Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE)

The Special Education Advisory Council

Under both the Massachusetts General Laws (c. 15, §1G) and federal regulations (34 CFR § 300.167), the Department is required to establish and maintain a Special Education Advisory Council composed of individuals involved in or concerned with the education of children with disabilities. In existence for over 30 years, the council's membership has included a diverse group of individuals reflecting both the state and federal statutory requirements of membership, including agency designees. The responsibilities of the Special Education Advisory Council include:

  1. advising on unmet needs within the state in the education of children with disabilities;
  2. commenting on proposed rules and regulations involving special education;
  3. advising in developing evaluations and corrective action plans; and
  4. assisting in the coordination of services to children with disabilities.

Special Education Advisory Council Documents

Download Word Document
September 17, 2019 Special Education Advisory Council (SAC) Meeting Minutes
 
December 3, 2019 Special Education Advisory Panel Meeting AgendaMeeting canceled due to weather
Download Word Document
June 4, 2019 Special Education Advisory Council (SAC) Meeting Minutes
Download Word Document
April 9, 2019 Special Education Advisory Council (SAC) Meeting Minutes
Download Word Document
December 11, 2018 Special Education Advisory Council (SAC) Meeting Minutes
View HTML Page
EducaciĆ³n especial Vacancias en el Consejo Asesor Estatal de EducaciĆ³n Especial — Responder antes del 30 de abril de 2019
View HTML Page
Vacancies on the State Special Education Advisory Council — Respond by April 30, 2019
 
February 12, 2019 Special Education Advisory Council (SAC) AgendaMeeting canceled due to weather
Download Word Document
2015-2016 Special Education Advisory Council Annual Report
View HTML Page
Child First Memo
Download Word Document
Child-First Practice When Serving Students with Disabilities in Educational Setting

Council Members

The Special Education Advisory Council is composed of members appointed by the Commissioner on behalf of the Board of Education. Appointment to the Council is for a three-year term, and no member may serve more than two terms. Over half of the voting members are individuals with a disability or a parent of a child with a disability. Membership is presently comprised of local education officials, teachers, and representatives from higher education, charter schools, special education schools, and organizations that provide transition services to children with disabilities. A reasonable balance of business, civic, labor, and professional groups, and geographic areas, is currently maintained.

NameTitleInstitution
Renee TothParent RepresentativeByfield, MA
Michelle BotusDirector of Cross Agency InitiativesDepartment of Mental Health, DMH designee
Helen ScarrParent RepresentativeNewton, MA
Mary Dennehy-ColorussoProcedural Safeguard CoordinatorDepartment of Public Health, DPH designee
Ruth DiazParent Training & Information Center DirectorFederation for Children with Special Needs
Carlos ReisParent RepresentativeNew Bedford, MA
Susan FarrellExecutive DirectorCentral Mass Collaborative, Massachusetts Organization of Educational Collaboratives (MOEC) designee
Judy HurlburtChief Administrative OfficerEvergreen Center, Milford, Massachusetts Association of 766 Approved Private Schools designee
Edith BazileParent RepresentativeRandolph, MA
Mark DumasPsychologistDepartment of Developmental Services, DDS designee
Rebecca BrinkAssistant CommissionerDepartment of Children and Families, DCF designee
Shai FuxmanParent RepresentativeNatick, MA
Gail HavelickDirector, SSI and Public Benefits Training and Technical Assistance Department of Public Health, DPH designee
Cynthia MahoneyParent RepresentativeFlorence, MA
Carla B. JentzExecutive DirectorMassachusetts Administrators for Special Education
Nina Kagan West Roxbury, MA
Aubry ThrelkeldDirector of Graduate EducationEndicott College
Laurie McCarronParent RepresentativeChelmsford, MA
Laurie MasonDirector of Special EducationBrockton, MA
Jennifer Greenfield Milford, MA
Paul BottomeDirector of EducationAnchor Academy, Middleboro, MA
Christine Palladino-DownsParent RepresentativeBoxford, MA
Lisa SiroisAssistant Director of Educational ServicesDepartment of Youth Services, DYS designee
Carmen PimentelParent RepresentativeEverett, MA
Chris PondBehavioral Health and Special Education SpecialistDepartment of Early Education and Care, EEC designee
Melissa WinchellParent RepresentativeWest Bridgewater, MA
Sarah SlautterbackHomeless Education State CoordinatorDESE
Amy LaBargeParent RepresentativeLeominster, MA
Jean SperaAssistant Director, Office of Special EducationCambridge Public Schools, Mass Urban designee
Thomas StewartParent RepresentativeGeorgetown, MA
Andrea StolarDirector of Special EducationChicopee, MA
Kelly BilodeauParent RepresentativeWestborough, MA
Pamela CoveneySenior AttorneyDisability Law Center
Jennie DunKleyParent RepresentativeSouth Easton, MA
Kim LevyBCBAHolyoke, MA
Catherine BrownDirector of Disability AccessDepartment of Transitional Assistance, DTA designee

2019-2020 Meeting Schedule

DateLocationTime
September 17, 2019 Special Education Advisory Panel Meeting
Best Western Royal Plaza Hotel
181 Boston Post Road, Marlborough, MA 01752
9:30 AM – 3:30 PM
January 21,2020 Special Education Advisory Panel Meeting
Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE)
75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148
9:30 AM – 3:30 PM
February 4, 2020
canceled
Special Education Advisory Council Panel Meeting
Best Western Royal Plaza Hotel
181 Boston Post Road, Marlborough, MA 01752
9:30 AM – 3:30 PM
April 7, 2020 Special Education Advisory Council Panel Meeting
Best Western Royal Plaza Hotel
181 Boston Post Road, Marlborough, MA 01752
9:30 AM – 3:30 PM
June 2, 2020 Special Education Advisory Council Panel Meeting
Best Western Royal Plaza Hotel
181 Boston Post Road, Marlborough, MA 01752
9:30 AM – 3:30 PM

Contact Information

For further information, including meeting agendas/minutes, please contact:

Amy Krukonis
Liaison to the Special Education Advisory Council
413-314-6702

 
Contact Us

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148-4906

Voice: (781) 338-3000
TTY: (800) 439-2370

Directions

Disclaimer: A reference in this website to any specific commercial products, processes, or services, or the use of any trade, firm, or corporation name is for the information and convenience of the public and does not constitute endorsement or recommendation by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.