District special education parent group focuses on communication, support

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By Liz Nolan, Contributing Writer

Northborough/Southborough – Northborough Southborough Special Education Parent Advisory Council (NSPAC) presented its yearly overview at the Combined School Committee meeting on Sept. 16. Improving communication, building community and supporting families continue to be the priority of the group.

NSPAC President Alyssa Degon said the group’s main mission is to support all families across the three districts with students on Independent Education Programs (IEPs) and 504 plans, facilitate communication between families and the District Student Support Services Department, and to address any systemic issues.

Remote learning presented many challenges to students, especially to those receiving special education support and services.

With 898 students on IEPs and 483 students on 504 plans, NSPAC met regularly throughout the summer with school administration to ensure that student needs were being met and parent questions were being addressed timely. 

Superintendent Greg Martineau said the relationship between administration and NSPAC is an important one.

“This past spring and summer, we were really fortunate to be able to meet with the District and School Committee liaisons almost every other week,” said Degon. “We felt really heard, and appreciated having the support at this very difficult transitional time.” 

Last year, Student Support Services created an email database specifically to reach special education families as a result of NSPAC’s recommendation. In addition,NSPAC’s website (www.nspac.org), Facebook page and a newsletter subscription is available to keep families informed.

NSPAC was awarded two grants totaling $5,025 from local education foundations to update the K-8 school libraries’ book selections to enhance understanding and awareness of disabilities through literature.  

The group is finalizing its speaker series for the school year and continues to collaborate with neighboring special education parent groups.