SEPAC has a new model for supporting kids and families of kids with special needs in the Northshore School District.

This model includes a non-SEPAC affiliated parent voice representing special education within each school via the Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA).

We’re really pleased to announce that the Northshore Council PTSA has voted unanimously to create a ‘Special Education Representative’ position at the PTSA Council Board level and has made a recommendation to local PTSAs to do the same. Ideally, this will encourage parents of students with special needs to step up and provide a voice to represent the 13.1% of the Northshore School District population on IEPs in their own school.

In Summary, SEPAC is retiring in its current form. Officers from SEPAC are in advisory positions both at the PTSA Council Board level and at local PTSAs. We will work to bring in more parents across each school and to build a special education community across all schools within the Northshore School District.

Currently, here are the new PTSA roles supporting special education:

Special Education Representative on the PTSA Council Board:
This position will be filled by Michele Holowachuk for the remainder of the 2015/2016 school year. Responsibilities of this position are to:

  • Attend Northshore Council PTA Board meetings, with voting privileges
  • Serve as Point of Contact for district personnel and school board members
  • Serve as Point of Contact for families and PTSA council members regarding special education issues
  • Inform council and school PTAs regarding relevant Special Education information/activities/resources
  • Advocate on behalf of Special Education students and families
  • Advocate for free, appropriate public education for all students (FAPE, a basic tenant of IDEA, 2004)
  • Communicate with Special Education representatives of school PTAs, creating community across the district and promoting involvement

Special Education Representative on your local school PTA Board:

Currently looking for 1) School PTAs to add this position to their executive board, and 2) parents to serve in this position at their school. Responsibilities of this position are to:

  • Provide the special needs parent perspective to the PTA to help guide decisions and activities
  • Work to bring parents of special needs students together to foster a sense of community
  • Be the point-of-contact for parents looking to connect with other parents
  • Attend PTA General, and, ideally, Executive meetings and provide a point of view regarding what’s working and what’s not for special needs students at
    your school
  • Be creative and passionate about ways to improve the quality of education and the school experience for students with special needs

Currently, there are Special Education Representatives at a few schools – we need one or two people at every school! If you have questions about this position, want to volunteer, or need support to add this to your PTA’s executive board, please contact Jessie Lipe and/or Denise Need.

Resources:

Special Ed Laws, Regulations & More:

Social networking:

Parent resources:

District contacts:

Classroom Grants: