to close out the year and as a send-off to summer.

– Dr. MacNeal will be reporting on our Tiered Focus Monitoring results from the evaluation that was done in January. There are no findings or procedural issues in Special Education this time, and they don’t issue a report unless they find issues, so Alison doesn’t have a report to share.

– The coffee chat with the School Committee (bring your own coffee, because it’s happening on Zoom)

SEPAC Board Nominations:

– Inae would like to stay on as Chair

– Sarah would like to stay on as Co-Chair

– Jess would like to stay on as Secretary

– Other possible positions are Social Media Coordinator or School Liaisons.

– Stephanie Trinkle would like to be the Brackett School Liaison.

Public participation / New business / Open discussion:

– Bill mentioned that school committee chats run every Saturday this year. There are focus groups in these chats for different topics, and Special Education has been discussed at least twice this year. An anonymous report from these chats is generated and shared with the administration. The feedback from the District has been positive, and these meetings will continue into next fall.

– Stephanie Trinkle had previously mentioned the different types of monitoring used to determine effective progress for children with IEPs. She was trying to figure out where in the IEP this monitoring and progress was addressed. Alison mentioned that if a student scores at high risk on the DIBELS, their progress will be monitored more frequently than a student whose scores indicated lower risk. Progress monitoring tools aren’t usually mentioned in a student’s IEP. Inae said that decoding the different parts of your IEP and their functions could be a potential workshop for next year.

– Stephanie asked if someone reviews an IEP after it is put together, before it’s sent to parents. Alison said that responsibility belongs to the Team Chair.


– We will hold Board Elections at next month’s SEPAC meeting.

– Our Social Hour

– Our next meeting is an Evening Meeting, June 8th, at 7pm. Our special guest, Dr. Liz Holman, our incoming Superintendent, will be attending.