2020 SEPAC AWARDS
Mitchell Elementary School
Entering Kindergarten is a major milestone, not only for the student, but for the parents as well. For parents of special education students, the everyday concern of “will my child fit in?” takes on a life of its own. Kindergarten teacher Grace Healy makes it clear from the outset that children with behavioral or learning differences are not just tolerated, but actively embraced in her classroom.
Grace takes the time to learn about a child’s profile, strengths, weaknesses, likes, and dislikes in great depth when planning their education. Her regular two-way communication with families makes them feel they are important members of the team, and never an imposition on the school staff and their work. Parents are reassured to hear from the outset that if there are setbacks or bumps along the way, adjustments will be made to allow their child’s education to keep moving forward.
Grace is also recognized for doing everything in her power to help students feel connected to the school and the class since school went “virtual,” devoting much time to one-on-one conversations with students, inviting specialists to join virtual snack groups, and responding to every completed assignment with personal words of encouragement.
As one parent told us, “My parents do my childcare, and as a retired special education administrator and retired school superintendent, have strong opinions about my child’s education. They have been so impressed to see the services that have been put in place for him, the positive attitude of Ms. Healy, and the relationship she has developed with my child this year.”
Another parent echoes these sentiments, saying “Ms. Healy instilled total confidence in us as parents, and in our son, that both she and the entire Mitchell team would support us in every aspect of our child’s education. She not only talked the talk, she walked the walk, every day, from day one. Now in second grade, our child has continued to thrive and belong at Mitchell, a path that Ms. Healy was instrumental in setting him on.”
On behalf of all those who have passed through your class, thank you Ms. Healy for welcoming every child with open arms and helping them fully integrate into your classroom and the school community. Thank you for helping parents feel that they are important participants in their child’s education. Thank you for your seamless integration of the specialists and their recommendations into the classroom. One parent sums it up perfectly when saying, “We couldn't be happier.”