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

Malden Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC) Public Meeting
Thursday, March 25, 2021, 6:00 pm EST, Zoom

Agenda

I. Call to Order
II. Approval of Minutes for February 25, 2021 Meeting
III. DESE Tiered Focus Monitoring – Parent Orientation
Erin VandeVeer, Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
IV. Public Comment
V. Next Meeting – Thursday, April 29, 2021

Malden SEPAC is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: Malden SEPAC
Time: This is a recurring meeting Meet anytime
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Malden SEPAC Statement on Malden School Committee’s Decision to Apply for Return to In Person Learning Waiver

The Malden Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC) would like to offer a statement on the March 15, 2021 vote by the Malden School Committee to apply for a waiver from the state to delay full, in person learning.

The Malden SEPAC vehemently disagrees with the School Committee’s decision to apply for a waiver to delay full in person learning and strongly feels a further delay of in person education will be disastrous especially for the district’s special education student population.

This decision was against legal advice and without a good faith basis in support of a waiver.  Such a decision irresponsibly forces our district leadership to take much needed time and resources away from preparing to finalize a safe plan to comply with the mandate like many of our neighboring districts, and like Malden’s own Malden Catholic High School and the Mystic Valley Regional Charter School have already done.

The Malden SEPAC also strongly disavows any use of disparaging language and reactions to such language by our elected leaders under any circumstances.  Despite strong and emotional positions and viewpoints on all sides, courtesy and respect must always be modeled by our elected leaders.

Our member families tell us daily that they are suffering; that their children are suffering, both academically and emotionally. IEPs and 504 plans in many cases simply cannot be adequately serviced in thrown together remote and hybrid learning models. Nationwide testing results have shown that the special education population has fallen greatly behind in learning, with some demographics now largely one to two full school years behind. This shows that Malden Public Schools is failing its special education population.  A waiver to delay in person learning will only exacerbate this issue and make it worse.  Our children deserve better.

At the beginning of the school year, Malden School Committee members stated that a lack of guidance from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) required the District to initiate a remote learning plan while it worked to determine next steps for in person learning. Now, DESE has provided this guidance and the School Committee sees it as an overreach of its power and as such, will request a waiver to remain in remote learning simply so the School Committee can retain local control.  However, this is completely counter to what our School Committee was elected to do, and Malden SEPAC hopes the School Committee reviews its stated purpose and prioritizes the needs of our children over those of special interest groups.

It is the position of the Malden SEPAC that the district has had ample time to prepare for a return to full, five days a week, in person learning for those who choose and there is no reason the state’s plan for reentry should be delayed. Our dedicated building administration and staff have worked tirelessly and selflessly to prepare an environment proven successful and safe for our highest needs and youngest learners and we are confident in their ability to continue to do so for all who choose.  Enough is enough.  It is time to bring Malden Public Schools children who choose back to the classroom where they belong.

Malden SEPAC

pac@maldensepac.org

www.maldenps.org/malden-sepac/

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