Special Education Status Update Tops School Committee Agenda

Haverhill School Committee President Maura L. Ryan-Ciardiello.

Special Education topics, including a status update from the leaders of the volunteer-based Haverhill Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC), top a mostly routine Haverhill School Committee meeting Thursday night.

On the agenda, committee President Maura L. Ryan-Ciardiello has placed an item, introducing Haverhill SEPAC representatives, requested by Co-Chairpersons Lisa Brady and Jessica Collins.

“Part of our mission is to act in an advisory role to the superintendent and school committee,” Brady and Collins wrote.

“Haverhill SEPAC is a legally mandated parent advisory committee supported by the
Haverhill Public Schools Special Education Department,” a statement on its website reads. The SEPAC is comprised of “parents, guardians and caregivers of students with special education needs,” according to an online brochure. “Our mission is to provide support, information and access to community and educational resources; and to ensure that school administrators and officials remain responsive to the needs of our students.”

Under Massachusetts education law Chapter 766, enacted in 1972, SEPACs are established by “each school district’s school committee” and are to “meet regularly with school officials to participate in the planning, development and evaluation of the school district’s special education program.”

In other special education matters, Committeewoman Gail M. Sullivan has requested an update on the department’s search for a permanent special education director.

Amirian Seeks to ‘Celebrate Our Triumphs’

Haverhill School Committeeman Sven A. Amirian.

Haverhill School Committeeman Sven A. Amirian.

Committeeman Sven A. Amirian has requested an overview from Superintendent James F. Scully on a “reading program and intervention strategies” at Pentucket Lake Elementary School. The program, according to Amirian, received national recognition after a visit from the Hobbs, New Mexico, school department.

“Just as we must always be vigilant to identify deficiencies and areas of concern, we must also celebrate our triumphs,” Amirian said. “The teachers and administrators at Pentucket Lake deserve high praise.”

The Haverhill School Committee meets at 7 p.m., tonight, in Theodore A. Pelosi Jr. Council Chambers at Haverhill City Hall.

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