Welcome to the 2020-2021 School Year
August 24, 2020
Dear Parents and Guardians,
The Co-Directors of Special Education welcome you to the 2020-2021 school year! We know it can be challenging as a parent/guardian to navigate through a typical year: special education service schedules, adjusting to new educators and therapists as a new school year begins, becoming familiar with an Individual Education Plan and accompanying documents, and figuring out how to assist your child in starting a school year with different expectations and classmates. This year has the additional challenge of the COVID 19 pandemic which has resulted in changes to how we usually start the school year and how special education services might be delivered. Get the latest information by going to the Barnstable Public School Reopening Schools webpage. Another resource is your child’s school webpage and email updates from your child’s school staff. Please be sure your contact information is current so you will receive these communications throughout the year. Finally, please save the flyer about our Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC) found here on our webpage.
To be more accessible and have an authentic understanding about your child’s special education services and programming, the special education district office consists of Co-Directors of Special Education, rather than just one person overseeing our preschool- grades 12+ programs. Catherine Zinni focuses mainly on grades PK-5. She has worked in the field of education as a special education teacher, school principal, and special education college professor, and is also a parent of two children. Her email is email@example.com. Eric Bruinooge focuses on grades 6-12+. Eric has experience in Barnstable since 2001 as a school psychologist, curriculum director, and coordinator of special education, and is also a parent of two children. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org. The special education department’s district phone number is 508 862 4953. Be on the lookout for an invitation to a Zoom virtual meeting with special education as the main topic so we can listen to your questions and provide you with updates about special education services and Massachusetts Department of Education guidance.
Enclosed you will find documents related to the special education process. We both look forward to an exciting year of collaboration between you and the Barnstable public schools as we navigate these unprecedented times.
Eric Bruinooge and Catherine Zinni
Co-Directors of Special Education
Dept. of Education Special Education and Civil Rights Audit Information
Barnstable Public Schools Press Release
During the week of January 25, 2021, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s Office of Public School Monitoring (PSM) will conduct a Tiered Focused Monitoring Review of Barnstable Public Schools. The Office of Public School Monitoring reviews each district and charter school every three years to monitor compliance with federal and state special education and civil rights regulations. Areas of review related to special education include student assessments, determination of eligibility, the Individualized Education Program (IEP) Team process, and IEP development and implementation. Areas of review related to civil rights include bullying, student discipline, physical restraint, and equal access to school programs for all students.
Parent outreach is an important part of the review process. The review chairperson from the Office of Public School Monitoring will send all parents of students with disabilities an online survey that focuses on key areas of their child’s special education program. Survey results will contribute to the development of a report. During the review, the Office of Public School Monitoring will interview the chairperson(s) of the district’s Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC). Other review activities may include interviews of district staff and administrators, reviews of student records, and facility observations.
Parents and other individuals may call Julie Evans, Public School Monitoring Chairperson, at (781) 338-3754 to request a telephone interview. If an individual requires an accommodation, such as translation, to participate in an interview, the Department will make the necessary arrangements.
Within approximately 60 business days after the review, the chairperson will provide the district with a report with information about areas in which the district school meets or exceeds regulatory requirements and areas in which the district requires assistance to correct or improve practices. The public will be able to access the report at http://www.doe.mass.edu/psm/tfm/reports/