Parents & Family Resources

Questions?  Please contact:
Cherie Johnson, GCED Executive Director
651-388-4441
cjohnson@gced.k12.mn.us

SEAC Documents

What is expected from council representatives?

  • Desire to help improve programming for all special education students

  • Willingness to read current literature relating to special education best-education practices

  • Willingness to listen to the opinions of others and contribute ideas and perspectives

  • Ability to work in a team atmosphere

  • Regular attendance at meetings


 

What is the council time commitment?

  • Council meets six times during the school year, from September through May

  • Three meetings are held on Monday evenings from 5:00 – 6:30 p.m. and three are held on Wednesday afternoons from 12:00 – 1:30 p.m.

Parent Advisory Council
Special Education Advisory Council (SEAC)

What is SEAC?

A SEAC (pronounced “seek”) is an acronym for Special Education Advisory Council, which is a group that provides input on special education issues to its local school district. Its purpose is to advise and advocate, not to decide policy. Minnesota law requires each school district in the state to have a SEAC.

Why are SEACs important?

SEACs advise school districts on the development of programs and services to meet the needs of children with disabilities and their families. By sharing their unique perspective of what it is like to use these services, parents can help the district to be more effective. As a result, outcomes for children with disabilities and communication among schools, families and community members should improve.

Why would you want to be a part of SEAC?

Parents give many reasons for joining a SEAC, including these:

  • I may be able to help other families and children with disabilities in my school district.

  • I can share what I’ve learned since my child began his education.

  • I can support the school professionals in my district.

  • I will be a good role model for my child.

  • I feel good when I make a contribution to this community.

  • I will learn information and skills that may help me work more effectively with my school district.

  • I may build positive relationships with others in my district.

  • I will become more knowledgeable about special education.

 

SEAC members sought!

If you are a parent or a provider to a special education student, please consider serving on this council.  Those interested in learning more about SEAC are encouraged to come to a meeting. This is a great opportunity to increase your awareness of special education while providing valuable input. 

 

What is the time commitment?

The Council meets two to three times a year, from September through May.  Meetings are held at various times to accommodate family and work commitments.

 

Questions?  Please contact:

Cherie Johnson, Executive Director

 

Information About Student Assessment

Testing is used in schools to measure student achievement.

  • State tests are given in a district once a year by grade and subject area.

  • Classroom tests are given by individual teachers on a more regular basis, including quizzes, mid-terms, chapter tests, and final exams, etc.

  • Additionally, the Goodhue County Education District uses FastBridge Learning measures, in both math and reading, to gather additional data about student learning. 

 

Standards-Based Accountability Assessments
The Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCA) and alternate assessment Minnesota Test of Academic Skills (MTAS) are the state tests that help districts measure student progress toward Minnesota’s academic standards and also meet the requirements of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Students take one test in each subject. Most students take the MCA, but students who receive special education services and meet eligibility requirements may take the alternate assessment MTAS instead.

Tests by subject area and grade levels administered:

  • Reading: MCA or MTAS in grades 3-8, and 10

  • Mathematics: MCA or MTAS in grades 3-8, and 11

  • Science: MCA or MTAS  in grades 5, 8, and high school

 

Statewide Student Assessment

  • Calendar for District Assessments: Based on legislation enacted in 2015, graduation assessment requirements have changed.

  • English Language Proficiency Assessments: The ACCESS for English Learners (ELs) and Alternate ACCESS for ELs are developed by the WIDA consortium and administered to English learners in order to measure progress toward meeting Minnesota’s standards for English language development. English learners who also receive special education services and meet the participation guidelines may take the Alternate ACCESS for ELs.

  • ACCESS Parent Fact Sheet

  • Pearson AccessAdditional resources, including Item Samplers and Pearson’s Perspective. Item samplers help students and teachers become familiar with the format and type of content included in the state tests. Click on "Minnesota" to access the resources.

Just for Parents

Minnesota Department of Education information on all aspects of helping your student succeed in school.

In English

  • MCA: Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment fact sheet for parents

  • MTAS: Minnesota Test of Academic Skills fact sheet for parents

  • Test Preparation: Suggestions for parents to help students with test preparation

 

En Español

  • las MCA: Preguntas y respuestas sobre las MCA en matemáticas, lectura y ciencias

  • el MTAS: ntas y respuestas sobre el MTAS en matemáticas, lectura y ciencias

  • Preparación del examen: Sugerencias para la preparación del examen para padres y maestros

 

Parent Tools
Resources for Child Advocacy

  • Arc Minnesotasupport and advocacy for persons with developmental disabilities and their families

  • Autism Resource Network: merchandise and information for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder and the people who love, care for, and educate them

  • Cystic Fibrosis Foundationresources for people living with and caring for people with cystic fibrosis

  • DeafBlind Services MN: resources for deafblind individuals throughout MN. Since each individual has unique needs, challenges and abilities, these services are primarily customized to that person’s needs.

  • Down Syndrome Association of MN: information, resources and support for individuals with Down syndrome, their families and their communities

  • Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health: national family-run organization linking more than 120 chapters and state organizations focused on the issues of children and youth with emotional, behavioral, or mental health needs and their families

  • Mental Health MN (formerly, Mental Health Association of MN): enhances mental health, promotes individual empowerment, and increases access to treatment and services for persons with mental illnesses

  • Minnesota AIDs Project (MAP): education and services to stop HIV through prevention, advocacy, awareness and services

  • MN Department of Education (MDE): information Just for Parents on all aspects of public education, student needs, and student services

  • MN Department of Human Services: child protection services, out-of-home care, permanent homes for children, child support, food assistance programs, child care services, health care coverage and children's mental health services

  • MN Department of Employment and Economic Development (for youth and young adults): high school students with disabilities that affect their ability to plan and prepare for work may apply for transition services through the Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VRS) program

  • National Center for Learning Disabilities: improves the lives of the one in five children nationwide with learning and attention issues—by empowering parents and young adults, transforming schools and advocating for equal rights and opportunities

  • National Indian Child Welfare Association: provides training, policy, and development services to help American Indian children grow up safe, healthy, and spiritually strong

  • PACER: expands opportunities and enhance the quality of life of children and young adults with disabilities and their families, based on the concept of parents helping parents 

  • MN Services for Deaf and Hard of Hearing People: services and information to help Minnesotans who are deaf, deaf-blind and hard of hearing and their families

  • Southeast MN Independent Living: free, statewide information and referral resource for persons with disabilities

  • SEMCIL-Independent Living  

  • SEMCIL-Personal Care Assistant Services

  • MN Special Education: leadership to ensure a high-quality education for Minnesota's children and youth with disabilities. Specialists help students, parents, educators and administrators through guidance, training and sharing best practices in areas including educational programs in care and treatment facilities, secondary transition and statewide assessment for students in special education.

  • U. S. Department of Education, OSERS: improve results and outcomes for people with disabilities of all ages

  • Understood.org