Wachuset Regional School District - Special Education Parent Advisory Council (WRSD SEPAC)

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WRSD SEPAC BYLAWS

Wachusett Regional School District

Special Education Parent Advisory Council

Bylaws

 

 

Article I:  Name of Organization

The name of this self-governed organization shall be the Wachusett Regional School District Special Education Parent Advisory Council, also known as WRSD SEPAC.

 

Article II:  Purpose of the PAC

The mission of the Wachusett Regional School District (WRSD) Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC) is to work towards the understanding of, respect for, support, and optimum education for all children with special needs in the WRSD communities. To that end, they will work to:

 

-         Advise the school committee on matters that pertain to the education, health, and safety of students with special needs by providing direct parent input, review, and feedback on all matters pertaining to Special Education.

 

-         Meet regularly with school officials (Administrator of Special Education, School Committee, etc.) to advise and participate in the planning, development, operations, and evaluation of the school committee’s special education programs.  This includes the development of policy, and parent and teacher training needs.

 

-         Participate in the development and review of the Three-Year Program Plan prior to submission.  This will include the ability to input, review, revise and comment on any/all regular reports and plans pertaining to Special Education sent to the Department of Education, prior to their being finalized/submitted.

 

-   Promote a network of parents, including but not limited to parents of  children with special needs, and provide a forum to share information and discuss matters of concern and interest for children with special needs.  This will include providing a network of support for parents including access to relevant information, training, and emotional support.

 

-   Promote communication and programs within the community to encourage understanding, acceptance and inclusion of children with special needs, thereby encouraging an atmosphere of open communication, understanding and mutual respect among all students, parents and our communities at large.

 

 

-   Provide informational forums to parents, educators, students and other professionals.  This will include collaboration with parent/teacher groups, school councils and other school organizations towards the betterment of education in the school district.  Explore opportunities for parents and school personnel to participate in joint training to foster mutual under-standing.

 

-         Promote communication between WRSD SEPAC members, local, State and National organizations, councils and groups.  This will include staying current on public policy issues which impact all education in Massachusetts, and respond as necessary.

 

 

 

Article III: Terms of Membership

 

General membership shall be open to:

 

-         any resident of the Wachusett Regional School District, or

-         any person affiliated with the Wachusett Regional District Schools, and/or

-         any person affiliated with a child with special needs in an “out-of-district” placement or home setting,

 

who has attended at least one meeting of the WRSD SEPAC during the past 12 months.

 

Voting membership is required to vote in annual officer elections and other business that comes before any WRSD PAC meeting.  Voting membership shall be any general member:

-         who is a parent or guardian of a child with special needs residing in the Wachusett Regional School District, with or without an Individual Education Plan (IEP),

or

-         is a parent or guardian of a child with special needs who attends Wachusett Regional School District Schools or attends school in an

“out-of-district” placement or home setting,

and

who has attended at least one previous meeting of the WRSD SEPAC during the past 12 months or has requested voting status in writing to the Secretary at least one month prior to the vote.

 

Meetings are defined as any WRSD SEPAC-sponsored meeting, activity, or committee(s) at which attendance is taken.


The order of business at all regular meetings of the WRSD SEPAC will be as follows:

 

I.                   Secretary’s Report

II.                Treasurer’s Report

III.             Communications

IV.              Committee Reports

V.                 Unfinished Business

VI.              Public Hearing

VII.           New Business

VIII.        Brief recap of assigned action items

IX.              Adjournment


 

 

Article IV: Officers of the Special Education Parent Advisory Council

 

Officers of the WRSD Special Education Parent Advisory Council are elected by the voting membership and hold office for one year.  If any office becomes vacant, an election for that office shall be held immediately, with term to expire at the May meeting.

 

Office and officer responsibilities of the WRSD Special Education Parent Advisory Council are:

 

Chairperson

 

        Set the agenda for each general meeting.

        Preside at all meetings of the WRSD Special Education Parent Advisory Council.

        Coordinate all communication between the WRSD Special Education Parent Advisory Council and its membership.  (Note: No officer or member of the WRSD SEPAC is authorized to send written communication(s) without prior approval from the officers upon review of the content of the communication.)

         Recommend the organization of and monitor the function of subcommittees.

        Act as liaison with the Administrator of Special Education.

 

 

Co-Chairperson(s)

 

        Preside at meetings in the absence of the Chairperson, or at the request of the Chairperson.

        Coordinate public communications (if needed), not including those communi-cations that are the Secretary’s.

        Assist the Chairperson as appropriate and perform those responsibilities of the Chairperson at his/her request.


Secretary

 

        Coordinate the recording and filing of minutes of the WRSD Special Education Parent Advisory Council and its subcommittees.

        Collect and review all incoming correspondence with the officers of the WRSD Special Education Parent Advisory Council.

        Prepare and distribute all outgoing correspondence of the WRSD SEPAC following approval by officers, (unless specifically delegated to another member/officer.)

        Prepare periodic reports for the Special Education Administration regarding Special Education Parent Advisory Committee activities and needs.

        Notify the Department of Education, the School Committee and the Administrator of Special Education of annual election results, providing the names, addresses and phone numbers of the new officers by June 1 of each year.

 

Treasurer

 

        Manage and account for funds collected, donated, and/or spent for the WRSD Special Education Parent Advisory Council.  The Council’s officers must have approved outgoing funds (i.e. payments).

        Prepare and present the Treasurer’s Report for monthly business meetings.

        Oversee the monetary aspects of fund raising activities, though sub-committee(s)  may manage the overall activity of fund raising project(s).

        Coordinate efforts to apply for grants, donations, reimbursements or any other funds for which the WRSD Special  Education Parent Advisory Council may be eligible.  (This can be a collaborative effort with other members, officers, or subcommittee(s).)

 

 

Article V: Elections

 

Elections shall be the first order of business during the May meeting.  Elections shall be decided by a simple majority vote of the voting membership, subject to the presence of a quorum. New officers shall take office immediately following their election.

 

* If the voting membership is less than 20, a quorum shall be at least 50% (rounding down) of the voting membership.

 

* If the voting membership is greater than 20, a quorum shall be 30% (rounding down) of the voting membership.

 

The Department of Education will be informed of the annual elections with the names, addresses and phone numbers of the new board by June 1 of each year.


Nominations will be made by ballot.  Nomination ballots will be made available to voting members at a WRSD Special Education Parent Advisory Council meeting at least two weeks prior to elections. The Co-Chairperson is automatically nominated for the office of Chairperson at the May election. All voting members are eligible to make nominations.

 

Prior to the nomination meeting, a volunteer will be recruited from the voting membership of the WRSD Special Education Parent Advisory Council for the temporary position of Election Coordinator. The selection of the volunteer will be decided by a lottery of the names of volunteers. (An Election Coordinator prevents potential conflicts of interest.)

 

The Election Coordinator will coordinate activities necessary to complete the election. At the nominating meeting, the Election Coordinator will tally the nominations. Within two days, the Election Coordinator shall announce/notify individuals nominated. To remain on the ballot nominees shall accept or decline their nominations within one week of being notified of their nomination. The Election Coordinator shall compile the list of eligible voting members (with assistance from the Secretary) and prepare the ballots. A ballot must be available for each voting member.

 

 

Article VI: Meetings

 

General Meetings shall be held at least monthly, from September through June. Advance notice of all general meeting dates, elections, informational lectures, etc. shall be published/posted in as many places as possible to encourage participation from all interested parties.  These include notices in the local press, postings at Town Hall(s) and/or other public places (town libraries, local cable TV channel bulletin boards, town/school internet web sites, etc.), and a notice sent to each voting member whenever possible.

 

To the extent possible, a calendar of meetings will be developed at the beginning of each school year.  During the June meeting, the Chairperson shall take recommendations for the calendar of meetings for the following school year. The calendar shall include dates and times of the meetings and projected activities for the year. Updates and reminders of upcoming meetings/elections/lectures/etc. will be communicated as needed.

 

Matters which require a vote to be taken of the voting membership include, but are not limited to the following items:

 

        a change in the Bylaws (which can only be voted on at a general meeting),

        a commitment of financial resources in excess of $100.00 requires a simple majority of voting members present,

        elections require a vote as described in Article V, Elections.

 

Minutes of all WRSD Special Education Parent Advisory Council meetings shall be recorded and retained for the Council’s record, and will be available to the public upon request.

 

 

Article VII:  Subcommittees

 

Subcommittees shall be created as needed.  The Subcommittee Chairperson shall be a volunteer or willing nominee accepted by a simple majority of the members present.

 

 

Article VI II:  Amendments

 

These Bylaws may be amended by a simple majority of the voting members at a general meeting, but Bylaws changes may not be voted upon in the same meeting as they are proposed, unless a quorum (as described in article V) votes unanimously to approve the change.

 

 

Effective January 1999