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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.

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.

What is the Local Special Education Advisory Committee?
The Local Special Education Advisory Committee is appointed by the school board. Moreover, the committee advises the school board through the division superintendent concerning special education services.

Who comprises membership on the committee?
The majority of the committee shall be parents of children with disabilities or individuals with disabilities. The committee shall include one teacher. Additionally, local school division personnel shall serve as consultants to the committee.

What are the functions of the committee?
The committee a) advises the local school division of needs in the education of children with disabilities; b) participates in the development of priorities and strategies for meeting the needs of children with disabilities; c) submits reports/recommendations; d) assists in the local school division in interpreting plans to the community for meeting the special needs of children; e) reviews policies and procedures for the provision of special education prior to submission to the local school board; and f) participates in the review of the local school division’s annual plan.

When are the meetings and who can attend?
The meetings are held at least 4 times a year. The meetings are currently scheduled for:  September 27November 29January 24March 21, and April 18th. Time 8:30 to 9:30.  These meetings are open to the public

Additionally, the meetings are held at Salem City School Board, 510 S. College Avenue in Salem.

What are the names of the committee members and how can I express my view to the committee?

Members include:
Sandra Elliott; Debra Schmidtt; Sharon Paisley; Rosetta Milligan; Ann Shepherd, Coordinator of the Parent-Teacher Resource Center; Lindsey Smart, Teacher; Nancy Bradley, School Board Representative; and Randy Jennings, Consultant. Participating agencies include Terry Thomas, TAP Head Start; Gary Gibson, Department for Aging & Rehab. Services; Valerie Hughes, Easter Seals UCP; and Wanda Bass, Goodwill Industries of the Valleys, Inc.

You may contact Susan Young, Special Education Secretary, at (540) 389-0130 to leave a message for the committee.