Ten Superintendents in the southern Penobscot area formed the Southern Penobscot Regional Program for Children with Exceptionalities (SPRPCE) in 1978. These Superintendents had given very careful thought to the manner by which the Region could best comply with PL 94-142. While they were aware privately operated models were appropriate for some children, the Superintendents were committed to the concept that all children have the right to a public education. Starting with this basic belief, work began on a regional plan which resulted in the programs being developed and implemented in September of 1979. The Superintendents chaired committees involving each of the privately operated schools. The committees were composed of private agency staff, private agency parents, and public school special educators. These committees worked steadily to promote a smooth transition for the children from private agencies to public schools.
A lay board comprised of local school board members was established. This Board of Directors approves policies and budgets and is essential in monitoring, overseeing, and providing regional support and leadership for the program.
The Superintendents, known as the Executive Officers of the SPRPCE, provide policy, program, and budget recommendations to the Board. They meet regularly to ensure that quality services continue to be provided in the most appropriate setting and with state of the art programming, while making certain the resources are utilized in the most efficient manner.
The Regional Advisory Board (RAB) is critical to this effort of providing public education for students with disabilities. This group is comprised of special educators from each of the ten Local Education Agencies. They have been meeting since 1978 to make educational and policy recommendations to the Executive Officers.
Although there had originally been a Regional Administrator for the Program, this position was not filled for several years. In partial response to the escalating numbers of state agency clients, the position was reinstated. The Regional Administrator reports to the Executive Officers and the Board of Directors, and works very closely with the area Special Education Directors.
As of July 1, 2014, all of the SPRPCE Regional Programs are housed under the Bangor School Department.