Saturday, November 17, 2018
National Association of State Directors of Special Education
Letter From Our President

Welcome to the National Association of State Directors of Special Education (NASDSE) website.  Since 1938, NASDSE has provided leadership to ensure the provision of a quality education to every child.  NASDSE focuses on improving educational services and outcomes for children and youth with disabilities throughout the United States, the Department of Defense, the federal territories and the Freely Associated States of Palau, American Samoa, Micronesia, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and the Marshall Islands.  As NASDSE enters its 80th year, we continue our work with state education agencies (SEAs) to make certain that every student with a disability receives the educational supports and services needed from birth to be prepared for post-school education, employment and independent living choices.

NASDSE’s mission statement reflects the complex nature of the work that NASDSE members are engaged in on a daily basis, and highlights the emphasis that NASDSE places on establishing and maintaining collaborative relationships during the development and implementation of education policies and practices impacting students with disabilities. (Click here to read the Mission Statement).  Due to the intricate nature of state education agencies (SEAs), NASDSE has expanded its traditional membership of state directors of special education to include two affinity groups: IDEA Part B data mangers and 619 preschool coordinators.  We anticipate that the addition of these SEA personnel, as well as increased engagement of state directors of special education in a safe, problem-solving environment, will strengthen the ongoing efforts of state directors and lead to improved processes within SEAs.

NASDSE provides the tools that our members need as they develop and implement their state systemic improvement plan (SSIPs).  This work requires strong, capable leaders who respond quickly to changes and impact educational systems.  NASDSE continues to lead by providing effective strategies to authentically engage students, families, communities, professionals and policymakers as full partners in our work.

As we continue to focus on improving outcomes for every child and youth with disabilities, we invite all stakeholders to learn more about NASDSE, our mission and goals and our work with states.  Our NASDSE website features valuable information for stakeholders who share the ideals in NASDSE’s mission. To focus our work in the upcoming year, I have developed a set of five priorities, which can be viewed here. These priorities support the efforts of the NASDSE membership.

I am honored to serve as NASDSE’s president for 2017-2018.  Thank you for visiting our website.  In addition to the other valuable information you will find, NASDSE members have engaged in work leading to the reauthorization of IDEA, and have identified both guiding principles and foundational beliefs, which will be posted on the NASDSE website in the near future.



Santina Thibedeau 
Director of Special Education
New Hampshire Department of Education 


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