Federal law guarantees every student the right to a free and appropriate public education regardless of handicap or disability. State law (CMR 28) further guarantees the right to an education in the “least restrictive environment.” That means in typical classroom settings with students without disabilities.
- Every Boston public school offers Resource/Learning Center services. These programs provide specialized instruction for up to 10 students in an instructional period.
- Many Boston public schools offer services in a substantially separate setting. These programs provide specialized instruction to between 8 and 12 students in an instructional setting.
- A number of Boston Public Schools offer services to students with significant disabilities. These programs range in enrollment from 6 to 10 students.
- Three special schools serve students with disabilities: the Horace Mann School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, the Carter Development Center for students with significant cognitive delays, and the McKinley Schools for students with severe emotional and behavioral disabilities.
If you believe that your child is having difficulty making progress in a regular classroom due to a disability, you have the right to an evaluation of your child to find out if he or she has a disability and is eligible for special education services. Ask the principal/headmaster or Evaluation Team Facilitator (ETF) for this evaluation.
For more information on special education:
- BPS Special Education Office, 617-635-8599
- BPS Family & Student Engagement Office, 617-635-7750
- BPS Homeless Initiative, 617-635-8037
- Federation for Children with Special Needs, 1-800-331-0688
- Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education brochure on Special Education Parents’ Rights, available in many languages.
- Read about proposed improvements to service delivery models (January, 2011)
- Child Find Screening for three through five year olds
- Read the Council of Great City Schools 2009 recommendations on special education improvements
Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SPED PAC)
The Boston Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SPED PAC) is a citywide parent advocacy organization with the sole purpose of sharing information and resources to help all families of special education students understand their rights and options accurately and comprehensively.
SPED PAC believes that informed and engaged parents can best advocate for their children to ensure that their education and social needs are met in a least restrictive environment. In 2008, SPED PAC was reinstated with new By-Laws and a new Executive Board of elected officers and members at large. The organization holds monthly general meetings to discuss important topics and offer training sessions through our network of experienced professionals.
Connect with us!
- Voicemail: 617-635-8600
- Website: http://www.bostonspedpac.org/
- Facebook page
- YouTube Channel
- Send us an email