CAMDEN, N.J., June 07, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — FullBloom, a leading provider of special education, instructional intervention, behavioral health, and professional development solutions, today announced a strategic partnership with Edward Fergus, Ph.D., a nationally recognized expert in racial disparities in special education, to advance equity and address disproportionality within all classrooms. Leveraging the combined expertise within its Catapult Learning and Specialized Education Services Inc. (SESI) divisions, FullBloom will scale Dr. Fergus’ renown programs and systems that aid school systems in promoting equity.
Fergus, a tenured associate professor of urban education and policy at Temple University, explores the effects of educational policy and practice as it intersects the lives of populations living in vulnerable conditions. His work examines the relationship among discipline codes of conduct, gifted program practices, academic referral processes and the educational outcomes of low-income and racial/ethnic minority student populations.
“FullBloom is committed to creating sustainable practices that promote diversity, equity and inclusion, which is what intrigued me most about creating this partnership,” said Dr. Fergus. “Their national presence provides a unique opportunity to scale the important work of reducing disproportionality, something I’ve dedicated much of my career to addressing. I’m eager to begin collaborating because together I know we can meaningfully impact the futures of the schools, families and kids we serve.”
In his bestselling book, Solving Disproportionality and Achieving Equity: A Leader’s Guide to Using Data to Change Hearts and Minds, Fergus delves into the biases that create barriers to the success of students of color. He highlights the need to eliminate disproportionality in expulsions, suspensions, and referrals to special education that ultimately contribute to dropout and cycles of intergenerational poverty. Fergus consults on these policy and practice changes with state departments of education and school districts throughout California, Colorado, Connecticut and Texas. He also advises the U.S. Department of Justice on disproportionality issues.
“As an organization that supports the academic, behavioral, and emotional well-being of thousands of vulnerable children and families across the country, equity and access are the foundation upon which FullBloom is built,” said FullBloom CEO Jeffrey Cohen. “Dr. Fergus has literally written the book on achieving equity. We could not be more thrilled to partner with Dr. Fergus to help administrators and educators understand and address the biases in their polices, practices and beliefs, and take proactive, preventative approaches to increasing equity in their schools and classrooms.”
To kick off the partnership, Dr. Fergus will host a free professional development webinar – Advancing Equity & Addressing Disproportionality with Dr. Edward Fergus and FullBloom – to empower teachers and leaders with the tools they need to build universal equity principles and positive classroom cultures for diverse learners. The webinar will examine the root cause process for identifying disproportionality and address how to develop a deep understanding of the policy, practice, and beliefs necessary to reduce disproportionality and advance equity.
“As schools return to in-person learning following the pandemic, it is of great concern that kids are exhibiting new behaviors, including the harmful effects of isolation and increased racial tension,” said Dr. Fergus. “Educators and administrators will need new ways to move forward as a result of what children have endured. School districts that are able to institutionalize an equity lens, creating ongoing systems to effectively solve disproportionality issues, will find the most success in fostering a positive learning environment. That is my goal.”
The webinar is available to school administrators and leaders. To register for Advancing Equity & Addressing Disproportionality with Dr. Edward Fergus and FullBloom on Thursday, June 17, 2021 at 3:00 PM ET, click here.
FullBloom provides education and behavioral health solutions that create better life outcomes for children and their families, regardless of the learning obstacles and other challenges they face. The company’s team of over 7,800 education and healthcare professionals work to achieve measurable and sustained academic, behavioral, and emotional gains through evidence-based programs that include special education, Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapies, intervention services, social-emotional learning, and professional development. Founded in 1976, FullBloom supports tens of thousands of children and families, over 1,000 school districts, and more than 25,000 teachers annually across its three divisions, Catapult Learning, Specialized Education Services, Inc. (SESI), and Little Leaves Behavioral Services. FullBloom is accredited by Cognia (formerly AdvancED).