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Re:Special Education PTO

13 years 5 months ago #133027 by lleit1964
I am interested in starting a Special Education PTO in the Portland, OR metro area. Has anyone else undertaken such a task?
The following user(s) said Thank You: gospel4500
9 years 9 months ago #155902 by nbzero
Replied by nbzero on topic Re:Special Education PTO
Not to bump this post, but just in case anyone is wondering about Special Education PTO. Three SEPTO groups just started up in Connecticut. One is in my home town of Bristol and the other two are in Shelton and New London. All three SEPTOs are community wide organizations and not associated with a specific school. Starting a SEPTO is easier than you might think. All you need is a core group of commited parents. If anyone is interested in learning what it takes to start a SEPTO I would be happy to share my experiences.
9 years 4 months ago #157630 by nbzero
Replied by nbzero on topic Re:Special Education PTO
Connecticut now has another new Special Education PTO. Glastonbury SEPTO was formed just a week ago. Starting as Glastonbury SEPTA in 2007, this group was a PTA affilliate but decided to disassociate from PTA because they got tired of sending the state PTA dues money and getting nothing in return. Several other SEPTA groups in Connecticut are considering the same move.
9 years 4 months ago #157636 by Lisa @ PTO Today
Replied by Lisa @ PTO Today on topic Re:Special Education PTO
Appreciate the update, nbzero.


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9 years 4 months ago #157641 by MIDad
Replied by MIDad on topic Re:Special Education PTO
I have to say I hate the idea of segregating special education parents and teachers from general ed parents and teachers. There's too much segregation as it is, and I'd much rather see people working together for ALL students. If a PTA is ignoring special ed, tell them so -- publicly, in a meeting -- and ask them why; it seems it would be a difficult position to defend.
9 years 4 months ago #157642 by nbzero
Replied by nbzero on topic Re:Special Education PTO
Parents of children with special needs have some special needs too. We need to be educated about how our children learn and how the system of special education works. We need support from other parents who have been in our shoes who have learned how to survive and make things work. We need to know how to advocate for our children at home, at school and in the community. A special education parent group shoud exist to help meet those needs. It has nothing to do with segregation.

The SEPTO in my town meets those needs by featuring speakers on special education topics at every meeting. Sometimes it's two speakers. We also organized a parent advocacy training class with professional trainers from a state agency. We have networking time and group discussions at our meetings where parents share their experiences. And we regularly distribute information about local programs and services to our members, both at meetings and by email.

In my opinion, every SEPTO member should also be an active member in their school PTO or PTA. These school based groups offer parent involvement opportunities that SEPTOs can't, like volunteering in the school library or helping with school events. Children with special needs often feel out of place in school. Seeing Mom and Dad come into the school to help with PTO or PTA activities tends to make these kids feel more like they belong in school. This is important because kids who resist going to school don't benefit from their education as much as the kids who want to be there.
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