family and community involvement has long been recognized as an important
factor in improving student outcomes. School divisions need broad
based participation and input to evaluate their services and
programs and stay informed of the needs and expectations
of students, parents, and the community.
Local school divisions are required by the Code of Virginia
to form local Special Education Advisory Committees
(SEACs) made up of parents of individuals with disabilities, community volunteers and one teacher appointed by
local School Boards.
The primary purpose of the local SEACs is to:
- identify needs relating to the education of students with
disabilities within a local school division;
- advise the local school division of these needs; and
- assist the local school division in developing priorities, plans
and strategies for meeting these needs.
Local SEACs play an important role in identifying the needs
of students with disabilities, advising school divisions about those
needs, and making recommendations about how those needs can be met.
Well-formed SEACs have members who represent diverse community
stakeholders and help parents and the school division personnel improve student services and outcomes.
Through careful consideration and clear, consistent communication
local SEACs are able to bring about positive change in services
and outcomes for students with disabilities.
In 2005, the Virginia Department of Education and the Partnership for People with Disabilities surveyed SEAC members, special education directors, and school board Chairpersons using a Local SEAC Needs Assessment Survey. Based on survey results as reported in SEAC Need Assessment Report, 2005, SEAC orientation and leadership training were organized around the state (SEAC Effectiveness Training Evaluation Report and SEAC Leadership Workshop Evaluation Training 2006).
The website is designed to provide local SEAC members and school
division administrators with practical suggestions and sample tools for organizing and carrying out the work of local Special Education Advisory Committees (SEACs) in Virginia. Training for local SEACs can be found on this web site.
This SEAC website is supported jointly by the Virginia Department of Education and the Center for Family Involvement at the Partnership for People with Disabilities at Virginia Commonwealth University.
Virginia Department of Education Parent Involvement Survey 2011-12
Click here to take the survey