On Nov. 15, 2018, Monroe 2-Orleans BOCES hosted a distinguished group of assistant superintendents for instruction and pupil personnel services (PPS) staff from our component districts for a dialogue with NYS Assistant Commissioner of Special Education Christopher Suriano. This meeting, the first of its kind in New York State, brought together general and special education leadership to discuss the latest NYS reports, recommendations and resources.
Suriano, who oversees NYS’s efforts to promote educational equity and excellence for students with disabilities, presented an overview of the Blueprint for Improved Results for Children with Disabilities. He also reviewed the State Performance Plan (SPP) and annual Performance Report (APR), which include data on indicators like performance outcomes, least restrictive environment, disproportionality, and transition planning and services. In addition, he spoke about the work being done at the state level around teacher certification, with the goal of providing relief for the statewide teacher shortage.
Attendees appreciated the opportunity to examine the new data in depth and to ask Suriano questions about new state policies. Participants said that the gathering was a great way to bring experts from different educational areas and districts together to share ideas. Suriano, too, felt that the format was very successful in advancing productive communication. He plans to use it as a model for future annual meetings with educators across the state.
The meeting took place at the Monroe 2-Orleans BOCES Professional Development Center and was facilitated by Barbara Martorana (Director for Exceptional Children) in collaboration with Timothy Dobbertin (Assistant Superintendent for Instructional Programs) and Dr. Marijo Pearson (Assistant Superintendent for the Office of Curriculum, Instruction and Professional Development).