1. The EFC network employs 21 Education Specialists and a staff of 95 across their 6 schools
Across EFC schools, 11% of students have IEPs (Individualized Education Programs) – 300 students out of the 2,661 enrolled across its six schools. To serve this considerable student population, EFC makes robust investments in 21 Education Specialists across its six schools, with a total special education staff of 95.
- “Each of our schools ensures that all children who have disabilities, regardless of the severity of their disability, and who are in need of special education and related services, are identified, located, evaluated, and served.”
- “Each EFC school provides a full continuum of services. When a student is identified as needing special education and related services, our IEP teams take an individualized approach to designing a plan calculated to enable the child to progress.”
2. Building a Mindset for Inclusive Learning Environments
At EFC, a shared vision is cultivated that special education is a service, not a place. Scheduling for students and program planning is done very intentionally, and there is behind-the-scenes team work & systems that are geared towards increasing a student’s success. So inspiring!
- “EFC is truly committed to keeping students in the least restrictive environment. And we take seriously our responsibility to provide the full continuum of supports and services at each of our schools.”
- “We place emphasis on creating inclusive learning environments that provide opportunities for all students to access education in the general education setting to the maximum amount appropriate.”
- “We use the IEP process to determine the appropriate program for each individual student. We rely on a multidisciplinary team of experts and focus on appropriate instruction and maximal access to peers.”
3. Developing High Quality Special Education Staff
Teachers and students develop strong relationships and rapport, and teachers create a rigorous and trusting culture for students to learn.
- “This year at Achieve Academy, one of our elementary schools, we have five education specialists. Some of whom co-teach, others who do a combination of co-teaching and small group pull out/push in instruction, and one education specialist dedicated to serving students with moderate to severe needs.”
- “Our staff is critical to our learning model, and we emphasize recruiting, hiring, developing, and retaining highly qualified staff. Each of our schools is staffed with robust, multidisciplinary teams.”
- “Our service providers have relatively small caseloads, which allows them to meet the complex needs of our students and gives providers time for collaboration with families and staff.”
- “The educators directly working with students are the most important factor in student outcomes and family satisfaction. Legally and ethically, we have an obligation to hire based on our student’s needs.
- “Our theory of action is that if we invest in our staff and equip them with the tools to do their jobs well, then they will feel supported and confident in designing and delivering services to a diverse range of learners.”