Hingham SEPAC Board:
Katie Gaughen, Co-Chair
Courtney Orwig, Co-Chair
Jen Doan, Secretary
Beth Koyce, Treasurer
Tricia Byrnes, PR/Outreach
SEPAC PTO Liaisons by School:
East, Zoe Pirnie,
Foster, Laura Struzziery, firstname.lastname@example.org
PRS, Sharon Burnett,
South, Kerry Ni,
HMS, Holly Pilotte,
HHS: Janice Sullivan,
Hingham School Committee Liaisons:
Edward Schreier and Kay Praschma
Early Access to Care:
Resources for Parents
If you have concerns about your child's development, or someone you care about, you have come to the right place. Early intervention is important. Learning the signs, examining your child's development, and getting the right diagnosis and treatment as early as possible can make a lifetime of difference.
Through awareness and dissemination of information and resources, the Autism Speaks Early Access to Care initiative seeks to reduce the average age of autism diagnosis and increase access to high-quality early intervention for all children on the autism spectrum.
This website is focused on helping you as a parent, caregiver, or concerned adult, to understand developmental milestones, learn how to screen for autism symptoms, and access proper services if you feel a child may have autism. Please take a look at these 4 steps:
Step 1: Understand Developmental Milestones and Learn More about Autism
Step 2: Screen Your Child and Talk to Your Healthcare Provider
Step 3: Access Early Intervention ServicesStep 4: Learn About Autism Treatments and Find Them in your Area
For an informational flyer for parents with concerns about their child, click here. To view the flyer in black and white, click here.
Please consider downloading the First Concern to Action Tool Kit, a step-by-step guide to taking action when you have a concern about your child’s development. You can request an electronic copy here.
The IEP Team
By: National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities (NICHCY)
To write an effective IEP for a child with a disability, parents, teachers, other school staff — and often the child — must come together at a meeting to look closely at the child's unique needs. These individuals combine their knowledge, experience, and commitment to design an educational program that must help the child to be involved in, and progress in, the general education curriculum — that is, the same curriculum as for children without disabilities. The IEP guides the delivery of special education and related services and supplementary aids and supports for the child with a disability. Without a doubt, writing — and implementing — an effective IEP requires teamwork.
So — who's on the team? Here's a list, as specified in IDEA, our nation's special education law. Note that the order in which the IEP team members are going to be listed and discussed has nothing to do with their priority on the team, that every member has an equal say and important expertise to contribute.The IEP team, short and sweetIDEA describes the IEP team as including the following members:
Read more here.
Also, find more information under our "Resources" tab.
The SEPAC Board sent the following letter to Dot Gallo, Superintendent of Hingham Public Schools, in response to her presentation on Monday, July 17th at the School Committee meeting.
July 20, 2017
Dr. Dorothy Galo Superintendent Hingham Public Schools 220 Central Street Hingham, MA 02043
Dear Dr. Galo,
Thank you for your review of the Walker report at the School Committee meeting on July 17, 2017.
During the section of your presentation regarding the roles and responsibilities of the school adjustment counselors as it pertains to special education students accessing Tier 3 services (1:1 counseling) as part of their IEP, you stated (emphasis added):
"...if a child's primary disability is in the social emotional area, then just as we would treat any
other primary disability by providing specific services, then that's what we would do in the case
of an IEP; and that's where the line has been drawn.”
You also noted that while this is the approach the school has taken, and continues to take, this could change in the future.
Hingham Public Schools’ approach to limiting 1:1 access to adjustment counselors to only those students whose primary disability is social emotional is in violation of Massachusetts regulations, 603 CMR 28.05(2)(a)(ii), which provides in relevant part that "the type of disability shall not define the needs of the student and shall in no way limit the services, programs, or inclusion opportunities provided to the student."
We understand that HPS has limited resources and that adjustment counselors’ caseloads are high. The American School Counselor Association recommends a ratio of one social worker for every 250; the average nationwide is 1:500. At HMS and HHS the ratios for students to adjustment counselors are 1:1,095 and 1:1,219 respectively. Even so, staffing issues cannot determine what services a student receives with regard to Hingham’s responsibility to provide a free and appropriate public education to all students.
On July 10, 2017, SEPAC raised the concern with Administration that we have received comments from many parents that their students’ social emotional needs are not being met and specifically that parents are being denied 1:1 access to adjustment counselors as part of the IEP. SEPAC has also heard anecdotally from parents that children are being denied access to BCBA services on their IEP if their child’s primary disability is not autism. Your statement at the July 17th School Committee meeting validates these parent concerns.
We request that Hingham’s policies and practices around the issue of using primary disability to determine access to services be immediately brought into compliance with Massachusetts regulations. We expect that the forthcoming Special Education Policies and Procedures manual clearly state those policies. We also request that you provide clarification around this issue at the next School Committee meeting on August 14.
Courtney Orwig and Katie Gaughen Co-Chairs
cc: Liza O’Reilly, Michelle Ayer, Edward Schreier, Dr. James LaBillois, Elizabeth Kurlan
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education: 2015 Special Education Data - Hingham
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education: 2015 MCAS Results by Subgroup by Grade and Subject - Hingham
Did You Know:
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education: 2015 MCAS Annual Comparisons - Hingham
About the Data
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education: 2015 Accountability Data Card - Hingham
All Massachusetts districts and schools with sufficient data are classified into one of five accountability and assistance levels, with the highest performing in Level 1 and lowest performing in Level 5. Hingham is classified as a Level 2 district.
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education: 2015 Report Card - Hingham
This report card contains information required by the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) for our district and its schools including: student enrollment and teacher qualifications, student achievement, accountability, and the progress our school is making toward narrowing proficiency gaps for different groups of students.