Chandler Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC)

Meeting Minutes

Date November 20th, 2019

Attendance: Kristen Plamenon, Kara Swierz, Erica Chaney, Dena Berg, Dennis Torres, Amanda Rivas, Andrea O’Brien, and David Jefferson


The regular meeting of the Chandler Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC) was called to order at 7:00 pm on November 20th, 2019 in Chandler, AZ by Kristen Plamendon.  This meeting included Advocates Andrea O’Brien and David Jefferies.   

Approval of Minutes

The minutes of the previous meeting were unanimously approved as distributed.

Agenda Discussions

1. Introductions made to Advocates

2. Heard from David Jefferies:

a. Financial issues

i. Medicaid Billable hours associated with special education

ii. Diagnosis will impact Federal and State Funding per student

b. Students at CUSD that receive special education services

i. 5000 students

ii. 12% of students in CUSD have an IEP

iii. 37% of students who receive special education services are fully included

iv. Question raised on “What is the % of students leaving CUSD?”


i. The purpose is to prepare the student for a life after school.  

d. Discussed Deer Valley’s Model of Inclusion

e. Videos:

i. “Our Kids Matter”

1. 2-minute videos reflecting on a student’s single story

2. Discuss negative but highlight the positive of inclusion

3. Several videos with one clear message.

3. Dena Reviewed the outcome of the online survey

a. % Caregivers do not feel like they are part of the IEP process

b. % Caregivers voice or input undervalued

4. Plan for a January focus group that will be opened to the public

a. Find out the needs of the district students receiving special education services.

b. Appointed Mediator for the focus group.

5. Develop our ask:

i. Mobility is not the ask or at least not the only ask.

ii. Inclusion>Access to Gen ed> All Gen ed staff> one accessible curriculum will lead to less need for specialized classrooms that leads to mobility.

1. Meaningful opportunities for inclusion to include:

a. Assemblies

b. Field trips

2. Equity with parents

3. Transparency

6. Equity and Inclusion Council: Would like to invite Carol Thompson to a SEPAC meeting to strengthen ties with the district.  Potentially in February 2020.

7. Social Media:

New Business:  

Team will:

1. Brainstorm and secure a location for The Parent Forum on January 20th .

2. Develop a petition to be signed at the focus group.

3. Appoint a mediator for the focus group.

4. Complete 2 min videos


1. Reach out to Jennifer LaGrand and Shannon Wilke

2. Email David Jefferies to obtain the Official CUSD student survey:  It is Public Record


1. Reach out to TASH

2. Look into Chandler/Gilbert Community College for forum


1. Develop Flyer and Invite for the Forum

2. Develop Youtube Video Loop with our videos to play at the forum


1. Look into Tumbleweed for forum

2. Ask Advocate to speak at forum

Kara will:

1. Reach out to editors for Media Coverage for the Parent Forum

Agenda for Next Meeting:

1. Each member complete video

2. Determine location for January focus group

3. Appoint a mediator for the focus group

4. Develop a petition to be signed at the focus group.  


Meeting was adjourned at 9:10pm by Kristen Plamendon.

Parent/Public Forum January 20th, 2019 at Chandler Police Department.

The next general meeting on January 29th, 2019 at 7pm at Panera Bread. Dr Sallu is to attend.  

Minutes respectfully submitted by: Kara Swierz
Approved by: