Thursday, October 18, 2012

Special Education Director interviews: Kay Carolann Seale

Ms. Seale:
currently director of special education in Brockton
 public ed in 28 years, 10 years in Boston, the rest in Brockton
graduate of the Brockton public schools
both in Brockton and Boston
first time applying for position outside of Brockton

very hands on
work directly with parents, teachers, community agencies
partnerships with key players within schools
looking at resource within the district: looking at struggling learners

Monfredo: working with diverse population?
all services researched based (for autism)
task forces within community to see that services are being optimally applied
report produced for Boston on autism services
"special education is not a silo"
championing special ed is often also championing ELL students
pooling resources
looking at curriculum, assessment, and instruction
support the schools, the students, and provide the services
meet directly with family; partners in the process
worked with nursing services
transient population
that children are safe, have appropriate resources
creation of a clinical consulting team: a triage approach to students

Novick: relationship with teachers?
left a job at central office to go back to the school
part of experience, as a department head, evaluated teachers
started inclusion when I started in 1990
"I visit schools, I talk to teachers: that's the best part of my day"
common language: :not my kids, they're our kids"
educator first
build more relationships

Colorio: resolved situation
child denied services: miscommunication to parents
additional information: team reassessed

Foley: team on IEP?
IEP is a road map
"special education is not a place; it's a service"
making sure that professionals are not communicating in a language parents do not understand
"a true, live document"
mainstream as much as possible, be able to achieve competency
"want to educate our children so they can have opportunities beyond public schools"
citizens who are independent and successful

Biancheria: Why Worcester? Would you live here?
very impressed with resources you have in the district
your resources, opportunities provided, programming
philosophy, mission statement, common language to my philosophy
would grow professionally
develop relationships
moving is a possibility: children are older, have downsized, are in transition, husband works at BU
very familiar with city

O'Connell: balance of needs with resources?
"a tough question...special education cannot be a silo"
being creativity is very important
(mentions that Medicaid goes back to the city of Brockton)
maximize resources to get best bang for your buck
working with principals to meet needs in schools
needs of students moving into district
highly skilled staff
goal is to keep the students in district

dedicate to field of service
make a difference in the lives of those who have disabilities
product of public education
a mentor to families
important to give students hope
the IEP is the vehicle, the tool, to get them where they need to be
working together to meet the needs of their students
closely with building principals
working closely with superintendent and leadership team
clear expectations, coherence
being very transparent
"have the job that nobody wants...but I love it, I love what I do"

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