Wilmington Public Schools Has 600 Students On IEPs, But Only 2 Parents On Its Special Education PAC’s Board

WILMINGTON, MA — The Wilmington Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC) is holding its first meeting of the school year this Thursday, September 19, 2019 at 7pm in the High School Library. Their meeting agenda can be found HERE.

The group could really use the help of Special Education parents in Wilmington.

“The SEPAC is very much actively looking for members,” announced School Committee member and former SEPAC President Jo Newhouse at last week’s School Committee Meeting. “I think they may be down to two members… With just two members, it would be hard for them to do much.”

“It’s not a big time commitment. We only meet once a month. We’d really love to see new faces. You don’t have to join the board to come to a meeting,” said SEPAC Co-Secretary Christine Nally during a recent presentation to the School Committee. “If you look at the number of students in our district that are on IEPs or 504 plans, you would think we would have more than three people on the board.”

The Wilmington SEPAC’s mission is to “promote a supportive, innovative and respectful educational environment that ensures [Special Education] laws are being met, and in which children with special education needs have equal and appropriate access to opportunities and are encouraged to reach their full potential.” 

The Council plays an integral role in supporting the district’s Special Education students and families:

  • advises the school district on special education programs, training needs and policy
  • promotes a network of parents and provides a forum to share information
  • promotes communication between SEPAC members, organizations, councils, and groups
  • promotes understanding, acceptance and inclusion within the school and community
  • provides informational forums for parents, students, educators, and professionals
  • supports ALL families on IEPs and 504 plans
  • serves as a subcommittee of the Wilmington School Committee
  • serves as a member of the MassPAC

The SEPAC is a formal subcommittee of the Wilmington School Committee. The SEPAC has representation on several of the district’s key committees, including the Wellness Committee, Strategic Planning Committee, Behavioral Workforce Committee, and the Special Olympics Committee.

The group typically meets on the third Thursday of the month at 7pm, with meetings scheduled for September 19, October 17, November 21, December 19, January 16, February 20, March 19, April 16, and May 21.

The SEPAC meetings are attended by the Director of Student Support Services and a member of the School Committee, both of whom provide relevant updates on district happenings.

The SEPAC has workshops planned for parents this fall, TENTATIVELY scheduled for September 25 (Basic Rights) and An IEP For My Child (October 23). The group is also considering potential workshops on the topics of technology, anxiety, and transition.

In the past, SEPAC board members have been willing to meet with families one-on-one to answer questions and provide support.

Email the board at sepac@wpsk12.com with any questions about membership, meetings, workshops, or how the SEPAC can be of assistance in your time of need.

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