The term of SEAC is the same as the term of the elected Trustees, and it lasts four years. Election of Trustees occurs during the municipal election process held every four years, usually in late October or early November. The current SEAC term started after the October 2014 elections, with subsequent elections to be held in 2018 and 2022. The SEAC membership is appointed by the newly elected Trustees at one of their first official meetings.
The process for inviting nominations and appointing SEAC members varies between school boards. Some school boards invite nominations as early as September of an election year. Other school boards ask for nominations after the Trustees hold their first meeting and others accept nominations for several months following an election.
Effective Practices to Solicit Nominations for Local Association Representatives include:
- Sending letters regarding the nomination process to all eligible local and provincial parent associations that represent exceptional students.
- Providing community groups, or organizations that support children who have special education needs, with information about SEAC eligibility, and the nomination process.
- Posting information about SEAC and the nomination process on the school board website.
- Advertizing for SEAC nominations in the local or community newspapers.
- Sharing information about SEAC and the nomination process with school councils and home and school associations.
- Increasing awareness about SEAC with the development of a SEAC brochure or fact sheet.
- Making the SEAC brochure available at every school, or providing copies to all parents of students who have an Individual Education Plan, or who receive special education programs and services.
As many executives of local associations and some of the provincial parent associations are unpaid volunteers, PAAC on SEAC recommends that School Boards adopt a flexible approach in accepting nomination letters as long as the letters include the elements noted below in effective practices.
Effective Practices to Support Nominations for Local Association Members include:
- Providing clear information about:
- Where the letter of nomination should be sent
- To whom the letter should be addressed
- Timelines for nomination process
- Deadline for letters to be received
- Defining the elements of an acceptable nomination letter as:
- Name of the association and what exceptionality it represents
- Term covered by the nomination, usually 4 years or until the next municipal election
- Name of the nominee and/or alternate nominee
- Statement that the nominee and/or alternate meets the qualifications defined in Regulation 464/97, Section 5 in Appendix 1, including that the nominee is:
- A Canadian Citizen
- Over the age of 18 years
- A Resident in the jurisdiction of the school board
- A supporter of the school board
- Statement that the nominee and/or alternate is not an employee of the Board
- Basic contact information for the nominee and/or alternate nominee, consistent with privacy legislation
- Signature and title of the officer of the local or provincial association
- Providing additional contact information about the approved SEAC member and/or alternate, as required by the school board and consistent with privacy legislation, to the school board administration prior to the first meeting
- Appointing as local association SEAC members only those individuals who are nominated by the local association and/or the provincial association
- If a SEAC nominee is unable to provide proof of their membership/affiliation with the local association and/or provincial association they should not be considered for local association positions, but rather as Additional Members ( See Regulation 464/97 Section 2 Clause 5 in Appendix 1)