**Updated, 4:22pm, 1/9/18: I spoke with State Rep. Earl Jaques and he okayed putting this joint committee session on the live audio feed. The meeting is scheduled to start at 2:30pm tomorrow, but meetings sometimes start late down at Legislative Hall so be patient! To listen, go to the General Assembly website and go to the “Listen Now” link.
The second leg of the Delaware 149th General Assembly starts today, but tomorrow the House and Senate Education Committees will meet together to hear the Delaware Special Education Strategic Plan Advisory Counsel’s ideas on how to improve special education in The First State. The meeting begins at 2:30pm, but here is a primer: what is the plan? Who is on the committee? Who is on the sub-committees?
To read the entire Strategic Plan, please see below. But here is a summary as per the Delaware Department of Education website:
The goal of the Special Education Strategic Plan Advisory Council is to develop a statewide plan that addresses the delivery of special education within Delaware through a review of existing evidence and within the context of a representative stakeholder process.
All children with disabilities can reach their full potential through a student-centered, individualized education system using a collaborative and supportive model. By asking stakeholders to lead collaboration between schools, families, and communities, Delaware will create inclusive education to ensure student success and growth, and equity of special education and related services across Delaware.
The members of the Delaware Special Education Strategic Plan Advisory Council:
- Co-chair – Dr. Michele Marinucci , Woodbridge School District
- Co-chair – Bill Doolittle , Parent Advocate
- Dafne Carnright, Autism Delaware
- Edward Emmett, Positive Outcomes Charter School
- Katheryn Herel, PIC of Delaware
- Jon Cooper, Colonial School District
- Kendall Massett, Delaware Charter School Rep.
- Rep. Kim Williams, Legislator
- Kristin Dwyer, DSEA
- Kristin Pidgeon, Down Syndrome Association
- Dr. Lisa Lawson, Brandywine School District
- Mary Ann Mieczkowski, Department of Education
- Dr. Sarah Celestin, Red Clay Consolidated School District
- Dr. Vincent Winterling, Delaware Autism Program
- Wendy Strauss, GACEC
- Annalisa Ekbladh, University of Delaware CDS
- Dr. John Marinucci, DASB
- Sonya Lawrence, Parent Advocate
- Teresa Avery, Autism Delaware
- Laurie Kettle-Rivera, Delaware School for the Deaf
- Mark Campano, Delaware Statewide Programs
- Dr. Josette McCullough, Appoquinimink School District
- Mondaria Batchelor, Woodbridge School District
Students: To increase the success of students with disabilities by improving their ability to become active, valued, and participating members of their community, today and in the future, Members: Ed Emmett-Lead, Lisa Lawson, Bill Doolittle, Sonya Lawrence, Wendy Strauss
Staff/Partners: To have a highly engaged and effective workforce with appropriate values, skills, and knowledge for today – and tomorrow’s – work, Members: Elisha Jenkins-Lead, Mark Campano, Annalisa Ekbladh, Josette McCullough, Kristin Dwyer, Kathie Herel
Delivery/Structure Systems: 1) To make available the same array of evidence based practices and models of service deliveries regardless of a student’s placement. 2) To modify delivery system to facilitate the achievement of other goals, Members: Mark Campano-Lead , Vince Winterling, Dafne Carnwright, Sarah Celestin, Jon Cooper, Kristin Pidgeon, Sonya Lawrence
Parents/Families: To increase the engagement with parents and families as partners in collaboration to support their children at home and at school with access and knowledge of the resources they need, Members: Josette McCullough-Lead, Annalisa Ekbladh, Kristin Pidgeon, Kathie Herel
Resources: To acquire more resources as needed and maximize the efficiency in use of our existing resources, Members: Kristin Dwyer-Lead , Michele Marinucci, Teresa Avery, Laurie Kettle-Rivera, Mary Ann Mieczkowski
Policy/Regulations: To add, delete, and modify policies and regulations to support our current and future goals and objectives, Members: Dafne Carnright-Lead, John Marinucci, Mondaria Batchelor, Michele Marinucci, Kim Williams, Bill Doolittle, Mary Ann Mieczkowski
The group has met since the fall of 2016. Last year, they finalized the plan but I will add this is a fluid plan. It will constantly evolve as matters come up. So it is NOT set in stone. It is a living document. I strongly encourage all Delaware parents of students with disabilities read the below document. As well, any educator in the state should read it as well. I would hope every single member of the House and Senate Education Committees have read it by this point.
In addition to the Special Education Strategic Plan Advisory Council, the joint session of the House & Senate Education Committee will also hear from the Delaware Association of School Librarians tomorrow.