Article I: Name of Organization
The name of this organization shall be “Ashland Special Education Parent AdvisoryCouncil”, otherwise known as “ASHPAC”.
Article II: Purpose of ASHPAC
The mission of ASHPAC is to work toward the understanding, respect, support, and appropriate education for all children with special needs and/or disabilities in our community. Our role is to:
Advise Ashland School Committee on matters that pertain to the education and safety of students with special needs and/or disabilities.
Participate in the planning, development, and evaluation of special education programming by meeting regularly with Ashland Public Schools (APS) administrators.
ASHPAC receives its purpose and authority from Massachusetts General Law (Chapter 71B Section 3) as codified in the Code of Massachusetts Regulations (603 CMR 28.07(4)). While established and operating for many years prior, ASHPAC was formally recognized as the Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC) for APS by Ashland School Committee on September 27, 2017.
Article III: Membership
General membership is open to the public.
Voting membership shall be open to a general member who is a parent, guardian, or caretaker of a child with special needs wherein the child lives and/or attends school in Ashland.
Board membership is open to any voting member who is nominated and elected to an open board position according to the provisions in Article V. Board members retain all general membership and voting membership rights and attest to fulfill the responsibilities outlined in Article IV to the best of the their ability.
Article IV: Board membership rights and responsibilities
All Board members of ASHPAC shall act as representatives of the entirety of the general membership, act as liaisons between ASHPAC and APS administrators and Ashland School Committee, and share responsibility for ensuring the continued functioning of ASHPAC.
The following board positions with additional responsibilities shall be:
●Co-Chairs- preside at membership meetings, approve agendas, facilitate the coordination and collaboration of members, and act as primary representatives of the board with APS Office of Student Services.
● Secretary- coordinates agendas, records meeting minutes, and oversees communication between the board and general membership.
● Treasurer- manages fiduciary responsibilities, liaisons with APS business office, and provides timely account updates to the general membership.
● Member at large (unlimited in number)- determined by need and interest (for example, webmaster, scholarship coordinator, outreach coordinator, etc.)
At any point, a general member or voting member of ASHPAC is welcome to volunteer their talents to assist in furthering the mission of ASHPAC.Sets the agenda for each general meeting.
Article V: Elections
Elections to the board shall be decided by a simple majority (quorum) of the voting membership present at the annual May meeting. Elected board members shall take office on July 1 st following their election. Terms shall be for one year and reelection shall be permitted.
Nominations for individual board positions shall be called for by the acting Chair. Voting shall happen immediately afterward. If there are no nominees or if no nominee receives a simple majority of votes, the position shall be left vacant. Vacant board positions shall not interfere with the operation of ASHPAC, as board membership is not necessary to establish a quorum of voting members.
If, due to extenuating circumstances, elections cannot be held at a May meeting, every effort shall be made to hold elections as soon as possible afterward and every effort shall be made to inform the general membership, voting membership, and board membership in advance of the new election date.
If during the year term, a position is or becomes vacant, an election to fill the vacancy is permitted following the procedure listed above. Election to fill a partial year vacancy does not carry over into the next year, and the position shall be up for reelection on schedule.
Article VI: Meetings
Meetings of the general membership shall be held regularly from September through June and can be held July through August as needed. Non-administrative matters shall be discussed and voted upon at a meeting of the general membership. Such matters include, but are not limited to: (1) Amendment of the Bylaws, (2) Commitment of financial resources (grants, scholarships, payments, procurements), and (3) Election to the Board. Vote outcome shall be decided by a simple majority of voting membership present.
Notification of upcoming general membership meetings shall be timely and shall include an agenda.
Meetings between board members to conduct and coordinate administrative functions shall be permitted as needed, without prior notice to the general membership. All such meetings shall be reported at the next meeting of the general membership.
Article VII: Amendments
The Bylaws herein may be amended by a simple majority vote at a meeting of the general membership, but not at the same meeting as when the amendment was first proposed.
The ASHPAC Bylaws herein were adopted on April 6, 2022 at a meeting of the general membership.