APPROVED: Mansfield Special Education Parent Advisory Council By-laws
Article I: Name
The name of this organization shall be the Mansfield Special Education Parent Advisory Council, also known as Mansfield SEPAC (hereinafter referred to as “SEPAC”).
Article II: Purpose
The SEPAC receives its statutory authority from the Chapter 71B, Section 3 of the Massachusetts General Laws. This authority is also codified in the Code of Massachusetts Regulations (CMR), 603 CMR 28.07(4).
The SEPAC’s duties include, but are not limited to:
- Advising the district on matters that pertain to the education and safety of students with disabilities;
- Meeting regularly with school officials; and
- Participating in the planning, development, and evaluation of the school district’s special education programs.
The mission of the SEPAC is to work for understanding of, respect for, and support of all children with special needs in the community. To that end, they will work to:
advise the Mansfield School Committee on matters that pertain to the education and safety of students with disabilities;
meet regularly with school officials to participate in the planning, development and evaluation of the School Committee’s special education programs;
assist the district in coordinating the presentation of at least one workshop annually within the school district on the rights of students and their parents and guardians under state and federal special education laws;
provide a support network for parents of children with special needs through regular meetings, programs and communications;
promote communication between SEPAC members, local, State and National organizations, councils and groups;
promote communication and programs within the community to encourage understanding, acceptance and inclusion of special needs children;
provide educational/informational forums for parents, educators, students and professionals.
Article III: Membership
Section One: General membership
General membership shall be open to any interested person.
Section Two: Voting membership
Voting membership shall be open to any general member who is a parent or guardian of a special needs student residing in or attending school in Mansfield, with or without an Individual Education Plan (IEP) or Section 504 Plan.
As used in these by-laws, the word “member” means general members, voting members or both, as the context indicates.
Article IV: Executive Board
Section One: The Executive Board of the SEPAC shall be comprised of a Chair/President or two equal Co-Chairs, Secretary, Treasurer, Communications Coordinator(s), Events Coordinator, and School Representatives. All Executive Board members shall be voting members of the SEPAC, elected per the provisions of Article VI. Officers may, from time to time, delegate any of their duties to another officer or concurrently hold more than one office.
Section Two: The duties of the Executive Board shall include:
Set the agenda for each general meeting.
Preside at all meetings of the SEPAC.
Recommend the organization and monitor the function of committees and subcommittees and appoint
Act as liaison between parents of students with disabilities or suspected disabilities and the Administrator of Special Education.
Prepare periodic reports for the Special Education Administration regarding SEPAC activities and needs Represent and speak on behalf of the SEPAC at meetings of the School Committee
Make an annual presentation to the School Committee
Coordinate all communication between SEPAC and its membership
Maintain a list of the voting members and a list of general members
Coordinate the recording, filing and posting of minutes of the SEPAC and its committees
Collect and review all correspondence of the SEPAC
Shall keep a full and accurate account of receipts and expenditures, and in accordance with the budget adopted by the organization.
Shall arrange disbursements as authorized by the Executive Board or SEPAC. Disbursement for non-budgeted items must be approved by the Executive Board and is limited to $50.00. Disbursement for non-budgeted items exceeding this amount must be approved by a majority vote of the members at the monthly SEPAC meeting.
Shall present a financial statement at all SEPAC meetings and at other times when requested.
Coordinate efforts to apply for grants, donations, reimbursements or any other funds for which the SEPAC be eligible.
Maintain and manage the SEPAC Listserve
Update social media platforms such as Facebook
Update SEPAC website as needed
Coordinate with Mansfield School officials to distribute SEPAC announcements through official channels such as e-Backpack and MPS websites.
Will report on issues at individual schools in Mansfield that may be of interest to SEPAC members
Will provide input to the Board on planning activities relevant to the age groups at their schools
Will serve as a contact person for SEPAC within their school
Will serve as a representative of SEPAC at other PAC meetings, raising awareness of SEPAC’s mission and activities
Will lead event planning and publicity
Will coordinate event logistics
Shall recruit assistance from membership and community
Article V: Voting/Quorum
A quorum of no less than 3 voting members must be present to constitute a meeting.
Article VI: Elections/Voting Methods
Officers of the SEPAC are elected by the voting membership and hold office until the next annual meeting. Elections shall occur by ballot (annually) at the June meeting. All voting members are eligible to make nominations. If any office becomes vacant, an election for that office shall be held (by special meeting, at the next monthly meeting, provided notice is posted), with term to expire at the next annual meeting.
Elections shall be decided by a simple majority vote of the voting membership, subject to the presence of a quorum. New officers shall take office immediately following their election.
Any officer may resign by delivering a written notice of resignation by mail, in person, or by email to the Administrator of Special Education. Resignation shall be effective immediately upon such delivery unless the resignation is slated to be effective at another time. An officer may be removed with or without cause by vote of the voting members.
The SEPAC will inform the school district of the outcome of the annual elections and the names, addresses and phone numbers of the new board by June 30th of each year.
Article VII: Meetings
Meetings are defined as any SEPAC meeting, activities, or committee meeting at which a quorum is met. The number of meetings to be held each year and the dates of those meetings shall be determined annually by the Executive Board. Advance notice of any and all meetings and elections will be published/posted with a minimum of 48 hours advance notice and comply with the MA Open Meeting Law regulations.
Minutes of all SEPAC meetings shall be recorded and posted in accordance with the MA Public Records law.
The SEPAC shall hold an Annual Meeting of the voting members each year for the purpose of electing officers and to vote on any matters as shall be specified in the notice of such meeting.
Article VIII: Conflict of Interest
Any member of the Executive Board who has a financial, personal, or official interest in, or conflict (or appearance of a conflict) with any matter pending before the SEPAC, of such nature that it prevents or may prevent that member from acting on the matter in an impartial manner, will offer to the Board to voluntarily excuse him/herself and will vacate his seat and refrain from discussion and voting on said item.
Article IX: Amendments
These by-laws may be amended by a simple majority of the voting members at a general meeting, but by-law changes may not be voted upon in the same meeting as they are proposed, unless a quorum (as described in Article V) votes unanimously to approve the change.
Article X: Procedures
Roberts Rules of Order are the default procedures for this organization.
Approved: (Date) ______________