A special education town hall in January served as an opportunity for Avon to hear from families with special education students what the district is doing well and areas it can focus on improving.
Kerri Levine, the district’s director of pupil personnel services, led the Jan. 24 town hall with the support of Superintendent Dr. Ryan Pacatte, Middle School Principal Jennifer Miller and special education teachers Diane Renner and Kim Miron.
Before the town hall, all Avon families who had a student receiving services were provided the following question: "What are some important things to consider as we plan for student support around special education over the next five years?"
“In planning for the next five years, it’s important to hear what families feel are bright spots and areas we can focus on improving,” said Levine.
The question elicited 22 responses which, in turn, helped guide the conversation at the town hall, which 13 people attended.
Some of the things respondents said the district was doing well were:
• Proactive teachers and staff and communication between staff and families
• Creating an atmosphere of support as families nav gate the special education system
Some areas of possible improvement mentioned by respondents were:
• Social emotional support
• Supporting families and students who "quietly" struggle as their disability may be masked and take longer to receive support.
“One chief take away was that families felt a connection and sense of belonging,” said Levine. “A few mentioned it was nice to know they are not alone in navigating support.”
Levine said she plans to hold similar check-in events throughout the school year.