New Sped Position -Hay to Lose Principal

I'm hoping this is good news but I can only observe that Central headquarters grows larger by the week and you have to wonder where the money is coming from.

Also, there is no mention of who is filling in at John Hay.

From SPS:

Ms. Kari Hanson, Principal of John Hay Elementary has accepted the Interim Position of Director of School Based Special Education Services effective November 24, 2014. She will be joining Special Education Interim Executive Director Wyeth Jessee and Director of Special Education Michaela Clancy on the Special Education leadership team.

The position of Director of School Based Special Education Services is being added to the Special Education Department to support systems and procedures within the Special Education Department and improve department response to all 97 schools, parents and guardians.

This position will work directly with the Special Education Supervisors and Program Specialists to support the needs of the 7,000 plus students receiving special education services in Seattle Public Schools.

Ms. Hanson comes to the district office from serving as Principal of John Hay Elementary, where she has also served as an Advanced Learning Specialist, classroom teacher and Head Teacher.

We welcome Ms. Hanson to the Special Education Department.


Larry Nyland
Interim Superintendent


Anonymous said…
Another incompetent sped administrator. What's her claim to fame? There was some sped in my building, and I really like advanced learners. Oh yeah, and the easiest promotion to director is to be a sped director, so I'll put my hand up for that. How many sped directors does it take to run a sped department. Infinitely many it would seem. The fewer the qualifications, the better!

Sped Director85
Anonymous said…
I do not understand why they would put someone who has no experience teaching special education, is not endorsed in special education, has never done any administration in special education in a directorship role of special education.

Would they put a history teacher in charge of a math department?

I just don't get it.

Anonymous said…
Pad that resume.

Anonymous said…
Apparently Marni Campbell didn't have the opportunity to warn Ms. Hanson that the usual special education trolls 'we get to have troll-like behavior because our kids are oppressed' as opposed to the rest of the undersourced district kids LOL -that the knives would be sharpened for any administrator not born and bred in the special education system.

Give it a rest people. It is clear that a number of these schools need more education about special education and apparently the special education staff in place for the last decade have made no inroads in compliance. Maybe a respected administrator can make a difference with their general education peers.

Ms. Hanson is an education professional. Most of the special education commenters most certainly are not. Be a parent advocate. Fine. Just don't pretend you have all the answers or could do the job better. The vast majority of you most certainly could not.

'Deep breath'

Anonymous said…
No update on Z?

Deep Breath, most of what you said may be true.

But laughing at parents who are advocating for disabled children (with differing forms of disability) but then saying, "Be a parent advocate. Fine" certainly negates any points you have made.

Anonymous said…
Why would Marni warn Kari about anything? She would have encouraged her to take a great job on the road to a superintendency. That's what she got out of it. AND, bonus! You don't have to do a dang thing. You can screw up bigtime, and nobody will remember. Hansen has always been apathetic to sped students at best, while being a principal at Hay. Nyland has now reamed special education administration with people with no connection to special ed. Why? That doesn't reduce costs, improve services, create equity. This is a bad hire, and evidence of the district neglect of sped students.

By the way, Deep Breath. There are no born and bred people in special education system. Sped is the districts resume padding ground. Maybe the reason for lack of compliance, is the failure to hire QUALFIED candidates. A professional organization would POST a job description, conduct a search, hold interviews with all stakeholders, and hire the best person. That's simply standard operation... for professionals.

Hay Professional
Anonymous said…
I find it interesting that they can come up with money to hire yet another central administrator with limited SPED experience who knows nothing about what happens in the trenches, but they are unable to fund brand new Special education programs in buildings and now want us to look at our one to one paraprofessionals and start fade plans. The are currently several new programs (autism, SM4,etc )in buildings, that have received no materials whatsoever to educate students (rooms are EMPTY), because special education funds are "frozen". They want us to start fading one to one's, because they are expensive. In other words, they are trying to save money on the backs of vulnerable students, but can find money to add one more useless bureaucrat to an already bloated central admin.

Fed up teacher
n said…
@Fed Up: I don't know much about SPED but can empathize with your frustration. SPS priorities are puzzling. We need more people in the trenches and fewer generals. It is the same for all populations of kids in schools.

n said…
Having said the above, I'm wondering how happy people are with the service kids are getting in schools from their sped teachers? At my school, honestly, I don't think we get the best service from our sped teacher. I won't give details, but several of us have some concerns with her quality of service.

I'm a teacher and I don't know the answer to this: how much training do sped teachers actually get? Is it in depth? Has anyone else questioned the expertise of some of our sped teachers?
Charlie Mas said…
Administrators who believe in their own efficacy clearly also believe that having more administrators is the path to greater efficacy.
Charlie Mas said…
If there is now a Director of School Based Special Education Services then I have to wonder what special education services are not school-based?
parent said…
Aren't just about all special ed services "school based"? I mean, other than transportation, what services are an't being provided at a school? Why does this need to be a separate position?
Anonymous said…
To "n": There is currently a shortage of SPED teachers in our district. Many buildings still have vacancies, and these are filled by any sub who will take it. As for education, I have a Master's degree in special education. In my area, that was 3 years of full time coursework . Others have just an endorsement. Just because you have a SPED generalist endorsement does not mean you are suited to teach any student with a disability, as the specialties are completely different from one another. However, as a SPED teacher, I don't presume to judge other teachers, because I don't have that area of expertise. I wouldn't want someone who has no sped teaching experience judging me (even though it happens in our current evaluation process ) or my credentials until they've done what I do.

Fed up
Anonymous said…
Transition... as in adult transition for 18-21yos aren't supposed to be school based. The thing that sps basically doesn't do at all. Everything else, yes, is school based.

n said…
Thanks, Fed up. It's my observation that with so many different kinds of needs in our special ed population, some of them simply do not get met.

As for a non-sped evaluator? I think we all feel the same way about our own little corners of the school. And I agree with you. Whether classrooms, grade levels or specialties, each has its own particular needs and evaluators who have walked the walked.

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