Thursday, October 11, 2012

Get to Know Your District Series: Meet the Community Advisory Committee

The Community Advisory Committee, otherwise known as the CAC.  The CAC Chair, Lorrie Davis was asked to help answer the "What is the CAC?" Questions.  Check out the responses below. 

What is the CAC?
The Community Advisory Committee (CAC) is comprised of parents, students, educators and community members with an interest in special education.  The purpose of the CAC is to provide the school district staff and the Board of Education with advice and recommendations regarding the district’s special education programs, to respond to the needs and concerns of students with exceptional needs and their families, to educate the community about disabilities and special education, to assist the district in providing FAPE, and to provide advice and recommendations regarding compliance with local and federal special education law.

What is your committee all about?
Our responsibilities include parent education and advocacy training, review and development of the special education local plan, participation in district committees directly affecting the special education program, and addressing concerns regarding special education programs that support students with Individualized Education Plans (IEPs). 
  
What is the goal of your committee?
Through the CAC, parents are informed about changes in special ed. law and how these changes could affect programs/services in the district.  The committee discusses issues/concerns specific to the Mt. Diablo School District and advises the Board of Education. 

How does your Committee’s work benefit special education students?
Our committee is dedicated to insuring that every student receiving special education services within the Mt. Diablo School District will succeed in maximizing their potential and receive the highest quality education.

Any info on meetings?
CAC meetings are open to all members of the public.  Meetings are usually held on the first Tuesday of the month, September through May.  When you attend a CAC meeting, you may ask questions, get information, express concerns/opinions, give recommendations and meet the people who make decisions about special education programs/services in the Mt. Diablo School District. 

The CAC also maintains an online forum providing information about special education issues, district and community activities/events and links to district/local resources.  Read our blog and join in the conversation at:  http://www.mtdiablosped.blogspot.com  You can also sign up to receive automatic emails when new articles are posted.

In addition, the CAC has a parent network to provide information and assistance to parents.  We can refer you to knowledgeable individuals/parents who can answer questions or assist with concerns.  Please contact the Parent Liaison at (925) 682-8000 ext. 4297 if you would like to speak with another parent.

Are you looking for more participation?  How can I be involved?
Parent involvement is crucial.  We believe in working collaboratively, as a team, with district staff and the Board Members to insure every student receiving special education services will succeed in maximizing their potential and receive the highest quality education.

Many of our special education parents are unable to attend the CAC or board meetings; they depend on the CAC to advocate for their students. We need to ensure the voices of our special ed. students and their families are heard. 

We welcome all interested parents, friends, teachers or community members interested in special education to attend.  Our strength is in numbers. 

Please contact me directly at lorriedavis80@yahoo.com if you have any questions. 

Lorrie Davis
CAC Chairperson
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