Reaching Beyond Our Own Walls: Public/Private Partnerships

Drs. Viviana Litovsky and Anthony Hadzimichalis of Westbridge Academy, private special education school in Bloomfield NJ

Drs. Viviana Litovsky and Anthony Hadzimichalis presenting at Union City Public Schools

Leaders from Westbridge Academy offered an important message to a crowd of more than 250 public school paraprofessionals: “When working with students who have behavior challenges, YOU are an agent of change!”

That theme, and many others, was part of a 2-hour program provided by Westbridge Academy during a workshop organized by Union City public schools to help the district’s special education paraprofessionals better meet the needs of students with challenging behavior.

“The training focused on how to meet the needs of students with disabilities in a culturally, economically and linguistically diverse school setting,” said Anthony Hadzimichalis, Ed.D., Principal.

Dr. Hadzimichalis and Dr. Viviana Litovsky, Director at Westbridge, led Union City’s paraprofessionals through discussion and activities designed to allow them to build empathy, and learn about the vital role that they play in the lives of students with disabilities.

The training came about after Westbridge Academy was recommended to Union City as a training resource during a recent meeting of Hudson County special education leaders.

The Westbridge team was so well received, they are returning to train more staff.

“We are deeply honored, not only to have been asked to help, but now, to have been invited back. We have been in the community for more than 40 years and are a resource for schools in the area,” said Dr. Hadzimichalis.

“Opportunities like this are exciting because it gives us the chance to have an impact on more students and stakeholders,” he concluded.

Westbridge Academy offers a range of workshops and seminars, both at the school and off-site, to support the work of our public school colleagues. To learn more, contact Dr. Hadzimichalis at 973-429-8110.