Latest News from SPS

Special Education Parent Advisory Council Sponsoring Free Movie for all Parents

The Sandwich Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC) will host a free, public screening of nationally acclaimed documentary Who Cares About Kelsey? at the Oak Ridge School Multi-Purpose Room at 7pm on Monday, November 17th 2014, followed by a discussion led by Joe Dowick, MSW, LICSW. Currently licensed as both an adjustment counselor and guidance counselor, he is the Henry T. Wing School Social Worker and has a private practice in Mashpee where he works with adolescents who are experiencing issues including transitions, substance abuse, depression, and anxiety.

The film documents Kelsey Carroll’s struggles with learning disabilities and behavioral challenges, and shows innovative educational approaches that help students like her to succeed – while improving the overall school culture and climate.   Diagnosed with ADHD and carrying the emotional scars of homelessness and substance abuse, as well as the actual scars of repeated self-mutilation, Kelsey was volatile, disruptive and, by her own admission, “not a nice person” to be around. She failed every class her freshman year, and repeated her sophomore year. During Kelsey’s second sophomore year, a new school leadership team implemented Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS), a youth-directed planning process called RENEW, and other reforms to improve the school’s culture and reduce the dropout rate.

Who Cares About Kelsey? follows Kelsey through the ups and downs of her senior year and shows how her school’s new approach towards students like Kelsey gave her the tools and the opportunity to succeed. It is the story of Kelsey’s transformation from a defiant and disruptive “problem student” to a motivated and self-confident young woman. Along the way, critical figures in her personal and educational life shape her coming of age and play important roles in an education revolution that’s about empowering – not overpowering – youth with emotional and behavioral challenges.

Nationally, more than two million young people in the United States have emotional/ behavioral disabilities (EBD). Can emotionally disabled kids overcome their circumstances to succeed?  What would American education look like if there was a helping hand for all “problem kids”?  These are questions posed by the film.

Who Cares About Kelsey? has been featured in Education Week and WBUR and has been screened at film festivals, national conferences and school districts around the country.  To learn more about the film and view the trailer, go to: http://www.whocaresaboutkelsey.com/.  To learn more about the Sandwich SEPAC, go to www.sandwichSEPAC.weebly.com or contact Linda at sandwichsepac@gmail.com.

View and download a flyer here: Documentary_Screening_Flyer

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