Greenwich school board weighs in on audit of special education services

GREENWICH — The independence of a new audit of special education services in the Greenwich Public Schools is among the most important facets of the review, several Board of Education members said Tuesday.

The school board heard an update on the $98,000 audit, which will officially begin this month, at its Tuesday meeting. The audit is an attempt to examine complaints from parents about the district’s special education services going back decades.

“I, for one, am glad this is finally starting,” Board of Education Chair Peter Bernstein said. “I think we’ve been talking about it for about three years, so it’s good to see it finally moving forward. One of the concerns I have and I will continue to have is about the independence.”

Board member Peter Sherr drove home the point of acting independently.

“This project is really an audit of special education districtwide,” Sherr said. “I’m not familiar

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Greenwich school board to receive audit update on special education

GREENWICH — A new audit of the special education services in the Greenwich Public Schools is underway, with a scheduled end date of June 2021.

At its Tuesday special meeting, the Board of Education will receive an update on the project, which started last month.

The Board of Education and the Greenwich Public Schools hired Public Consulting Group to conduct the audit at a cost of $98,000, a $30,000 increase on the original contract, which was recently amended. The project’s scope, after a request from Superintendent of Schools Toni Jones and the school board, has been widened to include a study of the creation of Individualized Education Plans for individual students and community feedback.

PCG comes to the project after parents and board members expressed concerns over the district’s original choice of an auditor, Tennessee-based education consultant Key2Ed. Detractors questioned the validity of the selection, noting that Key2Ed already had

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Greenwich High receives national Special Olympics distinction

GREENWICH — Greenwich High School has received national recognition from Special Olympics Connecticut for its efforts to provide inclusive sports and activities for students with and without disabilities.

The school — already a Special Olympics Unified Champion School — is receiving national banner recognition for meeting standards of excellence in areas of inclusion, advocacy and respect, Special Olympics Connecticut announced this week.

Greenwich High is one of several schools to earn the distinction and will receive a banner to hang in the building.

“We are so proud of our continued recognition as a Unified Champion School,” Greenwich High School Headmaster Ralph Mayo said. “When we look at that banner hanging in our glass corridor, it’s a constant reminder that inclusion and respect are crucial to our school, and every day we must build and strengthen our collective commitment to these traits.”

A Special Olympics Unified Champion School is one that

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‘A heavy burden:’ Greenwich special education families feel ‘overlooked’ in opening days

GREENWICH — Just days into the new school year, some special education parents say they are concerned about services offered to remote students and what they call a general lack of communication from the school district.

Some parents spoke out at Thursday’s Board of Education meeting, expressing that they felt “overlooked” and that their special education children were an afterthought. On Friday, the head of the teachers union in the Greenwich Public Schools called a recent change in special education staffing a “head-scratcher.”

“Currently, I am inundated with text messages and emails from special education families,” said Caroline Lerum, PTA Council chairperson for special education. “A concerning amount of remote families across the district are frustrated because of changes that occurred after school began.”

Primarily, special education parents were alarmed to learn after the new year began that there would not be a remote teacher assigned to each special education

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Greenwich nonprofit offers grants to help special education families


GREENWICH — A Greenwich-based legal services nonprofit is accepting applications for grants to provide families of special education students with access to qualified attorneys.

The Special Education Legal Fund Inc. announced Monday that it would award grants of up to $5,000 for qualified families living in Connecticut or Westchester County, N.Y., for its Legal Assistance Program.


“Special Education Legal Fund (S.E.L.F.) provides resources and knowledge to families in need to promote full advocacy for children in the special education system,” a statement from the group said.

“Although a free and appropriate public education is a right guaranteed to all students under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the realities of special education in the U.S. can be quite different,” the group says on

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