Sunday, December 5, 2010

Georgetown SEPAC Brochure

Georgetown Special Education Parents Advisory Council (SEPAC)
Supporting the Community – visit us at

Welcome to the PAC!

Our mission: The Georgetown PAC serves as a resource and advisor to parents of children with special needs in Georgetown. We are dedicated to helping parents to take actions that will effectively benefit their children. We reach that goal by holding regular educational meetings or workshops on a variety of topics and by networking with each other. We also work closely with the Georgetown School District to identify areas of need and advise on how to improve the special education programs and services our children rely on. We act in an advisory role to the School Committee regarding Special Education issues.

Who we are: As a state mandated, system wide volunteer organization, our membership is open to parents (or guardians) of children with special needs, from preschool through high school, and anyone interested in special needs education in Georgetown. We are parents of children who each have unique conditions which affect how they learn in school; we share our experience and hope with each other. There are no dues or fees. The Georgetown PAC believes that informed parents are the best advocates for their children; therefore, we aim to help parents to become more informed.

What we do: All of us in the Georgetown PAC know how difficult it can be to learn that our child has a disability or struggles in a special way, more than their peers. We have found that it is helpful to explore the best solutions for our children in the company of others who have had similar experiences. At PAC meetings we seek to offer each other support, information, new ideas, & friendship. We also work together to build relationships with school administrators characterized by mutual respect, open dialog, and the common goal of helping our children.

Understanding the law: Special education is meant to meet the unique needs of a child that result from a disability, and to assure that students with disabilities receive all needed aids and services. Special education laws and regulations are meant to protect a student with disabilities and ensure that he or she gets the services and assistance that may be necessary to make effective progress. The laws and regulations are very complex. The Georgetown PAC seeks to facilitate a greater understanding of the key concepts of the law and how to be an effective participant in the special education process for parents.

Purpose of the PAC
1. The PAC fosters better understanding and communication between the staff, parents, administrators and the School Committee concerning all aspects of special education.
2. 2. The PAC serves as consultants, advisors and/or support persons to parents concerning all aspects of state and federal special education laws.
3. The PAC serves as advocates of equal educational opportunities for all children with special needs and their parents.
4. The PAC provides parental input into educational programs and policies
5. The PAC advises the School Committee on matters that pertain to the education, health and safety of students with special needs.
6. The PAC meets regularly with school officials for planning, development, and evaluation of the School Committee’s special education programs.
7 The PAC participates in the development and review of the special education programs(s) before submission to the state.
8 The PAC provides training and support for parents and other interested parties in all areas of special education.

PAC Board of Directors – Co-Chairs
Dianne Newton (Treasurer)…………………………………………………………………..978-352-2155
Pam Lundquist………………………………………………………………………………………978-352-5407

Rights Under 603 CMR 28.00 & Federal 504
1. You are an EQUAL member of the TEAM. Be confident of your abilities and your rights.
2. You have the right to equal participation in the developing and writing of your child’s IEP.
3. You have the right to accept or reject a proposed IEP within 30 school days.
4. You have the right to request special education services.
5. You have the right to an independent evaluation.
6. You have the right to have your child educated with his/her peers in the Least Restrictive Environment.
7. You have the right to request and receive all evaluation results at least two (2) days prior to a TEAM meeting.
8. You have the right to hire and advocate or an attorney.

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