Malden SEPAC

Special Education Parent Advisory Council

We are an established SEPAC, whose focus is that of enhancing the parental voice in Special Education in the City of Malden. Our mission is to promote a family-school relationship of mutual involvement and respect. Our primary consideration is the well-being of the student, regardless of disability, culture or background.

PURPOSE
Advance the public school education of children with Special Needs
Promote meaningful parent-participation
Advise and support at the school, district, and state levels

WE ARE
Governed by elected board members that volunteer.
Assisted by school district, teachers, students and parent volunteers.

ABOUT US
Collectively we represent hundreds of Malden parents with Special Needs children.
We ensure that parents have a strong voice in their child’s education.
We ensure that the Malden Public Education system remains focused on the needs of its students.
We support parents in navigating the Special Education system as they exercise their rights and the rights of their children.
We hold regular meetings to discuss Special Education issues.

Malden SEPAC By-Laws:

Article I: Name of Organization
The name of this self-governed organization shall be the Malden Special Education Parent Advisory Council, also known as the Malden SEPAC

Article II: Purpose of the Malden SEPAC

Malden SEPAC is a council whose primary commitment is that of enhancing the parental/guardian voice in public education in the city of Malden.   Our purposes are to:

  • Advance the public-school education and well-being of children with Special Needs
  • Promote and enhance meaningful parent-participation
  • Advise and support at the family, school, district, state, and federal levels

Our Mission is to create a supportive environment and serve as a resource to parents/guardians of children with special needs with a clear intent to help them become more informed and effective advocate for your children.

WE ARE:

  • Governed by elected board members that volunteer.
  • Assisted by school district, teachers, students and parent and guardian volunteers.

ABOUT US:

  • Collectively we represent hundreds of Malden parents/guardians with Special Needs children.
  • We ensure that families have a strong voice in their child’s education.
  • We ensure that the Malden Public Education system remains focused on the needs of its students by assisting the Special Education administration in identifying areas of need and acting in an advisory capacity.
  • We support parents/guardians in navigating the Special Education system as they exercise their rights and the rights of their children.
  • We hold regular meetings to discuss Special Education issues as well as provide informational guest speakers.
  • We support students at all stages of the Special Education process including those in the entering the process of determining special education eligibility as well as those in the process of receiving assessments and services.

Article III: Terms of Membership
General Membership shall be open to any resident of Malden or person affiliated with the Malden Public Schools and students who are placed in out-of-district placements through the Malden Public Schools Special Education department. Voting membership is required to vote in officer elections and other business that comes before any Malden meeting.

Voting membership shall be any general member, who is a parent or guardian of a child with special need residing in Malden, with or without an Individual Education Plan (IEP), 504 Plan or is a parent or guardian of a child with special needs who attends Malden Public Schools and out-of-district placements.

Meetings are defined as any Malden Special Education Parent Advisory Council meeting, activities, or committees at which attendance is taken and minutes of the meeting are recorded by the Secretary.   All meetings will be posted on the Malden SEPAC website as well as notification to families through the Malden Public Schools and Malden SEPAC database.

Article IV: Officers of the Malden Special Education Parent Advisory Council
Officers of the Malden Special Education Parent Advisory Council are elected by the voting membership and hold office for two years. If any office becomes vacant, an election for that office shall be held immediately, with term to be reviewed at the May meeting.

Office and officer responsibilities of the Malden Special Education Parent Advisory Council are:

President:

  • Set the agenda for each general meeting.
  • Preside at all meetings of Malden Special Education Parent Advisory Council.
  • Recommend the organization and monitor the function of sub-committees (when needed).
  • Maintain ongoing communication with Malden Assistant Superintendent of Student Services, the School Committee Liaison, the Superintendent and the Mayor’s office.

 Vice-Presidents:

  • Two members in good standing shall hold the offices of Vice President and are responsible for the following responsibilities.
  • Preside at meetings in the absence of the President, or at the request of the President.
  • Co-ordinate public communications (if needed), not including those communications that are the Secretary’s.
  • Assist the President as appropriate and perform those responsibilities of the President at his/her request.
  • Maintain communication to the Malden community to the Malden school community, the Malden SEPAC website, Facebook and any other Malden SEPAC approved social media, local media.

Secretary:

  • Co-ordinate all communication between the Malden Special Education Parent Advisory Council and its membership.
  • Co-ordinate the recording and filing of minutes of the Malden Special Education Parent Advisory Council and its sub-committees.
  • Collect and review all correspondence of the Malden Special Education Parent Advisory Council.
  • Prepare periodic reports for the Special Education Administration regarding PAC activities and needs.

Treasurer:

  • Co-ordinate efforts to apply for grants, donations, reimbursements or any other funds for which Malden Special Education Parent Advisory Council may be eligible.
  • Manage and account for funds collected, donated, and spent for the Malden Special Educations Advisory Council.
  • Co-ordinate fund raising activities.

Advisory Board: The President may create an Advisory Committee from among voting member who volunteer. The role of the Advisory Board is to assist the officers in carrying out their duties and the work of the SEPAC. The Advisory Board will be appointed by the President. Duties of the Advisory Board may include:

  • The Advisory Board shall be responsible for offering aid and assistance to the President.
  • The Advisory Board shall meet with the President to discuss, plan and help carry out the SEPAC activities, workshops and events.
  • The Advisory Board shall help the President in community outreach and growth of the SEPAC.
  • The Advisory Board shall help the President in meeting, discussing and addressing parent and guardian concerns regarding special education in the district.

SEPAC Advisor:

  • Provide context and historical information to assist in organization-wide decision making.
  • Provide continuity and support to the PAC officers and Advisory Board.

Article V: Elections
Elections shall be the first order of business during the May meeting.
Elections shall be decided by a simple majority vote of the voting membership. New officers shall take office immediately following their elections.

The Department of Education will be informed of the annual elections with the names and phone numbers of the new board by June 1st.

Nominations will be made verbally at the Malden Special Education Parent Advisory Council meeting held in April.

Prior to the nomination meeting, an Election Coordinator will be determined. The Election Coordinator will coordinate activities necessary to complete the election. At the nominating meeting, the Election Coordinator will tally the nominations. Within two days, the Election Coordinator shall announce/notify members of individuals nominated.

 Article VI: Meetings

All meetings are open to the public. All meetings will be posted on the Malden SEPAC website as well as notification to families through the Malden Public Schools and Malden SEPAC database.
General Meetings shall be held at least monthly from September through June. Notice of all general meeting dates and elections shall be published in the local press in advance the Malden SEPAC website, to the families through the Malden Public Schools and the Malden SEPAC database. All families are welcome to submit their name and e-mail addresses to be added to the database.

During the June meeting, the President shall take recommendations for the calendar of meetings for the following school year. The calendar shall include dates and times of the meetings and projected activities for the year.

Matters which require a vote to be taken of the voting membership include, but are not limited to, the following items:

  • A change in the By-laws can only be voted on at a general meeting.
    • A commitment of financial resources requires a simple majority of voting member present.
    • Elections require a vote as described in Article V, Elections.
    • Minutes of all Malden Special Education Parent Advisory Council meetings shall be recorded and retained for public record.

Article VII: Subcommittees
Subcommittees shall be created as needed.

Article VIII: Amendments
These by-laws may be amended by a simple majority of the voting members at a general meeting, but by-laws changes may not be voted upon in the same meeting as they are proposed.

Article IX: Roberts Rules
Roberts Rules of Order are the default procedures for this organization.

Revised and changes voted at 11/20/2018 Malden SEPAC meeting

Contact Us

Malden SEPAC Council

Patrick Fitzgerald, President

Jackie Ecker and Bruce Friedman, Vice Presidents

Jessica Hall, Secretary

No nominations for Treasurer

Visit us on FACEBOOK

Email: pac@maldensepac.org

Malden SEPAC Advisory Board

TBA

Salima Slimane, past President of Malden SEPAC and Parent Advisor

MPS Special Education Department

Malden Public Schools strives to provide quality educational and related services to each and every child with a disability in the least restrictive environment, in accordance with state and federal regulations.  We offer a wide range of programs and services to meet the needs of approximately 1,100 Malden students with disabilities ages three to twenty-two years old.  We have an active and enthusiastic Parent Advisory Council who welcomes and supports parents and families at any and all events.  At the building and district level, our special education teachers and support staff seek to work collaboratively with parents in addressing the needs of the children.

Office Hours: 7:30 am – 3:30 pm
Location: 77 Salem Street, Room H108

Staff List and Contact Information

Malden SEPAC Bylaws

State and Law Requirements

Support Groups and Additional Resources

Wrightslaw
Wrightslaw provides  information about special education law, education law, and advocacy for children with disabilities.

Federation for Children with Special Needs
The Federation for Children with Special Needs provides information, support, and assistance to parents of children with disabilities, their professional partners, and their communities. They are committed to listening to and learning from families, and encouraging full participation in community life by all people, especially those with disabilities.

Massachusetts Advocates for Children
Massachusetts Advocates for Children is an independent voice for children who face significant barriers to equal educational and life opportunities, particularly those who have disabilities, are low income and/or are racially, culturally, or linguistically diverse.

SPED Watch
A special education watchdog group that is building a civil rights movement to remove the systemic obstacles that deny schoolchildren their special education rights.

Special Education Law
Special Education Law (specialedlaw.com) is a free search engine for BSEA decisions and rulings, DESE guidance, laws, and regulations in Massachusetts. It was created and is maintained by Attorney Daniel S. Perlman, as a resource for parents, advocates, and attorneys.

TOPSoccer
US Youth Soccer TOPSoccer (The Outreach Program for Soccer) is a community-based training and team placement program for young athletes with disabilities, organized by youth soccer association volunteers.

Transportation Services

Malden Public Schools contracts with the North Reading Transportation to provide transportation services for students. Please note as of August 30th, 2016, transportation will no longer be provided for students in the Malden Public Schools, with the following exceptions:

  • The student has an IEP and specifies that transportation will be provided.
  • The student is homeless and entitled to transportation under the McKinney-Vento Act.

The committee recognizes that this policy change may result in parents requesting transfers to schools closer to their residence. These cases will be considered on an individual basis by the Parent Information Center and the superintendent.

North Reading Transportation

781-851-8400  select option #5 to get to dispatch