May 16: Meeting and Officer Elections

SEPAC Members and Friends,  Your PAC Needs you!
Each year in May, we elect officers for the following school year (term runs June 1 – May 31).
On April 9, 2019, during the business portion of our meeting, the SEPAC began accepting nominations (typically self-nominations – volunteers) ahead of our May 16, 2019 elections of Officers for the 2019-2020 school year (June 1 2019 – May 31 2020).  No one stepped forward to run for officer positions, and all four current officers indicated that they are unable to continue serving in their roles next school year.  We are therefore in critical need of parents of children with special educational needs (self-identified) who are enrolled in (and/or receiving IEP/504 services through) Medway Public Schools to serve as SEPAC Officers.
Our current bylaws (available here) outline the role of the PAC and the duties of each officer position.  If you have questions, current officers would be happy to answer them. We are also happy to help with the transition, help you learn your new roles, and be available for consultation as needed throughout the school year.  We won’t throw you into this blind, we are just unable to commit to continuing in these roles ourselves next year.  You can reach out to any of us that you may know personally, or get in touch with us via the email address: medwayspedpac@gmail.com.
We hope to have additional programming during the May 16 meeting, details TBA.  Follow the facebook event for updates: https://www.facebook.com/events/2236078340039486/
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Educator and Community Member Awards

The Medway Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC) is soliciting parent and family nominations for two awards honoring those educators and community members who recognize the potential in our children and help them to thrive both in and out of the classroom.

First, the third annual SEPAC Educator Appreciation Award, will honor educators in the Medway Public Schools (including teachers, paraprofessionals, and other school staff) who have made outstanding efforts in these roles on behalf of one or more special education students this school year.

Second, the Medway Light the Spark Community Award (award description, criteria and link to nomination form are found here) will honor community members outside of the school system (or working outside their roles as educators) who recognize and celebrate the spark in our extraordinary children.  This award is supported and administered by a donor family with help from the SEPAC and MPS administration.

To learn more about the criteria and selection process for each award or submit a nomination, please follow the relevant link.

Nominations for both awards should be submitted no later than Friday, APril 26th (following school vacation week).

All nominees will be notified and recognized.  Recipients will be announced publicly following the presentation of awards at the opening day of school for faculty on August 28, 2019.

Link to SEPAC Award description/nomination: Nomination Form

Link to Medway Light the Spark Award brief description/nomination: Nomination Form

Business Meeting March 12, 2019

Interested in helping the PAC plan the remainder of the school year?  Come to our business meeting this Tuesday, March 12 at 7 pm in the conference room at the Medway Public Library (lower level).  We’ll be planning for our annual educator appreciation awards as well as events and elections for the Spring (agenda attached).  Please join us!

 

Agenda Business Meeting 2019-03-12

Congratulations to our 2018 SEPAC Educator Award recipients

The following educators were presented with the SEPAC’s Outstanding Educator Award on August 28, 2018:

Christin Brink (Memorial)

Karen Fillion (McGovern)

Allison Jasmin (MHS)

Jenna Keenan (MMS)

William Lovett (MHS)

 

Thank you all for your dedication to students with special needs!

April SEPAC Updates

SEPAC Members and Friends,
We have several important updates for you in this email.  They include:
1. Officers Badly Needed for Next Year: Elections May 1
2. “An IEP for My Child” May 1
3. Educator Award: Last Call for Nominations
4. Updates from School Department, including a relevant vote at next Town Meeting.
Keep reading for details… and please come to our next meeting on:

Tuesday, May 1, 2018 
6:45pm 
Medway High School Library    

1. Officers Badly Needed for Next Year: Elections May 1 
Officer elections for next school year will be held at our regular meeting on May 1. Nominations were accepted beginning at our April meeting, but only one person (current Secretary Lisa Jackey) was nominated for any SEPAC Office.  Our other 3 current board members are unable to continue next year due to other commitments.  This means that WE REALLY NEED NEW PEOPLE TO VOLUNTEER to serve as SEPAC Officers next year.  Not only can I (Lisa) not manage it all by myself, but as a public board, we are legally required to have multiple elected officers.  So if no one else steps up to volunteer,*there will not be a functional SEPAC next year*.  That means no speakers, no educator award, no social events, and no formal connection between special education parents and the school department or school committee.  We have made some good progress  in building up the PAC and its connections with the district over the past few years, and it would be a shame to lose momentum now.  So if you appreciate any of the things the SEPAC does – or if you have ideas about what it should be doing differently – please come to the May 1 meeting willing to serve on the board.   No experience or knowledge are needed, and you can do it for just 1 year.  If you have questions about board membership for current officers, email them to us at medwayspedpac@gmail.com.
2. “An IEP for My Child” May 1
Also at our May 1 meeting, we will have a presentation by Jonathan Smith of the Federation for Children with Special Needs titled “An IEP For My Child”.  This is the presentation that was originally scheduled for March, but had to be cancelled due to snow.  This training explains the Individual Education Program (IEP) document, its development, how to articulate a vision, write measurable annual goals, monitor a child’s progress and understand how the document will support a student.
 
3. Educator Award: Last Call for Nominations
We are approaching your last chance to submit nominations in for the Special Educator Award.  Nominations must be received by Monday, April 23 so that we can review and select recipients at the board meeting on Tuesday, April 24th (which all are welcome to attend).  As a reminder, the form should only take 5-10 minutes and you may nominate any member of the MPS faculty or staff who has made a difference for a special education student this year.  Thank you for helping us recognize Medway’s Outstanding Educators!
link to nomination form: https://goo.gl/forms/Q5sDKF3fez6oUYUo1
 
4. Updates from School Department, including a relevant vote at next Town Meeting (May 21).
At April’s meeting, we had informative presentations by Kat Bernklow, MPS Director of Student Services and Don Aicardi, MPS Director of Finance and Operations
Ms. Bernklow’s presentation, focusing on a review of the work the district has undertaken this school year pertaining to special education services can be found here: https://goo.gl/U3YSMa 
Mr. Aicardi’s presentation provided a helpful overview of the way that special education services are funded and the ways in which these funds fit into the broader picture of the school district budget and the town budget.  We do not currently have a copy of this presentation to share, but it will be summarized in April’s meeting minutes when they are completed.  In the meantime, one important take-away from the presentation is that the school department has requested the establishment of a Special Education Stabilization Fund.  As explained by Mr. Aicardi and Ms. Bernklow, this fund would be used as a reserve to cover unanticipated large special education expenses that arise during the year (e.g., new or modified out-of-district placements that occur mid-year and were therefore not budgeted for).   If you have an opinion about the establishment of such a fund, you may wish to attend the upcoming Town Meeting on May 21 to vote on the issue (see the Town of Medway’s website for info on Town Meeting:

 

Love, Tolerance, Acceptance for All…
 
Medway SEPAC Officers 2017-2018
 
Sarah Brady – Chair
Mendy Tarkowski – Vice Chair
Lisa Jackey   – Secretary
Jennifer Pavlov – Treasurer