Special Education Resources
for Districts and Teachers

Training Requests

Our Family Engagement Team is available to work with schools and districts to provide trainings on a variety of topics related to special education.

Please fill out the form below if you are interested in working with us to set something up.

Teachers - Please get in touch to request a training:

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Our team specializes in taking resources and guidance from the Department of Education and making them more family-friendly.

You can see some examples from our blog below. Feel free to share with the families you serve.

If your school or district would like assistance in making your communications more family-friendly, please feel free to reach out. We’re happy to help

New Rule About Draft IEPs in Tennessee

On October 19, 2018, the Tennessee state board of education passed a new rule that requires parents receive a copy of their child's draft Individualized Education Program (IEP) at least 48 hours before a scheduled IEP meeting, IF the school or district creates such a...

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Prior Written Notice

Did you know that your anytime your child's school proposes a change to their services, or your make a request that is denied, you need to receive a letter in writing stating this. This is called Prior Written Notice. In the state of Tennessee, Prior Written Notice...

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Meet the Team!

Our Family Engagement Team consists of regional specialists dedicated to helping you. We have specialists across the state! Please have a look to see who the specialist is in your area.


Annette Gravesagraves@thearctn.org

Annette Graves is passionate about education and helping to empower children and adults. She has committed thirty years of her life to the area of education. Instructing in self contained and special education inclusion classes. Annette has a Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education, A Masters Degree in Administration and Supervision from Trevecca Nazarene University, and recently obtained an additional Masters Degree in Conflict Resolution from Bethel University. Annette graduated from the Partners in Policymaking Leadership Institute, these classes provided leadership and advocacy training for adults with disabilities and their family members. Annette is an active advocate for her grandaughter June, who is on the Autism Spectrum. She is also a volunteer advocate for many people in her community. In her spare time she participates in public service activities through her sorority Delta Sigma Theta, Inc. As a Regional Family Engagement Specialist for the Arc Tennessee she plans to continue her mission to engage, empower and educate families in the Northwest Region.


Kendra Joneskjones@thearctn.org

Kendra has five plus years of experience working with individuals of all ages in various capacities, in the Mental Health field. She has worked as a Case Manager, Family Engagement Specialist, job coach, and PRE-ETS teacher. She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Sociology from Middle Tennessee State University. She also attended graduate school at Lindsey Wilson College and majored in Mental Health Counseling. Kendra has always been passionate about learning, teaching, planning, and being supportive of others. As a Certified Holistic Coach, she enjoys watching individuals grow and develop into the person they desire to become.


Jeremy Connerjconner@thearctn.org

Jeremy has spent over a decade working with those with special needs. His strength and focus was in early childhood where he worked with children for the majority of those years. During this time his passion for seeing kids succeed has guided him to be a coach in various sports. His greatest strength is his infectious enthusiasm. Jeremy is currently working towards his degree in Special Education from Western Governors University where he hopes to gain insight that will help him as a Family Engagement Specialist.


Kathleen Bashamkbasham@thearctn.org

Kathleen is a passionate advocate for helping individuals with disabilities reach their fullest potential, life goals, and independent living. She has been involved in the field for over 30 years as a Special Education Teacher K- 12 and college instructor for future teachers. Over the past five years she has written multiple curricula for career exploration and job readiness for high school students with disabilities helping them determine career decisions for their future and how to reach those goals. She has also provided vocational expert testimony for disability qualification hearings and provided job placement services. Her Bachelors of Social Work gives her a unique perspective to the whole person culturally, socially, mentally, and physically with adding in a Master of Special Education for the academic needs. Her focus and strength in using Assistive Technology for all aspects of life is in the forefront of providing success to the families and individuals whether it be for academics, daily life, independent living, or communication. Kathleen’s focus is that all individuals can meet their goals and be successful by exploring every option until the perfect fit is found.



Molly Andersonmanderson@thearctn.org

Molly was born with “Apraxia” – a speech disorder. Her passion of helping people with disabilities started when she was in middle school working at a day camp for kids with disabilities. She graduated from Maryville College in 2018. In college, Molly co-authored the American Sign Language Bill that allowed schools across Tennessee to teach ASL as a foreign language credit in Tennessee high schools. She is currently pursuing a masters in Political Management from the George Washington University. She also previously worked as a Project SEARCH skills trainer and a skills trainer supervisor.


Susan Carrscarr@thearctn.org

Susan has advocated for individuals with disabilities for the past 20 years. Her advocacy began when her oldest daughter was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder. From that moment, Susan began focusing on education, transition, independent living, and employment for individuals with disabilities. She has spent the last 10 years working as a Special Education teacher in both self- contained and inclusive classrooms. She received her degree from Middle Tennessee State but her real education comes from working with families to improve the lives of individuals with disabilities. She is looking forward to meeting new families and continuing advocacy efforts in her new role as a Family Engagement Specialist with The Arc of TN.


Katrina VanBurenkvanburen@thearctn.org

Katrina is a proud Autism mom first. Katrina’s former job for the last 5 years was a public school special education teacher in a self contained classroom. She has a Master’s degree in Special Education from University of Phoenix and is currently pursing my ED.S for Educational Leadership, Special Education Director at Arkansas State University. She is excited about her new journey as Family Engagement Specialist with The Arc TN; helping to increase family engagement in special education within schools, families, and communities. She says that she believes that we as Sped parents, caregivers and educators will be grateful for all the resources, strategies, and trainings that will be offered.


Jen Fisher jfisher@thearctn.org

Jen is a nonprofit and communications expert by profession. She is excited  to be a part of the Family Engagement team and to help empower families and increase engagement in special education. Jen began her career serving the health and human services community nearly 20 years ago, and most recently she has worked in both higher and elementary education. Her experience has taught her the importance of the strength of community support to ensure success for all. Jen received her Bachelor of Arts in Communication from the University of Alabama.