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December 6, 20071 Exploring the Role of a PAC By the AB SpEd PAC.

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Presentation on theme: "December 6, 20071 Exploring the Role of a PAC By the AB SpEd PAC."— Presentation transcript:

1 December 6, 20071 Exploring the Role of a PAC By the AB SpEd PAC

2 December 6, 20072 AB SpEd PAC By-Laws Purpose: Improve communication among parents/ guardians, staff, administrators (both within and outside the district), and the School Committee on special education issues. Serve as a resource and support network for parents/guardians of children with special needs regarding procedures, educational and non-educational issues.

3 December 6, 20073 AB SpEd PAC By-Laws Purpose: (continued) Provide input, develop policy, and advise the Acton and Boxborough Schools on special education issues, e.g., planning, development, and evaluation of programs. Serve as advocates for equal educational opportunities for all special needs children.

4 December 6, 20074 AB SpEd PAC By-Laws Proposed By-Law Change Advise the Acton and Acton- Boxborough School Committees on issues related to the education and safety of special education students and participate regularly in the planning, development and evaluation of the district’s special education programs.

5 December 6, 20075 No Child Left Behind Engaging Parents in Education by U.S. DOE, 2007 Engaging Parents as Education Advisors: “… PACs are parent-led organizations that function at the state, district, or school level to give parents more clout regarding their children’s education. PACs promote parent influence in multiple ways, including polling communities to better understand parents’ needs and wants, recommending policy, and advocating for the rights of parents to be involved in the education of their children…”

6 December 6, 20076 Mass General Laws Chapter 71b Section 3: “The school committee of any city, town, or school district shall establish a parent advisory council on special education. Membership shall be offered to all parents of children with disabilities and other interested parties. The parent advisory council duties shall include but not be limited to: advising the school committee on matters that pertain to the education and safety of students with disabilities; meeting regularly with school officials to participate in the planning,

7 December 6, 20077 Mass General Laws Chapter 71b Section 3: (continued) development, and evaluation of the school committee’s special education programs. The parent advisory council shall establish by- laws regarding officers and operational procedures. In the course of its duties under this section, the parent advisory council shall receive assistance from the school committee without charge, upon reasonable notice, and subject to the availability of staff and resources.”

8 December 6, 20078 School Committee Policy Under Governance & Operations there is no school committee policy related to PACs However, there are two school committee policies related to School Councils to address the equivalent regular education organization In the Instructional Program section, File: IHB titled, “Programs for Students with Special Education Needs” there is one sentence that references the parent-school relationship, “The Acton and Acton- Boxborough Regional School Districts will work with parents in designing and providing programs and services to children with special needs.”

9 December 6, 20079 Mass General Laws Chapter 71 Section 59C School Councils “At each public elementary, secondary and independent vocational school in the commonwealth there shall be a school council who shall be selected by the parents of students attending such school … Said parents shall have parity with professional personnel on the school councils…”

10 December 6, 200710 School Committee Policy File: BDFA – School Councils “The School Committees believe that the school is the key unit for educational improvement and change and that successful school improvement is best accomplished through a school-based decision-making process. By involving those directly affected by any action or decision of the school council in the process of determining that action or decision, it helps to strengthen the commitment to those decisions by those most affected by its implementation…”

11 December 6, 200711 School Committee Policy File: BDFA – School Councils (continued) “The School Council shall meet regularly with the Principal of the school and shall assist in: 1. Adoption of educational goals for the school that are consistent with state and local policies and standards. 2. Identification of the educational needs of the students attending the school. 3. Review of the school building budget. 4. Formulation of a school improvement plan in accordance with state statutes which is implemented only after the Superintendent’s approval.”

12 December 6, 200712 2005 District CPR Findings Section 32: Parent Advisory Council for Special Ed. “The district does not offer membership in the PAC to all parents/guardians of students with disabilities in an ongoing manner; according to district documentation, membership was last offered during the 2003-2004 school year. The district has encountered difficulty in securing the active participation of its parents/guardians in the current joint Acton-Boxborough/Acton/ Boxborough PAC... the district did not demonstrate how the PAC advises the district on matters that pertain to the education and safety of students with disabilities, or participates in the evaluation of the school districts’ special education program.”

13 December 6, 200713 2007-2008 CPR Procedures Appendix 1, Section 32: Coordinated Program Review Documentation Requirements: “School Committee agendas and minutes pertaining to consultation with the PAC”

14 December 6, 200714 Where We Are Today Parents, School Committee members and Special Education Administrators all want to help our kids achieve success To work together effectively we need trust, respect, openness, good communication, inclusiveness, and transparency PAC input needs to result in meaningful dialogue Parent feedback needs to be incorporated into district policy, practice and programs, as appropriate – otherwise results in parent alienation and disenfranchisement

15 December 6, 200715 Where We’d Like to Go Together Open Dialogue and Establish Collaboration Initiate meaningful dialogue on the role of the AB SpEd PAC and its relationship to the district Establish path to collaboration – have PAC Chairs, Pupil Services Director and School Committee member(s) sit down together and develop shared vision for improvement of Special Education in the district. Perhaps share a written vision with the full School Committee in June.

16 December 6, 200716 Where We’d Like to Go Together Explore the Possibility of a new Policy Discuss the merits of creating a new school committee policy regarding the SpEd PAC to codify the organization’s role, responsibilities, and relationship to the school district

17 December 6, 200717 What We’d Like to Do Together Distribute Two Newsletters in Joint Monthly Mailing Would allow PAC to reach target audience, coordinate with one organization & meet one publication schedule Would allow PAC to invite families to join on an ongoing basis Would minimize mailing costs by sharing existing, planned district mailing Would demonstrate district partnership with parents/PAC

18 December 6, 200718 Thank you Slideshow

19 December 6, 200719 Research & Literature Used with permission of MassPAC 30 years of research indicate that parent involvement and education opportunities improve educational outcomes for students. (Henderson,, 2004, 2002, 1994) 6 types of parent involvement that are highly effective: parenting issues, communicating, volunteering, learning at home, decision making, collaboration with community.* Decision Making – Include families as participants in school decisions, governance, and advocacy through parent organizations, councils, and committees.* (Epstein, J. (2002, 2001,1997,1994,1991)

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