Welcome to the 2022-2023 School Year

  • August 2022

    Dear Parents, Guardians, and Caregivers,

    The Co-Directors of Special Education welcome you to the 2022-2023 school year! We are looking forward to
    working with our students and families as the Barnstable school system continues to review then assess student needs and programs so we can offer a free, appropriate continuum of special education services to meet the needs of your child as they grow and change each year.

    Email, school webpages, and phone calls are our primary methods of communication. To receive updates from your child’s school, our offices, and the district, please be sure you have updated your contact information to start the year and if changes occur during the school year. Individual schools can assist you with updating your information.

    To continue our 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 PreK-5. She has worked in the field of education as a special education teacher, general education teacher, school principal, special education college professor, and is also a parent of two children. 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. Additionally, each school has a designated person assigned as a contact person to address your special education questions and concerns at the individual school level. The Special Education Coordinators at Cobb, Barnstable United, Barnstable Intermediate, and Barnstable High School are the people most familiar with your school’s staff, programs, schedules, and services. The Special Education Team Chairpersons at West Villages, Barnstable West Barnstable, Community Innovation, Hyannis West, and Centerville can assist you at the K-3 level.

    Our office phone number is 508 862 4953. When calling, listen carefully to the menu of options. Because we work in our offices and also visit the schools, you most likely will leave a message so we can return your call at a later time.

    Please save the flyer about our Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC) meetings. These will be held in English, Portuguese, and Spanish via a virtual Zoom link. Dates and link can be accessed on the district webpage. This is a great way to connect with other families of students with disabilities and learn more about special education.

    For information about school specific staff to contact, explanations about special education regulations, other answers to overall questions, and our SEPAC, can all be found here on our website’s special education department page.


    Eric Bruinooge and Catherine Zinni
    Co-Directors of Special Education