“Executive Functioning with Sara Ward, M.S., CCC/SLP”

October 15, 2009 7pm
Location: The Pike School, Andover

Co-sponsored with Parent to Parent

Sara Ward has over 14 years experience in diagnostic evaluations, treatment and case management of children, adolescents and adults with a wide range of developmental and acquired brain based learning difficulties and behavioral problems including:

Attention Deficit Disorder
Verbal learning Disabilities
Non-Verbal Learning Disabilities
Asberger Syndrome
Other Social-Cognitive Learning Disabilities
Traumatic Brain Injury
Acquired Brain injury

Basic Rights Workshop

November 18, 2009 10am-12

Location: School Administration Building, Conference Room C

Basic Rights: This workshop provides families with an introduction to their rights and responsibilities under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Massachusetts Special Education Law and No Child Left Behind (NCLB). It is designed to help parents learn how to be effective partners with the school, to decide the child’s eligibility for special education, to plan, make decisions and to monitor the educational progress of their child. Workshop materials are also available in Spanish, Portuguese and Russian.

Elizabeth Bostic, Founder of The Parent Coach, is the mother of two special needs children; one with Cerebral Palsy and other medical issues, the other with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Through her own experience of navigating through the special education system, she was inspired to empower parents by helping them develop strategies for effectively advocating for their childrens’ academic needs.

"Transitioning: Planning the Next Steps for ages 14-22"

Wednesday, January 13, 2010 6:30pm (note earlier start time)
Location: Memorial Hall Library

Individualized, person centered planning of curriculum and supports throughout high school leads to better post high school outcomes and opportunities in education, training, and/or employment for students with disabilities.
Please join us on Jan. 13 as Terri McLaughlin from the Federation for Children with Special Needs presents a very important workshop to help parents and students design the right curriculum and supports during high school to encourage self sufficiency and independence. The workshop will specifically address effective use of the IEP and Transition Planning Form for students who are ages 14-22 with discussion concerning age of majority, self determination and self advocacy, and life skill development. Information and strategies will be provided to help parents and students translate their individual preferences and dreams into meaningful IEP goals.

Transitioning to a New School

Thursday, January 14, 2010
Time: Noon to 2pm
Location: School Administration Building, 38 Bartlet St, Conference Rm C

Pupil Personnel Director, Kathy Fink and her staff will discuss the procedures in place to ensure smooth transitions for students and families as they move up to the next level within the Andover School System (preschool to elementary, elementary to middle school and middle school to high school).
Staff from each school as well as SEPAC will be available to answer questions. This informative session will provide the groundwork for helping prepare your child as he or she moves through their school years.

"MCAS Workshop"

Wednesday, February 10, 2010 7-9pm
Location: Memorial Hall Library

MCAS: The Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) is a tool to measure progress in the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks or general curriculum. This workshop will help parents understand how their children with disabilities can participate in a meaningful way in MCAS. It will discuss accommodations and alternate assessments available so that students can demonstrate what they have learned.
Helen Higgins from the Federation for Children with Special Needs will conduct this workshop. Federation workshops are free to parents and open to the public. Feel free to attend any workshop in or outside of your immediate community.

"An Evening Talking About Children's Mental Health

Wednesday, March 10, 2010 7-9pm
Location: West Middle Library ***note location change***

Jeff Q. Bostic, M.D., Ed.D
Consulting Child Psychiatrist
Andover Public Schools

Mental Health struggles are a very common aspect of the human experience, and are among the health conditions that parents need to know about in raising their children. Come for an informative and enjoyable evening to learn about the kinds of emotional and behavioral difficulties that sometimes show up in childhood, and how to help your child continue to grow and connect with others.

Dr. Bostic will explain what is going on physically in the developing brain, how to access good care for your child, and helpful ways to intervene with and for your child. We will touch on advocacy skills for parents when dealing with school and community, and family and parenting routines that are helpful for maintaining the mental health status of your children. This presentation is appropriate for parents of preschool through Grade 12 students. There will be plenty of opportunity for discussion and questions. Facilitated by Janet Yedinak, LICSW, Program Head, School Adjustment Counselors.

Mary French Yellow Rose Award

Wednesday, May 12, 2010 7:00PM
Location: High Plain Elementary School

In September of 2001 Andover lost a real leader with the sudden death of Selectman Mary French. Many of us also remember Mary as the former Pupil Personnel Director, a position she held for many years. In memory of Mary, the Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC) sponsors an award we call the Mary French Yellow Rose Award. There’s a story behind the name.

A few years ago a group of Andover teachers, headed by Mary, visited the Glastonbury school system to observe programs designed to improve delivery of services to special needs children. Educators whose contributions provided improved programming, as well as a more inclusive environment, for special education students were rewarded with a yellow rose. Thus the yellow rose became a symbol of excellence. Nominations for the Mary French Yellow Rose Award The nominee can be Special Needs or Regular Ed teacher, as well as an instructional assistant, coach, or therapist. The nominee will meet the following criteria:

  1. The nominee consistently provides the opportunity for the student to access both academic and recreational Regular Ed programs in a meaningful way.
  2. The nominee is a true collaborator, working well with parents and teachers alike. He or she is a team player.
  3. The nominee embraces change and is willing to take risks in order to improve upon current educational policies.
  4. The nominee works with the team to provide a vision for the student and uses the educational process to achieve these goals.
Nominations are due by April 1st and must be submitted in the form of a letter to Kathy Fink, the Pupil Personnel Director, by mail to 36 Bartlet St. in care of Colleen Sheehan or by e-mail address to CSheehan@aps1.net. We will not be accepting nominations through the school principals or individual SEPAC members this year. All nominees will be honored and the award presented at a ceremony on May 12th, 2010 at the High Plain Elementary School. Any questions please contact Karen Finley at kafinley@verizon.net or Sharon Mason at s.sharonmason@comcast.net