Specialized Education Services, Inc. (SESI) - a nationwide
provider of day schools and programs for special and alternative
education students facing significant learning, language, and social
challenges - announced today that it has appointed Ellen Gaske, Ed.D.,
as the company's first Chief Academic Officer.
"SESI has provided exceptional personalized academic and behavioral
interventions for students with special needs for more than 25 years,"
says Michael Kaufman, Ph.D., President & CEO of SESI. "Yet, looking at
the trends in data-led instruction in mainstream education, we
recognized the need to prepare our students to achieve their best
possible outcomes by applying the same level and standards of academics
that they would receive from their sending school districts.
Accordingly, we appointed Dr. Gaske, a renowned leader in assessment,
curriculum, and instruction, to develop a model to standardize our
academic approach and interventions across all of our school sites."
As Chief Academic Officer, Dr. Gaske will create model programs to be
implemented consistently throughout SESI based on the latest
research-based best practices for assessment, curriculum, and
instruction. She has devised a three-tiered approach focused on
interventions for typical learners (Tier 1), students who require some
level of targeted intervention beyond that (Tier 2), and those who
require intensive and systematic interventions (Tier 3). This model will
be customized based on disability type and program location to ensure
that state curiculum standards are met.
Dr. Gaske began her career teaching special education in 1975. In 1991,
after many years of garnering hands-on classroom experience, she moved
into multiple administrative roles, eventually becoming a Special
Education Supervisor for the Howard County School District in Maryland.
In 2008, she accepted the position of Chief School Director for the
Central Maryland Region of SESI.
Dr. Gaske has taught courses on special education at Johns Hopkins
University, served as a board member of MANSEF (Maryland Association of
Nonpublic Special Education Facilities), and is actively involved in
several other organizations, including the Council for Exceptional
Children and the International Dyslexia Association. She holds a
master's degree in Communicative Disorders and a doctorate in Special
Education and Learning Disabilities from Johns Hopkins University.
"Throughout my entire career, I have been focused on how to use data to
influence instruction in special education. In my role as Chief School
Director in Maryland, my team implemented assessment programs to monitor
our students' progress and make adjustments to their instruction based
on our findings," says Dr. Gaske. "And now I have the opportunity to
take what I have learned in my region and roll it out to all of SESI's
other programs across the country to provide each and every one of our
students with the latest research-based approaches to academic
intervention." Dr. Gaske's expertise and leadership is so valued in
Central Maryland that she will be maintaining her function there as she
simultaneously serves as the company's Chief Academic Officer.
During the 2013-2014 academic year, SESI established two pilot programs
in data-led instruction in Maryland that were based on the model
established by Dr. Gaske. Her new model will be launched on each SESI
campus over the course of the 2014-2015 school year.
About Specialized Education Services, Inc.
For close to 30 years, Specialized Education Services, Inc. (SESI) has
been partnering with school districts and educational organizations
across the country to provide services to special and alternative
education students presenting with intensive needs, including autism;
emotional, social, and learning disabilities; and the most challenging
at-risk behavior issues. SESI, which currently serves 12 states and the
District of Columbia with 55+ schools/programs, has developed proven
methods to successfully teach students with learning and
social-emotional challenges, as well as those whose behavior puts them
at risk, while tailoring its services to each local education provider's
unique and specific needs. For more information, visit www.sesi-schools.com.
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