School District Services
Where Educators Learn How They Teach Best
Our consulting team works in partnership with school districts and fellow educators to explore and expand on best practices in education. Using DaVinci’s problem solving model, our team works together with our district colleagues to support individual student’s needs as well as classroom based models and district-wide instructional paradigms. We provide assessments, direct service, consultation, and professional development.
What is Education Consulting?
Consulting is a complex industry and consulting in education includes a wide variety of services to support schools and districts. The overarching goal of a consultant is to help you identify and address the specific needs of your individual schools, teachers and students. However, how a consultant meets those needs may be different for every district. In general, consultants act as partners and bring their knowledge and experience to help you develop solutions for your district and individual student’s needs. Someone outside an organization or environment can often bring fresh perspective and insights that may not be easily seen within the organization and this in many ways is the value that a consultant can offer. Consultants also have a deep understanding of best practices that they have gathered from research, case studies and past consulting experience. Tapping into this bank of knowledge is another great reason to consider looking for a consultant to help address your needs.
Consultants work with district administrators to help solve problems within their districts and to implement district wide initiatives for change. However, consultants can also support teachers and will very often work with individual students as well. Consultants and education professionals can work with teachers through workshops and professional development programs or through one on one coaching sessions. Education consultants can also work with individual students, and this is especially helpful in cases within special education.
Special Education Consulting
Special education consultants are highly educated professionals whose goal is to help those with special needs succeed in their school system. Special Education consultants generally have at least a master’s degree in a special education related field and seek to use their extensive knowledge and expertise to create individualized programs for student success. Special education consultants support students with special needs through a variety of means including direct service, indirect services, district support and providing teacher resources.
Special education consultants are often involved with many phases of a student’s journey in special education including helping with assessments to determine needs, developing the IEP (Individual Education Plan), monitoring the student’s progress and offering direct service as needed. Direct service means that the consultant meets with a student to provide direct instruction and help, such as instruction in a certain subject where the student is struggling and needs additional assistance beyond what their teacher can provide. Direct service can be provided on an individual basis or also in small groups of students, and a consultant will offer this direct instruction using best practices to give the student extra attention and resources to help them meet their IEP goals.
Indirect service is any additional service that the consultant provides that is not directly interacting with the student but is helping to achieve their goals. In addition to direct service, consultants provide many indirect services including working with the student’s special education or regular education teachers, observing the student and monitoring their progress, creating and adjusting the IEP, modifying curriculum as needed, or even helping to obtain assistive technology when necessary. Overall the goal of the consultant is to provide whatever service they can to help a student have the best possible chance of success in their education.
Special education consultants seek to be an active partner with district administrators to help them meet the needs of their students as well as their district goals. Consultants in general can help district officials implement district wide initiatives, programs, and teaching paradigms, and they can also consult on individual student cases. In special education, consultants can help ensure the district is complying with all of the legal requirements involved with special education as well as help the district find feasible and effective solutions for their special education needs. Consultants work with departments of special education within the district to provide resources, recommendations, and support for special cases. Overall their goal is to be a contributing partner and to lighten the load for district administrators by finding the right solutions for their needs.
Special education consultants can work with both special education and regular education teachers to help them better support their students’ needs. Consultants assist teachers through workshops, coaching, and other professional development programs and seek to help teachers adjust their teaching methods to better help students learn, both for special education students and those in the general classroom. Often, consultants will provide instruction on how to modify or improve teaching methods including helping teachers use research-based best practices and alternative teaching methods such as multi-sensory approaches.
Multi-sensory approaches are especially valuable in situations where students have difficulty learning by traditional methods such as hearing and reading information. Rather than solely hearing or reading, multi-sensory approaches help students learn through the use of all of their senses. Education consultants will often teach multi-sensory and other innovative teaching methods to help teachers revolutionize their teaching. By individualizing their teaching strategy and learning new approaches, teachers can better serve the needs of their students, find better behavior and greater engagement in the classroom, and also find greater joy and fulfillment in their teaching.
What to Look for in Choosing a Special Education Consultant
Choosing a special education consultant or a consultant in general can be challenging, and you will want to make sure to find someone who is qualified, experienced and who can best fit your needs. Qualifications and experience can vary as well, but in general here are some key things that you can look for when choosing an education consultant.
- Formal Education
- Professional Certifications
- Independent consulting or working through a professional education organization
- Cost and other financial considerations when possible
- Additional Services (assessments, assistive technology, professional development etc).
- Instructional Methods
Special education consultants should generally hold a master’s degree in special education, mental health or a related field. They will also generally hold professional certifications in a variety of teaching methods. Consultants can work independently or can also be part of a professional education organization that can offer additional resources and expertise. If the consultant is part of an organization, consider asking about the additional resources offered and the qualifications of the team. You can often find information online via an organization’s website or through a phone call or you can also request a free informational consultation.
When possible, you may want to consider financial factors while still making sure to help your student get all of the resources that they need. You will also want to consider what additional resources you can obtain by working with an education organization. Often organizations are able to provide services and resources in addition to consulting including comprehensive assessments for evaluating students, direct services, professional development programs, resources for teachers, and assistive technology. Lastly, consultants can differentiate themselves based on their qualifications and knowledge in different instructional methods. Consultants who can offer instruction in a wide variety of teaching methods, methodologies and scientifically validated best practices will have more tools to help you work through your most challenging cases and help your student learn how they learn best.
About Da Vinci Collaborative
Da Vinci center is a professional education research organization that provides consulting services for districts. We partner with our school district professionals to help them find solutions for their students’ individual challenges. We seek to understand and to help educators implement best practices in education to make sure that every student has an opportunity to succeed and learn in the way they learn best.
We have a team of highly qualified professionals who each bring a wide variety of experience and knowledge to their work. Our team includes several experienced directors who lead our programs as well as dedicated education therapists, consultants, interventionists and a pediatric neuropsychologist dedicated to serving our students. Feel free to visit our team page to learn more about our team or reach out to us for a free consultation.
We also offer a variety of programs and resources in addition to consulting for districts and individual students. Our programs and alternative methods, such as multi-sensory tools, are taught to modify instructional approach and can be customized to match the learning profiles of each individual. Our NYS licensed staff will also support you with weekly communication and reports so you can always know how your student is progressing. We seek to individualize our approach to each unique student and leverage our extensive experience and research to find solutions that fit your needs. We would love to know how we can help you!