Every stage of education should be inclusive. Today’s students are the future workforce, and recognizing that not everyone learns the same way is important! Assistive technology plays a vital role in accommodating varying abilities, learning styles, and online access barriers. We caught up with Devonna Dionne, Director of Marketing & Communications at EdAdvance to discuss the importance of digital inclusion for school districts and communities.
What is EdAdvance’s mission and what support/programs do you provide?
EdAdvance exists to promote the success of school districts and their communities. Collaboratively with them, we provide educational and related services. A continuing commitment to quality and excellence is our standard of performance.
To achieve our mission, we are committed to the “Three Cs”:
- Connection — We actively listen to, engage with, and learn from our colleagues within the agency and our constituents across the region and state. This fosters and strengthens partnerships, leading to a true understanding of our region.
- Culture — We strive to achieve “Systemness”, where everyone embraces and is committed to the success of our agency as a whole. This internal climate of cooperation is evident in our school district and community partners.
- Customization — We focus on “Culture” and “Connection” to increase our capacity to provide flexible solutions, services, and supports tailored to the unique needs of the school districts and communities we serve and at the level of excellence they expect.
EdAdvance provides a variety of support and services to 29 School Districts and 32 Communities.
For Schools & Districts: Our experienced team of certified PreK-12 teachers, administrators, and related services personnel offers personalized learning services and support, customized to each district’s and student’s unique needs.
For Students & Families: Quality learning experiences provide a solid foundation that yields long-term positive benefits for children. EdAdvance programs provide comprehensive child development and family support services that enhance participating children and families social, emotional, physical, and educational development.
For Schools & Communities: EdAdvance offers a wide range of customized services to meet the needs of individuals in the community, including children and adults with disabilities or other special needs.
For Adult Learners: EdAdvance strives to meet the lifelong learning needs and interests of adults in our service area. To that end, we offer free high school completion programs (GED, HSDP, NEDP), as well as English Language Learner, Civics, and Citizenship Programs. In addition, a diversity of fee-for-service enrichment classes, and technical training and certification programs are available.
What are you doing to be inclusive to everyone?
EdAdvance has a commitment from our Executive Team to drive equity and inclusion. A DEI team has been designated to increase the awareness and skills of staff to create a more inclusive environment. We are continuing to engage in learning opportunities and taking advantage of resources like Recite Me to aid in providing tools to our community.
How has Recite Me helped EdAdvance to provide an inclusive digital experience for your districts and communities?
Recite Me has been a great addition to our efforts to provide an inclusive digital experience. Students, parents, and community members are able to interact and engage with important information about the programming and services we offer.
Why is digital inclusion important?
We know that the majority of people now receive information digitally whether that’s a cell phone, computer, lobby screens, or other forms of smart devices like “Alexa” and Siri. Successfully communicating requires that we make sure information is available where people are and in ways they can actually access. At EdAdvance, we work with people of a wide range of ages, and abilities, and who may speak different languages, which makes digital inclusion particularly important.
What does the future look like for EdAdvance?
EdAdvance will continue to prioritize our commitment to Connection, Culture, and Customization – anticipating the needs of the school districts and communities we serve. Specific future initiatives that support our 3 Cs include: increasing school-based mental health services in rural NW CT, opening our Early Childhood Center to support Head Start and other family programs, and developing the Regional Center for Career Pathways & Workforce Development. These all present unique opportunities to expand access to resources for our member districts.