As seen in the Dec. 16 print edition
Audrey Park, staff writer
The Beverly Hills Special Education Director Dina Parker will be resigning at the start of 2014 after her three years of working at the Beverly Hills Unified School District. According to Parker, the position in the Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District was “too good to pass up.”
After her leave, the department plans on continuing its development of research-based programs that support the special education students in the least restrictive environment possible.
“Beverly Hills High School staff has done an excellent job working with students with disabilities. I am very proud of them,” Parker said. “They will continue to work on compliance to state and federal laws, while developing programs that are research based to support students.”
In the time that Parker served as director, the special education department was able to develop PrIME (Priorities for an Independent and Meaningful Education), a committee that explored co-teaching in the middle schools, and encouraged district-wide instructional assistant support.
“We created the term PrIME rather than using an outdated term that included labeling. We provided professional development to our instructional assistants, and brought behavior intervention as an embedded service to our PrIME classes,” Parker said. “We provided professional development to our BHHS special education staff in regards to transition services. We focused on so many things that we are proud of.”
After her resignation, Parker hopes that the department of special education will continue providing its students with high-quality education in environments that promote individuality and support staff-family relationships.
“I hope that relationships between families and staff will continue to grow in a collaborative and positive manner,” Parker said. “I hope that all staff will continue to focus on interventions and supports prior to the need for special education.”
People close to the special education program at Beverly hope to see a consistency in the quality of education and direction in the department, despite the change of its director after the new year.
“I really do hope that whomever the department picks to replace Dina is dedicated to making the special education department at Beverly as good as can possibly be,” senior Maya Steinberg said. “I am a member of the Art Club, and we work with the special kids in helping them with different art projects. I have really grown a close relationship with all of them and hope that the direction of special education goes well.”
As of right now, there is not a director ready to take Parker’s place, but the district is in the process of exploring its options to find a suitable replacement.