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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
July 6, 2020 Special Education Advisory Panel Meeting Minutes
Download Word Document
June 25, 2020 Special Education Advisory Panel Meeting Minutes
Download Word Document
April 14, 2020 Special Education Advisory Panel Meeting Minutes
Download Word Document
January 21, 2020 Special Education Advisory Panel Meeting Minutes
Download Word Document
September 17, 2019 Special Education Advisory Council (SAC) Meeting Minutes

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

2020-2021 Meeting Schedule

DateLocationTime
October 13, 2020 Special Education Advisory Panel
Virtual Meeting
9:00 AM – 12:30 PM
December 8, 2020 Special Education Advisory Panel
Virtual Meeting
9:00 AM – 12:30 PM
January 12, 2021 Special Education Advisory Panel
Virtual Meeting
9:00 AM – 12:30 PM
March 9, 2021 Special Education Advisory Panel
Virtual Meeting
9:00 AM – 12:30 PM
May 11, 2021 Special Education Advisory Panel
Virtual Meeting
9:00 AM – 12:30 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

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