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Wrightslaw Special Education During a Pandemic

Register Here

Free Webinar! Special Education During the COVID-19 Quarantine

May 19, 2020 – 7 pm EST/4pm PST

Parents have so many questions about their child’s special education rights and needs in this time of quarantine.

Join Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge and four special ed attorneys – Pete Wright, Piper Paul, Wayne Steedman, and Jack Robinson – who will teach us what the laws are and how you can help your child RIGHT NOW.

Pete Wright and these amazing attorneys will answer:

🔹What is the federal law during the COVID-19 quarantine?

🔹What is compensatory education?

🔹How can parents advocate for their child right now?

🔹Need for data points: The how and why of evaluations and collecting data.

Register Now! This FREE Webinar Will Fill Up!

Please give the Special Education Law During the COVID-19 Quarantine Webinar

a big loud shout-out on social media!

See you there!


Join Your Board!


Boston SpEdPAC By-laws

The BPS SpedPac’s purpose is to advise the Boston Public Schools (hereinafter the “District”) on matters that pertain to the education and safety of students with disabilities; meet regularly with school officials to participate in the planning, development, and evaluation of the school District’s special education programs and to advocate for the appropriate supports and special education services necessary to meet the individual needs of children with disabilities.

The BPS SpedPac at its Annual Meeting shall elect a Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, Recording Secretary, Treasurer, and a minimum of three (3) but no more than eight (8) Members-at-Large, and two (2) alternate Members-at-Large. These individuals collectively shall constitute the BPS SpedPac Executive Board who serve in their respective roles on a voluntary basis. The two (2) alternate Members-at-Large shall have voting rights only when necessary to constitute a quorum of the Executive Board.



Office of Special Education (OSE) Resources

For Special Education Resources During COVID-19: visit, and click Learning At Home then Special Education.

For Special Education questions, please call or email us at and a member of the Special Education team will be in touch with you.

For School Closure Requests for Support please complete the Google Form here.

For Boston Neighborhood Network (BNN) videos from BPS teachers and staff visit


International Dyslexia Association, MA Branch Webinar

Supporting Your Struggling Reader During the Pandemic:
A Webinar for Parents

These are challenging times, but our struggling readers need us now more than ever. In this hour-long webinar for parents, three guest experts provide timely tools and information for navigating special education services, supporting reading progress at home, and tackling the unprecedented parenting demands of the coronavirus crisis.

Navigating Special Education Services

Michael Gregory, JD, MAT
Clinical Professor of Law, Harvard Law School
Member of the Faculty, Harvard Graduate School of Education

Michael Gregory is Clinical Professor of Law at Harvard Law School where he
teaches and serves as the Managing Attorney of the Trauma and Learning Policy Initiative (TLPI), a joint program of Massachusetts Advocates for Children (MAC) and Harvard Law School. He co-teaches Harvard’s Education Law Clinic, in which law students provide special education representation to individual families where traumatic experiences are interfacing with a student’s disabilities and inhibiting effective progress at school. TLPI also pursues a larger public policy agenda through systemic advocacy to create trauma-sensitive schools. Mike and his husband Matt live in Hyde Park and are the proud parents of 4-year-old Isabella and Roscoe the Goofy Golden Retriever.

Supporting Reading Progress at Home

Dinan Messiqua, MA, MEd, Certified-OG
Special Education Consultant
Communications Chair, International Dyslexia Association MA Branch

Dinan Messiqua is a special education consultant with over 15 years experience working with parents, teachers and educators in public and private schools. She coaches parents on how to navigate the complexities of the special education system, and consults to teachers and school administrators in the Boston area. A former special educator in Brookline Public Schools, she worked within a district-wide language-based program and coached general education teachers before joining the Carroll School in Lincoln, MA as a middle school language arts teacher and Orton-Gillingham tutor. She serves on the Board of Directors for the International Dyslexia Association MA Branch, where she chairs the Communications Committee. Visit her online at Dinan lives in Brookline, Massachusetts, with her husband and two daughters and enjoys yoga, singing, and theater.

Coping with COVID-Related Stress and Anxiety

Ellen O’Donnell, PhD
Child Psychologist, MassGeneral Hospital for Children & Harvard Medical School
Director of Clinical Psychology Services, Shriners Hospital for Children, Boston

Ellen O’Donnell is a child psychologist at MassGeneral Hospital for Children and Shriners Hospitals for  Children, Boston, as well as an instructor at Harvard Medical School. She has authored numerous articles and book chapters on topics in child psychology, such as learning disabilities, coping with a child’s or parent’s medical illness, and positive parenting practices to prevent depression and anxiety in children. Ellen lives in Concord, Massachusetts with her husband and their two boys, who find ways to pull her away from reading books and doing yoga to learn to ski, fish, paddleboard, hike and build stuff in the woods.

Register Now!


MAC’s Remote Access & Language Access Survey

We are writing to encourage you (and other attorneys, advocates & providers) to complete MAC’s remote access and language access surveys on behalf of any families you’ve worked with during the COVID-19 crisis (one survey per family).  Please feel free to also forward the survey links to families directly via email or text.

It takes only about 5 minutes to complete the survey. The results of this survey will be important to help us advocate to remove barriers faced by families, and to help more effectively advocate with the legislature and others to obtain funding for devices, internet access, and interpretation and translation services for families and students across the state. Please complete on behalf of and/or forward to as many families as possible. 


SURVEY English:

SURVEY Spanish:


Let us know if you have any questions, and thank you!

Liza Hirsch

Senior Attorney

Massachusetts Advocates for Children

25 Kingston Street, Suite 2F

Boston, MA 02111

Phone 617-357-8431 x 3225

Direct line 617-874-5345

Fax 617-357-8438



Introducing #COSA:
Connect, Share, Advocate

MAC’s Response to COVID-19


Massachusetts Advocates for Children


4_30_20 SpEd PAC General Virtual Meeting

This meeting starts with Melanie R. Jarboe & Alicia Warren – Special Education Attorneys at Kotin, Crabtree & Strong. The first part of the presentation is about Transition. At 31:10 mins the presentation addresses COVID-19.
Marcia Fitzpatrick, Assistant Director of Transition Services starts her presentation at 49:45.
At 1:06:49 min the Q&A with Kotin, Crabtree & Strong attorneys, and district Special education leadership starts with a Transition question and COVID-19 questions follow.