int(19) int(8) ESEA Video On Demand National ESEA Association
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U.S. Department of Education: Addressing School Staff Needs
This session focuses on how all school staff can pull together to build positive relationships to have a nurturing and strong school community. We explore the importance of having a systemic approach to improving school climate by discussing best practices during “normal times” and how to adapt those to our current reality. Examples of effective practices from diverse school districts the US Department of Education’s Return to School Roadmap will be shared.
This talk was presented at:
2022 National ESEA Conference
February 2022 in New Orleans, LA
For more information:
Colleen Riley

Colleen McCarthy Riley, MEd, was born and raised in Anaconda, Montana graduating from MSU-Billings in 1983. She currently works as an independent educational consultant with WestEd’s National Center for Systemic Improvement (NCSI), providing technical assistance to state education leaders and staff to improve educational opportunities and outcomes for students and families. Riley previously served as the Kansas Director of Early Childhood, Special Education and Title Services, where she provided leadership to bring the Kansas Multi-Tier System of Supports (MTSS) framework from a grassroots effort to scale with a focus on creating a sustainable system to meet the academic and social needs of every student and educator in the system. In addition, Riley worked to align state and federal accountability and technical assistance systems to implement the Kansas Integrated Accountability System and the Kansas Technical Assistance System Network. Her responsibilities included providing and aligning resources for district teams to meet the requirements of multiple accountability plans including the Uniform Grant Guidance, Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), and Kansas’s State Performance Plan and Education Accreditation System Prior to state level work, Riley was principal of a year-round K-6 elementary school in Utah, serving the community by providing programs for infants, toddlers, and preschool students. She and her team implemented a school-wide system of positive behavior supports and a tiered model of intervention for reading. Riley has been a local special education director responsible for overseeing programs birth through age 21, and an assistant director with major responsibilities in recruiting, hiring, and training new staff. Riley’s teaching experience focused primarily on students with challenging learning and behavior disabilities at all levels, elementary through high school.


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, Maryland, Nevada, 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. Born in St. John, Antigua, she is an avid reader who enjoys spending time with her four-year-old twin daughters.

Kelly Wells

Kelly Wells is a Principal TA Consultant at the American Institutes for Research and leads all the training and technical assistance for the National Center on Safe Supportive Learning Environments (NCSSLE), serving both state education agencies and local education agencies/districts. She has worked across systems—education, mental health, public health, child welfare, juvenile justice—developing, implementing, integrating, and sustaining evidence-based/informed programs and services to meet the needs of children, youth, and families in the community in which it serves. She specializes in building the capacity of state and local systems to develop, implement, and sustain a comprehensive approach to school mental health promotion, positive school climate, and youth violence prevention.