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10/27/20

Stand Up for BPS Kids

Rally at 12:30 on Wednesday, October 28th, at City Hall, to advocate to get the High Priority Students back in the classroom.

 

 

A group is being formed to represent families in the City of Boston who have been affected by the closing of in-person school for the past two school years. Our mission is to create a diverse, broad, and collaborative group that helps Boston Public Schools develop creative solutions for providing in-school opportunities for students. When schools were closed in March of 2020, we, like many of you, assumed that our children would be back in school in September. The reality is that the pandemic never left, and is likely to be around for the foreseeable future, including this entire school year and the next. Therefore, we are calling for stakeholders in our school system to address this reality and develop adaptable plans that focus on bringing back in-school learning for this year and next. We want to represent the voices of Boston’s children, parents and guardians from all across this city, and the wonderful teachers who miss their students as much as the students miss them.

 

So, what do we want?

1) The Boston Public School System, the mayor, and city leaders to commit to providing children with the ability to return to school for 2020-2021 school year and the 2021-2022 school year, starting with our priority students

2) The City and Boston Teacher’s Union to create amendments and addendums to the existing MOU that will guarantee priority students the ability to attend school for the 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 school year

3) Clear communication from Boston Public Schools that is proactive, not week-by-week, and will allow families time to adapt to the changing realities of helping to educate our students during a public health crisis”

Thanks,
Marcie Carmody

10/15/20

Press Release: Parents and advocates express concern over thousands of backlogged BPS special education assessments

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Date: October 8, 2020

 

Contact: Edith Bazile, 781-510-3015, esbazile@gmail.com

Roxann Harvey, 617-905-7045, email@bostonspedpac.org

 

Boston schools began providing some in-person services as of October 1; however, parents and advocates in the Boston Emergency Coordination Group expressed concern over a report that the Boston Public Schools (BPS) face a backlog of thousands of assessments. BPS halted these legally mandated assessments in March when COVID-19 closed schools. The assessments are required for BPS students to access special education services provided by the District. The vast majority of these students awaiting assessment are students of color. Students of color are again being deprived of their education by BPS’ failure to develop a plan to address this backlog.

 

“These assessments provide a doorway to needed educational services for thousands of students,” insists Edith Bazile, former BPS special educator and administrator. “That door is now closed, and there is a line of thousands of students and their families waiting outside. As COVID-19 case numbers in Boston continue to rise, conducting these assessments as quickly as possible, while in-person learning can still safely happen, is critical. However, I don’t see any sense of urgency at the District about getting these assessments done.”

 

For Kevin Murray of Massachusetts Advocates for Children, “We are especially worried about children who turned three during the pandemic. They will be in a terrible limbo as of October 15 when they will no longer have access to Early Intervention Services.”

 

Roxann Harvey is chair of the Boston Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SpEdPAC), an organization of special education parents. “We know that the BPS has a huge amount on their plate, but we need to see a specific plan that shows that these children are a priority for the District,” suggests Ms. Harvey. “Somebody needs to step up and treat this like the emergency that it is. ‘We are working on it’ just isn’t an acceptable response now that school has started. The District has a legal responsibility to get this testing done.”

 

The Boston Emergency Coordination Group is a network of local parent groups, legal services organizations, and educational advocates convened by Massachusetts Advocates for Children to address the structural inequities with special education in the BPS, during the COVID-19 crisis and beyond.

10/6/20

Sample Letter:

Sample Letter:

Hello,

The City of Boston and Boston Teachers Union previously stated that if the city reaches 4% positive on Covid testing, all Boston Public Schools would move to 100% remote. Some of our children cannot access remote learning and require their in-person therapies and special education service to prevent regression. I am advocating for all families with students with high needs as defined by DESE and on the BPS reopening site. These families need to continue to have the choice between both options of hybrid and remote. In the past week, 3,400 of our high-needs children have finally been able to access the in-person services that they so desperately needed and we must continue to advocate for their family’s choice to continue to receive in-person services without interruption.

I ask that you come together with other elected officials and BPS to prioritize students with high needs with a plan to keep our kids safe, keep the option for high needs students to receive in person learning, and provide all IEP services, including in-home services. The priority needs to remain on high needs children and family choice for in-person learning services.

“You may choose to add a personal story. You can add details without listing personal information like a student’s name or specific school”

Regards,
XXXXXX

09/4/20

SpEdPAC Meeting Sept 24 – Dyslexia & Reading Comprehension

Topic: Boston SpEdPAC | Dyslexia & Reading
Time: Sep 24, 2020 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85044631662?pwd=aXFtZitPa1M5aDl4cEZMeFBJaEszdz09

Meeting ID: 850 4463 1662
Passcode: 767383
One tap mobile
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+13126266799,,85044631662#,,,,,,0#,,767383# US (Chicago)

Dial by your location
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Meeting ID: 850 4463 1662
Passcode: 767383
Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kMFi4i0E

 

 

 

08/28/20

BPS-Virtual COVID Community Equity Roundtable 15

BPS-Virtual COVID Community Equity Roundtable 15

When
Fri Sep 4, 2020 11am – 12:30pm Eastern Time – New York
Where
https://bostonpublicschools.zoom.us/j/94195032715 (map)
Calendar
bostonspedpac411@gmail.com
Who
(Guest list is too large to display)
Agenda-BPS Virtual Community Equity Roundtable-Rolling Agenda
Hello All,

We will be hosting the second of many BPS Virtual COVID Community Equity Roundtables.
Please feel free to add interested parties to this call invitation.
Agenda to follow, but for now please find below the purpose of the meeting:
Purpose:
1. To communicate with stakeholders about how BPS is prioritizing equity with resource distribution
2. To get ideas from stakeholders how we might make improvements
3. To hear from stakeholders how they might be able to support BPS’ COVID relief effort

In solidarity and partnership,

Charles

Join Zoom Meeting:

https://bostonpublicschools.zoom.us/j/94195032715
Meeting ID: 941 9503 2715

One tap mobile
+19292056099,,94195032715# US (New York)

08/7/20

BPS welcomes in-person services in all Welcome Centers August 17 to September 18, 2020

REGISTRATION

  • BPS welcomes in-person services in all Welcome Centers August 17 to September 18, 2020.  Monday-Friday from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm, by appointment only. 

    Here are a few things you need to know:

    • Services are APPOINTMENT ONLY
    • Up to 2 adults are able to attend the scheduled appointment
    • Everyone, including children over 2-years-old, must wear a mask at ALL times
    • To make your registration session run smoothly, click here for a list of all the documents you will need to bring.
08/4/20

City Council Hearing on the Reopening Plan for BPS SY20-21

On Wednesday, August 12th at 4PM, please join Councilor Essaibi-George and Councilor Arroyo for a Boston City Council Hearing to discuss Boston Public Schools’ preparation and/or planning in the event of extended COVID-19 social distancing measures and related school closures into school year 2020-2021. The hearing will take place virtually and live-streamed on boston.gov/city-council

Members of the public are invited to attend and testify virtually via Zoom Meeting. If you would like to testify, please email shane.pac@boston.gov for a link and instructions to do so. Written testimony may be sent via email to shane.pac@boston.gov email (below) and will be made a part of the record and available to all Councilors.

07/10/20

Disability and the Media A Free ADA Anniversary Discussion

In honor of the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Disability Rights Center – NH and the Institute on Disability at UNH are co-hosting a FREE, public webinar, Disability and the Media, on Wednesday, July 22 from 12-1:30 PM ET. Panelists will discuss disability representation in mainstream and social media, and practical strategies for amplifying the voices of people with disabilities in both traditional and non-traditional media outlets.

Panelists (from left): Andrew Pulrang is a freelance writer on disability, an online activist, and a former Center for Independent Living director. Imani Barbarin is a disability rights and inclusion activist and speaker who uses her voice and social media platforms to create conversations engaging the disability community. Emily Ladau is a disability rights activist, writer, speaker, and communications consultant.

 

The discussion will be moderated by Dan Habib, documentary filmmaker at the Institute on Disability at UNH, who was a photojournalist for 20 years prior to joining the IOD in 2008. Sponsors also include the NH Council on Developmental Disabilities and the NH Bar Foundation.

The webinar will be live captioned.


July 22, 12-1:30 pm ET: REGISTER NOW

 

06/19/20

EXTENDED SCHOOL YEAR (ESY) 2020

The Extended School Year (ESY) is a five (5) week, five (5) day summer program for students with disabilities whose Individualized Education Plan (IEP) Teams have identified to be at risk of substantial regression of skills over the summer.

Due to the current COVID-19 restrictions, ESY instruction for Summer 2020 will be offered completely remote. We are collaborating with various teams to make this a productive summer that will offer rigorous instruction and support for students who are eligible.

THE PROGRAM WILL OPERATE: 

Monday, July 6, 2020 – Friday, August 7, 2020
Instructional Hours: 9am-12pm

If your child is eligible for ESY as indicated by their IEP, please RSVP here.