I left the meeting last night with two very obvious thoughts:
"They (we) need more members".
"They (we) need to meet more often to be effective and address all of the issues".
The topic of last nights discussion was "Conflict Happens", and there were a number of speakers from a variety of resources to discuss what a family can do when there is a disagreement with the teacher, school and/or district. A very good topic indeed. But damn, was it hard to STAY on topic for pretty much everybody. I could see some of the heads getting frustrated as we strayed from funding to class size, using the meeting as a forum to air frustrations. Does this happen at other PTA meetings? I have joined but never attended a typical PTA function. Is it because we just, as families with an IEP, have way more baggage then average?
Yes. But I also think there is one more factor: SEPTAP meets once every two months. How the hell can we maintain momentum and discuss issues when we meet maybe 4 or 5 times a year?
And of course we go off topic - when there is only a limited opportunity to discuss things, all of the crap gets laid out on the table despite best efforts.
So I joined SEPTAP, signed up for two committees (Hospitality and School Rep and no, I have no idea what they actually do), and am going to try to make a few suggestions to help. Like, informal meetings that meet once a month. And Social Skills groups that meet once a month at the grade school level to engage with one another.
Any other ideas? How about reaching out to the parents at the EI level, introduce ourselves, and make connections? We have been out of EI for over two years with Isaac and I just learned about SEPTAP.