Radford City Schools

Radford Special Education Advisory Council

Radford Special Education Advisory Committee

Local special education advisory committees (SEACs) have a long history in Virginia.  Every school division is required to have a SEAC as detailed in Regulations Governing Special Education Programs for Children with Disabilities in Virginia, effective January 25, 2010 (special education regulations). 

The major purpose of SEACs is to provide an opportunity for parents and other school board appointees to have a voice in the way school divisions provide services to students with disabilities.  SEACs are extensions of local school boards since members are appointed by them, and SEACs provide reports and recommendations to their school boards.

 

This position has primary responsibility for working with other SEAC members to fulfill the following functions outlined in the Regulations Governing Special Education Programs for Children with Disabilities in Virginia, effective January 25, 2010:

  1. Advise the local school division of needs in the education of children with disabilities; 
  2. Participate in the development of priorities and strategies for meeting the identified needs of children with disabilities;
  3. Submit periodic reports and recommendations regarding the education of children with disabilities to the division superintendent for transmission to the local school board; 
  4. Assist the local school division in interpreting plans to the community for meeting the special needs of children with disabilities for educational services; 
  5. Review the policies and procedures for the provision of special education and related services prior to submission to the local school board; and
  6. Participate in the review of the local school division's annual plan.     

Individuals in this position work closely with the local school division’s director of special education.

 

Other Responsibilities Include:

  • Review and abide by SEAC bylaws.
  • Attend regularly scheduled local SEAC meetings.
  • Maintain an ongoing knowledge of special education law.
  • Be informed of activities of the committee and familiar with current school division special education plans.
  • Read the minutes of each meeting; advise the chair of any corrections or additions.
  • Participate in the work of the SEAC, including serving on subcommittees when required.
  • Encourage parents and other community members to join/attend the SEAC.
  • Participate in community awareness activities to increase visibility of the local SEAC.
  • Focus on systems change not personal grievances or individual advocacy.
  • Work collaboratively with other SEAC members and school division leadership and personnel.
 
Regulations

The special education regulations pertaining to local SEACs provide a great deal of flexibility to localities as they implement this requirement.  The regulations at 8 VAC 20-81-230 D state that:

D. A local advisory committee for special education, appointed by each local school board, shall advise the school board through the division superintendent.

1. Membership.

  1. A majority of the committee shall be parents of children with disabilities or individuals with disabilities.
  2. The committee shall include one teacher.
  3. Additional local school division personnel shall serve only as consultants to the committee. 

2. The functions of the local advisory committee shall be as follows:

  1. Advise the local school division of needs in the education of children with disabilities;
  2. Participate in the development of priorities and strategies for meeting the identified needs of children with disabilities;
  3. Submit periodic reports and recommendations regarding the education of children with disabilities to the division superintendent for transmission to the local school board;
  4. Assist the local school division in interpreting plans to the community for meeting the special needs of children with disabilities for educational services;
  5. Review the policies and procedures for the provision of special education and related services prior to submission to the local school board; and
  6. Participate in the review of the local school division's annual plan, as outlined in subdivision B.2. of this section.

3. Public notice shall be published annually listing the names of committee members and including a description of ways in which interested parties may express their views to the committee.

4. Committee meetings shall be held at least four times in a school year and shall be open to the public.