October is Learning Disabilities Awareness Month. The “Lead With LD” campaign is intended to destigmatize the way people think about learning disabilities, according to the National Center for Learning Disabilities. It is an important time for all of us to learn about learning disabilities and how we can support our children in the classroom. It is important for each school district to contact parents to facilitate the creation of a parent advisory council for students with disabilities at the beginning of the academic school year.
According to Delaware Code, each school district and charter school enrolling any child with disabilities shall, on an annual basis, contact the parents of each such child to attempt to facilitate the creation and maintenance of a parent council for the parents of students with disabilities. Parent councils will advocate generally for students with disabilities and provide person-to-person support for individual parents and children. The charter schools and school districts shall collaborate and coordinate with existing parent groups and other information and support groups to facilitate creation, maintenance and effectiveness of the parent councils.
We need more SEPAC members to actively attend quarterly meetings. We cannot continue to do the bare minimum within certain school districts and expect our children to succeed above some unrealistic expectations that are set.
Educating parents and professionals within each school district about special education law, federally and locally, is important at this time. As we’ve all learned in the past academic school year, we all need to reference reliable documentation to read as it relates to how and what education our children receive.
If you are a part of a Special Education Parent Advisory Council, then I would recommend to start planning at least six months ahead to a year in advance for special events to be held. Some SEPACs are falling behind within a schedule while getting launched, which ultimately doesn’t help children or parents receive educational needs.
Advocates, administrators, parents and support staff should all have the opportunity to attend special education law sessions, whether offered as an informative session by a local law firm or through the Parent Information Center of Delaware. We need to know rights for our children to receive their education, who we can contact for help and what we can refer to so that we can educate ourselves.
We should all be working together to ensure that our students receive the best education possible, while within a safe environment.
India R. Scott
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