Boldly Reimagining Special Education

On December 1, 2022 Chancellor Banks announced the creation of a new advisory council tasked with boldly reimagining special education in New York City public schools. “Our students with disabilities and their families deserve public schools that can meet their unique needs and prepare young people for bold futures – regardless of disability status. Our dedicated educators and staff work every day to serve students with disabilities, yet our system has not fully delivered on our commitment to students with disabilities. We need to transform our systems and approaches to achieve the goal of a truly universal public school system,” said Chancellor David C. Banks. “The family and advocacy community that supports our students deeply understands both what is working and not working in our schools, and a bold vision for the future of special education is not possible without their insight. This new Council presents a tremendous opportunity to radically transform the school experience for everyone.”

The Special Education Advisory Council will support NYC public schools in collaboratively identifying priority investments aimed at ensuring our students with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) and their families have access to the programs and services needed to prepare them for life-long success. The Council will identify existing gaps in instruction and programming to ensure that all students with disabilities consistently have access to a high-quality education and the resources that allow them to be successful in public school where they have previously been left out. Participation in this work will not be limited to council membership. We want to learn from all stakeholders who are interested in sharing their perspectives. 

This survey will remain open through February 28, 2023 so that we can continue to collect contact information from interested stakeholders for future engagement in this work. Respondents who submit the survey after January 19, 2023 will not be considered for the current advisory council, but will be contacted through other forms of engagement. Boldly Reimagining Special Education Stakeholder Engagement 

Expectations For Advisory Council Members 

If you apply to join the Advisory Council on Boldly Reimagining Special Education, please keep in mind the following is expected of all members: 

  • Council membership is strictly voluntary 
  • Members should be available to attend 1-2 meetings per month (these meetings will be between one and two hours long). 
  • Members should provide the DOE with an email address (or alternate/accessible mode of communication), and check it frequently for time-sensitive communications. 
  • Members may also be asked to support with this work in between meetings, this support may involve: 
  • Drafting communications 
  • Interviewing stakeholders 
  • Reviewing materials 
  • Brainstorming ideas 
  • Commitment to participate through complete phases of the work. Phases will be a minimum of six months.

Other Opportunities to Participate

We have already received overwhelming interest in this council, and we want to make clear that participation in this work is not limited to Council membership. We are committed to making sure every perspective is considered throughout this process, and we want to learn from all stakeholders who are interested in sharing their perspectives. You can also participate by

  • Completing surveys : responding to surveys on specific topics or special education broadly
  • Speaking in one on one or small group conversations: participating in or conducting interviews or focus groups 
  • Being an ambassador to the work: spreading the word, sharing resources with your community, and attending events to show your support!