Case Study Background
The Northwest Regional Educational Cooperative out of Chama, NM consists of eight member districts. As part of their support for these districts, the Northwest REC provides 7 districts access to Boardworks, specifically for their special education teachers and students.
Lisa Chacon-Kedge, Education Coordinator
Lisa Chacon-Kedge serves as an Education Coordinator for Northwest Regional Education Cooperative. Lisa brings 25+ years of experience in the field of special education in multiple roles including that of a special education teacher, education consultant, coordinator, and lead diagnostician. Lisa works to provide technical support and resources to member school districts on issues related to special education.
Brian Moffett, Special Education Teacher
Brian Moffett works as a special education teacher in the Jemez Mountain School District. Brian has nearly 15 years of experience in the education field. He has served in varying capacities as an educational assistant, general education teacher, special education teacher, teacher leader, youth mentor, and administrative intern. Brian’s goals include becoming a special education director, school principal, and superintendent of schools. Brian aims to make learning accessible to every student he works with throughout his educational journey.
Boardworks is designed for ease of use and to be implemented quickly and efficiently, simplifying curriculum supplementation for Chacon-Kedge and the districts she supports. Brian Moffett, a Special Education Teacher with Jemez Mountain in the Northwest REC, notes that “before Boardworks, we had a hodgepodge of resources that were all over the place. We would spend hours making sure we had stuff for students who finished early and to differentiate instruction across our students.”
One of the major challenges faced by Chacon-Kedge’s team is the frequent change in leadership at the district level. Existing connections are broken and new ones aren’t always made, resulting in gaps that can create additional challenges for special education teachers.
“Part of what we must do is go back and connect new people with Boardworks to show them how they utilize it in their district. This purchase is something that is critical to improving outcomes for students and improving how you operate, so making those connections is crucial.”
The goal of Chacon-Kedge and the Northwest REC is to support capacity-building activities within the schools among special education staff and staff that work directly with kids who have disabilities. “Part of that work includes taking stock of the number of different platforms and subscriptions that we offer, all the things that we purchased for the districts, including, but not limited to things like the student management system, resources, and platforms that lend support for the day to day activities that teachers engage in, providing instruction and literacy support for their students.”
“Boardworks is subsequently a tool that is available to these districts and something I have been excited to see in action. It’s important for there to be a tool that provides resources for smaller rural districts like ours, bringing equality to all learners, regardless of district size. It helps support capacity, build activities, and improve the delivery of services to our local education agencies, improving results for children with disabilities.”
Moffett notes that “Boardworks puts everything into a nice, condensed, consolidated piece, supporting teachers, substitutes, and aids, and providing a good foundation for all teachers, including those new to the position.”
“Boardworks helps me as a teacher to prepare lessons and present content that students need for state testing, without spending hours researching to pull materials together and align with standards. The result is that students interact with materials at a much higher level. Before, we used a lot of worksheets and paper and pencil activities, but with Boardworks, we can truly put the 1:1 devices to work.”
Brian Moffett, Special Education Teacher
An important role of the REC is in supporting districts in staying in compliance with state requirements. This often means ensuring they receive the training prescribed in corrective action plans and coordinating the seats required for specific training or software platforms. One of the advantages of a tool like Boardworks is having a resource already in place that supports these efforts without teachers or administrators falling behind, integrating with existing systems like Google Classroom.
“Partnering with Lisa and the REC has been great,” says Matt Arend, the Educational Consultant for Boardworks who has worked with Lisa and her team in the REC. “Lisa has kept me in contact with department heads along with superintendents to aid in scheduling professional development sessions. Initially, we met with each district separately to support implementation and provide teachers an overview of how Boardworks can be used in their classrooms. We also participated in REC-wide, professional development for special education directors, providing a refresher on resources that are available. Ultimately the REC partnered with Boardworks to secure a resource, but the ongoing support and personal relationships that have been established allow for deeper connections, keeping teacher and student success top of mind.”
Boardworks is designed with ease of use in mind. As an interactive resource with content for K-12, it aims to eliminate excess tasks, focus on instruction, and help the REC support teachers when they need it most.
“Our teachers have communicated to us how important it is to balance burnout and oversaturation of new initiatives designed to help. The simplicity of Boardworks enables us to offer a single tool that can be adapted to meet all of these challenges. Matt Arend, with Boardworks, supports our districts with regular professional development and ongoing support to ensure every teacher can take full advantage of Boardworks to make their lives better.”
Moffett notes that “Boardworks helps me as a teacher to prepare lessons and present content that students need for state testing, without spending hours researching to pull materials together and align with standards. The result is that students interact with materials at a much higher level. Before, we used a lot of worksheets and paper and pencil activities, but with Boardworks, we can truly put the 1:1 devices to work.” Boardworks has had a substantial impact on instructional aids for special education teams as well. “They have greater confidence that information and resources are there and when they are asked to serve as substitutes, they can pull resources on content areas they may not be familiar with.”