The New Special Education Directors Leadership Institute

The New Special Education Directors Leadership Two Year-Long Institute is a great opportunity for Directors of Special Education and/or Student Services who are new to their roles!


This recently expanded program will provide 2 years of support that exposes participants to new research and approaches in special education and student services leadership. Participants will develop and strengthen proactive management and leadership skills to implement a responsive and legally compliant special education service delivery system in their districts. Each director will be provided an experienced director to serve as a mentor-coach to help guide you through your learning opportunities. Additionally, you will meet fellow new Directors and create lasting bonds and friendships.


The syllabus for the two year-long program includes content on social emotional learning, cultural proficiency, addressing equity issues in education, state & federal mandates, data analysis, interpretation and application to strategic planning. This leadership program provides many opportunities for discussion and collaborative problem-solving. Because navigating the role and substantial responsibilities of a Director of Special Education/Student Services is a highly complex and political undertaking, requiring the leader to develop and strengthen both leadership and management skills, while also staying up-to-date on best practices and compliance, our syllabus weaves four strands throughout this two year-long experience.

  • Leadership – Leadership as a Special Education/ Student Services Director means frequent collaboration with other district-wide and building-based leaders; this program will include topics to help strengthen these critical relationships so that students with learning challenges have truly meaningful educational experience opportunities.

  • Technical Knowledge and Skill Development – Efficient operational and compliance oversight to improve outcomes of students with IEPs and protect the rights of students and their families;

  • Equity/Inclusive Practices – Identifying, understanding and improving the equity gap in education through systemic analysis of data and educational practices. While many of us have recently been involved in DEI training, this institute will provide different perspectives and information regarding this critical work; you are often the ‘voice at the table’ to ensure equity for the vulnerable students, families, and staff is part of every decision. We are all part of the solution.

  • Capstone/Mentoring and Small Group Problems of Practice – Put theory into action! Using a Results Driven Accountability (RDA) approach, and the DESE Planning for Success Model, directors will identify a ‘problem of practice’, a targeted area for improvement, chosen by each director based on an ‘equity gap’ unique to your district, and one that is evident through analysis of your district-specific data.

As success in a leadership role is impacted by one’s networking ability, we have planned these seminar dates to be in-person. You will have the opportunity to connect with other special education/student services directors, as well as your mentor-coaches during our seminar dates.


Required In Person SUMMER Dates for the Institute:

July 31st, August 1st & August 2nd; 8:00am – 4:00pm


Our full school year calendar of seminar dates will be provided later in the spring; we have 6-7 more dates beyond the 3 summer dates noted above. (Our seminar dates are planned for Thursdays through February and Fridays for March-May. )


The location for the Institute sessions will be a combination of venues in Natick, Southborough, and/or the Worcester areas. All locations provide ample parking and easy access to hotels.


Please contact Dana Mullaley for more information: [email protected]