August 9, 2012 Over 300 charter school leaders and staff members flocked to downtown Los Angeles for a Special Education Summit hosted by the Los Angeles Unified School District last Thursday. The Summit was presented by the Charter Operated Programs Unit and specifically designed for charter schools currently participating or interested in joining Option 3.
Keynote speaker, Rick Lavoie, began the day with an inspiring presentation about educating students for the future. Mr. Lavoie urged the educational community to understand that it is important to focus not on teaching students information, but on teaching them how to find information. He also spoke about the importance of understanding that all human behavior is motivated, and that it is our job as educators to find what motivates each and every one of our students and employ the principles of Universal Design to educate all students in all settings.
During the remainder of the day, guests had the opportunity to attend 17 breakout sessions designed to share best practices and improve instruction for students with special needs. Topics included behavior support, co-teaching models, and reading comprehension, among many others. CCSA Special Education staff also co-presented with District staff on the recent SELPA reorganization and answered questions on the new options for charter schools.
In addition to these sessions, an array of vendor exhibits provided information on instructional materials, cutting-edge products, and services to help charter schools meet a wide range of student needs.
"We are thrilled to have had the opportunity to bring together leaders and staff from charter schools across Los Angeles for a day of professional development," said Sydney Quon, Charter Operated Program Director for LAUSD. "The incredible turnout is a great example of the collaborative relationship that has developed between the District and charter school community, as well as the shared commitment to improving services for students with special needs."