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District’s Pupil Support Services Department to Host “2020 ESE Summer Institute: Shining Star – You Make the Difference”

SARASOTA COUNTY, July 21, 2020 – The Pupil Support Services department of Sarasota County Schools will soon virtually host their 2020 Exceptional Student Education (ESE) Summer Institute on Wednesday, July 29th.

The ESE Summer Institute was founded to provide learning experiences for teachers of students with disabilities and special needs, support personnel on campus, and school administrators. The theme of this year’s institute is “Shining Star – You Make the Difference”.

The schedule will include a morning keynote address presented by Gina Portnowitz on the topic of Caring for the Caregiver. Gina Portnowitz is a nationally-certified School Psychologist and certified Youth Mental Health First Aid Instructor. She has been a school psychologist with Sarasota County Schools for the past ten years. The breakout sessions will focus on assisting our district’s striving readers with explicit reading strategies, as well as math strategies. In addition, this institute will include a strand on social-emotional learning as part of an integrated approach to instruction.

“One of our responsibilities as educators is to ensure that we are always at the forefront, providing the best methods and information for our staff and teachers,” said Sonia Figaredo-Alberts, Executive Director of Pupil Support Services. “Through events like the 2020 ESE Summer Institute, we bring together exceptional instructional staff from all our schools and foster an environment of sharing, teaching, and learning. Our students deserve the best. When we give our staff and teachers the opportunity for continued and advanced learning opportunities, it helps students with special needs thrive and succeed, regardless of the obstacles they may face.”

The 2020 ESE Summer Institute is supported in collaboration with the Florida Diagnostic & Learning Resources System (FDLRS).