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Anoka-Hennepin seeks parents/guardians to participate in Special Education Advisory Council (SEAC)

Parent and teacher work with a student in school(04/08/2022) Anoka-Hennepin invites parents/guardians to join the district’s Special Education Advisory Council (SEAC) for the 2022-23 and 2023-24 school year. A broad range of parents/guardians are needed, from those representing early childhood, all the way to elementary, middle school, high school, and transition-aged students - with a full continuum of student disabilities. 

SEAC (pronounced “seek”) is comprised of parents/guardians of students in the district who receive Special Education services. The intent of SEAC is to advise the Anoka-Hennepin School District on parent involvement, current issues, program development and established department priorities. Members serve as representatives of district learners with disabilities from birth through age 21.

SEAC serves as an information gathering resource and as an advisory council for special education programs in the district for parents/guardians. “We want SEAC to be a way that parents/guardians can really advocate for all students with disabilities receiving services throughout our system,” Stacey Dahlby, the district’s director of Special Education for secondary schools, said. 

The council is a partnership between parents/guardians and the school district. “It's a way for us to gather the perspective of parents/guardians and work with parents to create resources to support them in the special education process,” she said. Dahlby explained that one way parents/guardians on SEAC have contributed to the district is by developing a handbook to help parents new to special education navigate the process

“As educators, we are often lacking the perspective of parents and guardians supporting students who receive services on Individual Education Programs (IEPs),” Dahlby said. “Their voice matters. In order to improve, we need to hear about their journey as they go through our system.”

SEAC will aim to look at Anoka-Hennepin Special Education services from a global perspective, Dahlby said. “We are focused on the district as a whole, and welcome involvement from new and current families that want to make a difference for special education families and its programs.”

How to get involved

Those interested in participating in future meetings should complete an application either by completing a Google form, or by contacting Mary Esch at 763-506-1362, or Parents/guardians who wish to be part of SEAC are asked to make an effort to attend all four meetings as council members. The application process will close May 6, 2022, and members selected will be contacted in June.

Meeting details

The focus and work of the group is driven by parents' interest in projects and resources that benefit all families of students served in special education.“

Meetings are held both in-person and in virtual formats from 6-7:30 p.m. Virtual meetings utilize Google Meet, while in-person meetings are held at the Anoka-Hennepin Education Service Center (ESC) located at 2727 N. Ferry Street in Anoka. Meeting dates will be set for the 2022-23 school year at the last SEAC meeting this year and will be posted on the website by May 1. Topics will be generated ahead of time based on district initiatives, SEAC Co-Chairs’ input, and the focused work of the council. 

For more information about SEAC, visit the council’s webpage.
View the Anoka-Hennepin Special Education parent handbook.