All Header Images © Daniel Voegelin http://www.danvoegelin.com/  
 
02/24/21

Meet the Massachusetts State Commissioners

This is your chance to ask questions of MA Commissioners!!

The Federation for Children with Special Needs will be hosting a pre-conference Meet the Commissioners event on Wednesday, March 2 from 4:00-5:00 p.m. Eleven commissioners have confirmed they will attend.

To submit questions, please go to this link: https://forms.gle/KicW8NLXBaN2Uthc8

If you would like to register for this event as well as the Visions of Community conference go to https://fcsn.org/voc/

02/22/21

Boston School Committee Feedback Form on Draft Goals & Feb 24th Meeting

School Committee Priority Setting: Goals and Guardails 

The Boston School Committee is seeking community feedback on a draft set of goals and guardrails that will strengthen the Committee’s focus on student outcomes.
Wednesday, February 24, 2021 at 5 p.m. 

Agenda- EnglishArabic/ العربيةCaboverdean/ CaboverdeanoChinese/中文French/ FrançaisHaitian/Kreyòl Ayisyen, Portugese/PortuguêsSomali/ Soomaali, Spanish/españolVietnamese/Tiếng Việt

Zoom Webinar Link:

https://k12-bostonpublicschools.zoom.us/j/86431426957

Or iPhone one-tap :

    US: +16465588656,,86431426957#  or +13017158592,,86431426957#

Or Telephone:

    Dial(for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):

        US: +1 646 558 8656  or +1 301 715 8592  or +1 312 626 6799  or +1 669 900 9128  or +1 253 215 8782  or +1 346 248 7799

Webinar ID: 864 3142 6957

    International numbers available: https://k12-bostonpublicschools.zoom.us/u/kezbec7COc

Public Comment:

To sign up for public comment, please complete this brief Google Sign Up Form. Sign up for public comment will close at 4:30 p.m. on the day of the meeting.
 

THE BOSTON SCHOOL COMMITTEE
  •  The Boston School Committee is the governing body of the Boston Public Schools. The School Committee is responsible for:

    • Defining the vision, mission, and goals of the Boston Public Schools;
    • Establishing and monitoring the annual operating budget;
    • Hiring, managing, and evaluating the Superintendent; and
    • Setting and reviewing district policies and practices to support student achievement.
Interpretation: 
Simultaneous interpretation services will be provided throughout the meeting in Spanish, Cabo Verdean, Haitian Creole, Cantonese, Mandarin, Vietnamese, and American Sign Language (ASL). When you join the meeting, look for the interpretation icon (the globe) at the bottom of your screen and select your language preference.
To request interpretation services in another language, please complete the Google Sign Up Form. Every effort will be made to fulfill the request.
A video recording of the meeting will be posted on the City of Boston’s YouTube channel and at bostonpublicschools.org/schoolcommittee.
Exam Schools Admissions Task Force Remote Organizational Meeting:

February 23, 2021

5:30-6:30 p.m.

Agenda/Public Notice

Zoom Webinar Link: https://k12-bostonpublicschools.zoom.us/j/89115960641

Or iPhone one-tap :

US: +13126266799,,89115960641# or +16465588656,,89115960641#

Or Telephone:

Dial(for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):

US: +1 312 626 6799 or +1 646 558 8656 or +1 301 715 8592 or +1 346 248 7799 or +1 669 900 9128 or +1 253 215 8782

Webinar ID: 891 1596 0641

International numbers available: https://k12-bostonpublicschools.zoom.us/u/kith2LQsp

Public Comment: Please complete this brief form to sign up for public comment. For the February 23, 2021 organizational meeting, public comment will be limited to a total of 15 minutes. Sign up for public comment will close when full.

Next Remote FY22 Budget Hearing
Tuesday, March 9, 2021 at 5 p.m.
Focus on Central Budget
Zoom Interpretation Instructions: 
The School Committee meeting agenda, Zoom link, and public comment sign up form are posted 48 hours prior to each meeting.
02/10/21

School Committee Community Listening Sessions

Feedback form (English)Arabic/ العربية, CaboverdeanCaboverdeanoChinese/中文French/ FrançaisHaitian/Kreyòl AyisyenPortugese/PortuguêsSpanish/españolSomali/ Soomaali, Vietnamese/Tiếng Việt

Upcoming listening sessions:

Wednesday, February 10th

6 – 7:30 p.m.
Interpretation services will be provided in Arabic, French, and Somali
 
Saturday, February 13th 
10 – 11:30 a.m.
Interpretation services will be provided in Portuguese, Spanish, and Cabo Verdean.
 
Tuesday, February 16th
5:30 – 7 p.m.
Interpretation services will be provided in Arabic, Somali, and French.
Additional information is available at https://www.bostonpublicschools.org/schoolcommittee.
02/8/21

Zoom for in-class students

Hurdles sizable for Boston’s school plan: Zoom still looms for in-class students
Russell, Jenna; Bianca Vázquez Toness.Boston Globe; Boston, Mass. [Boston, Mass]08 Feb 2021: A.1.

Thousands of students in Boston have been stuck at home for nearly a year, dreaming of the day they can go back into school and leave their laptop screens behind. But when they finally return to classrooms over the next two months, many will find no escape from online learning.

To serve both students in the classroom and those at home without hiring extra staff, hundreds of teachers in Boston Public Schools will instruct both groups simultaneously, with everyone logging onto Zoom or Google Classroom — whether they are miles away or 10 feet from their teacher.

District leaders gave schools leeway to devise their own approaches to the complicated demands of reopening, and some found creative solutions. But the online model will be widely used in reopened classrooms, according to district officials. Online classes that pool remote learners with those in school preserve choice for families without adding staff. Yet the approach is little used around the country — and some say it risks shortchanging both groups of students.

“If I’m tethered to a computer, I can’t do right by the kids in the room, and if I’m engaging the kids in the room, I’m not doing right by the kids online,” said Neema Avashia, an eighth grade civics teacher at McCormack Middle School in Dorchester. “I agree 100 percent that students need to be in school — the question is, how do I teach both?”

Under Boston’s current reopening plan, more high-needs students, including English learners and those with disabilities, were able to return to school last week. If the timeline remains unchanged, students in preschool through Grade 3 will return on March 1, grades 4-8 on March 15, and high-schoolers at the end of March.

To keep numbers down and ensure social distancing, students will attend school two days a week and learn remotely the rest of the time. Any family may opt to keep children fully remote. District officials said it is too soon to say how many will choose to attend in-person. Teachers interviewed said they expect at least half their students to remain at home.

For many families, in-school days will be an asset no matter what form classroom learning takes. Some parents have been unable to work without child care, while others have lamented their children’s loss of social contact.

Students living in shelters, in crowded, chaotic households, or in homes with spotty Internet service may find school rooms a far better place to learn, whatever the format. Others simply crave a change of scenery.

“It’s a reason to get up and get ready, to take a bus and go somewhere and move my body,” said Mariella Murillo, a senior at Boston Arts Academy who wrote about her remote learning experience for the Globe. “It gets exhausting to do the same thing every day.”

But some students wonder if it will be worth it to commute to school — increasing their risk of illness — only to log into online classes.

“For me, it’s definitely less motivating, and from what I know so far, I’m leaning against it,” said Lauren Choy, a sophomore at Boston Latin School. “What I love about school is not just being in the building — it’s being able to socialize with friends and teachers.”

School and district leaders stress that students who are physically present will gain social support, better access to services, and more engagement with teachers, even if some instruction is online. They say they have learned from the past year and will incorporate new tools and strategies to make hybrid classes work. The district spent $2.6 million to purchase 3,500 high-tech cameras for classrooms, with wide-angle lenses and multi-directional microphones, freeing teachers to move around, according to the district.

That may sound ideal, said Avashia, the eighth grade teacher, but in reality, remote classes require lots of onscreen oversight. Teachers must watch for and re-admit students who lose their connections, monitor the chat box for questions, and stay vigilant for unauthorized intruders or “Zoom-bombers.” The end result can leave little attention for students in the room.

“It’s putting students in buildings without thought for the quality of their experience,” she said.

At some schools, students as young as 3 and 4 will watch their prekindergarten teachers on laptops for part of the day. Students with disabilities may be taught online as well, with exceptions for those whose special needs make laptop use difficult or impossible.

Schools have found some ways to lighten the load. At Rafael Hernandez K-8 School in Roxbury, teacher Melanie Allen said her principal secured extra AmeriCorps members to supplement the permanent staff and assigned one to every teacher who lacked a classroom aide. As a result, each team can divide their duties, with one monitoring students in online breakout rooms while the other helps students in the classroom.

The school also came up with a creative reopening plan for middle school students that splits teachers’ schedules between school and home. That is critical, said Allen, because wearing a mask sharply limits her ability to engage with online students.

“When you’re on a screen all day, your face is all you have,” she said. “You’re far less connected to others in a mask — especially my [English learner] students, who can’t even see my lips.”

But the rotating schedule will only work for now, when a handful of high-needs students are in buildings. In mid-March, when her school opens to all, Allen and her colleagues will teach online and in-person at once — with their masks on.

There is little research on that type of simultaneous instruction, but it appears few districts have made it a staple. A database assembled by the Center on Reinventing Public Education at the University of Washington Bothell found only about a dozen of 100 mostly large urban districts include “livestreaming” (when remote learners log into classroom lessons) in their pandemic plans. School systems in Dallas, St. Louis, and Sacramento are among them.

Betheny Gross, the center’s associate director, said anecdotal accounts suggest significant challenges with the model, including barriers to student-to-student interaction and difficulty for instructors. Those demands might “move teachers away from practices that elevate students’ engagement [and] create opportunities for student voice,” she wrote in an e-mail.

Lea Serena, a second grade teacher at the Mather Elementary School in Dorchester, said learning in person will be better overall for some of her students, even if they still watch her on a screen. But she worries about the loss of hands-on strategies that make lessons come alive.

“It’s going to help my students emotionally,” she said. “But I don’t know if instruction is going to be that much better.”

For Jessica McGovern, a parent of two BPS students and a pediatrician, the model’s imperfection and the district’s failure to devise more creative solutions are overridden by a sense of urgency.

Her own 7-year-old cries every day he has to learn online, she said, while in her medical practice, she has witnessed “an explosion” of mental health concerns in children.

“Some kids might be learning on a computer in school, and that’s not great,” she said, “but I’d still rather they be with their peers. Kids need their routine, they need a place that’s safe and all the services they get there.”

Jenna Russell can be reached at jenna.russell@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @jrussglobe. Bianca Vázquez Toness can be reached at bianca.toness@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter at @biancavtoness.

Credit: By Jenna Russell and Bianca Vázquez Toness GLOBE STAFF

Word count: 1226
Copyright Boston Globe Media Partners, LLC Feb 8, 2021

02/8/21

Special Education & COVID-19: MAC Chat

Advance registration is required:
REGISTER HERE
Interested in our Spanish Charlas Semanales? Click here for upcoming and past charlas. Join us the third Wednesay of each month at 8 PM.
Resources from our most recent chat:
Live Instruction & Student Engagement: New State Rules and Guidance with MAC Attorneys Julia Landau and Liza Hirsch
Recording
Presentation Slides
COVID-19 Information Clearinghouse
MAC Autism Connections: Virtual Support Group
Complete List of MAC Chats
and Resources
Contact MAC’s Helpline:
617-357-8431

We want to hear your suggestions for future chat topics!

Please contact Lilia Melikechi, Communications Manager, at communications@massadvocates.org.

02/4/21

Ages 14-22: Career Readiness Program

Are you looking to enroll your child in a program that will prepare them for a job/career? Look no further than Partner’s for Youth with Disabilities’ Career Readiness Program! We work with high school students ages 14-22 with a documented disability on everything from resumes and interviewing to advocacy in the workplace and so much more. Interested in learning more? Contact Rebecca Cronin at rcronin@pyd.org or at 617-556-4075 ext 131.

01/27/21

Covid-19 Compensatory Services (CCS) Meetings

Please read and only agree to a Covid-19 Compensatory Service plan that meets your child’s particular needs. It is a legal document and you have appeal rights just like those for an Individualized Education Program (IEP).

Who is eligible for Covid-19 Compensatory Services (CCS)

What services are available?

  • CCS Services are individualized similar to an Individualized Education Program (IEP).
  • Any special education service, placement or accomdation that would help with your child’s individual regression as a result of COVID -19 is an option.
  • The regression period is based on your child and may be from March 18th – June 30th or March 18th – February 1st.
  • You are not limited to any particular options, if the standard options do not meet the needs of your child.

Examples of CCS 

  • Temporary placement Change
  • Specialized rules-based reading program for a particular period of time
  • Social Skills Group (that was not previously part of IEP)
  • Addition of daily check-ins with a counselor for the next 5 months
  • Transition Services beyond age 22

When would CCS Services be Provided?

  • You may choose to develp the service plan but leave the date open until when in-person services are available for Covid-19 Compensatory Services.
  • Specific services may be built into the school day dependent on your child’s needs and schedules.

 

 

01/25/21

Vietnamese Family Weekly Activities

 

Hội thảo tháng 1 và tháng 2 năm 2021!

Trước thềm năm mới VTCMV gửi đến các gia đình thật nhiều Sức Khoẻ, Bình An, Hạnh Phúc,  Phước Lộc!

Do tình hình dịch bệnh vẫn kéo dài, VTCMV sẽ tiếp tục duy trì các sinh hoạt hàng tuần cho các gia đình qua mạng cho đến khi có thông báo mới, cụ thể như sau:

  1. Mỗi tối thứ tư lúc 7pm: Drum ALive:    https://us04web.zoom.us/j/196943028
  2. Mỗi sáng thứ bảy lúc 10am: Music Therapy:  https://us04web.zoom.us/j/925545331
  3. Mỗi chiều chủ nhật lúc 1pm: Youth Group – sinh hoạt cho các em tuổi thanh thiếu niên:    https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85313504078

Rất mong quý phụ huynh tham gia và tạo điều kiện cho các con sinh hoạt.

Lịch các buổi nói chuyện vào mỗi tối thứ năm trong tháng 1 & 2 như sau:

1. Tối thứ năm ngày 21 tháng 1 năm 2021 từ 6pm-8pm
Topic: Nói chuyện với Luật Sư Elizabeth Topaz  – về IEP – Kế Hoạch Học Tập Cá Nhân

Buổi nói chuyện sẽ giúp phụ huynh hiểu thêm về tất cả những điều quan trọng trên một kế hoạch học tập các nhân của các con-IEP, và những lưu ý khi xem IEP.

Link:  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88131427846

2. Tối thứ năm ngày 28 tháng 1 năm 2021 từ 6pm-8pm
Topic:  Nói chuyện với Thạc Sĩ Laura Mead, từ bệnh viện McClean và trường PathWays Academy về hội chứng tự kỷ

Buổi nói chuyện sẽ giúp phụ huynh có thêm kiến thức cơ bản về hội chứng tự kỷ, tổng quan về các chương trình trị liệu và viễn ảnh ở các giai đoạn khác nhau của các con

Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83849216502

3. Tối thứ năm ngày 4 tháng 2 năm 2021 từ 6pm-8pm

Topic: Nói chuyện với Thạc Sĩ Laura Mead, từ bệnh viện McClean và trường PathWays Academy về tư duy phát triển

Buổi nói chuyện sẽ giúp phụ huynh hiểu thêm về Tư Duy Phát Triển, một khái niệm là các con sẽ học được các kĩ năng cần nếu chúng ta tạo điều kiện cho các con học.

Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81471652289

4. Tối thứ năm ngày 11 tháng 2 năm 2021 từ 6pm-8pm

Topic:  Nói chuyện với Nói chuyện với Nói Chuyện Với Thạc Sĩ Giáo Dục Kelley Challen and Tabitha Monahan, NESCA về đánh giá chuyển tiếp trong mùa COVID

Buổi nói chuyện giúp phụ huynh hiểu thêm về các đánh giá chuyển tiếp trong mùa COVID cho các con ở tuổi thanh thiếu niên

Link:  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82728865613

5. Tối thứ năm ngày 18 tháng 2 năm 2021 từ 6pm-8pm
Topic:  Nói chuyện với Nói chuyện với Giám đốc Ginger Kwan, về hành trình của một người chính bà, một người mẹ có con mắc hội chứng tự kỷ

Buổi nói chuyện về hành trình của một người Mẹ có con mắc hội chứng tự kỷ để trở thành Giám đốc một tổ chức chuyên cung cấp dịch vụ cho người khuyết tật tại bang WA

Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89647154867

6. Tối thứ năm ngày 25 tháng 2 năm 2021 từ 6pm-8pm

Topic:  Nói chuyện với Nói chuyện với Thạc sĩ Giáo Dục, Erica Kovach, từ bệnh viện McClean và trường PathWays Academy về Toán học và Hội chứng Tự kỷ

Buổi nói chuyện sẽ giúp phu huynh có thêm thông tin về hội chứng tự kỷ và toán học. Cô Erica cũng sẽ chia sẻ kinh nghiệm của mình trong việc dạy toán cho học sinh mắc hội chứng tự kỷ.

Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81255140418

Lưu ý: Nếu có sự đồng ý của các diễn giả, các buổi nói chuyện sẽ được truyền tải live trên trang Facebook của VTCMV để quý vị theo dõi tại đường link này:
https://www.facebook.com/vongtaychameViet

Nếu có thắc mắc, vui lòng liên hệ trực tiếp với VTCMV tại email: vongtaychameviet@gmail.com

Xin cảm ơn.
VTCMV

Mừng Xuân Tân Sửu 2021!

Vòng Tay Cha Mẹ Việt kính mời các gia đình có con em khuyết tật và tự kỷ tham gia Hội Tết qua mạng vào đêm thứ bảy, ngày 6 tháng 2 năm 2021 từ 6-8 giờ tối.

Mong quý phụ huynh vào đường link này để đăng kí:
https://forms.gle/PyT6zutZevuRxrV88

Hạn chót đăng kí là ngày 23 tháng 1 năm 2021

Lưu ý: Do số thẻ Bingo card hạn chế (50 thẻ), VTCMV sẽ chuyển đến các gia đình đăng kí sớm đến khi hết thẻ. Tất cả các gia đình nào đăng kí đều sẽ nhận được lì xì gửi bằng đường bưu điện.

Đề nghị quý phụ huynh giữ lại tất cả các bao lì xì và chỉ giúp các con mở bao li xì vào tối mồng 6 để cùng đón Tết nếu được.

Xin cảm ơn và mong các gia đình tham gia.

Sau khi quý phụ huynh đăng kí, VTCMV sẽ gửi đường link để quý vị đăng nhập vào Hội Tết.

VTCMV

 

Workshop January and February 2021!

On the eve of the new year, VTCMV sends many families a lot of Suc Khoe, Binh An, Hanh Phuc, Phuoc Loc!

Due to the persistent disease situation, VTCMV will continue to maintain weekly activities for families online until there is a new announcement, specifically as follows:

  1. Every Wednesday night at 7pm: Drum ALive : https://us04web.zoom.us/j/196943028
  2. Every Saturday morning at 10am: Music Therapy: https://us04web.zoom.us/j/925545331
  3. Every Sunday afternoon at 1pm: Youth Group – Youth activities : https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85313504078

We hope parents participate and create conditions for the activities of the children.

The talk schedule every Thursday night in January & February is as follows:

1. Thursday evening January 21, 2021 from 6 pm-8pm
Topic: Talk to Attorney Elizabeth Topaz – about the IEP – Personal Study Plan

The talk will help parents gain an understanding of all the important things on a child’s individual learning plan-IEP, and considerations when viewing the IEP.

Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88131427846

Thursday evening January 28, 2021 from 6 pm-8pm
Topic: Talking to Master Laura Mead, from McClean Hospital and PathWays Academy about autism

The talk will help parents gain a basic understanding of autism, an overview of their child’s therapeutic programs and perspectives at different stages.

Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83849216502

3. Thursday evening February 4, 2021 from 6 pm-8pm

Topic: Talking to Master Laura Mead, from McClean Hospital and PathWays Academy about growth thinking

The talk will help parents understand more about Developmental Thinking, a concept that children will learn the skills they need if we enable them to learn.

Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81471652289

4. Thursday evening February 11, 2021 from 6 pm-8pm

Topic: Speak to Talk to Talk to Masters of Education Kelley Challen and Tabitha Monahan, NESCA on transition assessment in COVID season

The talk helps parents learn more about transition assessments during the COVID season for their teenage children

Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82728865613

Thursday evening February 18, 2021 from 6 pm-8pm
Topic: Talking with Director Ginger Kwan, about the journey of a grandmother, a mother with a child with autism

A talk about the journey of a Mother with an autistic child becoming the Director of a WA service provider

Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89647154867

6. Thursday evening February 25, 2021 from 6 pm-8pm

Topic: Speak to Speak with a Master of Education, Erica Kovach , from McClean Hospital and PathWays Academy School of Mathematics and Autism Syndrome

The talk will help parents get more information about autism and math. Erica will also share her experiences in teaching math to autistic students.

Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81255140418

Note: With the consent of the speakers, the talks will be broadcast live on the Facebook page of VTCMV for you to follow at this link:
https://www.facebook.com/vongtaychameViet

If you have any questions, please contact VTCMV directly at email: khutaychameviet@gmail.com

Thank you.
VTCMV

Welcome to the New Year of the Ox 2021!

Parents’ Arms Vietnam invites families with children with disabilities and autism to join the Tet Festival online on Saturday night, February 6, 2021 from 6-8 pm.

Parents, please visit this link to register:
https://forms.gle/PyT6zutZevuRxrV88

Registration deadline is January 23, 2021

Note: Due to the limited number of Bingo cards (50 cards), VTCMV will deliver to families who register early until the card runs out. All families who register will receive lucky money sent by mail.

Please keep all the red packets and only help your children to open the red packets on the evening of the 6th to celebrate Tet if possible.

Thank you and expect all the families to join.

After parents register, VTCMV will send you a link to log in to the Tet Festival.

VTCMV