- Slides: 17
Swansea Special Education Parent Advisory Council Swansea SEPAC February 2018 presentation for Swansea School Committee
What is Swansea SEPAC? Swansea Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SSEPAC) Ø Special Education Parent Advisory Councils (SEPAC’s) are a requirement of the Department of Education as outlined in the Massachusetts special education law. Ø Massachusetts state law defines SEPAC’s as advisory councils to School Committees- Chapter 71 B, Section 3 of the Massachusetts General Laws. This authority is also codified in the Code of Massachusetts Regulations (CMR), 603 CMR 28. 07(4) Ø The purpose of a SEPAC is to advise the school committee on matters that pertain to the education and safety of students with disabilities
Who is the Swansea SEPAC? Ø Our SEPAC members have broad knowledge of resources and referral information to network with other parents & professionals. • SSEPAC is led by parents of students receiving special education services in our district. ü General Membership: available to any person who is a parent, guardian or educational advocate of a Swansea student or is a town resident with an interest in special education. ü Voting Membership: individual must be a parent or guardian of a Swansea student within the special education programs. ü Student Membership: any student who has an IEP or 504 and is at least 14 years old can become an active SEPAC member.
Who is the Swansea SEPAC? Swansea Special Education Parent Advisory Council • Our SEPAC has 4 elected officer positions Swansea SEPAC Officers 2017/2018 Ø President- Sonya Barbosa Ø Vice President- Lisa Viverios Ø Secretary- Sara Silvia Ø Treasurer- Craig Warner • Our SEPAC has board members to represent each school
Who is the Swansea SEPAC? Swansea SEPAC Board members: Hoyle Elementary- Grades Pre. K, K-2 Aron Meehan Jessica Melo Brown Elementary- Grades 3 -5 Jennifer Wentworth Gardner Elementary- Grades K-2 Joy Hennessey Luther Elementary- Grades 3 -5 Judite Carey Christine Aguiar Case Jr High School- Grades 6 -8 Angela Mc. Mullen Sheril Silva Kelly Carey Case High School-Grades 9 -12 Charlotte Hydrick Lisa Thomas Debbie Furtado
SEPAC-PTO’s What is the difference? • Both PTO’s and SSEPAC are organizations run by parent volunteers but the differences are: Ø Since 1986 MA state law has required all public school districts to maintain a SEPAC Ø The school district is charged with assisting the SEPAC in maintaining its operation and activities Ø SEPAC’s may engage in fundraising activities, but it is not required to do so. Ø The SEPAC’s must comply with the Open Meeting Law Ø Parents of Swansea students who are placed out-of-district or in a collaborative may also join the SEPAC as well as a Parent Advisory Group at their student’s out of district placement. Ø Funds for SEPAC’s should be placed with the municipal treasurer and held in a separate account for the SEPAC.
SEPAC Responsibilities Swansea SEPAC’s advisory duties include but are not limited to: Ø Advising the school committee on matters that pertain to the education and safety of students with disabilities Ø Meeting regularly with school officials to participate in the planning, development and evaluation of the school committee’s special education programs Ø SEPAC’s are required to establish by-laws regarding officers and operational procedures
SEPAC Responsibilities SEPAC’s advisory duties include but are not limited to: Ø Each school district is required by law to provide a Basic Rights training annually – This year the Swansea SEPAC will have a presenter from the Federation for Children with Special Needs present the districts Basic Rights Training. Were looking to expand to host other trainings that are of interest to families and staff involved with special education. Ø Provide an annual written report to the administration and school committee regarding special education within the district Ø In the course of its duties the SEPAC shall receive assistance from the school committee without charge, upon reasonable notice, and subject to the availability of staff and resources
Swansea SEPAC Highlights 2017 Ø After networking with other SEPAC’s, doing research, and learning from Mass. Pac the SEPAC now has official bylaws in place. • As of June 14 th Ø Bylaws are available upon request to the SEPAC or at the Town Hall Clerk’s office.
Swansea SEPAC Highlights 2017 Ø The Swansea SEPAC became members of Mass. PAC through the Federation for Children with Special Needs on 09/06/17 • This is a yearly membership that needs to be completed by July. • The Swansea School District paid for the 2017 Mass. PAC membership.
Swansea SEPAC Highlights 2017 Ø Educational Empowerment Training (3 sessions) • Parents Rights and Laws (Basic Rights) • IEP and 504 Training • Effective Communication ü This series is available to view on the Swansea Cable Access Channel
Swansea SEPAC Highlights 2018 Ø SEPAC officer attended “A Morning with DESE: Featuring an Overview of General and Special Education Funding” conference on February 2 nd • This conference featured key presentations by: – Teri Williams Valentine, Director of the Special Education Planning and Policy, Department of Elementary and Secondary Education – Rob O'Donnell, Director of School Business Services, Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Swansea SEPAC Highlights 2018 Ø Friends of the Swansea SEPAC held two fundraising events to support the Swansea SEPAC. ØPaint Night at Studio Life Art • 01/19/18 this event completely sold out! • 01/27/18
What’s next in 2018 for the Swansea SEPAC? Ø MCAS Training Workshop for Parents and Professionals • Wednesday, February 28 th 6: 30 -8: 30 pm • Location is at the Media Center in Joseph Case Jr High School • This workshop will be presented by Christine Riley from the Federation for Children with Special Needs
What’s next in 2018 for the Swansea SEPAC? Ø A. P. P. L. E. Institute Training • Advancing Parent Professional Leadership in Education • This training is for the SEPAC officers and the director of administration to attend • Participants learn collaborative leadership skills, and then apply them by developing action plans Ø Taking place in Framingham May 3 rd & 4 th • The Swansea team has been accepted into this 8 district program
What’s next in 2018 for the Swansea SEPAC? Ø We are looking into getting the Autism and Law Enforcement Education Coalition (ALEC) training presented to parents and educators. Ø Basic Rights workshop to be scheduled with the Federation/Mass. Pac Ø Our next monthly meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, March 6 th at 6: 30 pm