Nashville’s public school district needs to continue to ensure that students with disabilities are included with the rest of the student body, but progress is being made, according to a new report from Mayor Karl Dean’s Advisory Council on Special Education.
“Nashville can no longer afford to be a district that does not provide supports and services so that all students can be successful,” council co-chairs Wendy Tucker and Elise McMillan wrote in the report. “We know this community can do better.”
The advisory council includes advocates, parents, students, educators and public school district officials. The group just concluded its second year of work, and Dean has asked that the work continue next year as well.
The primary recommendations made in this year’s report are focused on inclusive practices at Metro Nashville Public Schools. The report commends the district for the work of administrator Linda DePriest, an advisory council member who worked last year as head of special education for MNPS, as well as for engaging consultant Mike Remus in helping roll out inclusive practices district-wide.
The report also highlights the need for improvement of transition services — help for kids with disabilities in moving from high school to their next steps — and Dean highlighted these recommendations in thanking the group. With enough focus, Dean said, Nashville could excel as a community in such services.
“We could be the national leaders,” he said.
To read last year’s report from the advisory council, visit nashville.gov/mocy/specialed.