First Special Education Advisory Council (SEAC) meeting held; three more to come
(10/16/19) Anoka-Hennepin held the first Special Education Advisory Council (SEAC) meeting of the 2019-20 school year Oct. 10, drawing more than 60 people representing families of students in district programming from Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) to transition programming, and everything in between.
“We were thrilled with the turnout and interest from our parents who wanted to learn more about our initiatives and priorities, and who want to help guide our work in special education,” said Stacey Dahlby, the district’s director of Special Education for secondary schools.
“It’s a way for us to get the perspective of parents/guardians, and then try to improve our services and programming, and processes and procedures,” she said. “It’s a chance for parents/guardians to give us feedback on the impact these areas have on students with disabilities.”
For example, while the group discussed a number of topics, one that stuck with Dahlby were parents/guardians discussing resources and supports they’re accessing outside of the district, that may be able to be replicated here, she said.
The council is really designed to be a partnership between parents/guardians and the school district, and the intent of SEAC is to advise the Anoka-Hennepin School District on different aspects of special education, such as policies, procedures, and communication. “It’s a way for us to get the perspective of parents/guardians, and then try to improve our services and programming, and processes and procedures,” Dahlby said.
The group will hold one more forum-type meeting, which is set for Nov. 14, and after that, Dahlby said the hope is to identify 30-40 parents willing to participate as members of the permanent advisory committee, including two chairs. Those members will attend three or four meetings per year for two years, and represent all 13 categories of special education services offered in Anoka-Hennepin, she said.
In addition to the Nov. 14 open-forum, two other committee meetings are already scheduled for Feb. 27 and April 16. Childcare is provided by the district, and meetings are always held at the district’s Educational Service Center, located at 2727 N Ferry St. in Anoka. A light meal begins at 5:30 p.m., with the meeting commencing at 6 p.m. for about an hour and a half.