The New York State School Boards Association presented GASD with a Champions of Change award this month for its movement to install communications boards at district playgrounds. The award was presented at the Sept. 21 Board of Education meeting.
The NYSSBA Champion for Change is a champion for children who fosters creative change that enriches educational opportunities and improves academic results.
These communication boards were a result of a collaborative effort between the district Special Education Department and Business Office. It is the hope that they will help support individuals in initiating conversations with peers, navigating social situations, and expressing themselves for many years to come.
“Play and interaction with peers is a critical part of a child’s development,” explained Christine Smith, GASD Director of Special Education/Student Support Services. “Individuals with autism and other developmental delays commonly experience social deficits, which inhibit their ability to communicate effectively with others. Visual aids support a wide range of learners, including verbal, neuro-typical peers and promote inclusion of people with differing abilities.”
The NYSSBA Awards Committee reviews submitted Champion for Change Award nomination forms based on the following:
- The creativeness of the innovations
- Evidence of the improvements to school district programs and operations
- The ethical leadership skills employed by the candidate that led to the ground-breaking changes
- The extent to which the candidate’s recognition will inspire other school board members to make similar or even greater contributions. The winner should be a role model for future school board members
You must be logged in to post a comment.