Thursday, March 15, 2012

Topeka High School Named Equity and Access Leader

Topeka High was named today as the recipient of this year's "Equity and Access Leadership Award," by the Kansas Coalition for Equity and Access to Transition Services (KCEATS). Principal Dr. Linda Wiley, Special Education Chair Lori Roenbaugh, and Assistive Technology Coordinator Paula Swartzman-Waters were acknowledged for their work towards successful post-secondary outcomes for culturally and linguistically diverse students with disabilities at Topeka High School in a nomination statement by Dr. Linda Aldridge, general director of Special Services for Topeka Public Schools.

Earlier in the school year, Lori Roenbaugh was also honored as a "Possibilities in Action Partner Award" winner, by the National Association of School Psychologists, for her involvement in improving collaboration within the Topeka High School community and advocating on behalf of students and their families.

"Between the rigorous, test-driven demands of No Child Left Behind, and contemporary political rhetoric dismissing the valiant efforts of public schools and teachers, it is more important than ever for Kansas educators to focus on meeting the needs of students with disabilities and students from diverse language and cultural heritages," said Dr. Robb Scott, president of the Kansas Coalition for Equity and Access to Transition Services. "It is great to see transition services at Topeka High as the leading edge of positive change throughout the entire school."

Schools and districts nominated for the annual Equity and Access Leadership Award are evaluated based on evidence of policies which benefit culturally and linguistically diverse students with disabilities and their families. As a guide, Kansas educators are encouraged to consult a list of best practices at eslminiconf.net/advocacy/kceats. Nominations for the 2013 award may be sent to DrRobbScott@gmail.com .