Jump to Content
3 Expert Tips for Elevating Special Education in Your District
Category
Clinical Expertise and Support
Posted
Sep 14, 2023
Updated
Jan 16, 2024

In the face of widespread staffing shortages, unfinished learning, and other challenges, schools across the country are struggling more than ever to meet the needs of students with disabilities. 

As one of the country’s first special education advisory services, BlazerWorks is actively helping leaders at the school, district, and classroom level address these challenges—and improve education services to better meet the needs of students and families. Every day, our clinical advisory team partners with leaders to drive success, improve outcomes and transform the future of special education. 

Here are three expert-approved tips for elevating special education in your school district:

Written By
Amy Radeka

#1: Team up with staff, students and their families to find opportunities to enhance special education across the district.

It can be difficult for schools to measure the progress of special education students when each plan is individualized. As with all effective school initiatives, two-way communication is an essential pillar of special education success. This is why when starting something new, schools should ask all stakeholders for their perspective. 

If schools ask parents, students and staff what they need to make those individual plans succeed, progress can begin. Incorporating stakeholder feedback allows for a transparent and collaborative Individualized Education Program (IEP) process and helps districts move more quickly toward their goals.

#2: Integrate clinical expertise into learning environments.

It often takes some new expertise to elevate your unique education curriculum. When you integrate clinical professionals into districts, they can provide guidance for special education teachers that general staff can’t offer.

Clinical professionals can also help provide individualized support for teachers. For example, a speech pathologist or occupational therapist can advise teachers on how to add specific exercises and activities to everyday work with special education students. 

Experts can work with teachers, staff and families to strategize for each student and help them grow with their IEP. Whether it’s through coaching sessions or passing along the research, clinical expertise is always a valuable asset for districts.

#3: Support and enrich the work of staff, specialists and educators by offering access to high-quality resources and PD opportunities.

Knowing how to work with special education students is a skill that all general educators and stakeholders need. If educators know how IEPs function, it can ensure a well-rounded support system for every student.

Developing and reevaluating your district’s strategies for special education is essential to staying on top of ever-changing curricula. Whether it’s guides, exercises, or planned activities, the right professional development can enable all school stakeholders to step in and help along the way. With ample support and resources at their disposal, any district can feel confident in its ability to guide special education students and measure progress accordingly.

Elevating special education creates a successful platform for growth.

According to the latest research, K-12 workers rank among the most burned-out in the United States—an issue that has intensified due to the COVID-19 pandemic and staff shortages. As we’ve shown above, the good news is that there are crucial steps available to support their growth and make their jobs easier and more impactful.

With Clinical Expertise & Support from BlazerWorks, district leaders can equip teachers and staff with the insight and resources they need to help all students thrive.

Learn more about our clinical expertise and support.

Meet The Author

Jaime Sowers

Ed.D.

Clinical Advisory Team Director

Dr. Jaime Sowers, is the Clinical Advisory Team Director at BlazerWorks. Jaime earned his doctorate in innovation and leadership in 2018 from Wilmington University in Delaware. Prior to joining the BlazerWorks team, Jaime spent three years as the special education director for Santa Fe Public Schools in New Mexico. He is nearing the 20-year mark in education, spending time as a teacher, coordinator, and principal prior to becoming a director. Currently, he serves on two volunteer school boards and is an active member of the Council of Administrators of Special Education and the Council of Exceptional Children.