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Sharon Special Ed PAC Rekindling Eyed

The group hasn't met during this academic year because no one has stepped forward to lead it, director of student services says.

The Sharon Special Education Parent Advisory Council hasn't met during this academic year because no one has stepped forward to lead it, district Director of Student Services Steven Kaplan says.

However, Kaplan says he's planning an organizational meeting for January toward rekindling interest in the council. Kaplan also wants interested community members to contact him at his office, at the . One parent has volunteered, he says.

A similar meeting he held in November drew three people, Kaplan said during an interview last week in his office.

The state special education law requires school districts to have special education advisory councils.

The law notes that "the parent advisory council duties shall include but not be limited to: advising the school committee on matters that pertain to the education and safety of students with disabilities; meeting regularly with school officials to participate in the planning, development, and evaluation of the school committee’s special education programs."

On its website, the Sharon council defines its mission as working "towards the understanding of, respect for, support, and appropriate education for all children with special needs" in Sharon.

Kaplan said the group was "totally defunct" when he arrived four years ago, and he was asked to seek community members to participate.

The efforts led to "a very active PAC," he said.

However, "at the end of last year, the (council) leadership at the time" had "wanted to pass the baton, and no one took it," said Kaplan, who said his role with the group is as a liaison.

April Lomba and Marcy Kaplan had co-chaired the council for two years, he said.

The council held nominations for officers for this year on April 14, according to minutes of that meeting, found on the group's website. The members present nominated a vice president, treasurer and secretary. However, "There were no nominations accepted for the position of President," the minutes state. Those are the last minutes posted.

Kaplan said the council's largest group for a business meeting was about 10 people.

The council also has offered featured speakers, some of whom drew larger audiences, he said.

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