What is AAPAC?
The Ann Arbor Parent Advisory Committee for Special Education (AAPAC) is a group of parents and guardians whose focus is on supporting children in AAPS who have IEPs or 504 Plans.
Our Executive Committee members and individual Building Representatives and Alternates provide parents and guardians with a helping hand to go to anytime with questions.
Here is the AAPAC Brochure.
The Executive Director of SISS is Dr. Marianne Fidishin. You can reach SISS at 734 994-2318, or check their SISS Staff page for more ways to reach them. Here is the organization chart that gives you some info about who to contact about what.
Here is the AAPAC Committee Report that Mary Duerksen gave to the Board of Education on June 28, 2017. It gives a thorough description of what AAPAC does.
Here is an IEP Team Contact Form for a parent or guardian to keep track of the names and contact information for their child’s IEP service providers. You can take it to IEP meetings to note service providers for the next school year, or to ask the special education teacher or case manager at the start of new school year. For contact information for SISS Assistant Directors, go to www.a2schools.org/Page/8746. For AAPAC Building Representatives, go to a2pac.wordpress.com/current-reps/.
Here is the AAPAC Report to the Board of Education from their 2/24/2021 meeting.
2020-2021 Meeting Calendar
Meetings are online until further notice.
- Monday September 21, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. – parent meeting and AAPAC board elections via ZOOM
- Monday October 5, 2020, 6:45pm: AAPAC Board of Education Candidate Forum – View on YouTube – note that the video starts at 14 minutes and 30 seconds
- Monday November 2 – Webinar on PBIS Strategies to Support your child’s learning at home (prerecorded) from Michigan Alliance for Families. Discussion to follow.
- Monday December 7 – Webinar on Tips for Student Self-Advocates (prerecorded) from Michigan Alliance for Families. Discussion to follow.
- Monday January 4, 2021 – A presentation and Q&A with A2 Therapy Works on the topic of emotional regulation and how it helps children self-regulate: Emotional Regulation and how it helps children self-regulate. Presentation by therapists from A2TherapyWorks with Q&A following. – We often cannot control the things that life throws our way, but we can learn to control our response. Emotional regulation skills help children and people of all ages control their emotional reactions. Children who learn these tools at a young age are better equipped to take on difficult emotions and successfully navigate life’s challenges.
- Monday February 1 – Dreaming Session: What could inclusive education look like in AAPS? Share your visions, thoughts, and questions through a facilitated PATH process. Facilitated by Amanda Miller, Ph.D., assistant professor of inclusive education at Wayne State University.Thank you to all who joined AAPAC’s Dreaming Session on Monday, February 1st! We were energized by your vision and your openness in working toward a more inclusive experience for all kids at AAPS.
This Dreaming Session was the first of a two-part series of meetings designed to understand from parents what changes AAPAC should be advocating for. We will pick up again on this process, starting at step three, at the meeting on April 5. All are welcome, even if you didn’t participate in the February meeting.
As described in the meeting, we used the PATH process to brainstorm together on the changes we want to see. The PATH process (described in the attached powerpoint) starts at where we want to end, by defining the “North Star.” The North Star is the ideal future, with no limits or constraints placed on it. These North Star descriptions are listed on slides 6-7 of the attached powerpoint.
After defining the North Star, we thought about the “positive and possible” future: thinking about a few years out, if the North Star is our destination, what steps should have been taken within a few years? These positive and possible future descriptions are listed on slide 8.
We are sharing this working document with you now because we can add to our North Star and to our positive and possible future. If you have more ideas to share, please email them to email@example.com and we will add them to the powerpoint. Here is the recording of the meeting:
- Online summer camp fair! March 15, 2021 – View the camp list!
- Monday April 5: Postponed.
- Monday May 3: Dreaming Session, Part 2. Facilitated by Amanda Miller, Ph.D., assistant professor of inclusive education at Wayne State University, this discussion picks up where we left off in February to continue envisioning what inclusive education could look like in our district. Don’t worry if you didn’t attend the February session; we will recap the family-initiated vision before continuing the discussion together. We look forward to gathering your thoughts about the current state of inclusion in the district.
- Next meeting: Monday June 7: Elections and Program: Effective Teamwork for Inclusion: A conversation with Janice Fialka
The next Ann Arbor Parent Advisory Committee for Special Education (AAPAC) parent meeting will be on Monday, June 7. This meeting has four parts: pre-meeting conferences with SISS administrators; discussion of AAPAC bylaw changes; voting for new AAPAC board officers, and our topic of discussion.Pre-meeting conferences: As usual, SISS administrators are available before the main meeting. Please see below for Agenda and descriptions.
Changes to the Bylaws: Proposed changes to the bylaws will be discussed. AAPAC is required to discuss these changes at two meetings before voting on the changes, so this will be the first of two discussions. Bylaws and proposed changes will be reviewed and we will have time to answer any questions and discuss the changes.
Voting for new AAPAC board officers: Self-nominated prospective board members will present their nomination and the Board for 2021-22 will be elected. Please remember to submit nominations by Friday, June 2 (see email from 5/14/21 for process)
Main Topic: Effective Teamwork for Inclusion: A conversation with Janice Fialka. Please see description below.
6:15 – 7:00 p.m. Parent Conferences with SISS leadership. Administrators will meet with parents for up to 10 minutes on a first-come, first serve basis. Choose the assistant director or 504 Coordinator based on your child’s school or program. The SISS responsibility chart is available here. Each administrator has a Zoom Room you can log into starting at 6:00pm, and there will be a “waiting room” so that conferences remain private.
Please see the e-mail message from SISS for links to the individual Assistant Director zoom rooms.
Main Program: Elections for AAPAC Board Officers and Effective Teamwork for Inclusion: A Conversation with Janice Fialka
7:00 – 7:30 p.m. By-Law Revision Discussion and Board Officer Elections
7:30 – 8:30 p.m. Effective Teamwork for Inclusion: A conversation with Janice Fialka
Janice Fialka is a local and national leader in advocacy for parent-professional partnerships to support inclusion of people with disabilities. Her family, including her son Micah Fialka-Feldman, are featured in the 2018 documentary by Dan Habib Intelligent Lives. In this conversation, she will share with us some of the guiding principles that her family relied on as they sought to create an inclusive school experience for their son Micah, and some of the best ways she has found to build collaboration between parents and school professionals.
Last updated June 6, 2021