Camelot Offers New Service to Improve Alternative Education Systems
The alternative education leader developed a new assessment and professional development model in Clark County, Nevada.
(Las Vegas, August 18, 2016) Camelot Education, a national leader in providing programs to school districts for students with behavioral issues or special needs, launched a new set of services designed to evaluate and improve local alternative education and special education programs to ensure that special needs students receive an appropriate high quality education.
Camelot’s first engagement of this kind began in the Clark County School District, when a team of 30 highly-experienced alternative education specialists from various aspects of Camelot campuses around the country visited District schools to validate the strengths and procedures that are yielding positive results, and identifying areas where improvement is needed.
Those evaluations resulted in a report, formal recommendations, and the development of the three-day “Pathways to Excellence: The Every Student Series” professional development training, during which the experts who evaluated the District schools presented the theories and best practices to improve alternative education results in the nation’s fifth-largest school district.
This set of services represents a new and separate strategy for Camelot, which operates 40 programs in partnership with districts in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Illinois, Florida and Texas. In Clark County, rather than go in and operate the programs as it normally would, Camelot examined how and why students are selected and sent to alternative schools – and the quality of education they receive in those schools.
“Part of what makes Camelot so successful in helping vulnerable students turn their lives around is that we use our expertise to continuously review our techniques and results. In this case, we reviewed an entire district’s program with an eye toward capitalizing on strengths and overcoming deficiencies,” said Todd Bock, Camelot Education’s CEO.
The “Pathways to Excellence” training, held in Clark County, was attended by nearly 200 district staff members, ranging from district leadership to classroom support professionals. The three-day training included key behavioral theories that inform the Camelot model in its work with vulnerable youth, including Maslow’s Hierarchy, Polsky’s Diamond and Johari’s Window. Camelot staff also trained attendees on developing and maintaining a positive peer culture and school connectedness, and provided participants with a “Normative Toolkit” to help educators put these theories to work in the their schools and classrooms.
The approach in Clark County highlights Camelot’s ability to help districts, particularly those that want to operate and build capacity in their own alternative education programs, but need expertise to evaluate and guide steps forward.
“We focus on developing teacher, administrator and organizational capacity by providing professional development and consulting services,” said Raymundo Rodriquez, Camelot’s Chief Strategy Officer. “Issues such as special needs, alternative education, special education and related innovative teaching practices are ongoing and pervasive issues facing educators across the country. From our experience successfully operating these kinds of programs, we bring a unique expertise to school districts.”
Read more about Camelot Education at www.cameloteducation.org.