Mission

Our mission is to improve the quality of special education in Marin County, while connecting families for a stronger community. Ours is truly a community partnership, where parents, educators and the wider community work together on behalf of the 4000 special education students in Marin.

We work in partnership with the Marin County Office of Education, our fiscal and legal sponsor. As the "PTA" for special education covering all Marin County, we impact all students receiving special education services.

What We Do

Grants

Classroom Grants: We put money directly into special education classrooms to purchase the innovations and materials needed to help our kids learn.

Site Innovation Grants: NEW! Schools, and districts can apply for larger grants to fund significant innovation projects.

Tech Resource Center

We created this ground-breaking program in 2001, and today it is an internationally-acclaimed program for delivering the best in technological innovation to our students in the most efficient and economical way. A 2017 Site Innovation grant brings the future to special ed in Marin with an infusion of cutting-edge equipment and re-imagining the possible.

Teacher Training

Dedication to Special Education pays for special educators in Marin to get the training they need to stay current in helping our kids. We support a summer academy in addition to other programs aimed at making training available to educators.

Connect Families

Raising and educating a child with special needs can be isolating and daunting. That's why we have created our Connections programs to bring families together to share the joys and challenges, making for a stronger community.

We also maintain a very active online community forum, where questions of all kinds are asked an answered, lively discussions, and much more make this program invaluable to our community.

Fund Raising

Each year we raise about $150,000 towards our programs through many activities. Our strong partnerships with Toyota Marin, The Village at Corte Madera, Schools Rule Marin, and others provide our community with many ways to work together, have fun, and help our kids.


History

Dedication to Special Education was founded in 1997 in response to a need identified by Marin County Office of Education Superintendent Mary Jane Burke, who recognized special education teachers and classrooms were left outside the PTA-style fundraising efforts of regular education. Started as an annual event to raise a small stipend for classroom teachers, DSE grew and evolved into what it is today. In 2001 we created the Technology Resource Center of Marin, in 2002, we updated and greatly expanded our grants to classrooms, and over the years, we have worked to meet the evolving needs of special education students and their families.

Along the way, our parents and families recognized a need to band together to support each other, communicate, share and celebrate our community. We created our Connections programs to bring our families together, knowing that we are, indeed, stronger together.