Mission Statement / Director Goals

The Ashford Board of Education is responsible for providing a free, appropriate public education for all students including those students with disabilities ages three to twenty-one. The Department of Pupil Personnel Services, in coordination with the building principal and assistant principal, is responsible for the overall referral, identification and programming for children and youth with disabilities who require special education instruction and related special services.
The Ashford School system is committed to educating students with disabilities in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE). This means, to the maximum extent appropriate, students with disabilities are educated with students who are not disabled and in their neighborhood schools, whenever possible. It also means that special classes, separate schooling or other removal of students with disabilities occurs only when the nature and severity of the disability is such that education in regular classes with the use of supplemental aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily.

The Ashford Schools is also committed to the concept of inclusion. While we believe that students with disabilities should be educated in regular education classrooms in inclusive settings, we also believe that a continuum of placement options must be available to meet the unique and individual needs of students.

Goals and Progress:

2017-2018 School Year

  1.  Continue to plan and implement appropriate professional development for all faculty and staff in the areas of at risk population and those labeled with disabilities.
    1. Ran Professional Development:  Review the Referral Process for PPT, 504, and SIT / Overview of IEPs and 504 accommodations and modifications, Confidentiality, Harassment with both teachers and paraprofessionals.
    2.   Mental Health/Support Services Topic: “Lost at School”- Lagging Skills and Data Collection Strategies for SIT goals.
  2. Continue to improve upon my leadership skills by attending conferences put on by national, state and local organizations to ensure the most accurate information and practices are put into place at Ashford School in the area of Special Education and interventions.
    1. Attended Annual Back to School Meeting with the Connecticut Special Education Department
    2. Performance Matters with Connecticut Education Department
    3. Attended ConnCASE annual conference: Discussion of Mental Health Issues and how to address them in districts across the state.
    4. Attended Webinar:  LEA Determination of Eligibility and Compliance Standards for the IDEA Grant through Maintenance of Effort.
    5. Attend monthly regional meetings to continue open communication with the area Directors to attempt to share resources.
  3. Learn to pay attention and demonstrate to others that I value their input and ideas.  Use active listening, open-ended questions, body language, and eliminate distractions that get in the way of my ability to fully listen.  
    1. Held Special Education and Intervention Department meetings on following dates:
      1. August 28 for two hours.
      2. October 10 for two hours.
      3. November 7 for two hours.
    2. Met with each individual teacher in Special Education Department and Intervention to review teacher goals for the year.

2016-2017 School Year

  1. Plan and implement appropriate professional development for all faculty and staff in the areas of at risk population and those labeled with disabilities.
    • Ran specific training during professional development days these trainings included Paraeducators:
      • ADHD- General information to give an understanding what it is like for the student and general accommodations to implement in the classroom
      • Dyslexia- General information to give an understanding what is like for the student and what to look for in a students profile to look further into the reading challenges.
      • PPT Etiquette- How to present information to families without using too much jargon and what information is appropriate to share around confidentiality.
      • Confidentiality- Overview of laws around sharing sensitive information.
      • Overview of Boardmaker:  Making boards for students with speech difficulties.  This was run by the Speech Pathologist.
      • Teacher run training around Math centers within a classroom environment
      • Teacher run Dyslexia training around accommodations and ways to assist these students within the classroom environment.
  2. Continue to improve upon my leadership skills by attending conferences put on by national, state and local organizations to ensure the most accurate information and practices are put into place at Ashford School in the area of Special Education.
    • Attended the ASCD Educational Leadership Annual Conference
    • Attended local ConnCase meetings on a monthly basis to keep current on surrounding towns issues and state mandates.
    • Attended State of Connecticut Special Education Back to School meeting.
  3. Continue to ensure lines of communication between the entire department is clear, direct and supportive to all stakeholders.  
    • Checked in on a weekly basis to ensure Special Education teachers had what they needed to be successful.
    • Ensured all teachers knew there was an open door policy with the departments staff.  Paraprofessionals and Special Education teachers came to me when they had questions or needed assistance around compliance and instruction.
    • Sat on the Student Intervention Team for Ashford School to assist with planning for our at risk population.

2015/2016

  1. Develop a system of communication and collaboration that promotes transparency and a unified approach in supporting students.
    • Created new bulletin board in Special Education office to communicate upcoming evaluation dates and person responsible for them.
    • Ensuring that Special Education staff and Interventionists plan on attending grade level data team meetings to improve communication.
    • Administration attending grade level team meetings.
    • Holding Special Education Meetings during Professional Development Days.
  2. Ensure timelines around procedures in Special Education are adhered to throughout the department to meet all state requirements.
    • Meeting on August 25, 2015 to discuss need for inputting information into IEP Direct prior to Planning Meeting.
    • Refresher training for teachers and paraprofessionals on August 25, 2015 on deescalation techniques to utilize in the classroom.
    • Training of new staff for the Crisis Intervention team.
    • Refresher for current team members of the Crisis Intervention.
    • All staff at Ashford School have been trained in deescalation techniques by February 16, 2016.
  3. Implement and train all Special Education staff on IEP Direct.
    • Attended training with staff responsible for data input and maintenance of the site on August 13, 2015.
    • Training for staff inputting information into program on September 2, 2015.
    • Attending webinar for inputting data into 504 Direct on September 10, 2015.
    • On going Planning and Placement Team meetings where students are all being placed into IEP Direct.