Quarterly Newsletter,  Fall, 2023 

What's New?

News and Updates for the PCTI Community

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In this Edition:

  • Special Education Updates
  • Programs and Resources
  • Networking Series

What's New is a quarterly newsletter for Federation-trained parents and parent consultants. In each edition, we will provide you with special education updates, resources, and upcoming events to support you in advocating for your students

Special Education Updates

Selected updates in special education policy and guidance. To view more, visit DESE's Special Education Webpage or Join DESE's Newsletters 


Changes in MA Teacher Licensure Regulations to Address Shortage

In June, the State Education Board voted to amend teacher licensure requirements in order to combat teacher shortages across Massachusetts. The new regulations 1) make it easier for licensed teachers to teach special education and English as a second language; 2) create two new licenses for for Pre K-2 teachers of students with moderate disabilities and teachers of students with severe disabilities; 3) permit alternatives to meeting requirements for applicants of provisional licenses, and; 4) create a new provisional licenses for school nurses

Learn More about the Amendments

Resource on Confronting Racial Discrimination in Student Discipline

In May, the Departments of Education and Justice jointly shared this resource to support schools' in their efforts confronting race discrimination in student discipline. In addition to a Dear Colleague Letter, the departments provide examples of their discrimination investigations over the last 10 years to help school districts "take steps to proactively improve their administration of student discipline."

Read the Resource

Investments in Education in the 2024 MA State Budget

The new state budget, passed by Maura Healy in early August, includes large investments in education, including funding for universal fee school meals, in-state tuition to migrant students, free community college for MA residents over 25, and free community college for nursing students.

Learn More about Education in the State Budget

DESE Guidance for Providing Trained Interpreters in Schools

According to data from the 2022-23 school year, 25 percent of MA students speak a language other than English as their first language, indicating that a significant number of families need interpretation services. DESE's new guidance provides information and resources to help districts effectively provide language interpretation for families. The guidance also mentions that additional guidance on language access will be released soon.

Read the Guidance

Programs and Resources

School Finder Phone Line

The School Finder Phone Line helps families with questions about public schools, career-technical schools, exam schools, charter schools, homeschooling, virtual schools, recovery schools, inter-district school choice, and navigating school systems.

All families are welcome. Staff speak Spanish, Portuguese, Haitian Creole, French, Chinese, Vietnamese, and English. Phone interpretation is available in 250 more languages.

Learn More

NCELA Newcome Toolkit

This Toolkit provides information, tools, and resources to support educators, administrators, and school staff work effectively with immigrant students and their families.

Read the Toolkit

Sibling Support Program, September 7th.

This free program focuses on building sibling resiliency, decreasing trauma and strengthening families of youth with Autism, Developmental Disabilities and/or Mental Health Issues.

Learn More

Family Voices En Español

Family Voices just launched it's first issue of Family Voices En Español, an online magazine for and by family leaders, available in both Spanish and English.

Read the Magazine

Massachusetts Legal Resource Finder

Based on a few questions regarding your legal needs, the Legal Resource Finder will give you contact information for legal aid offices, government agencies, and court programs that may be able to help you at free or low cost.

Use the Legal Resource Finder

MassHealth Redetermination

MassHealth members will soon need to renew their health coverage to ensure they still qualify for their current benefits. Make sure that MassHealth has your most up to date address, phone number, and email so you don't miss important information and notices for MassHealth.

Learn more about MassHealth Redetermination

Networking Series is Back!

Thursday, September 14, 12pm-1pm

The Networking Series for PCTI grads, SESPs, and SEPAC leaders starts up again on September 14th!

Register for the September Networking

Join the PCTI Facebook Group

If you haven't already, join our Facebook Group for PCTI grads. This is a forum where people can ask questions, exchange ideas and learn in a positive environment.

Join now!

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(800)331-0688 or (617)236-7210