|For Immediate Release:||May 30, 2018|
|Contact:||Charles B. Pyle, Director of Communications, 804-371-2420
Julie C. Grimes, Communications Manager, 804-225-2543
VDOE’s Aspiring Special Education Leaders Academy Marks 10th Year
RICHMOND, Va. — The Virginia Department of Education’s Aspiring Special Education Leaders Academy marked its 10th anniversary this month with a two-day program in Richmond assessing the impact of the academy in improving educational outcomes for students with disabilities.
VDOE established the academy to help school divisions prepare educators for leadership positions in special education. The year-long program includes workshops, seminars, observations, assignments and field experiences. Participants gain knowledge, skills and experiences critical to success in special education leadership.
“Virginia public schools continue to receive national recognition for improving outcomes for students with disabilities and preparing them for successful transitions,” Acting Superintendent of Public Instruction Steven M. Constantino said. “The Aspiring Special Education Leadership Academy is a big part of this success story.”
“Many academy graduates are now serving as local directors of special education and they are the ones that are really guiding the improvement in our outcomes for students with disabilities and in our instructional practices,” Assistant Superintendent for Special Education and Student Services John Eisenberg said.
The May 17-18 10th-anniversary program included an overview of research on the impact of the academy by Pamela Hudson Baker, associate professor, George Mason University.
“When your leaders are stronger they can better support your teachers and then your teachers can better support your students,” Baker said. “So I don't think there is any question that this program has had direct impact on the opportunities for students with disabilities in the state of Virginia.”
Approximately 280 educators have completed the academy since its launch in 2008. The current class of 21 aspiring special education leaders will complete the program in August.