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Membership Exception Request

This form is to be completed by a parent, advocate or related professional who is interested in becoming a new COPAA member but does not qualify for membership under COPAA's Bylaws (click here to view).  Please review the criteria carefully before submitting. 

 

COPAA Membership Exception Policy

The following individuals may apply for an exception:

A. An employee of an education agency who is also the parent of a child with a disability, may be considered for membership only after being nominated for membership by two current COPAA members.

 

B. A related professional who provides or has provided representation, advice or consultation, in the course of their work as a consultant, expert, expert witness or evaluator, may be considered for membership only after being nominated for membership by two current COPAA members.

 

C. A law student who has worked in a paid or unpaid capacity for an entity or individual that provides legal representation to local education agencies during the past two years.

 

If the individual is deemed to meet the criteria; the individual may be interviewed by a member of COPAA designated by the
Membership Committee Chair (s). The interview shall be conducted in a manner designated by the COPAA Membership Committee Chair(s). The membership chair (s) shall present the decision about membership approval or denial to staff for communication to the applicant. If the applicant requests an appeal, the appeal will be sent to the COPAA Board for a final review and determination.
Approved Exception members shall sign an agreement to: 

 

• abide by the community rules and not disclose any communications from the Communities or lists.

• not access the COPAA databanks nor the list serve email using either a school district computer or school district email address.

D. A school board member who is an attorney, advocate, parent of a child with a disability, or other person may be considered for COPAA membership if they advocate for the educational rights of children with disabilities. This includes any person who has been
elected or appointed to a school board but whose term has not begun.


No school board member who does not advocate for the educational rights of children with disabilities may be considered for COPAA membership. At initial application or during membership term a member shall notify membership staff if he/she is elected or appointed to a school board. Membership staff shall information the Membership Committee co-chair (s) to request that the individual be interviewed by a member of COPAA designated by the Membership Committee Chair(s). The interview shall be conducted in a manner designated by the COPAA Membership Committee Chair(s). The membership chair (s) shall present the decision about membership approval or denial to staff for communication to the applicant. If the applicant requests an appeal, the appeal will be sent to the COPAA Board for a final review and determination. If while an approved School Board Member is still serving their term on the school board and that board later has taken action by resolution or other official action, to participate in IDEA, Section 504, or other special-education litigation in court against parents or students the member must immediately resign his/her membership in COPAA.

Approved School Board member shall sign an agreement to:

• abide by the community rules and not disclose any communications from the Communities or lists.

• not access the COPAA databanks nor the list serve email using either a school district computer or school district email address.

• Agreement to notify COPAA via email to membership@copaa.org if the school board later takes action, while the member is on the Board,

by resolution or other official action, to participate in IDEA, Section 504, or other special-education litigation in court against parents or students.

• Indicates understanding that if the above occurs, the member must immediately resign membership in COPAA.

The exception request form and the results of the interview/recommendation, including the date the membership was approved or denied, and the date the agreement signed (if applicable) shall be entered into the activity log in the member’s record. A copy of the ancillary application materials shall be kept in the COPAA Team area of COPAA Connect, in a file folder marked Membership Exceptions.

[Adopted - COPAA Board, 9/2020]



Process and estimated timeline:

1) Please be sure to complete this form thoroughly. 
2) You are responsible to provide letters of recommendations from at least two current COPAA members at the time you complete this form and upload them as one file to the form.  Note: School Board Members and Law Students do not require recommendation letters
3) The form and letters (if required) are reviewed by the COPAA's Membership Co-Chairs.
4) A designated Membership Co-Chair will contact the individual making an exception request or their references as necessary to clarify any questions or request additional information.
5) The Membership Committee Co-chairs submit a recommendation to approve or not to COPAA's Board of Directors.  Any recommendation must past the Board with a 3/4 majority vote.    
6) Pending new member will be notified of the outcome. If membership is approved, it will be activated for a full year from that date. If not approved, a full refund will be issued. 

The entire process takes 1-3 weeks from the time that all required information is received by COPAA's Membership Committee.

 









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