Warwick Special Education Advisory Committee

Thank you for your interest in the WSEAC.

Part of the WSEAC’s mission is to disseminate information on district, state and federal special education issues, provide a forum for parent information and support, and act as a local resource for families with concerns about their child’s educational needs. Our committee is comprised of a diverse group of individuals, including parents, students, teachers, administrators, school committee members, therapists, and anyone else with a concern for our children who receive special education services. The WSEAC is interested in what is happening with all of our children, in all of our schools, in the area of special education. As our meeting attendance numbers continue to grow, it is, unfortunately, impossible for us to address each parent’s personal individual concerns, as a whole committee, during our limited meeting time.

Please call 734-3051 or check the outside of the Gorton Administration Building at 69 Draper Ave. for more information.


Because our meeting time as a committee is limited to once per month for two hours, it is imperative that our agenda items be addressed. This is the time that we review old and new committee business, along with receiving important updates and information from the Director of Special Services and the School Committee in regards to the state of special education services in Warwick. Therefore, we would like to reserve time at the end of each meeting for the purpose of providing support, information or resources to parents with a specific, individual concern . This allows time for committee members to more effectively focus on assisting the individual with their issues and concerns. We understand parents attend our meetings to access support with problem solving, and we want to make sure we have ample time to provide that support, along with addressing the business of the WSEAC.

On behalf of the entire WSEAC, we thank you for your cooperation.

Meeting cancellation policy

When Warwick Schools are closed due to weather related issues, there will be no WSEAC meeting. Check this website for up to the minute meeting information.

Who are we?
Parents, teachers, administrators, therapists, and anyone else with a concern for children who receive special education services.

What do we do?

  • We inform parents about special education issues and encourage their support.
  • We disseminate information on state and federal education issues.
  • We sponsor a variety of training courses in conjunction with several agencies.
  • We provide a forum for parent information and support.
  • We report to the School Committee and attend their meetings.
  • We act as a local resource for families with concerns about their child’s educational needs.
  • We give strength to our individual concerns about special education by acting as a group.

When and where do we meet?
We usually meet at the Warwick School Administration Building on Warwick Avenue (go in the door on the left side of the building) at 6:30 p.m., on the fourth Wednesday of each month, sometimes excluding July and August. See below for next meeting and upcoming information. Check the Warwick Beacon for any changes in time or place. Our meetings are open to the public, as required by RI State Laws and our agendas are posted in advance.

How can YOU become involved?

  • Download our brochure (coming soon)
  • Attend any of our monthly meetings with or without membership
  • Attend any of our training sessions
  • Please call 734-3051 with any questions or comments that you have about any of our meetings.
Next Meeting: May 9, 2018 6:30-8:30 PM, Gorton Administration Building Training Room, 69 Draper Ave., Warwick RI 02889

Local Links

Warwick Public Schools (links all Warwick Schools)

J. Arthur Trudeau Memorial Center

City of Warwick

Warwick Beacon (local newspaper)


Wright’s Law (legal information, mostly for educational issues)

Family Voices (grassroots, national family-friendly agency)

Our Kids (raising children with special needs)

WISC Waisman Center Family Resources (raising children with special needs)

Genetics Information

The Alliance of Genetic Support Groups

Educational Links

RI Department of Education
RI Department of Education/Office of Special Populations Special Education

Special Education Resources on the Net (SERI)

US Department of Education publications is a website for ordering online free booklets on various topics of interest to parents & school personnel. You can also call 1-877-433-7827 or 1-800-872-5327. TTY is 1-800-437-0833.
Most are in English & Spanish with a few in other languages. Booklets are colorful with much helpful information.

Learning Strategies

  • IEP information

    Accessible Books
    Individual students can register if they can certify that they have a disability (learning disability, visual disability, physical disability, etc.) that prevents them from accessing standard books.
    The book collection is mostly fiction titles from a wide range of reading levels. The books can be displayed on the computer in any size print you like. They can be read out loud with text highlighted. They can also be formatted into “Live Ink” Check out the link to “Live Ink” in “resources” on the Accessible Books website. This is a special formatting of text that apparently is incredibly helpful to folks with certain kinds of reading learning disabilities — eye tracking issues with standard text.



    Children with LD/Bridging the reading gap with emerging readers


Special Olympics

Challenger League (free little league program for children with special needs)

Boys & Girls Clubs (all children welcome, everyone plays)

Victory Junction (camps for sick children)

More Easy Crafts

By Laws, adopted 1986, revised 2000

Article I Name of Organization

The name of the organization shall be the Warwick Public Schools Special Education Advisory Committee (WSEAC)

Article II Functions of Organiation

  1. The Advisory Committee shall provide advice to the LEA (Local Education Agency) in matters concerning:
    • The special education services currently offered.
    • Unmet needs of children with disabilities
    • Developing and implementing future school improvement plans
    • Local compliance with state and federal laws and regulations
    • Applications for state and federal funding
    • Evaluation of special education services
  2. It shall serve as an advocacy group for children with disabilities and their families.
  3. It shall meet at least four times annually and submit records as required to the Warwick School Committee.
  4. The Warwick Public Schools shall provide assistance to the Advisory Committee in:
    • Developing the Advisory Committee’s organizational structure and by laws, which shall become effective upon approval by the Warwick School Committee
    • Developing procedures for the Advisory Committee to carry out its functions and responsibilities
    • Providing technical and sonsultative services
    • Making available appropriate records and data as permitted by law
    • Providing in-service training for Advisory Committee membership in such areas as: the role of Advisory Committees; the role of advocacy groups; the conduct of meetings; state/federal laws and regulations; community resources; parent/child with disability relationships; LEA/advisory committee relationships

Note: A Local Educational Agency (LEA) means a public board of education or other public authority legally constituted within a State for either administrative control or direction of, or to perform a service function for, public elementary or secondary schools in a city, country township, school district, or such combination of school districts or counties as are recognized in a state administrative agency for its public elementary or secondary schools.

Article III Membership

The Warwick special Education Advisory Committee shall be composed of not more than twenty-one (21) individuals involved in or concerned with the education of students receiving Special Education Services. Parents of students receiving Special Education Services shall compose the majority of the committee membership, and at least 50% of this majority shall be selected by parents of students receiving Special Education Services. Also included shall be Person(s) with disabilities; teacher(s) of students receiving Special Education Services; local administrator(s) of public school programs for students receiving Special Education Services; regular classroom teacher(s) and/or other school administrator(s).

  1. The Warwick School Committee shall appoint all members of the Advisory Committee. The Superintendent of Schools shall recommend new members to the School Committee. Those parents selected by the parent members of the committee shall be presented to the School Committee for confirmation. The Director of Special Services shall be the only permanent member of the committee.
  2. All new members shall be appointed for a three year term, beginning the month of appointment and ending 36 months thereafter. After the first term, there shall be a majority vote on a consecutive term for that member
  3. At the conclusion of two terms, at least one year shall elapse before a member may be reappointed to another term
  4. Membership may automatically terminate for any member who is unexcused from all regular and special meetings for a period of three (3) consecutive months. Termination of membership will be voted in by the committee once a member has missed five (5) of the regular monthly meetings in any school calendar year. The committee, by affirmative vote of two-thirs (2/3) of all members, may recommend the ending of term for any member who does meet the excused absence criteria
  5. Any member may resign by filing a written resigation with the committee
  6. All new members including those appointed as a result of a resignation will be appointed for a three year term

Article IV Officers

  1. The officers of the Advisory Committee shall consist of a Chairperson to be elected by the Committee for a period of one year and a Secretary
  2. The Chairperson of the Advisory Committee shall preside over the meetings. In the absence of the Chairperson, the Secretary will preside
  3. The Chairperson of the Special Education Advisory Committee shall not be a Warwick School Department employee
  4. The Secretary shall keep minutes of all meetings, care for all correspondence and records of the Committee, and perform all necessary clerical duties.

Article V Meetings

  1. Meetings shall be called by the Chairperson of the Advisory Committee as required by State Law. A meeting will be scheduled upon the written request of three or more members of the committee
  2. The agenda for each meeting of the Committee shall be prepared by the Chairperson. Any member of the committee may request in writing that an item be placed on the agenda for discussion
  3. All meetings of the Advisory Committee shall be held at a location designated by the Chairperson

Article VI Voting

  1. Voting privileges shall be extended to all members of the Advisory Committee
  2. A majority of the Advisory Committee shall constitute a quorum
Special Services Director’s Office: 734-3051
Jessica Schad, Chair 474-3744
Mary Townsend, Secretary 639-3065