Archived News

June 14, 2016; Unsung Heroes

sung-1On June 14, 2016 the MHD SEPAC hosted our third annual Unsung Heroes event recognizing people in our community who have made a difference in the lives of our children with special needs.   These Unsung Heroes included school staff such as; our bus drivers, aides, therapists, teachers, janitors, nurses and people in our community who make Marblehead a great place to live.  These special individuals do special things that make our children feel safe, cared for, and loved.

Each year the MHD SEPAC will host a similar event for our Unsung Heroes.  Check back with us frequently to get further details regarding next year’s event.


Click here
to view the 2016 Unsung Heroes Program Guide.

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May 1, 2016; Unsung Heroes Tickets now available

2016 Unsung Hero LogoThe Board of Directors of the Marblehead Special Education Parent Advisory Committee (MHD SEPAC.org) wants to recognize all the Unsung Heroes in our community who have made a difference in the lives of our children with special needs. Join us for the third annual special Unsung Heroes recognition ceremony.

Click here to purchase tickets and register.

For questions regarding the event contact:

Kate Roeser

katebaileyroeser@me.com

Marblehead Special Education Parent Advisory Counsel
617-750-7766

March 14, 2016; Call For Unsung Heroes Nominations is now open

The Board of Directors of the Marblehead Special Education Parent Advisory Council (MHD SEPAC.org) wants to recognize all the Unsung Heroes in our community who have made a difference in the lives of our children with special needs.

Tell us your story about that special person you have witnessed that has made an impact in the lives of our children. These Unsung Heroes include school staff such as our bus drivers, aides, therapists, teachers, janitors, nurses,in etc. And there are people in our community who also make Marblehead a great place to live because they do special things that make our children feel safe, cared for, and loved. MHD SEPAC wants to collect your stories. We will sift through these stories and will be honoring the stories and a few special individuals who have been especially amazing in their efforts at our second annual Unsung Hero recognition reception and dinner. The date of the recognition award is scheduled for Tuesday June 14th beginning at 6:30pm at the Corinthian Yacht Club in Marblehead. Nominations can be anonymous but please share your stories of these special people in our school community. Please note that all nominations will be published in a booklet and distributed at the event.

Click here to nominate a local hero.

December 16th -Introduction to the Transition Planning Process

On Wednesday, December 16 Susan Parker-Norton Presented Introduction to the Transition Planning Process for the Marblehead SEPAC.  We learned some really helpful hints and tips to make the transition process a little easier to understand and process.

The below link will take you to the PowerPoint presentation notes and some helpful links when entering into this journey.

PowerPoint presentation – Introduction to the Transition Planning Process 2015 FINAL- Training

A Family Guide to Transition Services in Massachusetts:

http://fcsn.org/transition_guide/english.pdf

http://fcsn.org/transition_guide/spanish.pdf

Transition Planning Form

http://www.doe.mass.edu/sped/28MR/28m9.pdf

Postsecondary Goals and Annual IEP Goals in the Transition Planning Process

http://www.doe.mass.edu/sped/advisories/13_1ta.html

Transition Assessment in the Secondary Transition Planning Process

http://www.doe.mass.edu/sped/advisories/2014-4ta.html

Promoting Student Self-Determination to improve Student Outcomes

http://www.doe.mass.edu/sped/advisories/2016-2ta.pdf

July 25th & August 2nd-Transition Center Volunteer Clean Up Day

spurThe MHD SEPAC and SPUR mobilized 58 adult and 28 youth volunteers between the ages of 3-16 yrs to help clean and paint Eveleth School in Marblehead, MA benefitting 18-22yr olds in the special education community. Eveleth is home to the Voice Program (Vocational Opportunity, Independence, Continuing Education), a program that educates students (ages 18-22) within the Special Education Community.

Charlie Allen (www.charlieallenart.com) along with other artists were present working on a beautiful mural for the wall and volunteers were working away.

A special thanks to Becky’s GourmetStarbucks – MarbleheadZICO Coconut WaterHonest Tea and Whole Foods Market Swampscott for donating snacks and beverages. Additional thanks to Coastal Concierge for your assistance, ensuring our team could focus on set up this morning knowing Costal Concierge had the picking up and dropping off of donated food items under control.

June 2nd, 2015 Unsung Heroes Slideshow;

Check out the Unsung Heroes slideshow from our June 2nd recognition event at the Corinthian Yacht Club.

*A special thanks to Laurie Ford Transition Specialist Marblehead High School/ The Transition Center at Eveleth for putting together this years slide show.

March 16, 2015; School Based Positive Behavioral Interventions Seminar as reported by Marblehead Reporter

Credit MARBLEHEAD REPORTER / GATEHOUSE MEDIA NEW ENGLAND.

Credit MARBLEHEAD REPORTER / GATEHOUSE MEDIA NEW ENGLAND.

Every Child Can Learn” say internationally-recognized scientists at Marblehead school event

In an episode of “Super Nanny,” Lynn Koegel, a professor at the University of California at Santa Barbara, demonstrates the evidence-based strategies collected over 30 years’ worth of research to unlock the secrets of reaching children diagnosed with autism.

On Thursday afternoon, March 12, she and her husband, Robert Koegel, also a professor at the University of California at Santa Barbara, showed scenes from this episode as one of the many moving and convincing examples of how to reach struggling learners.

The clip was shown to an audience of parents and Marblehead kindergarten-through-eighthgrade educators in Veterans Middle School’s auditorium to introduce them to their system, called pivotal response treatment.
The Koegel’s visit was co-sponsored and co-funded by a grant received by the district and funds raised by the Friends of the Marblehead Special Education Advisory Committee, a non-profit organization formed in 2014.

Marblehead Public Schools Assistant Superintendent Bradford Smith, whom the district hired in 2014, said the event kicked off a new district-wide strategy referred to as Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports.
The historical foundation of PBIS began in the 1980’s, with the need for behavioral interventions to address students’ challenging behaviors. “The PBIS framework will provide a range of evidenced-based strategies tailored to address the diverse behavioral and academic needs of all students, addressing the whole child.”

The pivotal response treatment the Koegels developed is only one of two proven strategies for treating autism and focuses on a using a few key strategies that transform children displaying even the most disruptive behavior into being able to sit up and listen in class and actively participate in various education and family activities.

In the “Super Nanny” episode, Lynn Koegel was able to use play to encourage a young fouryear-old child to speak his first word. The most moving clipshow was watching a father who had been moved to tears as he and his son were able to set a table together.

Other video clips, taped in schools showed many before-and-after scenes where children with autism were able to learn in classroom settings following what she referred to as “small tweaks” in how the learning material is presented. In one case, a child who was a disruption in the classroom during reading time would yell and rock into children. But after the Koegels worked with him, the teacher and his parents, he was found to become a model student who sat still and made no distracting behavior.

His change in behavior was seen after he had a chance to hear the same story at bedtime the night before the teacher read in class the next day.This effect was called “priming” – one of the pivotal strategies – and showcased the effect that creating collaborations between home and school can have in reaching hard-to-reach students. Other strategies included finding ways to “motivate” the child to learn by personalizing and differentiating the instructional methods. One key method was giving children choices of more than one way to learn the material, such as writing a postcard to mail home rather than tracing letters. Another involved helping children establish a sense of dignity and self-worth by helping them become competent in activities that they could then teach to other students.

Student Services Director Robert Bellucci remarked that the presentation reminded us “all children are human first with the same feelings, wants, hopes and dreams and desire to be proud of themselves.”
Board member of Marblehead Special Education Parent Advisory Committee Amy Carnevale added, “We look forward to future efforts to work with the district so that parents and educators can collaborate and work together in supporting all of our children through efforts like Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports.”

According to Mr. Bellucci, the Koegel’s message and evidence-based demonstrations showed “‘every child can learn” and “was a great way to bring us all together as a community in supporting efforts to educate all of our children.

March 11, 2015; School Based Positive Behavioral Interventions Seminar-March 11th 1pm-4pm

Click here to register;

On March 11 from 1pm-4pm at the Marblehead Veterans Middle School Performing Arts Center , Marblehead Public Schools will hold a seminar in cooperation with the Marblehead Special Education Parents Advisory Committee (MHD SEPAC).  The seminar will feature Robert and Lynn Koegel, nationally recognized experts in the field of behavioral interventions.  The Koegels will discuss the implementation of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) within the Marblehead School System.  PBIS is a method designed to reduce disciplinary incidents and support improved academic outcomes.  The Koegels will also discuss Pivotal Response Treatment which focuses on motivation as a treatment for autism.  The goal of PRT is to produce positive changes in the pivotal behaviors, leading to improvement in communication skills, play skills, social behaviors and the child’s ability to monitor his own behavior.

The seminar will be held as part of the Marblehead School System’s Professional Development Day.  Interested parents and community members are encouraged to participate in this session with local educators by registering for the event.   The event will be held at the High School auditorium from 1:00 – 4:00 pm.  Participants from communities outside of Marblehead are welcome on a space available basis and are requested to register by clicking here.

About the Speakers:

lynn-koegel-csrobertkoegel

Dr. Robert Koegel has focused his career in the area of autism, specializing in language intervention, family support, and school inclusion.  He has published over two hundred articles and papers relating to the treatment of autism.  Models of his procedures have been used in public schools and in parent education programs throughout California, the United States, and in other countries.  Dr. Koegel has written seven books including the PRT Pocket Guide, Pivotal Response Treatments, and Positive Behavioral Support and is the founding Editor of the Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions. He has trained many top health care and special education leaders in the United States and abroad.

Dr. Lynn Kern Koegel, the Clinical Director of Autism Services in the UCSB Autism Research Center and the Director of the Eli and Edythe L. Broad Center for Asperger’s Research, has been active in the development of programs to improve communication in children with autism, including the development of first words, grammatical structures, pragmatics, and social conversation.  In addition to her published books and articles in the area of communication and language development, she has developed and published procedures and field manuals in the area of self-management and functional analysis that are used in school districts and by parents throughout the United States, as well as translated in other major languages.   Dr. Lynn Koegel is the author of Overcoming Autism and Growing Up on the Spectrum with parent Claire LaZebnik, published by Viking/Penguin and available in most bookstores.

The Koegels, are the developers of Pivotal Response Treatment which focuses on motivation.  The Koegels have been the recipients of many awards, including the first annual Children’s Television Workshop Sesame Street Award for “Brightening the Lives of Children” and the first annual Autism Speaks award for “Science and Research.”  In addition, Dr. Lynn Koegel appeared on ABC’s hit show “Supernanny” working with a child with autism. Their work has also been showcased on ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, and the Discovery Channel.  The University of California, Santa Barbara received a $2.35 million gift to expand the physical space of the Center, which was renamed the Koegel Autism Center in recognition of the Koegel’s work on behalf of children with autism and a large gift from the Eli and Edythe Broad foundation to start a Center for Asperger’s Research, which is now part of the Koegel Autism Center.

November 3rd, 2014; Advocate and Special Education Law Panel Discussion

On November 3rd, the MHD SEPAC hosted a Special Education Attorney panel discussion.  This panel was a highly interactive panel discussion for parents and guardians of special education children to gain a better understanding of the process and the different roles attorneys and advocates play.

View Full Presentation:

 About the Speakers:

eileenEileen Hagerty represents students with disabilities and their parents in disputes with their school districts.  She represents and advises parents regarding all aspects of special education disputes, including the TEAM meeting process (evaluations, eligibility determinations, IEP development, program and placement disputes); suspension and expulsion hearings; proceedings before the Bureau of Special Education Appeals (BSEA), including discovery, negotiation, pre-hearing conferences, and administrative hearings; federal district court and appellate court litigation; and attorneys’ fee litigation.  She represents students with all types of disabilities, including autism spectrum disorders; dyslexia and other learning disabilities; attention deficit disorders; and mental health issues.  Ms. Hagerty has been named as a Massachusetts Super Lawyer in the field of education law each year from 2004 to the present.  She was chosen as one of Boston’s Top Rated Lawyers in education law (Boston Globe, 2012) and has been selected as one of the Top Women Attorneys in Massachusetts (Boston Magazine, April 2013 and April 2014).  She was recently named by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly as a Top Woman of Law for 2014.

Prior to joining KCS, Ms. Hagerty was co-founder and partner at a small civil litigation firm.  Before that, she served as an Assistant United States Attorney and a Special Assistant District Attorney, and litigated at a large Boston law firm.  She served as law clerk to Judge Frederick B. Lacey of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey.  Ms. Hagerty lectures and writes frequently on topics in special education law for both legal and lay audiences. She participates in various public service activities, including serving as a member of the board of directors of a non-profit advocacy organization, Massachusetts Advocates for Children (MAC), and serving as MAC’s board chair from 2006 to 2012.  She also serves as a member of MAC’s autism advisory committee.  She is herself a parent of children with disabilities.

laura Laura E. Gillis, is the founding attorney of Gillis Law, LLC.  Gillis Law focuses exclusively on special education, education, bullying and disciplinary matters.  Attorney Gillis and her team represent families before the Bureau of Special Education Appeals and related state agencies.  They guide families in making connections with evaluators and experts and in setting up and pursuing a case.  Legal services include attendance at TEAM meetings, negotiation of out of district placements, change of placement, school discipline, and BSEA hearings or mediation when necessary.  The Gillis Law team uses a results oriented model to ensure timely and efficient resolutions.  Attorney Gillis’ intimate knowledge of this subject as a mother of four, gives her unparalleled insight into the challenges and difficulties parents face.  Attorney Gillis speaks both at the state and national level on special education and related matters, including the Lehigh University Special Education Symposium.  She is a graduate of New England Law, Boston, cum laude and of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, cum laude.

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June 3, 2014; Unsung Heroes

On June 3, 2014 the MHD SEPAC hosted our first and soon to be annual Unsung Heroes event recognizing people in our community who have made a difference in the lives of our children with special needs.   These Unsung Heroes included school staff such as; our bus drivers, aides, therapists, teachers, janitors, nurses and people in our community who make Marblehead a great place to live.  These special individuals do special things that make our children feel safe, cared for, and loved.

Each year the MHD SEPAC will plan to host a similar event for our Unsung Heroes.  Check back with us frequently to get further details regarding next year’s event.

Click here to view the Unsung Heroes Program Guide and Submissions; USH Book 2014 Final

For media coverage of the 2014 Unsung Heroes event; click here