Barnstable SEPAC Logo Barnstable Public Schools
Special Education Parent Advisory Council
P.O. Box 623, Centerville, MA 02632
Massachusetts Special Education Law (Section 3 of Chapter 71B) requires every school district to have a SEPAC. This council is charged with:
“…The parent advisory council duties shall include but not be limited to: advising the school committee on matters that pertain to the education and safety of student with disabilities; meeting regularly with school officials to participate in the planning, development, and evaluation of school committee’s special education programs. …”
This is YOUR parent advisory council.
Be involved! Help improve special education services in Barnstable Public Schools.

Welcome to Barnstable SEPAC

Check "Upcoming Events" frequently for events across Massachusetts related to special education.

Please! Take the Barnstable SEPAC Survey

Watch for Fall 2019 Meeting Schedule

Executive Director of Special Education Search – Update May 23, 2019

At last evening’s Special School Committee Meeting, the position of Executive Director of Special Education was changed to two, Co-Director positions on the recommendation of Superintendent Mayo-Brown.

The division of the position is:
1) Director of PreK through Grade 5
2) Director of Grades 6-12 (to age 22)

Please welcome Catherine Zinni, who was hired for the Director of PreK through Grade 5 position. She comes to Barnstable with experience in several school districts as a teacher, principal, and administrator. Catherine Zinni also taught at Leslie University and Bridgewater State University.

Eric Bruinooge was placed in the position of Director for Grades 6 through 12 (and to age 22).

I did my best to represent the interests of the parents. During public comment at the beginning of the meeting, I urged the Committee to postpone action to allow input from the community and because Mike Judge, the School Committee member who served on the Search Committee, was not at the meeting to vote.

The confidentiality required when serving on a Search Committee prevented my posting any details as I provided updates on the search and when announcing last evening’s School Committee meeting. The meeting will be broadcast on Channel 22.

Some of you may be interested in the reorganization of the BHS administration which was also approved.

I would like to thank the parents who attended the School Committee meeting on such short notice.

The next School Committee meeting is Wednesday, June 5 at 7pm.

Kathleen Bent, Barnstable SEPAC President

IMPORTANT Information About IEPs:

The District switched to a new IEP software program this school year. The District claims they are experiencing glitches with the software.

Because of this check your IEP carefully:

  • Make sure the Page # of # is displayed (i.e. Page 2 of 22) at the bottom of each page to ensure the IEP you received is complete.
  • Service Delivery Grid – “Use multiple copies of this form as needed” is printed under Grid C. Request another page if you need more rows in parts of the Service Delivery Grid. Do not allow the District to remove services because there isn’t enough space. The District says it will put the information requested in the “notes” instead. This is unacceptable. ALL SERVICES YOUR CHILD NEEDS MUST APPEAR IN THE GRID.
The state requests the Grid when investigating parent complaints about service delivery – if it isn’t in the Grid, it may not be a service that is covered under the law. This includes the details for each service (for example: type of service provider)

Always read the IEP you receive carefully to ensure everything is correct BEFORE signing. If it is incorrect, DO NOT SIGN IT.

Parents have reported:

  • Parts missing from their IEPs
  • Service Delivery Grid – missing services and inaccurate information

Words Can Make a Difference

A small word in your child’s IEP can make a BIG difference.
This month’s terms for Words Can Make a Difference are accommodations vs. modifications

Accommodations are changes the teacher makes to help your child learn the same content or material as their classmates
Modifications are changes to the educational content itself

Why is this Important?
Curriculum frameworks are provided by the state to ensure all students have the opportunity to earn a high school diploma which means students must pass MCAS. When your child’s educational content is modified it could eliminate some important educational content necessary for your child to receive the explicit instruction in line with MCAS standards.

In other words:
Accommodations change how a student is taught or expected to learn.
Modifications change what a student is taught or expected to learn.

When a student’s IEP is written using accommodations, the likelihood of your child receiving explicit instruction for meeting MCAS standards greatly improves and is in line with what typical students receive.

All Are Welcome!
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P.O. Box 623, Centerville, MA 02632

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Last Revision - Saturday May 25, 2019
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