The Winchester Parent Advisory Council (WinPAC) is a state-mandated group of parents and guardians who work with teachers, administrators, and the Winchester School Committee to provide:
Opportunities for caregivers of children with special needs to share tips, advice and support
Opportunities for caregivers and educators to learn about special education, including the laws and regulations that protect a child receiving services under an individualized education plan (IEP);
Information about resources available to help children be successful, including educational materials, national support groups, speakers, technical assistance, enrichment activities, and professional services.
Avenues for caregivers to participate in the development and evaluation of Winchester's special education programs.
Andy Hollenhorst (Chair)
Special education and literacy, February 2021 (PDF)
Questions and comments on planning for re-opening, July 2020 (PDF)
WPS presentations to the School Committee
About Winchester Special Education
The mission of the Winchester Public Schools Special Education Department , in collaboration and consultation with building based teams, is to help students understand their learning differences and develop skills and compensatory strategies in order to become independent learners. As a department, we strive to foster collaborative and cooperative relationships, respect for individual differences, develop a sense of health and emotional well-being and the maintenance of a purposeful and rigorous academic program. We want our students to gain an understanding of their own learning style so that they can learn to advocate for themselves. Special Education staff work in a collaborative manner to develop ways to modify curriculum and assessment practices while maintaining high expectations. As a district we promote ‘best practice’ with inclusion for all. Our goal is to present each student with challenging but attainable expectations, and develop appropriate ways of assessing what students have learned.
Child Find Program
It is the responsibility of the Winchester Public Schools to identify any child who is a resident of Winchester, who may have a disability, regardless of the severity of the disability. It is also the responsibility of the Winchester Public Schools to evaluate those students to determine if they are eligible for special education or related services under IDEA ( Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) or 603 CMR 28 ( Massachusetts Special Education regulations).