Special Education & SEPAC

Special Education

As required under Chapter 71b of the Massachusetts General Laws and Public Law 94-142, special services are available to students who meet eligibility requirements. A school official, teacher, parent or guardian, court officer, social worker, or family doctor may refer a student to the Wellness Committee. Students may also refer themselves for this support.

A student and/or parent should contact the Special Education Department to obtain further information or make a referral for evaluation.  At the completion of the evaluation, the Special Education Team will meet to determine eligibility for special education services. This team may include an administrator, special education person, chairperson, guidance counselor, nurse, psychologist, teacher, parent and student.

In order for all students to achieve our expectations for student learning Tri-County prides itself on providing clear, concise and coordinated opportunities for success.  To these ends Tri-County academic course options include full inclusion, co-taught as well as consult model classrooms. 

For more information on our programs please make an appointment to speak with the Director of Special Education or plan to attend a SEPAC meeting or one of the various information sessions (calendar to be posted) that are planned and hosted throughout the school year by our Guidance Department.   

SEPAC

Special Education Parent Advisory Councils (SEPACs) were established by state law in 1972.  Language from Section 3 of Chapter 71B of the Massachusetts General Laws reads in part:

 "…. The school committee of any city, town, or school district shall establish a parent advisory council on special education. Membership shall be offered to all parents of children with disabilities and other interested parties.  The parent advisory council duties shall include but not be limited to: advising the school committee on matters that pertain to the education and safety of students with disabilities; meeting regularly with school officials to participate in the planning, development, and evaluation of the school committee's special education programs. The parent advisory council shall establish by-laws regarding officers and operational procedures.  In the course of its duties under this section, the parent advisory council shall receive assistance from the school committee without charge, upon reasonable notice, and subject to the availability of staff and resources. …"

Key components of operating an effective SEPAC include (but are not limited to):

  • Identifying Parties with Common Interests
  • Interacting with the Special Education Administrator
  • Interacting with the Superintendent and the School Committee
  • Interacting with school councils, PTOs and the community at large

Given this mandate, in the next few weeks Tri-County intends to reestablish its SEPAC and fulfill its mission to “work towards the understanding of, respect for, support of and appropriate education for all children with special educational needs in our community”.  Please continue to monitor this site for an update on a meeting schedule and other relevant information.   

Special Education & Other Student Services Contacts

Name Title
John Martin Director of Special Education
Joanne Arduino Paraprofessional
Robert Bruno Special Education Teacher & Consultant
Julie Caffrey Paraprofessional
Adriana Chosta Special Education Teacher & Consultant
Alden Cote Paraprofessional
Donna Crawford School Psychologist
Patricia Flaherty                Special Education Secretary
Caralyn Good Reading Specialist
Laura Griffin Special Education Teacher & Consultant & Team Facilitator
Megan Haskell Special Education Teacher & Consultant
Mary Hughes Special Education Teacher & Consultant
William LaPlant Special Education Teacher & Consultant
Michael Martone Special Education Teacher & Consultant
Anthony Mazzola Team Chair
Donna McDonald Special Education Teacher & Consultant
Suzanne O'Shea Special Education Teacher & Consultant
Wendy Thibodeau Paraprofessional
Sarah Vega Special Education Teacher & Consultant
Nicole Wisniewski Special Education Teacher & Consultant
   
Freya Messias School Adjustment Counselor
Dana Walsh School Adjustment Counselor
   
Mary Ellen Bronner School Social Worker
   
Sarah Hickey School Nurse
Jean Lucas School Nurse