Jowonio has close to 90 full-time and part-time employees, including classroom teachers and aides, resource staff including therapists and our family support team, and clinical and administrative support staff. The staff have a commitment to inclusive education and continuing to grow as professionals in their field.
- Classrooms usually have three or more members of the teaching team, coordinated by a Lead Teacher and assistant teacher. There is at least one certified teacher in each room certified in Special Education. While most rooms also have a teacher certified in Early Childhood, this is a requirement for rooms serving students enrolled in our Universal Pre-K program. Jowonio teachers bring to their work a great deal of experience with a wide range of students. We are fortunate to have limited turnover in our lead staff. Also many of the teacher aides have undergraduate degrees in education or bring experience as parents. As part of the school’s mission to provide training opportunities in inclusive education, undergraduate and graduate students from area colleges and universities are placed in classrooms as interns. In addition to the staff in our center-based programs, Special Education Teachers work in an itinerant capacity supporting children at home and in other child care programs.
- Professionals serving as therapy resources to the classroom include Speech/Language Pathologists, Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, and a Creative Arts Teacher. In addition to providing direct individual and group therapies as designated on a child’s Individual Family Service Plan (for Early Intervention students birth to 2) or Individual Education Plans (for preschool students ages 3-5), the therapists consult with teachers and parents regarding ways to support communication, sensory and motor needs in the classroom and at home. Therapists also provide itinerant services to children at home and in other child care settings. Our Creative Arts Teachers work in the Rainbow Studio and in classrooms, as well as supporting teachers and office staff around aesthetic and documentation projects.
- The Family Support Team includes three Social Workers (one full-time, two part-time), a School Psychologist, and a Nurse. The Social Workers focus on the needs of families, offering problem-solving strategies to navigate the service system and access needed resources; orchestrating family activities at the school; and supporting positive home-school relationships. They also work directly with some students in a counseling capacity; for example, the social workers sponsored a “Banana Splits” group for children whose parents are separated or divorced. The Social Work staff serve as the initial contact and coordinate the intake process for children with special needs and their families. The School Psychologist, in addition to be a critical member of the Evaluation Team, provides play therapy to students and consults with classrooms and parents in order to help them meet children’s needs (for example, doing a Functional Behavioral Assessment). The Nurse, who is part-time, serves as the intake coordinator for the Evaluation Team as well as the Health Plan Coordinator for the school, training staff regarding the maintenance of a healthy school environment.
- Jowonio’s Administrative Staff include those focused on clinical programming as well as office and finance support. The School Director works with three full-time and three part-time Support Teachers to oversee the clinical services to children and families. An Office Support Team which includes the Director, Support Teachers, Social Workers, and School Psychologist, meets on a weekly basis to provide direction and oversight regarding the school’s programs. In addition the management of the school includes an Office Manager and office assistants, and the Financial Manager and Billing Assistant. The Director and the Financial Manager work with the Jowonio Board to assure the fiscal and programmatic health of the organization.