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Advancing Early School Success

Join us for a presentation by the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, Office of English Language Acquisition and the Office of Special Education Programs to learn about the Department of Education’s Kindergarten Sturdy Bridge Pre-K-3 Agenda. We will share why and how the Department is prioritizing stronger alignment from age 3 to grade 3 including better meeting the needs of English learners and students with disabilities. We will engage the audience to discuss the most effective ways to collaborate with states and districts to ensure more students are achieving early school success.

This talk was presented at:
2024 National ESEA Conference
February 2024 in Portland, OR
Speakers
Priscilla Irvine

Priscilla Irvine is a project officer at the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), where she monitors and provides technical assistance for several state special education systems including Connecticut and Oklahoma. As the Collaboration Facilitator in the Office of Special Education Programs, Priscilla works across the Department of Education as well as other federal government agencies, and partners with multiple organizations on behalf of students with disabilities. Priscilla’s passion is, driving excellent outcomes for children with disabilities through effective collaboration.

Swati Adarkar

Swati Adarkar most recently served as the National Policy Director for Start Early. Prior to this, Swati was the Co-Founder and President & CEO of the Children’s Institute in Oregon for 15 years, an early childhood policy and advocacy organization. Swati served on statewide advisory committees on early childhood for three Oregon governors. She provided the vision and leadership to launch and sustain the Early Works initiative which aligns birth to five services and supports with elementary school. For more than thirty years she has been a strong advocate for meeting the comprehensive needs of low-income children and families in Oregon and California and has a passion for ensuring the health and early school success of young children. Swati has served on the Advisory Boards of Attendance Works and the National P-3 Center. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies from UCLA and a Master’s in Public Administration from Harvard Kennedy School.

Melissa Castillo

Dr. Melissa Castillo has over 28 years of experience in education. She previously served as the Associate Superintendent of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion for the Arizona Department of Education, responsible for advancing educational opportunities and outcomes for diverse student populations. As a senior advisor to Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, Dr. Castillo represents the Department's priorities and vision around the expansion of multilingualism and multilingual programs for all students.

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