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Special Education

Abby Kelley Foster Charter Public School provides comprehensive services to those students with disabilities and maintains a range of educational services that are in compliance with state and federal laws and regulations. Any child with a disability as defined by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is provided with a free and appropriate public education and held to standards established by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and Abby Kelley Foster Charter Public School.  

What is special education?

Special education is specially designed instruction and related services (e.g. transportation) that meet the unique needs of an eligible student with a disability or that provide for a specific service need that is necessary to allow the student with a disability to access the general curriculum. The purpose of special education is to allow the students to develop successfully his or her individual educational potential. Along with providing services to the child, if necessary, services are provided to parents and to teachers for students to benefit from special education. 

May a charter school enroll a special education student?

Yes, all students regardless of disability may enroll in a charter school. Abby Kelly Foster Charter Public School will provide the services detailed on a student’s IEP. 

Are special education regulations federal or state requirements?

In Massachusetts, the special education system is based on the federal special education law, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), in combination with the state’s special education law (MGL c. 71B). These laws protect students with disabilities who are eligible for special education and guarantee them an Individual Education Program (IEP) designed to meet their unique needs. 

May anyone refer a child for special education?

Yes, but the parent must give written permission before the evaluation process may begin. 

Do regular education teachers have obligations under special education?

Once an IEP is agreed upon, then it is the obligation of the school system to implement it. All teachers have obligations to familiarize themselves with the IEP’s of their students and to implement the services, modifications, or accommodations which are their responsibility. At least one regular education teacher must attend each Team meeting. 

What do I do if I have questions or need help with a student?

Whenever you have concerns with a student, begin with the guidance counselor or principal. Often the advice or assistance of the team leader or IPT process can help. There are many steps which can be taken before a referral for special education.   

Special Education Parent Advisory Council

Mission
Provide a network of support for parents, teachers & administrators, including access to relevant information, training, & emotional support.

What is a PAC (Parental Advisory Council)?

The PAC is an autonomous body that, the PAC must abide its own bylaws and state laws. PAC’s are a forum to gather and discuss issues of importance pertaining to the special education environment in their school.  In addition to PAC meetings, communication may also be done through newsletters, memos, telephone, email, and websites so that all parents have the opportunity for input. Parents & guardians are encouraged and invited to bring forth issues, suggestions, or concerns to assist with meeting the needs of our school community

Who do I contact with questions regarding special education?

AnnMarie Little, Director of Government Relations, amlittle@akfcs.org, ext: 3625
Sue Bialas, Assistant Director of Special Education, sbialas@akfcs.org,  ext:3639

Mrs. AnnMarie Little
Mrs. AnnMarie Little
Director of Government Relations & Special Education
Abby Kelley Foster Charter Public

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Director of Government Relations/Director of Special Education
Mrs. Susan Bialas
Mrs. Susan Bialas
Assistant Director of Special Education
Abby Kelley Foster Charter Public

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Mrs. Victoria Saganich
Mrs. Victoria Saganich
Special Education Administrative Assistant
Abby Kelley Foster Charter Public

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