Parent Advisory Committee

You are not alone. 

We know. We have been there. We understand. It is OK to feel scared, frustrated and overwhelmed. Those are all important feelings to have when you learn that your child qualifies for special education services. The good news—you are not alone.

During the academic years of your child’s life, you will experience tremendous joys and may also be faced with challenges. Know that as you navigate your child’s special education experience, there is a network of parents, guardians, friends and others who are here to help you called the Parent Advisory Committee (PAC). The goal of PAC is to support you as you learn about the special education system and to help you become more confident about your child’s school experience.

What is the PAC?

The PAC is a group of parents who have one thing in common: a child with a disability. It is a peer network that allows you to take a step back from your particular situation and gain insight and valuable information to assist you and your student. Additionally, in partnership with local school districts, PAC members serve as a voice for the families whose children attend special education programs and receive special education services within Berrien County.

What we do:

  • Provide emotional support/listening ear through a peer network

  • Attend and offer parent assistance during Individual Education Plan (IEP) meetings

  • Share experiences and resources

  • Offer outreach support in the community

  • Celebrate the accomplishments of educators who make a difference in the lives of students receiving special education services.


Download our Parent Advisory Committee Brochure.

2023 Excellence in Education Award Nominees!

And the winner'll have to watch to find out!
Day 4 Nominees: Twonia Horne, Teacher at Fair Plain East Elementary in Benton Harbor and Vanessa Harazin, 5th Grade Teacher at F.C. Reed Middle School in Bridgman
Day 3 Nominees: Jeri Essig, Middle/High School Math Teacher at River Valley and Melissa Payne, Special Education Teacher at Bridgman Elementary.
Day 2 Nominees: Emily Grontkowski, Resource Room Teacher at Howard-Ellis Elementary in Niles and Kelly Westgate, Special Education Teacher at Ballard Elementary School in Niles.

Day 1 Nominees: Shelley Schmaltz, Occupational Therapist at Berrien RESA and Patricia VanAntwerp Reading Interventionist at North Elementary in Watervliet

Contact Information

Autumn Poole
Supervisor of Diagnostic Services and Compliance
Tel: 269-471-7725, ext. 3309
Fax: 269-471-0314 

PAC Activities

Your PAC representative can be reached by contacting your home school district’s special education coordinator.

 Upcoming Meetings:

2022-2023 Meeting Schedule

PAC representatives meet monthly during the school year. The meetings are held virtually and are open to the public—everyone is welcome! Meetings are held from 6:30-8:30 p.m.




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