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Winchester Special Education PAC

About the PAC

A state-mandated group of parents and guardians who work with teachers, administrators, and the School Committee to provide:

  • Opportunities for caregivers of children with special needs to share tips, advice and support
  • Opportunities for caregivers and educators to learn about special education, including the laws and regulations that protect a child receiving services under an individualized education plan (IEP);
  • Information about resources available to help children be successful, including educational materials, national support groups, speakers, technical assistance, enrichment activities, and professional services.
  • Avenues for caregivers to participate in the development and evaluation of Winchester's special education programs. (CLICK HERE to view the 2010 Program Review of Winchester Special Education, conducted by the Massachusetts Department of Education (DOE))

Our vision

  • To be a vital community asset for all families
  • To identify and fund district-wide best practices in our schools
  • To encourage an increased appreciation for diversity throughout Winchester

The PAC structure (Who’s Who)

Please contact any of the members below with questions or comments concerning the PAC.

PAC Co-Chair: Stacey Irizarry (stacey@winspecialedpac.org)

PAC Secretary: Colette Desmarais (colette@winspecialedpac.org)

PAC Treasurer: Kathy Iatrou Matrundola (kathy@winspecialedpac.org)

PAC Web Master: Kathy Iatrou Matrundola (kathy@winspecialedpac.org)

Who should join?

  • Parents and guardians of children who currently receive or may need special education services
  • Educators and administrators who serve children with special education needs
  • Anyone interested in ensuring that all Winchester children receive an excellent education.

Click to join our google group


PAC Bylaws

  1. NAME

    Winchester Special Education Parents Advisory Council (hereinafter the "Council")

  2. AUTHORITY

    The Council is formed pursuant to the provisions of Section 3 of Chapter 71B of the Massachusetts General Laws.

  3. PURPOSE

    The purpose of the Council is to:

    1. Advise the Winchester School Committee on matters that pertain to the education and safety of students with disabilities.
    2. Meet regularly with school officials to participate in the planning, development and evaluation of the Winchester School Committee's special education programs.
    3. Participate in the development and review of the Three Year Program Plan prior to submission to the Massachusetts Department of Education.
    4. Facilitate communication and the free exchange of information and ideas between and among the residents of the Town of Winchester, the Winchester School Committee, the administration and staff of the Winchester School Department and the parents of children with special needs.
    5. Take such other or additional action as the Council shall deem necessary or appropriate regarding the special needs of students and special education in the Town of Winchester.
  4. MEMBERSHIP

    1. Qualifications – Any person who is a Winchester resident and qualifies as one of the following shall be eligible for membership in the Council. Any such qualified person may become a member by communicating orally or in writing to any Officer of the Council such person’s desire to becom a member.
      1. the parent or legal guardian of a person with special needs between the ages of zero (0) and twenty two (22); or
      2. a person not less than fourteen (14) years of age who is eligible to receive special education services from the Town of Winchester; or
      3. another interested party;
    2. Duties – All members shall endeavor to cause the Council to further the purpose stated in Article III of these By-Laws. All members shall endeavor to attend all regular meetings of the Council. All members who wish to receive notices or other communications from the Council shall deliver all of the necessary information required to receive such notices and other information in the form in which such notices or information is delivered.
    3. Resignation – A Council member may resign his or her membership in the Council at any time by communicating orally or in writing to any to any Officer of the Council of such person's desire to reign. A member who has resigned may rejoin the Council at any time.
    4. Election of Officers – The members shall elect the Officers at the regular meeting of the Council in the spring of each year, to hold office for one year and until their successors are elected. Nomination of Officers may be made and seconded by any member in attendance. If a vacancy shall occur in any office for any reason, the members shall nominate and elect a successor at the next meeting of the Council.
    5. Removal of Officers – The members shall have the right to remove any Officer of the Council at any time for any just cause, including, but not limited to, the failure of such Officer to perform the duties of such office. Such removal may be made at meeting upon the motion of any member provided the motion is adopted by not less than a two-thirds majority vote of the members present at such meeting. If the Officer against whom such vote is taken is then presiding over such meeting, such Officer shall give control of the meeting over to another Officer present for the purpose of taking and recording such vote. If no other Officer is present, then such Officer shall give control of the meeting to the Council member of longest standing among the members present. If any such Officer shall be removed pursuant to the provisions of this Section 5 of this Article IV, the members shall forthwith elect his or her successor.
  5. OFFICERS

    1. Officers – The Council shall have a Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson and Secretary (herein referred to collectively sometimes as the "Officers"). Any member of the Council shall be qualified to be an Officer.
    2. Duties – All Officers shall use their offices to cause the Council to further the purposes stated in Article III of these By-Laws. In addition, each Officer shall have the duties set forth below.
      1. Duties of the Chairperson – The Chairperson shall preside at all meetings of the Council at which the Chairperson shall be present and shall have the power to. set the agenda (which may be amended at any time) for regular meetings and shall perform such other functions as the Council shall determine.
      2. Duties of the Vice-Chairperson – The Vice-Chairperson shall perform the duties of the Chairperson in his or her absence or as requested by the Chairperson, and shall perform such other functions as the Council shall determine.
        1. Duties of the Secretary – 
        2. The Secretary shall perform the duties of the Chairperson
        3. The Secretary shall record the minutes of the meetings of the Council.
        4. The Secretary shall maintain a current list of the names of the members of the Council.
        5. The Secretary shall provide notices and other information to all members as directed
      3. Vacancy – If a vacancy shall occur for any reason, the remaining Officers, if any, shall appoint a successor who shall serve in such capacity until the members shall elect a successor at the next meeting of the Council. If there are no remaining Officers, the Council member of longest standing shall assume the duties of Chairperson until the members shall elect a successor at the next meeting of the Council.
      4. Resignation – Any officer shall have the right to resign his or her office at any time for any reason by written notice to the Secretary. Such resignation shall become effective upon the date the same shall be received by the Secretary. An interim successor shall be appointed or determined in accordance with the provisions of Section 3 of this Article V.
      5. Multiple Offices – Nothing contained in this Article V shall be construed to limit or prohibit one member from holding more than one office of the Council.
  6. MEETINGS

    1. Annual Meeting – The Council shall hold a meeting in the spring of each school year. The Secretary shall notify the Director of Student Services of the Winchester School Department and as many of the members of the Council as is reasonably practical of the date of the annual meeting at least five (5) days prior to the date of such meeting.
    2. Additional Meetings – The Chairperson or Vice-Chairperson or any three (3) members of the Council may call additional meetings of the Council with respect to matters that require attention prior to the next annual meeting. If a meeting of the Council is called, the Secretary shall notify as many of the members of the Council as is reasonably practical of the date of such meeting at least five (5) days prior to the date of such meeting.
    3. Meeting Requirements – All meetings of the Council shall be open to the public, provided, however, that the Officers may meet in executive session as the Officers shall deem necessary or appropriate to discuss matters which are of a sensitive or confidential nature. A quorum for the transaction of business shall exist at any meeting of the Council at which not less than two-thirds (2/3) of the members in attendance are Winchester residents who are the parents or legal guardians of persons with special needs between the ages of zero (0) and twenty two (22). Action on any matter brought before a meeting of the Council at which a quorum shall be present shall be decided by vote of a majority of the members present unless a two thirds (2/3) majority is required pursuant to the provisions of these By-Laws.
    4. Meeting Procedures –  The Chairperson shall preside over all regular meetings at which the Chairperson shall be present. If the Chairperson is not present, the Vice- Chairperson shall preside over such meeting if the Vice-Chairperson shall be present. If the Chairperson and the Vice-Chairperson are not present, the Secretary shall preside over such meeting if the Secretary shall be present. If no Officer is present, the Council member of longest standing present shall preside over such meeting. The Chairperson or other presider shall adopt such rules of order as may be necessary to facilitate the efficient conduct of the Council's business at all meetings.
  7. AMENDMENTS

    These By-Laws shall not be amended except in writing certified by the Secretary of the Council by a two-thirds majority vote of the members present at any regular meeting at which a vote to amend these By-Laws shall be taken.
  8. SEVERABILITY

    If any provision of these By-Laws shall to any extent be invalid, the remainder of these By-Laws shall not be affected thereby.