FCSN > MassPAC > SEPAC Basic Toolkit > Additional Ways – How parents can get involved to advise their communities!
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Additional Ways – How parents can get involved to advise their communities!

TASK FORCE

Task forces are time-bound and outcome-focused groups that are convened to support an organization or district’s mission, strategic objectives or program activities.

  • Parent voice would be important

Provide real time feedback or concerns, diverse perspectives, humanize issues, provide voice for youth, pros and cons of implementation

  • Before becoming a member – Need to Know

Time commitment, goals, mission, and possible risks

  • What you can gain from being involved

Experience, knowledge, increased network and contacts, resources, input into process, influence positive outcomes

LOCAL BOARDS OF HEALTH

Local Boards of Health are required by state statue.  Elected or appointed members are given the legal authority to set policies and make local regulations to protect public and environmental health.  Boards of Health develop, implement and enforce health policies, may oversee inspections to maintain minimum standards for sanitation in housing and food service, and assure that the basic health needs of their community are being met. 

  • Parent voice would be important

Inform school/PTA events about food issues, unsanitary conditions and local environmental issues

  • Before becoming a member – Need to Know

Is special training or expertise required, time commitment, how to run for office

  • What you can gain from being involved

Improve the safety in your community, knowledge, leadership skills, learn about other local boards

PTA/PTO

Parent Teacher Associations or Organizations engage and empower families and communities to support schools and ensure a positive school experience for all children.

  • Parent voice would be important

Help shape school policies, make events family friendly and inclusive

  • Before becoming a member – Need to Know

How to run for office, how to access leadership training, time commitment

  • What you can gain from being involved

Support your school community, knowledge, experience

MUNICIPAL COMMISSION ON DISABILITY

A Commission on Disability is defined by MA law to cause the full integration and participation of people with disabilities in a city or town, as well as advise municipal officials in ensuring compliance with state and federal laws that affect people with disabilities. 

  • Parent voice would be important

Develop public awareness, provide municipal awareness of concerns of residents

  • Before becoming a member – Need to Know

Group purpose and role, time commitment, meeting schedule

  • What you can gain from being involved

Resources, knowledge of laws, connections to local government

SCHOOL COMMITTEE

The School committee establishes educational goals and policies for the schools in the district, consistent with the requirements of the law and statewide goals and standards established by the Board of Education.

  • Parent voice would be important

Advocate for special education, influence budget, help group approach issues from multiple angles

  • Before becoming a member – Need to Know

Election process, town resources and players, understanding of budgets

  • What you can gain from being involved

Promote inclusions, build connections within your community, stepping stone to other political positions

SCHOOL SITE COUNCIL

Each public school shall have a school site council consisting of the principal, community members and shall include parents of students attending the school who are chosen by school elections.  The Site Council shall assist in identifying the educational needs of the students, review the annual school budget and help form a school improvement plan.

  • Parent voice would be important

Help focus resources on areas of need, promote inclusion, identify educator professional development needs

  • Before becoming a member – Need to Know

Time commitment and schedule, definition of role, election process

  • What you can gain from being involved

A voice and awareness in determining school priorities, understanding of principal’s role

DESE ADVISORY COUNCILS

These councils advise the Commissioner and Board of Education on matters relative to their area of focus pertaining to education in MA.  Most councils, including the Special Education Advisory Council, meet 3-4 times per year and look for diverse membership.

  • Parent voice would be important

Parent perspective (on special education), ensure students have access to the curriculum

  • Before becoming a member – Need to Know

Time commitment, how much meeting preparation, knowledge of the law

  • What you can gain from being involved

Insight into state operations, networking, meet other with similar interests, expand horizons