All three finalists will give an opening statement, then answer a question from each committee member (which will be the same for all finalists). Posting as we go
Currently Director of Education for two independent schools in the Bronx, has had a series of special ed positions
worked in a variety of places
chaired thousands of meetings...well prepared me to deal with situation at hand
Monfredo: working with a diverse population: your experience
explosion of autistic population, one of the most remarkable situations
50% of parents did not speak English, 30% of students did not speak English in last position
needed in Worcester to bring things into compliance, build more inclusionary programs
Novick: understand perspective of teachers who will work for you?
"a very deep respect for teachers who have to deal with students every day..also a high school principals...provide appropriate supports so teachers, then students can be successfull"
teaching like riding a bike, you never forget how to do it
evaluate teachers constantly
supervise teachers in all the various areas
importance of child study chairs
Colorio: example of working with administration, teachers, SC members, and parents to resolve situation while keeping the best interest of the student at heart?
"a bit hard"
students charged with suspension...needing an alternative educational placement
if you suspend a student, you may have no further recourse
Foley: working collaboratively during IEP development?
kept in contact with students throughout the process
met with teacher before the IEP meeting...if it's a change, they have some concerns about it
computerized IEP programs now allow review ahead
function of time, develop trust relationships, being available, being straightforward with people when they ask questions
Biancheria: Why Worcester? Would you live here?
"awfully long commute from Albany" so yes
a lot of what I've dealt with before...reviewed sped department audit by state
"situations that I'm very, very comfortable with"
increasing level of responsibility
"intend for this to be my last job...only plan to work for six or seven more years"
O'Connell: competing demands with limited resources
"glad you raised that"
previous district had 25% sped "but they didn't, because no district is 25% special ed"
no need to hire more teachers to create new programs, special educator in the room
brought back out of district students
lowered rate to 18% classified as sped
"realize that this is a very challenging position...going to take a systems approach, going to take someone who doesn't need to be very popular, going to need some changes made..."
schools performing well to those not: extrapolate to lower performing schools