Metro creates Web site for special education

Friday, June 19, 2009 at 2:22pm

Replacing an old series of Web pages that drew complaints from many parents of students with disabilities, Metro Nashville Public Schools has put together a new site for special education.

The site provides information for parents about enrolling students for what the district is now calling “exceptional education services,” and outlines some of the services and delivery models provided by the system.

“We have worked very hard to make sure we provide a thorough and easy to navigate online tool for our parents,” said Linda DePriest, Assistant Superintendent for Instructional Support, in a statement from the district. “The design of this site has been a long process, but we wanted to make sure and give our students, parents, and community members a tool they could use.”

MNPS has also announced a new department name. The newly titled Department of Exceptional Education now encompasses special education, as well as gifted and talented educational services.

Last summer, special education changes were initiated at MNPS when officials with the Tennessee Department of Education recommended that then-retired MNPS administrator DePriest be hired as executive director of special education. Reception of DePriest has been very positive, with parents and disability advocates reporting positive changes in special education in the last year.

Weeks ago, Director of Schools Jesse Register began making his own changes, and promoted DePriest to assistant superintendent for instructional support. Reporting to DePriest will be the district’s executive directors of federal programs, English Language Learning, special education, and accountability.