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Re:Special Education PTO

6 years 10 months ago #162117 by Mkomperda
Replied by Mkomperda on topic Re:Special Education PTO
SEPTA and SEPTO are forming less and less in my research. Our group, RAIN (Riverside Area Inclusion Network) formed in our district within our current PTO/PTAs. We want our children included so we thought as parents we want to be included. Just something to think about. We have been 3 years in the making, still struggle with acceptance at times with some, still trying out different ideas, building a base of volunteers and support group.
We have monthly "business" meetings (each school tries to be represented) along with teachers and administration. This is where we work on projects, talks, events, building our base. We are under the umbrella of one schools bylaws and regulations. Then we have teachers administrators leave and have a support group. It is work to get it going and takes time and energy. Check out our website rainetwork.weebly.com or see our facebook RAIN. IT is worth it to get started.
6 years 10 months ago #162119 by nbzero
Replied by nbzero on topic Re:Special Education PTO
Mkomperda, I checked out the RAIN web site. I even read the minutes! Your group has accomplished a lot over the last three years. Which raises an important point. In many ways, it doesn't matter if your group is a SEPTO, a SEPTA, or if it goes by a different name. If your group is working to meet the unique needs that parents of exceptional children have, then your group is providing an important resource to the community. When a parent comes to your group looking for help and they find it, I bet that parent couldn't care less about whether your group's name ends with an O or an A or some other letter.

If you and your members are comfortable with your structure and your relationship with the school people, then there is no need to change it. On the other hand, if you and your members ever felt you could do a better job with a different structure, it's good to know you have other options.
3 years 11 months ago #168749 by Anonymous
Replied by Anonymous on topic Re:Special Education PTO
Im looking to start one in the town of Oxford.
Do I need to form a committee under the already formed PTO in town or do j start a separate organization ?
I don't know where to start!
Thank you,
Heidi
3 years 11 months ago #168759 by Rose H
Replied by Rose H on topic Re:Special Education PTO
Hi Heidi!
A good starting point would be to check in with the current PTO president and your school principal. We've seen many independent groups set up for parents of children in special education programs. It would in part depend on your goals and the level of interest among parents. Definitely put our a request to parents to gauge their interest and try to put together a first meeting with these parents to get more of a feel for what you all would like to do with this group. Then you can work out the details of how the group will be set up and structured in relation to the current PTO.

Please stay in touch and good luck!

Rose
3 years 2 months ago #170476 by Corrie Merchant
Replied by Corrie Merchant on topic Re:Special Education PTO
I am interested in starting a SEPTO group within working with our current PTO (not a separate group). Can you share your experiences and how to get a group started? Is it a subcommittee? Separate by laws ???
3 years 2 months ago #170477 by nbzero
Replied by nbzero on topic Re:Special Education PTO
The process of establishing a SEPTO-like component within an existing PTO is very different from creating a new SEPTO group from scratch.

A new SEPTO needs to enact bylaws, elect officers, plan dues/financing and establish a relationship with the school district. Your existing PTO, if it’s been around for a while, should have already accomplished these tasks. Which ought to make your job much easier if you plan to be part of the existing PTO.

Some PTOs I know have a special education committee that pretty much acts as a SEPTO within the PTO. The chair of the special education committee usually sits on the PTO board of directors and acts as the link between the PTO board and the committee. The committee plans programs and events that are aimed at the parents of children with special needs. Everything is done in collaboration with the existing PTO and its bylaws.

The exact steps you would need to take in order to create a SEPTO-like committee within your exiting PTO should be determined by the existing PTO’s bylaws. The PTO bylaws should state how to establish committees and determine their leaders.

So I suggest looking over your PTO bylaws. The path you need to take should be found somewhere in there.
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