Top 10 Reasons to Join WCASS

1. SAA Affiliation – WCASS is a member of the Wisconsin School Administrators Alliance (SAA), an organization comprised of WCASS, the Wisconsin Association of School District Administrators (WASDA), the Wisconsin Association of School Business Officials (WASBO), and the Association of Wisconsin School Administrators (AWSA).  SAA advocates on behalf of Wisconsin's children, providing a strong voice in Madison.  WCASS’s executive director and SAA’s director of government relations are registered lobbyists who ensure the best interests of students with disabilities and those who serve them are heard at the state and national levels.

2. Involvement – A variety of opportunities for involvement in WCASS exists for its membership.  Members are encouraged to serve as executive board members, members, advisors, or representatives on committees and task forces established by WCASS, SAA, DPI or other organizations, and as mentors.

3. Professional Development and Networking – WCASS offers lifelong learning opportunities at the Winter and Spring Conferences. The Winter Conference provides cutting edge information and best practices utilized in the field of educating students with disabilities.  The central theme of each Spring Conference is to provide legal updates.  WCASS has a close working relationship with Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction that is evident at the Annual State Superintendent’s Leadership Conference held every fall.  In addition, WCASS co-presents the New Directors Academy each August, providing support to first and second year directors. Most recently, WCASS has collaborated with the Wisconsin Association of School Business Officials (WASBO) and the DPI to present the Federal Funding Conference, an opportunity for teams from school districts to focus on Title 1 and IDEA funding compliance issues.  Each of WCASS’s seven regions provide regularly scheduled meetings that offer opportunities for guest speakers on a variety of pertinent topics as well as natural occasions to network with area colleagues.  WCASS members also receive access to Quality Educator Interactive (QEI) at no cost;  this on-line tool provides a convenient way to create, edit and complete the PI 34 review process, and offers resources, checklists and video tutorials to help in that process. 

4. Recognition for Outstanding Contributions to Students with Disabilities – Each of WCASS’s seven regions have the opportunity to recognize local individuals who provide outstanding services to students with disabilities.  Special educators, general educators, paraprofessionals, related service providers, administrators and citizens are nominated and selected for recognition. WCASS recognizes retirees and executive board members for their involvement and service to the organization.  WCASS also chooses an Outstanding Administrator of Special Services annually.  The recipient is honored with a plaque and recognition at a General Membership Meeting. 

5. Legislative and Legal Updates – All WCASS members receive updated information on legal matters and legislative issues of particular interest to special education leaders.  Current information is provided via email and includes SAA Capital Report and reports from Washington and Madison, position papers, legal opinions, and sample policies on pertinent issues.

6. Newsletter and Wisconsin Education News – The WCASS newsletter keeps members connected to organizational activities and special education topics. In addition, the WCASS members receive the daily Wisconsin Education News email, featuring news stories on education from around the state of Wisconsin. 

7. Online Access – A continually developing website provides members with instant access to upcoming organizational events, professional resources and job opportunities.  The WCASS Peer to Peer Communication Forum offers access to over 300 current members for answers to questions and current challenges they are facing within their own district.

8. Research – Through the Research and Special Projects Committee, members gain insight into critical topics in the field of special education.  Previous position statements and sample policies or procedures have been developed for Section 504, Wisconsin Alternate Assessment, Independent Educational Evaluations, etc.  

9. CASE Affiliation – WCASS is affiliated with the national CEC division, CASE.  WCASS has a unit representative that is invited to participate in their board meeting each year, providing members with an opportunity to participate in policy development at the national level.

10. Mentoring/coaching and support – In order to reach out to Wisconsin’s increasing number of new special education administrators, WCASS offers on-going support to its new members.  In each of the seven regions, new directors of special education/pupil services will have the opportunity to be partnered with a locally designated mentor/coach to assist with many of the responsibilities encountered during the first years of leadership.  Such areas may include the development of the special education plan, designation of categorical aid, etc.