Parent Advisory Council (PAC)

The Focus and Mission of the Parent Advisory Council

A group of parents dedicated to examining, questioning, and discovering the needs of our school community in order to better the educational and life experience of all children served by District 843 in the Lincoln-Way area. 

Parents from District 114, 157C, 159, 161, and 210 are members.

The Parent Advisory Council (PAC) is compromised of parents who wish to give back to the Lincoln-Way Area School Community in support of Special Education for children.  The Council was created October, 2007, in order to examine current educational needs, and then make formal recommendations regarding those needs to the District 843 Governing Board.

The Advisory Council is volunteer in nature, and parents/guardians must have a child with special needs receiving District 843 services.  The group meets monthly throughout the school year to discuss and support initiatives that may benefit students and their families who are under the auspices of District 843.

The primary task of this parent group is to explore the needs of District 843 families.  Through information gathering and surveys, PAC can then pursue recommendations to the Board accordingly.

Parent Advisory Council Officers:

  • President: Dr. Courtney Orzel - D157C
  • Vice President: Jeff Scheliniski - D157C
Parent Advisory Council Accomplishments:

  • PAC created a survey system to assess the needs of District 843 students and families.  These surveys have been mailed to homes as well as distributed through the schools and in IEP meetings.  Results are looked at to assess what is most needed.
  • Several years ago, Parent Advisory Council suggested ways to support the Lincoln-Way Next Steps Transition Team.
  • A Parent Advisory Council recommendation to the Board then resulted in formation of a Transition Committee.
  • The above committee worked to gain approval to hire a Transition Specialist, and subsequently, the Transition House was built.  The Transition House is home to a post-secondary program for special needs students ages 18-22.
  • Each Fall, the Parent Advisory Council hosts an annual Parent University featuring keynote speakers.  Parents attending the half-day educational workshop are provided information on a variety of topics.  Feedback from this annual event has been tremendously positive. 
  • In the Fall of 2012, Parent Advisory Council recommended to the Board that a Parent Mentoring Initiative be established, in order to provide support via networking with other parents of special needs students.  PAC committed to attend PLASE meetings (Parents of Lincoln-Way Area Associated with Special Education) in order to network as part of focus groups at the end of PLASE informational meetings.
PAC does not have "open membership," as does PLASE.  Group members are chosen based upon openings as well as recommendation. For questions about membership or further information, please contact the Parent Advisory Council at

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