The New Special Education Directors Leadership Institute

Join us for a two-day seminar facilitated by ACCEPT Education Collaborative through a grant from Massachusetts DESE.

Our Educational Leadership abilities have been stretched and grown in new directions these past few years.  Our creative problem-solving skills have addressed new and evolving challenges.  Through the novel challenges of the past few years, we know you continue to keep the best interests of your students as a core value to guide your daily work.

This year’s Annual Special Education Institute Reunion Seminar will provide full day workshops on important topics for Special Education Leaders across the Commonwealth. Day 1 will be led by Lisa Dieker, Ph.D., and focus upon Inclusion strategies and developing plans for incorporating current research into your district’s practices to ensure students have genuine opportunities to access the richness of their district’s curriculum and participate in the full experiences of school life. Day 2 will be led by Florence Dickerson, of the PEAR Institute, and focus upon ‘Leveraging Resilience During Times of Adversity’ based on the Clover Model for youth development.

This event will be held in person in Natick at the Marriott Residence Inn. Participants may choose to attend via Zoom but may not have the capacity to participate at the same level as those who are on-site. The Reunion is always a popular event, so do not wait to register if you are interested

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!

The syllabus for the two year-long program includes content on social emotional learning, cultural proficiency, conflict resolution, addressing equity issues in education, state & federal mandates, data analysis, continuous improvement cycles and it allows significant time for discussion and problem-solving. Because navigating the role and substantial responsibilities of a Director of Special Education 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 multi session, two year-long experience.


  • Leadership – Strengthening administrative leadership to improve teaching and learning and get the most out of your staff;
  • Nuts and Bolts – Efficient operational and compliance oversight to improve outcomes of students with IEPs and protect the rights of students and their families;
  • Equity – Identifying, understanding and improving the equity gap in education through systemic analysis of data and educational practices. We are all part of the solution.
  • Capstone/Mentoring and Small Group Problems of Practice – Put theory into action with an emphasis on Results Driven Accountability (RDA), including the cycle of inquiry and data based decision-making that research shows will drive results. You choose your project based on addressing the equity gap. The program focuses on improving the skills essential for collaboration between general and special education staff and administration to accomplish the following: reduce over identification and disproportionality and facilitate implementation of effective inclusive practices and an early intervention tiered support system (MTSS) that supports the learning needs of struggling learners; and closes the equity gap.

The format of the institute will be a combination of in-person meetings, virtual meetings, mentoring time and asynchronous online time.  Launch date for the Institute: Monday, November 7th, 8:00am – 4:00pm, in person at a location in the Natick area.  An additional date to mark on your calendars is December 8th. It will be the second in person meeting and will focus on Legal Issues. The meeting will be held at a location in the Natick area.



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