Special Education Administrative Leadership Institute for Experienced Directors

Special Education Administrative Leadership Institute

Join a cohort of current experienced special education leaders to enhance your knowledge of current practices, laws, and strategies as your work with students and staff. 

A partnership with Academic Discoveries, LLP and the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE)

Academic Discoveries Logo   Mass DESE Logo

About the Program

This year-long institute is designed to enhance and enrich the already well established knowledge base of the seasoned Special Education Administrator. Through seminars, communities of practice, personalized coaching, and problem-solving experiences and projects, participants will develop strategies and solutions to challenging issues and dilemmas. Throughout the institute, participants will develop a deeper understanding of using data collection and analysis to support district-wide and programmatic systems for change, and build capacity to sustain relationships between central office administration, school staff, and family and community members. Participants will take time to review their own district’s practice in incorporating the Educator Effectiveness Guidebook for inclusive practices.

2024-2025 Application

Opens Spring 2024

Program Goals

  • Building strategies for effective collaboration
  • Developing tiered systems of positive behavioral supports and interventions
  • Effectively evaluating programs that promote least restrictive environments while maintaining fiscal responsibility
  • Utilizing the Educator Effectiveness Guidebook for Inclusive Practice as part of an evaluation process
  • Creating models of Universal Design within IEP development and implementation
  • Effectively engaging in conflict and dispute resolution while maintaining relationships with partners
  • Implementing a local project to improve culturally responsive practices
  • Enhancing high quality professional development, with results-driven accountability

Introductory Session Highlights


  • Power of beliefs, vision and culture
  • Managing conflict and difficult conversations
  • Creating and sustaining collaborative teams

Cultural Responsiveness, Equity, and Inclusion

  • Assumptions, guidelines, and guiding principles
  • Intersection of race, ethnicity and poverty on student learning
  • Implications and strategies in the inclusive classroom

Special Education Law featuring Attorney Thomas Nuttle

  • Federal and State Law
  • Student Rights
  • Human Resources

School Year Highlights

Instructional Leadership

  • Structures that support struggling learners
  • Models of prevention to support at-risk students (SEL, UDL, RTI, PBIS)

Family and Community Engagement

  • Equity—practices in school policy, community, and curriculum
  • Promoting an effective and active SEPAC
  • Partnering with community organizations to enhance wrap-around services for students

Management and Operations

  • Hiring and retaining high quality staff
  • Circuit breaker, grants, and funding allocations

Inclusive Professional Culture and School Environment

  • Assessment literacy
  • Inquiry—promoting the use of data to change instruction
  • Developing action plans for high quality professional development

Capstone Project

For More Information Contact:

Laura Tyrrell
Program Director