Adopted on 2/13/14
The name of this organization shall be called the Island Parents Advisory Council on Special Education (IPAC).
Article II. Authority
The Island Parents Advisory Council is formed pursuant to the provisions of Section 3 of Chapter 71B of the Massachusetts General Laws.
Article III. Mission of the Island PAC
The mission of the Island Parents Advisory Council on Special Education (IPAC) is to work towards the understanding of, respect for, support, and appropriate education for all children with special needs on Martha’s Vineyard. To that end, the IPAC will:
- Advise the school committee and Director of Student Support Services on matters that pertain to the education, health, and safety of students with special needs by providing direct parent input, review, and feedback [CMR 603: 28.07(4)].
- Meet regularly with school officials (Director of Student Support Services, School Committee, etc.) to advise and participate in the planning, development, and evaluation of the district’s special education programs CMR 603: 28.07(4)]. This includes providing input to the development of policy and procedures, and parent and teacher training; advising and participating may include development and review of the Three-Year Program Plan and six-year Corrective Action Plan (as appropriate), prior to submission to the DESE. This will include the ability to provide input, review, revise and comment on any/all regular reports and plans pertaining to Special Education sent to the Department of Education, prior to their being finalized and submitted.
- Promote a network of parents, guardians, educational surrogates, including but not limited to parents of children with special needs (developed through active outreach and the maintenance of a membership email list), and provide a forum to share information and discuss matters of concern and interest regarding children with special needs. This will include providing a network of support for parents including access to relevant information, training, and resources, and sharing timely information with the membership and the community on Martha’s Vineyard, as well as MVPS administration and School Committee.
- Promote communication and programs within the community to encourage understanding, acceptance and inclusion of children with special needs, thereby encouraging an atmosphere of open communication, understanding and mutual respect among all students, parents, teachers, and the Martha’s Vineyard community at large.
- Provide informational forums to parents, educators, students and other professionals. This will include collaboration with parent/teacher groups, school councils, administrators, and other community organizations.
- Promote communication between IPAC members, local, state and national organizations, councils and groups. This will include staying current on public policy issues, state advisories and regulation which impact all education in Massachusetts, and crafting responses, as necessary.
- In conjunction with the Superintendent’s office, provide annual training to educate parents and guardians of children with special needs on their rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
Article IV — Membership
- Voting membership in the IPAC shall be open to parents and/or legal guardians of children receiving special education services.
- The Director of Student Support Services is a non-voting member of the Executive Committee.
- Meetings are open to the community.
Article V — Executive Committee
- An Executive Committee of seven to twelve voting members shall be elected at the annual meeting by the voting membership to serve a term of two years. The original Executive Committee shall stagger terms with four members for 2 years, and three members for 1 year.
- Each school shall be represented by at least one member on the Executive Committee providing that each school has at least one person willing to serve on the committee.
- No member on the Executive Committee shall be eligible to serve more than three consecutive terms on the committee.
- The Director of Student Support Services shall be a non-voting member of the Executive Committee.
- The function of the Executive Committee shall be to define the program for the general membership, elect officers, and meet the mission as defined in the bylaws.
Article VI — Officers
- The officers of the IPAC shall be elected by the Executive Committee and serve a term of one year.
- The officers of the Committee shall be two Co-Chairs (with a maximum of three Co-Chairs), Recording Secretary and Corresponding Secretary.
- No officer shall be eligible for the same office more than two (2) consecutive terms.
Duties of Officers:
- The Co-Chairs:
- shall preside at all meetings of IPAC and of the Executive Committee;
- be ex-officio members of all committees, except the Committee of Nominations;
- appoint with the other Co-Chair(s) necessary committee chairpersons;
- appoint with the concurrence of the other Co-chairperson(s) any vacancy on the Executive Committee or officer within 30 days after the vacancy occurs. If the vacancy is a Co-Chair then the Executive Committee shall fill the position by a majority vote.
- Presiding Co-chair shall designate meeting location
- The Co-Chairs shall strive to share duties equally. The Co-Chairs shall assist in the appointment of chairperson(s) of necessary committees
- The Recording Secretary shall keep an accurate record of all meetings of IPAC and of the Executive Committee. The Recording Secretary shall post meetings according to the Open Meeting Law and also post Meeting minutes on the web site.
- The Corresponding Secretary shall communicate with the IPAC membership about upcoming IPAC meetings and disseminate resources, including workshops and advocacy training that might be of interest. The Corresponding Secretary will also perform such other duties as delegated by the Co-Chair(s)
- All officers shall deliver to their successors all official materials immediately upon completion of their term of office.
Article VII – Meetings
- All meetings shall be held in accordance with the Open Meeting Law.
- Meetings shall be held as determined by IPAC with May designated as the Annual Meeting. At this meeting annual reports shall be received and the election of officers will be held.
- At the annual meeting there will be a tentative schedule of meetings submitted for the following school year.
- Meeting location shall be designated by a Co-Chairperson.
- Meetings shall be open to the public, but the privileges of making motions, and voting shall be limited to the members. The Director of Student Support Services or his designee shall attend each of these meetings.
- Written notice of all meetings shall be given to members at least seven days before the date of the meeting. This is the duty of the Corresponding Secretary.
- Special meetings may be called by the Chairperson, Co-Chairperson, the Executive Committee or by written request of five members. The call for special meetings must state the business to be transacted and no other business shall be transacted at this time.
- A quorum shall be seven voting members for Council meetings. The quorum for Executive Committee meetings shall be five members.
Article VIII — Amendments
These by-laws may be amended at any regular meeting of IPAC by a two-thirds vote of the members present and voting, provided notice of the proposed amendment shall have been given at the previous meeting.
Article IX — School Committees
The School Committees will annually certify the members of the IPAC and the members of the Executive Committee.