ByLaws

of the DC-SEPAC

How do I join a meeting for the first time?

Our meetings are generally the third Wednesday of the month at 7pm. We are currently meeting in person unless otherwise noted. We typically alternate between Charlton and Dudley Middle School libraries.

We will be looking into a hybrid meeting possibility for the 2022-2023 school year.

ByLaws:

Dudley-Charlton Special Education Parent Advisory Council


Bylaws


ARTICLE l: NAME


The full name of this self-governed organization shall be the “Dudley-Charlton Special Education Parent Advisory Council” (abbreviated as “DC-SEPAC”).


ARTICLE ll: PURPOSE


The purpose of the DC-SEPAC shall be to:


A.     Collaborate with district officials and community leaders to improve and provide the educational, social, and occupational opportunities available in and out of our schools to maximize adult-readiness for our children with disabilities.


B.     Advise district officials and the School Committee on matters pertaining to the education, health, and safety of students with special needs by providing direct parent input, review, and feedback on all matters pertaining to special education.


C.     Advocate on behalf of students with special needs and their families to district officials, the School Committee and the surrounding community.


D.     Provide a network of parents to share information and discuss matters of special education.


E.      Provide information in the form of speakers, workshops, and trainings to parents and educators to improve the knowledge surrounding special education.


F.      Meet regularly with district officials to participate in planning, development, and evaluation of the districts’ special education programs.


G.     Facilitate communication and the sharing of information between parents/guardians of children with special needs and district officials.


H.     Provide annual training for parents on the rights of students under state and federal special education laws.


I.        Fulfill all other obligations of parent advisory councils as set forth in Chapter 71B Section 3 and 603 CMR 28.07(4).  


ARTICLE lII: MEMBERSHIP


Section 1: Membership


Membership in the DC-SEPAC is open to any person who has an interest in special education and the purposes of the DC-SEPAC.


Section 2: Voting Membership


Voting membership consists of parents or guardians of child/ren with special needs who reside in and/or attend schools in the Dudley Charlton Regional School District (DCRSD), regardless of individualized education plan (IEP) status. Additionally, a member must participate in at least one open meeting of the DC-SEPAC every 12 months. Exceptions to the above requirements may be considered and permitted by the executive board on a case by case basis.


ARTICLE IV: EXECUTIVE BOARD


Section 1: Executive Board


The executive board shall be elected through annual election. The executive board shall include the Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, Recording Secretary, Publicity Secretary and up to 3 Members at Large. Every officer of the DC-SEPAC shall be a member of the DC-SEPAC.  The positions are for one year terms, but have no term limits.


Section 2: Duties


A)    The Chairperson shall preside at all meetings, and perform other duties as consistent with the office. These duties include setting the agenda for each open meeting, appointing standing committees and committee chair positions, act as a liaison with the Director of Special Education and communicate with the executive board.  The Chairperson may also be responsible for additional duties as deemed necessary by the board.


B)    The Vice Chairperson shall support the chairperson at all open meetings and chair the meetings as needed in the Chairperson’s absence.  The Vice Chairperson may also be responsible for additional duties as deemed necessary by the board.


C)    The Recording Secretary shall record and maintain the minutes of the open meeting of the DC-SEPAC. This includes review and approval of the minutes during each open meeting and posting the approved minutes of the DC-SEPAC website. The Recording Secretary will maintain a database of the members and their contact information.  The Recording Secretary may also be responsible for additional duties as deemed necessary by the board.


D)    The Publicity Secretary shall organize and procure all meeting locations, advertise the meeting/presentation dates in school and community publications and coordinate those updates on the DC-SEPAC website. The Publicity Secretary may also produce, with collaboration of the executive board, publications that support and promote the organization. The Publicity Secretary may also be responsible for additional duties as deemed necessary by the board.


ARTICLE V: ELECTIONS


Section 1: Voting


The DC-SEPAC annual elections will be the first order of business at the open business meeting each May. Elections shall be decided by a simple majority vote of the voting members.  The executive board and members at large will be voted into office by election.


A Nomination Chairperson will be selected (and nomination committee of 3-5 members as needed) to run open nominations and oversee the election process. The committee will contact members to solicit nominations, verify interested parties, prepare ballots, and oversee the voting process. Nominations will be taken in writing up to the May meeting and from the floor immediately prior to the election at the May open meeting. Voting will take place by private written ballot and be counted by a member who is not running for office.  


Section 2: Terms and Transfer of Duties


Transfer of duties will occur at the June meeting, departing officers are expected to meet with incumbents to transfer information, records and other responsibilities. 


Section 3: Vacancy


When vacancies occur mid-year, special elections may occur as soon as needed. If the Chairperson position becomes vacant, the Vice Chairperson will automatically become the interim Chairperson until a special election can take place to elect a new Chairperson.


ARTICLE VI: OPEN BUSINESS MEETINGS


Section 1: Meetings


A minimum of four open business meetings of the DC-SEPAC shall be held during the school year. Dates of the meetings shall be determined by the executive board and announced, by posted notice and/or electronically, at least 48 hours prior to the planned date. Executive board meetings will be held as needed and announced, by posted notice and/or electronically at least 48 hours in advance of the meeting. Additional meetings, presentations and activities may be held, as determined by the board, provided 48 hours notice is provided as outlined above.  


Section 2: Quorum


Meeting decisions may not be voted on without a quorum. A majority of the executive board (3 board members) and no voting members is the minimum needed for a quorum.


Section 3: Special Business Meetings


Special meetings of the DC-SEPAC may be called by the Chairperson, provided that posted or electronic notice has been provided at least 48 hours prior to the meeting date.


Section 3: Election Meeting


Aside from special elections to fulfill vacancies, the business meeting at which officers are elected shall be held in May.


Section 4: Format of Meetings


A modified version of Robert’s Rules of Order will be followed. The meeting format is as follows:


A)    Welcome and Introductions


B)    Approval of Minutes


C)    Reports of the Executive Board


D)    Committee Reports


E)    Old Business


F)     New Business


G)    Announcements


H)    Next Meeting Agenda


I)        Open Forum


J)      Adjourn


ARTICLE VII: COMMITTEES


The Chairperson will appoint standing committees on an as needed basis. The standing committee chairperson shall be a volunteer or willing nominee. The committee chair will be elected by the committee. In the absence of a quorum, the committee chair shall be nominated by the SEPAC Chairperson. Only members of the DC-SEPAC shall be eligible to serve in any elective or appointive position.


ARTICLE VIII: AMENDMENTS


The Bylaws may be amended at any open business meeting by a majority vote; however, the changes may not be proposed and voted on at the same business meeting. Members at large shall be notified (by posted notice or electronic communication) that the Bylaws will be amended by a voting process at least 48 hours prior to the vote taking place.




Adopted 3-2-2010, DC-SEPAC