Every parent and guardian has an integral role to play in their student’s education. When their student also receives special education services, that role expands considerably as they become integral members of the team that will plan their student’s individual education needs and goals.
This is a demanding role for many parents as they find themselves learning new ideas, terms, and methods of communication with the District’s teachers and staff. We provide a variety of resources here, on the District Special Education Department website, to help families feel ready to play an integral role in planning for their student’s success.
Your most important task is to build a strong partnership with your student’s school, principal, and teachers. If you feel motivated to engage further, we have many opportunities for parents to support special education at a District level. Parents provide leadership for the special education community in the following capacities:
- Special Education Parent Partners, a group of parents trained to support families and teachers to work together collaboratively. This is a pilot program that is starting for the 2016/17 school year.
- Special Education Advisory and Advocacy Council (SEAAC), a group of parents, teachers and community leaders who advise the district on advocacy, policy and practice. Members serve a two-year term and are selected by the district from a pool of volunteer applications.
- Special Education Parent Teacher Student Association (SpEdPTSA), a volunteer PTSA advocacy organization.
- Additionally for 2016/17: The Special Education Task Force, an interdisciplinary group supporting the rollout of the Continuum Approach of Services. The Task Force will have five parent members and a Point Parent at schools rolling out the Continuum Approach Services. Additionally, a Parent Liaison will coordinate and integrate parent feedback across the service design/implementation process.
Contact the special education ombudsperson if you are interested in getting involved in any of these organizations.