In 1978, the school systems of Chesapeake, Franklin, Isle of Wight, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Southampton, Suffolk and Virginia Beach established the Southeastern Cooperative Educational Programs (SECEP), with financial assistance from the Virginia Department of Education.
The organization provides a formal structure through which the participating school systems can plan and operate programs for children with special needs. SECEP is a public body established in accordance with the Code of Virginia which provides for the establishment and operation of jointly owned schools.
A Joint Board, made up of a lay member from each participating system's school board, serves as SECEP's policy-making board. This Joint Board meets regularly and functions like a local school board.
A Committee of Superintendents, composed of the superintendents of the SECEP participating school systems, recommends program activities, budgets, personnel actions and other items for consideration by the Joint Board.
An Advisory Committee, composed of the directors of Special Education from the SECEP-participating school systems, assists in planning program activities. The Committee functions in an advisory role ensuring that needs for services are identified, and that programs developed are consistent with those needs.
SECEP presently comprises five programs: The Re-ED Program, the Autism Spectrum Program (ASP), Educational and Behavioral Interventions for Challenging Students (EBICS), Tidewater Regional Alternative Education Program (TRAEP), and Raising Expectations and Abilities for Children with Complex Health needs (REACH)