PSU Engaged with New Special Education Initiative

August 8th, 2007 by Adam

Special education is one of the fastest-growing segments in the United States with millions of children identified as needing special education services. School districts around the nation are seeking better ways to deliver these services and New Hampshire has been chosen to help develop new ways in addressing this critical issue. New Hampshire’s Department of Education was recently awarded a $3.85 million, five-year State Personnel Development Grant from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs to improve special education services. NH-RESPONDS: Professional Development for Excellence in Education will address early care and education from infants to high school children and youth with disabilities to include the full range of mild, moderate, and severe disabilities through local school district demonstration sites throughout the state.

The grant hopes to lead to improved social and emotional skills, literacy knowledge and skills, reductions in major problem behaviors, suspensions, expulsions, and dropping out of school, competitive employment and enrollment in postsecondary education.

PSU Associate Vice President for the College of Graduate Studies Dr. Dennise Maslakowski says PSU could play a key role in this new initiative.

“PSU will collaborate with the other institutions to offer educators, administrators, and special educators professional development in literacy,” Maslakowski said. “A planning meeting is scheduled for the fall. This collaboration will benefit educators from around the state. For PSU, it continues our outreach and service to the public schools and educators of NH.”

The project also seeks to improve local school district systems of recruiting, hiring, and retaining education and related services personnel who are highly qualified in these areas.

NH-RESPONDS is a collaborative effort between N.H.’s Department of Education, Bureau of Special Education, Bureau of Credentialing, Bureau of Career Development; NH Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Children, Youth, and Families, Division of Developmental Services, Family Centered Early Supports and Services; Parent Information Center; NH Association of School Administrators; and NH Association of Special Education Administrators. NH-RESPONDS provides for a comprehensive and coordinated system of supported, evidence based, pre-service and in-service professional development activities systematically delivered in partnership with the NH Center for Effective Behavioral Interventions and Supports; the Institute on Disability and the University of New Hampshire.

For more information about this release, please contact Bruce Lyndes, PSU Media Relations Mgr.,(603) 535-2775 or blyndes@plymouth.edu.

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