Justin is a proud parent of a special needs son. Justin is also active in the Northern Virginia autism community and is the school board representative to the regional special education advisory board. Prior to coming on the board, Justin worked as a co-teacher and spent many of his years co-teaching with a special needs teacher in his 8th grade social studies classroom.
During Justin's term, the Prince William County School Board undertook a comprehensive review of the current special education services. As a result of this audit, Justin and the Prince William County School Board have improved special education in the following areas:
- An increased focus on instructional best practices for students with disabilities;
- Additional materials that support the instructional needs for students with disabilities, such as Equals Math and TeachTown Basics for students who participate in the alternate curriculum or need;
- Newly developed parent training has been provided through the Parent Resource Center;
- Additional resources for dyslexia and self-advocacy for parents and staff;
- Critically needed additional staff has been added such as school psychologists and an assistive technology coordinator. While additional supervisor and coordinator positions were also recommended, the first focus was on these critical staff members who work directly with students;
- An increased focus on inclusive practices and keeping students with disabilities at their base schools whenever possible;
- Increased professional learning opportunities on research-based best practices for staff across the Division; and
- A strengthening of parent and staff relationships through an increase in partnership and feedback opportunities for various parents, community members, and staff members.
Justin continues to work with families on securing transportation for special needs students, navigating families through the ILP process, and helping families secure additional services beyond their base school.