Westborough – Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SPEDPAC) President Gayle Harrold went to the School Committee June 20 to present a report on the organization's accomplishments during 2007 and its goals for 2008.
Harrold told the School Committee that the long list of SPEDPAC accomplishments is due to its committed volunteers and to the support the organization receives from school administrators, staff and officials.
The biggest achievement in 2007 has been the completion of the Special Ed manual, which was developed by SPEDPAC members Leslie Leslie, Lisa Haskell and Helen Eisenbeis, and Director of Special Education Alice Donahue and her
" staff . While other manuals are cumbersome, dense, 400-plus page books, Harrold said, the Westborough SPEDPAC manual is an 89-page, easy-touse comprehensive document that gives parents the answers to questions they may have
Continued on following page about Special Ed services. The manual's purpose is also to enhance consistency in Special Ed practices from school to school.
SPEDPAC also surveyed parents about their children's summer school experiences and identified the program's positive attributes, which include a strong curriculum, extra enrichment activities such as music, and highly qualified staff . Areas in need of improvement include communication issues, difficulty finding quality staff from year to year, and a need for inclusion of typical peers. The survey has led to the district's creation of a coordinator's position, which should lead to improvements, Harrold said.
SPEDPAC also sponsored several educational talks, held its annual "Wind Beneath Their Wings" award ceremony, linked its Web site to the district's Web site (at www.westborough.org), held monthly meetings and monthly parent coffees for networking, and published and distributed its informational newsletter to more than 100 parents.
Looking ahead, SPEDPAC plans to continue the wide range of activities that help parents and elevate awareness. SPEDPAC also received a grant from the Westborough Cultural Council to bring "Cinderella" by Kaleidoscope Theaters to Westborough High School Sunday Oct. 14.