Special Education Parent Advisory Council
ARTICLE I: Name
The name of this self-governed organization shall be the East Bridgewater Special
Education Parent Advisory Council, also known as the East Bridgewater SEPAC.
ARTICLE II: Purpose
The purpose of the East Bridgewater SEPAC is to work to develop the understanding, respect, and support of all students and families of students with special needs in the East Bridgewater community. To that end, they will work to:
- Provide and promote a network for all parents/guardians of students with special needs and a forum for sharing ideas and information
- Provide information on rights and responsibilities under state and federal special
- Education laws and regulations to parents/guardians of students with special needs
- Promote cooperation and communication among parents/guardians of students with special needs and the East Bridgewater School District
- Provide and promote opportunities for parents/guardians to learn to effectively support and advocate for their child with school personnel
- Advise the school district on matters that pertain to the education, health, and safety of students with special needs
- Meet regularly with school officials to participate in the planning, development, implementation, and evaluation of special education programs as to collaboratively improve the quality and appropriateness of these programs
- Communicate regularly with the Director of Pupil Personnel Services to discuss concerns of parents/guardians and the activities of SEPAC
- Seek out and share information relating to organizations, programs, and resources within the community which provide education and/or support for students, families of students, educators and other professionals involved with students with special needs
- Promote communication and programs within the community to encourage understanding, acceptance, and inclusion of students with special needs
ARTICLE III: Authority
The East Bridgewater SEPAC receives its authority from Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 71B, Section 3 and the Code of Massachusetts Regulations (CMR), 603 CMR 28.07(4)
ARTICLE IV: Membership
Membership shall include both general and voting members. General membership shall be open to any resident of the East Bridgewater school district including parents, guardians, educators, and other parties interested in the special education of East Bridgewater students.
Voting membership shall be limited to:
- Parent/guardian of a student in the East Bridgewater school district currently eligible to receive special education services and/or on an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or 504 plan
- Student in the district who is at least fourteen (14) years of age and is currently eligible to receive special education services and/or is on an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or 504 plan.
- Meetings are defined as any East Bridgewater SEPAC activity that has been publicized and at which attendance is taken.
ARTICLE V: SEPAC Board
The group of elected officers shall be referred to as the Board and shall include a Chairperson, Co- Chairperson, Secretary, Treasurer, Information Coordinator and whenever possible, one Representative from each of the schools in the district as well as an Out-of-District representative. Any member of the East Bridgewater SEPAC voting membership is eligible to be elected to the board. Officer positions shall include the following key responsibilities:
- Set the agenda for all general SEPAC meetings and SEPAC board meetings
- Coordinate and lead all SEPAC meetings and elections
- Act as liaison between the SEPAC and Director of Pupil Personnel Services
- Recommend the organization and monitoring of any SEPAC sub-committees
- Oversee the approval and distribution of information and materials from SEPAC
- Support the Chairperson at all SEPAC meetings
- Perform all duties of the Chairperson in the absence of, or at the request of the Chairperson
- Act as main contact person for new or interested SEPAC participants and provide introduction and welcome to basic purpose of SEPAC
- Work with Chairperson to draft and forward meeting agendas to Information Coordinator
- Post meeting notices and agendas according to state Open Meeting Law
- Record meeting minutes for purposes of public posting\
- Maintain meeting attendance logs
- Maintain financial records of all SEPAC funds received or distributed
- Provide treasury status updates to board at meetings
- Receive funds, make deposits, and disburse funds for SEPAC
- Work collaboratively with East Bridgewater PAC to maintain a separate SEPAC account
- Work with fundraising sub-committee to manage and account for funds collected or donated through their efforts
- Work with Chairperson to distribute approved information and materials from SEPAC
- Coordinate postings of meeting notices, agendas, and minutes with Chairperson and
- Secretary according to state Open Meeting Law and Public Records Law
- Collect information from SEPAC members and organizations in the community on educational and/or support opportunities and events.
- Share information with members of SEPAC regarding upcoming educational and/or support opportunities and events in the community
- Work with School Representatives to include SEPAC updates in school bulletin
- Manage SEPAC email account
- Bring forward any questions, concerns, needs, or issues specific to the school they represent to the SEPAC board for inclusion on meeting agenda
- Communicate approved information and materials from SEPAC to their representative school
ARTICLE VI: Nominations & Elections
Nominations (volunteer or otherwise) for Officers of the board will be accepted annually, preferably at the May meeting or as needed to fill a vacant position. Nominated individuals will need to notify the current Chairperson of their decision to accept or decline their nomination prior to the election meeting. Elections will be held annually, at the June or next scheduled meeting following a nomination to fill an open position. Elections can be held by a verbal vote of agreement by the voting membership if the position(s) are uncontested. If contested, elections shall be held by ballot and decided by a simple majority vote. The current Chairperson and Secretary shall count the votes and announce the results. New officers will assume their responsibilities immediately following their election and will hold the position for a period of one year.
ARTICLE VII: Meetings
SEPAC meetings are subject to open meeting laws and will be held in accordance with Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 39, Sections 23A-23C. Every effort shall be made to hold regular SEPAC meetings and/or presentations on the first Thursday of each month from September through June. Regular meetings shall be held in the Mitchell Middle School Media Center unless otherwise noted on posted meeting notices. All meetings will be conducted by the Chairperson, who will set the agenda, determine the length of discussions, and conduct voting when necessary. In the absence of the Chairperson the Co- Chairperson shall conduct the meeting. Any agenda items which require a vote shall be noted as such on the agenda and may include, but are not limited to:
- Proposed changes to the By-laws
- SEPAC notices to be posted in the community
- Commitment of SEPAC financial resources
- Roberts Rules of Order are the default procedures for this organization.
- These By-laws were voted on and accepted by the East Bridgewater SEPAC on
November 1, 2012.