District department award: special education parent advisory council
Now in its second year, the Special Education Parent Advisory Council is a group of BSD parents whose children, grades kindergarten through the age of 21, receive Special Education services from the Beaverton School District. The mission of the Council is to support parents and educators to advocate for the developing needs of our students.
The parents meet with Danielle Hudson, the Executive Administrator of Student Services, once a month and provide input to the Special Education Department regarding budget, services, and programming. They are the parent voices who provide feedback to the Special Education Department to ensure that parent perspective is included in the decision-making process for district programming. The Special Education Parent Advisory Council also organizes a variety of parent information nights to help support others with navigating the special education process for their children.
The Council has provided parent input on the state Developmental Delay legislative bill which resulted in the extension of the Developmental Delay eligibility category through the age of 9 versus ending prior to Kindergarten. The Council provided input on the impact of relocating elementary special education specialized programs due to the completion of the District's 2014 bond projects. As a result of their feedback, the Special Education and Transportation Departments worked together on criteria for maintaining students within their current school setting or transitioning the student to a school closer to their neighborhood.
The Council has co-sponsored four parent nights this school year to gather feedback and provide information to parents of students with special needs.
Additionally, through their work, they recently hosted a parent resource fair with more than 18 resource vendors attending.