Creating a Team of Allies for our Learners

Creating a Team of Allies for our Learners

New to The Biome School this year is Megan Jones, our Student Support Services and Special Education Coordinator. Ms. Jones finds her arrival at The Biome serendipitous. She has worked in a variety of educational settings from Edgewood Residential Facility to Special School District. Throughout her journey, she has sought out environments that fostered a team-focused approach to supporting students. Ms. Jones emphasized, “Collaboration is crucial. I’m excited for the all of the possibilities that come with growing our support services at The Biome because here it is understood that a dynamic team approach can have an incredible impact on a student.”

Following closely in her mother’s footsteps, also as Special Education teacher, Ms. Jones, completed a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology at Truman State and Master’s degree in Autism Studies at Fontbonne University. As she pursued her education, she found herself easily empathizing with her students and their emotional struggles. Quickly she found she had an innate passion to connect with her students. She explained, “I carry my kids in my heart. When they have a bad day, I feel it with them. When I see them have a breakthrough, I am there with them too.” This led her to develop a strong conviction that all kids need to have allies they can rely on throughout their lives.

Since day one, Ms. Jones has been inspired by the energy and enthusiasm everyone brings to The Biome. Drawing on her own creativity and experience, she has jumped in passionately, bringing in a variety of new tools and supports for all of our teachers and learners. For every classroom, she has created sensory bins creating greater accessibility to the tools that help learners build their self-regulation and mindfulness skills. Further, she has introduced “Zones of Regulation” for every classroom. The “Zones of Regulation” represent a series of emotion and help learners to identify their emotions and utilize different coping strategies. Ms. Jones explains, “These tools are integral. It is hard to be successful in education if you do not develop positive self-regulation skills.”

Ms. Jones is excited by the extended flexibility and freedom we have to do what is best for each and every student. The Biome’s academic model is student-centered and focused on figuring out what works best for each student. This model allows for the fluid integration of student support services for every student and creating allies for our learners at every corner of our school. Together, our teachers, parents, and our student support services team work together to create a plan for success, encouraging each perspective to be heard and utilized. Through our student support team, we are proud to be able to provide an extensive array of services, including counseling, speech-language therapy, occupational therapy, and special education support.

In her new role, Ms. Jones is looking forward to melding her expertise of working individually with students with the many opportunities to help integrate student support services throughout the school, empowering our entire team to be the allies our learners can rely on.