Dr. Bettini Forges New Community Partnership with BPS Schools

Since summer 2018, Assistant Professor of Special Education Elizabeth Bettini has been conducting research and providing professional development at McKinley Middle and McKinley Preparatory High School, two Boston Public Schools serving students with emotional and behavioral disabilities (EBD). She has teamed up with fellow 2017 IES Grant Recipient Dr. Lindsay Fallon of UMass Boston on a research project, Fostering Special Educators’ Instructional Growth in McKinley Middle and High School, funded by Boston Public Schools’ Office of School-Community Partnerships.

“We’re working with McKinley teachers collaboratively to develop and provide professional development around behavioral data collection and use behavioral data collection in their decision-making processes, also improving the rigor of academic instruction using a universal design for learning” says Bettini. She also notes that McKinley shares similarities with schools in Arizona and Connecticut where she previously taught students with EBD in self-contained and inclusive settings.

One of the most exciting elements of the project for Bettini is the budding partnership between the McKinley Schools and BU Wheelock. The McKinley schools are located in the Fenway area, just a short walk from Boston University’s Charles River and Fenway Campuses. “We’re hoping this will be a sustained partnership with McKinley Middle School and McKinley Preparatory High School” says Bettini. BU Wheelock has several existing partnerships with BPS, which you can read more them here.

Dr. Bettini’s research is motivated by the belief that educational systems have a responsibility to provide teachers with supportive working conditions that facilitate their well-being, commitment to the profession, and effectiveness in serving students. Prior to beginning the McKinley School project, Dr. Bettini’s published an article in Remedial and Special Education, that explored how four special educators in self-contained classes for students with EBD defined and experienced their roles (Read online: “Special Educators’ Experiences of Roles and Responsibilities in Self-Contained Classes for Students With Emotional/Behavioral Disorders”).

To learn more about Dr. Bettini’s work, visit her faculty profile here or check out her website.

– Grace Hagerty