Date: June 7, 2017
Location: Cambridge Rindge & Latin School

Present: Fatma Ali, Pamela Blau, Sarah Collazo, Karen Dobak, Tara Dunee, Rachel Gordon-Walkman, Vera Hoffman, Dian Holder, Kathleen Kelley, Khadija Laaziz, Julie Messina, Sara Nelson, Zuleka Queen-Postell, Mercedes Soto, Rosalie Rippey, Cambria Russell

Participants introduced themselves. The group discussed composing an agenda. The leadership explained that tonight’s meeting was originally supposed to be last week but was rescheduled at the request of the OSS leadership team. The Coordinator confirmed the new date with Dr. Greer and was told the leadership team would attend. But the day of the meeting, Dr. Greer indicated she is not coming and that the Coordinators would be coming. However, they did not come.

Agenda items were identified: Discussion of the transitions occurring in OSS, Strategic Planning Process, Cambridge SE-PAC elections.

Review of concerns about the search process for Assistant Superintendent for Student Services:

  • Not advertised nationally
  • Poor communication with the SE-PAC and with interview committee
  • Lack of transparency regarding the search process

Issues discussed related to the current transition period & strategic planning process

  • Accountability for inclusion of students with disabilities among Principals
  • Lack of inclusion of SE-PAC in the strategic planning process
  • Participants on the planning team don’t have an overview perspective on the history and current status of Special Education in the district as a whole that SE-PAC would have brought
  • Need for specificity in what the district is going to do to specifically in our area
  • Specific concerns around services for students with dyslexia, including early screening, need to provide Orton-Gillingham 1:1
  • We as parents need to have a voice to not allow discrimination and bias against our kids to happen
  • What’s good for kids with special needs is good for all kids
  • Why isn’t Universal Design part of the strategic plan?
  • Disproportionate suspension rate of African American boys with disabilities
  • CPAC leadership will meet with School Committee Special Education Committee to build advocacy for students with disabilities

Priorities for advocacy:

  • Proper search process for the new Asst. Superintendent for Student Services
  • Strategic Plan: Special Education is not specifically mentioned or named in the Strategic Plan. Needs to emphasize effectiveness of the education that students receiving as well as more specifics around inclusive instructional practices
  • Supporting specific initiatives that are good for our kids: Universal Design, PBIS, Leveling Up in 9th Grade
  • Message: we want to make the system stronger – not just for our children, but to improve learning for all children

The election ballots were counted, and with 25 online ballots and 2 paper ballots cast, the slate of Karen Dobak & Cambria Russell (Co-Chairs), Jovanna Arce, Rachelle Boyce, Dian Holder, Khadija Laaziz, (Executive Officers) were elected as SE-PAC Officers for the 2017-18 School Year.

Zuleka Queen-Postell thanked the outgoing and continuing officers for their service and presented them with certificates of appreciation.

8:00PM Meeting Adjourned

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