SEPAC Bylaws

Whitman-Hanson SEPAC
Special Education Parent Advisory Council
The name of this self-governed organization shall be the Whitman-Hanson Special
Education Parent Advisory Council, also known as the Whitman-Hanson SEPAC.


  • The purpose of the Whitman-Hanson SEPAC is to work to develop the understanding, respect, and
    support of all students and families of students with special needs in the Whitman-Hanson community. To
    that end, they will work to:
  • Provide and promote a network for all parents/guardians of students with special needs and a
    forum for sharing ideas and information

  • Provide information on rights and responsibilities under state and federal Special Education laws
    and regulations to parents/guardians of students with special needs

  • Promote cooperation and communication among parents/guardians of students with special
    needs and the Whitman-Hanson School District

  • Provide and promote opportunities for parents/guardians to learn to effectively support and
    advocate for their child with school personnel

  • Advise the school district on matters that pertain to the education, health, and safety of students
    with special needs

  • Meet regularly with school officials to participate in the planning, development, implementation,
    and evaluation of special education programs as to collaboratively improve the quality and
    appropriateness of these programs

  • Communicate regularly with the Director of Special Education and/or Assistant Superintendent,
    where applicable to discuss concerns of parents/guardians and the activities of SEPAC

  • Seek out and share information relating to organizations, programs, and resources within the
    community which provide education and/or support for students, families of students, educators
    and other professionals involved with students with special needs
  • Promote communication and programs within the community to encourage understanding,
    acceptance, and inclusion of students with special needs

ARTICLE III: Authority
The Whitman-Hanson SEPAC receives its authority from Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 71B,
Section 3 and the Code of Massachusetts Regulations (CMR), 603 CMR 28.07(4)

ARTICLE IV: Membership
Membership shall include both general and voting members. General membership shall be open to any resident of the Whitman-Hanson school district including parents, guardians, educators, and other parties interested in the special education of Whitman-Hanson students.

  • Voting membership shall be limited to:
    Parent/guardian of a student in the Whitman-Hanson school district currently eligible to receive
    special education services and/or on an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or 504 plan
  • Student in the district who is at least fourteen (14) years of age and is currently eligible to receive
    special education services and/or is on an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or 504 plan.
  • Meetings are defined as any Whitman-Hanson SEPAC activity that has been publicized and at which attendance is taken.

The group of elected officers shall be referred to as the Board and shall include two Co- Chairpersons,
Secretary, Treasurer, and two Community Outreach Representatives. Any member of the Whitman-
Hanson SEPAC voting membership is eligible to be elected to the board. All board members should
assist other board members as appropriate and perform additional responsibilities, as needed. Board
positions shall include the following key responsibilities:

Co-Chairpersons (two)

  • Set the agenda for all general SEPAC meetings and SEPAC board meetings, arrange for guest speakers/workshops, as required 
  • Coordinate and lead all SEPAC meetings and elections
  • Act as liaison between the SEPAC and Director of Special Education and/or Assistant Superintendent
  • Lead efforts to advise the district on matters that pertain to the education and safety of students with
  • Representing and speaking on behalf of the SEPAC at meetings of the School Committee.
  • Recommend the organization and monitoring of any SEPAC sub-committees
  • Oversee the approval and distribution of information and materials from SEPAC
  • Act as main contact person for new or interested SEPAC participants and provide introduction and
    welcome to basic purpose of SEPAC
  • Distribute approved information and materials from SEPAC
  • Send updates for the SEPAC page on district website to
  • Superintendent’s Admin
  • Manage SEPAC email account

Secretary (one)

  • Draft and forward meeting agendas to Superintendent’s Admin and Co-Chairpersons.
    o Superintendent’s Admin will publish on the SEPAC
  • Meeting page on the district website
  • Record and file minutes of the SEPAC meetings, including subcommittees.
  • Count and record all voting results
    Maintain meeting attendance logs
  • Create a periodic e-newsletter and/ or mailing 
  • Manage, regularly check and update SEPAC membership list

Treasurer (one)

  • Shall keep a full and accurate account of receipts and expenditures, and in accordance with the
    budget adopted by the organization
  • Shall arrange disbursements as authorized by the Executive Board or SEPAC. Distributions for non-
    budgeted items must be approved by the Executive Board and is limited to $50.00. Disbursement for
    non-budgeted items exceeding this amount must be approved by a majority vote of the members at
    the monthly SEPAC meeting
  • Shall present a financial statement at least annually at SEPAC meetings and at other times when
  • Coordinate efforts to apply for grants, donations, reimbursements, or any other funds which the
    SEPAC is eligible

Community Outreach Representative (two):

  • Collect information from SEPAC members and organizations in the community on educational
    and/or support opportunities and events
  • Share information regarding upcoming educational and/or support opportunities (such as
    workshops) and events in the community
  • Act as liaison schools and the SEPAC - bring forward any questions, concerns, needs, or issues
  • Communicate approved information and materials from SEPAC with school contacts
  • Maintain SEPAC presence within the community through different channels of communication, including social media, with news, information, and workshop/meeting announcements

ARTICLE VI: Nominations & Elections
Nominations (volunteer or otherwise) for Officers of the board will be accepted annually, preferably at the April meeting or as needed to fill a vacant position. Nominated individuals will need to notify the current
Co-Chairpersons of their decision to accept or decline their nomination prior to the election meeting.  Elections will be held annually, at the May or next scheduled meeting following a nomination to fill an open position. Elections can be held by a verbal vote of agreement by the voting membership if the position(s) are uncontested. If contested, elections shall be held by ballot and decided by a simple majority vote. The current Co-Chairpersons and Secretary shall count the votes and announce the results. New officers will assume their responsibilities immediately following their election and will hold the position for a period of one year.

ARTICLE VII: Meetings  
SEPAC meetings are subject to open meeting laws and will be held in accordance with Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 39, Sections 23A-23C. Every effort shall be made to hold regular SEPAC meetings and/or presentations on the second Tuesday of each month from September through June.  Regular meetings shall be held in the Whitman-Hanson Regional High School Library unless otherwise noted on posted meeting notices. All meetings will be conducted by at least one of the Co-Chairpersons, who will set the agenda, determine the length of discussions, and conduct voting when necessary. In the absence of both Co- Chairpersons, the Secretary shall conduct the meeting. Any agenda items which require a vote shall be noted as such on the agenda and may include, but are not limited to:

  • Elections 
  • Proposed changes to the By-laws 
  • SEPAC notices to be posted in the community
  • Commitment of SEPAC financial resources
  • Roberts Rules of Order are the default procedures for this organization. 
  • These By-laws were voted on and accepted by the Whitman-Hanson
  • SEPAC on 9/11/18.

Drafted: 3/27/2018
Accepted: 4/10/2018
Revised & Accepted: 3/19/2024

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