Concord schools address summer transport

By Betsy Levinson -
December 1, 2022

A notice from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education sent to Superintendent Dr. Laurie Hunter in September hands down a decision over transportation for special needs students to summer programs.

A complaint was filed by a member of SPEDwatch, Inc. alleging the district “does not offer transportation as a related service to any students whose IEPs (independent education plan) identify them as eligible for Extended School Year (ESY) services.”

Tom Lucey, communications director for Superintendent Dr. Laurie Hunter’s office acknowledged the notification.

“The Concord (CPS) and Concord Carlisle Regional School (CCRSD) Districts received a notice from the state’s Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) regarding transportation for extended school year students that requires the Districts to clarify our practice following extensive discussion about our communication with families,” Lucey’s statement read. “This notice was the result of a complaint filed by a special education advocacy group against multiple school districts.

“The CPS and CCRSD practices were consistent with many other school districts in Massachusetts as well as the historical practices of the Districts,” he added. “Going forward, both CPS and CCRSD will ensure parents are very clear as to their options for transportation for students receiving summer services and the Districts will provide transportation as regulated.”

The School Committee’s response echoed the superintendent.

“Members of the School Committees were informed by District Leaders about the complaint filed by an advocacy group against multiple school districts who employed similar approaches to this situation. The Committee Chairs have discussed the matter and the DESE letter with the Administration and we support the response going forward.”