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Teacher, Advocate, Warrior: Special Services Team Spotlight

Dawn Rafal | June 17, 2019

Lauretta has been a teacher for more than 20 years. She is a warrior for children who require special services. She identifies children with special needs early in the school year and she will not give up until she has secured the appropriate services to help that child. This past school year, Lauretta had a bilingual child in her class who had difficulty following directions, joining the group at circle time, and allowing others to touch what he was playing with. Lauretta saw that while some of these behaviors are typical, the child’s intensity showed that he needed extra support.

Her first step was meeting with the parents and after a few conversations, Lauretta was able to suggest an evaluation for their son. From there, she had weekly follow ups with the parents to see if they had received, completed, and submitted all the necessary forms from their zoned school. This is a daunting process for parents who are doing this for the first time, along with the anxiety they are feeling about the possibility that their child will need a special education referral. Lauretta handles this part of the process with sensitivity and skill.

From regularly meeting with parents to reviewing results, dead-
lines, and paperwork to making phone calls and never letting a deadline pass without ensuring what was promised is done, Lauretta guides parents through the bureaucracy.

Stopping at nothing, Lauretta’s fast action, persistence, calling on
all her resources and contacts, the child and his family began receiving critical early-intervention services within months and also arranged all his services for the following year.

Lauretta ensures that any child who needs special services receives them, thereby putting them on a path to future success.