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San Ramon Valley Council of PTAs Special Needs Committee

Background of the Special Needs Committee

The committee was formed in Fall 2002 to:

  • Provide information and support to parents and staff so they can help children with special needs succeed.
  • Help ALL children and adults understand and appreciate challenges faced by children with special needs.
  • Work legislatively to secure and retain adequate laws and funding for children with special needs. ‚Äč

In 2002, the school district was faced with many parents unhappy with how their children's educational needs were being met, pending litigation, and a long list of compliance issues. The initial committee included seven parents with varying PTA experience, a school board member, and the school district's Assistant Director of Special Education. We knew that parents of children with special needs often feel disconnected from the schools and are craving information and support, and we hoped that this committee could help meet some of this need. We define “special needs” broadly - as applying to any child with learning or processing differences, physical disabilities, speech & language difficulties, social or emotional issues, etc., as well as gifted learners.

Eager to start making a difference, the new committee hosted a series of four educational evening programs. Each of the schools were encouraged to appoint a PTA special needs representative for the following year, and a handful did. The following year the committee hosted an evening program almost every month as well as a full-day Saturday conference. The committee's events consistently drew large audiences by providing information on a variety of topics to parents craving support as well as educators eager to learn.

The number of PTA special needs representatives has continued to grow and as a result we now have an active, collaborative committee. We host 5-6 evening programs a year and collaborate with PTA's Parent Education group to put on a full-day Saturday conference in February.

The school district has moved from being initially hesitant about our efforts to being fully supportive and appreciative. They now encourage teachers and staff to attend our programs, and provide facilities and support whenever asked. The high attendance at all of these programs, the appreciation from parents and staff members who attend them, and the resulting cooperation and collaboration that has positively changed how parents and educators view one another, prove that this program is helping children.

We look forward to another productive year of providing information and support through our evening programs and other events, and the networking and support opportunities that result from participating in these events. We hope you'll check out our events planned for the 2012-13 school year!

Sincerely,

Marilyn Lucey, Chairperson
Special Needs San Ramon Valley Council of PTAs

San Ramon Valley Council of PTAs Special Needs Committee

Click Here to be directed to the Special Needs website.  You will find links to helpful websites, upcoming events and news related to Special Education.