News & Events






Office of Specialized Services Monthly Newsletter

Office of Specialized Services (OSS) Newsletter

November 14, 2023

Read the OSE newsletter online here and click the translate button on our website.


The Office of Specialized Services (formerly the Office of Special Education) Boston Public Schools' vision is that our students with disabilities will have equitable opportunities to engage in innovative, high-quality instruction in the least restrictive environment (LRE) as appropriate to meet individual needs, empowering each student to achieve high levels, leading to post-secondary success.


Our aim is to provide you with information on upcoming events, updates, and resources.

Community Bright Spots

BPS Educator of the Year Award

Elizabeth (Beth) Rymarczyk, Occupational Therapist, receiving BPS Educator of the Year Award.

The Educator of the Year award recognizes the exceptional educators who go above and beyond to impact the lives of BPS students. The program celebrates educators who exemplify an outstanding commitment to young people. We are so excited that Beth is one of the recipients this year. Congratulations!

2023 Hispanic Leaders in School Psychology 

From right: Luis Duque, Paola Enciso, Maria Jesus Fernandez, Jackie Rodriguez, Dr. Ivonne Borrero, and Sheila Garcia.

We want to congratulate Dr. Ivonne Borrero, Department of Behavioral Health Services Assistant Director, and Jacqueline Rodriguez, Bilingual School Psychologist, for being highlighted as 2023 Hispanic Leaders in School Psychology by the Trainers of School Psychologists Social Justice Committee. Click here to learn more.

Introducing the Office of Specialized Services Family Guide

The Office of Specialized Services has created a Family Guide for Students with Disabilities in Boston Public Schools. The Family Guide provides a helpful summary of our Policy and Procedure Manual, also available on our website. This guide will help families to understand the special education process and their role as valued team members. You may also find tips and resources to help you navigate the special education process.

We welcome your feedback! You may provide it in the "Tell Us What You Think" portion which you may find at the end of the Family Guide.

Thank you to our BPS community and partners in your collaborative endeavor in this project!

Family Guide for Students with Disabilities in Boston Public Schools:

English | Español | العربية | Cabo-Verdiano中文 | Français | Kreyòl Ayisyen | Português | Soomaali | Tiếng Việt

Contact/Helpful Links

Office of Specialized Services

Visit our website to learn more about upcoming events, our newsletter, Family Guide for Students with Disabilities, Boston Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SpEdPAC), and more!

Parent’s Notice of Procedural Safeguards (PNPS)

The PNPS follows a question and answer format to provide you with important information about your right to be involved in planning your student’s special education needs.

EdPlan Parent Connect

EdPlan Connect allows you to virtually access your child’s IEP or Section 504 Plan documents, service information, teacher of record information as well as apply your response and electronically sign document(s).

BPS Helpline

If you have any questions, concerns, you may call the BPS Helpline at

617-635-8873 or

Department of Transportation

If you have any questions about transportation or need support you may contact the Department of Transportation by calling (617) 635-9520 or emailing

Welcome Services

If you need a change of address, register your student for school, request a transfer, or request an evaluation for special education you may visit Welcome Services. If you need further assistance you may visit the Welcome Services website or

call (617) 635-9010.

Upcoming Events & Updates

  • Tuesday, November 14th, 6-8 PM | DELAC Meeting
  • Thursday, November 16th, 5-7 PM | Boston SpEdPAC: Resource Fair
  • Tuesday, November 28, 8-1 PM | Child Find Screenings (3-5 year olds)
  • Saturday, December 2nd, 8-1 PM | Showcase of Schools
  • Tuesday, December 12th, 6-8 PM | CPC Meeting
  • Wednesday, December 13th, 8-1 PM | Child Find Screenings (6-21 year olds)
  • Saturday, December 16th, 1:30-4 PM | Boston SpEdPAC: Family Social

To learn more about these upcoming events see below.

District-Wide Parent Advisory Councils & Community Collective

Boston Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SpEdPAC)

The Boston Special Education Parent Advisory Council (Boston SpEdPAC) is an independent group of parent volunteers established under Massachusetts General Law to ensure that Boston Public School students with disabilities get the services and support they need to develop their full potential. The duties of Boston SpEdPAC include but are not limited to:

  • Providing information and support to members through direct communication, outreach and monthly meetings, with translation of materials and interpretation services, as highlighted in the SpEdPAC Electronic Newsletter
  • Advising the district 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 district’s special education programs
  • Promoting communication, collaboration and cooperation between families of students with disabilities and the Boston Public School district. 

Parents, guardians, educational surrogates and BPS students with disabilities aged 18 and older are SpEdPAC Members, as well as any other interested party.  


Join the next SpEdPAC general meeting on Thursday, November 16 at 5:00 PM for our Special Education Resource Fair. General meetings are organized for Boston SpEdPAC members and focus on a specific topic related to supporting a student with a disability. The November meeting will be an in-person event that will take place at the Murphy School located at 1 Worrell Street, Dorchester, MA 02122. The event will focus on bringing together local organizations specializing in support, social services, emotional health, education, enrichment, and advocacy for students with disabilities and their families.

Below is a list of vendors that will be attending the Resource Fair:

  • 3LPlace
  • APEX Social Group
  • Best Buddies
  • Boston Ballet
  • Boston Center for Independent Living (BCIL)
  • Camp Joy
  • Careforth
  • Coram
  • Department of Developmental Services (DDS)
  • Easterseals
  • Empowering People for Inclusive Communities (EPIC)
  • Exceptional Lives
  • Federation for Children with Special Needs (FCSN)
  • Franciscan Adaptive Sports
  • Greater Boston Legal Services (GBLS)
  • House of Possibilities (partner with JVS)
  • Inclusive Fitness
  • Jewish Vocational Services (JVS)
  • Little Groove
  • Massachusetts Advocates for Children (MAC)
  • Mass Rehab Commission (MRC)-Downtown & Roxbury
  • My Ombudsman
  • Partners for Youth with Disabilities (PYD)
  • Requipment/DME
  • Sense-ational You
  • Social Security Administration
  • The Autism Insurance Resource Center
  • The Autism Program at Boston Medical Center
  • WORK Inc.

We will also be joined by Boston Public Schools, some of which include:

  • Boston Saves
  • BPS Helpline
  • Countdown to Kindergarten
  • Department of Transportation (DOT)
  • Office of Multilingual and Multicultural Education (OMME)
  • Office of Schools Health Services
  • Office of Specialized Services (OSS)
  • Succeed Boston
  • Welcome Services and more!

Want to stay up-to-date with SpEdPAC? Join the SpEdPAC mailing list. 

 General Meeting Flyers:

English | Español | العربية | Cabo-Verdiano | 中文 | Français | Kreyòl Ayisyen | Português | Soomaali | Tiếng Việt

Visit our Website

SpEdPAC School Parent/Family Council Member


Please consider being your school's SpEdPAC representative for the School Parent/Family Council. As a representative, you will have the opportunity to learn more about special education services and resources and share this information with families in your school community. Interested? Contact the family liaison in your school community for more information.



English | Español | العربية | Cabo-Verdiano | 中文 | Français | Kreyòl Ayisyen | Português | Soomaali | Tiếng Việt

District English Learner Advisory Committee (DELAC)

District English Learner Advisory Committee (DELAC) is a multicultural and multiethnic, parent-led committee. All Boston Public Schools parent/guardians of English Learner and Former English Learner students are automatically members.

The purpose of the DELAC is to provide recommendations to school and district officials in regard to programs and services provided to English Learners and to promote the implementation of the LOOK Act. On November 22, 2017, Governor Baker signed into law the LOOK Act. Broadly, the new law aims to provide districts with more flexibility as to the language acquisition programs they choose to meet the needs of English learners, while maintaining accountability for timely and effective English language acquisition. For more information about the Look Act visit their website.

To join DELAC at their next meeting see the flyers below for more information. Join the DELAC mailing list.


General Meeting Flyers:

English | Español |  العربية | Cabo-Verdiano | 中文 | Kreyòl Ayisyen | Português 

Visit our Website

Citywide Parent Council (CPC)

Made up entirely of current BPS family volunteers, the Citywide Parent Council (CPC) for Boston Public Schools (BPS) is the official voice of all our 49,500 families. The CPC is the umbrella organization of each of our 125 schools’ School Parent/Family Councils (SPCs)/(SFCs), and we are constituted by the elected representatives (reps) from each of our schools. We advocate as one voice for all of our students and their families.

CPC meetings are open to all BPS parents and community members to participate in. Many schools elect representatives through their School Parent/Family Councils, though you do not need to be an elected representative to attend meetings.  

We have a fantastic agenda prepared that covers all the Title 1 requirements for Family Engagement, including the formation and parent participation requirements for every school’s Parent/Family Council and School Site Council, and family engagement compacts and plans.

Learn more and get involved with the CPC!

  • Attend our next meeting on Tuesday, December 12 from 6-8 pm via Zoom! 
  • Learn more with the CPC one Pager
  • Attend your school’s Parent/Family Council’s monthly meetings
  • Ask your school’s Family Liaison how to get involved!
Visit our Website

Child Find Screenings

The Child Find screening is for 3-21-year-old students who are not presently attending the Boston Public Schools and are residents of the City of Boston. The screened student must attend the screening with a parent/guardian. Please follow the BPS Registration Checklist in the BPS Welcome Services Registration website.

  • Child Find Screenings (3-5 year olds)
  • Tuesday, November 28, 2023
  • Thursday, January 18, 2024
  • Tuesday, March 5, 2024
  • Thursday, March 28, 2024
  • Tuesday, April 23, 2024

  • Child Find Screenings (6-21 year olds)
  • Wednesday, December 13, 2023
  • Tuesday, February 6, 2024
  • Thursday, March 21, 2024

While Boston Public Schools conducts screening activities, if you suspect or know that your child has a disability, please contact Welcome Services to request an evaluation. You do not need to attend a screening date to request an

evaluation. For more information about Welcome Services, you may visit their site:

Visit ou website to sign up for Child Find.

Visit our Website

Department of Opportunity Youth

We build the capacity of school communities, inclusive of all youth voices, but specifically opportunity youth, including but not limited to those who are disconnected, experiencing homelessness, in the care of DCF, as well as those with academic or attendance challenges.

The department functions as a thought partner and arranges regular professional development and advisory support for school staff designed to increase knowledge and skills in the areas that present as barriers to student learning. These

opportunities are offered in addition to ongoing referrals to services available across the school district and through external partners, as well as supporting youth-led initiatives and services provided directly to students and families.

The following summarizes services the department offers:

  • Homeless Education Resource Network (HERN): Housing stabilization resources, case management, wraparound services, basic necessities, transportation and expanded learning opportunities.
  • Academic Mentoring: Intensive academic and relational support for students in grades 6-12, with a focus on priority student groups.
  • Attendance Initiatives: Offers prevention and intervention support, with tools, resources and training to assist schools in ensuring students attend school consistently.
  • Youth Leadership: The Boston Student Advisory Council (BSAC) advocates for the voices of students in BPS and empowers thestudent body to have a say in their education.

Need support, contact: Gabriella Cruz via email: or call (617) 635-8037

Visit our Website

Boston Saves

Help your child prepare for life after high school. Get started with Boston Saves! Every K2 - 2nd grade student in BPS gets a children’s savings account with $50 from Boston Saves. This free money can be used for college, career training, or disability-related costs for independent or supported living. Plus, you can take simple steps to start earning more! See the flyers below to learn more:


English | Español | العربية | Cabo-Verdiano | 中文 | Français | Kreyòl Ayisyen | Português | Soomaali | Tiếng Việt

Visit our Website


The Office of Equity aims to ensure that the Boston Public Schools is an educational environment unimpeded by bias or discrimination, where students and families of all backgrounds and experiences are welcomed, included, and can flourish. 

If you believe you or your child have experienced bias-based conduct based on disability, ethnicity, gender, race, sexual orientation, or any other identity, or any form of sexual misconduct, please contact the BPS Office of Equity at 617-635-9650 or

School Based Equity Roundtables (SBERT)

Equity Roundtables are conversations amongst a group of collaborators who reflect the racial, ethnic, linguistic and socio-economic diversity of the school community to push all of our thinking about what our school’s priorities are as we allocate time and resources to our students. The goal is to eliminate opportunity, achievement gaps and barriers for Boston Public School students as we work to expand opportunities and access for the most marginalized. School-based data on disproportionality in attendance, behavioral incidents, suspensions and academic achievement, including but not limited to grades, test scores and graduation rates, are all areas that must be addressed at the school level to ensure that we are intentional about closing gaps and creating access for our members of traditionally marginalized populations, particularly Black, Latinx, Asian, and Indigenous students, English learners, and students with disabilities. 

SBERTs are not an elected body. The composition of the SBERT must include educators, families, community members, students (at the upper grades) and the school leader. In order to ensure that the proposal or initiative being implemented does not burden our most dependent learners while benefiting others, it’s important to have the right voices at the table. Collaborator engagement should include members that reflect the racial, ethnic, linguistic and socio economic diversity of the school community, that includes parents, staff, community and applicable students and organizations who are invested in achieving greater equity and opportunity in the school. It is essential for SBERT members to pay close attention to who is at the “table,” who is not, and the power dynamics therein.  The documentation of participants, voices, concerns, ideas, and aspirations that were elevated most, and what constituency and racial/ethnic group they represent in order for the voices most impacted are prioritized, especially Black, Latinx, English Learners (ELs), and students with special needs.  

Who Leads & Supports SBERT's?

School leaders are the convener or co-convener of SBERTs. School leaders must be in attendance at SBERT meetings. They do not have to lead all SBERT meetings, family members and educators can also lead meetings. Depending on the problem of practice you could have an expert in that area lead the meetings.

Family Liaisons can be a co-convener of SBERTs.  They can also lead a SBERT if the problem of practice is around family and community engagement. They support outreach and recruitment of family members to SBERT. They provide support to communicate the process, implementation and communication to the broader community and other teaming bodies like the SPC and SSC.

What Should You Expect?

SEBRTs must identify a problem of practice that is based on data that identifies the impact on marginalized populations. Some problems of practice could take 3 to 6 meetings or more. SBERTs are usually 60 to 90 minutes in duration and are held each month.  They must follow these stages of the BPS Racial Equity Planning Tool Components:

  • Desired Results & Outcomes
  • Analysis of Data
  • Collaborators Engagement
  • Strategies for Racial Equity
  • Implementation Plan
  • Accountability and Communications

What is the Impact?

  • Elevating the voices of our historically marginalized families and incorporating the funds of knowledge of our families and students to support academic achievement.

Questions and statements Families Can Use When Participating in the SBERTs:

  • I noticed that the data tells impact is greater than other populations within the school.
  • I wonder if we disaggregate this data further to break out into more subgroups e.g. race, gender, grade, ELD level etc.?
  • I wonder if there has been any change in the data over the last __ years?
  • Is there any qualitative "street level" data e.g. surveys etc. that may further explain what we are noticing in the quantitative data that elevates this groups lived experiences?
  • Do we have the right data? Do we need to look at additional data?
  • How will we get feedback from our broader school community and which group do we need to hear from?
  • How will we communicate what our implementation plan is to our broader school community?
  • What will be the process for monitoring the implementation of work?

Want to learn more about SBERTs visit the School Based Equity Roundtable Handbook.

Countdown to Kindergarten

Countdown to Kindergarten is a program from Boston Public Schools that offers free playgroups for children 0-5 with their adult caregivers. These groups are led by early childhood educators and are offered in a variety of school and community sites October through June for 2 hours once a week. This program is for Boston residents only and is an opportunity for community building while learning school readiness skills. 

Why Play with Us?

  • Each family attends a two hour once a week playgroup. Call for scheduled times.
  • Make new friends and get connected to community resources
  • Practice School Readiness
  • Experience free play, circle time, story time
  • Learn about early childhood development


English | Español | العربية | Cabo-Verdiano | 中文 | Kreyòl Ayisyen | Português | Soomaali | Tiếng Việt

If you would like to sign up you may complete the interest form, it is available in English and in Spanish.

If you have any questions you may contact Countdown to Kindergarten:

Call (617) 756-9650 or email:

Visit our Website

Transportation Reimbursement Procedure

If your student's Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or 504 plan includes transportation and due to an uncovered bus route, you transported your student to/from school you are entitled to seek reimbursement. Reimbursement is at the state rate for driving or the cost of a taxi/rideshare between your home and school. Starting this school year, all families will complete the same intake form for special education transportation reimbursement.

If you have any questions, reach out to the BPS Helpline at 617-635-8873 or via email at The Helpline is open Monday through Friday, 8:30 am until 5:00 pm.

Visit our Website

Partnerships & Opportunities

Pathways to City Employment

The Boston Disabilities Commission invites you to a webinar series about Pathways to City Employment. Join the Boston Disabilities Commission on Tuesday, November 14 from 12-1:30 pm via Zoom to learn more about applying for jobs with the City of Boston and what kinds of jobs they offer.

Family Education and Advocacy Team (FEAT) 

If you know of a deaf or hard of hearing high school student who is preparing for college, please share the information with your families. Elizabeth O'Neill, AuD and Katie McCarthy with the Family Education and Advocacy Team (FEAT) within the Boston Children's Hospital ORL/CCE department are hosting an annual college transition workshop on Thursday, November 16, from 6:30 - 8:30 pm.

Email to RSVP. The Zoom link will be provided via email. ASL interpretation and Zoom captioning will be provided. Additional accommodations will be arranged upon request. 

Partners for Youth with Disabilities (PYD): Access to Art

Partners for Youth with Disabilities (PYD) is a non-profit that serves the Greater Boston community with programs in Career Readiness, Arts, Youth Leadership, and Mentoring. PYD’s mission is to create a world where young people with disabilities can live with dignity and pride in who they are and lead self-determined lives filled with purpose. PYD encourages workplace inclusivity, strength-based learning, and community building to fight institutional and individual ableism. 

PYD’s Access to Arts Program (ATA) in particular strives to remove the barriers youth with disabilities face in accessing arts education and materials. The events below are for students ages 14-22 with or without disabilities. For more you may view the ATA Fall 2023 Programming Flyer.

Visual Arts Workshops

Non-profit Center

89 South Street, Boston, MA

Mondays-October 16-November 20 from 4-6 pm

Community Mosaic Project

Spaulding Hospital

1575 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA

Tuesdays & Wednesdays-October 17-November 28 from 4-6 pm

Virtual Gift Making


Wednesdays-November 28-December 20 from 4-5 pm

For more information: email:

Visit our Website