Cross-Collaboration Fuels Applied Work

What new insights are revealed when a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Speech Language Therapist work with a student together? How can a Social Learning expert and a Classroom Teacher combine efforts to deepen the educational potential of dramatic play for young children? What diverse experiences and stories emerge when staff from different cultures collaborate in a culturally responsive workgroup?

The answers to these and many other questions are emerging through the most recent IvyShares initiative. IvyShares awards fellowships to staff across Ivymount School, The Maddux School, and Ivymount Outreach who undertake a special project beyond their job description that: 1) helps our learners to live their best, most fulfilling lives 2) supports our staff and families in making intelligent, thoughtful choices in partnership with our learners, and 3) provides leadership across Ivymount and the greater community.

Fellowship stipends for staff are provided through the Ivymount Foundation’s Investing in Excellence Fund that was first established in honor of Jan Wintrol at the 2018 Ivymount Gala and in support of the legacy of the long-standing Tull Fund.

“Our staff members bring diverse perspectives to the table. Whenever possible, we create opportunities for staff with different backgrounds and training to collaboratively design and implement new ways to support our students, clients, and each other. The most recent group of IvyShares participants includes some interdisciplinary collaborations that are sure to lead to novel insights that will benefit the special education community.”

Susan Holt, Executive Director of Ivymount

IvyShares fellows participated in the annual IvyShares Fair, where they shared information on their projects and spoke with staff members across the entire organization.

Congratulations to our most recent IvyShares awardees!

IvyShares 2024 Projects

  • “IvyPals”: Bridging Futures – A Peer-to-Peer Mentorship Program – Alexis Pindell
    Pilots a peer-to-peer mentoring program to promote social integration, personal growth, and career exploration.
  • Culturally Responsive Education Workgroup – Adnellys Perez Rodrigues, Nia Page, Chris Jones
    Develops monthly initiatives that explore different cultures and languages with students, who then do their own research and share what they learn with each other.
  • Staying Unstuck – Lynn Danzi
    Develops and implements a new extension of the scripts and concepts from the evidence-based curriculum, Unstuck & On Target! and Ivymount created, Applied Unstuck through Ivymount Outreach.
  • Theme-Based Collaborative Language Group for Children with Complex Communication Needs – Gabriella Cameron
    Develops and implements a curriculum across an interdisciplinary team (SLP, OT, PT) containing theme-based stories, functional vocabulary, story manipulatives, gross and fine movement opportunities, and language boards.
  • Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Story Champs group to improve use of Narrative Language of Adolescents with ASD – Julie Vadhan and Tara Weiss
    Evaluate the effectiveness of the Story Champs Narrative Language Intervention to increase the comprehension and production of complex language for students in the Endeavors Program.​
  • Early Childhood Dramatic Play Curriculum- Lynn Cannon, Cherelle Waters, Lisa Boxbaum
    Collect and use data to refine and enhance dramatic play curriculum, conduct a formal research project, and formalize the curriculum
  • Exploring Careers: Post High School – Maya Lewis
    Support students in exploring a variety of careers by gathering video footage & written interviews about specific career environments, skills & responsibilities.
  • Evaluation and Revision of Aspire Applied Teacher Training Curriculum—Chris Jones
    Review current intensive training sequence for new staff, revise existing trainings, and develop additional trainings to best meet staff needs.
  • SLP/MHP Co-Therapy Outcomes and Considerations – Jess Oginz, Ann Kern, Mike Stromberg
    Create a framework for implementation and decision making and gather information from stakeholders when speech-language therapists and mental health providers provide co-therapy. A Calculated Comparison – Mandy Verme, Brok Hess
    Compare and determine student accuracy and usage of three different modalities of calculators as well as the impact on assessing accommodations and planning for generalization.


Learn more about how Ivymount evaluates progress, measures impact and shares what works. Ivymount has awarded IvyShares fellowships to almost 500 staff members. The results of those projects have reinforced Ivymount’s standing as a nationally recognized special education facility while motivating Ivymount staff’s excellence.

Read more about how Sue and Bill Tull established the Tull Fund. It’s just one of many stories on our Six Decades of Ivymount page.

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