• Local Special Education Advisory Committees


    Virginia Regulations require that each school division establish and maintain a local Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) to advise the school division of issues impacting the education of students with disabilities. This pamphlet provides a quick reference to assist individuals with information regarding the purpose and activities of local SEACs.

    What is the purpose of the local Special Education Advisory Committee?

    The local SEAC advises the local school division of unmet needs and assists the school division in formulating plans for improving the performance of children with disabilities in the division’s schools and the community.

    What are the functions of the local Special Education Advisory Committees?

    (Cited from 8 VAC 20-80-90 of the Regulations Governing Special Education Programs for Children with Disabilities in Virginia, effective March 27, 2002)

    E.2. The functions of the local advisory committee shall be as follows:

    • Advise the local school division of unmet needs in the education of children with disabilities;
    • Assist the local school division in the formulation and development of plans for improving performance of children with disabilities specified in subdivision B 1 b* of this section;
    • Participate in the development of priorities and strategies for meeting the identified needs of children with disabilities;
    • Submit periodic reports and recommendations regarding the education of children with disabilities to the division superintendent for transmission to the local school board;
    • Assist the local school division in interpreting plans to the community for meeting the special needs of children with disabilities for educational services; and
    • Review the policies and procedures for the provision of special education and related services prior to submission to the local school board and the Virginia Department of Education.

    What are membership requirements for local Special Education Advisory Committees?

    Virginia regulations require SEACs' membership to include "parents of children with disabilities and persons with disabilities." The regulations also state that, "local school division personnel . . . serve only as consultants to the committee." A majority of local SEAC members should be parents of students with disabilities or persons with disabilities, however most committees include a variety of interested community and agency representatives.

    What are some recommended activities that strengthen the effectiveness of local Special Education Advisory Committees?

    • Developing by-laws.
    • Providing orientation for new members.
    • Conducting regular meetings and accepting and receiving public comment.
    • Gathering information about unmet needs.
    • Establishing annual priorities.
    • Working with others to establish strategies for improvement.
    • Keeping open communication among SEAC members, constituents, school staff and administrators, and school board members.
    • Participating within the school division’s organizational and operating structure.
    • Keeping informed of federal and state mandates and “evidence-based practices.”
    • Networking with State SEAC regional representatives and other local SEACs for information and assistance.

    For more information, please contact:
    King and Queen County Public Schools
    Ms. Karen Wright, SEAC Chairperson
    Phone: (804) 785-5981
    Fax: (804) 785-5686
    Virginia Department of Education
    Ms. Judy Hudgins, Technical Assistance Specialist for Parent Involvement
    Phone: (804) 371-7421
    Fax: (804) 371-8796
    E-mail: judy.hudgins@doe.virginia.gov

    This brochure was developed by the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) and the Partnership for People with Disabilities at Virginia Commonwealth University through support from VDOE and the Virginia Board for People with Disabilities.

    www.vcu.edu/partnership
    www.doe.virginia.gov