Special Education expert shares lessons learned during PowerUp

Representatives from school districts as far away as Seattle and Boston sat in on Beth Goodrich’s presentation on the importance of considering the needs of special student populations when giving students access to laptops or tablets.

[photoshelter-gallery g_id=”G0000XsnDLwuoPN0″ g_name=”20141107-UrbanSpecialEducationLeadershipCollaborativeFall2014MemberMeeting” width=”600″ f_fullscreen=”t” bgtrans=”t” pho_credit=”iptc” twoup=”f” f_bbar=”t” f_bbarbig=”f” fsvis=”f” f_show_caption=”t” crop=”f” f_enable_embed_btn=”t” f_htmllinks=”t” f_l=”t” f_send_to_friend_btn=”f” f_show_slidenum=”t” f_topbar=”f” f_show_watermark=”t” img_title=”casc” linkdest=”c” trans=”xfade” target=”_self” tbs=”5000″ f_link=”t” f_smooth=”f” f_mtrx=”t” f_ap=”t” f_up=”f” height=”400″ btype=”old” bcolor=”#CCCCCC” ]

The HISD senior manager’s talk was one of many sessions at the fall 2014 meeting of the Urban Special Education Leadership Collaborative, a national network of approximately 100 school districts committed to improving outcomes for students with disabilities. The topic of the gathering hosted by HISD last week was “Designing Learning Environments for all Students: Increasing Access Through Technology.”

HISD Curriculum and Instruction Officer Annie Wolfe also gave a presentation on personalized learning.

The meeting began on Nov. 5 with an Office of Special Education Services-led consultancy session in which HISD participants proposed two dilemmas – how to increase instructional rigor and reduce out-of-school suspensions for students with disabilities – and attendees brainstormed potential solutions.

HISD Chief Academic Officer Daniel Gohl and Assistant Superintendent for Special Education Services Sowmya Kumar welcomed attendees to the event on Thursday.

Goodrich has been very involved in the rollout of the district’s PowerUp 1:1 Initiative. Her talk, “If We Knew Then What We Know Now,” focused on lessons learned in Phase 1 of HISD’s plan to put give every high school student a laptop by 2015-2016.

“If a school district can effectively teach students who struggle – regardless of whether or not they are under the umbrella of special education – then that district can effectively teach all students,” she said, citing researchers Ann Meyer, Ed.D. and David Rose, Ed.D.

While at the meeting, Goodrich learned she was selected to receive the 2015 Roster of Fellows Award from the American Occupational Therapy Association for her contributions to that organization.