Before you join a SEAC:
Attend a meeting, which are open to the public, and observe the following:
- What is the written mission of this SEAC?
- Are there any bylaws? May I see them?
- How often does the SEAC meet? When? Where?
- How does one become a member?
- How long does a member serve?
- Whom does the council advise? How often? What is done with the advice?
- Who runs or chairs the meeting?
- Who sets the agenda?
- Is there an orientation for new members?
- Do additional committees or work groups meet outside of the regular meeting times?
- Who serves on this council besides parents?
- Are there annual reports or past meeting minutes I could read?
- Whom could I contact for more information?
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Am I able to set aside the needs of my own child and look at the “big picture” in my district? Would my feelings (such as anger or anxiety or sadness) make me less effective than I’d want to be? Can I set aside my own emotional issues?
- Is it a good use of my skills and time?
- What talents or strengths could I bring to this group?
- Can I commit the necessary time?
- Could my participation make a difference for children and families?