The Training and Technical Assistance Center (TTAC) at George Mason University (GMU)

... is part of the statewide system of Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) TTACs. Specialists provide professional development that focuses on improving academic outcomes for students with disabilities through targeted technical assistance (TA) to schools. The goal is to help school personnel gain knowledge and skills to prepare students with disabilities for graduation with a diploma or completion of an appropriate program, and successfully prepare them for post-secondary education, employment, and independent living.

TTAC at GMU in Region 4 provides assistance to the following school divisions:

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TTAC News Brief

Trauma informed care is increasingly becoming part of the conversation in promoting mental health in schools. It has been defined as, "a system level philosophy of service delivery which integrates choice, collaboration, empowerment, safety and trust to create an organizational culture sensitive to trauma" (Keesler, 2016, p. 482). Title II, Part A of the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 calls for states to provide examples of "carrying out in-service training for school personnel - in (i) the techniques and supports needed to help educators understand when and how to refer students affected by trauma, and children with, or at risk of, mental illness..." In response, the VDOE is striving to develop a workforce that is trained in supporting students' mental and emotional wellness. Through professional development, the VDOE seeks to develop trauma-informed staffs that are able to support the needs of all students.

January 2018

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"Special education leadership is as complex, unique, and diverse as the students it intends to serve. The roles, duties, and responsibilities of special education leaders change as swiftly as the policies, budgets, best practices, and systems of accountability that governs their ability to meet the challenges of the students under their charge. Moreover, special education leadership is a multifaceted educational enterprise that is predicated on the ideal of social justice, in that it is based on the ideals that all children can learn, all children should have access to a quality education, and all children should be included in the educational system irrespective of their respective disabilities" (Seltzer, 2011).

November 2017

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Special Opportunity!

Visit a Co-Teaching Demonstration Site in Region 4

The Virginia Department of Education has identified 27 co-teaching demonstration sites through the Excellence in Co-Teaching Initiative, including 6 at middle schools and high schools in Region 4. These demonstration sites provide opportunities for co-teaching partners throughout the state to observe inclusive practices in action. The co-teaching teams at the demonstration sites share their co-planning, co-instructing, and co-assessing practices that support successful outcomes for all students.

For more information about the Excellence in Co-Teaching Initiative, or to arrange a visit to one of these model sites, please contact Dr. Lynn Wiley, Director, VDOE TTAC at GMU at hwiley@gmu.edu or 703.993.4496.