Seattle Public Schools

Special Education

Family Involvement and Resources

Resources for Families of Special Education

Parent/Guardian Leadership in Special Education – SEAAC, Parent Partners, School-based Parent Partners, and Special Education PTSA

Know Your Rights

Learn more about privacy, parental consent, federal and state laws.

Family Responsibilities

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. The District Special Education Department webpage provides a variety of resources 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 started in 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.
  • 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.

Link to Learn

Dance of Partnership Article on strengthening the parent-professional partnership

External Resources