Administrator’s Corner: Empowering the future for all learners

Published 8:00 pm Friday, November 3, 2023

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Administrator’s Corner by Sheila Riebe

Special Education Advisory Councils (SEACs) play a pivotal role in advocating for students with disabilities, ensuring their educational needs are met and fostering an environment of inclusivity. SEACs are formal advisory bodies that collaborate with school districts to enhance the quality of special education services. These councils are mandated by federal and state laws, ensuring the voices of students with disabilities and their families/caregivers are heard. The primary objectives of SEACs include:

Sheila Riebe

Advocacy: SEACs advocate for students with disabilities and their families/caregivers by helping them secure the services and support they need.

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Policy recommendations: The council provides input on policy matters related to special education, ensuring that regulations align with the best interests of students receiving special services.

Community engagement: SEACs foster a sense of community among families/caregivers, educators and other stakeholders, which creates a supportive network for all involved.

Information and support: The council offers information and support to parents/caregivers, guiding them through the often complex educational system.

Educational improvement: SEACs strive to improve the quality of special education programs, enhancing outcomes for students with disabilities.

Why get involved with SEACs?

Getting involved in a Special Education Advisory Council can be rewarding, both personally and for the community. Reasons to participate include:

Advocacy: Make a difference by advocating for students with disabilities, ensuring they have equal access to quality education.

Positive change: Influence practices to create a more inclusive educational environment for all students.

Community connection: Connect with individuals who share your passion for improving the lives of students with disabilities.

Empower others: Offer support and guidance to parents/caregivers.

How to get involved with SEACs?

Becoming a part of a Special Education Advisory Council is a straightforward process. Begin by researching the Special Education Advisory Council in your school district. In the Albert Lea school district, you can contact the Special Services office at 507-379-4822 for more information and to be included on the list of SEAC members. You can attend SEAC meetings to learn more about the activities, goals and the issues the members are addressing. You can offer your unique perspective and skills to benefit the council’s efforts. SEAC is a wonderful opportunity to engage with parents/caregivers, educators and community members to build a supportive network and deepen your impact. Your involvement can create a more inclusive and equitable educational environment, and together, we can empower the future for all learners.

Sheila Riebe is the executive director of special services for Albert Lea Area Schools