Special Education Resources
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:
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
We are sure your brain has been running with creativity to make this year the best yet. Research indicates when families are involved in their students’ education outcomes are improved both academically and within the home and community. As you’re planning your...
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...
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...
In November, the state of Tennessee's Department of Education put out a statement to remind families that your child may qualify for special education services even if they're receiving passing grades. Did you know that a student may have passing grades and still have...
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 Graves – firstname.lastname@example.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 Jones – email@example.com
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.
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 Anderson – firstname.lastname@example.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 Carr – email@example.com
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 VanBuren – firstname.lastname@example.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.
Kayla Jefferies – email@example.com
Kayla is a communications/marketing expert by profession, and a disability advocate by heart. A Deaf person and ASL user herself, she comes to The Arc Tennessee from Nashville Public Library, and the Library Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. She graduated from Gallaudet University with a Bachelor’s degree in English, and a Bachelor’s degree in Communications, and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree from Regent University. Fun fact: she was formerly Miss Deaf Tennessee.