About The Visionary Voices Series
Following a disruptive time in the U.S. education system, our school staff and our students need more support than ever. Learning loss. Mental health challenges. Staff shortages. Join Presence, an innovator in special education-related and mental health service delivery, as we interview visionary leaders on how we must collectively address the challenges facing our schools.
This video series will convene veteran education leaders and experts to explore promising new instructional approaches and reimagine a future where every child can thrive. Listen to thought-provoking conversations and discover actionable insights that will empower us to build new, inclusive education systems that put the whole child at the forefront.
“I think the call to action is simple. If K-12 education is not only to survive but thrive, we have to pursue new and innovative ways of providing services.”
Introducing Today's Voice
Dr. Barbara Jenkins
Former superintendent of Orange County Schools, Florida
Dr. Barbara Jenkins has been dedicated to serving the needs of students for over 30 years. In 2012, she was named superintendent for Orange County Public Schools, the eighth largest district in the nation, and received both a presidential appointment to the National Board of Education Sciences and The Baldrige Foundation’s Award for Leadership Excellence during her tenure. Dr. Jenkins is currently a chief in residence and leads the Chiefs for Change Women in Leadership initiative, a national bipartisan group of district and state education leaders dedicated to the success of our nation’s youth.
- Students with disabilities were among those most severely affected by COVID-19’s disruption of schools and communities.
Source: Blad, Evie. “Special Education During the Pandemic, in Charts.” Education Week. 17 October 2022. https://www.edweek.org/teaching-learning/special-education-during-the-pandemic-in-charts/2022/10
- In 2023, only 29% of teens reported feeling satisfied with their mental health.
Source: “Teens and Their Schooling Perspectives.” Morning Consult and EdChoice Spring 2023. https://edchoice.morningconsultintelligence.com/assets/221187.pdf
- 65% of public schools in the United States reported being understaffed in special education.
Source: “Special Educator Shortage: Examining Teacher Burnout and Mental Health.” Institute of Education Sciences. 22 May 2023. https://ies.ed.gov/blogs/research/post/special-educator-shortage-examining-teacher-burnout-and-mental-health
- The number of children with IEPs has doubled in the last 45 years. That’s representing over 7 million students, which is about 15% of the K-12 student population.
Source: Pendharkar, Eesha. “The Number of Students in Special Education Has Doubled in the Past 45 Years.” Education Week. 31 July 2023. https://www.edweek.org/teaching-learning/the-number-of-students-in-special-education-has-doubled-in-the-past-45-years/2023/07