February 2014 Newsletter

Parents please take a moment to fill out this important Family Engagement Survey  at  http://maparentcohort2.com

Special Education PAC Newsletter

February 2014

PAC Meeting Schedule for 2013/2014 school year   Tuesdays 6:30pm to 7:30pm Westfield Vocational School in the cafeteria


3-11-14  Special Info Session: The MCAS and Special Education students

4-8-14  Special Info Session:  Summer Programs available for Special Ed students

5-13-14  Special Info Session:  Transitioning to the next grade and PAC elections.

There will be no June meeting.  The newsletter will have the election results.


Volunteers needed for the PAC committee and newsletter!!!

The PAC is entirely dependent on parents. It is a way for teachers and parents to think up new ideas which can help improve the school system in relation to Special Education.

The #1 goal for this year is Communication Improvement.

We know we can improve on this as the PAC was very quiet last year and attendance at the meetings small. 

We welcome volunteer article writers for the monthly newsletter! Please send in your ideas, concerns and thoughts.

If you have a thought or idea that you believe needs more exploring please bring it to the next meeting.  Forming separate subcommittees is a way to focus more on an individual issue.  Past PACs have had resource fairs, training sessions and set up the by-laws.  All of these can be revisited as a new set of parents are now part of the PAC.  If you would like to get more information please contact the PAC chairperson Krista Stoops 413-562-7985 or come to one of the 6 meetings that are taking place this year.






Visions of Community 2014


Visions of Community, a Conference for Parents of Children with Special Needs and the Professionals Who Serve Them” will be held on Saturday, March 8, 2014 at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston. Topics include special education advocacy, managing challenging behaviors, transition to adulthood for students with disabilities, inclusion, policy initiatives, assistive technology, healthcare, bullying, parent leadership opportunities, early childhood, autism and more. In addition to approximately 30 sessions in English, a full conference strand of many of these topics will be offered in Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Somali, and Vietnamese.  

Two keynote presentations for Visions of Community will feature Michael K. Yudin, Acting Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services for the US Department of Education and Dana and Brooke Yarbrough. Dana is the Executive Director of Parent to Parent of Virginia. Her daughter Brooke operates Brooke’s Happy Tails Dog Boarding, a microenterprise she started in 2012.

The conference Exhibit Hall typically features over 75 vendors and resources for families. The conference is a wonderful opportunity for families and professionals to network and learn about important resources.

Registration is $75 per person if you register before February 16th; fee is $90 per person after February 16th. Last day to register is March 1st, if space remains available (No refunds after February 28th). Continental Breakfast and Lunch included. Limited scholarships are available upon request; please call 617-236-7210, ext 198 or email to voc2014@fcsn.org and leave your name, telephone number, and times you can be reached. A conference staff person will respond to your message.



Fcsn.org/ is a great way to informational tool for all parents. We are looking to get membership to the MassPAC starting this July 2014 through July 2015

I have submitted the membership brochure and sign up form to the Special Education Director, Patricia Byrnes for her review.



To learn more about MassPAC at the Federation for Children with Special Needs, please contact MassPAC Coordinator Leslie M. Leslie at 617-399-8307 or lleslie@fcsn.org.