Gail Calacsan, M.Ed
Education & Training:
While my first and most important job is being a mom, my career is in teaching. I am an education specialist, and my work consists of providing students with targeted and specialized instruction, developed for each learner. I have a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology and a Master's Degree in Education, with a concentration in Special Education.
As an ed specialist, I teach struggling students using a multi-sensory approach, designed to match your child's learning style. I work individually or in small groups to provide intensive instruction. I am versed in using assistive technology, creating an intervention plan, conducting observations and academic assessments, defining reasonable accommodations, and assisting children to develop self-advocacy skills. I also offer reading, writing and/or math intervention, homework help and direct communication with teachers and other professionals.
Teaching Students with Disabilities:
I have 15 years of experience teaching special education students in grades PreK-12, in the public school, non-public school, and charter school sectors. I have worked with students with specific learning disabilities (dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia), autism, Down Syndrome, ADD/ADHD (attention deficit disorder/attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), developmental delays, visual and hearing impairments, TBI (traumatic brain injury), cerebral palsy, and students with a variety of physical, behavioral, and mental-emotional issues. I have taught students with mild, moderate, and severe disabilities in all types of special education service models offered in the school system.
My experience teaching in different school districts and states has afforded me with a wide knowledge of how school districts interpret state and federal mandates. With this knowledge, I can help parents to ensure that their child is given a free and appropriate public school education (FAPE). I have led school teams in developing hundreds of IEPs, and I offer special education families support in understanding and navigating the IEP process. If parents feel the need to attain additional data in order to procure appropriate school-based service, I can conduct an independent academic achievement assessment.
I am qualified to administer norm-referenced, standardized academic assessments, including: Woodcock-Johnson Test of Achievement, Fourth Edition (WJ - IV), Wechsler Individual Achievement Test, Third Edition (WIAT - III), Kaufman Test of Individual Achievement, Third Edition (KTEA - III), Keymath Diagnostic Assessment, Third Edition. A private academic assessment can be helpful in providing your child's school with additional information. It may help the school to determine if your child is eligible for an IEP and ensure that your child receives appropriate school-based special education services.
Education & Background:
B.A. in Psychology, California State University, Sacramento 2001
M.Ed w/ a concentration in Special Education, Chaminade University of Honolulu, 2009
Member of National Association of Special Education Teachers (NASET)
Member of National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM)
Member of California Association of Resource and Special Educators (CARS)
Member of International Dyslexia Association (IDA)
Teacher of the Year Award, Walnut Creek School District, 2014-2015
I am the proud mother of 5 amazing children: Xander, Skylar, Aiden, Delilah & Zion