Homeschooling may be the optimal educational option for certain families, and Lynn’s limited, announced visits twice annually serve a valid interest. They do not constitute unreasonable searches.
The defendants refer to Lynn’s “Hiring District Staff” memo from 1998 which details Lynn’s policy for hiring COTAs through the Consortium, and argue that Panias was not promoted due to her seniority with Consortium not translating over to Lynn system.
Information about your child’s school
The Lynn School District manages 25 public schools serving 15,727 students. Ranked third in Massachusetts based on student/teacher ratio and state test scores, Lynn is home to an extremely diverse community featuring high percentages of Hispanics and Asians as well as having many English as second language speakers among its student body.
Parents of an autistic special education student allege that Lynn Public Schools created a hostile environment during the 2009-2010 school year as a form of retaliation against Parents seeking due process due to the Student’s autism diagnosis and denied him a free appropriate public education (FAPE). They claim the School failed to provide sufficient speech/language and occupational therapy services and should provide compensatory services in lieu of that failure.
According to evidence presented at trial, Daniel Driscoll is employed by the Lynn Public Schools system and responsible for hiring all Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants within its system. According to his testimony at trial, Lynn School joined a Consortium around 1996, resulting in all COTAs being hired via this avenue rather than directly by Lynn School District.
In 2009-2010, due to scheduling conflicts and illness among COTAs, Student did not receive several occupational therapy and speech/language sessions that she should have received. The parties disagree as to whether these missed sessions can be considered compensatory.
E-mail can be an efficient and cost-effective means of communicating with the teacher of your child, but should only be used for non-vital messages. Teachers don’t always have time to read all e-mails sent their way; inappropriate or sensitive material should be conveyed via telephone instead. Also, jokes, amusing stories, or chain letters sent via e-mail should not be used as this can distract teachers and reduce teaching time; confidential issues such as academic progress, learning expectations, or behavioral concerns should be brought up during an in-person conference; any medical or health issues should also be conveyed directly through a phone call so your concerns will reach its recipient quickly.
News about your child’s school
The district’s administrative staff carries out various tasks, from assuring student safety to implementing policies and programs. Some administrators possess advanced degrees such as special education or public administration; many also serve as mentors to new employees. Our administrative team includes social workers and psychologists as well.
Lynn Public Schools system in Massachusetts enrolls about 15,727 students ranging from grades PreK through 12, and its student/teacher ratio stands at 13:1. Lynn ranks as one of the five largest systems in Massachusetts.
Parents of a disabled student (Student) allege that Lynn Public Schools (Lynn or School) created an unpleasant learning environment during 2009-2010 in response to their exercise of due process rights, thus depriving the Student of access to a free appropriate public education (FAPE). As part of their claim against Lynn, they demand Student be placed in an autism program during part of his school day as well as receiving compensatory speech/language and occupational therapy sessions from Lynn.
At this stage of the case, the Court has examined numerous exhibits and interviewed witnesses. Daniel Driscoll, Director of Special Education for the School, provided testimony on its behalf stating that it has participated in the Consortium since 1996 when there is a need for COTAs or they feel one is appropriate; when that occurred they would submit a request to find qualified candidates through it.
Panias, a white woman in her mid-30s, graduated with Wright-Johnston from North Shore Community College’s COTA program in May 1998. Prior to graduation, she was employed as a clerk-typist in Lynn School Department; upon request and approval by Lynn School Administration, she took a leave of absence to participate in the Consortium program. Panias returned temporarily as COTA while Wright-Johnston took maternity leave from her Consortium placement placement.
Updates about your child’s school
If you have a query or concern, it is best to reach out directly to the school where your child attends. Staff members will assess what would be the most appropriate way for them to respond – either via e-mail, telephone, personal conference, or if needed, scheduling one directly. Please be aware that only authorized e-mail addresses will be used to contact district staff; so it is essential that your message clearly identifies yourself in its subject line. For security purposes only authorized e-mail addresses will be used as direct contacts; therefore e-mail messages unrelated to school business can reduce valuable classroom time significantly.
The defendant works at Lynn Public Schools as Director of Special Education and a member of its Consortium.
Announcements about your child’s school
Education leaders gathered virtually with parents of students with disabilities on Saturday to explore methods of post-high school support for these individuals. Eric Werner of Lynn Tech’s Fresh Start program kicked off the meeting by discussing its efforts to teach young adults with disabilities how to cook, ride public transit, and interact with society.
Lynn public schools do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, creed or religion; gender identity; sexual orientation; disability; age; athletic ability, or proficiency in English language, or foreign languages. E-mailing jokes or amusing or special stories to teachers via mass e-mail is inappropriate and reduces precious teaching time; such messages should instead be sent via telephone call or in person.
Emily Pauls is a reporter for The Daily Item covering Lynn. A 2022 graduate from Boston University, Emily previously held positions with The Daily Free Press and Boston University News Service.