We celebrate National Special Education Day each year on December 2! This day commemorates the anniversary of our nation’s first federal special education law, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), signed by President Ford on December 2, 1975.
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act allows and legally enforces that all
children including those with disabilities have access to public education across the
nation and ensures that special education, as well as related services, are provided for
children with disabilities. This law, being enacted in 1975 was a critical and necessary
step on the path to making education and resources equitable for all children, which is a
continuing goal today.
Special Education Day honors the milestones that have been achieved for special
education as well as reminds us of the continued progress to come. This progress
highlights inclusive education as well as a least restrictive environment for all children.
Our Willingboro Public School District Department of Special Services has been
working diligently to enhance our Special Education programs by enhancing the
academic curriculum to foster learning for our diverse levels of special education
learners. Our Department has added a Special Education coach to spearhead the
efforts to support our special education teachers with curriculum, in-class instruction,
educational resources, as well as providing teacher coaching. We are currently
furnishing sensory spaces for all Autism programs throughout the district, to support the
educational environment for students with sensory needs. Our department continues to
support the efforts of our behavior programs through our district BCBA (Board Certified
Behavior Analyst); for student and staff support to provide additional resources that
support the efforts of positive behavior reinforcement.
The Department of Special Services is continuing to expand our efforts to support
students, staff, and the community through providing comprehensive training, classroom
observations, parent partnerships, as well as district administrative classroom walk-
throughs to gather data (to provide teachers and building administrators valuable
feedback that can aid in individual professional growth as well as identify the needs for
professional development for the special education department). Also, we are honored
to have conducted a parent forum with Special Education Parent Advisory Groups
(SEPAG) to further increase our collaborative approach between home and school.
We are excited about all of the great things happening in special education and we will
continue our efforts to provide an appropriate and stimulating academic environment for
students of all abilities.