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Edison K8 Parent Council

Meeting Notes 11/09/16

Principal response can be located at the end of each section in blue.
Executive Committee Attendance: Daniel Davis, Co-Chair, Zoe Sherman, Treasurer, Megan Markov,
Additional Parent Attendance: Parent of student # 298846, Parent of student # 362414, Parent of
student #354255 and #374783, Parent of student #327542, Parent of 8th
grade student, Parent of
student #391284

Inclusion/Students with Special Needs
Parents of children with disabilities seeking more support, have feelings of exclusion, dismissal,
and being left out [8th
grade parent, K2 parent]. Feeling of constantly fighting to maintain services,
make sure agreements are being met, etc. Need more support and guidance through the IEP process
and dealing with BPS, and to be better integrated into the school community. General feeling of
wanting students to feel like an integrated part of the community, not siloed.
Principals Response: We would be happy to host an evening for families of students with Special
Needs to explain policies, answer questions, and build a stronger sense of community.

Schoolwide program to educate students about differences, similar to Newton

program Understanding Our Differences. Two parents to look into possibility of
bringing the program to our school, also interested in BPS ideas (ex. anti-bullying
video on website). Particularly concerned with educating the community on
non-visible disabilities.
Anti-bullying campaigns should incorporate inclusion, not just address aggressive
behaviors. Any anti-bullying initiatives would be applied to all classrooms.
Enrichment experiences should be extended to connect to inclusion campaigns (ex.
buddy programs)
Create peer network of SPED parents to help one another navigate the system,
connect to services, know what to advocate for, share successful strategies, etc.

Action Items

Investigate booklists that promote inclusion

Send out link to Teaching Tolerance resources for dealing with the election. (Done)


Is there currently a program in place similar to whats described above? How is

understanding differences being incorporated into the inclusion curriculum? We do
this through Open Circle in grade K-5 and Restorative Justice Circle in grades 6-8. We
also offer our middle grade student Peace Circles that provide an additional time and
opportunity to share feelings and build a more inclusive community.
How can parents implement/help implement something like whats described above?
What resources are currently available to parents to help navigate the IEP process?
Principal Response: Within the BPS there are a number of supports for schools and parents to help
navigate the Special Education IEP process. Within the school Ms. Julie Shea, our Student Support
Coordinator is the first point of contact that may have questions about the IEP process. The district
also offers a SPC meeting specifically for parents of students receiving Special Education services. See
this web site has loads more information: http://www.bostonpublicschools.org/Page/6120.
Throughout our school we provide students with Open Circle and Restorative Justice both as
curriculum and forums to create safe and welcoming school environments. Following the election,
students spent additional time in circles in all grades to process the election results and any other
feelings they were having. I also made school wide announcement and sent home a letter to families
to further foster a sense of safety. As a school we have been very thoughtful to build in Social
Emotional Supports and makes our school feel like a safe and welcoming place for all students.
I can definitely see the parents developing a more formal Bullying Policy/Agreement in collaboration
with the PBIS team or grade level teams that could being a living document in the Edison community.

Vacancies on Council Executive Committee

Recruited attendees to participate. Currently vacant roles additional co-chair, alternate treasurer,
alternate secretary, SPED PAC representative, CPC representative and alternate, additional SSC
Action Item

Send information regarding committees, roles, and commitment to attendees for

them to consider. (Done) We will continue to work on this!

Parent Council Priorities for the Year

Attendees agreed to focus on some fundraising to meet Principal Varanos goal of purchasing
Chromebooks. However, there was a feeling that we dont want to be purely a fundraising body; the
parents would also like to connect to the community with advocacy and possibly programming (such
as the inclusion programming described above). Major goal of ensuring that Mark Griffins position
remains fully funded.
Question for Administration

What is the long-term plan for retaining two City Connects positions? How can the
parents support this goal? Principal Response: The continued funding of City Connects
will depend greatly on the budget we get from the city. It is too early to tell whether
we will have the resources to support 2 city connects coordinators.

Additional Items/Concerns
grade parent requested more programs to enhance student learning/more enrichment
experiences such as school trips. Principal Response: I will communicate this to the 5th grade team.
Additional Questions and Action Items for Administration
1) What are parents rights to participate in the classroom? (Brought up by 2nd
grade parent
prevented from becoming a classroom volunteer) Principals Response: Classroom volunteers
are different grade by grade and class by class. I would be happy to support any teacher who
wants to volunteer their time in the building.
2) How can the Parent Council connect with parents who dont attend but are otherwise
involved in the community (classroom volunteers, etc.)? Principals Response: I will send
notes out via the monthly school newsletter and mass email following meetings.
3) Update school voicemail! Still has Mary Driscoll. Principals Response: We communicated this
to OIIT several weeks ago. They said they were changing it. We will check back to make sure
that happened. Unfortunately, school voicemails are now controlled by the OIIT department.