Alexia Cruz


Breaking Neurodiversity Barriers in Schools Through Culturally Responsive Instructional Coaching

About Alexia Cruz

With over eleven years of experience as a dually certified K-12 humanities educator and having leadership roles in the secondary education sector, Alexia Cruz possesses a profound understanding of instructional practices and adult learning. Through her company, Cruz ConnectED Consulting and leadership roles, she is on a mission to equip instructional staff and schools through targeted professional learning experiences to create culturally relevant curricula to better service neurodivergent students and increase student agency.


Breaking Neurodiversity Barriers in Schools Through Culturally Responsive Instructional Coaching

Since 2020 there is a total of 4.9 million multilingual learners in the United States particularly in our urban school districts. Additionally, a survey conducted by "Learning Forward" has identified over 7.3 million students classified with disabilities in the United States who spend 80% or more time in general education classrooms. However, after the return to the classroom during the 2021 to 2023 school years, there has been a need to reflect on the effectiveness of these practices for multilingual learners and students with special needs that has grown to whole school populations. The need to implement impactful instructional practices that support all learners especially in literacy and social emotional learning has been unsuccessful which has caused an increase in teacher burnout and attrition. In order to decrease teacher attrition, targeted professional learning around culturally responsive practices in a holistic way for administrators and instructional coaches are necessary. The purpose of this presentation is for coaches and administrators to be able to gain targeted and extensive background knowledge about culturally responsive practices through expert resources specifically when it comes down to teaching neurodivergent learners. Also,this presentation will serve as a guide through a step-by-step process on how to navigate through coaching educators on creating effective culturally responsive curriculum with more buy in and the areas of critical conversations about instruction in the classroom.

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