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Parent Mentors Serve on State Advisory Panel

The State Advisory Panel is a natural fit for Parent Mentors because it allows them to do what they do best, use their experience as the parent of a child who receives special education services, and their knowledge of special education supports and services as an employee of a local school district.  SAP is comprised of parents, persons with disabilities, educators and administrators as well as representatives from public and private agencies,  and that spirit of collaboration is how parent mentors work in their home districts, but SAP allows a parent mentor the opportunity to tackle specific special education  issues and policies for students with disability through the lens of the Georgia as a whole. 

SAP members collectively work with the GaDOE to develop corrective action plans to remedy findings in federal monitoring reports under IDEA. SAP also advises the GaDOE regarding the coordination of services for children with disabilities and also completes a Continuous Improvement Monitoring Process to identify targeted areas of improvement.

Over the years, the SAP membership roster has included parent mentors.  Currently, two Parent Mentors serve: Vicki Hilpp in Oconee County and Lisa Lake in DeKalb Count

The stated duties of SAP include: 

  • To advise the State Education Agency (SEA) of unmet needs within the State in the education of children with disabilities;

  • To comment publicly on any rules or regulations proposed by the State regarding the education of children with disabilities;

  • To advise the SEA in developing evaluations and reporting on data to the Secretary under section 618 of the Act;

  • To advise the SEA in developing corrective action plans to address findings identified in Federal monitoring reports under Part B of the Act;

  • To advise the SEA in developing and implementing policies relating to the coordination of services for children with disabilities;

  • To review and comment on completed due process hearing findings;

  • To serve as a Stakeholder Committee as outlined in the Georgia Continuous Improvement Monitoring Process.