What is a Special Education Advisory Committee?
The Ontario Education Act Regulation 464/97 requires every district school board to establish a Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC). The members of the committee include:
- Representatives of local association, that are affiliated with a provincial parent associations, such as Easter Seals Ontario (to a maximum of 12)
- Trustees of the school board (to a maximum of three)
- Additional Members or Members –at-Large (number determined locally by the Trustees)
- Members of the school board staff who are non-voting members and act as a resource to the committee.
What are the responsibilities of SEAC?
The Ontario Education Act Regulation 464/97 defines the role of SEAC and the responsibilities are to:
- Make recommendations to the school board Trustees with respect to any matter affecting the establishment, development and delivery of special education programs and services for exceptional pupils of the board
- Participate in the school boards annual review of its Special Education Report
- Participate in the school boards annual budget process as it relates to special education
- Consult with parents and the community about the Special Education Report
- Make the Special education report available to the public and post a copy on the school board website.
What are the responsibilities of SEAC Members?
SEAC members are required to attend 10 meetings each school year, from September to June. SEAC members are expected to come prepared for the meeting by:
- Reading the meeting materials and the agenda that are provided in advance of the meeting
- Being familiar with the school board special education programs and services
- Being familiar with Ministry of Education polices and resource documents related to special education
- Sharing information about the SEAC activities with members of the local association and/or the provincial association
- Providing feedback or information from local association and/or the provincial association relevant to special education
Who is eligible to become a member of SEAC?
Members of SEAC must be:
- Over the age of 18 years
- A Canadian citizen
- Resident in the school board area
- An elector for the school board (An elector is a supporter who directs their taxes to the specific school board)
SEAC members cannot be employed by the school board.
For more information about SEAC connect to the following resources on your school boards website:
- Special Education Advisory Committee Meeting schedule
- Special Education Advisory Committee membership
- Minutes for Recent SEAC meetings and/or the Agenda for the next meeting
- Special Education Plan detailing the program and services available to students
To find your school board website:
How to find a school board:
Find out more about special education in Ontario and the roles and requirements of SEACs at the Ministry of Education SEAC Webpage. The webpage includes:
- Introduction to Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC)
- Introduction to Special Education in Ontario
- SEAC Membership
- Roles and Responsibilities
- Orientation and Training
- Rules and Procedures for SEAC Meetings
- Questions and Answers
- Links and Resources
The Provincial Parent Association Advisory Committee on Special Education Advisory Committees (PAAC on SEAC) is a committee of provincial parent associations, including Easter Seals Ontario, that support SEAC members. Their website has resources for SEAC members including the PAAC on SEAC Effective Practices Handbook for SEAC Members (2010).