The Impact of an Intervention Specialist: Meet Ohio’s Special Education Team
Posted: January 25, 2024 | Written By: Lauren Douglas| Category:
What does a Special Education team do, and why are they important? Learn the basics about New Story Schools’ Ohio Special Education team and meet the intervention specialists making an impact. Led by Senior Director of Special Education, Jennifer Johnston, Ohio's Special Education team is committed to student success, family support, and collaborative relationships with districts.
What do Intervention Specialists do?
An intervention specialist is responsible for the development and implementation of students’ Individualized Education Plans (IEPs), in addition to maintaining relationships with district partners through frequent communication.
Why are IEPs Important?
IEPs are used every day in our schools. But what makes them so important? Here are three reasons:
- Legal protection: IEPs are included in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which means families are legally supported and students are entitled to a free, appropriate public education (FAPE).
- Quality education: IEPs are tailored to the individual needs of each student, clearly identifying measurable goals and helping students reach success through a holistic, strength-based approach.
- Seamless communication: With a clear plan of action and identified goals, teachers are better equipped to understand and facilitate student progress. Additionally, families and district representatives can easily follow their student’s progress, ensuring that all members of the IEP team are on the same page.
Bridging the Gap in Ohio
Ohio’s team of specialists provide key pillars of support to students, families, and district partners, with the ultimate goal of students meeting their growth, development and success milestones.
Firstly, the Special Education team has elevated their relationship with district partners through their dedication to providing compliant and complete IEPs aligned to state standards, saving districts valuable time and resources. The intervention specialists also serve as liaisons bridging the gap between teachers, families, and district partners by facilitating frequent communication and sharing students’ measured growth and progress toward the goals outlined in their IEPs. Lastly, the team ensures that regardless of how a student comes to New Story Schools, they receive an appropriate amount of support.
District Partner Testimonials
“Whitehall has been impressed with the communication and responsiveness from New Story's Ohio SPED Team. When issues have arisen with a student's behavior or a parent has questions, both of which are common when serving students with complex needs, the New Story Schools staff and leadership team has quickly made themselves available to meet with the district and the family in order to work together to find answers and solutions.” -Anna Telerski Shultz, Director of Special Services for Whitehall City Schools
“The IEP we received was wonderfully written. It shows a lot of hard work, careful thought, and consideration on identifying the student’s progress and identified needs. Sending a huge thank you!” -Dr. Erica O’Keeffe, Secondary Exceptional Needs Administrator for Teays Valley Local Schools
“Our team is so thankful to be receiving fully written IEP’s! What a great improvement from previous years. Thank you!” -Grace Sowers, Intervention Specialist for Olentangy Local Schools
“The IEP draft was very well written and exceeded our expectations. The IEP meeting was a great experience which included in depth student information.” -Crystal McNeilly, SPED Superintendent for Garfield Heights City Schools
“In the past we have received limited information to incorporate into the student’s IEP. We are more than pleased to now be receiving the majority of the IEP already completed. Everything is well written, thorough, and has saved us so much time! Thank you for the tremendous improvement!” -Holly Wagner, Columbus City School District
The Ohio team is made up of a dynamic group of seven hard-working and dedicated intervention specialists who work collaboratively to support each other in order to meet the diverse needs of each individual student across all locations.
“This is a team of learners and growers. They truly support each other,” said Jennifer Johnston, Senior Director of Special Education.
- Jennifer Johnston, Sr. Director of Special Education
- Katie Sooy, Lead Intervention Specialist
- Diane Johnson, Regional Intervention Specialist
- Alexis McCabe, Intervention Specialist
- Emily Capretta, Intervention Specialist
- Gregory Howard, Intervention Specialist
- Kathy Dailey, Intervention Specialist
- Madison Fralick, Intervention Specialist