TN DOE Technical Assistance Project
Tennessee Department of Education Technical Assistance Project
For more than 20 years, the Tennessee Department of Education has contracted the services of the ETSU Center of Excellence in Early Childhood Learning and Development to disseminate, collect, and analyze surveys from families and parents of children, birth to age 21, who receive special education services in Tennessee. The surveys disseminated annually to families and parents include:
- A survey to assess school-age special education services is disseminated to approximately
35,000 families of children in Pre-K through 12th grade who receive Special Education
Services in public schools in Tennessee. Surveys are disseminated annually to one-third
of the school districts in
Tennessee with a systematic annual rotation of school districts receiving the survey to ensure even sampling of school district special education programming.
- The Tennessee Early Intervention Services Survey is disseminated to approximately 10,000 families of eligible children, birth through age two, who received developmental therapy through the Tennessee Early Intervention Services.
- The Post-Secondary Survey is disseminated to more than 2,000 individuals who have transitioned out of special education programs offered in Tennessee’s public schools.
The ETSU Technical Assistance Project staff are responsible for printing and disseminating surveys, using online platforms as well as hard copy surveys delivered through school districts and USPS. Subsequently, the ETSU Technical Assistance Project collects and analyzes survey data, and reports data analysis results to the Tennessee Department of Education. Additionally, ETSU Technical Assistance Project staff assist in the development of formal reports that are submitted to the US Department of Education on behalf of the Tennessee Department of Education regarding the effectiveness of special education programming across the state.
Rachael began working as the Coordinator for the ETSU Technical Assistance Project in August 2019. Rachael holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communications from the University of Tennessee. She graduated with honors from Clemmer College at East Tennessee State University with Master’s Degree in Special Education and was recognized as the Outstanding Special Education Student of the Year in 2011 by the faculty of Clemmer College.
Prior to joining the staff of the Center of Excellence in Early Childhood Learning and Development, Rachael taught self-contained special education students in kindergarten through second grade at Boones Creek Elementary School in Washington County, Tennessee. Rachael’s focus was assisting students to reach their IEP goals and to participate in the general curriculum as much as possible through inclusion.
During graduate school at East Tennessee State University, Rachael was the Program Coordinator for the Positive Behavior Support Initiative Project. In this role, she implemented school-wide positive behavior support programs in schools throughout northeast Tennessee with the goal of improving school climate and decreasing discipline office referrals.
Rachael’s young children, Giorgia and Gabriel are the biggest joys in her life. Giorgia is a competitive cheerleader and Gabriel is mostly interested in throwing his food. Rachael and her husband Gabe, who works for ETSU in Information Technology Services, just celebrated their eighth wedding anniversary. Rachael and Gabe met as students at ETSU.