The ACPS department formerly known as the Special Education Department has changed its name to the Office of Specialized Instruction — a change that coincides with a shift to focus on student instruction, progress and achievement.
The goal of the changes is to ensure genuine understanding and acceptance of students with disabilities. The changes are being highlighted in October, which is Disability Awareness Month.
“We have developed a new plan of action, which involves re-emphasizing instruction and student progress to boost achievement. We are focusing our efforts on identifiable outcomes, making sure every student succeeds,” said Executive Director of Specialized Instruction Theresa Werner.
The Office of Specialized Instruction encourages all ACPS faculty and staff to participate in activities, not only during the month of October, but all year in order to celebrate diversity, student success and abilities.
Disability awareness resources have been provided to each school and schools will be finding their own ways to celebrate the month. Not only is the office promoting disability awareness in the schools, but in the community as well. Staff from the Office of Specialized Instruction met with parent support groups in early October to promote a transparent understanding of the office’s new structure.
“As parents, our main focus is that our students who are behind in the general curriculum are being helped in the classroom. It’s encouraging to hear that Mrs. Werner is placing such a heavy emphasis on instruction and student achievement,” said Deanne McNutly, a member of the Alexandria Special Education Parent Support Group.