Conference brings special educators together

Conference brings special educators together

MARQUETTE — Educators from across the Upper Peninsula and beyond gathered at NMU Friday for the second day of the U.P. Special Education Conference.

In addition to a number of speakers covering topics like explicit instruction and best educational practices, the conference also provides networking opportunities for special education instructors.

“Very often in our local school districts, special educators are maybe one or two if their kind in the whole building,” said Luanne Peterson, Associate Superintendent of Special Education Services for Marquette–Alger RESA. “So this way they get to talk with their counterparts and share ideas and glean from one another best practices, basically.”

State Superintendent Brian Whiston opened day two of the conference by discussing the state’s role in special education.

Whiston said, “We have been working through a community process of listening to stakeholders about how we can become a top–ten performing state over the next ten years, and to do that, we have to meet the challenges of every student, and of course, special needs students have some more difficult challenges. So we need to understand what those are, and we need to work with the experts to come up with plans to help those students be successful.”

Conference organizers say topics covered each year frequently get incorporated into local programs.