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NEW ORLEANS – (Aug. 2, 2019) – This week, NOLA Public Schools (NOLA-PS) Special Education Institute and All Schools Training hosted a dynamic two-day 2019 Summer Training Collaborative at Benjamin Franklin High School to encourage dialogue about the unique challenges public school students face, as well as how schools can best offer the necessary supports to students for long-term success.

“It’s no secret that we’re competing with past traumas, life challenges, poverty, learning disabilities and other challenges that may impede a student’s progress,” said NOLA-PS Superintendent Dr. Henderson Lewis, Jr. “We must be ready and equipped with the necessary tools to move our students beyond these types of situations and circumstances so that they can achieve success. This training provided our staff with the tools necessary so they are prepared for the upcoming school year.”

Over the course of the two-day program, more than 400 school counselors, school leaders, social workers and special education staff were immersed in panel discussions with psychologists, legal experts, researchers and educators. The training provided counselors and school leaders in attendance with the information and means to advocate for continued transformation of policies and procedures benefiting the most vulnerable students. The event included training on topics such as accessing our Youth Opportunity Center (YOC) services, centralized discipline, Child Search (SAT, MTSS, Section 504), understanding IEP development, adultism, appropriate supports for students with disabilities and effective data collection. It covered other relevant topics including bullying prevention and intervention, suicide awareness and prevention and trauma-informed support strategies.

“Supporting our educators and school administrators is one of the many ways we can help our most vulnerable students in our system,” said Amanda Aiken, NOLA Public Schools Senior Chief and Schools Officer. “Together, as one school district, we will continue to expand upon more innovative strategies to provide every child with the high-quality education they deserve despite the circumstances they face.”

The training was generously supported by local partners: Children’s Hospital New Orleans, Raising Cane’s and the Baptist Community Ministries (BCM).

In addition to the dynamic training session presenters, more than 11 partnering organizations joined us to provide resourceful information to our school leaders. Those partnering organizations included Sexual Trauma Awareness and Response (STAR), Metropolitan Human Services District (MHSD), Institute of Women and Ethnic Studies (IWES), FINS & OPJC, Families Helping Families, LSU Deafblind Project, Center for Resilience, SELF, Southeastern University, and Louisiana Center For Children’s Rights.

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