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SpEdPAC survey on spending Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) 400 million dollars

Congress has provided financial support for districts and schools through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund to address the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Boston Public Schools will be receiving $400 million through this fund.

Please help us ensure that the many voices of the BPS Special Education community are heard during the BPS Federal Relief Funding Commission meetings by sharing your thoughts on how these funds should be applied.

Additionally, you may sign up for public comment (link coming soon) at any of the 5 Commission Meetings.


El Congreso ha brindado apoyo financiero a los distritos y escuelas a través del Fondo de Ayuda de Emergencia para Escuelas Primarias y Secundarias (ESSER) para abordar el impacto continuo de la pandemia COVID-19. Las Escuelas Públicas de Boston recibirán $ 400 millones a través de este fondo.

Ayúdenos a asegurarnos de que se escuchen las muchas voces de la comunidad de educación especial de BPS durante las reuniones de la Comisión de Financiamiento de Ayuda Federal de BPS compartiendo sus pensamientos sobre cómo deben aplicarse estos fondos.

Además, puede registrarse para recibir comentarios públicos (el enlace estará disponible pronto) en cualquiera de las 5 reuniones de la Comisión.

Thursday/Jueves, May 13, 5:00pm

Thursday/Jueves, May 27, 5:00pm

Thursday/Jueves, June 10, 5:00pm

Thursday/Jueves, June 24, 5:00pm

Thursday/Jueves, July 1, 5:00pm

Click here for more information, to register for Commission meetings, and view a list of Commission members.
Haga clic aquí para obtener más información, registrarse para las reuniones de la Comisión y ver una lista de los miembros de la Comisión.


Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports (PBIS)

Parent University Leadership Forum & Coffee Hour
Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports (PBIS)

Thursday, May 13, 2021 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm

Virtual meeting details will be provided to all confirmed registrants via email.
Join Behavioral Health & Parent University for our virtual Leadership Forum & Coffee Hour on PBIS. We will discuss why families and caregivers should consider using positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS) in their homes especially when normal routines are disrupted by events such as a worldwide health pandemic.

We will provide recommendations for families and caregivers on how to use PBIS to continue to support their student’ social and emotional well-being and minimize challenging behavior in the home.

CLICK HERE TO JOIN  and visit the Parent University page for more information.

The BPS Parent University was created as the primary strategy to build the capacity of parents to be actively engaged in their child’s education.  The goal of the program is to “educate and empower parents as partners, advocates and lifelong teachers” in their child’s education through educational courses and leadership opportunities. Visit Parent University  to learn more about our program.

Survey from Tiered Focused Monitoring System & Parent Interviews

The Department of Elementary & Secondary Education (DESE) is reviewing BPS compliance with special education and civil rights law. Additional information about the process may be found here.

If you have a child with an Individualized Education Program (IEP), you will receive a survey by email in the next two weeks.  If you want to be interviewed to share your experience, please contact Kenzie Chin,,  or Samantha Alvarez,

Compliance concerns may be directed to Boston’s Problem Resolution System contact person, Stacey Hayes, 781-338-3716,

en español


Mass Advocates for Children Upcoming Events


Special Education & COVID-19: MAC Monthly Chat Series

Second Thursday of each month from 8 – 8:45 PM


5/13 Chat: Tips for Filing Special Education Complaints during COVID-19 and Recovery and Q&A with MAC attorneys Liza Hirsch and Julia Landau


As part of our response to the COVID-19 pandemic and recovery, and to support families as students begin returning to school in-person, MAC is leading monthly virtual chats for parents to connect with each other and learn the latest updates and advocacy tips.


For our next chat, MAC attorneys Liza Hirsch and Julia Landau will provide tips for filing complaints and will also answer questions you may have regarding in-person learning, compensatory services, IEPs, MCAS, summer services, and recovery. Ask questions and learn from each other about how to navigate the many changes your family is experiencing during the pandemic.


This chat will be helpful for parents of children with all types of disabilities, including autism.

Please bring your questions. We want to hear from you!


Advance registration is required:

Interested in our Spanish Charlas Mensuales? Click here for upcoming and past charlas.

Join us the third Wednesday of each month at 8 PM.

Help us help you!


We want to get to know you and how our chats have been able to help you through this time.


If you’ve attended a MAC Chat, please take our 3 minute survey to help us better serve you:

This survey will close May 17th.

More Upcoming Events:

BSEA Mediation and Facilitated Team Meetings during the pandemic year


The Coalition to Defend Special Education welcomes Myrto Flessas, Coordinator of Mediation and Facilitation at the Bureau of Special Education Appeals (BSEA), to present on BSEA Mediation and Facilitated Team Meetings during the pandemic year.


Please RSVP to to receive the Zoom link and information.

Person-first and Identity-first Language: A Focus Group for Young People with Disabilities

Join MAC Communications Manager Lilia Melikechi for a focus group discussion on the use of person-first and identity-first language. MAC is reflecting on our practices around speaking and writing about disability, and it is important to us that we center the perspectives of young people with disabilities in this process.


Open to youth ages 15-22 with disabilities.

This focus group will take place on Zoom. If interested, please RSVP to


City Council Education Budget Hearings on Closing Achievement & Opportunity Gap

All the Council hearings and working sessions will be conducted virtually via Zoom, and will be livestreamed online. The public is encouraged to watch all the hearings and working sessions via the livestream or broadcast on Xfinity Channel 8, RCN Channel 82, and Fios Channel 964. Additional information here.

One of a series of hearings to review the FY22 Budget. The focus of this hearing is the FY22 budget for the Boston Public Schools Department. This hearing will cover topics including OAG policy alignment and implementation, workforce diversity, curriculum bias review, code of conduct implementation and disproportionality, social/emotional learning and wellness, family liaisons, social workers, school psychologists, and nurses, trauma/crisis response, behavioral and mental health supports, and HERN, as well as use of federal funds for BPS’s Return and Recovery plans.


May 7th Special Ed Goals Presentation at Equity Roundtable

Please join BPS this Friday, May 7th from 11- 12:30 PM at Community Equity Roundtable to  hear our Assistant Superintendent of Special Education, Ethan d’Ablemont Burnes present our district’s goals and strategic  plan for Special Education inn Boston.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 825 1810 6827


Commission to Advise on Spending of $400 Million in BPS

Email to share your input.

Updates Here

Federal Relief Funding

BPS is expecting $400M via the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund.

Grounded in the community-driven strategic plan, BPS will invest these one-time federal relief funds to return well, recover strong, and reimagine what’s possible for our students.

Superintendent Cassellius has formed a Commission to represent the voices of key BPS audiences and advise on the best way to invest federal relief funds. The Commission will host 5 meetings that will be open to the public and at the end of each meeting there will be a public comment period. There will also be a 30 day review and comment period from July 1 to July 30 on the final recommendations of the commission to the Superintendent.


Commission Meetings: 

Thursday, May 13, 5:00pm

Thursday, May 27, 5:00pm

Thursday, June 10, 5:00pm

Sunday, June 27, 5:00pm

Thursday, July 1, 5:00pm

Zoom links and sign up for public comment coming soon!


BPS School & District Leaders:

Dania Vazquez, Head of School – Margarita Muniz

Grace Wai, School Superintendent/Executive Team Member

Karla Jenkins, Principal of Higginson Inclusion School (K0-2)

BPS Stakeholders:

Ayele Shakur, Opportunity and Achievement Gaps Task Force

Ruby Reyes, Boston Education Justice Alliance (BEJA)

Suzanne Lee, English Language Learner Task Force

BPS Parents:

Roxanne Harvey, President – Boston SPED PAC

TBD, Citywide Parent Council Representative

Boston School Committee:

Alex Oliver-Davila, Chair of BPS School Committee

Jeri Robinson, Member of BPS School Committee


Jim Rooney, President & CEO -Boston Chamber of Commerce

Neil Sullivan, PIC

Civil Rights:

Celina Barrios-Millner, Chief of Equity and Inclusion

Ivan Espinoza-Madrigal, Executive Director – Lawyers for Civil Rights

Keith Motley, Urban League

Margaret McKenna, Chair of Human Rights

Tanisha Sullivan, President – NAACP

Faith Based/OAG:

Matt Thompson, Jubilee Church Boston

Sam Acevedo, GBLN, HERN, OAG CO-Chair

Higher Education:

Marcelo Suarez-Orozco, UMASS Boston Chancellor

Pam Eddinger, President Bunker Hill Community College

Paul Reville, Harvard

Valerie Roberson, Roxbury Community College


Chris Smith, Boston After School and Beyond


John Jackson, Schott Foundation

Lee Pelton, The Boston Foundation


Rahn Dorsey, Stakeholder


Mercer Xyra, BSAC Student Representative

TBD, BSAC Student Representative

Teachers & BTU:

Jessica Tang, President /Boston Teachers Union

Theresa Garcia de Quevedo, Mildred Ave School