Educational Advocate

Clinton School Field Trip, Parent Chaperone – 2012 ( they are college freshmen now)

june 2015 090Graduation Day May 2014.Fordham University – with My Mom (also a teacher)

Parents, guardians and families are children’s first educators. It feels like parenting our kids has never been harder. 

Parents, guardians and families are children’s first educators. This has never been harder. 

I am a lifelong educator, my parents were both school teachers. I have been in school my entire life (literally) as a student, teacher, administrator, professor and consultant. But the MOST challenging role has been being a parent. 25 years in the UK, 5 years in The Bahamas, 20 years in NJ and 4 years in CA. (with a bi-coastal family). I have  been president of the Special Education Parents Advisory Committee (a required organisation in school districts in NJ) advised multiple families, friends, colleagues over the years. During this pandemic as we all pivot let me support you .

I received a PhD from Fordham University in 2014 in Educational Leadership and Policy, an MA from Seton Hall in 2003 in Administration and Supervision and my undergraduate degree in the UK. I am a professor of educational leadership and chair of the department of leadership studies at the University of San Francisco. My family lives in Maplewood and we live a bi-coastal experience. (zoom has made this infinitely easier).

Nothing prepared us as parents or educators for the pandemic. On a daily basis I work with school leaders, students who are educators and parents, policy makers ( and breakers) on school reopening. It has easily been the most difficult time for so many of us. So, if you are considering a return to school, a pod, a community endeavour, moving into private schools – talk to me ! 

Talk To Me

If you are thinking the grass is greener- talk to me .

Wanting to move your kid (OOD) Out Of the District (been there done that 3 times) talk to me !

Got a frustrating situation with a case manager and IEP’sIEPs  (oh I wish I had taken notes) – talk to me !

Struggling to get an 504 for your declassified kid ? ( it took a year but we got there). talk to me !

Why me? 

  1. I am a parent, an educator and I have a PhD. I teach in a school of education, in a program for educational leadership. I have studied the law and have some pretty awesome people skills. I keep it real and hopeful. I am really hopeful
  2. I want to help you – I want to use these 30 years of experience to navigate the spaces with others. I get it from an advocate, educator, Mom perspective.
  3. I will charge a fee but nowhere near as expensive as a lawyer. If you need a lawyer, I will tell you. If you need translation support, I will tell you. I will be honest about options. I won’t tell you what to do. (unless you want me to.)

Services Available

  1. Advising regarding moving into a private school, school choice
  2. Review of peer district.
  3. Review and  provide deeper understanding of differences between schools in your home district.
  4. Support in preparation for meeting with school/district.
  5. Attendance as an advocate at meetings with school/district.

Email me directly and let me know what you need.

Talk to me .

If you need a linguistic sign language translator please let me know, (we can have one attend our meeting for a minimal additional fee). 

No charge for the initial consultation (30 minutes)

phone:973 214 5157
 
References supplied upon request.
 
Testimonials
 
Over the past 15 years I have had the pleasure of working with Jane on supporting individual students as well as being aware of her impact on creating District-wide policies and initiatives which impacted special education students in general. In each instance Jane brought a depth of knowledge and insightfulness that resulted in well- targeted, comprehensive and creative interventions. Her mastery of foundational principles of education always led to the creation of a consensus plan that represented best practices for students and clear well-articulated goals for teachers and parents. I can honestly say that if you feel overwhelmed, need information and/or want support, there is really no one better….
Talk to Jane ( Lindy Rollo, parent, former school social worker, SOMSD)
 
 
I have known Jane for 13 years, as a parent, educator, advocate, and leader.  She is extremely knowledgeable about the needs and rights of students and the relative strengths of various educational approaches and school environments. She brings vast professional experience, relatable personal experience, and boundless passion to helping students and families effectively navigate daunting systems and difficult situations – and get to a place where they can thrive. (Jenny Lindstrom, parent, former CHS HSA and SEPAC President)
 
I met Jane Bleasdale when we were both serving in parent leadership roles in our school district. From the beginning, it was clear that Jane is incredibly passionate about advocating for students and families and a deeply compassionate and insightful educator. We have worked alongside each other for many years since then. I can say without reservation that she is thoroughly knowledgeable about the ins and outs of navigating school district protocols and politics and can get through the weeds to the substance of issues and needs. What I most admire about Jane is that she is always respectful, reasonable, and on point with her arguments. The bonus is that she is an absolute delight to be around.(Susie Adamson, parent, former HSA and President’s Council President, SOMSD Board Member)
 
I have known Jane for about 8 years having met her while volunteering as parent representatives advocating for Special Education students and their families in our school district. She was then and continues to be extremely knowledgeable, smart and tenacious when it comes to ensuring that ALL students have access to a free and appropriate public education. Jane has been a dogged advocate for her own children. She has used her deep understanding of education and the needs of struggling learners to ensure that they were provided all the supports they needed to fully access their rightful education. (Melanie Sim, parent,former SEPAC Executive Ctte, founding member of SEPAC)
 

3 thoughts on “Educational Advocate

  1. Jane, I’m so excited that you’ve started this blog, and especially look forward to this parenting section. As a mom to biracial children, the issue of race seems to be coming up a lot lately. While we intentionally haven’t pointed out differences to our kids, it’s interesting to see how my 8 year old is becoming very conscious of it now. He’s started to make comments about our own differences within our family, and other people’s reactions to us,saying things like, “Everybody is surprised you’re my mom.” My younger one doesn’t seem to have this awareness yet,but I foresee some interesting conversations down the road.

    We’ve been privileged to live in a community where diversity is normal, expected and accepted,allowing us to protect our kids from uncomfortable and hard realities that others have to face regularly. But I still want to be prepared to talk to them about the big things, and I am always looking for guidance on that. I look forward to hearing what you have to say!

    Like

  2. Jane, I’m so excited that you’ve started this blog, and especially look forward to this parenting section. As a mom to biracial children, the issue of race seems to be coming up a lot lately. While we intentionally haven’t pointed out differences to our kids, it’s interesting to see how my 8 year old is becoming very conscious of it now. He’s started to make comments about our own differences within our family, and other people’s reactions to us,saying things like, “Everybody is surprised you’re my mom.” My younger one doesn’t seem to have this awareness yet,but I foresee some interesting conversations down the road.

    We’ve been privileged to live in a community where diversity is normal, expected and accepted,allowing us to protect our kids from uncomfortable and hard realities that others have to face regularly. But I still want to be prepared to talk to them about the big things, and I am always looking for guidance on that. I look forward to hearing what you have to say!

    Like

  3. Over the past 15 years I have had the pleasure of working with Jane on supporting individual students as well as being aware of her impact on creating District-wide policies and initiatives which impacted special education students in general. In each instance Jane brought a depth of knowledge and insightfulness that resulted in well- targeted, comprehensive and creative interventions. Her mastery of foundational principals of education always led to the creation of a consensus plan that represented best practices for students and clear well-articulated goals for teachers and parents. I can honestly say that if you feel overwhelmed, need information and/or want support, there is really no one better….
    Talk to Jane

    Like

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