Leading the way for students with special needs
At Green Dot Public Schools, our mission is to prepare all students for college, leadership, and life — including students who need additional support. The organization currently serves more than 1,200 students with disabilities, each one of whom receives services and support through an individualized education program administered through a variety of channels and delivered by 71 special education teachers.
I’m proud to be part of a team whose purpose is to get it right and stretch every resource in order make the best decisions for our students.
I believe Green Dot’s passionate and mission-oriented people are among our greatest assets, and that our ability to collaborate with one another to provide the best we can for our students is what truly makes Green Dot different.
Susana Campo-Contreras, Director of Special Education and Psychological Services
Green Dot’s commitment to “doing whatever it takes” has had a strong effect on special education services across our 26-school network. We consider ourselves transformation leaders in secondary education; we hold ourselves accountable and transparently submit to oversight, ensuring that the needs of students requiring special education services are met and their integration into the general classroom is successful.
An unwavering belief in all students’ potential
Green Dot truly believes that every student, whatever their circumstances, holds the innate potential to achieve their goals and succeed in college, leadership, and life. We acknowledge that the belief may often be challenged and tested—either by personal experience in the classroom or external societal pressures—but we are unwavering in our commitment to consistently approach every student not in terms of what they lack, but in terms of what is possible.
A passion for excellence
Good enough is never good enough. Green Dot’s success has only been possible through an ongoing commitment to learn, grow, and strive for excellence in everything we do. Self-reflection and an earnest desire to continually improve is an integral component of every level of the organization.
Green Dot respects the communities in which we work and the people who live in them. We are not saviors looking to rescue students from their communities, but nor are we naïve to the significant challenges that our communities face. We reject the concept of a universal ‘Culture of Poverty’; recognizing our students and their families as individuals, acknowledging their voices, and valuing their input into our work.
Respect for others in the community
Achieving excellence requires that we all take responsibility for our role in the success of students, colleagues, and the larger organization. Employees maintain a “no excuses” culture in which we push ourselves towards developing effective and sustainable solutions. But none of us do so alone: We rise together to meet the toughest challenges. Each of us actively plays a part in removing barriers to student success or, when possible, empowering our students to navigate such hurdles themselves.
All stakeholders are critical in the education process
Respecting stakeholders requires active listening and the inclusion of all voices. School leaders regularly engage teachers in decision-making through the creation of professional communities of practice. Community engagement teams nurture the political power of our parents to demand meaningful change in their neighborhoods. Schools build sustainable alliances with high-quality community partners to help remove barriers to student learning. Senior leadership challenge policymakers on the inequities of state funding. Across the organization, Green Dot consistently seeks to promote an environment of collaboration. We are more powerful together than we are alone: our individual impact is magnified in partnership.